DISCLAIMER: There are *MAJOR* spoilers in this review. If you don’t want to know any of the general plot plus some details in between, I suggest you watch and then come back!
THE PREMIERE: “A HORSE WALKS INTO A REHAB”
This episode was very important. We get more insight into Bojack’s life before being the alcoholic Bojack we all get to know throughout the series. This was a very eye-opening episode. We have known since season 1 (more involved in season 2 and onwards) that Bojack was very badly emotionally abused by his parents. This episode reveals more about how he got into his drinking - and reveals how sometimes the little things can become an avalanche. Bojack has begun therapy in rehab and ends up accidently helping a girl escape. Through this little storyline, every time Bojack sees alcohol we get more insight into his drinking. He starts bringing vodka to work in a water bottle as he saw his hairdresser and makeup artist on Horsin’ Around do. Sarah Lynn as a child (10 I believe) ends up drinking his vodka. The hairdresser gets fired instead of Bojack and so begins Bojack’s belief that he is a poison that ruins everything around him. He can’t deal with the guilt and continues his descent into drinking.
And when I say continues that’s because the ultimate reveal is in the ending. When young Bojack, maybe 6, drinks his parents vodka and falls asleep in his mom’s lap. It’s terrifying. It’s shocking. It’s… heartbreaking I guess would be the right way to describe it. It’s scary to see how fast things can get out of control and out of hand. It’s emotionally crushing to watch this child who was deeply, deeply abused spiral out of control. I want to yell and scream at his parents that they have no clue what they’re doing.
The main storyline continues as Bojack runs around with a young girl from rehab who claims that her father doesn’t love her, that he only loves his movie memorabilia. When the duo ultimately ends up at her father's house, Bojack learns this couldn’t be farther from the truth. He loves her immensely, he takes care of her baby because she cannot, he doesn’t care about his movie memorabilia. This seems to represent Bojack’s inability to accept blame for some things. He blames everyone else around him but never himself. And in the end, he seems to get that maybe a little bit. I’m hopeful for where this is going to go and really truly am cheering Bojack on for getting clean and healthy (mentally and physically).
THE FINALE: “NICE WHILE IT LASTED”
Wow. Episode 15 ended and I thought that might be it. But he comes back just to deal with the consequences of his selfish last move - calling Diane for help. I’m glad the writers added this because this is something people do a lot. Bojack called Diane as he was going to go swimming (kill himself) insisting if she didn’t want him to do it she should call him or answer. Diane doesn’t live near Bojack, he knew she couldn’t help him. But that was the point Bojack wanted to die.
I loved the end shot of Bojack and Diane. They both sit, there is so much left to say and so much they want to say but they both know once they’ve said their peace chances are it’s goodbye forever. So they both just sit in the moment. It’s moments like this in Bojack Horseman that I believe this show is so much more than just a show. It's a slice of life. And not everyone is going to like the ending because of this but I love the rush of emotions, the way you connect to the way the writers have written the characters.
The ending is bittersweet - Bojack loses the majority of the friends we’ve been following throughout the show but it has to happen that way.
Bojack Horseman has brought up an important question in this second half of season 6 - do those around recovering addicts/alcoholics sometimes shove those back into drugs/alcohol by treating them poorly? We see Bojack legitimately trying to be a better person and we see people dig into his past that ultimately leads him back into his alcoholic ways. Bojack had a hard enough time from his friends but remember he’s famous too. People on the street are giving him a hard time. This show really emphasizes the value society puts on recovering alcoholics and addicts. We don’t make it easy, even subconsciously judging because of their past. Bojack brings up this question repeatedly - if everyone is going to keep judging him for his past why should he bother getting sober at all? Ultimately, it is for oneself. And Bojack begins to see this and that the final answer could be loss of friends - but he has caused them so much pain through his addictions it’s time he is unselfish and does the right thing in letting them go. We see this in Bojack in the end with Diane.
Loved the end to Princess Carolyn. She got everything she wanted and while I did not see the twist with Judah coming, I was so glad they got married. It just makes sense.
Todd’s ending felt a little rushed and just too complete - this show does feel slice of life and while I can see Princess Carolyn’s storyline continuing it’s hard to see Todd’s. But I believe this is more related to him being the comic relief character who gets his dramatic due in the end. But either way I loved the inclusion of Margo Martindale. Hilarious!
Diane’s ending was very fitting, she’s finally in a proper relationship for her. Mr Peanutbutter meant well but definitely has attachment issues. I’m also glad to see Mr Peanutbutter finally becoming independent and happy.
Brilliant season, brilliant writing. I want more Netflix shows like this. I haven’t felt this deeply for characters in any show ever. They tackled abuse, addiction, and loss all in one series so perfectly. None of it felt wrong - it all felt true. I will miss this show greatly.
THE VERDICT: FULL POPCORN