Arrested Development: Key Decisions   Rewatch 
July 7, 2014 9:56 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Michael falls in love with Gob's girlfriend. Meanwhile, Lindsay bonds with an environmentalist, and Buster gets a romantic note from Lucille's rival.

Johnny Bark, White Power Bill and Lucille Austero join all the usual suspects in another classic episode.
posted by Lorin (19 comments total)
I'm not doing the rewatch, but Marta 1 was the best Marta.
posted by Brainy at 10:13 AM on July 7, 2014

His name is Dirty Ears Bill, yo.
posted by carsonb at 10:46 AM on July 7, 2014

Some favorite bits for me from this episode:

- You're gonna get some hop-ons (first time!)
- I've made a huge mistake (first time!)

- I care deeply for nature
- You're wearing ostrich-skin boots
- Well I don't care about ostriches.

- He's a beautiful boy; they don't appreciate him. It's his glasses, they make him look like a lizard. Plus, he's self-conscious.

- That's why you never get out of the tree.


- I'll be in the hospital bar.
- You know there isn't a hospital bar, mother.
- Well, this is why people hate hospitals
[Lucille laughing, walking down the hall]

By the way, what's the deal with the "child" actor(s) with the wig & huge painted-on freckles? It feels like it's a joke, but that you need to have seen Spanish-language soap operas, maybe?
posted by bjrn at 12:08 PM on July 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

That exchange between Lucilles 1 and 2 is vicious. I think this is the first episode I saw on the air and it sold me. "At least he’s in prison, not an urn. " So unlike anything I'd ever seen on network television.

"He's at a weekend stage-fighting workshop with Carl Weathers."

Somehow I missed this setup for our meeting Carl in E11, but that's a ways off.

On that note, it seems like the majority of commenting is done within the first 48 hours, maybe we should ramp up to three episodes a week? It'll take over six months at this rate to get through the entire series. Not that that's an inherently bad thing.
posted by Lorin at 12:13 PM on July 7, 2014

"You just grab that brownish area by its points and never let go no matter what mom says!"
Nascent romance between Buster and Lucille (Austero).

Lucille Bluth's cracking herself up in the hospital might just be the funniest moment in the entire series.
On preview, I heartily second bjrn.

The double entendres in this episode are incredible, for their deftness and also notably for their asexuality:
Gob: "I'm gonna come down on you hard!"
Marta: "Gob has been stabbed in the back!"

With the introduction of Lucille Austero and Marta we begin to see that it isn't just the Bluths that are a little off-kilter in a world that's on the face of it similar to ours: It really is the entire world they inhabit that's insane. Up to this point we've focused on Bluths and their immediate family, but once you meet their neighbors and the other folks who inhabit their world and see that they make the same sorts of WTF-decisions operated on by the same sort of abused logic that the Bluths employ you realize it's the entire world of the show that's off.

bjrn, there's definitely a lot to unpack in that joke. The awards show is the 'Daytime Desi' which is like the Spanish-language version of whatever awards show hands out awards for daytime soaps. Like English-language soaps, Spanish ones have character tropes that show up in the various different show and, yeah, the rotund middle-aged guy in oddcap childish garb is one of those tropes. Moving that character into the dramatic stage (over from the madcap comedies and game shows where he usually appears) must be the bold move that got all the versions of him nominated in the same year. DARING.

Lorin, I'm ahead like 6 episodes and count the minutes between posts for shows I'm watching. If nobody else objects I'd shmoopily second posting more frequently.
posted by carsonb at 12:25 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would love for there to be designated days of the week, so whoever does make a post doesn't feel they are in control of / responsible for the whole enterprise. My anxiety around that could be my own, but it does enter my mind when I go to make a post.
posted by Lorin at 12:29 PM on July 7, 2014

Here are some deleted scenes from this episode (video should start at 2:44, the scenes for this episode end at 5:12).

