What Happened In New Mexico & Why BoJack Season 6 Refuses To Let It Go

Photo: Courtesy of Netflix.
It’s a bittersweet day for BoJack Horseman fans, as part 1 of the final season is now on Netflix. Last we saw BoJack (Will Arnett), he had checked himself into rehab after assaulting his then-girlfriend and co-star Gina (Stephanie Beatriz) while high on pills. In season 6, he seems to be on the road to recovery — we hope.
But as you watch the final season, BoJack references a few past storylines, including what happened when BoJack was in New Mexico. While it may seem like a moment in the very distant past, and something many fans hoped to just forget, it's one storyline that demands to be sorted out before the series ends. BoJack can't just do what he did and never address it. That's not what this series is about.
So, what exactly did BoJack do in New Mexico? What happened between BoJack and Charlotte's (Olivia Wilde) teenage daughter Penny (Ilana Glazer)? It wasn't good, and if you've been following the series, somewhere deep down, you always knew this would come back to haunt him. Allow us to refresh your memory, because you're going to need it.

When Did BoJack Go To New Mexico?

Season 2, episode 11 “Escape from L.A.” takes BoJack out of Hollywoo and places him in completely new territory: Tesuque, New Mexico. He embarks on a road trip to visit Charlotte, an old friend he hasn’t seen in 30 years. Much to his surprise and dismay, Charlotte is happily married to a man named Kyle (Ed Helms) and has two kids, Trip (Adam Pally) and Penny.

What Did BoJack Do In New Mexico?

BoJack is clearly disappointed that Charlotte is married, but he plays it off like it’s no big deal and pretends he’s there to buy a boat. When Penny asks him what he’s really doing there, he responds honestly: “I didn’t like the person I was in L.A., and I didn’t know where else to go. Please do not tell your parents.” Later, when Penny accidentally crashes his car, it’s her turn to ask him to keep a secret from her parents. BoJack and Penny bond over their loneliness. He gets rid of the car and actually does buy a boat, which he parks in Charlotte and Kyle’s driveway. Charlotte suggests naming it “The Escape from L.A.”
Charlotte invites BoJack to stay as long as he wants, and he takes her up on the offer. He tells Princess Carolyn (Amy Sedaris) that he’s not going to be back for a while and stomps on his phone for good measure. Soon, two months have passed. BoJack has become part of Charlotte’s family: He serves dinner, interviews for a job at Santa Fe Community College, and is involved in the kids’ lives — a little too involved, we soon find out.

What Happened With BoJack, Penny, & The Prom In New Mexico?

When Penny is upset because her crush, Diego, rejected her invitation to prom, BoJack offers to take her to make Diego jealous. And everything that could go wrong, does. BoJack buys her friends alcohol and one of them, Maddie (Ali Wong), passes out from alcohol poisoning. Rather than being a responsible adult and making sure she gets the help she needs, BoJack drops Maddie and her date Pete (Jermaine Fowler) off at the hospital. He instructs them to lie about what happened, as to not implicate him in any wrongdoing.
When BoJack and Penny return home, she tries to kiss him. BoJack stops her and tells her it’s not a good idea, which upsets her. He then kisses Charlotte and confesses his feelings to her, which she does not reciprocate. She asks him to leave the next day, and he slinks back to his boat. There, Penny is waiting for him and propositions him again. This time, with nothing left to lose, BoJack takes her up on her offer. Just as things are about to get serious, Charlotte walks in on them and, furious that Bojack is making a move on her teenage daughter, tells him to leave immediately.
“Escape from L.A.” ends with BoJack drinking a beer on his boat of the same name while a truck hauls it through the desert and back to Hollywoo. He returns home to find his place a mess, and now he must face the consequences of the real world once again.
And unfortunately, as fans who are at least part of the way through season 6, part 1 now know, the consequences of what happened back in New Mexico didn't disappear after he got clean. It can't.
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