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Introduction
The Kidney Stays in the Picture is the sixth episode of Season 6 of the Netflix original series BoJack Horseman, and the 66th episode overall. It premiered along with the first half of Season 6 on October 25, 2019.

Synopsis

The assistants of Hollywoo go on strike. BoJack tries to help Doctor Champ. When Todd learns that his mother needs a kidney, Diane comes up with a plan.

Plot

On MSNBSea there is a news segment about meeting with industry power-brokers to negotiate terms, for a standard agreement. Stuart and Casey McGarry are seen on the news. Casey is being interviewed about the HGA negotiations. She says she is optimistic about the coming talks and confident they can avoid a strike. She goes on to say their demands are reasonable, and their services are crucial to the industry.

Casey, Stuart, and some other assistants are seen in a conference room with Lenny Turteltaub. He tells them he wants to wrap it up quickly and then asks what they want. Casey says they have one request, to not be treated like garbage. The other assistants all nod in agreement. Lenny then says they are at an impasse.

With the assistants on strike, the whole city is shut down and everyone is in a panic.

At Pastiches, Doctor Champ is passed out from being hungover in BoJack's bed from the previous episode. He looks at BoJack and asks if he really drank last night. BoJack apologizes. Doctor Champ asks BoJack if anyone saw him, as BoJack was with him all night. Doctor Champ tells BoJack nobody can know about this. He then frantically states there are twenty struggling addicts who are counting on him. BoJack agrees and says of course. He is going to go home and take a shower. He questions how he'll get out without anyone seeing him.

Doctor Champ is then seen climbing out the window, with a rope made from bedsheets. He swings from the rope and BoJack tells him not to, and Doctor Champ falls on top of him, and then thanks BoJack for being there to catch him. He then runs to his van and drives off and BoJack stands there watching him.

At Princess Carolyn's apartment, Todd is putting on a puppet show for Ruthie, who is in her playpen. The doorbell rings and Todd tells Ruthie the puppet show will continue later. Inside walks Jorge Chavez, and Todd does not look pleased to see him. Jorge tells Todd he has some news about his mother. Todd sarcastically asks what, that Jorge is marrying her, inserting himself into their family, and ruining his life. Todd reminds Jorge he already told him this twenty-five years ago.

Jorge then tells Todd he didn't come to his home to fight. Todd then says the joke is on Jorge because he didn't come to Todd's home at all. Todd then tells him, he just sleeps on the couch, since Jorge and his mother gave him the boot. Jorge then says that was ten years ago. Todd then says the boot is the only thing Jorge gave him. Jorge reminds him he gave him the Chavez name and reminds of what the name stands for.

Jorge then tells him his mother needs help and Todd asks why she sent her husband instead of coming herself. Jorge then eventually tells him his mother is in a coma. Concerned, Todd asks why he didn't open with that. Jorge finally reveals his mother needs a kidney. He put her on the donor list but he thought Todd would be a good match. Todd explains he would give his kidney but he sold it to buy sock puppets. Jorge says coming over was a mistake and Todd says they can go to the organ market. He puts Ruthie in her carrier taking her with them.

At VIM, Princess Carolyn and Lenny discuss the strike. Lenny tells Princess Carolyn this is a catastrophe. He then says the strike has shut down the whole city. He asks if they give assistants respect, how are they going to work through their rage issues. He asks if they now have to take out the rage on their spouses, and children. He remarks that it doesn't seem fair. Princess Carolyn declares there has to be a better way. She says maybe they could circumvent the assistants, by giving them what they want, by giving them what they think they want.

She says like how they satiate TV creators, by giving them little vanity cards at the end of episodes, then sell the shows to streaming networks, that auto-skip the end credits and no one ever sees the vanity cards. Lenny tells her that's good, but asks, what do assistants want? He asks if they want gift cards. He says he honestly can't think of another thing an assistant would want. Princess Carolyn tells him when she was an assistant all she wanted was not to be an assistant anymore.

At the bar at Elefante, someone recognizes Mr. Peanubutter and calls him Sad Dog in reference to his meme. He is then approached by Joey Pogo. He then tells Mr. Peanutbutter he was wanted to get in touch with him.

Joey starts telling Mr. Peanutbutter about how he got a call from a mental health advocacy group. Joey says those guys are "jizzing in their pants" about Mr. Peanutbutter's heroic admission of his struggle with depression. He tells Mr. Peanutbutter they want to help share his story with the world. Mr. Peanutbutter looks intrigued by this. Joey tells him he wanted to set up a meeting, but his assistant went on strike. He then says phones are confusing for him. Mr. Peanutbutter says even if Joey has his assistant, it wouldn't do any good, as all of his representatives are on strike as well. Joey then says he guesses there is no way to get in touch. Mr. Peanutbutter expresses disappointment, saying he would have loved to get in together.

