"Righteous Brothers" is the eighteenth episode of Arrested Development's second season.
Michael was working at home when he noticed something unusual. His pen rolled off the coffee table as if rolling downhill. A contractor examined the house and told Michael there was nothing underneath and since the drain pipes weren't hooked up, they just emptied under the house, which is why the living room was sinking. The city would likely have to "red tag" the house, and an inspector would come out to examine the house.
Michael told his father he'd have to leave the attic before the inspector arrived. Michael suggested his father hide at Lucille's penthouse, but George Sr. didn't want to go there because his freeloading brother Oscar was living there. Michael told his father that, with him being tried in absentia, Michael shouldn't even know where he is anyway. He doesn't have to go back to prison, but he can't stay there.
George Michael, meanwhile, was finding it difficult to ignore his re-emerging feelings for his cousin. Maeby asked if he wanted to attend a screening of the American remake of Les Cousins Dangereux, a film he and Maeby saw a preview for last year. Maeby was currently overseeing the remake for Tantamount Studio, where she had conned her way into a job. George Michael agreed to go, so Maeby gave him 50 passes and told him to invite everyone he knew.
Later at the office, Michael had another surprise. Tobias was resigning as his assistant in order to audition for the Blue Man Group in Las Vegas. He also told Michael that Kitty called, wanting to see him. G.O.B. came in and Michael told him that not only did he have to testify that he didn't know where George Sr. was, but George Sr. was refusing to leave the attic, so Michael was going to be caught for hiding him. But G.O.B. was upset that Michael hadn't thanked him for all the dirty work he'd done for the family recently, or commented on the "thank you" gift he made for Michael last week. The gift was a CD of G.O.B. singing with Franklin (which Michael misinterpreted as money to go in the mutual fund known as a Franklin CD). Michael assured G.O.B. that he loved the music.
Later, G.O.B. took Franklin to see George Sr. in an attempt to get him to leave the attic. G.O.B. had soaked the puppet's mouth with ether in order to knock out his father (just like he had knocked out his mother, at his father's direction, in a previous episode.) Downstairs, Tobias shared his good news about the audition with Lindsay. But she didn't want to move to Las Vegas and took it as a sign that they should split up. Or stay split up, whatever their status might be. Tobias then decided to pass on his audition to stay home and work on his relationship with Lindsay, in an effort to decide once and for all whether they should stay together or not.
Soon, G.O.B. was on his way to dump his father on the police station steps. And that's when he found the CD and thank you card he made for Michael, still unopened. Meanwhile, Michael was meeting with Kitty, and things weren't going as badly as he thought they might. She told him that she had been through rehab and was now at peace with the Bluths, as long as they didn't anger her again. Tobias came in and told Michael he wasn't actually leaving for Las Vegas. Michael realized he needed to occupy Kitty with a man, at least until his meeting about his father was over.
Later, Michael prepared to sign the affidavit stating that he had no idea where his father had been. As soon as he did, attorney Wayne Jarvis summoned the police in, telling Michael that there was photographic evidence discrediting the affidavit Michael just signed. The "evidence" was a photograph taken from a red light camera, but while it appeared to be Michael driving his father in the staircar, it was actually G.O.B. driving; when the photo was taken, G.O.B. had held up the unopened thank you card, which featured a picture of Michael on the front.
Now in police custody, Michael met with Wayne Jarvis; he told Michael he could turn in his father if he wanted to go free. G.O.B. arrived at the station and angrily asked Michael why he hadn't listened to the CD yet. Michael just wanted to know where George Sr. was so he could be released from custody.
And George Michael tried to break up with Ann. But then he found out Ann was excited about protesting the screening of Les Cousins Dangereux. He knew from past experience that Ann became inflamed at rallies and would probably kiss him in a fit of passion again, so he decided not to break up with her. Oscar, meanwhile, checked in on Buster, and an innocuous comment about Pop Secret popcorn made Buster finally realize that Oscar was his real father.
Lucille, meanwhile, was on the phone with Michael. Michael wanted Lucille to tell George Michael his father was out of town on business, and during the conversation, Lucille learned that Tobias was out on a date with Kitty. Knowing this news would devastate Lindsay, Lucille immediately told her. Michael also warned Lucille that he was going to tell the police that it was actually G.O.B. in the traffic photo. Buster barged in and accused Lucille of lying to him about the identity of his real father.
Back at the police station, officers played the CD that they had confiscated from G.O.B. The CD featured Franklin singing Bryan Adams's "Everything I Do (I Do For You)." Inspired, Michael realized that he couldn't actually turn in his brother. Singing the song at the same time, G.O.B. had the same realization and called Barry Zuckerkorn to have him tell Michael not to testify.
