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Arrested Development Season 4 Recap & Breakdown

Written By: Colleen - May• 30•13

It took me four full days, but I finally finished! (That’s what she said.)  I rewatched all of Season 4 of Arrested Development and took a lot of notes.  I noticed A LOT more during my second viewing.  There are so many little gems that are hidden in each episode that I didn’t notice the first time around and I’m sure I’ll notice more on my third viewing.  I’ve already read things I hadn’t noticed on either viewing, like the subtle hints that DeBrie is actually a man.

I said in my initial write-up about the season as a whole that I love it because it “made me laugh and I loved all of the little Easter eggs we got and watching all of the puzzle pieces fit together.”  After second viewing, I need to elaborate:  I now fully appreciate the scope of the season as whole and just how ambitious an undertaking it really was.  Sure, Hurwitz could’ve presented the story in chronological order, but he didn’t take the easy route.  They wanted to push the envelope once again and create a multi-layered tapestry.  The more I watch, the more I uncover each layer of brilliance.  Arrested Development is not just a comedy anymore; we don’t know it until “Off the Hook,” but it’s evolved into a Whodunit?.

At the end of the season, we’re left with several loose seals ends.  There are three main things set-up for a Season 5 or a movie:

  1. Who killed Lucille 2? (And if she’s not dead, where is she?)
  2. What was Anonymous doing at the Cinco de Quatro festival?
  3. What was the CIA agent doing scoping out Imagine Entertainment?  We get several references to him, but I don’t think we ever actually find out what he was doing there…

There’s already several Reddit threads and message boards dedicated to Easter eggs, clues, and theories that are definitely worth your time if you still can’t get enough Bluth in your life.  There’s the Arrested Development Wikia thread discussing why Lucille 2 is the villain of the season, and much more.

But onto the main attraction.  Since this post covers all 15 episodes, it got very long.  So, I ended up giving anyone who wants to read two options:  1. You can scroll down and read the entire post in full after the jump. or 2. Read them by episode on separate pages for each one to make it easier or if you only wanted to read about certain episodes.

  1. Episode 1 – Flight of the Phoenix
  2. Episode 2 – Borderline Personalitites
  3. Episode 3 – Indian Takers
  4. Episode 4 – The B. Team
  5. Episode 5 – A New Start
  6. Episode 6 – Double Crossers
  7. Episode 7 – Colony Collapse
  8. Episode 8 – Red Hairing
  9. Episode 9 – Smashed
  10. Episode 10 – Queen B.
  11. Episode 11 – A New Attitude
  12. Episode 12 – Señoritis
  13. Episode 13 – It Gets Better
  14. Episode 14 – Off the Hook
  15. Episode 15 – Blockheads

Full text below.

1.  Flight of the Phoenix

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This episode sets up everything.  It also introduces Kristen Wiig & Seth Rogan as a young George Sr. and Lucille Bluth, both of whom are pretty good – Wiig being particularly great at mimicking a young Lucille.  As usual, Michael is fed up with his family, but this time puts his money where his mouth is and gives his shares of the family business to Lucille 2, making her a majority shareholder.  He uses the money he got from her to send George Michael to college at UC Irvine, form the Michael B. Company, and complete Sudden Valley on his own.  Unfortunately, the housing market crisis hits just as he completes the neighborhood, which just so happens to have no cell phone service or Internet and cable access.  Michael is forced to borrow an additional $700,000 from Lucille 2 and then hits an all-time low when his mailman Pete dies on his front lawn after saying “Love each other.”  He ends up moving into the dorm room with a mysteriously mustached George Michael, now in his senior year of college.  It should be noted that in later episodes, GM and Maeby are established to now be 22- and 23-years-old.  After getting voted out of the dorm room Survivor-style, Michael returns home, where he belonged the entire time.

I’ve seen a lot of comments on the Internet that this episode doesn’t feel full Bluth at first and I agreed until I rewatched it.  There’s a Forget-Me-Now joke within the first 5 minutes and it doesn’t get much more Bluth than that, right?  However, Michael’s sad sack storyline is a character journey that we’re not used to seeing him go through.  Suddenly, he’s as pathetic as Tobias and stuttering like G.O.B.  His inability to use his cell phone reinforces that he’s become like his brother/brother-in-law and his inability to let GM go shows Michael is in his own state of arrested development.  Without having to keep his family together, Michael was lost and without purpose.  We get a lot of references to old seasons (a loose seal joke, the Charlie Brown music), winks to the audience (Michael’s phone calendar is stuck on 2003), and a few new running gags (George Sr.’s confusion about whether or not tip African Americans).  On both first and second watch, I loved it.

Things to Note:

  • Another “loose seal”/Lucille mix-up.
  • Michael finally gets to go to Phoenix.
  • The mural in the Phoenix airport is a nod to all of our favorite things from the first run of the series: the banana stand, the stair car, the lighthouse from the boardwalk, G.O.B.’s yatch, G.O.B. on a segway, the Mexican church from ¡Amigos!, Wee Britain, a seal with a bow tie, and much more.
  • Michael says to George Michael and Maeby in the computer lab while discussing who was going to vote for him: “Then I’d fall down a flight of stairs and crack my head open and you’d feel bad about yourself for the rest of your life.”
  • A reference to the Bluth brothers’ poor Spanish skills: “Then it’s adios, brothiero.”
  • John Beard calls Lucille a “seaward matriarch.”  (She’ll leave when she’s good and ready.)
  • The Altitude article about Michael has the tag line: “Michael Bluth Is Praying You’ll Fix His Huge Mistake.”
  • Michael to P-Hound: “Have you ever been on a plane, you piece of beeeeep?” calls back one of my favorite old gags, “Have any of you ever even seen a chicken?”

2. Borderline Personalities

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We learn a few things: first, why the Bluths always seem to want to “take to the sea!” and just how they came under the impression from the pilot episode that “Husband and wives can’t be tried for the same crime.” These notions, naturally, come from a young Barry Zuckercorn, played by Henry Winkler’s real-life son, Max Winkler. This episode is George Sr. centric and explains what he, Lucille, and Oscar have been up to. To compete with Stan Sitwell, George Sr. and Lucille came up with a plan to build a wall along the border of Mexico and America and then sell the land back to the government. The wall is part of the overall storyline and at the end of the episode, George Sr. sets off to convince a right-winged politician named Herbert Love to endorse building it.

The main plot of the episode is actually George Sr.’s get-rich-quick scheme that he develops while high on the maca root in the desert with Oscar. In a callback to his time as the Jewish guru in prison, George Sr. decides to open up a sweat lodge in the desert for CEO’s seeking spiritual enlightenment. He bought the land using stimulus money. We are introduced to three new characters: an Aura Specialist named Heartfire, a disgraced anesthesiologist named Dr. Norman, and Dr. Norman’s former prison pen pal/now lover, China Rose. Dr. Norman is played by Mad Men‘s John Slattery and given Roger’s newfound pendant for LSD, it’s pretty much like watching The Ghost of Roger Sterling’s Future, haha. 24‘s Mary Lynn Rajskub (Chloe) plays Heartfire, who only communicates (hilariously) through thought. With some help from Heartfire, who finds the perfect “sweat cave” on Craigslist and Oscar, who fills in as George Sr. during the actual sweating part, Father B. charges $1,000 a session. Finding himself stretched a little too thin, George Sr. has his twin brother pose as him during a meeting and love making session with Lucille. Oh, and did I mention that the land that the sweat lodge is on happens to be where George and Lucille want to build said wall? And so, the stage is set.

There are some fantastic callbacks to previous seasons, particularly with G.O.B.’s reaction to hearing about his parents making love (he saw them doing it twice before in the conjugal trailer) and Lucille’s declaration to George Sr. in the police station of “Look at what the homosexuals have done to me!”

Things to Note:

  • A new running gag is established when we learn that oil drilling conglomerate Halliburton has two newly rebranded divisions: Hailliburton Teen and Hal & Burton’s Frozen Goat Cream.
  • George Sr. says “I don’t want these…” in reference to Oscar’s friends. This is repeated by G.O.B. about not wanting Ann’s family as his own in “Colony Collapse.”
  • The use of the phrase “hot mess” is used for the second straight episode.
  • George Sr. makes the same Namaste hand pose in his WE12 photo that Michael does in Altitude photo.
  • Here’s a screen grab of the Craigslist ad that Heartfire buys the sweat cave off of.

Timeline:

  • It appears that Lucille and George Sr. announce their “divorce” around the end of February, thanks to Buster’s comment about them making love “7 weeks ago” when they say they haven’t been intimate since Christmas.

