Review: Bojack Horseman S06 E15

Let’s reaffirm the fact that ‘Bojack Horseman’ is one of the finest television stories to have ever emerged. Let’s ignore the dullness and seeming lack of direction of the previous few episodes. The writers of ‘Bojack Horseman’ are very much in command of the ship and peasants like us might be too ill-equipped to keep up with their masterful tapestry of a narrative.

If you read our reviews on the second part of the final season of ‘Bojack Horseman,’ you would recall how the show had proceeded to provide a sense of hopelessness and a return to melancholy after a promise of change. It ought to be noted that, while the sorrow frustrated viewers (including me), it never felt unaccounted for or meaningless. What was frustrating was the narrative feeling like it wasn’t going anywhere but back to the downward spiral of the protagonist’s self-destruction.

However, the writers of the award-winning animated series should never have been doubted or underestimated. The penultimate episode of the season threw the fattest brick available on the viewers’ heads and how! It felt natural. The story gradually leaned towards it. The shock move might have become a cliché now after its over-usage (I assign blame to ‘Game of Thrones’ in particular), but ‘Bojack Horseman’ shows just why such a twist can be impactful with some gifted storytelling. Continue reading to find out the exact nature of this brick. Warning: MAJOR SPOILER AHEAD

Bojack Horseman Season 6 Episode 15 Recap:

The fifteenth episode of the sixth season of ‘Bojack Horseman’ starts with a scene that seems to be set in the past. Sarah Lynn is still a kid and accompanies Bojack to his mother’s house. Bojack’s uncle and Herb are also present and the group tries to make a stray, anthropomorphic bird escape from the house. A slimy, black liquid seems to be dripping from the ceiling in multiple parts of the house in an obscure, surreal fashion.

The scene becomes obviously meta-realistic when a conversation at the dinner table sees Bojack’s mother and Sarah Lynn referring to the latter’s death. Also, Sarah Lynn seems to have grown older: she was a pre-teen at the start of the conversation and an adult when her death is mentioned.

Bojack’s father arrives and a fight almost immediately breaks out between him and Bojack’s mother. Bojack tries to “wake up” but cannot seem to do that. Then, the group goes to a “show” inside the house. Herb hosts it while Sarah Lynn plays the piano and sings a song. Bojack goes aside for a smoke with his father. Bojack’s father tells him that he wanted Bojack to love and respect him but he made figurative walls around himself which might have prevented Bojack from seeing that.

The two return to the “show” and Bojack starts panicking about how he got “here.” He remembers how he went swimming after breaking into “his” house (it was sold to someone else in the previous episode). He had apparently been in the pool. A visual of Bojack floating in “his” pool with his back facing the sky is shown. Then, Bojack recalls, he had called Diane.

However, the “show” continues and Bojack has to sit through more of it. His uncle falls through a door into a pit of nothingness multiple times. It turns out this pit of nothingness is actually the black, slimy liquid which had been dripping from the ceiling. That turns out to be an excellent metaphor for death. Bojack sees Herb being engulfed by the “death liquid” too.

Bojack asks Herb what the “other side” feels like. Herb tells him that there is no other side, implying that Bojack might already be dead or in a dying state. The black liquid starts to move towards Bojack but he runs away from it, looking for a phone.

Bojack wants to call Diane while the black liquid threatens to engulf him and the house. Diane picks up…but it isn’t real. None of the events of the episode are, in case you didn’t notice. Bojack had gone back to the pool after Diane had not picked up her phone. Bojack looks outside a window and sees himself floating in “his” pool, with his back facing the sky. The black liquid engulfs Bojack and the entire screen. The episode ends. Is Bojack….dead…?

Bojack Horseman Season 6 Episode 15 Review:

The fifteenth episode of the sixth season of ‘Bojack Horseman’ proves to be a psychedelic, slow-burn saga that perfectly encapsulates the titular character’s entire life. What is impressive about this episode is the fact that the plot takes its time to flesh out. It is not marred by a constant need of depicting something outlandish as most surreal stories are.

Moreover, Bojack’s death is QUITE unexpected given the fact that this is the penultimate episode of the season. It is pre-meditated and also quite “satisfactory” – for the lack of a better word. What I mean is that the death does justice to the character passing away instead of throwing him in front of a moving train out of nowhere.

It looks like the last episode is going to be a long farewell, but I am glad that the overbearing mystery of a satisfactory ending has been put to rest. But given the talent of the show’s writer, a final twist cannot be completely ignored.

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