Ep. 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.
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