3.  Indian Takers

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A Lindsay-centric episode. Still reeling from finding out she’s adopted, Lindsay reads the book Eat, Pray, Love and decides to set off to India to find herself. In the cab ride to the airport, her cab swerves to avoid another car, yelling, “Stay in your lane, anus tart!” at it. Once in India, Lindsay finds that she’s picked up the wrong suitcase from the baggage claim. She visits a Shaman at the hotel who urges her to “live life truthfully” before telling her she needs to go back home to find love. Lucille then tells a broke Lindsay that if she wants “some of that stimulus money,” she’d better show up to her trial.

Once returning home, Lindsay and Tobias decide to try to give it another go and buy a house. All hail the return of Ed Helms as real estate agent James Carr.  Tobias gestures out the window, saying he’s ready to try new things. “Oh good Lord,” the real estate agent exclaims to something unseen off camera. They end up buying a house so big that they can’t afford it nor find each other in it. Meanwhile, Lucille has announced that she’s not going to pay Lindsay for her testimony unless she’s acquitted. Lindsay and Tobias decide to go to a Method acting clinic to ensure her testimony is good. In typical Tobias fashion, he’s actually mistaken “Methadone” for “Method One.” They’re not at an acting clinic; they’re at a methadone clinic. Flattered that he calls her skinny, Lindsay becomes friends with a man named Marky Bark “of the tree-freer Barks.” Marky, Lindsay, Tobias, and Marky’s girlfriend DeBrie (a not-so-recovering meth addict) hit up a bartering restaurant. Tobias, high on methadone, recognizes DeBrie from a low-rent Fantastic 4 movie. This only furthers his confusion about what the clinic actually is.

Not so surprisingly, Marky & Lindsay decide to run away together to live on his mother’s ostrich farm in the desert. After having 3-and-a-half-second sex, Marky tells Lindsay that he randomly has “a condition called face blindness” that makes him unable to recognize people’s faces, so he can’t tell Lindsay how pretty she is. As a result, he explains that he had sex with her to “make sure she wasn’t a guy” because even though he can usually tell by the voice, sometimes he can’t. Lindsay definitely has a type, no? At the end of the episode, Lindsay cuts her hair in an attempt to not be judged by her looks, only to find that she looks “even cuter.” And that’s where we leave Lindsay & Tobias – Lindsay is dating Marky Bark while Tobias is last seen escorting a tweaking DeBrie to the restaurant of C.W. Swappigan’s.

I liked this episode the least out of the first three. I’ve always liked Lindsay better in smaller doses. I was also distracted by Portia di Rossi’s seemingly plastic face. Jay called that she was wearing a wig early on and in future episodes, she looks much better with short hair. Finally, I must pay tribute to a great Lucille jab from the police station scene: “At least I was able to turn my queen around.”

Things to Note:

  • We have our third straight ostrich sighting.
  • We have our third straight use of the Namaste prayer hands. (Michael: “Seriously, shoot me if you ever catch me doing that.”)
  • Marky’s dad Johnny (from the episode “Key Decisions) died after bees chased him and he fell out of a tree to his death.
  • Another Peanuts reference: Tobias claims he fell in love with acting while watching You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
  • When Marky says he has an ostrich farm, we hear Eastern music play and the singer sing, “Coincidence.” Lindsay says that can’t be a coincidence and the singer goes, “Yes it is…”
  • Lindsay wants to buy a Kate Spade knockoff purse and is informed that anything in a smaller size is called a “David Spade.”

Timeline:

  • It’s established during the scene with Ed Helms that Tobias and Lindsay bought their house in 2006.
  • We know that the Funke family has spent at least one Thanksgiving in the home.

4.  The B. Team

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We head back over to Michael, who gets a job at a company who owns the rights to their logo and therefore must be blurred out. [But if you need to know the name of the company, all you need to do is ______ it.] He’s given a company car with a camera on top of it, so it’s sure to “get a lot of stares.” Luckily, Michael is “used to a car with stairs.” Barry Zuckerkorn calls to tell Michael that Ron Howard wants to meet with him, but quickly has to go because he’s (literally) standing in front of a jury right now.

Michael heads over to Imagine Entertainment, the company owned by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer (AD‘s own executive producers). He runs into none other than Kitty Sanchez, who’s now working there as a “D Girl” (“That’s Development, you pig!”) after being hired by a then-17-year-old Maeby, who she quickly back stabbed out of a job. So what does Ron Howard want? He saw Michael’s picture in the Altitude magazine and wants to make a movie about Michael, the real estate crisis, and the father/son dynamic in the Bluth family. The catch? Michael has to get everyone in the family to sign a release. Ron also suggests “his girl” Rebel for the part of Michael’s dying wife. Michael assumes Rebel is his mistress, but in fact, she’s his daughter.

Things don’t seem to be going too well for Barry, who’s now being booked at a police station. Things begin to look up for Michael when he meets a beautiful red head (Isla Fisher), only to realize too late that he forgot to ask her name. He decides to swallow his pride and focus on getting the signatures from his family, who he hasn’t spoken to since Lucille went away to prison. Michael begins by approaching George Sr., who he finds on Lucille 2’s balcony, but has no luck with when his father tells him to go to hell. He heads back to Imagine Entertainment to assemble his “B. Team.” He asks Carl Weathers to direct, only to learn that Carl never actually bothers to get the rights to anything that he makes. Next up, it’s Warden Gentles’ turn because he’s a member of the Writers’ Guild. The Warden recommends that George Sr. be played by a “Philip Seymour Hoffman type.” This brings Michael to Andy Ritcher, who agrees to be on Michael’s Dream Team because Conan is mistreating him.

Ron and Brian are not impressed and set Michael up in an office in Orange County so he can be closer to his family. This kicks off a new gag – the Orange County Imagine office is frequently confused with the Orange County Imaging medical office. It’s not long before George Sr. pops up in the office with a peace offering in the form of Mexican porn. Once he hears that Michael wants his signature because he’s lying to a girl, Father B. is in. Unfortunately for Michael, Ron Howard is actually more interested in the father/son relationship between Micheal and George Michael. He considers dropping out of the project completely until he hooks up with Rebel, promises her a part in the movie and then realizes that he’s “dating Ron Howard’s girlfriend.”

I liked this episode much better the second time around. It sets up both the movie story arc and the Rebel storyline. I have to admit that upon first viewing, I felt I could do without the movie plot. I know it’s just a reason to get Michael to chase down the other characters and interact with them, but it feels forced at times. It made much more sense to me on second viewing. There were a lot of familiar faces and jokes littered through this episode and I loved all of them.

Things to Note:

  • Lots of Happy Days jokes in this one: Barry cursing Ron Howard’s name; Barry telling the jury that he can’t reach the “chachi” to open the high school gate; Young Barry’s “Ehhh!”
  • Bob Loblaw’s “if he can’t reach, this trial’s a breach” is an obvious reference to the OJ Simpson tagline.
  • We get the “Bob Loblaw’s Law Bomb” to go with “Bob Loblaw’s Law Blog.”
  • Michael when talking about his family: “Them?” (“Her?”)
  • Ostrich reference: Google employees call StreetView car drivers “ostriches”.
  • There’s a running gag alluding to a rivalry between Imagine Entertainment and Jerry Bruckheimer Films.
  • Kitty’s Lucille-style wink at Maeby.
  • Another Office alum: John Krasinski plays a Bruckheimer exec.
  • Amazing nod to Rita and the Mr. F storyline when Rebel jokes about playing a mentally challenged role in the film for an Oscar.

5.  A New Start

This Tobias-centric episode is where I feel we first start to feel like the Bluths again. The episode starts off with a team of TV crew filming a “To Catch a Predator” type show. Their target? A man with the code name “Anus Tart.”

We cut back to the night of the Queen Mary and witness more of the scene we saw in “Indian Takers” between Lindsay and Tobias. Lindsay cuts right to the chase and tells Tobias that everyone in the family thinks he’s gay because of the “misleading way” he talks. Oh yes, you know where this is going.

Having come across the copy of Eat, Pray, Love, Tobias decides to take a trip to India. He even gets a new license plate to reflect his desire for a new start: “ANUSTART.” Here’s where we start getting some reveals and pieces of the puzzle start to fall into place: •Tobias was the driver of the car that cut off Lindsay’s cab on the way to the airport; •Tobias was the person sitting behind Lindsay on both flights; •It was Tobias’ suitcase that Lindsay mistakenly picked up at baggage claim (they have matching suitcases because Tobias thought it was a romantic gesture) and; •Tobias was the tourist hit by the bus Lindsay was on. Tobias being hospitalized leads us to a meeting with – who else? – Dr. Miller, the literal doctor.

