The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: Intermediate Scene Study w/ BoJack Horseman

BoJack starts his new job as the acting professor at Wesleyan – and turns out to be surprisingly good at it. But despite his best efforts, his half-sister Hollyhock remains distant and standoffish towards him.

BoJack’s arc in the first half of the season was all about going to rehab, getting sober, and moving away from the terrible person he had become. Now we’re ready to see what comes next, as BoJack moves onto a new chapter of his life.

Back in season two, BoJack’s struggles with filming Secretariat led him to queston himself as an actor – outside of the confines of Horsin’ Around, was he even any good? It’s actually nice to see BoJack do well here, using his accumulated years of experience to teach and mentor his class.

But for all that BoJack’s new life looks positive and wholesome, we cannot and should not forget about all that came before. At the end of the last episode, Hollyhock learnt about BoJack’s behaviour in New Mexico, and naturally it has a profound effect on their relationship. While Hollyhock uses her studies as an excuse to maintain her distance, a blissfully oblivious BoJack tries to spend time with her by going to all her rugby games.

Painful as it is to experience, the handling of Hollyhock’s reaction is sublime here. Even though she didn’t appear much in season five, we saw her enthusiasm for exploring and strengthening her relationship with her big brother. We can see her that she doesn’t want to completely push BoJack away, but also that she feels incredibly hurt by the latest revelation of what an awful person he is.

Hollyhock is very much a proxy for us, the viewers. We’re torn between wanting BoJack to pay for everything he’s done and everyone he’s hurt, and actually quite liking him and wanting his life to ultimately turn out okay. It’s very tempting to see this as fresh start for BoJack, but as the show is quick to remind us, his past is never very far away.

Other notes and developments

  • I forgot to mention it in the blog for the last episode, but the opening now features new-look Diane.
  • BoJack finally sells Elefante, the restaurant he bought years ago. It is bought by Mr Peanutbutter and Joey Pogo, setting up for the plot of a future episode.
  • Does BoJack have any other classes to teach? If there’s Intermediate Scene Study, are there Beginner and Advanced versions?

Summary – Intermediate Scene Study w/ BoJack Horseman: “Kids really like marshmallows.”

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