This is it. We’ve finally reached the end of the Netflix Original BoJack Horseman and for all our high hopes of a happy ending, it left us with a gaping hole in our chests – as expected. But the show didn’t leave us to bleed out on the ground, it mercifully put punctuation marks to our beloved character’s lives and gave them endings they deserved – happy or otherwise.
As it has always been from the beginning, BoJack Horseman remains intelligently written. The conversations go from humorous and snarky to deep and self-reflecting, the kind you’d put as captions to your broody, depressing Instagram posts. But once again, like all the other seasons, every episode of Season 6 struck chords in our hearts and left imprints.
The antihero, for the last time
We were witnesses to BoJack Horseman, our titular antihero, spiraling into depression and addiction back in Seasons 4 and 5. It was clear from the beginning his story wasn’t going to end with a clichéd “happily ever after,” he’s too good (or bad) for that. But watching BoJack battle his inner demons for so long has been a harrowing ordeal. A washed-up has-been, he was once the star of a popular sit-com Horsin’ Around, something he believes to be the greatest thing he has ever done in his life. Life has been meaningless since and all the partying, the booze, the girls, and even other offers to do other movies can’t compare to that time when he was a blissfully young actor.
Actions have consequences
We’ve watched BoJack hit rock bottom time and again but after going on a hedonistic bender with his Horsin’ Around co-star Sarah Lynn back in Season 3, rock bottom gave way to “even rockier bottom” as he put it. The bender ended with Sarah Lynn dying from an overdose (from heroin BoJack gave her) underneath the artificial night sky of a planetarium.
No one else knows that actions have consequences better than BoJack. His traumatic childhood where he never felt loved by his parents, Butterscotch and Beatrice, has led him to grow up an adult filled with self-loathing and low self-esteem. He never defended his best friend Herb Kazzazz when the former was fired from Horsin’ Around for being gay, the guilt he tried to push away came years later but the relationship was already ruined. He almost slept with Penny Carson, a friend’s 17-year-old daughter, causing him to wreck one of his most treasured friendships. Anything BoJack touches seem to turn into “horse manure,” and it’s this fact that pushes him further down the rabbit hole of depression.
“Cracks are part of an object’s history.”
No one probably understands BoJack better than his co-protagonist Diane Nguyen whose story arc is one of the best ones in the series. Diane went from being BoJack’s ghostwriter back in Season 1 to being a struggling writer for her book of essays, and finally an author for a teen mystery novel. Her inner turmoil wasn’t easy to watch but some will find it reflects their own. How many times has Diane moved in search of something – anything – that would make her happy? In her struggle to write about herself she has been plagued with voices from her past (her dad, BoJack) all voicing out her flaws and shortcomings. In the midst of the mental carnage, she recalls what her ex-husband Mr. Peanut Butter said about the Japanese art of “kintsugi” which is trying to repair a broken bowl by filling the cracks with gold.
“We’ve all been damaged, but its good damage,” says Diane to Princess Carolyn in Episode 10.
When past pain and guilt haunt you
Was BoJack “good damaged”?
He is finally out of rehab after months and is now trying to live a sober life. He frequently attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings, got his dyed black hair cut to his natural salt-and-pepper (this change emphasizing that he is slowly accepting himself one tiny step after another), and got a job as a Drama Professor at Wesleyan University. Everything was all fine until a pair of persistent reporters dig up dirt on him to pin him for Sarah Lynn’s death.
Ultimately, this leads to an upsetting TV interview where BoJack is tagged as an addict and a manipulator of women. He gets so upset about it he breaks his sober streak, breaks into his previous home, and goes for an intoxicated swimming session.
The view from halfway down
Bojack Horseman, blowing our minds once again with their incredible dream sequences. pic.twitter.com/L3GzhUKU82
— The View From Halfway Down (@jrgmerin) February 2, 2020
There are some episodes that shine better than others, like in Season 5’s “Free Churro” where the entire episode is BoJack’s monologue for a funeral. “The View from Halfway Down” gives viewers one of the heaviest materials yet and it could’ve mercilessly left us all hanging there, the sound of BoJack flatlining piercing the air.
In this episode, BoJack gets invited to a dinner with the faces in his past that are now all dead. It becomes increasingly clear to BoJack that all the people around him are implying he too died. After a bizarre talent show, they all proceed to jump into an abyss one by one while BoJack scrambles to find a phone to call the only person he knew could help him – Diane. But even in the real world, Diane is in Chicago, she won’t be able to save him from drowning in a pool in LA, a fate that has been foreshadowed in all the opening credits. As the blackness runs to claim him, he instead calmly accepts his fate and asks Diane about her day.
The dreariest thing about this entire episode is the poem “The View from Halfway Down,” read by Secretariat, a famous horse who died from suicide by jumping off a bridge. He paints the regret of committing suicide in a haunting and raw poem that leaves viewers with goosebumps. BoJack Horseman, for all its troubled characters and depressing storylines, has always sent a message of hope for those watching. In this case, it was a powerful PSA against suicide.
We can breathe easy, the characters got the endings they deserved
The penultimate episode might wreck you but aren’t we glad the writers and producers gave us a chance to properly say goodbye to these characters?
BoJack gets jail time for breaking and entering into his previous home and surprise, he isn’t dead. He gets a one-night release to attend Princess Carolyn’s wedding to her assistant, Judah. Mr. Peanut Butter picks him up from prison and it’s pretty clear that the golden retriever is still a well-loved celebrity in Hollywoo, or should we say Hollywoob.
He gets a chance to dance with Princess Carolyn, who was once his agent and his girlfriend. He expresses his desire to get back to showbiz life in the far future and she tells him she will recommend him to some “excellent people” to get his career back on track. This indicates that after almost three decades, Princess Carolyn is now ready to let go of BoJack Horseman.
It’s never too late to turn yourself around and try again
Todd Chavez has always been the oddball that everyone loves. Toward the end of Season 6, he finally finds himself an asexual girlfriend, a new apartment (a big step for the couch-surfing dude he is), and reconnects with his estranged mother. At Princess Carolyn’s wedding, he and BoJack walk along the beach to which BoJack confesses that he’s afraid to relapse once he’s out of jail. Ever the weirdo but with sense, Todd points that BoJack should just do “The Hokey Pokey” anytime he hits rock bottom, which is to say he should “do the hokey pokey, turn yourself around, that’s what it’s all about.”
It’s never too late to turn yourself around and get back up even after a bender, even after breaking a sober streak, even after everything else that’s gone wrong for you.
The beautiful final scene
Before the night ended, BoJack finds Diane on the roof, smoking. They haven’t talked since his drowning incident in the pool and things are kind of awkward. Diane tells him she’s married to Guy and that she’s doing pretty well as a writer in Houston. It becomes immediately clear that something has shifted in their friendship and once BoJack says “Hey, wouldn’t it be funny if this night was the last time we ever talked to each other?” we knew it was true.
The death of a friendship is perhaps more painful than the death of a romantic relationship but as Diane pointed out, “There are people that help you become the person that you end up being, and you can be grateful for them even if they were never meant to be in your life forever.”
The future remains uncertain for BoJack Horseman. As the entire season wraps up with him and Diane staring up at the sky – the real sky, so painfully parallel with Sarah Lynn’s artificial night sky – we can’t help but replay over and over one of Diane’s last parting lines: “Life’s a bitch and you keep on living.”
And BoJack will keep on living – gold cracks and all.
Have you watched Season 6? Tell us what you thought about the Bojack Horseman ending below.