Back in America, we watch James Carr look out his office window, see “ANUSTART,” and exclaim, “Oh good Lord.” We also see a little bit more of the Funke’s Thanksgiving Miracle before picking up with what happens to Tobias and Debrie (pronounced debris) after Lindsay and Marky leave them at C.W. Swappigan’s. DeBrie tells Tobias that she reminds him of a “young Billy Crystal–” and he kisses her before she can finish her sentence “–Meth.” (Her drug dealer.) DeBrie ends up in the hospital and Tobias must accept that she’s a drug addict. The two dress up as Fantastic 4 characters to try to make some money while trying to get their acting careers up and running. Unfortunately, they run into some trouble because neither of them are allowed to portray themselves as members from the movie. Tobias eventually dresses up as The Thing and there’s all sorts of goodness in the form of both drug and sexual puns. Somewhere in between all of this, he manages to save Lucille 2’s life when he comes across her being attacked by Marky’s ostrich in her own apartment. AMAZING MOMENT: When being attacked by the ostrich, Lucille 2 is yelling, “Stop it, chicken!!” I guess Lucille has never actually seen a chicken, either.

The episode ends where it began. A down and out Tobias, having just been dumped by DeBrie (last seen getting into a limo outside of a night club), seeks out Maeby at one of Michael’s homes in Sudden Valley in the hopes of reconnecting with her. This episode immediately becomes my favorite one thus far simply for one, simple, unfortunately worded line: “Daddy needs to get his rocks off!” Oh Tobias, you blowhard! There has got to be a better way to say that…

Things to Note:

  • The introduction for John Beard’s “To Entrap a Local Predator: Orange County Edition” is “And now the story of the of the awful people who are about to lose everything and the one man who had no choice but to entrap them all together.”
  • Tobias is shown from several POV’s spinning around and singing, “It’s just a fallacyyyyy!” in the police station. This sounds like, “It’s just a phallus, see?”
  • A seemingly throwaway exchange between Tobias and G.O.B. in the police station. Tobias: “You look like I feel.” G.O.B.: “…gay?”
  • Cut-off alert!
  • Tobias says the same line about the heat in India that Michael said about the heat in Phoenix.
  • Anyone else catch Tobias tipping the Hispanic workers who delivered his bed in change?
  • I’ve never seen an episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, but I hear the F4 footage pays homage to the show.
  • We hear the Charlie Brown music again.
  • Lucille 2 is singing, “Go away, Getaway, stay away…”
  • THE SHÉMALE SHIRT!
  • Tobias:I assure you there’s nothing ambiguous about me. I’m Johnny Storm, the human flamer.”
  • Tobias tells DeBrie “Paper beats rock,” referencing “The One Where They Build a House.”

6.  Double Crossers 

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George Sr. meets with right-wing politician Herbert Love to convince him to publicly endorse the wall that he and Lucille are building on the Mexican border. At the fundraising event, he runs into a now redheaded Linsday who hands him the check that Lucille had written to Maeby (or “Mazie” as Father B. calls her) for plastic surgery. George Sr., in turn, hands the check to Herbert Love – he finally tipped a black man! As George Sr. is leaving the event, there’s a blackout and an alarm. Lucille, having just had sexual relations with Oscar-pretending-to-be-George, suggests that they give G.O.B. a job to get experience and have a president in place “just in case something should happen to Lucille 2 while we’re building the wall.”

The next day, George Sr. returns to his colony dressed as a woman (he’s wearing a a blouse because he “hates his arms”) only to discover that he’s got the border coordinates wrong. Father B.’s Colony is actually already in Mexico. Uh oh. G.O.B. shows up driving a limo filled with bees and expecting a job. The bees get out, causing chaos and the colony to collapse. After a fight with Oscar (“Goodbye, George. This is the last you’ll see of me!”), George Sr. drives home to visit Lucille, who’s eager to resume the previous day’s activities.

In an attempt to get to the bottom of his lack of sex drive, George Sr. consults Dr. Norman, who sends him to Orange County Imaging for an MRI. “Ride that MRI to climax,” Dr. Norman urges. Cut to a scene we’ve already seen within the first few minutes of the show: George Sr. entering a bodega in his floppy hat seconds after G.O.B. has walked out the door with his Forget-Me-Now Rx filled. Further puzzle pieces start to fall in place as George Sr. mistakenly walks into Orange County Imagine and runs right into Michael. Now we know why George Sr. had the Mexican porn magazines! We also find out that it was actually Oscar who had told Michael to go to hell. George Sr. agrees to sign off on the release after Michael agrees to convince Herbert Love to withdraw his support of the wall.

After rebuffing Lucille’s advances, Father B. calls Michael and orders him to give G.O.B. a job selling houses in Sudden Valley. The two brothers reunite at the model home to catch up and brag about their love lives, since both of them are dating people “kinda famous-y.” Upon entering the model home, G.O.B. and Michael hear a noise that they dismiss as a vulture and discover that someone has stocked the cabinets with Mike’s Hard Lemonade. The narrator reveals that they’re actually from John Beard, aka the man who would later entrap Tobias. The Bluth brothers get drunk and have a heart-to-heart about Michael’s disappointment in George Michael.

Cut to the Cinco festival. George Sr. runs into Michael, now sporting a big bruise on his face. Son reassures father that he took care of getting Love to denounce the wall. On his way to meet Dr. Norman for the results of his testosterone test, George Sr. is confronted by Lucille 2. She’s angry that he gave money to Love’s campaign since she’s running against Love and is president of a company building a wall that she campaigned against. He assures her that everything is taken care of and she tells him it better be. The episode ends with the crowd chanting “Put up this wall!” as George Sr. puts on a discarded red wig. We also learn that Lucille Astero went missing at the Cinco festival.

I loved this episode. It was riddled with callbacks (“It’s good to be out of that sweaty old hotbox.” refers to “How am I supposed to find someone willing to go into that musty old claptrap?”) and finally gives us a glimpse at what else was going down on Cinco de Quatro. But what really brought it home for me was the scene between Michael and G.O.B. because it felt just like old times.

Things to Note:

  • Lucille’s prisoner number is 07734, which is HELLO when you hold it upside down on a calculator. HELLO = Anyong! Amazing.
  • Ostrich reference: G.O.B.’s boxes of bees fell over on his way to the colony when he had to swerve to avoid an ostrich.
  • Love asks George Sr.: “What do I look like to you? Carl Weathers?”
  • We get another “No hugging!” which is turning out to be this season’s version of “No touching!”
  • Barry is buying a step ladder while on the phone with George Sr. Perhaps to help reach the chachi?
  • Callback to Buster’s days in Cartography class.
  • We learn more about Rebel Alley: She’s Ron’s illegitimate daughter who, like her half-sisters, was named for the place she was conceived.
  • New running gag: Rebel does PSAs directed by her dad based off of crimes she’s committed.
  • Oscar’s theme music plays when Lucille mentions “their son.”
  • You won’t know to look on first viewing, but you can see Buster on stage during the fundraiser.
  • Call back to my all-time favorite AD line during the pier scene with Dr. Norman: Dr. Norman: “You sir, are a very funny lady.” George Sr.: “That’s what they always say to the unattractive one.” …Her?

Timeline:

  • Lindsay mentions she hasn’t seen George Sr. “since last January.”
  • George Sr. establishes that this episode takes place one year after “Borderline Personalities.”

7.  Colony Collapse

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Finally, we get to catch up with G.O.B. Right before the Queen Mary incident, George Michael catches G.O.B. and Ann together as they prepare to “get to fourth base” as soon as she turns 18 the next day. Unfortunately for G.O.B., “the only ‘her’ he would be getting off of that night was the Queen Mary.” After forcing GM to give him his blessing, G.O.B. realizes that without anything standing in his way of being with Egg Plant Ann, he doesn’t actually want to be with her. This brings us to what I think is the funniest running joke of the new season – the random playing of “The Sound of Silence” when G.O.B. spaces out.

G.O.B.’s attempt to break up with Ann goes pretty much how you’d expect: he ends up having sex with her and then accidentally proposing marriage to her. There’s three wonderful moments: 1. Ann, having made breakfast for G.O.B., asks “How do you like your eggs?” “I said you were fine!” G.O.B. responds. 2. G.O.B. stuttering his way through the “Should the guy in the…” and “Come on” lines. 3. We get the return of the “Marry me!” joke. We then get a whole bunch more “Her?” jokes from Michael, G.O.B., and Pastor Veal’s co-host on a Evangelical Christian talk show.

