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Recap / Bojack Horseman S 6 E 08 A Quick One While Hes Away

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A duo of reporters investigate the circumstances behind Sarah Lynn's death. Meanwhile, we get a look into the lives of the people whom Bojack hurt in the past.


Tropes:

  • Absentee Actor: None of the five main characters appear or are even mentioned.
  • Adorkable: After Pete helps Hollyhock through her panic attack, their first interaction reeks of this:
    Pete: So this party's kinda crowded. You wanna go get some air?
    Hollyhock: Yeah. But it's pretty cold out.
    Pete: Oh, yeah, that's true.
    Hollyhock: But we're wearing jackets!
    Pete: Also true.
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  • Badass Boast: Mago Martindale lets out a pretty good one as she gives up her life of Nunnery:
    Margo: When you get to heaven, look up Margo Martindale. I won't be there — but my movies will!
  • Bittersweet Ending: As far as Kelsey's story goes; the only way she can reboot her directorial career is to agree to direct a superhero movie, but the producers allow her to do her introspective take on what it means to be a female superhero, meaning she's not selling out completely.
  • The Bus Came Back: Hollyhock starts to experience a panic attack at the party while in New York, leading to Pete Repeat coming up and helping talk her down.
  • Central Theme:
    • Loss of control. BoJack seemed to finally get a new lease on life in the last episode, but he can't control the long-term consequences his actions have that will soon come back to bite him thanks to Paige Sinclair and Maximillian Banks. All the people in question struggle with feeling a loss of control; Kelsey can't seem to turn her career around on her own terms, Gina can't stand to be surprised by others in any way after BoJack strangled her, Hollyhock can't stand to let loose and get drunk with strangers after Beatrice spiked her coffee for months, and Pete mentions he struggled with anxiety issues for years after Maddy got alcohol poisoning in New Mexico.
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    • Margo Martindale herself spells out another Central Theme during the Cold Opening; After her Axe-Crazy antics all series, she discusses whether it's selfish of her to seek redemption for herself after all the people she's hurt and whether she even deserves to find happiness and contentment when many of her victims never will? ... Then it ends with her stealing a Ferrari and driving off into the sunset, no longer caring about her victims. It ties into BoJack's ongoing struggle with learning to forgive himself and find happiness and contentment with his life despite all the people he's hurt. This episode focuses on how many of his former victims still struggle to find happiness and contentment in their own lives because of BoJack's actions (without his Sympathetic P.O.V. to distract from their pain), and raises the question of whether his ongoing quest for happiness is ultimately selfish, and whether he deserves to enjoy his life after he ruined theirs?
  • Cliffhanger: This episode sets up a few plot points for Part 2 and hints that the New Mexico incident is gonna come back to bite Bojack in the ass:
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    • Two investigative journalists, Paige Sinclair and Maximillian Banks, get interested in the circumstances behind Sarah Lynn's death, so they decide to dig deeper. Their trail eventually leads to Tesuque, New Mexico, indicating they're gonna find out what happened between Bojack and Penny.
    • Hollyhock meets Pete Repeat at a party, and they immediately hit it off. While they're hanging out on the fire escape, Pete tells her about how during his senior prom, "some shitty guy" got his girlfriend at the time bourbon and she wound up with a bad case of alcohol poisoning. And then he states that he was shocked to find out that the "shitty guy" is a movie actor; the episode ends just as Pete opens his mouth to reveal his name to Hollyhock.
  • Dada Ad: Kelsey is reduced to shooting a commercial, er, "immersive Product Placement journey" for Chicken 4 Dayz.
  • Doom Magnet: Seen in spades. It is shown that BoJack's actions have led to traumatizing and/or worsening the lives of many characters through and through. Kelsey (Initially, she gets better) and Gina get it the worst.
  • Genre Refugee: The journalists who are investigating Sarah Lynn's death dress and act as though they've come straight out of the fast-talking Screwball Comedy films of the 30s and 40s.
  • Happy Ending Override: While the previous episode ended with a Hope Spot, this one hints in no uncertain terms that the bliss isn't going to last, at least as long as BoJack is concerned.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Discussed In-Universe when Trey and Tawnie are watching Sarah Lynn's "Prickly Muffin" music video:
    Trey: Have you ever noticed that this music video takes place in a planetarium, and Sarah Lynn died in a planetarium?
    Tawnie: Huh.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Gina went along with the cover-up of Bojack strangling her last season because she thought that if word got out the ensuing controversy would overshadow her acting abilities. However, she gained PTSD from the incident, which causes her to lash out at people. As a result, people start seeing her as a prima donna, because nobody knows what happened to her and she's reluctant to tell anybody about why she's acting the way she is. This reputation ends up overshadowing Gina's acting abilities even worse than what would have happened if Bojack strangling her did become public, because if it did everybody would have been more sympathetic towards Gina instead of dismissing her as "difficult".
  • Internal Reveal:
  • Ironic Echo: A co-star of Gina says "What the fuck is wrong with you?", which is what the latter said exactly to Bojack when he tried to strangle her.
