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Introduction
You've just been told your brother is dead and that it's your fault. But this moment is bigger than that. This is the moment that Secretariat stops running. Because this is the moment you realize something inside you is broken, and it can never be fixed.

—Kelsey


"The Shot" is the ninth episode of Season 2 of the Netflix original series, BoJack Horseman. The Shot, along with the rest of Season 2, premiered on July 17, 2015.

Synopsis

BoJack cooks up a scheme with Kelsey, Todd, Princess Carolyn and Mr. Peanutbutter to steal a crucial shot for the Secretariat film.

Plot

The episode begins with a flashback to 1972. Secretariat is in the Oval Office begging President Nixon to not send him to Vietnam, as his celebrity status will cause major backlash against protesters. Nixon tells him an arrangement could be made.

A while later, Young BoJack is watching Secretariat, who has placed first in a race, on TV. Secretariat voices his support of the war as his brother, Jeffretariat, is fighting (as he was sent in Secretariat's place), and Nixon.

He calls them both heroes as he takes a drag of a cigarette. Witnessing his idol smoke, Young BoJack takes a cigarette out of his mother's purse and attempts to smoke it, although he can’t handle it and he starts coughing.

Beatrice catches him and he tries to apologize and put it out, but she refuses to let him waste a perfectly good cigarette and makes him finish it, saying she doesn’t want to be the mother of a quitter. BoJack lights it and tries to smoke again, although he still can’t handle it and has a coughing fit and tears stream down his face.

After chastising him for not being able to smoke, Beatrice angrily tells BoJack to never cry, because he wanted this. When BoJack asks if she’s punishing him for smoking or for stealing, she says "I’m punishing you for being alive". In the present, BoJack is seen smoking a cigarette out on the balcony. He throws it over the ledge, which Todd says he shouldn’t do. The cigarette starts a fire, and Todd says he’ll call 911.

Wanda calls BoJack from his house to tell him the fire department has it under control, but now the cable is out for the whole neighborhood. She says she has no idea what started the fire. BoJack is driving to his first day back on set, which he’s “fired up about" because they’re going to shoot the Nixon scene. Wanda informs him he told her all of this at breakfast. BoJack explains that he usually talks to Diane on his way to work, but she’s in Cordovia. Wanda isn’t pleased that she’s Diane's replacement.

BoJack gets to set and learns that the Nixon scene was replaced with a wholesome living room decorated for Christmas. Lenny tells BoJack the scene was cut. BoJack tries to argue that the Nixon scene is the core of the whole movie, because it shows Secretariat becoming morally corrupted and the darkness of his soul.

Lenny says the scene is now Secretariat giving Christmas presents to his nieces while his butt is stuck in a chimney. He explains over the break they ran a focus group, and they discovered people don’t want to see controversial stuff. BoJack argues the film was supposed to be dark and gritty, but Lenny says that doesn’t make money. When BoJack questions Kelsey if she’s ok with it, she just shrugs and says it’s show business.

At Vigor, Rutabaga Rabitowitz tells Princess Carolyn to meet him in the closet. In the closet, he tells her his ugly divorce has given him a moment of clarity, and he asks her to leave Vigor and to join him in starting his own agency. Princess Carolyn is reluctant, saying she’s been working at Vigor for twenty years - she even still waters the plants as nobody ever asked her to stop doing that task.

Rutabaga says that if she's not interested he'll just go ask Vanessa to do it with him. Princess Carolyn is offended, and continues by saying things are crazy right now. Rutabaga tells Princess Carolyn how great of an agent and person she is, and says they could make something really special as he holds her close.

However, Stuart suddenly opens door, which startles Princess Carolyn and Rutabaga, and they act like they weren’t doing anything and were just looking for closet supplies. Stuart tells Princess Carolyn a toilet needs to be unclogged and implies she should do it because she’s in a janitor's closet, to her annoyance.

At the Cordovian Refugee Camps, Diane follows Sebastian St. Clair around the camp as she writes about him, while he rambles on about his accomplishments and he feeds and "tends to" the children. During this, he introduces her to a little boy named Kinko. Diane also mentions (as a voiceover) when Sebastian St. Clair tells you you’re good, you want to believe you are.