At his wedding to Ann – which none of the Bluths have shown up to except Tobias, who’s only there because casting at the Miracle Network sent him to be a part of the act – G.O.B. performs his most offensive trick illusion yet by dressing up as The Amazing Jesus. What follows is nothing short of, well, amazing. There’s also a great sight gag: The Veals’ church is called the Holy Eternal Rapture, or “HER?” for short. The show is a disaster, of course, as G.O.B. gets stuck in the boulder for two weeks, causing him to miss Lucille’s trial. Ann subsequently dumps him and informs him that she’s “sold his cave on Craigslist.” So THAT’S how Heartfire found the sweat cave!

G.O.B. meets up with Steve Holt in a bar, who offers him a job in his pest control business. After his son leaves, G.O.B. meets John Beard Jr. (Ben Schwartz aka Jean-Ralphio on Parks & Rec) who hooks him up with pop sensation Mark Cherry (a shout out to this Marc Cherry?). It’s also at the bar that G.O.B. catches the attention of Rebel Alley. G.O.B. ends up joining their entourage as their “Getaway” and standing up Steve Holt. Over the next several months, G.O.B. gets caught up in a “Roofie Circle,” trying to forget his shame. Sometime after Christmas, he ends up in a Mexican hospital with Stage 4 syphilis. Meanwhile, Mark Cherry has written a pop song about G.O.B., with lyrics that include, “Go away, Getaway!” that G.O.B. naturally doesn’t get. We get another payoff to an earlier reference – those bees that caused Johnny Bark to fall to his death? They were most likely G.O.B.’s.

Another puzzle piece falls into place: G.O.B. was the driver of the limo that we last saw DeBrie getting into. DeBrie, looking for drugs, accidentally unleashes G.O.B.’s bee colony. The bees stab everyone in the entourage, lands them all in the hospital and then in rehab, something that G.O.B. remains blissfully unaware of at first. At the Opie Awards the following evening, G.O.B. learns that a now out Tony Wonder is set to perform a magic act as the evening’s entertainment. Hoping to sabotage his rival, G.O.B. jams shut the door to what he believes to be Tony’s escape panel. After seeing Tony pop out of a speaker instead, G.O.B. hears a loud noise and sirens, seemingly placing him in the same building as his father and sister were in “Double Crossers.”

In the “On the next…” segment, we learn that it was G.O.B. driving the limo that almost hit Michael right after he met Rebel and that he suspects Tony Wonder of sabotaging his cave door from opening after finding a “T” (a crucifix) jammed into the door.

Another solid, great episode. The ridiculousness of G.O.B. never ceases to do anything short of crack me up. Even though this was one of the longer episodes, it never felt long. I didn’t recognize Steve Holt at first, but it was fun to see him back. I wish his character had a little bit more to do other than be hurt by G.O.B., but I’ll take what I can get. The Tobias/G.O.B. stuff was great, as was every little Ann joke. Tobias’s line, “I don’t like to quote reviews, but His Word magazine called my Jew pitiful!” cracked me up.

Things to Note:

  • G.O.B. gets a “Way to plant, Ann” in there.
  • G.O.B. to Ann after being frightened by a picture of Jesus in her room: “For a second I thought that was a real guy.”
  • The “G.O.B. was feeling boulder/bolder” pun.
  • The bar G.O.B. spends time at is called “And Jeremy Piven” while Mark Cherry’s group is a spoof on Entourage.
  • Rebel mentions her David Spade purse.
  • G.O.B. distracts the paparazzi: “Okay, let’s go while they still have lighter fluid in their eyes.”
  • Tony Wonder’s “I’m here, I’m queer…” calls back to the protest from the pilot: “We’re here, we’re queer…”

Timeline:

  • G.O.B.’s wedding to Ann is at least two weeks after Michael gives his shares to Lucille 2.
  • Since G.O.B. is using the tomb that would later become George Sr.’s sweat hut, this obviously takes place prior to the founding of Father B.’s Colony.

8.  Red Hairing

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We head back over to Lindsay, who’s still living with Marky and Ma Bark on their ostrich farm. Coincidentally, it’s also located next to George Sr.’s sweat colony. Another puzzle piece in place as we learn that it was Marky who dressed up as an ostrich and pretended to be George & Oscar’s vision while they were high on macca. Upon learning that she missed Lucille’s trial and that the Barks were being kicked off their land, Lindsay, Marky, and Cindy the ostrich decide to “occupy” Lucille’s now empty penthouse. We fast forward to one year later and see the now-trashed penthouse. Marky is planning on blue-ink-and-glitter bombing Herbert Love’s speech at his event, only he can’t find the silver glitter. Lindsay used it to make a “I’m for LUCILLE 2 4 Congres” sign on the back of the “You’re killing me, Buster” sign. Speaking of Lucille 2, Lindsay has been secretly hanging out with her mother’s rival in her penthouse and receiving gifts such as red wigs and ice cream cake.

After finding Lucille’s check to Maeby for plastic surgery, Lindsay pays Prisoner 07734 a visit at her luxurious incarceration center. Mama B. informs Lindsay that even if they’re not biologically related, “the apple does not far from the tree fall.” This spurs Lindsay to go along with Marky’s plan to bomb Love’s speech. While wearing the red wig at the fundraiser, Lindsay runs into both George Sr. (we saw that scene before) and Maeby, who confides to her mother that she’s there “to receive a lifetime achievement award for her work in the entertainment business.” The two part ways. Lindsay heads to the bar, where she flirts with Herbert Love without having any idea who he actually is. Suddenly, there’s an explosion and Lindsay realizes that she never let Marky out of the podium. As a result, the bomb went off with Marky still in its path and he’s now a big blue mess. “Oh no,” Lindsay groans. “He blue himself.” “Well, you certainly have a type,” Maeby tells her after breaking the news that she’s been flirting with Herbert Love himself. Lindsay returns to the penthouse to find an eviction notice thanks to Cindy the Ovulating Ostrich. As she sips stolen vodka out of her purse, an unknowing Michael passes her as he gets off the elevator and we’re in the final scene in the first episode.

More puzzle pieces fall into place – At the model home, Lindsay notices the police tape. Maeby alludes to Tobias having already been arrested. This is confirmed in a scene between Marky & Lindsay at the prison, when “Anus Tart” is called out in the background. Marky reveals that he couldn’t escape from the podium on his own because someone (G.O.B. in the previous episode) had jammed the door closed so he couldn’t open it. Pushing ahead in the plot, Michael runs into Lindsay and Herbert Love asks his sister to get her new lover “against the wall,” which will fulfill his promise to George Sr. She does this, only it’s not quite the same “against the wall” that her brother meant. Meanwhile, Michael is supposed to meet GM at the Ealing Club for lunch, only he is denied entry and has to make up a lie to stall. Sadly, GM also lies to his devastated father.

Lindsay makes a reservation under the family name and takes Love out to dinner at the Balboa Club, but Michael and Rebel have already beaten her to the punch. After a hilariously awkward dinner conversation between the conservative Love, liberal Alley, and clueless Lindsay, both brother and sister are left alone at the table. A lonely and confused Lindsay runs into a now freed Marky, who tells her about his new plan to glitter bomb a ship at the Cinco festival. Lindsay attempts to warn Love of the bombing, but is instead offered “a severance package for servicing my package.” While strolling along the docks, Lindsay sees a disguised Marky board a motorboat with her suitcase in hand (presumably carrying the bomb). Rather than join him, she keeps walking and runs into Lucille, who for some unknown reason, is wearing a costume that looks like the Wicked Queen’s outfit. Lucille tells Lindsay that at the end of the day, she is still a Bluth. Lindsay discards the wig in the trash. She offers her services as campaign manager to Lucille 2, only to find that she’d lost out on the position to her longtime rival, Sally Sitwell. Sally reveals to Lindsay that they have compromising pictures of Love and his redheaded prostitute. She runs into Love’s campaign manager who tells her that Love has suddenly gone missing and someone needs to make a speech in his place. Determined to get the one-up on both Lucille 2 and Love, Lindsay gets up on the podium and inadvertently gets the crowd riled up with chants of “Put up this wall!” The rioting starts, we see George Sr. throw on the red wig, and learn that Love was found unconscious behind the kick-a-goat booth and is now in a coma.

I liked this episode much better on second viewing, but it still feels a little bit long to me. I was delighted to see the blue paint pop up again as well as tickled at the name Lindsay used as her alias: Cindy Featherbottom (combining Cindy the ostrich and Tobias’ alter ego from season 2).

Things to Note:

  • Lindsay sighs, “I’d give $20,000 for a lemonade right now.” and then later asks “Who keeps numbing these animals?” The former is a nod to George Sr.’s scam while the latter references Dr. Norman’s “thinking cap.”
  • Lucille again pokes fun at Lindsay’s inability to fake cry.
  • Maeby’s line about Lindsay having a type is the same thing that Michael said to Buster in Season 3.
  • There’s a “No touching!” during the prison scene when Marky hugs Lindsay which is a play on the “No hugging” replacing “No touching” in the earlier episodes.
  • Throwback line: “It’s like we finish each other’s–” “Sandwiches!”
  • The Eastern “Coincidence” music plays yet again.
  • Love pulls a Rita when he refers to “sexual relations.”
  • Just like her brother and nephew, Lindsay has sex in the Photo Booth.

