‘Arrested Development’ Season Four Recap-A-Thon, Episode 11: “A New Attitude”

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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 11: “A New Attitude,” in which we discover exactly what’s happening with G.O.B.’s love life.

The second episode focusing on G.O.B. shows us a bit more of he and Michael’s afternoon imbibing Mike’s Hard Lemonade, culminating in Michael handing his brother the job of filling up the Sudden Valley units, with the assurance that “I’m not asking for anything in return.” At which point he hands him the film release form for a signature. “I’m asking for a little something…”

G.O.B.’s boundaries are the real focus of “A New Attitude”—his lack of them when he fools George Michael into helping him get into Gay Night at the Gothic Castle (“But are we good? We’re good”), and the crumbling of them as he discovers that he has feelings—or something resembling them—for Tony Wonder (Ben Stiller). But Tony Wonder is gay! Does that mean G.O.B. is gay?

Except Tony isn’t; it’s all an elaborate plot to help Sally Sitwell (Christine Taylor, the real life Mrs. Stiller). But then again, maybe he is—his emotional openness to G.O.B., and what he gets in return, is genuine, and the whole relationship is, in a strange and totally unexpected way, sort of charming and sweet. (Arnett’s pained “I have feelings for you” is one of his most awkwardly funny acting moments in the show to date). That is, until each one discovers that the other is actually straight (sort of?), at which point their revenge plan kicks into high gear.

The information that Tony Wonder shaves his own legs is conveyed early enough that we’re a bit ahead of the big reveal that it was Wonder who Michael saw in the first episode, thus prompting G.O.B.’s application of his “forget-me-now” pills into his brother. But several of the other surprises land as they’re supposed to, with the help of the narrator, whose own frequently employed “And that’s when…” voice-over is off-set by the very funny deployment of self-mocking expositional dialogue (like Wonder’s “As long as we’re recapping things we already know”).

Good callbacks to earlier episodes this season throughout, particularly the playing of “Sounds of Silence” by a passing mariachi band, and G.O.B.’s reference to Straight Bait (“Ever watch those?”). And I’ll admit it: I not only fell for the G.O.B./Rebel fake-out, but certainly didn’t see the ultimate reveal of who the “other man” is coming.

WELCOME RETURNS:

  • The unfortunately-named “Gothic Castle”
  • Another of G.O.B.’s wild nights, dramatized in still photos
  • The “Balls in the Air” ‘80s-style triumphant power-rock song from the “Notapusy” episode

BEST LINES:

  • Michael: “I have not seen Julie Bowen.” G.O.B.: “Well that’s a funny way to phrase it.”
  • “This was extra-hard for Steve to hear on his actual birthday.”
  • “It was pretty easy to figure out how they did it. They were already gay.”
  • “I have a list of men that could fill every opening you have!”
  • “I was just using it to get out of Gym.” “Who’s Jim?”
  • “I can’t believe I’m telling you all this. I’ve been over-explaining the shit out of everything lately.”