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|Season One, Episode Three|
Narrator: Now the story of the family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. It’s Arrested Development.
Narrator: It was Sunday morning, and Michael was making cornballs, a Bluth family favorite since George Sr. unsuccessfully tried to market the device in the mid-’70s.
George, Sr.: Time to pull out the basket, and we dig into some hot... Son of a bitch!
Richard Simmons: Oh! Look what you did! You plopped it!
George, Sr.: I’ll plop you, you mincing little...
- End Cutaway
Narrator: It was a ritual Michael shared with his son before their weekly bike ride to Balboa Island.
Michael: Today’s the big... Careful, don’t touch that. Never touch that. I’m really looking forward to our ride today. We better go extra hard to work off these cornballs.
Lindsay: Or you could not eat the cornballs and let your kid lead his own life.
Michael: Please. He loves this. Am I right?
George Michael: Actually, uh... I can’t really go today.
Michael: How’s that?
George Michael: My-my bike needs a tune-up or something.
Michael: Let’s not blame the bike. Okay? It’s a poor carpenter that blames his shoddy tools for the... Ow! (bleep) Oh! Stupid...
George Michael: You okay?
Michael: ... cornballing piece of (bleep).
George Michael: So, I’m going to go, okay?
Michael: Yeah, yeah, that’s fine. It’s good, it’s okay.
Lindsay: Getting too old for his daddy?
Michael: No. He’ll be fine. And I would buy him a faster bike if we weren’t trying to save every... Did you go shopping?
Lindsay: Oh, yeah, don’t worry about it. I paid for it myself.
Michael: With what?
Lindsay: Company credit card.
Michael: You’re returning that.
Michael: Get a job.
G.O.B.: Michael. Hey, the Cornballer. I thought these were only legal in Mexico.
Narrator: In fact, the Cornballer wasn’t legal anywhere, but George Sr. continued to market it there successfully.
Dubbed voice: ¡Muy delicioso!
Richard Simmons: ¡Es verdad!
Dubbed voice: ¡Soy loco por los Cornballs!
- End Cutaway
Michael: Where’d you come from?
G.O.B.: I had another big fight with Marta.
Narrator: G.O.B. had been having an on-again, off-again relationship with Marta, a Spanish-language soap opera star.
G.O.B.: It looks like I’m going to be staying here for a while.
Michael: No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t look like that. I’ve got a full house here, G.O.B.
Lindsay: He’s just in a bad mood, G.O.B., because his son feels suffocated by him.
Michael: Suffocated? Really?
Lindsay: Yes, Michael, he’s a teenager. He’s probably got a little girlfriend, and... well, let’s face it, you are overbearing.
Michael: Oh, maybe I should be a little bit more like you when it comes to parenting, huh? No borders, no limits, “Go ahead, touch the Cornballer, you know best.”
Tobias: Michael, if I could, uh, stick my pretty little nose in here for one second. When I was a psychiatrist— and this is before I became an actor...
Lindsay: You’re still not an actor.
Tobias: (Chuckles.) Lovely. ...I saw a lot of this type of behavior, and I think what you’re experiencing is your son’s very normal need to distance himself from his overbearing father. Am I touching something? (Gasps.) Hot. Hot, hot. Hot.
Michael: Be careful.
Tobias: (Quietly.) Hot, hot, hot...
Michael: You all right?
Tobias: Hi-yat. Now, take my daughter, for example. She lives her life, and... I get the pleasure of guessing what that might entail. Now... watch this— Maeby! Where are you off to on this glorious Sunday afternoon? She won’t tell me.
Maeby: I’m going to audition for a play.
Tobias: Well, that time it didn’t work.
Tobias: What-what play?
Maeby: It’s for high school. You can’t audition.
Tobias: I was totally wrong. She’s reaching out to her actor daddy.
Tobias: Does anyone have an ice pack?
Narrator: In truth, Maeby was reaching out to a boy named Steve Holt, who was auditioning for the lead in the school play.
Steve Holt: I would kiss before I spoke...