9.  Smashed

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We head back over to Tobias, now a registered sex offender and rebranded as a “Theralyist” (prison had taught him one thing). In order to pay back his debt to society, Tobias is now working as a therapist at Lucille 2’s rehab facility, Austerity. Mark Cherry, sent to rehab after the bee stinging incident, is in Tobias’ therapy group. Here’s a convenient opportunity for everyone to sing the G.O.B. inspired “Go Away, Getaway” song. Also in the group is Emmett Ritcher, Andy’s identical quintuplet who won’t allow them to show his face. Tobias runs into a six weeks clean DeBrie but is soon told by Argyle Austero (Lucille 2’s brother) that he can’t treat her because they had been previously involved. And so, Tobias decides to put on “Fantastic 4: The Musical” so he can spend time with his new lady love.

Back at the model home, Tobias runs into G.O.B. and the two brother-in-laws catch up over breakfast (eggs, of course) and brag about how they’re both dating famous-y people. G.O.B. tells Tobias that he can’t get anyone to live in Sudden Valley due to it not having any Internet, cell phone service, schools, libraries, etc. near it. Since those are pretty much all of Tobias’ parole requirements as a sex offender, he tells G.O.B. that he can move into one today! Back at Austerity, Tobias and Argyle run into a little problem with not having the rights to put on a Fantastic 4 musical. If only the could raise $700,000… Oh! That’s coincidentally the amount of money that Michael owes Lucille. Hmmm, I see where this is going. On his way out of the Balboa Club after the disastrous double date, Michael runs into the Austero siblings. Argyle demands he pay the money back by “the fourth” (El Cinco de Quatro).

There’s a new patient at Austerity, known as “the B-word from the C Ward…or is it the C-word from the B Ward?” Yup, that’s right – it’s Lucille. “Hello, Anus Tart,” she greets her son-in-law. And she’s never even seen the license plate.

Back in Sudden Valley, Michael confides his problems over whether or not to do the film with Tobias. Tobias tells Michael that he’s f*cked, but upon learning that he knows Ron Howard, Tobias urges his brother-in-law to go talk to him so he himself can try to get the producer to give him the rights to his musical. Tobias: “I will act as your assistant and maybe I’ll do my famous gay character. I don’t think you’ve ever seen that character.” Michael: “I think I have.”

Things go just as awkwardly as you’d expect at Imagine Entertainment when Michael, under the impression that Ron Howard is Rebel’s lover, asks the producer to “let her go” so she can be “his little num num.” It’s no surprise that Tobias knows that Ron is Rebel’s father, but his reaction is hilarious. Sadly for Tobias, Ron can’t help him get the rights. Naturally, Tobias lies to everyone back at rehab and tells them that they are good to go. Unfortunately for DeBrie, Lucille has decided to “mother” her by calling her fat and insulting her dancing skills during F4 rehearsals. The pressure gets to DeBrie, who relapses at Cinco courtesy of Dr. Norman’s flushed pills which she just so happened to be down current of.

I was worried that the Tobias is a sex offender gag was going to be overkill, but it pays off at the Cinco festival. Anus Tart realizes that he can’t perform in the musical in his Thing costume because he will be too recognizable and there are too many children around. It’s a funny moment when a group of children pass him by and he fulfills his obligation to go “I’m a registered sex offender” to every single one of them as they pass. Tobias runs into Buster and convinces him to take his place as The Thing, once again using a poor choice of words: “You’re a monster, you don’t have to be any good.” Both Tobias and Lucille 2 find DeBrie passed out among debris. Lucille 2 angrily threatens to fire Tobias which will result in him going back to prison (he’s out on a work release program). She tells him she’ll talk to him about it on Monday. “So I have until Monday to fix this,” Tobias ponders with an evil villain laugh…until we realize that he’s laughing at “that red head lady” who can’t seem to throw her money at someone. We know by now that this is Lindsay trying to throw the payoff money in Love’s face.

I have to admit that I’m not a huge fan of the DeBrie character. Sometimes I like her, other times, I find her to be kinda “meh.” One of the bigger running gags with DeBrie is the imaginary nose bleed gag and I just don’t find that funny. That said, I don’t hate her. I just hope we’re done with her after this season. We last see DeBrie asking Tobias to “let me die” as he takes her Sue Storm wig off her head and plays the part himself. It’s his muscle memory that leads him to “blue himself for the first time in 5 years.” Clap, clap, cheers!

Things to Note:

  • We hear the Mr. F jingle two more times in this episode.
  • The return of Tobias in blue pant and cut offs!
  • Every food scene in the model home features mustard and Parmesan cheese.  This is a nod to Martin Mull, who plays both Gene Parmesan and Colonel Mustard in Clue.

10. Queen B.

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Finally, we to hear things from the Queen B herself, Lucille, or “Lu” as she’s known within her prison gang, the Jade Dragon Triad on the show, The Real Asian Prison Housewives of the Orange County White Collar Prison System. “Their bark is bigger than those dogs they eat back home,” Lu explains. Ah, mama is just as punny as ever.

We find out the reason why Lucille inexplicably turned the Queen Mary back that day: She wanted to make sure Lucille 2 knew just how she felt about her. While under house arrest, Buster gets on Lucille’s nerves, despite the breakfast of vodka and a piece of toast he serves her in bed. They exchange insults (Lucille: “You’re not the one staring 5 years in the face!” Buster: “I’m the one staring 100 years in the face!”) before Buster threatens himself, hahahaha. God, I love every exchange between Lucille and Buster.

Cut to Lucille’s trial, which we already know that no one shows up to except Lucille 2. Up on the stand, the two Lucilles go toe-to-toe with their 30-year-long passive aggressive dance. It’s a fantastic exchange filled with just as many fun insults as ever. After being found guilty, Lucille checks into a luxury correctional facilities (they became popular after the Enron debacle) and is visited by George Sr., who explains that he missed the trial because he was passed out in the sweat lodge. He tells her that the judge will lower her sentence if she agrees to spend time in Lucille 2’s rehab facility, but she’s not going to fake an alcohol problem just to have L2 laugh at her. He then tells her that China Rose’s aunt has the hook up with the Jade Dragon Triad for protection. (“That’s a gang? I thought they were tech support.”) Lucille picks door #2. Not only does Lucille ingratiate herself with the gang, she convinces her new Chinese friends to help the Bluths finance the wall.

Things go south quickly thanks to the government holding up the wall project. Now we know why Lucille still wants George Sr. to build enough of the wall to show people it’s being build and why George Sr. made the video with Buster as proof. This plan fails, of course, so to get away from the Triad, Lucille “puts on the old drunk act” and gets herself transferred to Austerity. The only thing left standing between Lucille and her freedom is Tobias who, as her therapist, has to sign off on her recovery. “You look very heterosexual in that suit,” Mama B. says in an attempt to butter him up. Tobias, however, does have some sort of professional integrity and refuses to do so until she’s completed all of her sessions. They spend several sessions just staring at each other. Lucille finally has a breakthrough when she believes Tobias thinks she’s a villain. She’s about to confess that she is going to cry for the first time since she was a little girl and hid after she found the remains of her ostr– (another ostrich reference!) when Tobias interrupts her to say he’s looking for someone to play the part of the villain Lucia in his musical, which will be debuted on a boat at Cinco. On a boat? Lucille is in.

After a priceless audition using a song with words “written from the heart,” Lucille gets the part. Puzzle piece into place: That’s why Lucille is dressed as a villain at Cinco. Back in her room, she takes a call from Oscar who’s trying to reach Lucille 2, but at Austerity, Lucille is the one known as Lucille 2. He quickly covers it up by pretending to be George Sr. Lucille tells “George” that Gene Parmesan is the one who took the photos of Love and Lindsay and she’s giving them to his wife. Micheal shows up and the two dance around signing paperwork for the other – Lucille signing the release and Michael signing away the rest of his shares to the company. Michael tells Lucille that Lindsay’s now a redhead and dating Herbert Love (so that’s how she knew). He also suspects that Rebel is dating G.O.B. thanks to finding a flower with a note from a “George Maharis” in her kitchen and a frozen dead dove in her freezer. Lucille suggests that Michael hire Gene Parmesan just as the man himself pops up, inspiring one of Lu’s trademark screams.

