David Duchovny, Damian Young and Natascha McElhone, <EM>Californication</EM>  David Duchovny, Damian Young and Natascha McElhone, Californication 

Sure, he may have boorishly overindulged in the bottle and in the bedroom — including an inadvertent tryst with the underage daughter of his ex’s fiancé — but as the first season of Californication (Mondays at 10:30 pm/ET on Showtime) comes to a close, troubled author Hank Moody has somehow become sympathetic.

"Hank’s motivation is usually out of his love for his family, pain or frustration. And everybody can relate to that," says star David Duchovny. "He’s not just an ass." In tonight’s finale, as Karen’s wedding to Bill draws near, Hank must come to terms with the fact that the woman he still loves may be unattainable.

"It’s a true TV cliff-hanger," teases Duchovny. "The force of the show is family, so I can tell you that the episode has to do with either the coming together of Hank’s family or the breakup of that family."

And what of Hank’s misstep with the 16-year-old Mia? "[That] definitely plays into the finale," Duchovny says. "It’s been driving the whole year."

Load up on David Duchovny clips from Californication in our Online Video Guide.

Get an exclusive sneak peek at the CSI/Without a Trace crossover event in the Oct. 29 issue of TV Guide. Plus: The truth behind Oprah's health scare. Try four risk-free issues now!

Send your comments on this feature to letters@tvguide.com.