Bojack Horseman season 5, episode 11 recap: The Showstopper


Bojack Horseman blurs the line between Bojack’s life and Philbert as he struggles to keep both separated.

Bojack Horseman has been one hell of a ride this season–seriously. Over the last five seasons, we’ve seen Bojack do some pretty horrible things to those closest to him, and we’re left wondering if he can ever snap out of it or be forgiven for it.

This episode was an alarming reminder that Bojack is in need of serious help, and when he begins to confuse his real life with set life, it becomes glaringly obvious how much he is struggling. Throughout the season, Bojack’s addiction has become a serious problem. He’s usually not in the right state of mind, and rarely knows what he is saying or doing.

He’s irritable, agitated, and often relentless with what he says and his stab at Princess Carolyn’s ability to be a mother is all sorts of messed up. And with the success of the first season of Philbert, Bojack finds there is simply no time to rest and recover.

He begins to confuse elements from the show for real life and is immersed into a state of constant paranoia. When he finds a flyer that claims to know what he has done, he begins to panic over who knows what and who placed the flyer under his door.

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In the world of Philbert, his character is trying to figure out who is strangling people while in Bojack’s life he is trying to figure out who is sending him these messages.

As the episode progresses, it’s mindboggling to witness the creative minds behind Bojack Horseman bring all the elements together seamlessly.

A mental breakdown had been in the works for Bojack for quite some time but when he’s unable to differentiate if he’s at home or on set, it starts to get really serious.

He even imagines all the things he’s ever done wrong play out in a musical performance in his head, and it’s actually one of the most memorable moments of the entire series.

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And then comes the inevitable breaking point. When confronted by Gina about the stashes of pills he’s left around the house, Bojack snaps and ends up choking her aggressively thinking he’s still filming a scene. When “Cut!” is called, he still won’t let go, and it becomes a matter of life and death until he is pried away from her.

This episode of Bojack Horseman gives us a frightening look into the psyche of a character that has been headed down this path for a very long time, and it’s heartbreaking to see how it all plays out.