EIGHT OF PENTACLES
DAILY TAROT: 06/12/19
The Wisdom Of The Jogging Baboon From Bojack Horseman
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
In the closing scene of the season 2 finale of Bojack Horseman, Bojack goes for a run. As he begins to run up the hill on the street outside his house, he complains, “Ow, crap. I hate this. Running is terrible. Everything is the worst.” Once he makes it to the top of the hill, he falls over along the side of the street. As he rolls over onto his back, he struggles to catch his breath and mutters, “Oh my god… oh my god.” We see the shadow of a body appear over Bojack. It’s... the jogging baboon whom we’ve briefly seen running along the same street throughout the entire season that none of us ever paid any attention to? “It gets easier,” he says to Bojack, “Everyday it gets a little easier. But you gotta do it everyday. That’s the hard part. But it does get easier.” And with those words of advice, he takes off. This is the first and only bit of dialogue we hear from the jogging baboon.
There are a few things to know about the jogging baboon. He makes his first appearance on the show in ‘Brand New Couch’, the first episode of season 2. As the season progresses, he runs up the hill faster. When events in the season start to head downhill, so, too, does the direction he runs. And finally, he has been compared to another famous on-screen baboon — Rafiki, from The Lion King. Both carry an aura of mystery and offer ominous words of wisdom. They embody the role of sacred mentor to the protagonists of each story.
The advice that the jogging baboon gives Bojack is reminiscent of the Eight of Pentacles. The Eight of Pentacles is that annoying piano teacher, art teacher, and parent who was always preaching, “Practice makes perfect.” This annoyed the hell out of us, mostly because of how often we'd hear it, but also because they were right. Whatever aspirations we have in life will take a consistent effort towards honing our skills in that area. We each possess natural talents, but they always start out small. We have to make constant daily efforts to see them grow from a sprout into a fully-fledged glorious leafy tree. Like Bojack running up the hill, huffing and puffing for air and giving up after the first hill, this can often overwhelm us and discourage us from wanting to take the necessary steps to get there. We complain and moan and make excuses and wish it were easier. But it won’t get easier until we put in the work. We just have to do it every day — that’s the hard part.
To many viewers of the show, the baboon went largely unnoticed throughout the season, or, at the very least, viewers did not predict he would have such a hard-hitting line during the season's very last scene. His cameos are purposely brief and have one simple purpose — to jog. To do his thing. From one episode to the next. This characteristic is noteworthy in that it teaches us that effort trumps recognition. The Eight of Pentacles reminds us that our dedication to our skills and our craftsmanship takes precedence over a desire for fame or notoriety. It assures us the pay-off will be much more bountiful than the fleeting rewards of attention.