At the Cinco festival, Lucille catches up with George Sr., who confesses that Oscar has been filling in for him occasionally. In turn, Lucille demands a divorce. She ends up in Oscar’s arms only to discover that Lucille 2 has already marked her territory. In an emotional storm, Lucille runs into Tobias, who’s looking for a Storm. Tobias inadvertently soothes Lucille by telling her that she’s not a villain, she’s actually the Invisible Girl. Lucille decides she’s going back to rehab to “pay Lucille 2 back for everything she’s done to her,” but has to make one quick stop first.

As the episode ends, we learn that on the night Lucille declares herself invisible, Lucille 2 has also become the Invisible Girl. The camera cuts to a shot of the bloodied stairs on the stair car…

Things to Note:

  • We get that priceless Lucille wink just minutes in. Hooray!
  • “Have you guys ever even read one of these things?” -Emmett in a callback to the good old “Have any of you ever even seen a chicken?” gag.
  • Lucille mentions the Gangie movies.
  • Gene Parmesan works as a fry cook at a restaurant called Chicken Dance.

11.  A New Attitude

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We pick back up with G.O.B.’s storyline and right off the bat, get another Modern Family joke, this time with Michael and G.O.B. accusing each other of dating Julie Bowen. Michael gives G.O.B. a job selling houses in Sudden Valley and G.O.B. signs the release. Later that night. George Michael, summoned by G.O.B. under the pretense of talking about his father, meets his uncle at the Gothic Castle (not the Gothic Asshole). Turns out G.O.B. needs to use GM as “legal eye candy” so he can fit in at the gay club and stage a fight with his boyfriend in his attempt to undermine Tony Wonder. He gets more than he bargains for, however, when he watches Tony’s show and bonds with Tony over secrets of the trade afterwards. They end up having a fun tonight together (stealing pies and the like).

The next morning, we see more of the scene between G.O.B. and Tobias that we saw during the Ep. 9. You know, the one where they both brag about dating people who are kinda famous and G.O.B. then sells Tobias a house? It turns out that Tobias knows other people will similar needs (fellow registered sex offenders): “I have a man that could fill every opening you have.” G.O.B. continues with his plan to make Tony fall in love with him as Lucille calls him and we see the rest of the phone call between him and his mother that was started in the previous episode. Tony, on the other hand, is revealed to actually be straight and in cahoots (and bed) with none other than Sally Sitwell, who stole $100,00 from Lucille 2 to rebrand Tony as the “Gay Magician.” Tony overheard George Michael telling his uncle about his FakeBlock software and hatches a plan to steal GM’s cell phone number from G.O.B.’s phone in order get a hold of the money that the software is bringing in.

Michael and Gene are follow G.O.B. to “the gayest ballroom” that Siri can give him directions to. The brothers get into a fight and Michael gets the bruise on his face from a little kid with a giant inflatable crayon. An outraged Michael kicks both G.O.B. and George Sr. out of the movie. The eldest Bluth brother meets up with Tony Wonder and they bond some more over what they have in common (“Same!”). The two magicians realize that they have actual feelings (of friendship) for each other, something that they mistake for romantic feelings because neither have ever felt real feelings for friendship before. They make plans to have gay normal sex on Cinco. Same!

On Cinco, G.O.B. runs into Ann who reveals that she has a 5-year-old son by Tony Wonder. G.O.B. is outraged to learn that Tony is straight. He has a plan to dress Ann up in a G.O.B. mask to have “fake, gay sex” with Tony that will then be revealed as “real, straight sex” that will ruin his career. Ann refuses to go with this plan, so G.O.B. thinks he convinces her to have sex with him wearing a G.O.B. mask while he wears a Tony mask. Ann runs into Tony in the kitchen (“You?” “Ann.”) and convinces him to wear the G.O.B. mask while she wears the Tony mask. “Meet me in the bedroom for some serious secular intercourse,” she says before walking out the door. You know where this is going.

And that’s who G.O.B. spent the night with before Michael walked into the model home in the opening scene. It’s also revealed during the “On the next…” segment that Rebel’s other boyfriend is actually George Michael.

Things to Note:

  • Wasn’t the Gothic Castle the same place that Tobias went during his Leather Daddy phase in “Storming the Castle”?
  • Great Tobias slam by Michael: “If I want to see bad acting, I’ll go see Tobias in ‘A Jew Comes to Dinner.'”
  • The “Balls in the Air” song was also used during “Notapusy” episode.

12. Señoritis

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Maeby time!  High school senior Maeby and her boyfriend Perfecto are on their way to a college math tutoring program and her tutor is – who else? – George Michael.  Flash back to the aftermath of the Queen Mary, where Maeby is lying on a stretcher trying to get her self-absorbed parents to notice her.  George Michael approaches to break the news that he thinks they should just be cousins because he needs to concentrate on graduating high school in two months.  Inspired, Maeby decides to flunk high school to get her parents’ attention.  Unfortunately for Maeby, the news of her being held back has to be put on hold after she discovers they’ve both left town.  Instead, Maeby heads to India to supervise a movie she’s working on, Gangie 5: Eat, Pray, Love (that’s why the book was out for L & T to find) and at the hotel, she sees Lindsay.  If you go back and watch the Lindsay scene in “Indian Takers,” you can clearly see Maeby in the background while Lindsay is at the front desk.  Another puzzle piece:  Maeby was the shaman that Lindsay met with in India.  Jay totally called this twist when we watched “Indian Takers” the first time.

Over the next several years, Maeby continues to put off graduating and thanks to Kitty, gets fired from Imagine Entertainment.  She ends up squatting in the penthouse, but escapes to the model home on the day that Lindsay and Marky move in with Cindy.  We find out that Maeby was the vulture noise we heard as G.O.B. and Michael entered the model home on the day they drank the Mike’s Hard Lemonade.  When she shows up for tutoring at George Michael’s dorm room, her cousin tells all about his FakeBlock software program.  This causes her to feel bad about herself.  On the bus ride back, she hears rumors of an undercover cop at the school and begins to realize that perhaps it’s time to finally graduate from high school.  At a bar, Maeby meets two of the cops from Entrap a Predator.  Hard up for cash, she asks them if they need a new bait house.  Puzzle piece:  It’s Maeby who set Tobias up to get arrested.  On her way back from the restroom, Maeby thinks she sees Perfecto with a police badge.  Is he the undercover cop?

Maeby encounters Barry with a step stool outside of the high school.  This is particularly great because it’s pay off to the Barry storyline, which we’ve now seen fully seen, but out of order.  She heads back to the penthouse to claim a “long overdue royalty check” and encounters an ovulating Cindy the ostrich.  This puts the timeline at one of the three days that Marky was hiding in the podium and Lindsay was living in the trailer.  An annoyed Maeby lets Cindy outside onto the balcony.  And now we know just how Lucille 2 came to be attacked by a “chicken.”  This also clears up that the check wasn’t from Lucille to Maeby, but rather from the movie Gangie 4: Facelift.

Stair car alert at the Opie Awards!  Maeby runs into Mort (cue the Curb Your Enthusiasm music) who informs her that the award is actually given to someone in the business once they’re finished.  Since he’s also finished in the business, Mort has moved on to the next best thing: starting up an Internet company.  Maeby begins to talk up Fakeblock and runs into her old friend from her days at Imagine, Rebel Alley.  She introduces Rebel to her “friend,” “George Maharis.”  Rebel complains that she’s so over social media: “I tried to deactivate my Facebook profile.  It’s easier to get out of Scientology.”

Maeby sees Perfecto at the Opies and confronts him about being a cop.  When they part, she runs into Lindsay and we see the scene between the two of them at the coconut shrimp table.  She then accepts her Opie in a profanity-laden speech.  Security begins to chase her out, but chaos erupts when Marky’s bomb goes off.  We see the scene between Maeby and her mother outside again, only learn what happens from Maeby’s POV.  Upon hearing daughter call mother a whore, Herbert Love’s campaign manager approaches Maeby and hires Lindsay for the night.  And that’s how Maeby became her mother’s pimp.  She uses the money to invest in FakeBlock, which is also being financed by Lucille 2 (GM has no idea who she is).

Maeby also uses the money to fix up the model home, where she encounters Steve Holt immediately following his phone call with G.O.B. in “A New Attitude” (the one that takes place on Steve’s birthday).  I laughed so hard at Maeby not recognizing him anymore and cheered when we got a “Steve Holt!” Poor Steve Holt.  Maeby unveils the new FakeBlock office to GM, but he gets overwhelmed and fires her.  Back at the penthouse, she runs into Michael, signs the release, and suggests that the project (which she originally pitched during the Season 3 finale) be better off as a TV series.

