Californication – “The Whore of Babylon” (1.03)

David Duchovny as Hank Moody in “The Whore of Babylon” (Californication, Ep. 1.03).

Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. To celebrate the ever-growing American tradition of Black Friday, here’s a guy known for wearing black…

Vitals

David Duchovny as Hank Moody, womanizing novelist with substance abuse issues

Venice Beach, Summer 2007

Series: Californication
Episode: “The Whore of Babylon” (Episode 1.03)
Air Date: August 27, 2007
Director: Scott Winant
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer

Background

In the third episode of Californication, we learn more about Hank and see him in different settings: a book reading, on a date with a woman he actually likes, and being bailed out of jail. Of these three, viewers should get most accustomed to seeing the latter.

What’d He Wear?

Day 1

During a book reading in Venice Beach, Hank dresses up his usual look with a charcoal linen blend sportcoat that is just one notch darker than the shade of his charcoal shirt. He still wears the shirt untucked with jeans, but the jacket – while somewhat rumpled and wrinkled due to its linen suiting – is still dressier than his well-traveled smoking jacket.

Hank’s wrinkled blazer, untucked shirt, and jeans present a tougher and more masculine image to Meredith than the white-collared asshole in the V-neck sweater and khakis that she is on a date with. (To see a white shirt, V-neck sweater, and khakis pulled off effectively, see Don Draper in the “Three Sundays” episode of Mad Men.)

In addition, Hank wears his usual accessories and his brown Timberland “Tortrance” suede Chelsea boots, which he wears over black socks throughout the episode.

Underneath, Hank has on a pair of small black boxer briefs with a thin gray band across the waist. When Karen comes over for coffee after his impromptu date with Meredith, Hank insists on going out to get coffee with her while wearing only the boxers and button-down. Given that Hank lives in Venice Beach, this would not be an odd sight.

Why buy a robe when you can just wear last night’s shirt?

Day 2

As usual, Hank wears a T-shirt (black, of course) and jeans to a meeting at Charlie’s office. And, as usual, he takes off his boots and lays down on the couch.

Rather than worry about his career, Hank coins the word “broner”. Yet another productive meeting.

For his real date (“20th century style,” according to Hank) with Meredith that evening, he layers a lightweight black button-down on top of it all. This is the last time, for a while at least, that Hank layers a button-down over a T-shirt.

Hank embraces his “20th century style” date by wearing a nice shirt, followed by a B&E and stealing a dog.

Hank’s Accessories

As covered in the pilot episode entry, Hank has four distinct accessories that he is almost never without: sunglasses, a ring, and two wrist straps. The sunglasses are dark brown Izods (model #725), often mistaken for Ray-Ban Highstreets on other blogs and Hank-related posts.

On his left wrist, he wears a black snap bracelet with silver round and hexagonal studs around it. He also wears a thin black braided leather bracelet that is tied around his wrist. All available at Urban Wrist.

Hank simultaneously sneaks up on Karen AND shows us his ring and bracelets. Thanks, Hank!

Hank’s silver ring is finally established in this episode as the medium-width ring with two ridges. It will remain unchanged for several episodes.

Go Big or Go Home

Hank takes it a little easier in this episode, only seen drinking two glasses of Scotch (although several more are implied). He lights a well-deserved cigarette after getting the wind knocked out of him by an unusually violent Bill and also promotes the use of safe sex with a Trojan Magnum. Kudos to you, Mr. Moody!

No better time than this to light up a Camel.

In this episode, we hear:

  • She Died, “I’m Ten Feet Tall”
  • Josh Blake, “Pain & My Misery”
  • Creosote, “The Ballad of Whiskey and Tears”
  • Betty Davis, “Walkin’ Up the Road”
  • Dawn Landes, “Toy Piano”

Of these songs, “Pain & My Misery” by Josh Blake is the most Hank-like. He hears this blues-rock piece while drinking away his sorrows in a bar after being beaten up twice and arrested all in the same night. Pain and misery indeed.

What to Imbibe

Same as usual: Scotch and cigarettes.

How to Get the Look

This one is easy, as Hank has two distinct looks in this episode. The ingredients for both are:

Hank puts on his boots after taking them off for a meeting in Charlie’s office. No, Charlie is not Japanese.

  • Dark charcoal gray linen-blend single-breasted 2-button sport coat with notch lapels, jetted breast pocket, straight flapped hip pockets, and a single vent
  • Charcoal gray dress shirt with black buttons
  • Black lightweight casual button-up shirt with swelled edges and an open breast pocket
  • Black short-sleeve James Perse cotton T-shirt
  • Medium-dark wash blue denim jeans
  • Brown sueded leather Timberland “Torrance” Chelsea boots with black elastic side gussets
  • Black socks
  • Black boxer briefs with a gray stripe around the waist
  • Silver ring with two ridged bands, worn on the right index finger
  • Black leather bracelet with silver hexagonal and round studs, worn on the left wrist
  • Thin black braided leather bracelet, also worn on the left wrist

A more Hank-like look, as seen in “The Whore of Babylon”, would be a half-open black shirt rather than a seldom-worn robe.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the first season. To really show your Hank fanship, you can also pick up your own copy of God Hates Us All. (Yes, it’s a real book! Written for the show, of course, but the content is definitely something Moody would write about.)

The Quote

You have a dog named Cat Stevens? Holy fuck!

Footnotes

Hank’s bracelets are available at Urban Wrist.

3 comments

    • luckystrike721

      caduceus,
      Unfortunately not. I’ve heard some unconfirmed stuff about Hank’s shirts being Prada, but that seems a little too high end for someone who wears clothing to be practical and functional. (Especially because I think that shirt gets pooped on by a bird in that episode if it’s the fourth season one I believe it is)
      I’ll keep looking and maybe I’ll get lucky with a link, an eagle-eyed fan, or even communication with the show’s costume department. Also, as I keep screencapping the episodes, I will hopefully glimpse a label. The shirts steadily change during the show and I’ll likely try and do a post to track the changes.
      Nick

      Like

      • Mike450ike

        That would be much appreciated! Between that and the button down black one – much harder to find than one would think, especially since they are so simple looking! Thanks for keeping an eye out!

        Like

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