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All Episodes Talk: Hank Moody Has Massive Problems

Several people suggested Hank get a test, and he's even snarked like, 'this is my son, or that's what we're going with right now.' I don't know why he didn't. I don't know why busybody Karen didn't insist on it either. Because if she did, you know he would.

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"It's Hank. Anything's possible."

 

No, Karen, it's not. Since it's canon that Hank has been faithful and monogamous to you when you've been together. I'm glad Hank told her to knock it off. It shouldn't be too much to expect some internal consistency. The show isn't that complicated. 

 

I mean, not for anything. It's weird to find out you have a grown up son, ok. But it's not the end of the world and it's not a slap in your face Karen, since this happened before he even knew you. 

 

I like the actor and I think she does a good job, but they write Becca so horribly. And Levon so stupidly. Why is going out and getting a job too much for him? Why is he always whining?

 

To be fair, though, Becca wasn't mad or blamed anything on Hank about Levon. 

 

However, I'd like to know what exactly are Hank's "chronic" fuck ups, and seriously, any good parent is going to want to question their not quite adult child about making a rash decision about marriage. 

 

And let's be honest - how much of this is Hank's fault and how much of it is Karen's fault?

 

TPTBs need to seriously ask themselves this.

 

 

When he asked why now and she said, "He asked and I answered," I thought ugh, that is a terrible reason to get married.

 

I'm surprised Hank didn't say, "if that's the reason, then you aren't ready." 

 

And Karen has no problem with this?

 

I like how Karen didn't call ahead that she was coming over with Becca either. Because of course, Hank is always at her beck and call.

Edited by ganesh.
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And Karen has no problem with this?

 

 

Isn't that always the way with Karen? She doesn't have a problem with anything other women, especially young women, do--in fact she outright encourages it, but once they do it it's another thing to blame on Hank. One of the worst was when she went on and on about her magical affair with her professor in college and how great it is to be with an older man to Mia while they were at the house of that rock star who was trying to sleep with her. On her way out she reminded Hank that it was his responsibility to make sure the guy didn't sleep with Mia. (Another fact that never gets brought up is that didn't Mia specifically target Hank because she was angry at Karen? Not that Karen's responsible for everything Mia does but it was another example of Karen positioning herself as the great parent that everybody loves when she was nothing of the kind.)

 

You can totally bet that Karen would encourage Becca now and if she was miserable commiserate with her on how Hank both ruined Becca's great marriage and also forced Becca to make the bad decision to get married when she obviously shouldn't have.

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I don't like the way she blindsided Hank about Becca getting married either. It's like she came over to his house and dropped it in his lap for him to deal with so she looks like the good guy. 

 

I mean come on, *any* parent worth a damn would immediately say, "we're talking about this with your father" and then call to let him know. 

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Well, I guess - on the plus side - at least they didn't turn Hank into a lumberjack.

 

It was a Chinese dinner finale:  I know I've seen a finale...I just don't feel like I've seen a finale.

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The lumberjack thing could have worked well here.  Lol.

 

It's odd that in my cable listings for this finale, it was referenced as the Season 7 finale and not the series finale.  Even the cable channel guide didn't realize there was an actual finale to the series.

 

Was there anything even remotely surprising about this ending?  Was there anything even remotely satisfying about it? 

 

I mean... I don't know what to say about it.  Whenever I lose a series that I have watched and have stuck with for years, I do feel a little sad...especially when a great Elton John song figures in prominently at the end.   (This series outlasted some of the other series I watched religiously, such as Lost and Sex and the City, and I felt sad at the end of each one of those too.)   I like David Duchovny -- I always have -- and I will miss seeing him as Hank.  However, I just haven't cared about the Hank-Karen romance for most of the series, and the last couple of seasons have been rough to get through.

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I guess after seven seasons, I shouldn't have been surprised at what we got. Runkle sex shenanigans, fake boobs, Karen getting a little smile as Hank sucks up to her again. Hank being offered sex and passing it up when he's on a Karen kick. Hollywood assholes being Hollywood assholes. 

 

I did like that he tried to help Julia and Levon. I thought it was bush league for the Runkles to keep the money. 

 

But it sort of sums up the whole thing, doesn't it? The easiest fucking way out, and they took it yet again. This could have been really good to watch -- and it times it was fun. But it never, ever crossed over into being good. Not nearly as crappy as many made it out to be, but it just never quite made it to good. My favorite scene was last year when Faith read Hank's first draft, and pushed him to do better -- understood and appreciated his talent and wanted to help him be a better writer -- wanted to do her part in creating art. Just that thought -- that someone wanted to actually help Hank reach his potential -- was enough to make me give the show a pass on all the rest of it. But then Hank went back to Karen, and it was all the same again. 

