Bojack Horseman: 5:07 INT. SUB
INT. SUB is the seventh episode of Bojack Horseman, or to use it’s correct title: Bobo the Angsty Zebra. In a perspective shift, the narrative of the episode orbits around Diane’s therapist and her wife, who is a media mediator, as they are out having dinner. They begin to share stories about their day, using code-names for their respective clients.
It’s a unique framing device - and the writers don’t miss a single joke in how absurd the dinner conversation is without the flashbacks (“mine’s a B story if you will”). The therapist, Dr Indira is actually Diane’s therapist, and her story starts with her giving Diane (Princess Diana) a piece of advice. She tells Diane that Bojack is a bad friend and that she should try to stop seeing him for a while. Naturally, Bojack finds out and goes to confront Dr Indira. In a rage-filled outburst, Bojack ends up having therapy - except Bojack believes he has just made a new best friend.
It’s unclear whether Bojack is just being really obstinate and knows deep down that this is therapy and not friendship, but it doesn’t matter either way. Bojack is determined not to acknowledge that he needs therapy, even though he so clearly does. In total opposition to what therapists actually do, Diane’s therapist then tells her she can’t see Diane anymore on account of Bojack needing her more. Talk about ethical responsibility. However, on being told this news, Bojack completely flips out (again, convinced he does not need therapy) and quits then and there.
Diane, understandably is furious. She asks Bojack why he can’t just let her have something for herself - why he always needs to ruin everything for her. They get into a blazing row, with Bojack attempting to tell Diane - ‘we’re the same’. Except, they aren’t. Bojack Horseman has always fitted Diane and Bojack together. They are remarkable similar in many ways - both are deeply depressed, both have little direction in life and both of them consistently ignore their problems in the hope that one day they will go away. Only, Diane has been trying to get better. She’s moved out into her own space, she’s trying to build a new life and she is getting help. She’s also trying to be there for Bojack in a way that he cannot and will not be for her. It’s enraging to her (and to us) that Bojack believes the two of them are the same.
So enraging that Diane does something to balance the scales. Since she began writing on ‘Philbert’, Diane has been struggling to get Flip to accept any of her ideas. With Flip re-cast as a dolphin (unable to communicate except via clicks) Diane presents him with a script featuring verbatim quotes from Bojack’s confession tape. Diane forces Bojack to say the words he has said before, out loud in front of the entire studio, in front of the world. Of course, no-one except Diane understands the gravity of those words. Yet, they are still out there.
Although I feel Diane wanted to personally hurt Bojack, I think she also wanted him to understand what he had done. To say those words again and realise the damage he has caused. It certainly worked - this storyline is far from finished.
The B story, as told by the mediator, involves Todd and Princess Carolyn (or Emperor Finger Face and the “a tangled fog of pulsating yearning in the shape of a woman”). They are having some trouble at home involving a missing string cheese from the fridge. Todd believes that Princess Carolyn took it without asking, but Princess Carolyn maintains she has no idea where the string cheese is. The two of them end up fighting about this at work (in the WhatTimeIsItNow building) and consequently have to attend a mediation session so that things don’t escalate.
The ‘B’ story is there to counter the harsh blows of the ‘A’ story as a fluffier piece. This is even admitted in the dialogue between the Dr. Indira and Mary-Beth, as a nod to just how meta this episode is - "let's continue to switch back and forth between our stories, pausing at their most interesting moments". Nevertheless, it’s still an insight into how stubborn both Todd and Princess Carolyn can be, but also how well the two characters compliment each other.
As heartbreaking as Diane and Bojack’s fight was, the saddest story of this episode has got to be Mr Peanutbutter (Mr Hazelnut Chocolate Spread) believing his parents were still alive and well on a farm. Fear not, all dogs go to heaven after all.