Sarah Lynn Was Always Going To Fall Off The Wagon

That’s Too Much, Man, the episode of Bojack Horseman when Sarah Lynn dies of a drug overdose, is really good. I’m guessing people rewatch that specific episode way more often than they rewatch season 3 in general, because every time discussion of Bojack’s involvement in Sarah Lynn’s life comes up, someone says that Bojack is responsible for Sarah Lynn falling off the wagon, and nobody ever corrects them. But Sarah Lynn’s really clear a few episodes earlier that the only reason she’s sober is so that the drugs will hit her system harder when she starts using again. She has a shelf of alcohol directly behind the calendar tracking her sobriety, a big bowl of Vicodin just lying around, a painting made of LSD, and a bunch of cocaine lying around somewhere.

Bojack walks past several opportunities to potentially save Sarah Lynn’s life in that episode, including one where all he had to do was nothing at all, as Sarah Lynn gets bored of the bender and wanders off. It’s unclear whether she’s going to keep going on her own or if she’s done, but Bojack uses the promise of the Planetarium, the spot Sarah Lynn’s been trying to drag the bender towards for weeks, to keep her going. Famously, he waited to call the ambulance for her in order to cover up the fact that he was present when she died (although I’m still pissed at the show for retconning that in several seasons after the fact).

But when people show up at her funeral with the attitude “well, this was bound to happen,” they’re totally correct. Bojack is at least partially responsible for Sarah Lynn dying on that specific night, but she was not on a path of recovery before he came along. She gave him an open invitation to go on that bender weeks before he took her up on it, she was thirty-the-fuck-one years old and responsible for her own decisions, and Bojack was even a moderating force on the bender until the last few hours of it.

It’s not surprising, ultimately. Bojack does bear some guilt for Sarah Lynn’s death, because again, all he had to do to potentially save her life was not say anything when she said she was leaving. It’s not clear whether she was going to go home and sleep off the bender or continue by herself (she says the former, but she might’ve been lying to get Bojack to leave her alone so she could continue without him – he was being a selfish buzzkill). And of course the internet can’t do nuance, so if Bojack isn’t totally exonerated of all blame for Sarah Lynn’s death, then he must be completely responsible, and Sarah Lynn was just helpless putty in his hands, like she never grew past the age of three.

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