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Recap / Bojack Horseman S 2 E 11 Escape from L.A.

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"You make me too sad."

BoJack has shown up in New Mexico hoping to start a relationship with Charlotte, only to find out she already has a family of her own.


  • Adult Fear: Charlotte is sitting, contemplating, after turning down BoJack and politely asking him to leave. Then she hears some sounds from the boat, and Penny whispering, "Quiet quiet." Instinct takes over as she climbs aboard and opens the door, seeing her ex's best friend who is in his forties nearly undressed by her seventeen-year-old daughter. Her look of shock is relatable.
  • All Love Is Unrequited:
    • Played with. Charlotte does still have feelings for BoJack, but she is not willing to give up her life and happiness to run off with him.
    • Applies to Penny, as she seems to develop feelings for BoJack over time, leading to him becoming her surrogate prom date.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Downplayed. The audience sees BoJack turn Penny away, but she lingers on the deck of the "Escape from L.A." A short time later, Charlotte (with the audience following) approaches the boat, hears voices, and when she investigates, she sees Penny undressing BoJack. Who came onto whom? And does it matter, considering BoJack, who should know better, is sober enough to resist?
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  • Dirty Coward: Because of Bojack, Maddie gets alcohol poisoning by drinking too much liquor, so he has to take her to the hospital. However, Bojack does not want to be caught giving alcohol to teenagers and almost killing one of them because of it, so he decides to ditch the scene. After convincing Pete, to lie about where Maddie got the alcohol from, he quickly gets back in the car and asks Penny to drive back to the house, leaving Maddie and Pete alone at the emergency room.
  • Door Slam of Rage: After Charlotte threatens Bojack, she shows how furious she is by slamming the door of the boat cabin in anger behind her, causing Bojack to flinch.
  • Downer Ending: BoJack tried to sleep with Penny, costing him his friendship with Charlotte in the process.
  • Everyone Has Standards: Zigzagged. Bojack was able to shoot down Penny's advances to him, no matter how much she tried to justify her legality. It didn't seem to last after Charlotte rejected his advances to her.
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  • Freak Out: The normally down-to-earth Charlotte justifiably flips when she sees her old friend in bed with her daughter. She kicks him out and threatens to kill him.
  • Get Out!: Charlotte tells BoJack to leave the next day after he tried to get her to run away with him. She then orders him to leave in thirty minutes or she’ll call the cops after finding him in bed with Penny.
  • Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: When she tells BoJack what she'll do if he ever comes back near her family, she points as a way to emphasize how much she means it.
  • Go to Your Room!: A darker example than the rest. Charlotte yells at Penny to get to her room not because she misbehaved, but because she's just caught her daughter and BoJack in some rather intimate circumstances and wants her in a safe place before letting BoJack have it.
  • Hope Spot: BoJack at first actually does a mature thing when Penny starts hitting on him: he turns her down. The horse explains to Penny that he's too old for her and that she's still a kid, even if she believes that she's mature enough. Just as the audience takes a sigh of relief, Charlotte turns down his constant requests to elope with him. A few hours later, Charlotte hears strange sounds from the boat and climbs up. She sees Penny about to undress BoJack, confirming that BoJack succumbed to temptation.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: BoJack and Penny become friends, and he even goes to prom with her and her friends, Maddy and Pete. This is then horribly subverted over the course of the evening. BoJack buys the teenagers alcohol note , and doesn't monitor their drinking, leading to Maddy getting alcohol poisoning. BoJack drives them to the ER, but then leaves Pete to deal with the situation and orders him not to mention BoJack's name.
  • I'll Kill You!: Charlotte threatens to kill BoJack if he ever comes near the Carsons again.
  • It's All About Me: BoJack's at-first sweet Intergenerational Friendship with Penny's buddies turns into this. BoJack thrives on their admiration of him and his urbane coolness. He buys them alcohol (his idea), then, when one of them gets alcohol poisoning, BoJack avoids all responsibility while abandoning Pete and Maddy at the ER.
  • Jailbait Taboo: Played With. Penny is 17, which is above the age of consent in New Mexico, where she lives. However, added moral ambiguity comes from her being decades younger than BoJack and the daughter of one of his (now former) friends, giving them almost an uncle-niece vibe for a while.
  • Kick the Dog: BoJack when he tries to convince Charlotte to run off with him, and then tries to sleep with Penny after she tells him twice she wants to do it with him, and when the two are caught by Charlotte she forbids him from ever coming in contact with her family again; Charlotte has to witness her daughter almost sleep with a Dirty Old Man because she refused his advances.