 

This year was better than most. Hank was much, much less assholish than he had been in past seasons. He actually seemed to have a level of empathy and wanted to do the right thing. And I had real hopes there was something more going on. But in the end, there wasn't. Just more of the same and more of the same. 

 

So RIP Californication. You were so much less than you might have been. but there were lots of boobs so I guess that's something. 

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Everybody made out in the end, except for Stu -- or maybe that doll will do it for him.

 

Runkle and Smurfette walk away loaded, Julia finds a man so she won't be tempting Hank -- who are we kidding, good looking women instantly fall for Hank, as on the plane -- and Hank gets his way too.

 

Prince Charming gets his princess to ride off with him, after he's boned all the other damsels in the kingdom.

 

 

The one thing though, Hank's persona is always nonplussed.  Even when he's reading his heartfelt letter that melts Julia's heart, he's got the usual veneer of cool going, with a half-jokey tone all the way through, even when he's suppose to be speaking from the heart, so the clever wordplay suppresses emotional depth.

 

Is this usually how Duchovny does his roles?  He's always unflappable and zen as Hank, though when he found out about Becca's engagement, he seems to put his foot down.  But he didn't stay mad long, he just went back to his easygoing, cruising speed, little effort needed from him -- as the series portrayed his conquests throughout its run.

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Not surprisingly, Stu is an idiot. He left his fuck doll out in the open knowing that Marcy was coming over? But what was with his abrupt decision that the $1 million was his penance? Am I really supposed to believe that he was just trying to help Marcy and Charlie work out their problems? Watching Stu have dinner with his sex doll was even creepier than when he offered Marcy $1 million to sleep with him.

 

Hank is so blind. Levon just got arrested for picking up a hooker and then Hank watched him have a terribly awkward conversation with a girl at a bar, and he's still insisting that he thinks Levon is going to be okay? Dude, you've met Levon. You've seen how he interacts with people. Playing pool with one chick at a bar is not going to fix him. If Hank wants to be a loving supportive father who helps him learn how to socialize better, great. But at this point to say that Levon is going to be fine is hugely optimistic. That kid is a fucking mess.

 

Ugh, I hated Hank's stupid letter. I'm sure it sounded romantic to all the people on the plane who haven't been witness to their dysfunctional relationship for the past seven years, but to me it was just another spoke in the endless cycle of their passive aggressive codependence. Karen pushes Hank away, Hank pursues her until she relents, then Karen gets mad at him and pushes him away again.

 

The one thing I liked about Karen in this episode was her decision to go to Becca's wedding and telling Hank to suck it up and go as well. I TOTALLY understand why Hank is not thrilled about Becca getting married so young to a guy she hasn't known for a long time. I totally get his concern that she's rushing into this and I completely agree that if it's right, then waiting another year or two to get married won't make a difference. But unless you have serious reservations, as in her fiancé is a drug dealer or pimp who is beating the shit out of her, then you SUCK IT UP and go to your kid's wedding. And for the entire wedding day, you don't make snarky remarks or keep trying to convince her she's making a mistake. You smile, you make polite conversation, and you tell the groom congratulations. And you tell your daughter that she looks beautiful, that you love her very much, and that all you want is for her to be happy. The end. You don't stay at home pouting in protest. You don't make not so quiet asides to anyone within earshot about how it's not too late to cancel the wedding. You don't make cynical anti-marriage "jokes."

 

The sad thing is that Hank didn't change his mind and decide to go to the wedding to be supportive of his daughter. He got on the plane to chase after Karen AGAIN. If not for that, he wouldn't have even shown up to Becca's wedding.

 

I agree that this finale didn't realy feel like a finale (aside from the requisite montage at the end). On the other hand, this show has been on lather rinse repeat for so long that maybe I've just lost all perspective on this show because in the grand scheme of things, not much has happened in seven years. Hank and Karen do the same dance over and over, which is why I knew they would end up together in the finale. It's just another one of their reunions. I'm sure that Hank will do something to make Karen mad within a few weeks.

 

I do agree that Hank seemed less like a dick this season. As weird and annoying as Levon could be, I think having him around really caused Hank to engage in a way that he hadn't before with Becca or Charlie or anyone else (possibly because Levon was even more of a mess than Hank).

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Acting, as always, was good.  I love DD so I will miss him.  But this was such a simple, we've given up, finale.  Yay, everyone gets a happy ending!

