Arrested Development: “Double Crossers”

“Double Crossers” is George Senior’s episode of the new Arrested Development season. I’ve always loved seeing Jeffrey Tambor play George Senior and Oscar Bluth, and this episode shows how well he can differentiate between the two.

George Sr. and Herbert Love“Double Crossers” begins with George Sr. conversing with Herbert Love about the wall the Bluths want to build between the U.S. and Mexico. Herbert tells George that he loves “redheads and greenbacks” and is willing to make the wall a prominent issue if one of these things can be provided. George rushes off in search of money and a redhead. He finds both in Lindsay, who has the fifty-thousand dollar check she thinks is from her mother to Maeby for a facelift and has taken to wearing a red wig. George Sr. pries the check out of her fingers and hands it off to Mr. Love, who condones the wall on the news.

Before this event, Oscar, pretending to be George Sr., had a discussion with Lucille about grooming someone to be president of the Bluth company, “in case Lucille Austero were to disappear”. They decide on GOB and send him to the desert to meet up with his father. Looks like both George Sr. and Oscar are “double crossers”.

George Sr. is driving back to Mexico, but has discovered his chest is sore and he hates the wrinkles around his eyes and on his head, so he arrives in a blouse, a sun hat, and women’s sunglasses, only to be waved away by officials who tell him that he’s in Mexico, which means his land is worthless, since he can’t sell a piece of Mexican land to the U.S. Government.Doctor Norman and George Sr.

GOB arrives in a limo with a bunch of sick bees who are suffering from “Colony Collapse Disorder”. They swarm out of the limo and into the sweat lodge, prompting a mass of screaming people to exit George’s colony. Oscar arrives and George Sr. tells him they can’t be seen together, but Oscar tells him they’re through and leaves, after explaining he thought his land was in the U.S. because he was going by Buster’s map, which Buster had drawn in his cartography class (the one that cost fifty thousand dollars and did not teach him that the blue parts on the map signified water).

George Sr., in desperation after wondering what is going on with his body, visits Dr. Norman, one of the kooks living in the borderland community. He’s a disgraced anesthesiologist but manages to go through a number of health problem possibilities with George Sr. before they’re interrupted and have to beat a retreat. George is told to visit O.C. Imaging for a dubious test involving an MRI and porn magazines.

This leads him to the store where his son GOB buys Forget-Me-Nows, but he mistakenly enters Michael’s office looking for O.C. Imaging. We’ve seen this before, a few episodes back, and now we know why George Sr. was so distracted. He’d been looking for a medical office, not his estranged son. We also find out that it was Oscar canoodling with Lucille 2 on the balcony, not George Sr..

Michael and George Sr.Michael and George Sr. make up somewhat, and while George Sr. does sign Michael’s movie paperwork, he asks for a favor in return: get Herbert Love to oppose the building of the wall. If he’d explained to Michael that the family would go broke if they had to build the wall, perhaps Michael wouldn’t have tried to show off by saying he knew people, like Herbert Love.

George Sr. also tells Michael that GOB needs a new job, now that he’s caused George’s border colony to collapse, and the brothers meet up in their ridiculous vehicles (the limo now has a gigantic cross sticking out of the back windows and sun roof). Michael suggests that GOB sell the Sudden Valley houses, and they both admit to dating someone “famous-y”.

We hear a noise as they enter one of the houses, and Michael says it’s probably one of the vultures who can still smell the dead postman. After a few drinks, Michael confesses to dating Ron Howard’s “girlfriend” (actually, his daughter) and GOB tells him he’s got no competition in Ron, mistaking the man for one of the stooges, Mo Howard.

Meanwhile, somewhere in Mexico, George Sr. and Buster are driving past the wall they’ve built to convince everyone they’ve actually built it. They keep going past Bluth building signs and everything looks above board until George passes Buster several times. They’re using the Hal & Burton frozen goat cream building (another throwaway joke), a round silo, to simulate a continuous wall.

“Double Crossers” concludes with Michael and George Sr. meet up at Cuatro De Cinco where Michael tells his father that the wall and Herbert Love are taken care of, and that he’s going to see Lucille 2. George Sr. finds Doctor Norman at the dock dumping medical equipment and learns that his testosterone levels are below the charts while his estrogen levels have skyrocketed.

A riot breaks out and George Sr. steals away in a red wig, and finds, to his dismay, that it feels good. After the episode, we see him answer the door to a policeman, dressed as a woman and still wearing the wig. The policeman wants to question him about the disappearance of Lucille 2, but George says, “I don’t let strange men into my house without my husband present” and closes the door.

“Double Crossers”, while not my favorite episode of the season, watching it a few times has allowed me to enjoy it more. I love the fact that Jeffrey Tambor is up for anything, and that Lucille Austero has more of a story arc in this season. I also love that we get to see more of Michael and GOB together, since their brotherly rivalry was such a big part of the first three seasons.

K.M. Cone

K.M. Cone

K.M. Cone

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