Episode 11 of the final season of BoJack Horseman finds the reporters closing in and BoJack dealing with what it means to be better.
Thankfully, his friends are there, and Todd, Diane, and Princess Carolyn carry him into his office, assuring his students he’s fine.
Once he comes to, BoJack tells them the truth about New Mexico. Princess Carolyn, ever the manager, tells him it’s no big deal–what he did was totally legal. And Diane, ever the social justice warrior chimes in that it doesn’t matter if it was legal, it was immoral.
But regardless of their opinion, BoJack is frustrated that his past is catching up with him now, when he’s finally gotten clean and is working hard to do right.
Diane realizes the reporters must have something else on him if they’re working this hard to go after him. Princess Carolyn demands that BoJack recite all of his bad deeds so they can figure out what the story actually is.
Meanwhile, the reporters have found Mr. Peanutbutter, who has gladly agreed to talk about BoJack on the night of Elefino’s relaunch. (He and Joey Pogo have taken over the restaurant from BoJack.)
In the midst of the ongoing craziness with the reporters, Mr. Peanutbutter is still trying to make up for his infidelity to Pickles by arranging for her to fall in love with Joey so that their affair will have the same weight as his and Diane’s.
However, the tense opening night at Elefino is not making for much of an indecent proposal. And Mr. Peanutbutter is too distracted by the attention of the reporters to pay more than passing attention to the brimming feud, spilling more than his guts to Max and Paige.
Joey and Pickles agree to have sex and say they’ve got feelings for each other to get Mr. Peanutbutter of their backs, only to find that they do like each other. And before long, Pickles follows Joey on tour as a social media manager.
After they’ve listed all of the things BoJack has done, Princess Carolyn determines none of them are bad enough to be part of the story, and continues to pester an increasingly defensive BoJack.
At this point, the episode pivots to a metaphor or treatise on the #metoo movement in some ways, as BoJack asks, “What’s the point of working on myself and getting sober and getting better if no matter what, there are people out there just waiting to tear me down?”
It’s a defensive position, but also a real emotional question that many men have asked since the #metoo movement started, whether they are under attack or simply feel it because women are speaking up.
Self-improvement, especially when entangled with addiction and abuse, is a tenuous line that people (and horses) are walking at any given moment. It can feel like a slap in the face to be reminded of your past when you are working so hard on your present.
But, ultimately, BoJack still has to be held accountable for his mistakes, something the New BoJack knows, but the Old BoJack wants so desperately to avoid that he threatens to take over.
Before too long, Diane gets a call from The Hollywoo Reporter, and quickly deflects, but she, Princess Carolyn, and BoJack soon have diverging opinions on how to handle the story.
Diane, of course, wants BoJack to tell the truth while Princess Carolyn believes they can manage it and work their way through the story.
But before they can determine what to do, his students knock on the door again and ask BoJack to give a toast at the cast party. In a heartbreaking shot, Diane and Princess Carolyn stand on either side of the open door with BoJack in the middle, on stage.
The crushing truth of this storyline is that BoJack is better. He’s finally gotten something good with the teaching job and his students love him. This story means he’ll lose everything, or as BoJack says, “…no matter how many starts I get, it’s always the same ending.”
They still haven’t come to a decision when BoJack’s phone rings and he ends up lying to the reporter about his involvement with Sarah Lynn’s death, not knowing that Mr. Peanutbutter told them everything in a ridiculous attempt to defend BoJack.
Diane, disgusted, leaves BoJack and Princess Carolyn to hash it out further. BoJack is defeated. In a touching scene, she tells him that he’s the love of her life and won’t leave him now. In turn, BoJack decides to tell the truth in advance of the story’s release, because part of being better is making up for the past.
All episodes of BoJack Horseman are now streaming on Netflix.