BoJack Horseman, the Netflix original series about coexisting humanoid animals and people, is famous for its array of pop culture references and parodies. You got Jake and Maggot Gyllenhaal, Quentin Tarantulino, Krill and Grace and so many more. There are many subtle horror references, like when Oxnard tells Mr. Peanut Butter, “You’re more in the red than Carrie on prom night!” But my favorite has to be in the first season and eleventh episode, “Downer Ending,” in which the monster in John Carpenter’s 1982 classic The Thing pays tribute.
Every penultimate episode in the six seasons of BoJack is rife with devastation, and is ultimately the climax of each season. “Downer Ending” started this pattern, in which BoJack, Todd Chavez and Sarah Lynn go on an epic bender to rewrite BoJack’s autobiography. The thing is, Diane Nguyen already ghost wrote BoJack’s book, titling it One Trick Pony, but all of it was far too unflattering for the narcissistic, self-loathing BoJack to handle. So he rounds up Todd and Sarah, the best crew of writers he knows, buys a truckload of drugs from Dr. Hu and attempts to create the autobiography that he’s been procrastinating writing for well over a year. What could go wrong?
“I ate Too Many Pancakes”
Suffice to say, the writing doesn’t go as well as everyone planned. Aided with the background music of Death Grips’ “No Love,” BoJack goes through a series of hallucinations including machine guns as broomsticks and a world where Diane has romantic feelings for him. The latter hallucination appears real. BoJack wakes up, hungover as usual, and Diane is sitting at the foot of his bed. She’s telling him that he was write, her book was no good and it should be something they work on together. BoJack is ecstatic and leans in to kiss her. But when he opens his eyes he sees that Diane has turned into a complete monster and he finally realizes he’s still tripping.
There is no rhyme or reason for Diane to turn into The Thing. It’s a hilarious anecdote used to illustrate BoJack’s true feelings for Diane, only for them to be interrupted by way of John Carpenter and other jumbled unrelated hallucinations. And yet, combined together it all works so well, addressing serious topics with the hilarity and a nonsensicality that is of BoJack Horseman.(4 / 5)