At Pastiches BoJack is walking out of his room, with his belongings. He says goodbye to everyone and everything, and heads outside, where a Cabaracadabra driver is waiting for him. The driver asks him where he wants to go, and he tells her he guesses he wants to go home. They then leave the facility. They drive by Bellicans and BoJack recognizes Doctor Champ's van. He asks the driver to stop there.

BoJack then finds Doctor Champ who is at the bar having a drink. BoJack runs over to him and asks what Doctor Champ is doing. Doctor Champ says he is unsure about the whole mood of never having a drop of alcohol again. He then asks whatever happened to moderation. BoJack then asks Doctor Champ, if that's the case, why did he pay for the guiding philosophy of rehab for the last six months.

Doctor Champ responds that BoJack should do what works for him. Doctor Champ asks for the check and the bartender hands him the check. Doctor Champ then says it's a figure of speech and he doesn't actually want the check. Doctor Champ then asks for another margarita, while BoJack stares at him.

Jorge, Todd, and Ruthie then show up at Mike and Morgan's House of Organs. Todd asks what's with all the boxes, and Mike tells him they're going out of business. Jorge tells them they are trying to track down his son's kidney, but judging foolishness of their business plan, they probably don't keep records. Morgan then tells him all their kidneys went to Chicago because Whitewhale bought them out. When questioned by Jorge on why, she then tells them Jeremiah Whitewhale is stockpiling organs because he's a rich old guy who wants to live forever. Jorge says this excursion was pointless and he's heading back to the hospital. Todd apologizes for not being more helpful. Jorge says no, it's his own fault for believing things would be any different.

Todd decides he wants to buy a gigantic barrel of anesthesia. Jorge wakes up in Chicago, in Guy and Diane's apartment, after being knocked out and kidnapped by Todd. Todd, Diane, and Guy are talking about the holiday party at Whitewhale, and sneaking in. Diane and Guy introduce themselves and inform him he was kidnapped across state lines. Jorge is angered by all this. Todd excitedly and says they are going to break into the Whitewhale building. Jorge asks why. Todd says so they can get his kidney back and save his mother.

Todd says he also wants to prove to Jorge once and for all he is not some "wacky screw-up who engages primarily in goofy whimsical mess-arounds." Jorge asks how they got him on the plane and Todd tells him they did a Weekend At Bernie's. Todd then shows him pictures on his phone, where he put sunglasses on Jorge, and then they were on the plane and went sightseeing. Jorge then groans at this.

Diane then brings them back to the topic of the holiday party at Whitewhale. She tells Todd she can use her employee ID to get in, as she is still technically on the payroll. Guy asks Diane why she didn't quit, as they haven't worked there in months. Diane says nobody's noticed and they still keep sending her checks. Diane explains cashing them is her way of gradually "taking the man down" from the inside.

Guy pulls Diane aside so they can talk in private. In the restroom, Guy asks Diane if this is the best use of her time. He says he knows she's been beating herself up because the writing process of the book has been going slowly. Diane then says the book is about her living her life, so by living her life, she is, in fact, working on the book. Guy tells her if she doesn't have to write the book if she doesn't want to.

Diane says, of course, she wants to. Guy tells her she's been pretty down on herself. Diane then says actually "pretty down" is herself. Diane then says they are being rude to her guests and she suggests Guy offers them one of his fancy beers.

In the living room, Todd is strategizing with Jorge about their plan for getting the kidney back. Todd says they need to sneak into the party, find out where the kidneys are, retrieve his kidney, and sneak out all without drawing attention to themselves. Guy and Diane walk back in, and Guy cautions them saying if Jeremiah Whitewhale catches them, he is legally allowed to murder them. Jorge says this plan is ludicrous.

Todd then tells Jorge, that instead of criticizing him like he has done his entire life, he could get on board. Todd then tells him their plan will work out, and Jorge tells him things don't just work out. Todd tells Jorge he doesn't understand why he has to be so negative. Todd then asks if he wants to help his mother or just go back to the hospital and wait. Jorge sighs and says he's in, which Todd smiles at.