  • Mama Bear: If you want to be on Charlotte's good side, don't be an Old Flame hitting on her seventeen-year-old daughter. Her rage cows them both, though Penny from what we hear isn't punished because Charlotte rightly sussed that she wasn't thinking things through and BoJack was the more responsible party.
  • Mood Dissonance: The episode starts off with a fun, 80's style sitcom style opening with a montage of happy family pictures, right after the cold open reveals that BoJack's The One That Got Away, the one that he drove from LA to New Mexico to see, is now happily married with two kids.
    • Some of the lyrics: "They're the perfect family," "He loves his wife and there's nothing you can do," "Nothing's gonna be alright, be alright, oh no."
    • Also a fine example of Lyrical Dissonance.
  • Parents Walk In at the Worst Time: Played for Drama. Charlotte ends up walking into an (apparent) intimate moment between BoJack and her daughter Penny aboard the boat, especially when it was a moment after she rejected him. This betrayal by one of her old friends causes her to lose it.
  • Precision F-Strike: Charlotte delivers the season's requisite single f-bomb when she tells BoJack that she will "fucking kill [him]" if he ever tries to come in contact with her or her family ever again.
  • Rejected Apology: After Penny is sent to her room, Bojack immediately tried to apologize to Charlotte, yet Charlotte quickly cuts him off as he barely says “sorry”, and she tells him not to even DARE finish the sentence.
  • Rewatch Bonus: After BoJack rejects Penny's approach and tells her to go to bed, he retires to his cabin...and leaves the door open.
    • Also, when he tells her to go to bed, he doesn't specify whose bed.
  • Scare Chord: There is a long and ominous buildup with Charlotte approaching the boat, as she (and us) assume the worst. Thankfully, it doesn't go that far between BoJack and Penny, and she puts a stop to it before things get worse.
  • Shout-Out: In one exterior shot of the house, a jogging roadrunner gets followed by an also jogging coyote.
  • Special Edition Title: An 80's sitcom style opening for "Kyle and the Kids".
  • Squaring the Love Triangle: BoJack gets dangerously close to doing it with his old flame Charlotte's daughter Penny, leading to Charlotte — who had previously been understanding about BoJack's struggles — wanting him out of their life.
  • Subverted Sitcom: This episode starts like a sitcom, even swapping out the normal tune for a cheery sitcom opening, because BoJack is living his idealized life with Charlotte and her family. It starts with a usual sitcom plot: Charlotte's daughter, Penny, tries to find a date for the prom and BoJack agrees to help her. But the episode later reverts to the show's more somber tone: BoJack influences some minors to drink and ends up taking one of them to a hospital when she gets sick. This culminates with BoJack nearly sleeping with Penny and Charlotte walking in on them just as they about to. As a result, Charlotte kicks BoJack off her property and their friendship utterly broken beyond repair.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • BoJack goes to New Mexico in the hopes of finding Charlotte and living the happy life that she'd offered him two decades before, only to learn that in that time she's already married someone else and now has her own family. When you haven't seen old friends for a number of years, you can't just expect them to be the same person they were when you last saw them.
    • BoJack eventually gets Charlotte to admit that she still has some feelings left for him, and they share a kiss. Charlotte, being happily married, instantly regrets this and refuses to leave her family to start a new life with BoJack, and even tells him to leave their home to avoid tainting her life further.
    • Learning that Charlotte is married and eventually having her reject him face-to-face doesn't allow Bojack to find any closure from his decades of pining after her, and instead results in him almost sleeping with her underaged daughter note . Even though Charlotte is able to intervene before Bojack can sleep with Penny, she is rightfully furious and demands Bojack leave immediately, not at all interested in any apology or excuse and even threatening to kill him if he ever contacts any of them again. It certainly doesn't help that this occurred shortly after Charlotte rejected BoJack
  • This Is Unforgivable!: BoJack tries to sleep with Penny, and Charlotte ends up giving him a scathing speech about how she'll kill him if he comes near her family again.
  • Title Drop: "Escape From L.A." is what BoJack ends up naming his boat.
  • Title-Only Opening: This is the only episode of the series so far where the intro is not shown.
  • Unequal Pairing: BoJack's mentor-ish relationship with Penny and the extreme age difference (she's "barely legal" locally but "jail-bait" by California standards) makes even BoJack find the idea creepy, although he almost relents anyway.
  • You Make Me Sick: After BoJack pushes too much in the subject of running away, Charlotte breaks it off with these final nails in the coffin:
    I don't care where you go, BoJack, but I can't have you around here. You make me too sad.


Video Example(s):


Kyle and the Kids

In the episode "Escape from L.A.", BoJack Horseman's usual intro is replaced with a family sitcom-esque theme song that introduces Charlotte's family.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpecialEditionTitle

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Main / SpecialEditionTitle