After six seasons, BoJack Horseman has ended. And while the Netflix show's second-to-last episode delivered a powerful goodbye to the sad, washed-up celebrity horse, the actual last episode leaves us on more unsatisfying ground.
What is BoJack trying to say with its final moments? The last bit of dialogue might read like it comes out of nowhere, but maybe we're just looking at it the wrong way. Here's one theory (my theory) on what the ending of BoJack Season 6 Part 2 really means.
Warning. Huge spoilers ahead for the entire final season of BoJack Horseman.
In the final episode of BoJack, we learn that the main character actually survived his attempted suicide from the previous episode. He then ends up in jail for breaking into his old house and nearly drowning in the pool. BoJack's allowed out of prison for a weekend to attend Princess Carolyn's wedding, where he eventually finds himself on the roof with Diane in a comforting callback to their first encounter back in Season 1.
At first, they joke awkwardly. Then they discuss the desperate, drunken voicemail BoJack left on Diane’s phone before almost dying in the previous episode. Then they catch up like old friends, talking about Diane’s new life in Texas with her boyfriend.
Diane gets up to say goodbye, maybe for the last time. But in an attempt to stretch out this final moment, BoJack asks if he can tell her a funny story from prison, admitting first that “It’s only kind of funny.”
This is the last thing we hear any BoJack character say. Here it is:
BOJACK: So we have this movie night at the prison, right, and we get to vote on what movies we want to see, but of course, the whole thing’s rigged because Big Andy’s favorite movie is The Family Stone, so Big Andy gets his guys to vote for it every week, and so every week we watch The Family Stone
DIANE: Hold on, who’s favorite movie is The Family Stone?
BOJACK: I mean yeah, it’s a fine movie
DIANE: But every week?
BOJACK: That’s what I’m saying! So one day, I’m like, “If I see Luke Wilson teach Sarah Jessica Parker how to let her freak flag fly one more time, I’m gonna snap.”
DIANE: I don’t understand, is movie night mandatory?
DIANE: So why don’t you just not go?
BOJACK: What am I a philistine? I support the arts, sue me.
DIANE: Ok, sorry
BOJACK: But I know a guy who volunteers in the library, which is where they keep the DVDs, so I make a deal with him. “I’ll give you my Jell-O for a month if The Family Stone goes missing.”
DIANE: I feel like this doesn’t end well
BOJACK: So, movie night comes around. Time for another Christmas in Connecticut, but then, uh-oh, the DVD’s gone, what do we do? So Big Andy’s getting really upset, and his guys are all riled, and then I go, “Fellas, fellas, fellas! Why don’t we watch Pieces of April this week? Change of pace. Patricia Clarksons in it and…”
BOJACK: Prison riot.
DIANE: Oh shit, really?
BOJACK: No. Worse. Big Andy falls in love with Pieces of April, so now we watch Pieces of April every week.
DIANE: You kind of made your own bed on that one.
BOJACK: Story of my life.
Ok, so what does any of this mean? Maybe it's just small talk, a subtle reminder that most of the time spent with our closest friends is typically frittered away on nothing. But I have a theory that it's something more.
BoJack's story about being a prisoner forced to watch the same sappy movie every week on repeat over and over kind of sounds like something else. It sounds like the way many people (myself included) watch Netflix, forcing ourselves to rewatch the same shows and movies on an endless loop when there's countless other options that are just slightly too unfamiliar to break us out of our habits.
The hard part is finding something new to watch. The easy part is watching your favorite thing over and over again, forever. This was true before Netflix. But Netflix made it the only truth.
Why would BoJack spend its last minutes on a subtle dig at Netflix? Well, maybe it has to do with the fact that it was the company's decision to end the show, not the creative team behind that show. Or maybe it's because Netflix unceremoniously canceled Tuca and Bertie, a spiritual spinoff from BoJack production designer and producer Lisa Hanawalt, after just one season.
I'm just guessing, but that weird story about watching romantic-comedies in jail has got to mean something, right? And considering the context, a joke at Netflix's expense seems as likely as anything.
The final season of BoJack Horseman is streaming now on Netflix.