 

And why did it seem like they were moving to NY when they were just going for a wedding? He acted like he was never going to see Julia or Levon again, or not for a long time. He left his damn car just sitting there.  It made no sense.

 

I did like how they tried to give Hank a final scene with a cig and booze and you could tell he was totally trying to not smoke it. Good for you DD.

 

The plot resolution with Stu was too easy but it was a stupid story so who cares.

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Rosalie, that's it. I knew the last name but couldn't think of the first. She looked good.

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Meh.  I've put up with too much shit from this show over the years to be affected by this Series "Finally" one way or the other.   All the plots and characters were wrapped up (albeit predictably), so I'll give it that.  But overall (not unlike Weeds), it went out with a whimper.

 

In the immortal words of Carl Spackler, "In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, au revoir, Go-phere..."

Edited by Lone Wolf.
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It's not a good sign that I kept hoping the plane would crash, just so something would change with the idiot-go-round that is Hank and Karen.

 

But I guess I'm happy for the Runkles. So there's that. 

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Totally predictable and long overdue finale.  Duchovny had some really great moments as Hank Moody, but i'm so glad this series is over.

 

Thanks for the mammaries. 

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I wouldn't have been opposed to the plane crashing either -- just to throw something in there that I didn't expect.  I think the writers might have done something like that if it had been Hank on the plane without Karen (like if she had ever moved on and gotten into a real relationship with someone else).  I don't think they had the heart to kill off Karen, though.

 

The finale irritated me because there wasn't anything even remotely surprising, suspenseful or unexpected in it.  It was predictable -- and not even in a fun way.  If the writers had pulled a "This was all a dream that Hank was having as he was dying" trick on us, or a "This whole series has been a story that Hank was writing" twist, it would have been labeled "predictable" -- and yet, it still would have been kind of fun.

 

I kept thinking I was missing something.  I was wondering, "Are we going to find out that Hank is just daydreaming about getting on the plane?"  This season Hank had been slipping in and out of daydreams, imagining Karen being there when she wasn't there or imagining conversations with her that didn't happen, or whatever he was doing.  I kept thinking that those moments of Hank daydreaming and snapping back to reality were leading up to something that would happen in the finale...and they didn't.  He looked to his right, imagined Karen sitting in the car next to him, and then we saw that she wasn't there and...it was pretty anticlimactic.

 

I've said all along that I would have been much more invested in Hank and Karen if they had ever truly seemed "apart" (and if they hadn't repeated the same boring patterns over and over again).   They were so involved in each other's lives throughout the entire series that it was impossible to ever get to that place that the writers wanted, which was to wonder "if" they'd ever get back together.  I never wondered that because they always seemed "together" to me, even when they weren't.  There was no suspense to it;  no worry about their fate as a couple.  It was just a lackluster ending to what used to be a fairly fun show in its heyday.

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After the dozens or hundreds of women they slept with, Hank and Runkle should be passing on herpes or something else nasty to the love of their lives.

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Pretty fitting that it ended with Hank making some big gesture and Karen allowed him to sit next to her and continue to adore her while reminding him that he hadn't won her over.

 

So basically more of the same for the rest of their lives.

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But I guess I'm happy for the Runkles. So there's that. 

 

 

Due to the changeover from TWOP and watching a week ahead via On Demand on U-verse, I haven't posted this season but one thing has really bothered me: Where the hell is little Stuart?

 

I am so confused but really don't care. They seemed to wrap up the stories of all the ancillary players: Charlie and Marcy, Levon, Heather Graham and Michael Imperioli but I have no idea what is happening with "The Moodys". Who is Becca marrying? I certainly hope not and doubt the guy she left with. Is Karen moving back to NYC? If so, I assume that Hank is moving back "with" her or at least to be close? The X-Files finale answered more questions and brought more closure.

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@renard, I forgot all about Little Stuart?  I guess the show did too.

 

I had the feeling they were moving back to NYC even though no one said so and I don't think Hank had any luggage.  Truthfully, I stopped caring about Hand and Karen a long time ago.  I'm just glad this show is over since apparently I never stopped watching it. 

 

 

Rosalie Aprille! ~ "And it's a middle!"

Ha!  Thank you @TheSolution.  I could not figure out how I knew that actress. 

 

 

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So the "actress" who plays Becca hasn't taken any lessons between seasons.

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Ugh. I'm glad that's over. So, there's been no growth of Hank or Karen in 7 seasons. I don't know what TPTB were trying to tell me, but Karen just isn't a good person and not really a good mother. 

