‘Arrested Development’ Season Four Recap-A-Thon, Episode 6: “Double Crossers”

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Now the story of a great television show that got cancelled and the diehard viewers who had no choice but to keep yelling and screaming until Netflix brought it back for another season, seven years later. It’s the Arrested Development Season Four Recap-A-Thon, Episode 6: “Double Crossers,” which continues the George Sr. story that began in “Borderline Personalities.”

That episode hinted at what becomes the primary emotional focus of this one: the unexpected personality swapping of George Sr. and Oscar. With their border adventure going south (ha ha) George is getting weak, Oscar is getting ruthless—and potent. While Oscar and Lucille have made love like animals (which we see in fast forward—and in Netflix scanning mode) George is having sexual trouble. That shouldn’t be the case—as he notes, he’s made love with charges of treason hanging over him before. But he’s also prone to bouts of crying, which makes his earlier granting of his signature to Michael, in a moment of high emotion, make more sense (especially after the sharp reveal that it wasn’t George who turned down Michael, but Oscar).

“Double Crossers,” penned by Dean Lowery and Richard Rosenstock, is billed as “George Sr.’s Arrested Development” (each show’s focus character is stated in the rewritten opening narration), but it’s not as concisely pinpointed as the other episodes thus far; after the replay (with additional information) of Michael and George’s scene, George Sr. disappears for a good chunk of time, allowing for a G.O.B. and Michael sidebar. We don’t get the full story on the “recent unpleasantness” mentioned in “Flight of the Phoenix,” (it’s safe to assume that’s being held for G.O.B.’s episode), but it’s still a pleasure to watch the pair share scenes; these two slide right back into sync, replaying their old rhythms and bouncing off each other beautifully.

There are other good bits here and there—this film fan particularly enjoyed the glimpses of Rebel’s work with Malick and Woody—though the episode doesn’t have quite as many big laughs as the previous two. George Sr.’s feminizing isn’t all that funny (yet—we should always assume they’re going somewhere with it), and while granting that his episode hasn’t popped up in the rotation, it still feels like Buster’s being underused. Still, some very good Tambor in this episode, and this parsing out of partial scenes is, it must be said, a pretty clever use of Netflix’s binge-watching capabilities; I’m dying to know what went down between Michael and G.O.B.

NOTABLE GUESTS:

  • Terry Crews as the clearly Herman Cain-inspired Herbert Love, the first black man George Sr. ever tipped
  • John Slattery returns, and nabs a couple o the episode’s bigger laughs

WELCOME RETURNS:

  • “No hugging!”
  • G.O.B.’s long-dormant bee-raising business
  • Buster’s cartography—unsurprisingly, something he’s not very good at.

BEST LINES:

  • “No, it’s good to be out of that sweaty old hot box at the compound.”
  • “I thought you were a successful Republican strategist.” “Why, because I’m black?”
  • “You don’t think Maisie’s cuter?”
  • “And that’s when George Sr. finally tipped a black man.”
  • “It’s my penis.” “Oh, you don’t have to tell me!”
  • “There are some vultures. I think they might still smell Pete.”
  • “Daddy, my tummy’s turning… I NEED TO GET OUT!”