Flashbacks of Hank Moody in “California Son”

Mark Margolis joins David Duchovny in a production photo from

Mark Margolis joins David Duchovny in a production photo from “California Son”, the eighth episode of Californication.

Vitals

David Duchovny as Hank Moody, successful author and family man

Venice Beach, Summer 2006

Series: Californication
Episode: “California Son” (Episode 1.08)
Air Date: October 1, 2007
Director: Scott Winant
Costume Designer: Peggy A. Schnitzer

Background

A year before he became the substance-abusing turnstile of a man we’ve come to know and love, Hank Moody was a dedicated family man with several successful novels under his belt. Much like his attitude, Hank’s clothing during this “golden era” was much brighter with nary a black to be seen.

The first real glimpse Californication viewers get of this happy past life comes in the eighth episode, “California Son”. Faced with the death of his father Al (played by the ubiquitous but underrated Mark Margolis), Hank is forced to reflect on the last time he saw Al, which happened to be the summer that his relationship with Karen deteriorated.

What’d He Wear?

Although we see Hank wearing noticeably brighter shirts in the “California Son” flashbacks, the colors do gradually get darker as the storyline gets worse (or darker) for Hank.

His attire is also notably devoid of accessories, with his usual spinner ring or hexagonal bracelet nowhere to be seen. In fact, he even wears a watch! Evidently, he picked up the ring and bracelet after losing Karen. Perhaps the ring, a spinner, keeps his mind occupied from thinking about her. Sort of a long shot here, but it makes sense?

Also, Hank has a little soul patch under his bottom lip now. He probably really liked this, but after his father’s “trumpet player” crack, he likely shaved it off and it is – thankfully – never seen again.

The Airport Run

Hank picks his father up from the airport with California sunshine all around them as they hop into Hank’s flashy new Porsche, complete with two working headlights!, and all is looking good and idyllic.

In general, Hank's shirt color and brightness in this episode tends to indicate his mood.

In this episode, Hank’s shirt color and brightness tends to indicate his overal mood.

The bright, airy mood is accentuated by Hank’s choice of shirt for the day, a very light gray long-sleeve button-down with a loose, casual fit. The shirt has unbuttoned barrel cuffs, seven white buttons down the placket-less front, and no breast pocket. The spread collars are moderately-sized and indicate that the shirt was probably made by the same makers of Hank’s other button-downs.

Hank has a pair of very dark jeans on in this scene, and all following scenes, that are even darker than his usual jeans. The muted colors of the flashbacks make them appear black on screen, but production photos prove that they are indeed a very, very dark blue.

Hank108F-shirt1b

On his feet, Hank wears his usual brown Timberland “Torrance” sueded leather Chelsea boots. His sunglasses are also his trademark Izod 725 shades with dark lenses.

On Set

On the film set of Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Hank is surrounded by an environment he loathes, the artificiality of movies and – most notably – Tom Cruise.

And, of course, his hatred for

And, of course, his hatred for “chrome-domed, caramel-coated” director Todd Carr.

This shirt is striped, alternating between dark purple and white stripes. As usual for Hank, it is long-sleeve with unbuttoned barrel cuffs. It differs from the first shirt with a breast pocket and front placket for the white buttons. He wears the same dark jeans as in the airport scene.

Here, Hank varies his accessories with two items not seen again until the third season. His sunglasses are not the Izods, but a pair of dark plastic Oliver Peoples sunglasses that evidently were David Duchovny’s personal pair. He also wears a black straw short-brimmed fedora with a dark purple abstract-designed band.

It has its time and place, I suppose, but Hank was smart to not let the fedora overstay its short welcome.

It has its time and place, I suppose, but Hank was smart to not let the fedora overstay its short welcome.

Later on set, we see Hank in the same hat, but now sporting a torn white short-sleeve T-shirt and very light blue denim jeans. The sunglasses look more rounded and he has ditched the watch.

