Arrested Development 4×2 “Borderline Personalities”

Attested Development: SPOILERS, if you sweat that sort of thing!


This episode is a testament to Jeffrey Tambor and how wonderful he is in this show.  It felt more like a good reintroduction episode than the first one.  This is also an episode that felt really organic, at least at the beginning.  This is Exactly the sort of shenanigans George Sr. would be up to with sweating and squeezing, this is exactly how George Sr. would plot with mastermind Lucille, and the references to seasons 1-3 are allowed nuance here without losing their edge.  This is also an episode that brought in the kind of new characters fans love-small parts that will never overwhelm an episode, but attention-grabbing and humorous.  This episode improved by having a storyline without an obvious ending.  Right from the start of 4×1, you know Michael’s got to go, and ending up in Phoenix seems obvious.  “Borderline Personalities” brings us character changes, the question of marriage or divorce for the Bluth parents, and a young Barry lawyer who makes all those other-actor flashbacks fun.  There were a few pacing bumps and this episode began a few things that may have been hard to keep track of (such as who was really which brother at which time), but both of these were smoothed over by the sheer slickness of Tambor’s acting.  You’d never have known there was a time-gap for his characters.  In short, watching this episode picked it up for me, but in hindsight it’s less memorable than later episodes.

Other thoughts:

1. Stan Sitwell aaalmost stuck it to him!  I like to think he purposely labels all the bushes on any blueprints he has control over in case George Sr. decides to drop by.

2. “I don’t want these.”  We know, George Sr.  I imagine that line came up a lot whenever Buster or Gob wanted to tag along on a trip/banana stand shift/whatever with you and Michael.

3. Young Elizabeth Taylor will never lose persuasive power.

4. Where do we suppose they got all the lemons if they’re making things there with industrial grade juicers?  From Oscar’s lemon grove??  And where’d they get the sugar?  Who wants to bet that George’s masculine problems stem from having things spiked by one of his new trio of sidekicks?

5. If only George Sr. could get in touch with the Abbot of Kells.  He’d get them to build a waaaaaaaall!

6. A note-I’ve seen a number of people wondering why Gob was groaning in the family scene in this episode.  To them I say, they were talking about witnessing George and Lucille having sex.  Gob has a proven tendency to be disapproving and vocal around this subject-that is why he was groaning.  No other mystery, guys.

7. Clearly, Barry drove all the way down there as a way of billing for hours rather than a half hour phone call.

8. It was actually really nice to see Oscar stand up for himself.  Perhaps Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra’s been encouraging him to become a great leader.

9. This is the weirdest looking ostrich.

10. Perhaps George’s decision to get Kitty implants was his attempt to circumvent his puny-thinking.



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