BoJack is seen filming the new scene for Secretariat, which is now saccharine and wholesome. During break BoJack goes outside and complains to Kelsey, but she says there’s nothing she can do about it. BoJack tells her the movies she creates are challenging, great, and gritty, and this movie isn’t her.

Kelsey says even if she wanted to do the scene, they don’t have an Oval Office set. BoJack tells her there’s one at the Nixon Library, they could sneak in that night and get the shot there, and once Lenny sees it he’ll love it and they can both make the movie they want to make. Kelsey finally relents and agrees to do it.

BoJack and Todd go to the Nixon library and steal the scale model of the library from the exhibit. He brings it to Kelsey so that they can form a plan to get in at night. BoJack says that they need a team so he recruits Todd for the lockpick, Princess Carolyn as the expert cat burglar (although she wanted to stay home as it was her night off), Mr. Peanutbutter to play Checkers, and Character Actress Margo Martindale, who was just released from prison, as the criminal mastermind.

BoJack gathers them together and lays out the plan; Kelsey, Mr, Peanutbutter, and himself are going to break into the library, the problem is that the place is crawling with cops because they stole the model of the library. BoJack tells Margo Martindale, Todd, and Princess Carolyn that they're going to break into the discount art store and create a diversion to lead the cops away.

BoJack says one of them might die and points to Allen the cable guy, who is now forced to come along because he’s heard too much. Wanda tells them to quiet down because she's reading a script, and asks BoJack to ask her next time he invites friends over because she lives there too.

In Cordovia, Diane is reading The New Yorker to Kinko as a bedtime story and tells him he can be anything he wants when he grows up. Afterwards, Sebastian tells her to not spend so much time with the kid, because she’s here to write about him. Diane asks isn’t helping people the reason they’re here. Sebastian says he’s here to help the people, she’s here to help them by helping him write a book about how great he is, so people will donate to his organization.

Margo, Todd, Princess Carolyn and Allen break into the art store. This causes the police to leave the library while BoJack and his team break into it. Meanwhile, in the art store, Princess Carolyn notices a Thomas Conquaid painting, and is hypnotized by its calmness and pleasantness, and begins to imagine she is walking into it.

Kelsey begins to set up the shot but they are found out by a security guard (the same security guard Todd distracted when BoJack stole the model library earlier). BoJack tells him that they're just trying to make a movie about Nixon, and offer to let him play Nixon. The security guard accepts as he thinks Nixon was his father.

The police arrive at the art gallery. They shoot at them and Allen takes a bullet. Luckily, he survives, as the bullet hit his phone, which still works and he gets a text from his wife that she's going into labor. He leaves while the police and Margo Martindale get into a shooting spree, as Margo Martindale was offended the police officers recognized her but didn’t know what films she was in.

Meanwhile, Princess Carolyn imagines herself in the painting living a calm quiet life, with her rival Vanessa as her maid.

Back in Cordovia, Diane (as a voiceover) describes how Sebastian likes to talk about himself. Diane is then seen being jolted awake by the sounds of a bombing. She rushes outside to find the buildings around her in ruins. She asks Sebastian if Kinko is ok, but Sebastian says he’s most certainly dead, to Diane's shock, although Sebastian coldly says he warned her not to make friends or to get attached to the native Cordovian people.

Diane angrily tells Sebastian he doesn’t care about any of these people, and he’s only using them for his fame and "superhero act". Sebastian tells her they have to build a hospital, and if she can’t handle it she should go home. Diane says she can handle it.

At the library, the gang is prepared to shoot.

Kelsey informs BoJack in this scene, Secretariat learns his brother, who was sent to Vietnam in his place, was killed in Vietnam, and the tears start to flow from the guilt. A problem arises, however, because BoJack cannot cry in front of other people. Kelsey asks Mr. Peanutbutter and the security guard to give them the room.

