BoJack Horseman Recap: S3E3

A system is a formulated plan or procedure.

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Spoilers for S3E3 of BoJack Horseman follow

Quick breakdown of what’s happening here: these are episodic recaps of Season 3 of BoJack Horseman. The plan is to recap two episodes at a time, but we might rev it down to one at a time for particularly weighty episodes, and this show has a history of suddenly dropping extremely weighty episodes. The plan is to release about three recaps a week with the goal of having them all up in two weeks. We’ll see if I can pace myself.

Recap for Episode 1 & 2 available here

Episode 3: BoJack Kills

“BoJack Kills” gives us our first look at a Horsin’ Around alumnus of the season. Goober hasn’t had as much success as Sarah Lynn (questionably, I guess) or big movie star BoJack, but he gets by running a family friendly Sea World strip club. BoJack and Diane end up at the fine establishment through a chain reaction starting when Jill Pill prods BoJack to take a break from the elementary school all-inclusive non-denominational winter day pageants and Bat Mitzvahs and finally check in on Cuddlywhiskers.

She specifically wants BoJack to recover an apparently graphic letter written during her and Cuddlywhiskers’ days as…lovers. BoJack has his nose to the grindstone trying to kiss enough asses to lock down his Oscar, but he could use a break from the holiday pageantry that’s aggressively neutral about religious tolerance.

“Jesus Jill, and you thought your play sucked!”

“I didn’t.”

While carpooling to work, Diane says she’s been ducking BoJack. They’re too similar, which can be good but also brings out the worst in each. She thinks they should dial their friendship back to a professional level, which BoJack promptly ignores so he can save time and snag the Cuddlywhiskers letter from the cat’s house on the way.

When they stumble across a dead killer whale in the pool at the abandoned house, they’re quickly marked as the prime suspect in the case “”Black and White and Dead All Over, A Whale Of A Crime: An Officer Meow Meow Fuzzyface Mystery.”

Diane’s quick Googling of her rights gets them out of custody, and she is also still in possession of the dead orca’s phone. They trace a mysterious text that reads “BoJack is going to kill me” back to Goober’s club/family establishment, Whale World. BoJack and Diane learn the textbook definition of a “system” in the BlowHole Room, BoJack gives us a snippet of how to do “The BoJack”, and they learn “BoJack” is actually heroin that Goober is distributing. BoJack, get it? He’s a horse, horse is slang for heroin, the heroin is named after… nevermind. Richie, no, Reggie, no Richie, I said Ricky, aka Goober, is arrested, and BoJack is clear in the eyes of the law to go back to chasing his Oscar.

Diane is energized by the murder mystery though, much more so than the distracted BoJack, and she keeps them out all night tracking down the letter and a very zenned out Cuddlywhiskers. Diane gets in trouble with Mr. Peanutbutter for not calling after spending all night with BoJack of all people, and she and BoJack head back to town silently haunted by Cuddlywhiskers’ wisdom regarding finding inner happiness, without necessarily worrying about who else is made unhappy in the process.

This episode felt like a lot of work for very little payoff. While Diane suggests the mystery of the murder isn’t quite over yet, it really feels like it is. BoJack is once again concerned with Life After the Oscar, and Diane and Mr. Peanutbutter are rocky as ever. I hope something from this episode carries over through the season, because we didn’t really learn much about anyone. We mostly just saw characters being predictable.

That includes Mr. Peanutbutter and Todd, who are still fools who get themselves into foolish situations and then fool their way into deeper foolishness, and Princess Caroline, who is still treading water and making spaghetti sauce out of spaghetti strainers for every fool around her.

At least Mr. Peanutbutter demonstrates that he is done putting in much more work into his marriage than Diane is, as he is quick to abandon the Daily Downloads with Diane (which sound awful) when it’s obvious she’s more concerned with chasing adventure than being weighed down by the homeostasis of marriage. Still, if that’s the big payoff of the episode, I’m disappointed.

Either way, I trust this show to use my time wisely, so I’ll patiently wait for a fuller picture to emerge before writing this episode off as a dud.

Notes:

Diane’s NPR ringtones are back and are still extremely funny to me. Shout out Terry Gross.

“The Academy does not look kindly on murder. Rape, they don’t seem to have a problem with.”

“A system is a formulated plan or procedure.”

Regardless of how loose this episode was, I treasure any scene with Todd. He’s rocking a vintage shirt from Diane’s birthday: “I had a ball/at Diane’s 35th/Birthday and underline/ball I don’t know why/this is so hard”.

I hope we learn how to do The BoJack more thoroughly than we did here: “Now boys and girls/If you wanna do the BoJack/Take your hands-”. It’s beautifully reminiscent of his proposed rap to Herb back in Season 2: “My name is BoJack, and I’m here to say…-”

By Jake Ramirez

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