10 Thoughts on Bojack HorsemanThe Shot

Welcome back, Bojackers! And yes, I will use that term for as long as I’m writing about Bojack Horseman, which is probably into the middle of next week. Today we have The Shot, which for the first time has Bojack fighting for something other than his ego (although it could be argued that this has a lot to do with his ego). It’s far cry from the weird drama of last night’s Let’s Find Out, which had Mr. Peanutbutter and Bojack confessing their insecurities and jealousies to each other. Tonight it’s Oceans’s Eleven with animals.

Bojack is outraged when he finds out the pivotal scene of the Secretariat movie he’s starring in will be replaced with some kitschy schmaltz a la Horsin’ Around, so he and the crew decide to break into the Nixon Presidential Library to stage the shot they need. Meanwhile, Todd, Princess Carolyn, Margo Martingale (yup) and the panda cable guy break into the discount art museum as a distraction and Princess Carolyn gets lost in a painting.

This show is sublimely weird, let’s get started! 

1. Nixon!

Why is it that so many people in popular culture enjoy depicting presidents as villains? I think it’s because a lot of the people who are now writing TV and movies grew up in the 70’s or 80’s and lived through both Nixon and Reagan. And most of them are liberal, so it would make sense that they would depict the republican presidents of this era as the bad guys. On today’s episode, we see Nixon pressuring Bojack’s hero Secretariat (played by the always welcome John Krasinski) to join the army and fight in Vietnam. But he decides to put his brother in his place, creating massive guilt and setting in motion the plot some forty years later. Also in this universe, Checkers (Nixon’s dog) is a badass secret agent bodyguard type of deal. The details in this show continue to delight.

2. Wow, another flashback

As has become much more common as this season barrels along, we start this week in a flashback. This time, it’s with the above mentioned interaction between Secretariat and Nixon, followed by Bojack as a child (in his unexplained, ridiculous sailor suit) watching his hero on TV praising his brother for going to war and smoking a cigarette, prompting Bojack to steal a smoke from his mom’s purse so he can be like his hero. Only mama catches Bojack and makes him finish it, because as has been discerned, she is a terrible mother. Jump forward forty years and Bojack is still smoking. Another glimpse into the awful story that is Bojack’s childhood. This guy gets more three dimensional with every episode.

4-bojack-and-kelsey

3. Diane and Bojack talk on the phone every day??

While driving to work, Bojack gives Wanda a call. She’s puzzled as to why he’s calling her and he explains that Diane’s out of town so he can’t talk to her and they usually talk every day. We haven’t really seen Bojack and Diane as friends since last season, so it was a bit of surprise to hear that they talk every single day. We did get to see a lot of their interactions during Hank After Dark, but that was them mostly in crisis mode. It was nice to hear that they still really just like each other. They have so much in common. They are both extremely ambitious, but really have no sense of how to accomplish what they need to accomplish. They are insecure, intelligent, and prone to self-righteousness. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point down the line, they ended up together.

4. Rutabaga is a real charmer

Rutabaga Rabbinowitz (Ben Shwartz) is in the midst of a messy divorce. So it seems like a pretty bad time for him to start his own agency. But that is apparently precisely what he’s doing. And he wants Princess Carolyn to join him. I knew their friendship was going to start opening up a bit, and this could potentially be very interesting. But knowing this show, the agency is going to fail horribly or Rutabaga is somehow going to die, probably through suicide. This is a decidedly dark show and so every new potentially risky venture the characters go on, I am immediately concerned for their well being. I imagine this is going to be a plot point throughout the rest of the season.

5. And Sebastian St. Clair is a total douche canoe

Did you know Sebastian St. Clair, Diane’s egocentric humanitarian boss, is played by Keegan Michael-Key?? I didn’t! It doesn’t sound like him at all. Anyway, his character is a total jerk. The only reason he wants to help children in Cordovia is to get the children outside his window to stop screaming (“SHUT UP CHILDREN!”), the logic of which baffles me a bit. It becomes very clear that he actually doesn’t really care about the children, which comes as a major blow to Diane, who cares a whole lot. Or at least she thinks she does. By the end of the episode she’s back in the airport terminal, ready to go home. Mr Peanutbutter calls her and apologizes for how he reacted to Hank Hippopoulous and tells her he’s proud of her because she does what others only talk about doing. Diane is now in the position of either giving up on her goals to go back home to her husband who loves her, or stay in Cordovia to work on a vanity project for her mentor, but maybe helping the children in the process. I feel for Diane.

6. Tonight in background shots: The Nixon Presidential Library

This:

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And this:

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Note the jar of sweat.

7. It’s a heist caper!

Bojack won’t take the indignity of retreading his Horsin’ Around days. The producer wants to replace Secretariat’s historic meeting with Nixon with a scene of him being stuck in a chimney on Christmas. This is the first time we see Bojack being genuinely upset about the work he’s doing and he convinces Kelsey Jannings, his director, to break into the Nixon Presidential Library to stage the scene. So with the help of all their friends, plus Margo Martindale, plus the cable Panda, they break in to get their shot. It’s not quite a heist because they’re not really stealing anything, but the episode does some send-ups of the heist genre and they eventually get their shot. But this being Bojack Horseman, Kelsey gets fired from the picture and Bojack has to do the scene the way he was told. Nobody seems to be able to catch a break this season. This show has kind of stopped being a comedy and turned into a drama with comedic moments sprinkled in. This is the show about the tragedy of fame and how the world will crush your ego to smithereens. How is it still so damn fun to watch?

bojack horseman the shot main

8. Good gags

So I’m just going to start making list of the best gags of the episode. Here are some:

-Rutabaga saying to Princess Carolyn: “You’re my gritty witty city kitty and I want to go fiddy-fiddy.”

-Margo Martindale making her triumphant return

-The almost Ferris Bueller reference when Princess Carolyn looks at that painting

-The cable guy is a panda from Shoots & Leaves Cable Repairs

-Diane reading The New Yorker to the dying child who wants to grow up and write for them. She says not everybody can write for The New Yorker. Maybe The Atlantic, though.

-That security guard is Nixon’s son

9. Rutabaga and Princess Carolyn!

They kissed! And are going into business! I KNEW IT! After Princess Carolyn gets lost in a reverie inside a painting, she realizes she doesn’t want the simple life. She wants the life of a stressed-out, hard working agent. So she goes to Rutabaga and now the two are partners. In more ways than one.

10. What are you doing here?

Has this been happening all season? In the very first episode, Bojack is having trouble with the line “What are you doing here?” and is only able to deliver it correctly after his mom is terrible to him. In this episode, Diane comes home and ends up on his doorstep. And he asks… yeah, you guessed it. Is this a running joke through out the season that I have not been picking up on? If so, way to go Bojack Horseman. Your subtlety and attention to detail are unmatched.

Check out previous 10 Thoughts on Bojack Horseman below!

10 Thoughts on Bojack Horseman – Let’s Find Out!

10 Thoughts on Bojack Horseman – Hank After Dark

10 Thoughts on Bojack Horseman – Higher Love

10 Thoughts on Bojack Horseman – Chickens

10 Thoughts on Bojack Horseman – After the Party

10 Thoughts on Bojack Horseman – Still Broken

10 Thoughts on Bojack Horseman – Brand New Couch & Yesterdayland

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