Arrested Development, “Queen B.”

Lucille Bluth“Queen B.” charts Lucille’s rise and fall in the Bluth family, prison, and at rehab as she attempts to keep herself together.

The opening of “Queen B.” made me erupt in squeals. I admit it, I watch The Real Housewives of O.C. and to see the ridiculousness of that show paired with the luxurious prison Lucille finds herself living at…there is definitely an interesting angle about the life of the rich being a kind of prison.

In “Queen B.” We finally see what happened to make Lucille turn around and sink the Queen Mary: Lucille Austero, who was taunting her from shore over the phone. While Lucille B. managed to come up with an alibi, saying she was rescuing Buster, who’d fallen into the water, she winks at Buster to communicate he should back her up, then commands him to tell the truth, which he does, completely oblivious to the subtext of her wink.

Lucille after the sinking of the Queen MaryBuster and Lucille, from then on, are distant and threatening. Buster attempts to leverage for some of the stimulus package, driving Lucille to pack so she doesn’t have to spend another second with him. As she packs, she discovers that the family has divvied up her things, leading her to believe they aren’t confident about the results of her upcoming trial (unbeknownst to her, the family had already divvied up her things when she went to O.C. Imagining a few years prior about a sunspot). She sees George Michael has signed a coaster he made for her and thinks he marked it for himself. “And he’s supposed to be the good one,” she laments.

At the trial, Lucille is alone. No family members have arrived to exonerate her, and Lucille Austero is the only person besides Barry that she knows. Lucille and Lucille 2 engage in a hostile pun war, their passive-aggressive behavior finally coming to a head.  Lucille’s sentenced to 3-5 years at a “country club” prison where she meets the Jade Dragon Triad, a trio of Chinese women who she quickly turns against each other as soon as her connections ensure she’s in their good graces.

Lucille in prison garbGeorge tells her she can get out if she goes to Lucille 2’s clinic, but Lucille hates the idea, since it was Lucille 2’s testimony that got her sent to jail in the first place. When she manages to get one of the Triad to invest in the wall building, Lucille discovers that Michael is still part of the company and tells George to get him out before he blows the whistle. “Where did we go wrong with that kid?” she wonders. “Probably where we went wrong with the rest of them,” says George.

Tension mounts in the prison when Lucille’s wall deal falls through, and she notices that the prison gang has been divvying up her stuff. Frightened, she calls GOB and realizes that Tobias works for Lucille 2. She manages to get out of the prison before the Triad can get to her and tries to bribe Tobias to write her a pass out of the clinic. Tobias, however, is impervious, resulting in this insult: “You look as swishy as Ryan Seacrest!” Tobias, confused, replies, “Ryan Seacrest is straight,” prompting Lucille to holler, “and I’m 40!”

Several silent sessions of “therapy” ensue as Tobias continues to work on his Fantastic Four musical. He starts talking to himself about the villain, finally getting Lucille to talk as she yells that everyone thinks she’s a villain, and she’s tired of it. There’s a hint of a breakthrough as she cites the last time she cried, sixty years ago when she found her dead…whatever the breakthrough was, it’s ruined by Tobias, the most incompetent therapist alive.

Dance practice for Fantastic Four: The Musical

He convinces Lucille to try out for the role of the villain in Fantastic Four, and she does, with a song she wrote herself. I keep forgetting that Jessica Walter can sing and dance so well, and I’m thrilled that she was finally able to show off a little in “Queen B.”. She wins the part and plots to escape the night of Cinco de Cuatro when they perform the musical on a boat, recalling young Barry’s line, “Take to the sea!”

It’s revealed that Gene Parmesan is responsible for the photos of Lindsey and Herbert, which Lucille is planning to blackmail Love with when he’s elected.  As Michael signs away his rights to the company, she gladly signs away her rights to the movie, sure that her future is intact.The dead dove joke reappears as Michael visits Rebel Alley and tries to bribe her son with a bag labeled “Dove (Bar): Do Not Eat”. The bird falls out on the counter, prompting this response from Michael: “I probably should have expected that.” Lucille uses this information to drive GOB and Michael apart, hinting that GOB is the other guy Rebel is dating. Gene Parmesan arrives, resulting in a scream from Lucille.

LucilleUnfortunately, Lucille arrives at Cinco de Cuatro and realizes that George isn’t the one she’s running away with. Oscar made those plans, and to her horror, she discovers that she doesn’t know which one she’s been scheming or making love with. She tells George they’re getting a real divorce and stomps away. She’s stopped for a moment by Oscar, who tells her he loves her, but when they kiss she discovers that Lucille 2 has ‘claimed’ him with one of her campaign stickers.

Alone, distraught, and for the first time, unsure of her future, Lucille sees Tobias. Lucille says she’s going to disappear since that’s what everyone wants her to do, and Tobias tells her that she isn’t a villain. He says that she’s the Invisible Girl: “You make it impossible for people to see you to protect yourself..and in this way you launch sneak attacks and create force fields to keep people away!” Lucille sees all this as a metaphorical conversation, while Tobias is simply talking about the musical.

It’s a breakthrough for Lucille, however, who is finally ready to stop being invisible.

K.M. Cone

K.M. Cone

K.M. Cone is a story nerd, particularly for the episodic stories told via the medium of television. When not parked in front of the TV, K.M. Cone can be found writing kooky urban fantasy on her personal site, attempting to learn German, or making a huge pot of soup for her friends, who are probably coming over to join her in her latest TV or animated film obsession.
K.M. Cone

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