Welcome to “Arrested Development” Rewatch. Leading up to the release of Season 4, Zap2it will be taking a look back at the 53 episodes that made “AD” one of our most beloved TV comedies. Watch the first three seasons of “Arrested Development” on Netflix. Today we’re covering the ninth episode of Season 3, “Mr. F,” which premiered Jan. 2, 2006.
“Arrested Development” has always been a self-aware show, but none of its episodes are quite as tongue-in-cheek as “S.O.B.s.” Airing a month after the third season’s episode order had been cut nearly in half, “S.O.B.s” is a satirical attempt to win over more viewers by making the characters more relatable, having them develop, offering up problems with clear solutions and employing viewer-grabbing tactics like a live finale, celebrity guest stars and 3D effects — basically, mocking the problems people had found with the series up until that point. The meta discussion of “Arrested Development’s” fate parallels the troubles the Bluths are having in the episode’s plot, and ultimately Michael decides that his family has had its shot and deserves whatever fate it’s served — a commentary that also refers to the show itself. In the “Next on ‘Arrested Development'” segment of the episode the Bluths end up winning over their critics, but we know that “Arrested Development” did not have a similar destiny and was not renewed by FOX after its third season.
Plot: In an attempt to raise money, the Bluths decide to throw a fundraiser called “Save Our Bluths.” This results in Lindsay taking care of the house, Lucille trying to win over benefactors at the country club and GOB accidentally working as a waiter at the club. Michael is concerned that George Michael has OCD and enrolls him in the school Openings, where Andy Richter’s brother Donnie Richter teaches him. It turns out George Michael doesn’t have OCD, but actually is just trying to make sure Lindsay doesn’t destroy their home while trying to care for it. Maeby continues to double as a movie producer and gets Tobias a small role as an extra. The Bluth fundraiser ends in a disaster, but the family raises the necessary money anyways because Michael’s speech didn’t sound desperate.
Bluth Company status: The Bluth Company needs some help, so the Bluths organize a fundraiser called “Save Our Bluths.”
Notable guest stars: Jack McBrayer as the country club waiter, Andy Richter as Andy, Donnie, Emmett, Rocky and Chareth Richter, Andy Dick as Andy Dick, Zach Braff as Phillip Litt, Ben Stiller as Tony Wonder and Judge Reinhold as Judge Reinhold.
Memorable line: Basically every line in this episode is fantastic, but this exchange is particularly amazing: “Yeah, I don’t think the Home Builders Organization is going to be supporting us.” — George Sr. “Yeah, the HBO’s not going to want us. What do we do now?” — Michael “Well I think it’s Showtime.” — George Sr. Also Buster saying, “It’s so watery, and yet with a smack of ham to it.”
Milestones: There are scenes in 3D, the last seconds of the episode are “live,” one character dies and George Sr. is revealed as the Muffin Man.
Huge mistakes: GOB accidentally works a day in his life, Lucille once served her children cereal in an ash tray, Lindsay develops “Hot Ham Water” and almost burns the house down.
Recurring jokes worth remembering: Milford Academy where children are neither seen nor heard, Maeby’s secret job as a movie producer that’s missed by her parents, Tobias’ hair plugs, “Mr. F,” GOB saying “Come on!” and Michael constantly ignores what his son actually says and feels.
Allusions to Tobias being gay: Tobias tried to date Bob Loblaw, is going to become a “nontraditional mother” for Maeby and is known as the Glitter Queen with casting directors.
Most sexual tension: George Michael cheats off of Maeby on a homework assignment and uses the opportunity to smell her hair. He also tells his father that he loves his cousin, but Michael ignores his son as usual.
Best narrator commentary: “Please tell your friends about this show.”
Next on “Arrested Development”: The Bluths get donations because of Michael’s speech, and the last seconds of the episode are air live.