This brings us to the Cinco festivities.  Maeby runs into Lindsay and learns that her mother has been paid to go away.  Outraged at yet another loss in income, she turns to Perfecto and asks him to take care of Herbert Love for her.  Next thing we know, Love has gone missing and Perfecto confesses that he’s not the undercover cop after all – he’s just a 17-year-old high school senior.  23-year-old Maeby realizes that she’s inadvertently become a sex offender herself and that Lucille 2 (Perfecto’s foster mother) has seen her.  She begins to think that she’s made a terrible mis—nah, she’s fine.

In the “On the next…” segment, we find out that Sally Sitwell is planning on running in Lucille 2’s place after her disappearance and that the undercover cop is Donnie Ritcher.  He arrests Maeby for having sex with Perfecto and she moans, “I’m gonna have to live in Sudden Valley!”

Things to Note:

  • Ostrich reference: Maeby’s high school mascot.
  • Not knowing how to tip: Maeby offers the movers stock options instead of a cash tip.
  • The front desk clerk at the hotel tells Lindsay she’s “full of shi—beep,” which Maeby tells her mother both as the shaman and during the Bluth family meeting.
  • On her fourth year of high school, Maeby’s yearbook labels her as “Maeby Featherbottom.”
  • A quote under another photo says “Life is a Roofie Circle.”
  • She gives the bartender a quick “Marry me” when he asks to see her ID.
  • The Widow Carr is the voice of Kerri Russell.
  • We get a second Zack and Cody joke.
  • Flashback to the SLUT shirt in prison!
  • The Funke Family’s favorite TV show is Babies Having Babies.
  • We get the “safe at home plate” picture and horn to indicate how far Maeby and Perfecto have gone.
  • Poor George Michael.  He just can’t seem to get a break when it comes to names.
  • Maeby’s rant at the podium must’ve been filmed very recently, because she yells, “I will c—punt the next person…”  This references the Sorority Girl e-mail that went viral in April 2013.

Timeline:

  • Maeby tells George Michael she has “two whole months” to flunk high school, which puts the Queen Mary incident in March/April (since high schools graduations are in May/June).
  • India is at the end of her first year.
  • The Method One clinic debacle is at the end of her second year as a senior.  This implies that Lucille’s trial is one year after the Queen Mary incident.
  • Her third senior year is spent at the Penthouse.
  • Her fourth & fifth senior years are spent the model home.

13.  It Gets Better

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This episode is George Michael-centric.  It opens with him as the most popular person at a pool party he’s throwing for his girlfriend Rebel.  Backtracking to his days in college, we learn that GM has put his perfect internal clock to use and plays the rhythm block in a band.  We see a flashback video of a young George Sr. trying to cash in on these skills with a product called BabyTock.  I think this is the first time we’ve ever seen Michael’s deceased wife Tracey.

Puzzle piece:  We see the family meeting scene from GM’s point of view, which also happens to be his graduation part.  Just as George Sr. gives him a check to get a new car as a present, Michael storms in after giving Lucille 2 his shares.  The “What’s this?” we heard off camera in the first episode was Michael referring to GM’s check.  He makes his son rip it up and gives him the stair car to drive instead.

We get GM’s back story by the year.  In his freshman year, GM lived daringly by doing things like drinking Pepsi in the morning and charming people with his humor.  During sophomore year, everything gets turned up a notch: He makes new friends and tells them some of his crazy family stories and gets and loses a girlfriend.  During junior year, GM signs up for scientific experiments to compensate for his lack of income.  He gets “an education in life” during his summer trip abroad to Spain, when he grows a mustache and hooks up with a hot older woman that teaches him how to kiss and make love (and is later shown to be pregnant!).  GM’s development is stalled two months into his senior year when Michael shows up and stays with him for six months.  We see the start of FakeBlock: it began as an app designed to help simulate a woodblock.  The anti-piracy aspect of it was just a lie he told his dad and build up further to impress his cousin.  Suddenly, we’re seeing GM tap into “a long inbreed instinct for lying.”  The 41-second pause before GM explains it to them is priceless.  We also find out that GM is the one who came up with the plan for voting Michael out of the room.

Cut to the night of the gala.  We learn that 3 different events were going on at once.  The first is the unveiling of Mort’s new Internet company, Schnoodle.  This is the event Tony Wonder is performing at.  The second is the Opie Awards.  The third is the Herbert Love rally.  At the Opies, GM is shaken up to learn that Maeby has a boyfriend.  Suddenly, Marky’s bomb goes off and causes the power to surge.  The surge renders Schnoodle inoperable and suddenly “George Maharis” is blamed for knocking out his competition.

While waiting for Michael to show up at the Ealing club, GM meets Rebel at the bar.  Rebel is surprised that GM knows who she is, but he informs her, “You were in the remake of Dangerous Cousin.  I signed up to Netflix because of that movie!”  It’s a delightful reference to seasons past.  We’re then treated to the entire game of phone tag between Michael and George Michael.  GM blew his dad off for a girl!

Things to Note:

  • Cornballer alert!
  • Segway alert!
  • George Michael is called “OS” or “overtly sexual.”  I didn’t catch it the first time, but on my second watch, I noticed that Tobias’s business card says “M.D., OS.”
  • George Michael almost gives us his own version of the chicken dance!
  • The woman who assigns Maeby to GM echos Michael’s previous advice to “Stay on top of her.  You need to ride her pretty hard.”
  • GM tells the front desk clerk at the hotel that he only needs one bed: “Why give her the option?”  In the pilot of Seinfeld, Kramer says the same thing to Jerry in the same context.
  • GM’s Star Wars video is back!
  • When passing Lindsay in the hotel lobby, GM says, “Gentlemen start your engines.”  Michael said the same thing when he unknowingly passed Lindsay getting into the elevator.
  • GM is eating eggs in the computer lab.
  • P-Hound and GM accuse each other of being a “hop on.”
  • Donnie Ritcher yells “Come on!”

14.  Off The Hook

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My biggest complaint with this season was there was not enough Buster. Hooray for the Buster episode at long last!  And he’s hooking up with a “beautiful, elegant woman”?

Unsurprisingly, Buster had the most difficult time dealing with the aftermath of the Queen Mary incident.  He stuck to his daily routine: laying out Mother’s clothes, making Mother’s breakfast, and amusing himself with little jokes he thought she’d appreciate.  We get a fun little nod to Lucille’s “freebie” during “The Cabin Show” (when she thought she was beating a snoring Buster to death) and a shot of Buster creepily sewing naked a la Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs.  Things turn really creepy when we see the entire living and dining rooms filled up with martinis that Buster has made for his fake life-sized Lucille dummy.  And now we know why the penthouse looked like it did when Lucille returns for house arrest during “Mother B.”

The tensions with Lucille leads Buster right back into the arms of Lucille 2, who’s now into juicing.  She convinces Buster to juice with her at 2 p.m. (“It’s 8 a.m. somewhere!”).  Before he knows it, it’s the following morning, he has a juice hangover, the Lucille dummy is on the floor in shreds (“Well, that was a freebie.”), and Buster has missed his mother’s trial.  He ends up living with Lucille 2 again and unsuccessfully attempts to visit his mother every day.  Things end with Lucille 2 after Buster can’t get his lover to mother him.

Having hit an “all-time low,” Buster officially re-enlists in the army and is set up as a drone pilot.  When he goes down over Afghanistan, Buster is put into the bionics program.  Buster’s next challenge is learning how to use the “big hand” that Army gave him.  The result is a clever, funny sequence with him desperately trying to get used to the large prosthetic.  The best joke in the entire segment comes when Buster, suspected of faking his inability to use the hand, is trying to use the fast forward button on a remote: “Hope this guy likes the music acts on Saturday Night Live, because he’s going to watching a lot of them.”

As he’s being discharged from the VA Hospital, Buster meets Ophelia Love.  Herbert’s wife convinces her husband to let Buster stay with their family to give him a leg up on Lucille 2.  Buster proves handy (pun intended): Helping their sons out with school bullies; Making Hennessy and Cokes; Helping on the campaign trail.  We learn that Buster was actually on stage when Marky’s bomb went off.  This takes us back to where the episode began.  Upon kissing Ophelia, Buster exclaims, “No smoke came out!”  When Ophelia expresses her confusion at being being rejected because Buster had been flirting with her, he tells her, “Right, mother stuff.”  Mrs. Love then shows Buster the pictures of Herbert with a redheaded Lindsay and he responds, “I’ve worn a captain’s hat with someone who had hair like that!”

Ophelia gives Buster the same choice that Lucille 2 did earlier: “You’re either my son or my lover.”  This time, Buster chooses lover.  He visits Lucille and brags, “I’m not a Mother Boy anymore.  I’m a Mother Man.”  Sadly for Buster, Ophelia and Herbert want to give their relationship another go, so she kicks him out.  Cue up the Charlie Brown music.