At the theater, George Michael and Ann were protesting, which surprised Maeby. But people still wanted to see the movie, thus ending George Michael's chances of a kiss. He slumped home, where Buster was waiting for Michael. Buster ran upstairs to shower and wash the smell of Lucille away. A distraught Lindsay then told George Michael (who was still trying to process the news that his father was in jail) that he had to seize love whenever he had the chance. She then ran upstairs to take a bath, ignoring George Michael's advice not to.
Maeby then came in and kissed George Michael in thanks for helping her movie become a success. The living room then suddenly collapsed a few feet, knocking Maeby on top of George Michael on the couch, where they kissed again, but this time more passionately. And that's when G.O.B. came home to retrieve George Sr. from where he stashed him, under the house that just collapsed.
But then G.O.B. remembered that this meant Michael would have to go to prison. Barry was leading Michael into court when G.O.B. sped up on his Segway and told his brother that their father had not been crushed to death (even though G.O.B. handcuffed him to pipes under the house, they weren't connected to anything, and George Sr. ran away.) Angry that he would end up going to jail for this, Michael started a fight with G.O.B. Tobias came up, happily announcing that he was going to Vegas with Kitty, but Lindsay wasn't about to lose her man without a fight. She rushed Kitty, who knocked her out with one punch.
George Sr. rushed into the fray, separating Michael and G.O.B., telling them they were a family and shouldn't be fighting. George Sr. then went into the courthouse, but not before telling Lucille she deserved Oscar. Earlier that day George Sr. had found Oscar, who had just been kicked out by Lucille. He then drugged Oscar, took him into the courthouse bathroom, shaved his head and left him in a stall before jumping out of the window to stop Michael and G.O.B.'s fight before going back into the courthouse. The police, who followed George Sr. into the courthouse, then found Oscar in the stall and took him into custody, thinking he was George Sr.
- Henry Winkler as Barry Zuckerkorn
- Jeff Garlin as Mort Meyers
- Mae Whitman as Ann Veal
- John Michael Higgins as Wayne Jarvis
- Mitsu as Cho
- Judy Greer as Kitty Sanchez
- Marc Cherry as Himself
- Rob Huebel as Dave Williams
- Andy Samberg as Stage Manager
- Craig Cackowski as Leader
- Courtney Lilly as Engineer
- Eric Boles as Movie Passerby
- Blue Man Group - Tobias finally has an audition in this episode (after being fired from the group in Burning Love), only to show up and find that the role has been filled by George Sr. At the meeting for blue men he has a large bag of marshmallows, a reference to the Blue Man Group's act.
- Bryan Adams - The song G.O.B. sings, "(Everything I Do) I Do It For You," was a hit for Bryan Adams.
- Franklin CD - Michael says he thought G.O.B. wanted $5,000 for a Franklin CD, thinking it was intended for a certificate of deposit, but G.O.B. used it to produce a compact disc of himself singing with his puppet Franklin.
- Freemasonry - "Righteous Brother" is a term widely used among Masons and the Golden Dawn. A Masonic emblem is also seen on Michael's desk.
- Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts - Tobias says that the concept of someone's current assistant dating their former assistant is a "great idea for a Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts-type movie."
- Night Court - Kitty mentions that she's being sponsored by someone from Night Court. Although she can't say who it is, she then proceeds to name several characters and actors from the show, before later blurting out that she heard John Larroquette was "looking for a meaty character piece." Mitchell Hurwitz was a writer for The John Larroquette Show.
- Peter Frampton - The title and cover of G.O.B.'s Franklin Comes Alive CD are a parody of Peter Frampton's album Frampton Comes Alive.
- Pop Secret - Oscar wants to share with Buster his "Pop Secret," a well-known brand of popcorn, which Buster misconstrues as a revelation that Oscar is his real father.
- The Righteous Brothers - The title of the episode is a reference to the 1960s musical group The Righteous Brothers.
- Balls - Barry Zuckerkorn asks if the prosecution's new "photographic evidence" are balls again, referring to the episode "Sad Sack", in which close-up photos of Tobias' testicles were mistaken for the hills of Iraq.
- Barry is gay - Barry stares longingly at the photo of the prosecution's new "photographic evidence" and says "I wish they were balls." Also, Barry winks at Wayne Jarvis's Asian assistant, who is repulsed by this gesture.
- Baton - Oscar is once again hit over the head by the police with a baton. This first happened several times in "The One Where Michael Leaves".
- Boyfights - Michael and G.O.B. once again break into a fight in front of the courthouse, with the same music, a callback to "Beef Consommé". (This time, at least in the DVD extended scene, it is G.O.B. who attempts to climb a tree to escape.)