Narrator: Maeby decided to audition as well, looking for a chance to get closer to Steve.
Maeby: ...occasion to kiss... And then we actually get to kiss, right?
Narrator: George Michael also chose to audition, looking for a chance to get closer to his cousin Maeby.
George Michael: I would kiss before I spoke... And then there’s a kiss, right?
George Michael: (Loudly.) And then there’s a kiss, right?
Narrator: And later, the cast list was posted.
Steve Holt: Steve Holt!
Maeby: Steve Holt!
George Michael: Stand-in for... Steve Holt?
Steve Holt: Steve Holt!
Narrator: Michael went to get his son a new bike to keep him from slipping away, while Michael’s mother was giving up hope that her son Buster would ever leave her side.
Lucille: Zip me up.
Narrator: Usually at this time of year, Buster would return to his postgraduate studies but without the resources to afford it his summer vacation was extending into the fall and Lucille was beginning to resent it.
Buster: Mom! Mom!
Lindsay: Hi, Mama. It’s Linds.
Lucille: It’ll fly out on its own! Why are you calling me? What do you need?
Lindsay: Oh, very nice, Mom. I don’t need anything. My daughter needs some new school clothes.
Buster: It’s a bird!
Lucille: I know it’s a bird. I’m on the phone!
Buster: It walked on my pillow!
Lucille: Look, I have a child that costs me money, too, you know. Why can’t you get a job?
Lindsay: What is it with this family and working? Michael just gave me the exact same lecture in front of everybody.
Lucille: Who-who’s ev... Who’s everybody?
Lindsay: You know, the kids, G.O.B., Tobias— everybody.
Lucille: He didn’t invite Buster. Buster’s his brother, too. What’s wrong with Buster?
Narrator: And even as she asked the question, Lucille realized that perhaps it was time to let her own baby bird fly away.
Michael: Why do I have to take him?
Lucille: Because he’s your brother, and you run around with everyone else, going on bike rides, making cornholes. Everyone’s laughing and riding and cornholing except Buster. And I know he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he’s sensitive, Michael, and you could pretend to be interested in him.
Michael: Fine, he can hang out, but he’s going to work, okay? This is not going to be a day at the beach.
Buster: Th-That’s cool, that’s cool. Mom-Mom packed me a change of clothes.
Narrator: So, Buster stayed, and Michael made him build the new bike.
Michael: It’s in that big box in my office.
G.O.B.: Hey. Michael.
Michael: G.O.B., what are you doing here, and why are you in a bathrobe?
G.O.B.: What’s he doing here? Why is he in his bathing suit?
Buster: Mom dropped me off to spend time with Michael.
G.O.B.: Spend time with Michael or to serve her own menopausal needs?
Michael: She’s always got to wedge herself in the middle of us so that she can control everything.
Buster: (Chuckles.) Yeah. Mom’s awesome. Maybe we should call her.
Michael: So, why are you in your robe?
G.O.B.: I camped out in the boardroom last night. What with you kicking me out of your house, there are few places left that you have that I can stay.
Michael: Mm. Well, you can’t stay here, either.
G.O.B.: Let me ask you something. Is this a business decision, or is it personal? ’Cause if it’s business, I’ll go away happily. But if it’s personal, I’ll go away, but I won’t be happy.
Michael: It’s personal.
Buster: I am so sorry.
Narrator: Michael’s son, meanwhile, was waiting with his cousin for their first rehearsal.
Maeby: I’m surprised you tried out for this.
George Michael: Yeah, I just love the theater.
Maeby: That’s great. I’m just doing it to kiss Steve Holt.
George Michael: I actually think I’m going to quit. Yeah, theater’s dead.
Maeby: But... he’s always going to be at football practice, so I’m going to have to kiss the stand-in.
George Michael: But no... no. I love the theater, and I gave my word, so I’m back in.
Narrator: Tobias, meanwhile, stopped by the school.
Tobias: (Whispers.) I know why you’re doing this.
Maeby: Dad! What are you doing here? Go away.