  • It's a Small World After All: Pete Repeat, one of the New Mexico teens BoJack met in "Escape from LA" and the one BoJack convinced to lie and cover for him buying them alcohol after Maddie got sick, appears at the same New York party Hollyhock attends, meets and befriends her, and they have a conversation that leads into him telling her about his encounter with her half brother.
  • Karma Houdini Warranty: After the previous episode ended on a hopeful note of Bojack gaining a new lease on life, the entire motif of this episode is all of his past negative deeds over the course of the series finally coming to surface.
  • Loose Lips: Maximillian question getting info from people who are part of AA meetings, considering the second A means Anonymous. Paige, however, firmly believes no one can resist gossiping about celebrities (long story short, she hit paydirt).
  • Lower-Deck Episode: To a certain extent. None of the main characters appear but the overall plot is still moving along.
  • Meaningful Name: Aside from taking its title from a song from The Who (see below), this episode is notable for not at all featuring BoJack. In fact, none of the other four main characters — Princess Carolyn, Diane, Mr. Peanutbutter, and Todd — are featured at all in the episode.
  • Mid-Season Twist: This is the last episode of the first half of the sixth season, and it strongly hints at what the conflict for the second half of the season will be like.
  • Never My Fault: A recurring theme throughout the episode.
    • Gina doesn't acknowledge how the reason her acting career is going south is because she never told anyone she had PTSD of the choking incident.
    • Pete solely blames BoJack for Maddie getting alcohol poisoning at their prom, explicitly absolving himself, Maddie, or alcohol, of any responsibility. He goes so far as to say that BoJack "practically forced" them to drink the bourbon, even though he and Maddie were already drinking and Pete was vocally supportive of BoJack's offer to buy them booze.
    • Sarah Lynn's mother remains completely oblivious to her own part in her daughter becoming an Addled Addict and dying tragically young.
  • Precision F-Strike: Gina is shown on set with a co-star doing a little dance number with her, and said co-star proceeded to dip her. Gina was genuinely distraught by this and seems to freak out, and her co-star delivers the season (or at least this half of the season)'s traditional F-bomb by asking Gina what the fuck is wrong with her.
  • Reality Ensues: The people BoJack traumatized over the series? Yeah, they're still traumatized.
    • A more comedic example: Paige Sinclair doesn't stop twirling and gesturing theatrically even when using a landline phone. When she hangs up, she's all tangled in the phone cord.
  • Sarcasm-Blind: A month before Sarah Lynn died, she gave her mom's voice mail a well-deserved Backhanded Apology in which she called her out for being such a terrible, selfish mother. Her mother took it at face value and thinks, "She just wanted me to be happy."
  • Schizo Tech: Paige Sinclair holds a conversation over a candlestick telephone. Her boss wonders aloud where it came from.
  • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: Gina didn't want the circumstances of Bojack strangling her revealed to the press because she feared that controversy would end up overshadowing her career. In the present, she's actually suffered PTSD from that event, and her lashing out at co-stars and directors alike has now earned her a reputation as being difficult to work with because nobody knows what happened.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The investigative journalists and their fast-paced, witty banter are throwbacks to the Screwball Comedies of the 1930's and 1940's, His Girl Friday in particular.
    • The episode's title is taken from The Who's song of the same name.
  • Spanner in the Works: BoJack might have gotten his happy ending last episode to stick, until the unusually gifted Paige Sinclair (and her tag-along Maximillian Banks) decide to investigate Sarah Lynn's death (which BoJack was partially responsible for), and their investigation leads them right to New Mexico...
  • Take That!: The directorial pitch for the super-heroine film "Fireflame" is a huge and blatant one towards Captain Marvel (2019), with the primary joke being it's just like any other superhero movie, except that the main character is a woman.
    Film Executive: I've been saying for years, "as soon as we run out of popular male characters and given them each two sequels, we have to make a movie about Fireflame!"
  • Unreliable Narrator: When Pete tells Hollyhock the story of the events from Escape from L.A., Pete makes out Bojack as a total creep who lived Penny's house and "practically forced" Maddie and Pete to drink bourbon. While Bojack does hold a lot of responsibility for Maddie's alcohol poisoning (and was wrong to get the teens the bourbon in the first place and was wrong to just ditch Maddie and Pete at the Emergency Room), Pete doesn't mention his and Maddie's own bad choices during that night. Namely, they already mixed up a vodka-Red Bull cocktail and snuck it into some flasks so they could sneak in some alcohol consumption during prom long before Bojack got them the bourbon (cut with water because he believed that was a safer alternative), and they were actively supportive of that decision until Maddie got alcohol poisoning.
  • Wham Episode: It appears that the circumstances about Sarah Lynn's overdose are about to be made public, and the journalists investigating the story end up in Tesuque, indicating they're also going to find out what happened between Penny and Bojack and that story's also going to become public. At the same time, Hollyhock learns about Bojack's involvement in Maddy's alcohol poisoning, which could also lead to another public revelation about how Bojack's night with Penny ended...

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