Buster accidentally knocks himself out and wakes up on the evening of Cinco.  He heads out to the docks with the pictures of Lindsay and Herbert and runs into Tobias.  Anal Tart unsuccessfully tries to convince Mother Man to play the part of the Thing.  He then finds Lucille 2 and gives her the pictures of Lindsay and Herbert.  Lucille 2 confesses to Buster that she purposely caused him to miss Lucille’s trial.  He angrily heads to the Punch a Donkey booth and takes a shot of juice from Gene Parmesan – except it’s not that kind of juice (remember Oscar’s reference to Donkey Punch in “Mother B.”?)  Just then, Buster spots Herbert Love walking by and knocks him out.  Aaaaaand now we know what put Love in the coma.

Buster runs away and the blowback begins.  Admit the chaos of the rioting, Buster notices something horrifying:  Lucille 2 laying on the stairs of the stair car.  The lights flash and when we can see again, her body is gone.  Buster sees the security camera and freaks out.  The plot thickens…

Things to Note:

  • Pay off from the “hot mess” joke set up during “Mother B.”
  • We get two “That was a freebie” moments.
  • There’s a man in a “Blendin’ Maintenance” uniform outside Lucille 2’s apartment while she and Buster break up.  Blendin’ is a frequently used brand by undercover feds on the show.  Is L2 being monitored by the feds?
  • More Office alumn:  Andy Buckley (David Wade) and Zach Woods (Gabe)
  • Dr. Miller returns as the literal doctor
  • Is the PT the same nurse that took care of Buster during his fake coma in “Fakin’ It”?
  • Lucille quotes Mark Cherry’s song about G.O.B. to Buster in the hospital.
  • Buster tells Lucille that Love is “in pretty hot ham water” this time, which references Lindsay’s kitchen creation from Season 3.
  • How funny was it when Buster uses the FakeBlock program in the security office?  That’s why I love Arrested Development.
  • The pictures of Lindsay & Love: Gene Parmesan took them and gave them to Lucille, who gave them to Opehlia Love, who gave them to Buster, who gave them to Lucille 2.

Timeline:

  • Buster’s accident happens over a year after Lucille has been sent to prison.  He’s in the VA Hospital for several months and then lives with the Loves for a while, although the length is never quite established.

15.  Blockheads

arresteddevelopment-blockheads-suddenvalleysexoffenders

We follow both Michael and George Michael, picking up at the end of their game of phone tag.  Rebel and GM bond over their overbearing daddy issues.  GM is ever the Bluth, as he too takes Rebel into the Photo Booth for some fun.  Puzzle piece:  The person who called Rebel during her dinner with Michael, Lindsay, and Love was George Michael.  The two make plans to meet up because Rebel has already has birth control in her system that she had to pay for (a reference to Herbert Love’s politics).  Poor George Michael.  First his uncle steals his girlfriend, now he’s dating the same girl as his father.

Angry at being kicked out of the dorm room for Rebel’s visit, P-Hound gets a bunch of twins together and orchestrates George Michael’s vote-out (he’s labeled a ‘twincist’).  Any other TV show couldn’t get away with this kind of ridiculousness, but not AD.  After getting kicked out, he runs into G.O.B., who’s trying to cover his tracks after the Gothic Castle incident.  He tries to slip his nephew a Forget-Me-Now, to which GM responds, “If you don’t want me to tell anyone, I won’t.”  G.O.B. then waxes poetic about the pill happy age we live in.  He ends up giving “the very young looking man” a house in Sudden Valley.  And that’s who GM was having the pool party with at the start of “It Gets Better” – all of his new, sex-offender neighbors.  Again, no other show could get away with doing this gag.

Rebel’s son, Lem Depardieu, shows up at the sex offender-filled party.  We learn he lives in France with his father and only spends time with her during French pilot season.  Rebel tells GM that she doesn’t want to get too serious and liked the George Maharis she first met, the one who liked keeping things anonymous.  GM confides in Maeby and then fires her from FakeBlock.  Maeby runs into Michael at the penthouse and we see the scene where she signs the release.  She figures out that Michael is Rebel’s other guy.  To get back at her cousin for firing her, Maeby tells her uncle to go for it because Rebel is breaking up with George Maharis.  Michael heads over to Rebel’s apartment and they hook up.  On his way out, he grabs a Photo Booth picture.  He looks at it on his way out and realizes that the other man is none other than his own son.  And so, Michael tells Maeby she’s out of the movie.

Michael runs into GM at the model home and learns that his brother has sold his son a house in Sudden Valley.  Michael asks GM how he can afford to buy a house and his son says he has money coming in from investors and “I thought I’d do what everyone else around here says and put it in a Bluth.”  Priceless.  Michael returns to the penthouse and finds a note from Argyle Austero that gives him until the Cinco to pay the $700,000 back to Lucille 2.

This brings us to the Cinco de Quatro festival.  GM confesses everything to G.O.B. and asks for advice.  Unfortunately, his uncle spaces out to “The Sound of Silence” and misses most of the problem.  His advice? “I would rather have sex with someone because they thought I was someone else than not have sex with someone because she thought I was me. ”  George Michael: “So I should probably do the opposite of that.”

G.O.B. runs into George Sr. right as Lucille is walking away after telling him that she wants a real divorce.  G.O.B. asks his dad for money to pay the Mongolian hoard he hired to build the fake wall.  George Sr. informs G.O.B. and the Mongolians that the family has no money to pay them.  Puzzle piece: That’s how the Cinco riot starts.

The “Sound of  Silence” starts playing again and we see the scene from the first episode between Michael and Lucille 2.  L2 slaps Michael as he comes onto her and tells him she’s only been pity flirting with him.  Ouch!  Michael is out the end of his rope and tells her: “You own a company that I helped to build.  It was all my hard work.  This is something I have to do because if you don’t, I cant be hold responsible for what I might do.”  Uh-oh…

The blowback has started and Lindsay is leading the chants of “Put up this wall!”  George Michael takes to the podium and sees a note he assumes is from Rebel taped to it that reads, “You are about to get screwed like you’ve never been screwed before.  -Anonymous.”  It’s from the actual group Anonymous.  Is this a clue about what happened to Lucille 2 or set-up for a future George Michael storyline?  He reiterates his fake name to the crowd and tells them, “Let’s put up this wall.”  Only unlike Lindsay, GM is referring to a fire wall.  GM meets up with Rebel for “a night to remember” while Michael has “a night to forget.” (We see G.O.B. giving Michael the Forget-Me-Know in split screen.)

It’s the morning after Cinco de Quatro.  George Michael and Rebel wake up in bed together.  GM tells her that he’ll fight anyone he has to for her.  And she’s now promised to become serious with both father and son.  Michael & GM run into each other outside Rebel’s building.  Michael tells GM that he’s dating Rebel Alley and pretends to not know that his son was the other man.  He slips up when he mentions that they’ve both spent time with her in the Photo Booth.  Rather than tell his son the truth that he’d taken a Forget-Me-Now (he can’t because like the victim of a Roofie Circle, the only thing they forget is having taken one), he starts to go, “It’s like we’re identical tw–.”  The season ends with George Michael punching his father in the face.

The “On the next…” segment is after the credits.  G.O.B. gets a call from Lucille telling him that Lucille 2 has disappeared and he has to prepare to step up as president of the Bluth Company.  He then learns that although he didn’t take the Forget-Me-Now on the Cinco (he gave it to Michael), Tony Wonder has taken one and doesn’t remember their night together.  Buster is arrested for the murder of Lucille 2!  Ron Howard and Brian Frazer see the news of Buster’s arrest and celebrate that they’ve found the movie that will be their “next DaVinci Code!”  The final words are John Beard reminding us to “love each other.”

Things to Note:

  • Blockheads – Another reference to Charlie Brown?
  • “Ninja, please!”  Amazing.
  • G.O.B. drops a “that was a freebie.”
  • When George Michael says, “Maybe it is backwards,” he opens the fridge door and it’s backwards!  hahahahahaha.
  • We hear the Mr. F music associated with Argyle yet again.
  • During “The B. Team,” Ron Howard invites Michael inside the Lunar Excursion Module (LEM).  Rebel’s son is named Lem.
  • There’s a girl dressed as Ugly Betty at Cinco.
  • In the security footage from the end of “Off the Hook,” Lindsay’s “Lucille 2 4 Congres” sign is face down on the ground.  What’s face up is the back of it: “You’re killing me, Buster.”  Brilliant foreshadowing.
  • The news ticker on the bottom of the news report announcing Buster’s arrest says “Happy Birthday to Bryce” (Ron Howard’s daughter Bryce Dallas Howard)
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