Saying bittersweet farewell to ‘BoJack Horseman’



BoJack struggles to keep his newfound sobriety after the demons of his past come to light in the final season of the Netflix original series.

Alison Robles, Editor-in-Chief

The second half of the final season of “BoJack Horseman” premiered on Netflix on Jan. 31.

Episode nine begins with BoJack at Wesleyan University where he’s landed a position as a professor in the theatre department.  It’s a far cry from the sunshine and booze of Hollywoo, but it’s a fresh start for BoJack. He embraces his new teaching job and tries to connect with his half-sister Hollyhock who is enrolled as a student.

As happy as a start as this seems, “BoJack Horseman” is never a show that stays happy for long. Two investigative reporters are following leads on the story of BoJack’s involvement with the death of his former co-star Sarah Lynn, and Hollyhock is distancing herself from BoJack after learning the role he played in getting an underage girl hospitalized for alcohol poisoning in New Mexico.

It’s heavy, but “BoJack Horseman” always is.

In its final season, the Netflix original series has a wide cast of characters with deep plotlines that it had to give a proper ending.

Diane is taking anti-depressants and living with her new boyfriend Guy in Chicago; Todd is running a start-up app and getting his life on track; Princess Carolyn is finding a work-life balance as a new mother; and Mr. Peanutbutter is realizing his personality is more toxic than he realized and how he’s affected all of his relationships in this way.

The beauty of the show is that it tackles these issues in a realistic way. Neither does it glamorize the struggles of mental health, nor does it shy away from addressing current social issues like gender and misogyny in modern Hollywood – or Hollywoo, for the purposes of this world.

The series follows BoJack’s world as it begins to crumble around him. The reporters paint a story of BoJack as a chronic manipulator of young women, a story which holds true. In his spiral of alcoholism, BoJack hurt those around him, both lovers and friends alike.

BoJack loses his job, his home and his friends. He relapses into drinking. He struggles with the consequences of his actions that we’ve seen – and become sympathetic to – over the past 5 seasons.

The height of the drama this season occurs in the second to last episode: “The View from Halfway Down.” BoJack is having dinner with all those in his life who have died who, in some way, he’s hurt or who have hurt him. The episode plays out like a stage show with the characters reflecting on the value of their life and their death. We learn BoJack is on the verge of death himself as he lies passed out in the pool of his old home.

The final episode, aptly named “Nice While It Lasted,” sees BoJack survive but put in prison for the crime of breaking and entering into the home he no longer owned. BoJack is let out of prison for the day to attend Princess Carolyn’s wedding, and we see him have conversations of closure with the other major characters.

BoJack has hurt them all in some way, but they’re all healing on their own terms.

“BoJack Horseman” ended on a realistic note. There are some storylines I wish could have had an extra season to fill out. We learn Hollyhock wrote a letter to BoJack, presumably cutting off their contact, but we never learn what was in that letter. We learn Diane moves to Houston and marries Guy, but we don’t see how it happened.

But I also think the ending was perfect as it was. Life doesn’t give you the answers to every question you have. Sometimes you hurt people and you can never get the chance to apologize. You can work to be better than the person you were in the past because life continues on. The show may be over, but BoJack as a character is still on his journey of healing.

As the final moments of the last episode end with BoJack and Diane sitting in silence, I felt like I was watching two souls drift away from me. It was like watching a friend drive away after grabbing dinner with them, or watching a plane leave the airport. It feels like a goodbye, but it doesn’t make you sad. Those moments you had before, well, they were nice while they lasted.