Sunday, October 27, 2019

REVIEW: 'BoJack Horseman' - BoJack's Past Actions Create Lingering Trauma for Many in 'A Quick One, While He's Away'

Netflix's BoJack Horseman - Episode 6.08 "A Quick One, While He's Away"

A reporter digs into the circumstances surrounding Sarah Lynn's death. Hollyhock goes to a party in New York City.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's BoJack Horseman.

"A Quick One, While He's Away" was written by Raphael Bob-Waksberg and directed by Amy Winfrey

On the one hand, the show should rejoice over BoJack finding some semblance of peace and living as a significantly better version of himself. On the other hand though, there are numerous people in this world who have forever been traumatized by his actions. That can never be lost in this extremely personal journey. It's silly to walk through life hoping that everyone will like you. A story of redemption doesn't guarantee that everyone will reverse course and suddenly have a positive view on who BoJack Horseman is. There are still people struggling in this world as a direct result of him. Sure, he isn't sole to blame for the suffering of others. Some have also been able to move on much more easily than others. However, the role he has played in their lives can't be downplayed either. This episode doesn't feature any of the main characters. The closest it gets is the inclusion of Hollyhock who has only appeared in one previous episode this season. She still has a compassionate and understanding relationship with her half-brother. She is about to be horrified by a story of something he once did. It happened long before she knew him. She knows that there is a fair amount of trauma and tragedy within the Horseman family. She was hurt during her time out in Hollywoo. She fears how she'll react if she starts drinking at a party. BoJack's alcoholism and how it seems to run in the family terrifies her. She has to be much more conscious about it than anyone else her age. When she takes her first drink, she doesn't even like it. She doesn't entirely understand why it can become an addiction to some. Before that moment, she has a panic attack because of her fear of the unknown. She is at a party in New York City. She sees the sights but her friends quickly ditch her after they arrive. She does make a new connection. It just happens to be one of the students from New Mexico who was there when BoJack brought alcohol to prom and someone needed to have their stomach pumped. That's just one horrible action he did during his time in New Mexico. Elsewhere in the world, a team of reporters follow a lead to New Mexico and Penny in the hopes of learning what happened to Sarah Lynn the month before she died. They are doing so because her mother refuses to let go of the notion that something more happened to Sarah Lynn than a relapse that eventually led to a fatal overdose. She wants to project a sense of happiness onto the last voicemail from her daughter. And yet, it's clearly a case of her already being drunk and high. She wasn't sincere in her sympathy and appreciation to her mother. But that's all that a parent has left to remember the girl she once knew. She wants answers. There is a story to be told here. It all seems like it is about to come out in a way that BoJack will have to reckon with immediately. Will all of this compromise his sobriety? It's unclear. He presents as stable and on the path to something better. The audience just continually has to question whether he has earned that redemption after all the horrible things he has done? This episode opens with Character Actress Margo Martindale leaving the convent to cause more trouble. She is back to her troublesome ways in addition to her acting career. BoJack helped make her this way. Meanwhile, Gina suffers from PTSD because of BoJack choking her. She needs everything to be planned and carefully coordinated on set. She doesn't present as being unreasonable. And yet, she is given the label of "difficult." She stayed quiet about the accident in order to protect her career. But now, her career may be over because of the lingering trauma. Pete may have a healthy relationship with alcohol right now after that traumatic start. Not everyone has been able to move past their prior interactions with BoJack though. Kelsey is still in director's jail because of the project she and BoJack worked on. She is eventually given another opportunity to succeed. It just comes with the sinking feeling that some people may never be able to move past these traumas. That's sad and depressing. BoJack is at the heart of all of it. His response to all of this may help. It could quite possibly make things worse as well. Some friendships will always remain for him. But some will forever be doomed because he refused to accept and love himself for so long. That's the greatest damage that someone can apparently do to the rest of humanity. This show articulates that in such a profound and deep way that moves the audience and should also make us worried about what will happen next.