TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 11

 

Time's Arrow Poster
In 1963, young socialite Beatrice Sugarman meets the rebellious Butterscotch Horseman at her debutante party.

Director:

Aaron Long

Writers:

Kate PurdyRaphael Bob-Waksberg (creator)

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

by Mary Cox

 “Time’s Arrow”

This episode finally gives us all of the missing pieces we’ve been looking for in understanding Beatrice’s backstory, which is also effectively Bojack’s origin story. I don’t know if dedicating the bulk of an entire episode to the tragedy of Beatrice’s life was the best choice they could have made, but for what it’s worth, the pacing and visual storytelling here works well.

It’s impossible to really know what experiencing dementia is like from an insider’s perspective, but the perpetual hell we see Beatrice living through is genuinely chilling. The astounding revelation that Hollyhock is Bojack’s sister, and not his daughter, hinges a little on the side of melodrama, but it’s not to the point of eye-rolling soap opera nonsense.

What makes this episode work is it’s final sequence where, after we’ve seen and heard everything, Bojack still makes the choice to show kindness to his mother. He’s given an open, consequence-free opportunity to punish Beatrice for a lifetime of cruelty, and he still makes the right decision. This is possibly the biggest moment ever in Bojack’s emotional growth across all four seasons of this series.

So much of Season Four has been centered on Bojack’s anxieties over how much his inner “sickness” has been inherited by Hollyhock. The end of “Time’s Arrow” shows us that trauma ends when we actively make the choice to break the cycle of abuse, and that people can surpass their circumstances with time and healing. The endless march of time is a major focal point of this season, and for Bojack at least, time does heal all wounds.

*****
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

bojack horseman 1.jpg

Advertisements

TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 07

 

Underground Poster
Mr. Peanutbutter’s posh campaign fundraiser takes a terrifying turn. As chaos swirls around them. BoJack and Diane get drunk.

Director:

Aaron Long

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Alison Tafel (staff writer)

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

“Underground”

No punches have been pulled in this vicious takedown of fracking as Mr. Peanutbutter’s house falls deep underground due to a man-made earthquake. Glamazonian Drag World Superstar RuPaul Charles makes an appearance as the Ant Queen who saves Todd and Princess Carolyn from their earthen tombs.

Mr. Peanutbutter’s near-miss at being burned alive by Jessica Biel was the incentive he needed to realize his quest to be governor was just a reaction to being around his ex-wife. Bojack and Diane finally have the heart-to-heart they’ve been avoiding since the death of Sarah Lynn.

We’re over halfway through the series, and there’s no clear indication where any of this is going, or how any of these story lines are going to tie together. There does seem to be a recurring theme of families and parenthood going on, which is why I have a terrible feeling about Princess Carolyn’s pregnancy, but it’s too early to tell exactly how this season will end for Bojack and his friends.

 

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

bojack horseman 1.jpg

TV REVIEW: BOJACK HORSEMAN – SEASON 04 – EPISODE 03

 

Hooray! Todd Episode! Poster
Helpful to a fault, Todd is spread thin doing favors for Princess Carolyn, Mr. Peanutbutter and a visitor with a potential connection to BoJack.

Director:

Aaron Long

Writers:

Raphael Bob-Waksberg (creator), Elijah Aron |1 more credit »

Stars:

Will ArnettAmy SedarisAlison Brie

Review by Mary Cox

“Hooray! Todd Episode!”

Asexuality is something that hasn’t really been addressed in any mainstream form of media up until this point in time. There’s a lot of controversy about what asexuality really is, or how to define it as an orientation. In spite of this, Bojack Horseman is actually doing a great job with handling Todd’s exploration of his sexuality, and with depicting asexuals as normal human beings who aren’t the result of malfunctioning biology or dysfunctional personalities.

Again, there’s an issue with congruence of ideas in this episode. The undercurrent of Todd seeking to prioritize his own self-care, while also trying to manage his personal and professional relationships almost comes together. However, between Mr. Peanutbutter’s campaign, Princess Carolyn’s struggle to conceive, and Bojack’s long-lost daughter, there’s just so much happening this season that even in a literal “Todd Episode,” there’s no real room to focus on the inner-life of this character.

It seems like because the show has become less and less Bojack-centric that there’s now a serious lack of focus and structure. Bojack Horseman has never really been an ensemble show, and transferring it over to that structural format is an interesting experiment. Despite the efforts to keep the series fresh and original, right now, it doesn’t seem like Bojack Horseman is a show with a host of concurrent and carefully structured plot lines. Instead, we have a great big bunch of loose and hanging threads that are more tangled than tied together.

******
“Mary Cox is an entertainment writer from the United States. Her hobbies include making good beer and bad decisions, watching drag queens fight on the internet, and overanalyzing everything. Mary one day hopes to be the person shouting “World Star” in the back of a Waffle House brawl video. She is currently tolerating life in Toronto. You can follow her on Twitter at @M_K_Cox”t

bojack horseman 1.jpg