Tobias: Yes, because the director might be here soon, right? Oops, too late. He’s already here. Hello, everyone, and welcome to the theater. I am Dr. Tobias Fünke, and I will be your new... director.
Maeby: Oh... my God.
Narrator: Tobias had gotten the directing job by meeting with the school principal.
Tobias: And you tell me you’ve got some P.E. teacher directing? That just makes me want to puke all over your head, sir. Give me a chance to tell the Bard’s tale, and I give you my word on humble knee, whence you shall not say it wasn’t e’er to be.
Administrator: Jerry, you cool with this?
Coach Jerry: Sure, let the little fruit do it.
- End Flashback
Narrator: As the days went by, Buster’s apprenticeship was proving more trying than Michael had anticipated.
Michael: We’re excited. We want your business.
Michael: And, uh, everybody at the Bluth Company is committed...
Buster: Here I go again.
Buster yawns again.
Narrator: And just when he could take no more...
Michael: ...and we’re back on track, and we’re focused, and... Buster! You can’t do that in the snack room, pal?
Buster: Mom told me to stay away from microwaves.
Buster: And besides, this is going to be the most bitchin’ly fast bike in all of Orange County.
Buster: Your son is gonna love it.
Michael: Well, I guess 3:40 is as good a time as any to call it a day.
Narrator: So, Michael left for the high school, hoping to reconnect with his son, while Tobias’ attempts to reconnect with his daughter hit a snag.
George Michael: I will stop your mouth.
Tobias: Stop! Stop it! It’s all wrong.
George Michael: But we were just about to do the kiss.
Tobias: Kiss— I know. It doesn’t work.
Tobias: Look, you are playing adults... Pick that up. Pick that up, please. ...with fully formed libidos, not two young men playing grab-ass in the shower. Would you hold the work, please?! Oh, Michael.
George Michael: Dad, what...?
Michael: So, you’re in a play, huh?
Maeby: I’m not. I quit.
Michael: Why didn’t you tell me?
George Michael: Well, it’s not really important. I’m just a stand-in.
Michael: And you’re ashamed. Well, this should cheer you up. Hm? I left work early. I thought maybe we’d go for a ride today.
George Michael: Wha...? No, I can’t go on a bike ride right now.
Michael: Why because of the play? You’re just the stand-in.
George Michael: No, no, it’s not the play, it’s just... you know, I can’t go on a million bike rides whenever you want me to, you know?
Michael: Wait a minute, wait a minute, hey. Is it... is it about a girl?
George Michael: No, it’s not... No, just drop it, Dad.
Michael: Was Lindsay is right? Am I really suffocating him?
Tobias: Well, they’re different people every day, teenagers— hormones all ablaze. Except, of course, when they’re on stage when I need it.
Michael: No. He said it wasn’t about a girl.
Michael: Maybe he really is pulling away.
Tobias: Not a girl? Ah... of course. Methinks a Cupid I shall play.
Narrator: Tobias came up with a new plan for the play, and a way to connect to George Michael.
Tobias: I know why you’re in the play.
George Michael: What?
Tobias: Watch this. Okay, everybody. Well, we’ve lost a leading lady, but did you know that in Shakespeare’s day, that the women’s roles were played by men? Fancy that! George Michael, you know Steven’s lines, yes?
George Michael: Sort of.
Tobias: Fine, then you are my Benedict.
Tobias: And Steven Holt... Where is Steven Holt?
Steve Holt: Steve Holt!
Tobias: Yes. Get ready for the acting challenge of your sweet young life, fair lady, for you are my Beatrice!
Steve Holt: Beatrice!
Tobias: Let’s take it from, “Peace, I will stop thy mouth.” And now we’ll see if some sparks fly.
Narrator: As George Michael contemplated kissing his rival, Michael sought his father’s advice.
George, Sr.: Well, you think you never hurt me?
Michael: What are you talking about? When have I ever rebelled?
George, Sr.: I never see you anymore, Michael.
Michael: You’re in prison. And I was here yesterday.
