I once heard that life is making the same mistakes over and over again until you’ve learned a lesson you’re supposed to learn. The characters in BoJack Horseman never seem to learn.
As Secretariat opens in movie theaters, Todd acts as a voice for BoJack’s worst fears about his big break. What if the movie bombs? What if this is his only shot at Hollywoo immortality? Luckily, the box-office numbers are huge. If only for a brief, shining moment, BoJack feels awesome.
In a couples’ counseling session, Mr. Peanutbutter profusely tells Diane how much he loves her. Diane, though a writer, isn’t quite as good at using her words. Mr. Peanutbutter had a functional family, and Diane had … well, we’ve met her family before. And the Nyugens are the broken model for all of her relationships.
Diane gets a text from “movie star and man-about-town” Alexi Brosefino, who invites her to come party with the “Snatch Batch” that night. Alexi is one of Diane’s clients, and though she insists it’s a professional obligation, she clearly has a bit of a crush. When Diane shows up at Alexi’s house, he doesn’t quite know who she is, but nevertheless introduces her to his entourage, Carlos, David, and Shitshow.
Meanwhile, Judah arrives in Princess Carolyn’s office and asks for an ownership position in the company. Princess Carolyn agrees, and then Judah informs her that she has the night off for the first time in a long time. Princess Carolyn jokes that she needs three dates to make up for lost time, and Judah, taking her request seriously, books three dates for her. The first is with a boring Bill Gates look-alike whose job is … manufacturing auto glass? I guess? Her second date is a rhinoceros gynecologist who assumes she doesn’t want to have children because of her age. Her third date is a mouse named Ralph Stilton, whom she actually turns out to like. It’s unclear, though, when she’ll be free to see him again.
At the Kangaroosevelt Hotel, BoJack and Todd are enjoying the benefits of BoJack’s newfound movie stardom. As it so happens, Todd’s high-school girlfriend Emily, now all grown up, is attending her best friend’s rehearsal dinner at the same hotel. Emily tells BoJack how much she loves The BoJack Horseman Show (ironically, of course — oh God, she is all of us). BoJack decides that he and Todd should crash the rehearsal dinner. The father of one of the brides is just as delighted as BoJack expected he’d be, and BoJack immediately takes over the party.
Meanwhile, Todd and Emily come up with the idea for an app that’s like Uber, but only with women drivers. Emily is not only serious about the app, she’s also super into Todd. BoJack tries hard to wingman him, but Todd seems uncomfortable with the whole situation. BoJack is messing with another person’s love life, too: After he gives a speech at the rehearsal dinner, one of the brides, Tanisha, realizes that she might not want to marry her fiancé. Tanisha calls the wedding off and runs out crying, leaving BoJack to pick up the pieces.
Back at the party, Diane and Alexi seem to be connecting over his clean-water foundation. Soon enough, he talks her into taking Gush, a party drug that she tries in hopes of impressing the guys. The drug doesn’t hit right away, in one of the only instances of a TV drug actually being taken like a real-world drug. Just as the Gush kicks in, Alexi’s friends blow up his spot, revealing that he had accidentally texted the wrong Diane. The Gush acts as a sort of aphrodisiac — in addition to its world-melting hallucinations — but instead of throwing herself at Alexi, Diane wants to go home to Mr. Peanutbutter and tell him how much she loves him. The good news? The drug helps Diane find the words to express how much he means to her. The bad? She tries to carry Mr. Peanutbutter and breaks her arm.
While Tanisha’s father convinces BoJack to talk to Tanisha, Emily tries to convince Todd to come back to her room upstairs. He almost immediately runs away. BoJack fares much better, it seems. He talks to Tanisha through a bathroom stall, giving her the advice that he wishes someone had given to him: He warns her to hold on to anyone she can tolerate, and cautions her to not let life degrade to the point where everyone loves her, but no one likes her. “And that,” BoJack says, “is the loneliest feeling in the world.”
We then enter a montage of sorts, wherein the main characters find themselves stuck on their own emotionally stunted hang-ups. Princess Carolyn goes back to the office and to Judah, with whom she works late into the night. Todd lays alone in his room. BoJack and Emily meet up at the bar, and it seems like they end up sleeping together. At the hospital, Diane asks Mr. Peanutbutter if they’re going to fight when the drugs wear off. She suggests they even visit his family in the Labrador Peninsula to celebrate the new year. And then, a bombshell drops: Diane is pregnant.
Though “TKTK” is a lot of fun, it’s largely a functional episode. Not much is explored, but a lot of important plot mechanics are moved forward. Everyone is still making the same mistakes they’ve always made. I’m especially curious as to what’s going on with Todd, since I’m not sure that BoJack has really explored his sexuality yet. And, of course, introducing a baby into the equation will raise a lot of questions not just about Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter’s relationship, but about adulthood, legacy, and what it means to bring someone into an imperfect world. I look forward to seeing how it’s all handled, because when it comes to BoJack Horseman, Shitshow isn’t the only shit show.
- “To quote the tagline for the movie Cool Runnings, ‘Jamaican bobsledders?’ That’s right, Diane. Jamaican bobsledders.” Mr. Peanutbutter truly is the best of us.
- The Snatch Batch is an obvious parody of the Pussy Posse. If you’ve never read the New York Magazine piece about Leonardo DiCaprio and the crew he rolled with in the ‘90s, I heartily recommend it. I promise this is said without publication bias — it’s absolutely fascinating.
- “We call [the auto glass] business ‘the Industry’ because we think we’re more important than everybody else.”
- An all-female ride sharing app actually does exist.
- “Even though they are drugs, they come from science, so let’s give a listen.”