 

However, I just haven't cared about the Hank-Karen romance for most of the series, and the last couple of seasons have been rough to get through.

 

If there weren't online discussions I would have stopped watching I think when Hank was found not guilty of Mia.

 

I thought it was bush league for the Runkles to keep the money.

 

Actually I don't think so. Stu's been harassing them for a while. He's got a Marcy sex doll. Runkle could have sued him, and possibly lost, but that would have still gotten out there about Stu and it would have affected his future as a producer. He pushed them too far and he knew it. A million dollars isn't *that* much. He's going to make that back off his next movie. If they went to court, he might possibly not work on any big movies for a while and potentially lost several million dollars. 

 

Ugh, I hated Hank's stupid letter. I'm sure it sounded romantic to all the people on the plane who haven't been witness to their dysfunctional relationship for the past seven years, but to me it was just another spoke in the endless cycle of their passive aggressive codependence.

 

Is there anything more tropey than last person to board the plane monologue in front of everyone?

 

I'm sure that Hank will do something to make Karen mad within a few weeks.

She'll be bitching at him by the time the plane lands no question. 

 

I do agree that Hank seemed less like a dick this season.

 

Was he ever really that much of a dick? Or was it more because Karen was always bitching at him; i.e., perception becomes reality? Or was it because Karen was pissed off that he fucked around a lot, even though she screamed from the rooftops that they weren't together?

 

I think that Hank looked better this season because Julia wasn't always bitching about Hank like Karen always does. Has there been a scene this season where Karen isn't ripping on him for something? Really, the only other new main character, Rath, was complimentary of Hank's writing, which the show hasn't said anything (except for Karen) but that Hank's a great writer. Which again, perception. 

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I felt Hank should have stayed with Julie and they along with Levon should have gone to the wedding with Karen looking silly by herself.

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I felt Hank should have stayed with Julie and they along with Levon should have gone to the wedding with Karen looking silly by herself.

 

I would not have been opposed to that ending!  Otherwise, without an ending like that, the whole Julia-Levon storyline was nearly pointless.  I don't think anyone ever truly feared that Hank would forget his never-ending love for Karen and run off with his 'other' family, so their presence was a waste.  Levon wasn't on the series long enough to really impact Hank's level of maturity, ability to be a good father and personal growth in any way, so that whole thing was useless (if that's what the writers were going for by inserting Levon into the show).

 

There were a lot of missed opportunities with that series finale, and a lot of different ways it could have played out that would have been better than what actually happened.  I really doubt that David Duchovny liked it either, since he has gone on record a few times (in print and in TV interviews) saying that he always thought Hank should die.  The Karen stuff was just old and tired by the finale.

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Really? I don't see how Hank would die. I thought he should have dumped Karen for good and moved back to NYC to write a new novel about being in LA.

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It was interesting to me that Hank's sex with Julie was always playful and weird. Julie had low expectations and accepted Hank for what he was, didn't reject him and didn't try to change him. They were comfortable and happy, but not romantic or hot, really. I think that's why he will always chase Karen. Her rejection of him keeps the pursuit going, and it appears to be the chase, and Karen's rejection, that makes it romantic for Hank.

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Oh no doubt. So in 7 seasons, basically nothing has changed. It's kind of a waste of a show and a waste of life for Hank.

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I'm late to this party...not even sure anybody will see my comment.  I just finished binge watching Californication over the last several weeks....and I'm going to miss it.  The characters are at 1st (and 2nd) blush revolting, (with the exception of Karen) and the situations outlandish.  The whole thing is cartoonish, yet redeemed somehow, because the central thread is about redemption. I suppose I could dissect and lay bare the manifold flaws that may be found in plot lines and character development, but I would rather bask in the warm glow of a remarkable achievement: that of making a group of wholly repugnant characters into people that are somehow sympathetic, at least from time to time.  I want redemption myself, so I found myself pulling vicariously for Hank and Karen.  I love my wife, and am so appreciative of her long-suffering even as I fuck up from time to time (though not as cinematic-ally as Hank).. The show gave me some personal epiphanies, and I'm grateful for that.  Thanks again Californication gang....I enjoyed the ride, and you spoke to me.

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Showtime Next has been running marathons each night this week of Californication and it's giving me a chance to finally catch up on the series since I didn't have Showtime when I first started watching this show and it was much harder to watch. Yes, I could have done it before through OnDemand, but I'm lazy and this makes it much easier. If it's on my DVR, I'll watch it just to free up the space.

