The end of BoJack Horseman // Article

by Sophia Hembeck

It’s funny how some TV shows come into your life. Some you anticipate from the first glimpse of a trailer, knowing this is THE ONE for you. Some you stumble upon in an empty mood of having watched EVERYTHING EVER on Netflix and this might do alright. Some are recommended to you persistently by friends, strangers, cool friends, co-workers, cool co-workers till you finally cave in and say: Alright. I’ll put it on my watch list. 

I never knew I would fall in love with BoJack Horseman. It was my third or fourth try on this show everybody was talking about. Like Breaking Bad I had never gotten over the first episode, a classic, and also yes there will be a moment in my life (maybe) when I will watch Breaking Bad, when I’m sick or something, okay, leave me alone! 

Anyway:  I had seen a meme of Princess Carolyn, the one about getting your heartbroken and how she has to get her shit together and something about: „Serves you right for having feelings.“ 

That resonated. I just had my heartbroken by someone and what is better than projecting your heartbreak onto fictional characters? – I guess therapy and building up a healthy self-esteem BUT how is that fun? 

You’ve seen it,

you felt it:

we’ve been through a lot. 

So I dived into it. Hating BoJack, somewhat liking BoJack, really hating BoJack again. I watched the tone of the seasons change into a more feminist approach, a multi-layered tone, a very goofy this is how the most random plot will come together at a later point „SPAGHETTI STRAINERS WHAT?!“ plottwist-momentum. And then the whole story with Sarah Lynn, that was looming, lingering and waiting to be played out, wondering if that had been the plan all along?

But essentially this is not what I want to talk about. Because if you’re reading this, you’ve seen it, you felt it: we’ve been through a lot. 

What I want to talk about is something very simple that happened at the very end of the last episode ever. That perfect moment when Princess Carolyn is dancing with BoJack and that other perfect moment on the roof with Diane and the guts to just have it that way.

Through all seasons Diane and Princess Carolyn have been the gateway to bare with BoJacks behaviour. When everyone else took a step back, they have been there, seeing the good in him. Seeing a broken man not a monster. Always trying to get him on track again, sometimes because they saw themselves in him, sometimes because of guilt but always because they loved him. For some reason they both loved him. Sometimes to a default. 

Those two women (I know Princess Carolyn is a cat, okay) are exceptional characters to me. They both had their enormous journeys on this show and both came out on the other side stronger and better and healthier than they were before. They faced their demons and they made peace with their choices. Princess Carolyn by owning her single-motherhood and Diane by dealing with depression and accepting help. 

Through these journeys they both learned something the very hard way: They cannot help/change/love BoJack anymore the way they did. 

And so when Princess Carolyn and BoJack meet on her wedding (which technically isn’t even her real wedding) there is no: Will they won’t they? question lingering in the room. Princess Carolyn is happy with her life. She will not be his agent anymore. She has moved on. 

And so has Diane seconds later, when BoJack finds her smoking as usual, sitting on the roof. 

We hear what happened before BoJack tried to kill himself by overdosing and jumping in the pool. He called Diane. Telling her, threatening to „go swimming“ and if she cared she’d show up. 

Which of course she couldn’t due to the fact she was living in Chicago at the time. And then and there we realise something, something that Diane realised after that phone call, too. She cannot help BoJack. He hasn’t changed. 

But she has, as we find out. That message from BoJack had made her scared, had made her doubt her decisions. We can see how BoJack hopes to hear that Diane might have broken up with her boyfriend, when she says “my boyfriend at that time” and how he had to move to Texas, causing them to have a difficult long-distance relationship. But of course she hasn’t. She has married  said boyfriend and also moved to Texas, compromising her life for someone she trusts. And now being happy of course not happy all the time, she’s still Diane but lighter, she ends her friendship then and there with BoJack. And they sit in silence. Summing up a feeling I had over the past seasons and culminating it in the perfect and only ending: 

It’s not that we hate BoJack it’s just that there’s too much past, too much hurt.

We will miss him but he cannot be a part of our lives anymore.

We wish him well. 

I know we do.