Perhaps no other sitcom in television history has attracted as devout a following as “Arrested Development.” The show followed the exploits of the chronically dysfunctional and morally iffy Bluth family… while trying to find an audience. The tight-knit group of viewers it did find loved the show passionately, quoting the many one-liners and laughing at every in-joke. But having an audience filled with people who could accurately recreate the family’s many chicken imitations wasn’t enough to please Fox; they wanted big ratings, so “Arrest Development” was canceled in 2006 after just three seasons and 53 episodes.
Times have changed over the last seven years, though, and now the entire cast has returned for a 15 episode fourth season, available all at once via Netflix starting on May 26th. Since it’s been so long since we saw the Bluth clan in action, here’s a list of eight things you need to know going into the show’s very long-awaited fourth season. This is your refresher course on all of the seals, yachts, lies, secrets and illusions that will most likely prove integral to season four.
Michael And George Michael’s ‘Escape’ To Cabo
Michael Bluth (Jason Bateman) ended the series fleeing from his family on his brother’s yacht with his son, George Michael (Michael Cera). The two escaped to Cabo, where, upon waking up the next morning, they discovered that Michael’s father George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) had stowed away on the yacht (which was merely the latest in a long line of elaborate escapes the patriarch had made throughout the series).
Don’t Forget About The SEC
But what caused Michael to flee from his family? A swarm of U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission agents, that’s what. At the exoneration party for George Sr., following the C.I.A. dropping all their charges, it was revealed that George Sr.’s wife, Lucille (Jessica Walter), was actually the mastermind behind all of the Bluth Company’s dirty dealings. Just after Lucille offered to sell the Bluth Company to real estate tycoon Stan Sitwell, the S.E.C. showed up ready to dish out justice. Lucille was last seen attempting to evade the authorities by captaining an ocean liner out to sea.
George Michael And Maeby, Maybe
George Michael was ready to leave his extended family behind after a series of icky encounters with his cousin Maeby Fünke (Alia Shawkat). George Michael acted on his inappropriate crush on Maeby after she incorrectly came to the conclusion that she was adopted. The two got to second base before Maeby’s father Tobias (David Cross) showed them a graphic video of her birth. It wasn’t until right before the S.E.C.’s arrival that George Michael learned that Maeby’s mother, Lindsay (Portia de Rossi), wasn’t his biological aunt. But, as his father said to him while escaping on a yacht to Cabo, George Michael couldn’t follow through on this revelation because she was still family.
Maeby: The Movie?
Maeby, meanwhile, lost a job as a movie executive at Tantamount Studios, a job that she had previously conned her way into. The jig was up as soon as George Michael lit the candles on Maeby’s surprise 16th birthday cake. But before Maeby could pack her things, she found out that a bidding war had erupted for the rights to her life story. Maeby put her knack for deception to work and got her family to sign consent forms for a film, which she then pitched to Ron Howard (who also happens to be the show’s narrator). The last line of “Arrested Development’s” final episode was Ron Howard suggesting that Maeby’s life story would work better as a movie. Was that movie ever made in the “Arrested Development” universe?
Gob’s Dating Who?
Michael’s smarmy older brother Gob (Will Arnett) found himself in a typically skeevy situation in the show’s season finale: in a relationship with his teenage nephew’s super-Christian ex-girlfriend Ann. The timeline of their relationship can be traced from Gob’s quick stint as a judge at the Inner Beauty Pageant up until the time Ann refused to participate in what Gob called a “Holy Trinity” (a threesome, of course). While none of the characters on “Arrested Development” ever really grew past their initial shortcomings, Gob somehow managed to become even worse.
Tobias And Lindsay’s Marriage Is Still Super Weird
Tobias and Lindsay’s marriage was troubled throughout the show’s first three seasons. Lindsay didn’t really have a problem with blatantly pursuing extramarital relationships (like with Scott Baio’s Bob Loblaw), particularly during the couple’s “open marriage” phase. Tobias’ questionable sexuality and diagnosis as a never nude (which is exactly what it sounds like) complicated matters exponentially. But despite all of their problems, the pair ended the series making eyes at each other again. Seven years later, will they be happily married, happily divorced, or happily… something else?
Buster Vs. Loose Seal
The awkward and peculiar Bluth baby brother, Buster (Tony Hale), ended the series in dire straits of his own. Buster was last seen after falling overboard the Queen Mary ocean liner at George Sr.’s exoneration party. And while falling overboard isn’t that harrowing, it is if the seal that bit off your hand is inching its way perilously close. And that’s where we last saw Buster, coming face to snout with the seal that had acquired a taste for human flesh.
Look What The Kitty Dragged In
Season four’s trailer gave us a sneak peek at a few of the minor characters set to return to antagonize the Bluths, chief among them being Judy Greer’s manipulative Kitty Sanchez. Kitty started out as George Sr.’s personal assistant and mistress who then spent her infrequent appearances making life somehow even harder for Michael and his family. Kitty was last seen in the season three premiere, after having run away to Las Vegas with Tobias. Of course whatever feelings she claimed to have for Tobias were thrown out the window when it was revealed she was hooking up with George Sr., who had joined the Blue Man Group as part of one of his elaborate escape plans.