Paul Kinsey is disappointed when his self-insert Star Trek fanfic gets zero kudos and only one review(from a spam bot).
Stan keeps complaining about the Ghostbusters remake. He goes to see it with Peggy so that he can gloat about how terrible it is. He ends up liking it more than the original(not that he’d ever admit it).
Harry campaigns for Trump. He spitefully breaks Pete’s Hillary mug. They get into a flame war on the Sterling Cooper intranet message board.
Joan (much to her dissatisfaction) manages the Sterling Cooper Twitter account, which mostly consists of her blocking Abe, who keeps making new accounts to bitterly tweet at them about the evils of advertising.
Sally finds Sylvia’s nudes on Don’s phone.
Betty attempts to revive her modeling career via Instagram.
Mewtwo spawns in the Sterling Cooper office and Roger uses it lure the 24 year old CEO of a multi-million dollar tech startup in for a meeting.
You couldn’t really lock our flat door. The only thing that kept us safe was the fact that we had nothing of any value. A lot of slugs used to come in. Water wouldn’t get hot enough for a bath, and the bath would take all day to run. It was really filthy. Mad Paul would come round at night, this bloke who ended up being a male prostitute, and he was living in this flat upstairs that had no electricity. We’d send him off to bed with a candle. It terrified my parents.
Alex talking about the vacant building he and Graham lived in throughout 1989
Paul is mad shady. He saw how Zakiyah spent all of that time rubbing and caressing Paulie's locks and decided to even the playing field. You can see him thinking, "If she wanna caress something, she gonna caress hair that looks like MINE."
I knowwww right?! He went into that haircut with bad intentions. Paulie only has himself to blame for letting him third wheel so hard lmfao
I’m not even gonna pretend to be mad that Paul is HOH. I love his ass. He’s literally a cult leader and no one realizes. He has Paulie looking just like him and Victor staring into his eyes and chanting “friendship. “Pissed” and “Ya boy” caught on too. Everyone is drinking the kool aid and they don’t even realize it. Ya boy is f2 material.
I wrote a piece on the forth episode of this season, but this here is my full review/piece on the whole season. Spoilers ahead.
So there you have it, the story of how an animated show about a talking horseman confirmed itself as the most unashamedly depressing show on television. Back in season 1 the show played the long game and it was not really evident until the final few episodes of that season what the show’s morose ambitions where. From the get go season 2 delivered some truly dark moments building to the brilliant Escape From LA, an episode which echoes through this season, but season 3 takes it to a new level.
What I described as Bojack’s trademark whimsical nihilism, transitioned into pitch black bleakness. It remained funny, and its worth stressing that, but its commitment to its darkest material was only enhanced this year. The final run of episode are not just the most depressing Bojack has ever done, but maybe any show.
Let’s rewind a little though. At 12 episodes there might be some benefit in breaking down the season into three blocks of four episodes each:
Maybe more than anything the most difficult challenge facing Bojack Horseman as a show going into season 3 is how do you evolve when you are about characters who don’t? The first four episodes give a pretty clear indication of how the show pulled off this impressive feat. First off we have Bojack in a very new stage of his life and career. As we begin the season he is on the precipice of earning an Oscar nomination.
After two seasons of relative professional stagnation, it seems smart that the show takes Bojack to a place where success awaits. Of course though this is Bojack Horseman so the prevailing question here becomes are awards just one in a long line of things that Bojack is trying to fill that hole inside of himself with?
The second episode set in 2007 is the first of many concept episodes, the second sign of how the show has developed in its third year. Its a fun episode full of great gags for TV nerds such as myself (between “watch John From Cincinnati”, Jorge Garcia being interrupted as he explains Lost and Todd ruining the end of The Sopranos, you just got to love this episode) although I might argue the payoff for this episode is not really apparent until further down the line.
The third episode is a little inconsequential while being a solid showcase for Diane (like many of the great antihero shows Bojack aspires toward, the show is so much more than its lead, with a great ensemble around him) but its the forth episode that really catches the eye. I’ve already written some 1000 words on it but suffice to say it is Bojack’s most ambitious half hour and its most telling. This season, if not the whole show is about the ways people/animals connect with one another and potentially how celebrity culture gets in the way of this, as epitomized by Bojack struggle to communicate here.
Bojack is past the stage where it has sad episodes and more light-hearted ones, instead each episode is really just on a tonal scale, with some veering more toward big, silly set-pieces and others being less gag and more character driven, but every episode has some of both. The episodes here are certainly a little less intense than those in the final chunk.
Having said this you still get an episode ostensibly about abortion. Its testament to Bojack that even though it confronts and devotes episodes to topics like abortion, and last season to the Cosby controversy, these are not likely to be the episodes it is remembered by, yet any other show would be defined by dealing with such polarizing issues. Instead it is just one of many interesting, if not groundbreaking, things that Bojack is doing.
The moment at the end of episode 9, The Suitcase-esque two hander between Princess Carolyn and Bojack, where our protagonist says no is the turning point in this season. The final run of episodes are about how Bojack will hurt and alienate those around him, yet he desperately needs them to have any hope of surviving.
Once his Oscar nomination falls through it becomes clear that his relationship with Ana was based solely on their working dynamic and that she no longer wants to be with him. Things progress to a situation where he tells Todd the truth about Emily and then Todd lays it all out for Bojack. Its not bad parents or drugs that are wrong with Bojack, its Bojack.
So Bojack turns to the last person he hasn’t alienated. Him and Sarah Lynn go on an epic month(s) long bender, as Bojack drunk and high makes a superficial attempt at making amends with all of those he has wronged. A combination of drugs, nearsightedness and self hate lead Bojack to a place where he just makes everything worse. He tries to apologize to Penny, but her life is okay and Bojack’s presence is the last thing she needs.
So after failing to rebuild the bridges he’s broken with Princess Carolyn, Penny, Todd and Diane, Bojack has one last crack at making amends. He takes Sarah Lynn to the planetarium she’s been edging to go to all episode and there comes Bojack’s most beautiful, haunting and powerful image yet, as his wave of destruction encompasses yet another person and this time with fatal results. I can’t over-emphasis just how shocking that moment felt, the show had done a great job of re-framing Sarah as a tragic victim of both fame and Bojack, making her death all the more resonant. If Fish Out Of Water is the show’s most ambitious episode, this is without doubt its most devestating.
The finale is pretty packed, maybe overly so but it felt like a fitting end to this great season. When it comes to the characters outside of Bojack, Mr Peanutbutter aside, there’s a lot of resetting. Princess Carolyn is back in the same office doing virtually the same job, Todd is broke again after accidentally tipping a waitress $8 million, in the hands of others these developments might seem cheap but in Bob-Waksberg’s they are a smart comment on both sitcoms and the way people change, or rather don’t.
Finally you have Bojack, finding new depths to rock bottom. The final moments see Bojack flirt with ending it all before he sees a group of horses running mirroring the closing moments of last season, only that time it was Bojack on his own coming to the conclusion that he has to keep on going but now it is clear that he can’t run this race alone and there is no point in trying. He needs those around him, but in order to not repeat the same destructive cycles, he needs to change himself.