I'm reviewing every episode of Arrested Development season 4 immediately after I see it for the first time -- so if you haven't seen the rest of the season yet, don't worry! You can check out my other episode reviews here.
In "Queen B.", when Lucille Bluth noticed that her family had been claiming her belongings, she even mistook George Michael's signature on a piece of pottery he'd made as a claim. "And he was supposed to be the good one," she mused.
It's a true enough statement: George Michael, despite his awkwardness and taboo obsession with Maeby, had always been the purest-hearted member of the Bluth family. That's why, when he was discussing his Fakeblock application earlier this season, it never even crossed our minds to doubt him. George Michael wouldn't lie to us.
But lie he did, as "It Gets Better" revealed, and we began to see that George Michael had begun to flee from the innocence that marked his character as a child. The narrator's mention of dishonesty behind long-inbred in the Bluth family was a very true statement (and also a pretty clever reference to George Michael's ongoing attempts to seduce Maeby).
The episode was a crash course through George Michael's formative college years. His awkwardness didn't earn him much socially early on: he joined several students laughing at the stair car in an attempt to fit in, and Gob's old segway didn't do him any favors either. But it was junior year that revealed his sexual awakening -- with a woman whose family he was staying with in Spain (and who he apparently impregnated!). Of course, George Michael construed this as meaning that he was now officially sexually active, though upon returning to the states that (hilariously) was proven to be rather untrue.
His attempts to woo Maeby have taken on a new degree of weirdness, though, thanks to the fact that they're in their twenties now -- but his competition with P-Hound over her was pretty funny. Also, Michael was right: P-Hound is horrible. Probably could have guessed that from his name, but the dude's no good. The Social Network parody that the show brought in right at the end -- maybe based on Michael Cera's resemblance to Jesse Eisenberg? -- was funny enough, but I found myself straining my belief-suspension muscles a bit too much for it to really work.
"It Gets Better" was a great episode, though, because unlike some of the episodes this season, it really expanded George Michael as a character. He's still that awkward kid we knew from the first three seasons, but his innocence is lost as a result of growing up around these conniving, awful people (or maybe just, you know, adolescence). But it is cool to see George Michael growing up, and with two episodes left this season, I'm interested to see how his lie falls apart (the George Maharis alias will probably soften the blow).
On to the next episode:
-- Wood block, really? That's the joke you chose to recycle?
-- It was great to see some familiar Bluth company workers again, and their attempts to become memorable to George Michael were really hilarious (one of them made up a song!). But how we get to that point -- and what Rebel wanted to talk about -- remains to be seen.
-- Is it just me, or is the mustache a reference to 'Youth in Revolt'?
-- Is the title meant to reference the gay youth campaign? It's a pretty distinctive slogan; just not really seeing how it fits in with the episode.
-- Still not sold on Seth Rogen as young George. Why didn't the show just stick with the old format of Jeffrey Tambor in a wig? Would have been a great sight gag to see him acting alongside young Lucille (because Kristin Wiig remains fantastic).
-- I'm a little disappointed that this season, all of Michael's interactions with his son have been on the obliviously domineering end of the spectrum and not on the tender side. That duality is what made the pairing work for the first three seasons. Now, it just seems unhealthy (and, hey, maybe that's intentional).