The rehab program at Pastiches is meant to last six weeks, but BoJack has now been there for six months. Dr Champ decides it’s time to persuade BoJack to finally leave rehab, but BoJack is understandably nervous about taking such a big step. Meanwhile, Mr Peanutbutter faces a public backlash for cheating on Pickles, and Diane struggles to get started on her latest book.
Given that the first four episodes of the season were all focussed on individual characters, you might have been expecting a Todd episode here. However, that will actually be next episode, as we use this one to focus on BoJack while briefly checking in on the others.
As BoJack stated in his letters to Diane a couple of episodes ago, rehab is not real life. It’s a place where all the support systems are there, designed to make it as easy as possible to get sober, and to stay sober. It’s a place where none of the pressures, realities and decisions of everyday life exist. Just because you can get better in rehab, there are no guarantees that you can stay better in the real world. And it’s because BoJack is so conscious of that fact that he is reluctant to ever go back.
Interspersed with BoJack’s present struggles are flashbacks to his time on Horsin’ Around. As we already knew, after Herb was fired, BoJack continued to work on the show with a new showrunner. In typical BoJack fashion, he became overly defensive about not supporting Herb, while also downing large amounts of vodka. It was pretty much inevitable that Sarah Lynn would accidentally get her hands on some of that vodka – a misstep for which BoJack was only too willing to shirk responsibility.
What is the purpose of these revelations? Is it to show how awful a person BoJack is? How his callousness screwed up Sarah Lynn’s life? To point out the insidious presence of alcohol throughout his life? These flashbacks are decent enough as content, but they don’t tell us anything we don’t already know.
Character catch up
We also have time to check in with some of the other characters this episode.
- Mr Peanutbutter: now that the world knows about his infidelity, Mr Peanutbutter is persona non grata among the women of Hollywoo. As filming proceeds on the Birthday Dad TV series, Mr Peanutbutter’s female coworkers are openly hostile towards him. Mr Peanutbutter himself is certain that it will all blow over, but Princess Carolyn is worried about the effect it will have on Birthday Dad’s popularity. To that end, she manufactures a “Sad Dog” meme, and convinces everyone that Mr Peanutbutter is actually suffering from depression.
BoJack has never been slow to satirise contemporary issues, and this storyline is no different. In upcoming episodes we’ll further see more of Sad Dog, a wry commentary on viral memes. We also see a fake claim of depression being used to excuse bad behaviour – this one is obviously a fine line to walk, but since BoJack is a show all about exploring every angle of mental health, it can include this one without looking dismissive of the topic in general.
- Diane manages to get ab advance for her planned book of essays, but unfortunately she’s struggling to actually get something down on the page. This storyline is only just starting to develop here, but will become important in future episodes.
- Todd is now working full-time as Ruthie’s carer, which leaves him so little time for crazy Todd antics that he ends up hiring a bunch of assistants.
- Joey Pogo: a teenaged pop star. Joey briefly spends time in rehab in this episode, and will become friends with Mr Peanutbutter later on.
- There’s another excellent piece of foreshadowing here which I’ll cover in the penultimate episode.
- This episode reveals that Danny Bananas, a proboscis monkey, was the one who took over running Horsin’ Around after Herb was fired.
Summary – A Little Uneven, is All: “Once the morning’s over, basically the whole day is shot, you know? Better to start clean tomorrow.”