BoJack Horseman Recap: A Fetish for Sadness

Bojack Horseman

It's You
Season 3 Episode 10
Editor’s Rating *****
Paul F. Tompkins as Mr. Peanutbutter.
Paul F. Tompkins as Mr. Peanutbutter. Photo: Netflix

BoJack Horseman is a truly punishing show. Good guys don’t win. In most episodes, it doesn’t even seem like we’re watching the good guys. Redemption only comes in small, life-sustaining bursts, like tiny sips of air taken while drowning.

“It’s You” opens at the Oscar nominations, where Mr. Peanutbutter shows up 36 minutes late to announce the contenders. Among them are, of course, Bread Poot, Jurj Clooners, Colin Firth, Michael Fassbender, and lastly, BoJack Horseman. On any other show, his nomination would have been a given, but I honestly wasn’t sure whether if he’d be allowed that tiny win. It doesn’t feel like a win to BoJack, though — in fact, he’s disheartened to discover that he feels the same.

Ana warns BoJack not to fetishize his own sadness (great advice, Ana!), then tells him the story of how she almost drowned. The lesson? When you doesn’t know which way is up, it’s important to breathe. (Even better advice, Ana!) Her pep talk works: BoJack perks up, and decides to throw a massive party. BoJack starts receiving all kinds of free Oscar perks, and drowns himself in the trappings of mega-fame.

Diane stops by to make sure that BoJack is okay, because she knows how he responds to happiness. He asks her why she’s still doing social media at Vim — didn’t she used to care about actual things? She bristles. She knows it’s not her, though. And she knows that this party isn’t BoJack. Diane leaves, angrily predicting that he’ll be suicidally depressed and alone after he wins his Oscar. BoJack keeps pushing the people in his life away, even as he invites all kinds of strangers in.

BoJack asks Ana if they’ll still be together after the Oscars, and Ana tells him to stop thinking about the future. He accidentally backs his new Tesla into the pool, and after a moment that riffs on the show’s opening sequence, Mr. Peanutbutter fishes him out. At that moment, Mr. Peanutbutter flashes back to the recent past, when Captain Peanutbutter’s illness threw him into existential crisis. It brings to mind Andy Dwyer’s short-lived bout of depression on Parks and Recreation.

As we dive into the flashback, Mr. Peanutbutter tries convincing his brother to get surgery. He’s interrupted by an offer to announce the Academy Award nominations. Mr. Peanutbutter doesn’t think he has it in him to host, but Captain insists that it would give him something to live for. Right before he goes onstage, Mr. Peanutbutter has a bit of a panic attack in which he loses and and ends up chasing after his phone. After an extended sequence of gags, he finally picks up the phone and learns that his brother’s operation was successful. Unfortunately, Mr. Peanutbutter lost the Oscar nomination envelope along the way, so he recruits Todd to help him make a new list of nominees. Todd doesn’t even want to nominate BoJack, since he doesn’t feel like he’s been a very good friend.

Unfortunately, the Academy knows exactly what Mr. Peanutbutter and Todd did. In the present day, BoJack isn’t actually nominated for an Oscar. He’s so focused on not being nomination, he doesn’t hear the good news about Captain Peanutbutter. Although Mr. Peanutbutter reassures him that none of this matters, that obviously doesn’t reassure BoJack.

Princess Carolyn and Judah lament the loss of BoJack as a client, and Princess Carolyn lays off Diane. She doesn’t seem too upset about losing the job, though. Princess Carolyn feels like she’s wasted everyone’s time for six months, and Judah encourages him to “live one of her other eight lives.” And so, she calls Ralph the mouse to ask if they can get drinks again.

At a diner, Diane complains to her friend Roxy about what BoJack told her. Roxy calls Diane out on her BoJack fixation. After she got back from Cordovia, she could have stayed with any of her friends. Why choose him? Why invite that back into her life?

BoJack wakes up alone in his wrecked house. Everyone is gone, including Ana. When Todd gets back to the house, BoJack begs him not to leave. Todd ends up getting the Emily story out of BoJack, and in that moment, something finally breaks between them. Todd has had enough.

“You are all the things that are wrong with you,” he says. “It’s not the alcohol, or the drugs, or any of the shitty things that happened to you in your career, or when you were a kid. Fuck, man. What else is there to say?”

Other Thoughts:

  • The animation of Ana and Ralph’s flashbacks is gorgeous.
  • Jimmy Fallon would have announced the Oscar nominees, had he not broken his face outside that Halloween store.
  • The Nazi Who Played Yahtzee is such a funny-at-two-in-the-morning joke, which is the best kind of joke.
  • Nana Peanutbutter’s advice: “Opportunities are like sneezes from God, and when God sneezes, you can’t say ‘God bless you’ to God, so instead you have to take the opportunity,”
  • “Bradley Cooper? We love him for some reason!”  
  • Included on Todd and Mr. Peanutbutter’s Oscar whiteboard: “Best Best Boy,” “Best Derivative Screenplay,” “black people?” crossed out, “Tom Hardy (who is a cat),” and six nominations for Jennifer Lawrence. Seven if you count “Jennifer Jason Lawrence.”
  • As a California transplant, I really feel Diane’s personal water crisis.
  • Aww, baby Todd!

BoJack Horseman Recap: A Fetish for Sadness