BoJack Horseman Series Finale Recap: The Wisdom and Catharsis of 'The Hokey Pokey' — Plus, Grade It!

BoJack Horseman Series Finale Season 6 Episode 16

BoJack Horseman‘s penultimate episode was a fever dream filled with insecurities, hallucinations and self-loathing, all fueled by BoJack’s devastating relapse. After a night filled with booze, pills and Horsin’ Around DVDs, we learned that BoJack’s trippy dream sequence was actually a purgatory. The episode ended with blackness taking over BoJack’s world as his body lifelessly floated facedown in his pool. A flatline blared as the credits rolled… until we heard the beep-beep of a pulse.

When the series finale starts, the beeps flatline again (!), only this time it’s his character on TV who’s passed. A montage treats us to a jarring back-and-forth where a newspaper declares that BoJack is not dead, despite the rumors. He wakes up from his near-death chained to a bed, then he’s on trial and sentenced to 14 months in prison. This season — hell, these first minutes — has been a rollercoaster of emotions, but it looks like BoJack might make it, after all.

BoJack gets a temporary release in order to attend Princess Carolyn’s wedding because, hey, she’s marrying her assistant, Jonah!  When Mr. Peanutbutter picks him up, we learn BoJack was officially arrested for breaking and entering, even though according to BJ, it may have been for “a little bit of everything.”

BoJack gets cold feet and feels like something bad is going to happen at the wedding. In pure Peanutbutter fashion, BoJack winds up abandoned, only to be saved by Todd who senses BoJack’s discomfort. BoJack tells Todd that jail at least helps him stay out of trouble. He’s even beaten his sobriety record, but he’s worried about being on his own. Todd gives BoJack a pep talk that traverses his salvaged relationship with his mom and the Hokey Pokey. “You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about,” says Todd. The two discuss existentialism as it pertains to the jingle, and also the meaning of art. “I can’t tell if you’re being smart or stupid,” BoJack says. “Oh, I never know!” replies Todd. I’m going to miss this guy.

At the wedding, Princess Carolyn tells BoJack that The Horny Unicorn is huge and everyone’s tracking BoJack’s comeback. BoJack says he didn’t think he had any options post-prison, but Carolyn gives him the wee bit of hope he needs.

BoJack tells Carolyn he thought some big disaster would happen… like Carolyn would have cold feet and he’d convince her to go through with it, and the experience would show how much he’s grown because he was ready to let her go. How very “sitcom” of him. BoJack asks her what she would have been afraid of in his make-believe scenario, and her answer is losing a part of herself and getting too comfortable: “This could be the best thing that ever happened to me, and if it doesn’t make me as happy as I’m supposed to be, that means I’m a lost cause.” BoJack tells her she deserves to be happy and that she’s the smartest woman he knows. But Carolyn doesn’t need a savior. She never did.

BoJack finds Diane and there’s immediate tension. She asks him if he remembers the last voicemail he left her (he doesn’t). He was drunk and talking about swimming. “I thought you were dead,” she recounts. “For seven hours, I couldn’t get in touch with anyone and I was sure you were dead and it was my fault.” When she found out BoJack wasn’t dead, she was angry for giving him that power over her. “I wish I could’ve been the person you thought I was, the person who would save you,” she says. Though BoJack tells her it was never her job, she counters, “Then why did you always make me feel like it was?” Diane then reveals she moved to Houston and married her boyfriend.

“How’d you learn how to trust it, the happiness?” he asks. “I didn’t. But I trust him,” she says, lovingly.

Diane continues dropping wisdom. “I think there are people who help you become the person you end up being, and you can be grateful for them even if they were never meant to be in your life forever. I’m glad I knew you,” she tells BoJack. He starts to react, but she interrupts him. “I need to tell you… thank you. And… it’s going to be OK, and… I’m sorry, and…” she pauses. “Thank you.”

He tells her a funny aside of how he made a certain DVD disappear from the prison library, only to be stuck watching a worse movie week after week. “Life’s a bitch and then you die, right?” he asks. “Sometimes,” laughs Diane. “Sometimes life’s a bitch and then you keep on living.”

It seems this might be the last conversation BoJack and Diane share, but they both seem at peace… or at least ready to look forward rather than be weighed down by the past. BoJack’s guilt will never go away, nor will his demons, but like Diane alluded, you gotta keep trucking. This ending is as hopeful as we could’ve hoped for, but it still feels a bit sad. Or maybe it’s both?

What did you think? Grade the finale and drop some comments below!