The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: The Stopped Show

After the strangling incident, Philbert is on hiatus. Princess Carolyn arranges a chat show appearance for BoJack – who has no memory of what he did – and Gina to tell the world that everything is fine. Nonetheless, BoJack feels terrible for strangling Gina, and decides he must find a way to be held to account.

Last episode, we saw BoJack committing his latest unforgivable act – losing his grip on reality so much that he strangled Gina during the filming of a Philbert episode. BoJack himself has no memory of doing this, but is understandably horrified to see video footage of his actions. The question is – what next for our troubled protagonist?

In the short term, Princess Carolyn tries to salvage Philbert by having BoJack and Gina appear together on a chat show and tell the world that the strangling was just some very convincing acting. BoJack would rather tell the truth, but Gina doesn’t want him to – her career is finally taking off, and she wants that to be what the world focuses on. The instant BoJack admits what really happened, Gina just becomes “the woman who was strangled by BoJack Horseman”.

This show has always got straight to the heart of issues like this, and once again it points out a stark truth. BoJack is the bigger star here, and if the truth came out, his wrongdoing would eclipse all of the good work Gina has done on her own merit. She cannot even hope to ask for justice, because to do so would cast her indelibly in the role of victim.

Even though BoJack manages to go along with this, he’s desperate to be held to account somehow. He even tries to convince Diane to write a Girl Croosh takedown about him, but she refuses. As always, BoJack is trying to shift the hard work onto someone else – it’s up to him to take responsibility for his own actions. And the first step is getting help for his drug addiction – by going to rehab.

There’s plenty going on for the other characters too. Princess Carolyn gets a second chance to adopt Sadie’s baby, but she’s initially reluctant to leave BoJack and the Philbert set unsupervised again. Fortunately, Philbert’s eventual cancellation frees her up to head to North Carolina and adopt the baby – but future decisions may not pan out so easily.

What Time Is It Right Now CEO Henry Fondle has been getting away with saying incredibly lewd things because everyone thought it was “just corporate banter”, but when he startstalking about “low battery” and “insufficient power”, his female employees accuse him of sexual harassment. Of course, like so many powerful people, the consequences are minimal – he gets put on indefinite paid leave and almost immediately has a job offer from a bigger company. It falls to Todd to put an end to this particular storyline by deactivating the sex robot.

Meanwhile, as one might have guessed, Diane and Mr Peanutbutter ended up having sex at the end of Head in the Clouds, and in arguing over whether to get back together, they have angry sex once again. I’ll cover this more in the section below, but for now I have to point out that Diane with bed head is pretty hot.

Next season?

This is the first time in this blog series that I’m watching a season finale without knowledge of what lies ahead. Instead, I’ll be using the events of this episode, the way previous season finales set up new plotlines, and the season six trailer, to guess what might be in store.

  • BoJack: We see BoJack checking into rehab at the end of the episode. In the season six trailer, BoJack is still in rehab, but presumably he won’t stay there all season. Will he learn anything from the experience and become a better person, or will he slide right back into bad habits? It would seem highly unlikely – and a bit cheap – if BoJack mended his ways and finally learnt to be happy, but a glimmer of hope wouldn’t go amiss.
  • Diane: Stefani offers Diane a role as the ‘face of Girl Croosh’ in their new video division. Season finales often have throwaway lines like this that turn out to be important plot threads later on, and indeed we see Diane fronting some Girl Croosh videos in the season six trailer.
    Will Diane finally start dating someone who isn’t Mr Peanutbutter? It would be nice to see her starting to building a bit of a life for herself beyond her relationships with Mr Peanutbutter and BoJack. Even if it’s too late for BoJack to be saved, it feels like there’s hope for Diane to find some happiness.
  • Princess Carolyn: Princess Carolyn is now the adoptive mother of “Untitled Princess Carolyn Project”, a baby porcupine girl. We know from the season six trailer that we’ll be seeing Princess Carolyn juggling her career with the demands of being a working single mother. I know she’ll face plenty of challenges, but I’m hopeful for a positive depiction of working motherhood.
  • Mr Peanutbutter: we all know that BoJack is a coward who will go to great lengths to avoid being honest, but in this episode Mr Peanutbutter gave him a run for his money. Instead of admitting to Pickles that he cheated on her with Diane, he avoids the issue by instead proposing to her. I’m sure the engagement will take up part of season six, but there are hints that it might not last – we see the glass shattering on a framed photo of Pickles with Mr Peanutbutter, and also catch hints that the yellow lab might be starting to question his own happiness.
  • Todd: After deactivating Henry Fondle, Todd rips off his suit to reveal that he had his regular jeans and hoodie on underneath all along. This seems to be symbolically freeing Todd up to take on yet more wacky adventures next season. The season six trailer hints that there may be a storyline involving Todd’s parents, who as we know threw him out before the show began. And there’s also the chance he might find a partner through the All About That Ace app Emily wrote.

Summary – The Stopped Show: “Well, of course every idea sounds stupid if you describe what it is.”

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