- Buster's real father - Buster finally learns that Oscar is his real father; he had previously discovered this in "Out on a Limb", but suffered memory loss and forgot it. But it's not Oscar's frequent blatant hints about his fatherhood that tip off Buster, but when Oscar is carrying a bowl of popcorn and says, "I wanted to share my Pop Secret with you." Although Oscar was referring to the brand of popcorn, Buster says, "Pop secret? Is Oscar my real father?"
- After Oscar burns his fingers on the Cornballer, Buster yells, "This is all my father's fault!" (because George Sr. marketed the product). Oscar thinks Buster is blaming him, and says, "My fault!? I was trying to keep you from burning yourself..."
- When Lucille confronts Oscar about him telling Buster he was his real father, the scene mirrors the scene in "Out on a Limb" in which Lucille tells Oscar not to reveal his secret to Buster. Both scenes had the characters screaming "You're high" and "You're drunk" at each other in the kitchen while Oscar is raiding the pantry.
- Censorship - When Lucille lifts her shirt to flash Oscar, it cuts to a test screen. When the show comes back on, it is in the middle of a line, making it appear that the network cut the scene.
- Both Kitty and Tobias's chests are censored out when they lift up their tops in Michael's office.
- Charlie Brown - After Ann tells George Michael she won't kiss him, we hear the Charlie Brown theme music, just as in "Good Grief".
- The Cornballer - The Cornballer is shown again, after first appearing in "Bringing Up Buster". The device was known for severely burning people when they touched it, and the Cornballer burns off Oscar's fingerprints when he picks it up.
- "Couple of girls" - G.O.B. describes Michael and him as "crying like a couple of girls." He uses the phrase again in "Mr. F".
- "Dad's gonna be crushed" - This is the third episode in which viewers are misled into believing that George Sr. has died; the first two were "Let 'Em Eat Cake" and "¡Amigos!".
- Dangerous Cousins - In the American remake, the cousins in the film are not biological cousins. It was suggested that Maeby and George Michael aren't biological cousins earlier this season.
- Ether - G.O.B. soaks Franklin's mouth in ether to knock someone out. He first did this in "Meat the Veals".
- Fake Hand - Buster is wearing the fake hand he first received in "Sword of Destiny".
- Fingers - In the scene where G.O.B. confronts Michael about his Franklin CD, he is seen with bandages on his fingers, a callback to when his fingers were severed and reattached in "Sword of Destiny". The doctor had switched his middle and index fingers, and G.O.B.'s index finger is slightly longer than his middle finger in the scene.
- Forced kiss - G.O.B. gets an unconscious George Sr. to kiss him by moving his head as close to his own head as possible, then kissing him. He later does the same thing to Michael at the end of the episode.
- Franklin at the country club - In this episode, Michael says that G.O.B. will be able to take Franklin to lunch at the country club now that he's "all puckered and white." In "Meat the Veals", Lucille tells Buster that he can't take Franklin to the country club when Buster uses Franklin as a replacement hook after the police discovered that it still had the smell of Oscar's marijuana joint.
- "He's very good" - Buster says, "I wouldn't worry about it; Barry's very good." "Barry's very good" appeared numerous times in advertisements for Barry Zuckerkorn throughout the series.
- Home Run - G.O.B. calls his card with Michael's face on it a "home run." He uses this phrase again in "Forget-Me-Now". George Sr. first used this phrase in response to Lindsay's funeral speech in "Good Grief".
- "I like the way they think" - George Michael first made this comment about the French in "My Mother, the Car" as he remembered the kissing cousins in Les Cousins Dangereux.
- Incest - After Michael is arrested, he calls Lucille and tells her that he has a "nice hard cot" with G.O.B.'s name on it. Lucille says, "You would do that to your own brother?" Michael replies, "I said cot."
- "It Ain't Easy Being White" - This episode marks the first airing of the G.O.B. and Franklin duet "It Ain't Easy Being White." It is later heard in "Forget-Me-Now", "Making a Stand", and "Fakin' It".
- Never nude - When Michael is talking to the home inspector, he asks if there are pieces of denim under the house, referring to Tobias's cut-offs.
- Peanuts - George Michael reprises the sad "Christmas Time Is Here" song and walk from "Good Grief".
- Soapdish - The Friday night movie is Soapdish, which George Sr. had said in "Queen for a Day" led to a knife fight at the prison.
- Switch - This is the second time that George Sr. switches places with Oscar, something which happened in "The One Where Michael Leaves", and later in "Prison Break-In" and "Development Arrested".
- Tobias' Laugh - Kitty does the same face and laugh Tobias did in "Pilot" when he announced his decision to become an actor. The face and laugh were also used by Lindsay when she told Tobias that she wanted to be a cage dancer in "Whistler's Mother".