Thanks for the explanation about the Desis, carsonb! And I think you're right, there are very few characters you could call "normal". Although Marta seems sane, so of course it makes sense that she and the Bluths part ways soon enough.

I'd be fine with a higher pace of re-watching and fixed days.
posted by bjrn at 2:23 PM on July 7, 2014

- You're gonna get some hop-ons (first time!)
- I've made a huge mistake (first time!)

That's why this episode is significantly more enjoyable for a fan who's rewatching it, than for someone watching the series in order for the first time. "I've made a huge mistake" isn't even a joke in this episode, let alone a running joke.
posted by John Cohen at 2:52 PM on July 7, 2014

Marta 1 was the best Marta.

I disagree — I think Patricia Velasquez was excellent as Marta 2, and brought more depth to the character. But it is a jarring discontinuity.
posted by John Cohen at 4:07 PM on July 7, 2014

IMDB tells me that Marta Classic also played a character named Marta in the 2012 Dallas reboot/sequel. Maybe it's the same universe! It would fit with the absurdly-bad-choices-everywhere theme that carsonb mentioned.

People were talking about maybe doing M/W/F posts in the original meta, so maybe Wednesday can be "Charity Drive"? (MR BANANAGRABBER)
posted by kagredon at 5:01 PM on July 7, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yeah, I'm down with three posts a week and MWF sounds good to me. Now I'm excited for Mr Bananagrabber!
posted by freejinn at 5:19 PM on July 7, 2014

There is something so earnest about Patricia Velasquez as Marta 2, it's hard not to fall in love with her along with Michael.

Another vote for MWF here!
posted by Lorin at 5:22 PM on July 7, 2014

Folks already mentioned everything I was going to say about this one...except...I kept watching for when was "Come on" introduced...I noticed it in this episode, was it in the first three?

I myself am torn on the Marta's...although I will say I never believed Marta 1 with GOB, but Marta 2 I could see it. Does that make Marta 1 better, or worse?

At the end of the day, I like the fact that there is more than one Marta. It's one of those discontinuities that adds a bit to the show's absurd side.

Someone mentioned something about this last thread, but I never noticed how much that the dynamics of folks in the kitchen involves them constantly taking each others' food. I had noticed that a few times, but not how constant it was.
posted by freejinn at 5:25 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

kagredon: On Arrested Development the character's name is Marta Estrella. 'Estrella' in Spanish means 'star.' On Dallas her character was named Marta Del Sol, 'Marta of The Sun'. I'm supposed to believe that's a coincidence? C'MON!
posted by carsonb at 5:46 PM on July 7, 2014 [3 favorites]

I had forgotten that Clint Howard was in this. Always great to see him on screen.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:23 PM on July 7, 2014

Oh, and as for timing, seeing how I've binge-watched nine episodes of Malcolm in the Middle in the past 24 hours, I suppose I can squeeze in another episode of AD here or there.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:28 PM on July 7, 2014 [1 favorite]

> I never noticed how much that the dynamics of folks in the kitchen involves them constantly taking each others' food.

That's something that I hadn't thought I before either. And it's not just the kitchen. In this episode Gob (partially) stole Michael's sandwich, and I'm pretty sure he tries to do that in a later episode too. And of course then there is Mr. Bananagrabber.
posted by bjrn at 6:00 AM on July 8, 2014

"Can I get a vodka tonic, please? I’d like a vodka tonic, please. Vodka tonic, please. A sea of waiters and no one will take a drink order."

One of my favorite Lucille Bluth moments.
posted by bondcliff at 8:47 AM on July 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Can I get a vodka tonic, please? I’d like a vodka tonic, please. Vodka tonic, please. A sea of waiters and no one will take a drink order."

There's also a scene in The Office, a couple years later, where Jan orders a "vodka tonic" in Chili's when she's exasperated at how Michael is running a meeting with a potential client. So it seems that TV writers have decided on "vodka tonic" as the perfect drink for a certain type of character — the cold matriarch.
posted by John Cohen at 10:31 PM on July 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

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