The first part of the Bojack Horseman series finale has landed on Netflix and once again, the show proves itself to be the best cartoon about a depressed horse on Netflix.
The final season begins with Bojack in rehab. After seasons of running away from his problems and using alcohol to forget about them, Bojack finally seeks the help he desperately needs. He writes letters to Dianne, informing her of his progress. Even if his counselor is full of useless aphorisms, Bojack successfully commits to sobriety. For the first time ever on the show, we see some real character development. In spite of the comical slipups that occur along the way, the cycle of doing appalling things and self-deprecation seems to be weaning.
Meanwhile, Princess Carolyn is struggling to balance her work life with her new baby. Fittingly, her baby is a porcupine who pricks her every time she pics him up. For a while, it seems that once again, Princess Carolyn is putting her work-life before her personal life. By the end of the season, however, she too shows signs of genuine character development.
As always, the season is filled with witty animal puns and seeded irony. The show continues to heavily criticize the toxicity of Hollywood culture and in the same breath, the show turns this painful criticism in on itself. It achieves this in a way that is both devastating and brilliantly funny.
By the end of the season, Bojack seems to be transformed into a new horse. He faces up to his problems, takes responsibility for his decisions and last but not least, he gets a haircut. He apologizes to Princess Carolyn for all the liberties he has taken; he gives Dianne some helpful advice and finally, he gives Mr. Peanutbutter the crossover episode he has always wanted.
Just as we start to feel happy for Bojack, we are reminded in the cruellest way that he is not, for lack of a better word, a good person. Two new characters are introduced to the storyline as reporters looking to find out the cause of Sarah Lynn’s tragic death. We already know, of course, who is responsible. In addition, the actress Gina Cazador is a damaged woman after the trauma she endured when Bojack strangled her and at the end of the episode, we are reminded of the time Bojack got two teens drunk and left them at the hospital. This time, however, we hear the story from the victim’s point of view.
Hollyhock’s expression right before she finds out that the culprit of the story is Bojack is exactly how we felt watching the season finale. For a second there, we felt proud of Bojack for overcoming his issues and taking steps to become a better man. Any sympathy we extended to the character gets torn away as we are reminded firmly that he had done terrible things. He may be accepting responsibility for the things he has done, but the law and the public still need to hold him accountable regardless of his celebrity status. And that double-sided sword of an ending is exactly what makes Bojack Horseman so devastatingly brilliant.