In the painting world, Princess Carolyn appears bored by her simple life. Vanessa claims she got a client and is now the biggest agent around, to Princess Carolyn’s dismay, as she questions why she’s polluting her perfect serene world. Vanessa guesses it’s because she doesn’t really want a perfect serene life, and tells her if she wanted a simple life she would have a simple life. Princess Carolyn comes back to reality and walks out of the gallery as the shooting spree between the cops and Margo Martindale continues. Todd follows after he to escape the insanity.

Diane calls Mr. Peanutbutter, who is outside the library. Mr. Peanutbutter apologizes for giving her a hard time about her trip and tells her that he's proud of her. What he doesn't know is that Diane has returned to Los Angeles, and is currently standing in the airport. Diane tells him that she likes Cordovia and she misses him. Mr. Peanutbutter assures her that these six months are going to fly by.

BoJack paces the room. He apologizes to Kelsey because he thought he could do this, and he's sorry he made her come here. Kelsey tells him to sit down and talks him through the scene.

She tells BoJack he has been told his brother is dead and it’s his fault, "But this moment is bigger than that. This is the moment that Secretariat stops running. Because this is the moment you realize something inside you is broken, and it can never be fixed".

Kelsey says she got the shot, although BoJack didn’t cry. She thanks BoJack for talking her into it, and says she’s really glad they’re making the movie together. BoJack says "Didn’t know I had it in me, did you?", to which Kelsey replies "No, I knew" as she leaves, to BoJack's surprise. He goes outside and lights up a cigarette, but another he exhales the smoke he breaks down crying.

The next day at Vigor Princess Carolyn gets in the elevator with Rutabaga, and she tells him she’s all in as she kisses him.

Meanwhile, on the Secretariat set, BoJack notices Kelsey isn’t there. Lenny tells him he found out they went behind his back and filmed the Nixon scene, so he fired Kelsey.

BoJack drives home later that night while looking upset, and finds Diane waiting for him at his front door. She asks if she can crash at his place for a couple of nights because she doesn’t know where else to go.

Cast

Actor Character
Will Arnett ... BoJack Horseman
Amy Sedaris ... Princess Carolyn
Alison Brie ... Diane Nguyen
Paul F. Tompkins ... Mr. Peanutbutter
Aaron Paul ... Todd Chavez
James Adomian ... Stuart
Maria Bamford ... Kelsey Jannings
Kristin Chenoweth ... Vanessa Gekko
Brian Huskey ...
Keegan-Michael Key ... Sebastian St. Clair
John Krasinski ... Secretariat
Lisa Kudrow ... Wanda Pierce
Wendie Malick ... Beatrice Horseman
Margo Martindale ... Character Actress Margo Martindale
Ben Schwartz ... Rutabaga Rabbitowitz
J.K. Simmons ... Lenny Turteltaub

Trivia

  • It is learned that Secretariat has a brother, Jeffretariat, and he made a deal with Nixon to send him to Vietnam in his place. Jeffretariat died in battle, which, along with being banned from racing due to illegally betting on his own races, contributed to Secretariat committing suicide.
  • Secretariat was rewritten to be more wholesome and audience friendly, as focus group tests revealed dark and gritty doesn’t make money.
  • Kelsey is fired for insubordination, which we committed by filming the Nixon scene with BoJack despite it getting cut.
    • At the end of the episode on the Secretariat set the replacement director Abe D'Catfish makes a cameo.
  • Princess Carolyn agrees to leave Vigor and start a new agency with Rutabaga.
  • Diane returns home from Cordovia, although she doesn’t go home to Mr. Peanutbutter and begins her stay with BoJack.
  • Allen says he’s endangered, which is true for Pandas.
  • The script Wanda is reading while BoJack and his friends make their plan is titled "Fat Guy Hot Wife"
  • BoJack reveals on the third season of Horsin' Around that the Horse became President and they shot the season at the Nixon Library, although the season finale revealed it was all a Dream.
    • Mr. Peanutbutter reveals Mr. Peanutbutter's House had his character become President, although he left office after his son, Zachary, dealt with peer pressure and he realized he had to be there for his family.