The ending of Bojack Horseman is regarded as somber and strangely uplifting. A popular fan theory regarding a single frame changes this completely. Bojack Horseman is widely regarded as one of the greatest animated shows of all time. Despite more than half of its core cast being anthropomorphic talking animals critics and audiences alike call the show the most human theyve ever watched. Much like AMCs Kevin Can F*** Himself the stunning animated series subverts the sitcom formula — often to saddening and disturbing results.
As the titular Bojack (played by Will Arnett) meanders through the shows six seasons often harming those he loves in the process viewers constantly pull for the unintentionally wicked horse-man to better himself. The shows final episode seems to deliver on this. A popular fan theory however might undo the finales strangely uplifting tone. Bojack Horsemans stellar penultimate episode The View From Halfway Down is as brilliant as it is disturbing. The installment depicts Bojack in a kind of dream-like purgatory. The guest of honor attendee at a dinner party comprised of long-dead friends relatives and acquaintances Bojack indicates that this experience is far from new. Hes had this dream before.
Accompanying him is his late friend TV daughter and one-time wildly inappropriate bedfellow Sarah Lynn. As hes known the girl all her life she rapidly ages as the dream progresses. After a strangely heartfelt conversation with his deceased and detached father – in the body of his childhood idol Secretariat – Bojack comes to the horrifying realization he may have drowned and may not be waking up. Each character meets their end in the form of a talent show exiting through a door that leads to little else but a black abyss. As Bojack tries to escape his fate a terrible black mass pursues him through the house swallowing everything in its path. In a desperate bid for safety Bojack calls his best friend Diane – who at this point in the series has relocated to Chicago.
Bojacks mind conjures a version of Diane with a soothing and matter-of-fact voice. She tells him that she cant save him pulling him back to the realization that in reality she never answered his call. Hed gone back in the pool and his fate seems imminent. The episode closes on the haunting flat line beep of a heart rate monitor before restarting again. Appropriately titled Nice While It Lasted the series finally sees Bojack not only survive but finally face the consequences of his series-long misdeeds. Opening on a frame of Bojack and Diane sitting quietly on a roof viewers learn that while Bojack was formally arrested for breaking and entering into his old home the actor resigns that the arrest was for everything. Viewers note that Bojack appears to be far more productive in prison directing his fellow prisoners in a play.
Hes released briefly to attend the wedding of his friend and former agent Princess Carolynn accompanied by the ever-loyal Mr. Peanutbutter. At the wedding Bojack engages in a series of heartfelt exchanges with each of the core cast. Humoring Mr. Peanutbutter dancing with Princess Carolynn and watching the fireworks with Todd. While these exchanges indicate that many of these relationships have changed forever the tone is light hopeful and promises a better future for all involved.
Its here where the fan theory begins to take shape. Bojack and Diane have a final somber conversation on the roof. They express their shared love and appreciation for each other and the audience is left with the idea that this is their last conversation. The final frame of the episode mirrors its first: Bojack and Diane sit on the roof in silence; a sky full of stars is uninterrupted by a heart rate monitor. The Reddit fan theory purports that this sweet somber and very fitting end was — much like the aforementioned dinner party — a figment of the dying Bojacks imagination.
According to some fans the identical frames that bookend the episode indicate that the protagonist was never saved. Detractors of the theory state this undermines the lighter and considerably more uplifting themes of the Bojack Horseman. They claim the finale includes details that no part of Bojacks mind could have been aware of such as the identity of Princess Carolynns groom. In any case whether strangely uplifting or hauntingly dark Bojack Horseman remains a masterpiece.