BoJack Horseman season 6 recap: How the story ends for the main characters

BoJack Horseman season 6 - Credit: Netflix
BoJack Horseman season 6 - Credit: Netflix /

We shared a recap of all the main characters’ arcs in BoJack Horseman. The final episodes premiered on Netflix in January 2020.

It’s difficult to place a show like Bojack Horseman; part screwball comedy with hijinks and shenanigans, part drama, poignant and sublime. It’s subtle yet on-the-nose, clever yet silly, you could spend weeks scouring every episode for easter eggs and still miss a few.

Netflix dropped the tail end of the last season of the show on Jan. 31, 2020, the beginning of the end. What if it didn’t live up to its promise? Success has been known to spell the downfall of many a show. The bigger the shows got, the easier it was to lose their essence in a bid to appease various factions of adoring fans. The writers for Bojack turned walking that fine line into an art form, and the show was all the better for it.

I sat there immobile, long after the screen faded to black trying to grapple with the onslaught of a myriad of emotions. It was a bittersweet farewell, and I savored every minute.

All the characters showed emotional and personal growth. Each arc was a surprise, preconceived notions checked at the door. Individual journeys landed in unexpected places, definitely not the lives they envisioned, but just another instance of art imitating life, because how many of us get to live the proverbial dream? Life is a struggle and it’s survival of the most adaptable. You trudge through the sludge, one step at a time, your end goal changes with changing circumstances, and you make do with what you get.

Let’s tackle the tertiary characters first. Gina seems to be coping with her trauma and the backlash, a billboard outside the diner window in the last episode, advertises “Fireflame”, Kelsey Jennings’ movie, and Gina is the star playing the titular role. So, they both made it! No, YOU’RE crying!

The penultimate episode features dinner and a show with the deceased. Bojack’s dad, who is somehow also Secretariat, recites a heart-wrenching poem, “The view from halfway down.” It needs an entire article of its own to pick apart its brilliance.

For their turn, Beatrice and Crackerjack perform in tandem. All eyes are on Beatrice, as she pirouettes and saute’s beautifully, it’s easy to see why Butterscotch fell for her all those years ago. Crackerjack accompanies her on the piano. Then they both jump into the abyss, intertwined in death as they were in life.

Pickles finally realizes she’s much too young and ill-suited to Mr. Peanut Butter, she takes the next step in her career as Joey Pogo’s Social Media consultant. The two have also just had sex as a means of restoring balance to her relationship with PB. Off-screen she breaks up with PB over the phone. Pogo and Pickles are off on many adventures.

Mr. Peanut Butter

Which brings us to good ol’ PB. The perpetual optimist to Bojack’s cynic. It’s funny how they both end up alone. Ever since we’ve known him, even in various flashbacks, PB has always been in a relationship. Diane says it best, it’s not that all his SOs become old and bitter with him, he just dates them when they’re young and they grow up, but he never does.

For a naive, man-child, PB can show surprising depth and understanding of the mysteries of life, offering poignant tidbits at opportune moments. The parting of ways with Pickles acts as the impetus he needed, he finally comes to the realization outsiders did long ago, it’s time to work on himself instead of jumping into another relationship. He embraces this next phase with the same gusto he reserves for everything in his life.

Princess Carolyn

Princess Carolyn’s life has been a crawl through barbed wire, in spite of the best intentions. Bojack was the great love of her life, from back when she could love with reckless abandon and love conquered all. Despite her cynicism, she wanted to be the woman who had it all, a career and a family. “The New Client” depicts the hurdles no one talks about, you have to work twice as hard and still constantly feel like your life is falling apart. Breakups, miscarriages, and bankruptcies, but Princess Carolyn always lands on her feet. Her love life and her own body are rebellious and uncooperative, so she adopts adorable little Ruthie.

In the end, Princess Carolyn does get it all, she manages to pull off her dream wedding, revive her flailing career, thrive with her little prickly pear, and marry Judah, the complementing partner to both her personal and professional life.

Diane Nguyen

Diane’s struggle with feelings of unworthiness and depression has plagued her entire life. She aspires to be a writer, yet the daunting prospect of failing keeps her from trying. In the first few seasons, her relationship with Mr. Peanut Butter was the sweet core of the show but ultimately doomed. Despite it all, they remain pivotal figures in each other’s lives, seeking the other out in moments of crises, forever each other’s pillar of support.

