No one is ever truly happy on BoJack Horseman, but the show’s legions of fans wouldn’t expect otherwise from characters whose five seasons of self-destructive behavior are as troubling as they are easy to empathize with. In a mid-season episode called "Free Churro," the show’s titular character touches on why. "You can’t have happy endings in sitcoms, not really, because if everyone’s happy the show would be over," BoJack Horseman (Will Arnett) tells the audience at a funeral parlor, as he eulogizes his unloving and now-dead mother. "You never get a happy ending because there’s always more show. I guess until there isn't." This episode shines, as the show always does, in its quiet meditations on the meaningless rhythms that make up a life.
And yet, "Free Churro" -- made up almost entirely of BoJack’s 20-minute long, uninterrupted, sweeping monologue about Beatrice Horseman's last words to him, Horsin' Around anecdotes, and, yeah, getting free sympathy churros -- is unlike any other episode in the series, nor most other sitcoms, both live-action and animated. There are no flashbacks, no requisite cuts to reveal the audience’s reaction. Holding as much tension in its subject matter as it does in its experimental format, BoJack’s rambling, ambivalent tribute to the mother he could never seem to satisfy provides all of the episode’s narrative rise and fall. I won’t spoil the rimshot ending, but in the show’s trademark style, it had me laughing just as soon as I was ready to cry.