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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Arrested Development season 4, episode 2 recap/review in chronological order

Borderline Personalities- This episode focuses on George Sr. Meh.

We get to see a young Barry Zuckerkorn practicing law with his father, who is ashamed that Barry is even speaking. Young versions of George Sr. and Lucille hear Barry suggest that if something goes wrong, they could always take a getaway boat out of trouble. Hilariously, Barry didn't go to law school in this country. Nor, we find out later, did he actually pass the bar exam. He paid a lookalike to take it for him. Finally, the plot hole of how that man ever became a lawyer is filled.

Right before the events of the season three finale, George Sr. got his twin brother, Oscar, to take his place at the party on the Queen Mary while George Sr. stowed away on Michael and George Michael's getaway boat. 

George Sr. goes to his competitor, Stan Sitwell, the man with alopecia, in order to get the money for Lucille's lawyer fees. He tries to get Stan to buy his stock in the Bluth company, but Sitwell doesn't want it. He already gave the stock he had to Lucille Austero. Wow, she has a lot of stock now. Stan says he has a new business project going which is going to be big. George Sr. grabs a tuft of his thinning hair on his mostly bald head to taunt Stan over Stan's lack of hair. George Sr. gets a look at Stan's building plans, which are behind him, but he mistakes them for a monument to George W. Bush, even though it's a plan for a wall to keep out immigrants. Lucille gets a look at the photo he snaps of the plans on his phone and corrects him. 

Feeling upset that the Bluths didn't have the U.S./Mexico wall contract and his life is turning out to be a failure, George Sr. goes to a restaurant where he sees Oscar sitting by John Slattery from Mad Men, an Asian woman with the mouth of a sailor, and Heartfire. Heartfire is played by Chloe from 24 and only communicates through thought. As you might have guessed, she is frequently "misunderstood." 

Oscar introduces his companions as people who live in the desert with him. John Slattery is playing Dr. Norman, a disgraced anesthesiologist. The two brothers bond at the bar. When George Sr. hears that Oscar lives on the border between the U.S. an Mexico, he is interested in seeing Oscar's home. 

Oscar shows him the desert, his sweat lodge, his tent, and the maca root he is obsessed with. Too bad it's downhill from a commode. Sick. Oscar is getting kicked off of this land, but George Sr. says that he is going to buy it. Oscar thinks George Sr. is the best brother in the world. Obviously, George Sr.'s reason for buying this land has nothing to do with brotherhood. George Sr. plans to sell it to the government because they need it for the wall. Lucille adds an obvious part two to this plan: The Bluth Company will undercut Sitwell's offer and build the wall themselves. They will make up the pricing difference when they sell the land. 

George Sr. and Lucille decide to have sex to celebrate. Later, George Sr. apologizes for giving her "the old noodle stab," and decides to get something besides maca root in his system. While they eat, Lucille says that it would be best if she and her husband didn't look like they were teaming up on this wall project, so they decide to pretend they are getting a divorce.  

After Michael sells his shares to Lucille 2, Lucille and George Sr. plan to keep their scheme a secret from her and cash in quickly. However, the government stalls things after the economic crash. George Sr. has no way to make the payments on the desert land while waiting for the government deal to go through. George Sr. goes into the sweat lodge with Oscar out of boredom and irritation. It's better than watching Dr. Norman huff anesthesia. 

Meanwhile, Lucille is blowing cigarette smoke into Buster's mouth to get around the apartment complex's strict "no smoking" policy. It's really nasty, but also really hilarious.

After having a vision of how to gouge CEOs in the sweat lodge. George Sr. passes out for two days, missing his wife's hearing. When he wakes, he starts his spiritual business. George Sr. buys a bigger sweat lodge (a sweat cave). He makes up a seminar (mostly borrowed from caged wisdom) and gets ordained as a minister on the internet in order to avoid taxes. After a story is published about him in in-flight magazine, George Sr. has customers to charge $1,000 per seminar.

 Oscar is in a desert sweat lodge, leading a group of CEOs seeking spiritual enlightenment. But, like all terrible types of spiritual practice, they are only doing spiritual things as a stepping stone to something else, in this case, getting rich. In the sweltering lodge, the businessmen hallucinate that Oscar is an iguana and decide to kill it. Oscar shouts, "They're ready!" so that the session will end. He is not killed. Yes, George Sr. makes his brother endure the heat of the sweat lodge. Oscar pretends to be George Sr. so that George Sr. can pop out, all shiny and fresh, to squeeze the businessmen for more money.  George Sr. gives Oscar only $50 bucks for this, claiming it's half the money.

George Sr. and the CEOs go into a tent where he denies them beverages with the help of a silent assistant, Heartfire. He offers the CEOs more knowledge (and lemonade) for $15,000. George Sr. and his brother chew some maca together during a break and have a vision of a divine spirit personified as an ostrich. It's a man-shaped Native American figure who tells them to get off of sacred ground or the land will change them.

A year later, George Sr. loses his power over the businessmen. Oscar has grown tired of being the sweat double (and he's boning Dr. Norman's girl). George Sr. and Lucille are starting to hate each other again and aren't having sex.  

Barry drives up to tell George Sr. that he has a balloon payment of $15 million due on the property. Barry reminds George Sr. that he was supposed to sell the land to the government, but George Sr. tells Barry that the government put it on hold. Barry encourages George Sr. to get a politician to push for the wall, since it's election season. Barry suggests Lucille 2, who is running for office. But she's a no-go. Not only can she not know about the plan, she's pro immigrant and even adopted a Hispanic child. George Sr. instead targets her conservative, black opponent, Herbert Love. After George Sr. leaves to talk to Herbert Love, Barry accidentally tells Oscar about the wall.

Oscar goes to Lucille to confirm this plan and the two have sex while she thinks he is George Sr. This is arguably rape. Yes, even though she has had sex with Oscar before. It's kind of a sour note to leave the episode on, even if it is Lucille (a very unsympathetic, but funny, character).

This is the most business and financial scheme-heavy episode, which was never a strong point for this show. Also, the episode focused on one of the least funny characters, George Sr. There weren't many genuine laughs and the episode drained us a little. The guest stars and desert dwellers were great, but everything else was a little tiring.

Episode grade: C+

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