The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: Surprise!

Todd plans a surprise wedding for Pickles and Mr Peanutbutter, but before the party can get started, Mr Peanutbutter confesses to Pickle that he cheated on her. While Mr Peanutbutter attempts to reconcile with his upset fiancée, the party guests all try to sneak out of the house.

A slick blend of physical comedy and sharp dialogue, Surprise is a really well put together episode, even by BoJack’s standards. The comedic side is highly reminiscent of the Inside Number 9 episode A Quiet Night In, with both scenarios involving interlopers sneaking into a house, and then having to remain hidden when the rightful residents show up. But where A Quiet Night In was entirely dialogue-free, Surprise adds an extra layer to proceedings.

First off, there are the obvious jokes – Pickles and Mr Peanutbutter insulting each other’s friends and family, blissfully unaware that the targets of their comment are actually within earshot. But there’s more to it than that, as the couple also have to deal with the sober aftermath of Mr Peanutbutter’s cheating.

I’ve said it before, but Pickles in herself isn’t a person I can particularly relate to or would get along with in real life. However, she is exceedingly well realised as a character. In this episode, we get more of an insight into her life as a social media influencer, as she relies on her “Pickle Pack” to help her process Mr Peanutbutter’s infidelity. I’m not a big fan of the resolution – to make things equal Pickles decides she must sleep with someone else – but everything leading up to that is well put together.

This episode also features flashes of development for some of the other leading characters, all of whom get trapped in Mr Peanutbutter’s house (not to be confused with hit TV show Mr Peanutbutter’s House). Diane tells BoJack that she’s moving to Chicago, but stubbornly states that is definitively not because of Guy. Meanwhile, Princess Carolyn can’t seem to find a nanny who can both put up with Todd and meet his exacting specifications, heavily hinting at who might be taking over Ruthie’s childcare in the near future. There’s also an amazing bit of foreshadowing that I won’t spoil here, but will hopefully remember to refer back to later.

Other notes

  • J.D. Salinger is one of the guests at the party.
  • Despite the fact that Mr Peanutbutter’s house is always full of tennis balls, Pickles is surprised to see a picture of him playing tennis. I actually really like how Mr Peanutbutter’s tennis ball obsession is a purely visual gag – I guess in the BoJack world it’s just a typical dog thing that no one feels is worth commenting on.

Summary – Surprise: “Unsubscribe!”

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