The Moth Chase

Elevating the Art of Procrastanalysis – Academics wasting time on pop culture

The Girl Whisperer

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Californication finally explicitly asked two questions last night that we’ve all deep down been wondering about Hank.  The first came from Dean Koonz, in a moment of desperate exclamation: “How do you do it?” he whined, “You obviously have this thing with women, this strong connection. Some very strong connection that no matter what you do, no matter how big of an ass you are, they seem to respond. You’re a goddamn girl whisperer!” Of course, we learn that Stacy isn’t asking Hank this in an innocent way. He’s not just broken by his wife’s infidelity and wondering how it happened. There’s a yucky undertone here as Stacy confides in Hank that he too has had illicit relations with a girl so hot a priest would have defiled her.  And so yuckily enough, it seems Stacy asks this of Hank because he wants to know how to girl whisper too.

And so the real, genuine question gets asked through Becca’s mouth – she’s the one who manages to call Hank out because she’s the only one who really loves him and really, truly wants to know what makes him the way he is.  “Why,” she asks, “there has to be a reason, make me understand”.  As Hank tries to deflect her with jokes – as he’s been doing all episode long while these three, gorgeous, talented women are throwing themselves at him – Becca holds his feet to the flames.  “No,” she insists, “You need to talk to me. You need to tell me why you do the things you do when you know that people can get seriously hurt. Myself included.” And while we all wonder how Hank scores so many girls – what his secret power over them is – this is the real question: just because he can, doesn’t mean he should, and so why does he keep hurting those he’s supposed to love, or at least momentarily cherish, when he does seem to set out usually with good intentions?

Becca realizes this is just part of his broken nature: “you wouldn’t get mad at a big dumb dog for shitting on the rug, would you?”  Hank realizes he’s holding his daughter to a higher standard than he’s holding himself to because he would get mad at the dog…and so he realizes finally that they all have a right to get mad at him.  And so he apologizes – he explains that he just wants to help these girls feel special, to find the part of themselves that is special and to give them the feeling of having that special self regarded by another.

And despite it all, we believe Hank – we believe him because that’s what we see him constantly trying to do with Becca.  And we believe him because that’s why these women fall in love with him – because in all his terrible ways of relating, he does open them up to some part of themselves that they fall in love with.

But realizing that deep down there’s the same desire – this special-making, special-regarding act – acted out for the women that he acts for his daughter, we realize with Becca that there will come a point when his sorrys won’t mean anything anymore: and we too get a funny feeling that that’s going to happen for her real soon.  And we too worry with him that his ongoing ways of treating women will have created a daughter who thinks of herself as one ‘walking vagina’ among many and who needs to find affirmation in a string of men who’ll never live up to the special-making skills of her father.

Was anyone else like me a little creeped out my Rick Springfield meeting a girl whose mother had sex with him once upon a time without a condom, only to have sex himself with that girl?  Was anyone else a little creeped out that he was unknowingly doing his own daughter?  Uck – consequences!

Posted by Natalie

Written by themothchase

November 16, 2009 at 9:12 am

One Response

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  1. Nice analysis — this is pretty much the trick most modern men use — make women feel special. Here’s the problem though – no self respecting man or woman would do what Hank does or what his conquests fall for, mostly because these relationships in their very nature cannot last. And as Becca pointed out, they hurt people in a deep and lasting way.

    Once the women get their shit together, they’ll discard Hank because he’s biologically sterile. Remember, snip, snip…. There’s no future with Hank, and that is what Becca really is afraid of. Her future, as she rightly should be — the apple does not fall far from the tree.

    Alex Sirota

    November 19, 2009 at 9:37 am

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