Casey is meeting with Lenny and Princess Carolyn. Casey tells them she doesn't feel comfortable negotiating without her fellow assistants. Lenny tells her this is not about that. Casey says their demands haven't changed, and Princess Carolyn says she finds it thrilling to see her grown into her role as strike captain. Lenny then tells her there is an opening in his company for a development executive. He asks if she'd be interested.

Casey says she's never really thought about it and would have to think about it. Lenny tells her she would get overpaid to read scripts and other benefits as well. Princess Carolyn says, that is, of course, if the strike ends. Casey says it's a generous offer but she'd have to talk it over with her colleagues. Princess Carolyn asks, "Why? Those are assistants. You're not one of them anymore, you're one of us." Lenny slides the contract to her, telling her it's a two-year contract, and once she signs her troubles will be over. Casey signs the contract.

As Princess Carolyn shows Casey the door, she reassures her she's made the right decision and she'll love the new job. Lenny calls her Stacey and welcomes her to the team. She tries to correct him, and Princess Carolyn slams the door on her face.

Princess Carolyn and Lenny then look at photos of various agents. They kidnap a rabbit man and have him sign to run development of Saoirse Ronan's production company, Saoirse and Rescue. Princess Carolyn then asks a lady to sign a contract, and she says she can't be an assistant anymore, with tears in her eyes. She then tells Princess Carolyn about how Shirley MacLaine threw a cactus at her head, for setting up a meeting with the wrong Steve McQueen. Princess Carolyn then tells her to orchestrate her own great escape. They then look at Stuart's photo.

At the Whitewhale building, Todd says he's going into the Christmas party. Jorge makes him promise to be perspicacious in there. Todd replies that he doesn't even know what the word means. Jorge sighs at this. Todd goes to the main entrance with Diane's ID. Todd can not get in with Diane's ID and uses the wrong name.

Todd then tells Jorge that was a bust. Todd says Jorge can be Diane and he can Jorge. Jorge then gets an idea and tells him to get in the trash can. Todd misunderstands and says he knows he's a disappointment to Jorge but he does not belong in a trash can, and he hasn't lived in one for several years. Jorge then picks up Todd and puts him in the trash can. Jorge then pretends to be a custodian wheeling the trash can inside. He speaks Spanish to the shark man and points to the door. The man lets him go inside. Todd then says that was amazing and Jorge tells him no, it was straightforward and logical.

At Bellicans, BoJack orders a club soda, and Doctor Champ calls him a nerd. BoJack then asks Doctor Champ what his plan is. Doctor Champ says he will drink enough to be steady. He then says BoJack can take him back to Pastiches and keep him out of trouble and that way BoJack won't have to go home. Doctor Champ continues on to say he can be a good therapy horse, all his clients will get sober, and he is a winner, and his picture will be on magazines.

BoJack tells Doctor Champ he can't let him go back to Pastiches drunk. Doctor Champ then retorts that BoJack doesn't care about him. He gestures towards BoJack and tells him he is actually scared of himself. Doctor Champ starts walking away saying he can't help anyone else unless he is honest with himself. He then asks BoJack if he knows what he means and BoJack says he never knows what Doctor Champ means.

BoJack then says maybe he wouldn't have been so scared if Doctor Champ had actually given him real therapy over the last six months, instead of folksy aphorisms. Doctor Champ defensively says he's not a therapist but a therapy horse, a subtle but legally important distinction. He then goes on to say he knows BoJack would not accept real therapy from him anyway.

BoJack then asks why he thinks that is. Doctor Champ says it's because he's a horse, and therefore he reminds him of his father, and therefore he simultaneously resents him and craves approval from him. Doctor Champ starts talking about what would happen if he did get said approval. BoJack interjects saying that he would dismiss it immediately and then use it as an excuse to resent Doctor Champ even more. He then asks Doctor Champ what his point is.

Doctor Champ tells BoJack his point is that he is stunted from being able having healthy relationships with other horses. BoJack counters if that were true he would have no other horses in his life. Doctor Champ then points out BoJack's loved ones and friends are mostly dogs, humans, or cats. BoJack then asks what about the one horse he does care about, his half-sister Hollyhock, who is also a reminder of his father. Doctor Champ counters this by saying Hollyhock reminds him of the one horse he hates the most, himself.

BoJack finally says Doctor Champ got him figured out, his parents gave him an internalized self-hatred of horses, and his horse body is a prison he can never escape from. BoJack then says this manifests in rotten behavior because he subconsciously believes he deserves to be punished, but being famous he is never punished and therefore he acts out more. BoJack then says that since this pattern is so woven into his identity, it is unfathomable it can ever be curbed, so instead, he drinks.

