Liam Hoofe on the ten most heart-breaking moments from BoJack Horseman’s opening four seasons…
BoJack Horseman is finally back on our TV screens. The show’s fifth season dropped on Netflix last Friday and the show is just as excellent as ever.
The show has become one of Netflix’s most successful and original seasons, and for good reason. Originally written off as just another adult comedy, BoJack quickly silenced its critics by evolving into one of the most powerful and moving depictions of depression ever put on a TV Screen.
Unlike a lot of shows, BoJack Horseman is not one to shy away from the darker side of life, and the show’s best moments have provided audiences with some of the most heart-wrenching and realistic portrayals of mental illness ever.
The show’s fifth season promises more plenty more dramatic, and unexpected twists, so to celebrate its release, let’s take a look back at ten of the most difficult moments in BoJack’s first four seasons.
1: Sarah Lynn, Sarah Lynn?
BoJack has really developed a knack for hitting the audience right in the feels, and perhaps there was no more shocking moment than Sarah Lynn’s death at the end of season three.
While you didn’t have to be a rocket science to figure out that it was coming, the episode delivers the moment with exactly the kind of subtlety that the show has become famous for. After a wild night of partying, BoJack and Sarah Lynn finally appear to have got it together as they sit in an observatory together, looking up at the stars.
Sarah Lynn nestles on up to BoJack, and he tells her, philosophically, that all humans are just tiny specks that will one day be forgotten. He waits for Sarah Lynn’s response, and she sits there, silently. The episode then cuts to the closing credits as it dawns on the audience exactly what has happened. It was BoJack at its most devastating, and it is a moment that fans will never forget.
2: BoJack and the horses
Following the shocking death of Sarah Lynn, BoJack spirals into a deep depression at the end of season 3, and the series ends on a rather ambiguous note, with BoJack stood watching a group of wild horses running through the desert.
It’s a simple moment but as always with BoJack, it’s an incredibly effective one. At that moment, BoJack realises that he doesn’t have to live the life he lives, he has chosen it, and there are other options.
At the end of the season, BoJack needs to find himself and just when he is on the brink of ending it all, he is offered a brief yet powerful moment of reflection.
3: The voice in Hollyhead’s head
One of the best episodes of BoJack Horseman season 4 is also one of its most daring. The episode shows us a day in BoJack’s life and we, as an audience, get a chance to witness exactly what is going on inside his head.
The show offers us this glimpse through a series of child-like animations, with a hand-drawn horse constantly telling BoJack how worthless he is and how he is constantly making the wrong choices.
At the end of that episode, BoJack sits down with Hollyhead, the girl he believes is his daughter, and she tells him that she hears voices in her head, specifically, a voice that tells her how stupid and ugly she is. Naively, she asks BoJack if the voice will ever go away and of course, he reassures her it will.
It’s a powerful moment and one that really highlights, as a lot of season 4 did, the genetic qualities of depression and mental illness.
4: The Ruthie reveal
Ruthie was one of the most impactful episodes of BoJack Horseman season four, and arguably, one of the show’s finest to date. The episode had two narratives running at the same time, apparently in complete contradiction to one another.
At the beginning of the episode, we opened in the future with Princess Caroline’s distant relative, Ruthie, explaining the story of her great-great-great-grandmother to her class. In the modern-day, however, we had just found out that Princess Caroline was totally incapable of having children, and that her relationship had fallen apart as a result of that.
They always say it’s the hope that kills you, and that was definitely the case with this one. As fans, we were suckered into believing that everything would work out for Princess Caroline before the show ultimately ripped the rug from under us.
In the episode’s closing moments, it is revealed that when she is down, Princess Caroline simply imagines her great-great-great-granddaughter telling her classmates about all the wonderful things that she did. It’s a brutally heart-wrenching moment and one that fully captured the bleak situation that one of the show’s most beloved characters found themselves in.
5: Am I a good person?
Season one of BoJack Horseman initially received mixed reviews and, in fairness, it’s easy to see why. The show wasn’t afraid to take its time building its world and its characters before hitting the audience with its much darker content.
The first half of season one focuses on a number of often comical storylines before shifting gears when Diane finally finishes writing BoJack’s book. Upon reading the book, and realising how other people perceive him, BoJack spirals, and in the season’s penultimate episode, goes to confront Diane at a literary event. BoJack then stands in front of Diane, explaining that he is worried about what other people think of him, and in a rare moment of emotional vulnerability, he asks Diane if she thinks he is a good person. Instead of giving him an answer, she stares at him, unable to comment, and the episode goes off the air.
It was the first truly powerful moment in a show that has been consistently harsh and devastating over the years, and still ranks up there as one of the show’s most effective.
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