 

I assume it started 3 days ago, I know for sure Season 2 was two nights ago and Season 3 was last night. Season 4 is up tonight. Season 5 tomorrow, and Season 6 the next day. My schedule isn't showing Season 7, but if you're behind like me and wanted to watch the rest of the series, thought I'd post in case this was helpful to anyone else.

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For Season 6 watchers, I know that Carrie was written to be the stupid, clingy bitch that every man fears but in the suicide scene when she asked Hank if he ever loved her and he said no I felt sorry for Carrie. I wondered if the subtextual theme of Californication was a giant depiction and rationalization of the Madonna/Whore complex with Karen as Madonna and all the other women the show has ever shown as placemarker whores. I always thought I was watching a love story from the pov of the charming yet sincere bad boy. This left a bad taste in my mouth watching it the second time through. Duchovny is always a charmer but even he can't save the material here. 

Edited by AuntieMame.
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On 4/27/2017 at 7:29 AM, AuntieMame said:

I wondered if the subtextual theme of Californication was a giant depiction and rationalization of the Madonna/Whore complex with Karen as Madonna and all the other women the show has ever shown as placemarker whores.

I think that's what the show might have been going for, and I certainly think Hank had a very idealized version of Karen, but what I saw on the screen, and I think what a lot of people here might have seen, wasn't what the show intended. I don't think the rest of the women were placemaker whores because Hank had decent relationships and some healthier than what he had with Karen. 

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On 5/26/2017 at 7:47 PM, ganesh said:

I think that's what the show might have been going for, and I certainly think Hank had a very idealized version of Karen, but what I saw on the screen, and I think what a lot of people here might have seen, wasn't what the show intended. I don't think the rest of the women were placemaker whores because Hank had decent relationships and some healthier than what he had with Karen. 

I don't think Hank sees them that way, but I do think the show does. I just binge-watched this show, and one thing I noticed was the massive double standard in the way the actresses are filmed. The show has this endless conveyor belt of little-known actresses, most of them young, and their sex scenes are always the same - woman on top with the camera focused on her boobs. But when it comes to Hank's sex scenes with women he's serious about, it's very network TV - a tasteful nightgown or Sex Bra, closeups of their faces in profile, and then it cuts away. Given the difference, it's hard not to think that the show is treating young aspiring actresses as so much disposable meat.

However, that wasn't actually what I came here to complain about. There's one specific thing that's been bothering me (well, lots of things about this show bother me, but there's one that I actually feel like going on a rant about.) The apparent suicide attempt in Season 4. It's ambiguous, but it seems to me that it should be seen as a suicide attempt, even if it's not a conscious, deliberate one. When someone takes a handful of sleeping pills, washes them down with whisky, and leaves a letter for his daughter telling her how depressed he is and how much he loves her, he's obviously not massively invested in waking up again. I think the question of what Hank meant to do is pretty much moot; at the very least, this is a serious cry for help. But Karen acts as if this is a completely black and white situation. Either Hank tried to kill himself, in which case he's a beautiful tragic hero who should be welcomed back into the bosom of his family, or he didn't, in which case he's just a toxic fuckup who doesn't deserve any sympathy. So one moment she's telling him she'll always be there for him and he can call, text, whatever, any time, and the next moment she's pushing him out the door. Nobody on the show seems to entertain the possibility that the truth is somewhere in between - that Hank is a confused, deeply depressed fuckup who's very close to the edge, and that he doesn't need googly eyes and sympathy sex but does probably need someone to talk to. And yet that seems like it should be the obvious conclusion.

Now, the show obviously wants us to sympathize with Hank, because it always does. So we see Hank go up to his lonely hotel room and stare out over the ledge and think about jumping, and we understand that he's not going to do it because of Becca, and that he'll push on through and Karen will never know how much he's really struggling. It's all very sad, and David Duchovny does a very good job. But I think the show did its work too well, because at this point I'm convinced that Karen is a soul-sucking monster who doesn't understand human emotion, and that Hank needs to stay the hell away from her for his own mental health. Does anyone else have this reaction to Karen? And does anyone else have a problem with the show trying to tell us that what we saw in "Suicide Solution" was not a suicide attempt?

While I'm going off about this show, I will add that to the extent that I ship Hank with anyone, I ship him with Trixie. They just seem so happy to see each other in "Perverts and Whores," and there's something so comfortably domestic about their little getting-ready-for-bed routine - him on one side of the bed, her on the other, the two of them having an open, honest conversation about their lives while they casually undress and get under the covers. They seem more like a real couple, in that little scene, than Hank and Karen ever do.

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