BoJack continues on to say the only way he can progress is to return to life as a sober man and finally hold himself accountable for his actions, past, and future. BoJack asks if this is what therapy is. Doctor Champ who has fallen asleep at the booth, asks why people keep bringing him checks. BoJack then looks at Doctor Champ, who has his head on the table and says his name in alarm.

At Whitewhale, Todd and Jorge take the elevator up to the kidney warehouse. They are almost stopped by a security guard but Jorge manages to get him to leave by telling him there is a hot dog-related emergency. Todd uses a touch screen to locate his kidney. While they are waiting for the request, Jorge thanks Todd for coming with him to get the kidney, saying after his mother is OK, he and Todd's mother will never bother Todd again. Jorge says he knows that's what Todd wants. Todd then questions why he'd want that. Jorge shrugs in response. Todd says Jorge never understood him.

Jorge says he raised Todd as his own flesh, and he was tough on him because he expected big things from him. Todd tells Jorge he wasn't tough he was mean. Jorge says because the world is mean and Todd says not his world. Jorge says he wanted Todd to be his best for Todd and to push him to be his best self. Jorge says he sees how he failed Todd. Todd counters Jorge didn't fail him and he's not a failure. Jorge sighs and says OK to this.

Todd then asks why Jorge needs to be proud of him on his terms, and why he can't see Todd is living a good life. Todd then says he has a good life with a job and friends. Jorge says he sleeps on the couch and plays with puppets all day. Todd then says he's happy and asks what more Jorge wants from him. Jorge tells Todd he wants to know that he's OK. Todd then asks why he hasn't called in ten years. Jorge starts to say he wanted to but then cuts himself off and tells Todd his mother loves him but she's very proud. Jorge says if Todd calls she'll talk to him. Todd then points out she can't talk now because she's in a coma. Jorge sadly sighs and says yeah.

Diane is watching the shadows of Jorge and Todd from the parking ramp through a pair of binoculars and wonders what they are talking about. Diane then notices the security guard riding up the elevator. Diane tries to call the Chavezes on her walkie-talkie. The other walkie talkie is seen in the dish rack in the kitchen of the apartment. Guy picks it up and asks why the walkie-talkie is in the kitchen.

A man yells at Diane, letting her know she can't be in the parking ramp, as it's for customers only.

Back at the warehouse, Jorge tells Todd they need to leave as someone is coming. Todd tells him he's not leaving without the kidney. Jorge tells him this is serious. Todd sarcastically tells him he knows he's very serious. The two Chavezes start wrestling with each other. The security guard comes out of the elevator tells them to stay where they are. The kidney box then comes off the conveyer belt. Jorge puts his hands up and defeated, Todd does so as well.

At VIM, Princess Carolyn and Lenny are meeting Stuart. Stuart says he is sure the other assistants are coming soon. He says traffic is probably bad because of the rain. Princess Carolyn then tells him no one else is coming, and Lenny tells Stuart they all got promoted. Lenny goes on to say his leadership has abandoned him and the strike is over. Stuart just accepts and just says OK. Lenny tells him he gets none of the things he asked for and starts work again on Monday. Stuart just shrugs and says the sounds fair. Stuart asks if he signs the contract will he get promoted too. Lenny says sure, someday.

Princess Carolyn then gasps as she has a flashback to when she was an assistant. Her boss Marv tells her he would love to give her a raise, however, he tells her she's thinking too much like an assistant. Marv tells her she's going to sign a new contract to become an agent any day now. She then asks if he really thinks she has what it takes to be an agent. Marv tells her sure but for now, he needs her to try on an apology bikini for an angry lady he fell on at the post office since they both have a similar build. He tells her to report back on where it pinches. Princess Carolyn takes the bikini and tells him she'll do it.

Coming to a realization she tells Stuart not to sign the contract. She then tells him that she just remembered there was a typo on page twelve. She says she wrote Billy Bob showers instead of billable hours. Lenny then tells her that's not going to fly since that guy hasn't showered since Bad Santa. Princess Carolyn then tells Stuart she'll fix a new version for him and he can sign it tomorrow. She then offers to show him to his car.

Once they are outside, Stuart confesses to Princess Carolyn he doesn't actually have a car, he just felt under pressure because he's never had to decide to go somewhere before. Princess Carolyn questions why they walked several blocks in the rain. She then offers him a business card. Stuart misunderstands thinking she is making him an offer. She then explains it's a phone number. Stuart then asks for a ride home.