The right guy comes along (see what I did there?) and all is well with the world. There is a heart-stopping moment in the last episode where it seems the two have broken up, only to reveal they’ve gotten married! She starts taking her medication, and of her two fears, one comes to pass, she does gain weight. It doesn’t ebb the flow of creativity, though, and the YA novel world thanks her!

As a coping mechanism, she tried to give meaning to her terrible childhood, the parental abuse and bullying she suffered, had to have some meaning. If she could turn it into a vivid and affecting memoir it would have almost been worth it. The “Good Damage” had the most brilliant and accurate depiction of the writing process I have ever seen.

She’s ultimately unable to write her memoirs, but as a procrastination exercise starts on a completely different journey, Through Guy’s adroitness it finds an agent and an audience. Our damage doesn’t make us special, and sometimes no good comes of it, it’s just something that is.

Todd Chavez

Darwin called to say “Booyah!” because, throughout the course of the show, we’ve seen Todd evolve by leaps and bounds. Our first impression of him is of a free-loader, crashing at Bojack’s place, oblivious to all the vicious insults Bojack throws his way. Eventually realizing his worth, he moves out, creates healthy boundaries and calls Bojack out on his toxic behavior:

"“You can’t keep doing this. You can’t keep doing sh***y things, and then feel bad about yourself, like that makes it okay! You need to be better!”"

Bojack is eventually cut from his life.

He falls headfirst into various adventures, launches harebrained business ventures, one after the other, that never work out. His asexuality is deftly handled, uncharacteristic for Bojack, and he does him a huge favor by setting him up with Maude, with rhyming names and matching personalities, they are perfect for each other.

Over the course of the show, Todd has lived with Bojack, Mr. PB, and PC, and as the show nears its end, our little bird tests his wings and takes a shaky first flight. He and Maude consider getting their own place together and go apartment hunting. With a child-like sense of wonder, he takes to babysitting Ruthie like a fish to water. Whenever PC needs him, he puts his own life on hold to help her out, and it’s almost criminal that he’s considered a freeloader just because he’s unable to make a monetary contribution.

The latter half of the sixth season sheds light on Todd’s unhappy childhood and his relationship with his estranged mother. He is the kind of person who will give a kidney to save a life, and he does. He eventually manages to save his relationship with his mom in typical Todd Chavez caper fashion.

He also mends his relationship with Bojack and gives him sage advice, out of the mouth of babes, indeed. Todd is the sole friend suspending disbelief in spite of contrary evidence, willing to take Bojack at his word and learn from past mistakes. Todd is willing to let him back into his life when he sees him striving to do better. What he lacks in IQ he makes up for in EQ, that is Emotional Quotient.

Bojack Horseman

And that brings us to the star of the show and his own life. By no means is he the worst, but he does do a lot of questionable things, stemming from inherent selfishness. He plays the victim card like an old hand, blaming his myriad of addictions or terrible childhood. Granted Bojack’s childhood was regrettable. He had an abusive mother and a neglectful father, who in turn had tragic lives and a loveless marriage. But Diane, PC, Todd, take your pick, they’ve all grown up in horrible homes, too.

After decades of being a slave to his selfish desires, Bojack finally tries to make amends. He checks himself into rehab starts attending AA meetings and starts a job as a college professor.

His shady actions catch up to him, and he goes the Hollywoo route of doing a glib, softball interview the fans lap up. Drunk on his own hubris, he decides to go back for a second helping, despite PC’s warnings. He tries to be honest, puts his foot in it and ends up being the most reviled celebrity in all of Hollywoo.

Both PC and Diane distance themselves from Bojack, choosing to focus on themselves instead of putting their lives on hold to clean up Bojack’s messes. Ultimately, this might be the best thing to happen to him, as he gets some perspective.

Turning over a new leaf does not wipe the slate clean. You can and should be held accountable for your past misdeeds, but you will apologize, serve your punishment, move on and strive to do better. That’s what life is all about,  and Bojack Horseman ended on a positive note despite its jaded main character, and now, my life has a Bojack-sized hole that I can’t fill.

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