Welcome to the “Arrested Development” Rewatch. Leading up to the release of Season 4, Zap2it
will be taking a look back at the 53 episodes that made the show one of our
most beloved TV comedies. We continue with episode 12 of Season 3, “Exit Strategy,” which first aired Feb. 10, 2006. Watch the first three seasons of “Arrested Development” on Netflix.
Most of the Bluth family is trying to avoid testifying in George Sr.’s SEC trial — Buster is faking a coma, Lucille and Lindsay fake checking in to rehab — but when Gob is arrested during a magic show in Iraq, Buster and Michael set out to extract him (which turns out to be a lot easier than Michael expects). Meanwhile, George Michael arranges a surprise 16th birthday party for Maeby.
Bluth Company status: Dicey due to George Sr.’s troubles.
Notable guest stars: John Michael Higgins makes his final appearance as prosecutor Wayne Jarvis; Bronwen Masters returns as coma patient fetishist Nurse Adelaide; Richard Belzer makes his second appearance as Detective Munch; and Gary Cole does his first and only turn as CIA agent Richard Shaw.
Milestones: The trip to Iraq is only the second time a plotline on the show takes place outside the US (the first was Mexico in “Amigos”), and the episode’s frequent political jokes (“burning Bush”; American soldiers training Iraqis; the Iraq street names) represent some of the most biting satire seen on network TV. (Since the show was essentially already canceled, might as well go out with a bang.)
Huge mistakes: Getting Gob out of prison is a cinch, because the CIA is hoping the Bluths will lead them to whatever George Sr. is hiding in Iraq — but what first seems like a WMD, turns out to be a CIA planted bug.
Most sexual tension: George Michael and Maeby get “drunk” on fake wine and go to “second base” (according to the narrator).
Allusions to Tobias being gay: When Tobias is called to testify for the prosecution in George Sr.’s trial, he assumes he’s auditioning for a CBS procedural and breaks out a piece from “The Vagina Monologues.” He also wears Maeby’s business suit, claiming not to understand it’s women’s clothing.
Best narrator commentary: “That is [Maeby’s] suit,” he interjects when Tobias is showing off his audition clothes. “They only make it in a woman’s style.”
Next on “Arrested Development”: “Tobias gives his daughter the gift he’d stayed up all night making” [a scrapbook that supposedly definitively proves Lindsay gave birth to Maeby] “and Michael and Gob make an interesting discovery” [Saddam Hussein is on TV claiming they have the wrong guy “I’m no scar … dot com” just like Oscar’s ImOscar.com].