“Senoritis” shows how Maeby Funke spent the years between seasons, and no other character so perfectly defines “arrested development”.
In “Senoritis,” Maeby is on a bus with her boyfriend Perfecto. They’re headed to UC Irvine for tutoring, as they’ve been flunking math. Maeby finds that her cousin, George Michael, is her tutor. “Didn’t we graduate together five years ago?” he asks.
Cue flashbacks! “Senoritis” goes back to the sinking of the Queen Mary and we see where George Michael and Maeby have been. Maeby is lying on a stretcher trying to get her parents’ attention and George Michael is trying to talk to her about ending their relationship. She decides to take George Michael’s advice and flunk, missing her graduation, but it doesn’t matter because both her parents are gone.
Maeby goes to India, working as a movie executive, but when she sees her mother at a resort, she decides to give her a taste of her own medicine. She dresses up as a shaman (the guru we saw in episode one was Maeby!) and tells her mother “love is where you left it” and calls her an unsavory name. “Pull your head out of the sand,” she cautions, referencing the ostrich motif which occurs frequently in “Senoritis”.
She heads back to an empty house and finds that it’s foreclosed, forcing her to relocate to LA, where she hires Kitty and is then fired by her for not having a high school diploma. It’s on to the penthouse, where she encounters an ostrich and emits a noise Marky and Lindsey both think was made by Cindy.
Maeby goes back to school as a senior every year in an attempt to get her parents to notice that she still hasn’t graduated, but they don’t. Here she is, then, with George Michael to tutor her, and then greets Michael. She feels superior to George Michael, having left her parents somewhat behind, but soon realizes George Michael is way ahead of her in other ways, with his new software FakeBlock.
Maeby gets back on the bus and hears about an undercover cop at the school. She gets a drink to drown her sorrows and catches a glimpse of Perfecto’s badge. She runs into Barry Zuckercorn, who has a stepstool (the one we saw him purchase a few episodes ago) and is trying to get into the school. She talks to him about what she can do and realizes that if she gets dirt on Perfecto she’ll escape getting kicked out of school, which technically she’s not allowed to enroll in since she’s over 21.
Back at the penthouse, Maeby is looking for an overdue check and gets an invitation to the Lifetime Achievement Awards ceremony, where she’ll be getting an Opie Award. This is exciting, but she still wants her check, which is a royalty payment for Gangie 4: Facelift. Looks like Lucille wasn’t giving her granddaughter money for plastic surgery after all.
While at the Lifetime Achievement Awards with George Michael, Maeby runs into her old boss, who tells her that you only get an award at this ceremony if you’re dead or your career is over. This is bad news for Maeby, who has no other income source. She quickly talks up George Michael’s software and starts scheming to build a company around it and him, the newly minted “George Maharis”.
Maeby sidles up to the coconut shrimp and runs into Lindsey. She lets down her guard and tells her mother about her problem with winning this award, but Lindsey doesn’t listen. After cursing a blue streak, Maeby finds her mother flirting with Herbert Love and calls her out on her behavior, any shred of respect for her now gone. Then she realizes that she can profit from it when one of Herbert’s assistants offers her money for Lindsey.
With the money from pimping Lindsey, Maeby builds a small kingdom for George Michael, complete with a hangar office, and a golf cart. She even bought a new car for George Michael from an investor, Lucille 2. George Michael stares at her when she mentions Lucille Austero, saying, “I’ve never met the woman.”
Maeby’s at Sudden Valley paying Steve Holt for his pest control services (she fails to recognize him) and is interrupted by her two uncles barging in, prompting another bird sound that Michael takes to be a vulture.
Maeby’s now working three jobs, and gets to FaceBlock’s offices in time to tell George Michael about the keynote speech he’ll be giving on a boat at Cinco De Cuatro. “But it’s not rea…dy,” he gulps. She shrugs it off and whips away on the golf cart quite happily, until she hears George Michael yelling, “Maeby, you’re fired!”
She returns to the penthouse and runs into Michael, who wants her movie rights. “Is that still happening? I gotta tell ya, I think movies are dead. I think it’s a TV show.” She then stops in at Lucille 2’s house and manages to seduce Perfecto, Lucille 2’s adopted child. This way she can blackmail him if he tries to out her as an overage highschool senior.
At Cinco De Cuatro, Herbert Love pays off Lindsey, who, in a moment of sweetness, attempts to repay Maeby for the check. “And if you want to get plastic surgery…I mean, the nose, right?” Maeby gets Perfecto to get back at Herbert Love, calling him a bully. He then explains that he isn’t a cop and is actually 17, which means Maeby is now a sex offender.
Before the narrator can finish up the “she made a huge mistake” phrase, Maeby shrugs it off and goes about her business, and it seems to work out in her favor since Lucille 2 disappears that night. “Senoritis” concludes with the undercover cop at school finally showing up in the form of Rocky Richter, and Maeby realizes she’ll have to move to Sudden Valley with all the other sex offenders.