George, Sr.: Oh, yeah, that’s... that’s... I’m sorry. I couldn’t break away from the poker game. Capital-G was down to his boxers.
Michael: Strip poker?
George, Sr.: Yeah, and it’s tough. We can really only play about... two hands.
George, Sr.: Listen... Let him go. Let your son go.
Michael: I can’t do that, Dad. He needs me.
George, Sr.: Michael, you don’t want to make the same mistake your mom made with Buster.
Michael: Yeah, boy. What happened there?
George, Sr.: I really don’t know. Maybe it was the eleven months he spent in the womb. The doctor said there were claw marks on the walls of her uterus. But he was her “miracle baby.” And I-I was just too burnt out on raising you guys to care. So... he turned out a little soft, you know, a little doughy. I don’t know, maybe it was my fault. Maybe, uh, maybe I just ignored the guy.
Buster: Wow. We’re just blowing through nap time, aren’t we?
Michael: Yeah, I got to let my son go.
Narrator: Lindsay, meanwhile, still had the dress. And she was starting to get some positive reactions to it.
Lindsay: Look at you! I am!
Narrator: So, she decided to hide it in the attic crawl space. And Lucille was finding her hard-won privacy short lived.
Piano banging intro to “Cold as Ice.”
G.O.B.: [singing] You’re as cold as ice / Willing to sacrifice
G.O.B.: Are you crazy? I’m a magician. I make my living with my hands. And if I’m going to be staying here...
Lucille: Staying here? What, did that Mexican throw you out?
G.O.B.: She’s not “that Mexican,” Mom. She’s my Mexican. And she’s Colombian or something. Anyway, it’s over.
Lucille: You’ve got three days.
G.O.B.: Hey... if I can’t find a horny immigrant by then, I don’t deserve to stay here.
Narrator: Back at the model home, Michael was adjusting to the absence of his son by enjoying the company of his brother.
Michael: You know, I’m in pretty good shape. You could be eating my dust all day, slow poke.
Narrator: And Buster was starting to give as good as he got.
Buster: And you might be [bleep] and it’s going to [bleep].
Michael: Well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.
Michael: Hey, Tobias. How’s my son doing?
Tobias: Oh, well, he didn’t want to rehearse today. But I-I do think I have a handle on what he’s going through. I wish I could say the same for Steve Holt, though. I don’t know what the hell her problem is.
Tobias: Oh, uh, I’m sorry. I say that because I switched the parts. But, it’s still... off. Perhaps if she dressed as a woman.
Tobias: Oh, for the love of God. She’s playing a woman.
G.O.B.: Look who’s back.
Lindsay: I’m exhausted.
Michael: Neiman’s again, huh?
Lindsay: Actually, I’ve been going to the thrift store but I’m going to find a way to keep that dress, Michael.
G.O.B.: Things didn’t work out with Mom. It was utterly macabre.
Lucille: Zip me up.
- End Flashback
G.O.B.: She always makes everything about her.
Lindsay: Oh, she’s the last person you ever want to need something from.
Michael: She likes to be needed, just as long as it doesn’t cost her anything.
Buster: It’s like she gets off on being withholding.
Michael: Whoa. Buster.
G.O.B.: Look who’s got something to say.
Buster: “I’m Mom and I want to shoot down everything you say so I feel good about myself.”
G.O.B.: Look who’s ragging on the old lady.
Michael: Hey, hey.
G.O.B.: That’s fine.
Buster: “’Cause I’m an uptight... [bleep]... Buster... [bleep]... you old horny slut!”
Michael: Well, no one’s going to top that.
Narrator: And Tobias had found the perfect wardrobe for his leading man— the red dress he discovered in the attic crawl space. Assuming Michael had found and returned it, Lindsey called her mother hoping to get money for a new one.
Lindsay: Hi, Mama, it’s Linds.
Lucille: Get a job.
Lindsay: Look, just hear me out. It’s Maeby’s dress. It was stolen from her locker. They beat her up, and, uh, and took all her clothes.