- Tobias is gay
- Tobias says that he was "too busy on his knees in front of a toilet" to be working.
- Tobias later says he found a "wonderful circle of men" to get him through an embarrassing incident.
- When Tobias believes he's been replaced, he says to Michael "I see you wasted no time in filling my seat-hole."
- Wayne Jarvis's Dramatic Moment - During the meeting with Michael and Barry, Wayne Jarvis's dramatic moment is ruined when the cops show up earlier than expected. This continues a string of jokes where bad timing foils Jarvis's dramatic gestures.
- Wink - Barry gives the trademark Bluth wink to Wayne Jarvis's Asian assistant, who is repulsed by this gesture.
- Herpes - G.O.B. implies that he got herpes from Kitty, whom he slept with in "Visiting Ours".
- "I thought we were split up" - The fact that Tobias and Lindsay don't know whether or not they're together refers to the fact that they're always rekindling their love or falling out again.
- Franklin's color - Franklin (G.O.B.'s puppet) comes out of a commercial dryer accidentally bleached white. Upon discovering this, G.O.B. changes Franklin's accent to British and tells Michael near the end that Franklin is "all puckered and white" (which, to Michael, is a plus since G.O.B can now take Franklin to lunch at the country club).
- Les Cousins Dangereux - According to the poster, Tim Goodman of the San Francisco Chronicle calls Les cousins dangereux "a 'relative' masterpiece of complex eroticism." (Goodman is a real critic for the Chronicle, and was one of the show's staunchest supporters.)
- Maeby is forced to cut the American remake from 71 to 63 to 52 minutes. These numbers are a callback to the rising value of G.O.B.'s suit in "Afternoon Delight".
- When George Michael and Maeby are discussing the movie, she has just gotten out of the shower and is drying her hair. Then we see the cover of the DVD on which the boy is spying on the girl while she brushes her hair in the bathroom.
- The Narrator mocks the producers of the American remake for reassuring viewers that the characters are not actual cousins, but then later on quickly reminds the audience that George Michael and Maeby may not actually be related after they start kissing.
- Portraits - The portraits that the prisoners are painting in George Sr.'s flashback to prison are of Warden Gentiles.
- The Man Inside Me - The depressed men's group has a sign for "former psychiatrist Tobias Fünke" and a shot of his book, The Man Inside Me. This book was first seen in "Let 'Em Eat Cake".
- Tobias is carrying a bag of marshmallows at the meeting, a reference to the Blue Man Group's act.
- Ten Commandments - The Ten Commandments, first seen and seemingly removed from the courthouse in "Justice Is Blind", are on the grass in front of the courthouse, seen when George Sr. stops the fight between Michael and G.O.B.
- Wasting water - The Bluths can be seen wasting water throughout this episode. Lindsay is running a tap continuously after just taking a bath, and Buster takes a long shower to get out the smell of Lucille when he arrives at the model home.
- Model home collapsing - Throughout the episode, whenever anyone sits down in the living room, a creak and ominous background music is heard in the background.
- Traffic light camera - When G.O.B. is in the stair car with George Sr., holding up the photo of Michael, a camera flash is seen. We later learn in this episode that it was a traffic light camera, taking a photo of the stair car.
- → See more quotes from "Righteous Brothers" at Transcript of Righteous Brothers.
- The episode's title is listed as "The Righteous Brothers" on the Season 2 DVD, although all press releases for the show titled it "Righteous Brothers" when it first aired.
- This episode is the finale for Season Two.
- Writers Mitchell Hurwitz and Jim Vallely won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series for their work on this episode.
- Tobias's resigning, followed by Michael's insistence that Tobias never worked at the Bluth Company, may be a subtle reference to the fact that Tobias being Michael's assistant was a storyline that had to be dropped due to Fox cutting back of the show from 22 to 18 episodes.
- Dick Van Patten is credited as Cal Cullen in this episode but does not actually appear in any scenes or archive footage.
- Courtney Lilly, a writer for the show, plays an engineer.
- Marc Cherry, creator of Desperate Housewives, makes a cameo as his show is being protested by Ann's church group. Cherry is also friends with Mitchell Hurwitz.
- Wayne Jarvis makes his second appearance this season, his previous one in "Sad Sack".
- Andy Samberg (who would be a castmember for the NBC sketch show Saturday Night Live six months after appearing in this episode) has a small part in the final "On the next season of Arrested Development..." He plays the stage director in the elevator with Tobias and Kitty in Las Vegas.
- → See and enjoy 76 pictures from Righteous Brothers at Images from Righteous Brothers.
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