Arrested Development 4×3, “Indian Takers”

Attested Development: Eat, Pray, SPOILERS!

I felt this episode really made the most of the new individual-character format:  It was the first one with a strong beginning, middle, and end.  It immersed the viewer in the different environments of Lindsay’s life circumstances in a way that felt engaging, while still being light.  Most importantly, I felt it took the audience from looking at Lindsay as she’d been before-of course she’s really shopping!, she doesn’t like odd smells, etc., into a deeper understanding of her.  She really is trying to be independent.  Not in the best ways, but she takes the initiative to travel here, she seems to be filling her days just fine without getting bored and whining in her section of the giant house, and she leaps into what she perceives as an opportunity.  In the first three seasons she never really took initiative-she decided she couldn’t go through with having sex with the realtor she thought hit on her, she never really bolts in the night, she’s so lazy she takes angry naps.  Here she’s moving, she’s traveling, she’s trying, right from the start.  In her house she’s occupying herself, she’s responding capably to the complaints of her family members when she comes across them (agreeing to cook for Thanksgiving in the first place is a big deal, apologizing for anything, sleeping in the same room with Tobias peacefully, if not the same bed).  Her interaction with Marky transcends her previous male exploits in a number of ways: she previously would have just labeled him gross, she’s deliberately trying to have fun in her own right instead of expecting all her validation to come from him, she listens to what he says enough to know basic facts and accept them, which in itself is a huge step.  Moreover and again, she takes Initiative!  For a woman with Lindsay’s history, this is huge.  This is what I’ve been wanting for her.  I am both frustrated by the amount of reviews that failed to see her new depths and proud that the show managed the transition from Lindsay’s past perceptions to her more progressive internal mindframe so skillfully that it could go unnoticed.  Even for those who don’t agree that Lindsay’s showing change, the way the audience sees her has finally switched from external views to an internal one and that’s still significant.

Moreover, this episode felt balanced in many ways.  It had a lot of visual interest, spiced pretty evenly with humor.  The pace felt mostly steady.  The new branches and circumstances Lindsay encounters are balanced by interactions (real and mental) with family members.  There were mysteries and clues to pick up that didn’t overwhelm the story or make it feel like less than a stand-alone arc.  I really enjoyed it.

OTHER THOUGHTS:

1. Lindsay actually connecting with a cab driver (as opposed to complaining about smells) is a perfect capsule moment for the growth in her I see.

2. I loved seeing the same shirt that caused a mix-up in the show’s pilot, so many years ago (as well as a couple other familiar items).

3. I feel Buster would have been great to have around the house, caring for the rhoomba.

4. Totally called the true identity of the shaman.

5. I love the conmen-perhaps the Bluth family should invest.  “You’ve just bought the best house in the valley!”  “No way-I’d pay 8 dollars to see that tr-illusion!  It’s the most mystical one out of India!”  “That Funke’s the best actor out of work in California!”

6. And that way, you have it.

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