Bojack Horseman 5:10 Head in the Clouds
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Well hello character actress Margot Martindale! Episode 10’s cold open brings back a familiar face from Bojack’s past and whilst it’s a comic remembrance, it’s also a reminder of yet another person’s life that Bojack has ruined. Poor Margot.
Head in the Clouds sees the the premiere of ‘Philbert’. The show turns out to be a bigger hit than anyone expected and most of it goes off without a hitch. Flip gets to have his moment (“notice I call them chapters because I like to think of this like a novel”), Bojack keeps his cool for most of the episode (despite saying Herb instead of Flip multiple times) and Gina takes off as Hollywoo’s next big thing. Her performance in ‘Philbert’ has got her noticed for the first time in her career, which of course Bojack cannot be happy about.
Diane, on the other hand is appalled at the show. In Bojack’s words, ‘Philbert’ is good it shows us that “we are all terrible, but we are all okay”. Diane’s efforts in writing the show has made the character of Philbert vulnerable, and in turn meant that people actually empathise with him. “If Philbert is just a way for dumb ass-holes to rationalise their awful behaviour then I’m sorry but, we can’t put this out there.” By this point, the damage has already been done and 'Philbert' is very much out there.
This leads to Diane and Bojack getting into a terrible argument at the premiere, where they finally discuss the elephant in the room - what happened in New Mexico. Bojack rattles off a list of ‘shady things’ he has done in his past but ultimately paints himself as the person who is the biggest victim of his own actions. There’s perhaps an element of truth to this (Bojack has really suffered, and not just at his own hands) but once Diane brings up Sarah Lynn, we know that there is no coming back from this for Bojack. It’s true that whilst Bojack grieved for Sarah Lynn, he has never really taken responsibility for his role in her death - at least not in a way that is constructive. His self medicating is almost certainly linked to his guilt, but this doesn’t mean that he has really processed it. In fact, it’s a sure sign that he hasn’t.
In other news, Todd brings Henry Fondle to work and, naturally, Fondle inadvertently becomes head of the WhatTimeIsItRightNow? Company. Despite his quite obvious sexual innuendos (which are less innuendos and more just… asking for sex), he is a huge success. There’s also a secondary story-line between Flip and Princess Carolyn as they battle the founders of a popsicle joke company who claim a joke of theirs was stolen and used in ‘Philbert’. Cue a consistent and hilarious stream of one liners and puns, which add a little light relief to the main narrative. The laughs are very much needed as we watch Diane and Bojack go for the jugular in a way that has never happened before.
It’s satisfying to see Diane pull Bojack up on all the really shitty things he has done, and it’s also very clear just how large the gap between the two of them is now. Once upon a time, they were kindred spirits but now they could not be further apart.
The end of the episode circles right back to the beginning as we finally understand what it is Margot was so distraught about. The large Bojack balloon ties in with the title of the episode - it’s not just Bojack’s head that it is in the clouds, it’s the entirety of him. The balloon version anyway. Is Bojack in the clouds because he refuses to see his own reality? Or is he in the clouds because, terrifyingly, the only way for this to end for Bojack is in his own death? It may seem dark for Bojack Horseman but last episode Bojack drove straight into two way traffic, and this certainly wouldn’t be the first time he’s self destructed to a near point of no return.
Head in the Clouds is an episode which finally gives Diane her platform to voice the mounting concerns and anxieties she’s been building up over Bojack’s behaviours all season. It’s fantastically put together - the tension between the two of them is tangible throughout their fight. After telling Bojack that she doesn't know how they can continue their friendship anymore, Diane then accidentally lets balloon Bojack loose into the sky. Un-tethered and free, who knows where Bojack or balloon Bojack are going to end up.
The real kicker, for Diane anyway, is that after the emotional outburst with Bojack, she and Mr Peanutbutter end up going home together. Which, whilst obviously very bad for both of their mental states, is really not surprising.
To end on a lighter note, I would personally give anything to have Mr Peanutbutter’s self confidence and optimism - “he must have accidentally hung up on me right after he said ‘ok bye’”. What a life.