2013-01-23 01.42.50 am

Dinner at Home

That night, Hank, Karen, and Becca entertain Al for a spaghetti dinner at the Moody loft in Venice. Having changed from the film set, Hank is forced to face the realizations of how he has changed and how he is more like his father than he wishes he was.

Hank108F-shirt3

This shirt is an even darker gray with very dark stripes. It looks dressier than the others, with larger point collars, black buttons, no front placket, and no breast pocket.

Things Go Downhill

Finally, when Hank and Karen are faced with the reality of their crumbling relationship and break up, Hank is dressed like we’re used to seeing him, in a very dark blue long-sleeve button-down shirt and dark jeans. The rumpled shirt is just a tad lighter than the jeans. It fastens down a front placket with black buttons and also has a breast pocket. The seams are swelled, giving the shirt a more casual look. A horizontal seam crosses the back of the shirt.

Yeah, nothing too new here.

Yeah, nothing too new here.

These scenes also give us the best look at Hank’s watch, which has a brown leather strap, round gold case, and plain white face. He wears in addition to the black leather braid that he always wears on his left wrist.

After breaking up with Karen, Hank's time is

After breaking up with Karen, Hank’s time is “up” and we never see his watch again.

Go Big or Go Home

Hank’s taste was evidently not too different back in the day. He drank whiskey neat and chain-smoked cigarettes. The only difference we see is a glass of red wine with the Moody family’s pasta dinner.

I think it was just a poorly-timed screencap, but it definitely looks like Hank is channeling wine snobs here.

I think it was just a poorly-timed screencap, but it definitely looks like Hank is channeling wine snobs here.

The visit from Hank’s father keys us in to his psychology with greater exposure than we’ve had before. We get why he is so freewheeling with women, although he still feels he has more respect for them than his father who “was always fucking someone else” and cheated on his mother. This further instills Hank’s code of honor; it’s okay to be promiscuous if you’re single and it’s all in good fun, but no cheating.

Finally, Hank learns the hard way that he should have appreciated his time with his father more, especially given the letter he discovered posthumously that revealed the truth about Al’s respect for Hank and his career. For better or worse, our fathers shape the men we become.

Father and son at a local watering hole.

Father and son at a local watering hole.

How to Get the Look

Not the traditional items of Moody’s wardrobe…

  • Light gray casual button-down long-sleeve shirt with moderate spread collars, white buttons down a plain front, and unbuttoned barrel cuffs
  • Purple and white striped casual long-sleeve shirt with moderate spread collars, breast pocket, white buttons down a front placket, and unbuttoned barrel cuffs
  • Gray (with black stripes) long-sleeve shirt with point collars, black buttons down a plain front, and unbuttoned barrel cuffs
  • Dark blue casual long-sleeve shirt with moderate spread collars, breast pocket, black buttons down a front placket, and unbuttoned barrel cuffs
  • Plain white short-sleeve T-shirt with a torn left shoulder
  • Very dark wash blue denim jeans
  • Very light wash blue denim jeans
  • Brown suede Timberland “Torrance” Chelsea boots with black elastic side gussets
  • Black socks
  • Analog wristwatch with a brown leather strap, round gold case, and plain white face
  • Thin black braided leather bracelet, also worn on the left wrist
  • Izod 725 sunglasses
  • Oliver Peoples black plastic sunglasses
  • Black straw short-brimmed fedora with a dark purple band, illustrated with a purple abstract pattern

Hank also wears one of his black short-sleeve T-shirts during a day in the park with his family, but it’s seriously seen for about five seconds of screen time and I think after eight or so other Californication posts, you have a good idea about what Hank looks like in a black T-shirt.

Do Yourself a Favor and…

Buy the first season.

The Quote

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but it’s kinda crazy for me lately. Ya know, I don’t really have time to stop and smell the flowers and then look up their proper names online.

2 comments

  1. Pingback: Californication – Hank Grieves in Purple | BAMF Style
  2. Pingback: Hank Moody’s Workout Attire | BAMF Style

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