Jackson Ball reviews the eighth episode of Netflix’s BoJack Horseman season 2…
Season 2 has now hit top speed, and there can now be no doubts that Netflix has in fact churned out one of the most relevant animated sitcoms in recent memory. In this episode, season 2 reaches in new heights both in terms of tear-inducing hilarity, and thought-provoking humanity.
Spoiler Ahead – You Have Been Warned!
For most of this season, BoJack (Will Arnett) and Mr. Peanutbutter (Paul F. Tompkins) have been on mostly unrelated story-threads, running parallel to each other. In ‘Let’s Find Out’ though, those plot-threads coming crashing together in an explosive fashion, in what is one of the most gripping episodes to date.
As you’ll remember from precious episodes, Mr. Peanutbutter has been hand-picked by BoJack’s girlfriend Wanda (Lisa Kudrow) to present her network’s new gameshow; the brilliantly titled ‘JD Salinger presents Hollywoo Celebrities, What Do They Know? Do They Know Things? Let’s Find Out!’. Well, it’s time to film the show’s debut, and who better to have as the inaugural contestant than BoJack himself?
What is made immediately clear is that this episode is going to be logistically different. For starters it is constructed close to real-time, and features 4 of the show’s main characters under one roof for its entirety. Todd (Aaron Paul) is recruited as an associate producer, while Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris), the agent of show’s host and contestant, is always on-hand to keep her clients in check. These differences give the episode a unique feel; a sense of urgency.
The initial back-and-forth between BoJack and Mr. Peanutbutter is hilarious, with the game-show’s ridiculous rules and rounds making the whole situation wonderfully ludicrous. Bojack grows more and more frustrated with his predicament, peaking when it is revealed to him that he is in fact the show’s ‘little celebrity’, and must make way for the real star, Daniel Radcliffe (voicing himself).
Radcliffe is the latest in the long, long list of stellar guest stars, but may well be the most memorable. He plays an easy-to-dislike caricature of himself; the archetypal self-obsessed celebrity. Elsewhere, there is an equally brilliant performance delivered by Alan Arkin, playing the maniacal puppetmaster of the show, JD Salinger.
In true BoJack Horseman style, the episode builds to a riveting and surprisingly dramatic crescendo. The growing tensions between BJ and Peanutbutter hits boiling point as they argue live on air, unearthing some unresolved issues between the two of them. It’s perhaps the crowning moment in Mr. Peanutbutter’s character arc, as shows irrefutable evidence that he is much more than the show’s village idiot. Revelations continue to flow, as we learn that not only is he aware of BoJack’s attempt to kiss Diane (Alison Brie) in season 1, but also he isn’t as oblivious to the torrent of sarcasm and cynicism thrown his as we suspected.
It’s an episode that is both funny and engaging. It rewards viewers of Season 1, while completing and continuing some of the current season’s finer plot points. It is, essentially, the best episode of BoJack Horseman so far.
Best ‘Animal-Based Gag’ of the Episode: Mr. Peanutbutter’s poker ‘tell’ is that his ears prick up in excitement.
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