Arrested Development 4×14, ‘Off the Hook’

Attested Development: Blind SPOILERS Monster

 

I think this episode may have played better if it had come sooner in the season.  Because by the time you get to the next to last episode, you’re going Where Is Baby Buster!? and I Want Satisfying Conclusions Approaching and you’re a lot less tolerant of episodes that seem more stuck in a past characterization.  “Off the Hook” was Buster’s one shot at branching out on his own and…he just replayed and got deeper in a lot of old issues.  Everyone knows how Buster’s initial impulses would land him with fake Lucilles and back with Lucille2, but after that I felt there was a lot of room for other options that just didn’t happen.  Even working from jokes he’s done in the past: He could have wound up working as a servant with Mexican immigrants again and somehow tied that into finding out about the wall plan.  Lucille2 could have sent him to work for her campaign somehow.  He could have gone political like everyone else and tried to officially launch his Amputated-People-Aren’t-Scary campaign with all kinds of hilarious consequences.  We’ve been over the military and Buster’s gaming streak, I didn’t need to see them again.  The giant hand had some fun, but could have been better.  I love Tony Hale and I think Buster could have had an amazing episode.  Basically, Arrested Development is better than this.

 

OTHER THOUGHTS:

1. I found it incongruous that the one scene the show failed to tie in with the person’s story arc later is Buster’s appearance in George’s wall video.  When did he go down there, anyhow?  I checked and he already had the hand, so…the Loves let him get kidnapped?  Or something?  o.O

2. So, the lesson is all women who are mad at their husbands (or baby-daddies) want revenge sex.

 

Arrested Development 4×10, “Queen B”

Attested Development: Whoever goes after Lucille will be one SPOILERY cookie.

 

Huzzah-Lucille Walter has taken the stage!  Always practical, Lucille.  One must think of video editing even while being assaulted, drinking is always an act, and even society matriarchs must notice the help when they also perform prisonly duties like cavity searches.  Also, it is important to keep brothers from colluding.  If Tobias’s last episode taught a few lessons, Lucille’s is Chock Full of Smokes of Wisdom.  (Never confide in therapists who imitate their wall posters of Bob Fosse seems like good advice.)  This is the cheese fondue of this season: everything Lucille touches becomes fun and tasty, with plenty of characterization to bite into, humor with a biting crunch, and a storyline to savor.  Lucille’s tactical maneuvers and personal realizations gave this episode a solid frame, with enough rebounds and wit that even this long episode felt short.  Plus, Lucille Bluth sings!  Honestly!  For Tobias!  To be a Villain!  It is hard to get more perfect than that.  This is firmly my second favorite episode of the season.

 

OTHER THINGS:

1. Lucille had a house she could go under?  With an ostrich-what?  Ostrich purse?  Boots?  Stuffed Animal?  Brooch?  Boa?

2. I really wanted one glorious news-shot of Lucille Bluth on the ship-sinking-like-Titanic, splay-armed to keep her balance out front akin to Kate Winslet in Titanic and giving Lucille2 the bird with both hands.  Can this still happen somehow?

3. In my mind, Buster carrying out threats against himself means tearing is room apart, a la kitchen-tearing when Rosa lost his parakeet, and perhaps doing something dastardly (meaning hilariously inappropriate) with his hook as part of the display.

4. How do we suppose Lucille even knew about the Gangie movies?  She never seemed a theater or newspaper-reading type.  Have people been mentioning this to her for awhile and she’s just sensitive to it now?  Did Maeby make sure she saw a picture of it, just to poke the bear or from boredom?

5. Perhaps now she can have more dates with Wayne Jarvis!

6. Lucille advising Buster to say it was an eel by his leg seems like Ursula using her eels to manipulate things.  Hee.

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.

Arrested Development: Classic!

I cannot tell you how much I adore this photo.  There MUST be fanfic.