At the warehouse, the security guard mistakenly thinks Todd is being attacked by Jorge. Todd explains they only want to take back his kidney for his mom, and this is all a misunderstanding. Todd then says since Whitewhale has hundreds of kidneys he won't miss just one. The security guard calls Todd a little scamp and gives him a noogie which confuses Jorge.

At VIM Princess Carolyn and Lenny walk back in the conference room. Lenny then notices someone sitting in his chair. Judah turns around tells him he's three minutes late for their meeting. Judah then says if he's serious about negotiating with the assistants it is imprudent to send the message he doesn't respect their time. Judah then suggests they adjourn for the day and start tomorrow. Lenny then questions what that was about. Princess Carolyn simply says to let the negotiations begin.

At the hospital, Todd and Jorge are in the waiting room. Jorge apologizes to Todd for being hard on him as a child. He explains he was trying to protect Todd and nothing came easy for him and he only got to where he was today through hard work. He says he should have realized Todd's white. They are informed his mother is awake. Jorge asks if he wants to say hello and Todd says she has his number and can call him as he starts walking away. Jorge tells him that's cold. Todd asks what does Jorge expect seeing he's a Chavez.

Doctor Champ wakes up and questions where he is. BoJack tells him he's at Partridges, another rehab facility. Doctor Champ asks what about Pastiches and BoJack says he already informed them he's checking him Partridges. Doctor Champ asks why BoJack did that, saying the patients of Pastiches need him to be an example of success. BoJack then tells him he can't help anybody unless he is honest with himself first. BoJack then says a wise man once told him that.

Doctor Champ asks what wise man. BoJack tells him Doctor Champ it was him. Doctor Champ retorts that BoJack shouldn't listen to him because he's a drunk. BoJack says the first step is admitting it. Doctor Champ tells BoJack he has destroyed him, and he can never go back to Pastiches now. Doctor Champ says his husband will leave him, as he promised to never drink again after what happened with their daughter.

BoJack asks what happened with his daughter, but instead of answering Doctor Champ tells him he knows nothing about his life. Doctor Champ reminds BoJack the only reason he got drunk in the first place was because of his contraband vodka. BoJack does admit that is technically true. Doctor Champ says, of course, BoJack did this to him because he cared about BoJack and BoJack ruins people who care about him. BoJack wishes him best of luck and Doctor Champ tells him to remember what he did to him. BoJack solemnly says he remembers everything because he is sober now.

BoJack leaves Partridges and gets a ride home from a Cabaracadbra driver. The episode ends with him unlocking the front door to his house.

Cast

Actor Character
Will Arnett ... BoJack Horseman
Amy Sedaris ... Princess Carolyn
Alison Brie ... Diane Nguyen
Paul F. Tompkins ... Mr. Peanutbutter/Marv
Aaron Paul ... Todd Chavez
Sam Richardson ... Doctor Champ
Jamie Camil ... Jorge Chavez
J.K. Simmons ... Lenny Turteltaub
Lakeith Stanfield ... Guy

Trivia

  • This episode reveals there is another identical-looking rehab facility next to Pastiches called Partridges.
  • Todd and Jorge's plot appears to be a commentary on race, particularly the concepts of white privilege and racial profiling.
    • Jorge manages to sneak them into the Christmas party by speaking Spanish and pretending to be a custodian.
    • The security guard who spots Todd and Jorge immediately assumes that Jorge is a dangerous criminal, even asking Todd if he was hurt by the man. Todd, despite being equally culpable of the break-in, is let go without any punishment, seeing Todd's actions as little more than playful hi-jinx.
    • Jorge says that "nothing came easy to him" while he was growing up, which he uses as his reasoning for being so harsh on Todd during his upbringing. Jorge later realizes that Todd doesn't face the same difficulties and prejudices that he did, plainly because Todd is white.
  • The Cabracadabra driver who takes BoJack from Pastiches to Bellicans is human, an oddity at this point as nearly all of the company's drivers are orcas.
  • When Princess Carolyn and Lenny Turteltaub are brainstorming ways to placate the striking assistants, Princess Carolyn brings up the example of "giving [TV creators] little vanity cards at the end of episodes, then sell the shows to streaming networks that auto-skip the end credits so no one even sees the vanity cards." This appears to be a criticism of Netflix itself, which auto-skips the end credits of most shows, including BoJack Horseman so that the ending vanity cards are rarely seen by viewers.
  • The painting in Lenny Turteltaub's office appears to be a parody of the historical painting Revolt in Cairo, with the human figures replaced with turtles.
    RevoltInCairo

    Revolt in Cairo Parody

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