The Great BoJack Horseman Rewatch: Sunk Cost and All That

a waiter at elefino carries small lazy susans filled with tiny plates

With the reporters closing in on the truth about Sarah Lynn’s death, BoJack decides to come clean about what happened to Todd, Diane and Princess Carolyn. Meanwhile, Mr Peanutbutter, Pickles and Joey Pogo relaunch Elefante as Elefino, a new type of dining experience.

Not only does this episode have a great title, but it’s also an interesting showcase of what’s good and bad about season six. On the plus side, we have the dialogue – nowhere near as sharp and tightly written as earlier seasons, but clearly plotted out with maximum attention to clever wordplay. There’s also the usual range of visual gags, including numerous callbacks to previous episodes in the form of minor character appearances, and of course all the text on BoJack’s whiteboards of bad behaviour.

On the other hand, this episode does feel like hard work to get through, and that’s something I felt keenly throughout my first viewing of season six. Is it the densely packed dialogue, or is it just that the plot feels a little less engaging?

The main thread here is BoJack finally admitting the extent of his past actions to his friends, while also plotting out where to go from here. Diane is of course on the side of morality, insisting that BoJack can’t keep running away forever – sooner or later, he must face up to what he has done. Princess Carolyn is more supportive, suggesting that perhaps they can spin BoJack’s response to make him seem more sympathetic. Having stuck with BoJack for all these years, she feels she’s in it until the bitter end – even citing him as the one great love of her life.

Now, first time around, this line made me think that the writers were unwisely going to get BoJack and Princess Carolyn back together again, for the sake of tying up loose ends. I’m not going to say more about that here, but I will return to this point when we get to the final episode.

Meanwhile, reporters Page and Max are questioning Mr Peanutbutter, which of course leads to the cheerful dog revealing all of BoJack’s dark secrets even as he tries to defend his friend. Mr Peanutbutter is also dealing with his own personal issues – Pickles and Joey Pogo are meant to be forming an emotional connection so that Pickles can finally get even by cheating on Mr Peanutbutter, but the pair hate each other. Of course, by the end of the episode, the friction between Pickles and Joey Pogo leads to them having mind-blowing, life-altering sex.

Right from the start, the “I need to cheat on you so we can get even” storyline felt forced and ridiculous, and rushing it to a conclusion here doesn’t help. I’m really not sure what we’re supposed to take away from this plot thread, other than that we’re slowly getting Mr Peanutbutter to a place where he’s never been before. Again, more on that in the final episode.

Other notes

a whiteboard detailing many of the bad things BoJack has done

  • The two dogs who first appeared in season one talking about how chocolate could literally kill them are seen dining at Elefino.
  • Numerous events from past episodes are written on the whiteboards as examples of BoJack’s bad behaviour.

Summary – Sunk Cost and All That: “Just goes to show, you never know how much time you have with someone, so you should always say the bad stuff first.”

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