Lucille: Send her over, I’ll take her shopping.
Lindsay: Buster was right. You get off on being withholding, don’t you?
Lucille: Buster said that?
Lindsay: That’s right.
Lucille: My Buster?
Lindsay: Not anymore, apparently.
Narrator: While Lucille was missing her youngest son, Michael was finally enjoying his company.
Michael: Zip me up?
Narrator: And while Buster did build a faster bike, he neglected to build the brakes.
Buster: I’m flying!
Narrator: And George Michael had news for Maeby.
George Michael: So, I quit the play. I don’t really like plays. Also, I think your dad thinks I’m gay.
Maeby: Oh, he thinks everyone’s gay.
George Michael: So, uh, do you want to get a soda?
Maeby: I can’t. I’m actually back in the play. We’re in the middle of dress rehearsal right now.
George Michael: But I thought Steve had your part.
Narrator: Steve did still have Maeby’s part, and Tobias had given Maeby a new part.
Maeby: So you want me to play the man?
Tobias: Yes. Don’t you see? I-I cast the parts all wrong. It was Daddy’s fault.
Maeby: And I still get to kiss Steve, right?
- End Flashback
Maeby: It’s going to be a huge disaster. I’ll get you tickets.
Narrator: And Michael tried to salvage what was left of the day with what was left of his brother.
Buster: I’m a little shaky, but... but we’re here to work.
Michael: Mom, what are you doing here?
Lucille: Oh, hello, Buster. Here’s a candy bar. No, I’m withholding it. Look at me, “getting off.”
Lucille: How dare you turn Buster against me?
Michael: What are you talking about?
Lucille: I know what you’ve all been saying. But I’m not going to let you destroy my relationship with my son just because you don’t have one with yours right now.
Michael: Wait a minute. Me and my son are fine, and that is not what this is. Buster is a grown man. He can make his own decisions. Why don’t you ask Buster what he wants?
Buster: Michael. I want to go with Mom.
Michael: You said that she shoots you down.
Buster: I was just trying to fit in.
Michael: You were flying today, buddy.
Buster: Yes, I was flying. But a little too close to the sun.
Lucille: You let him go in the sun?
Lucille: Get in the back seat. I’ll be right out.
Buster: Front seat, Mom. I sit in the front seat now. Mmm?
Lucille: Let me tell you something, Michael. You have to fight for your family. If you were smart, you’d grab your son before he slips any further away.
Michael: Well, I disagree, Mom. I’m not going to control George Michael, I’m going to let him decide for himself what’s best.
Lucille: Mm-hmm. Well, you better hope that little bird decides to fly back into your house, because they usually don’t.
Employee: So, uh, can we go now?
Narrator: And George Michael watched as Maeby shared the kiss that should have been his with the boy he almost had to kiss. But, to Maeby’s surprise, she did not enjoy kissing Steve Holt.
Maeby: You smell like my mom.
Narrator: And Michael returned to the model home to find his son in the kitchen.
George Michael: Hey, Dad.
Michael: You’re home.
George Michael: Yeah, I was waiting for you. I thought we could make some of these.
George Michael: I’m sorry about what I said at the school. It was out of line.
Michael: I shouldn’t have poked my nose into your life.
George Michael: My life?
Michael: Well, I know that you’re growing up.
George Michael: Yeah, but, Dad, you’re like the most important part of my life.
Michael: That’s a little cornball.
George Michael: I don’t mind.
Michael: I don’t mind either, buddy.
George Michael: Watch it.
Michael: Mother of God! Oh! Every damn time!
George Michael: Here.
Michael: This is a big one. Oh!
Narrator: On the next Arrested Development, Tobias gets a review of his Shakespeare play...
Tobias: I didn’t get into this business to please sophomore Tracy Schwartzman, so... onward and upward. On...
... moments later.
Tobias: (Crying.) Why, Tracy?! Why?!
Narrator: ... and Buster is back where he belongs.
Lucille: What is it?!
Buster: I can’t get down.