In preparation for Arrested Development’s triumphant return, a friend of mine decided he’d re-watch all three seasons in the three days prior to the May 26 release of Season 4. Under the influence of an Arrested Development high, he somehow had the energy to stream right through all 15 new episodes with only an hour break somewhere around episode 10. This marathon man finished the season and had enough brainpower left to come up with an opinion before I could even jot down the first sentence of my episode one review. As I settled in to watch the opening episode, he admitted over a text that he enjoyed ride. Not one to ruin the fun, he was not sure if he was satisfied with the ending of the season, likening it to a “punch in the face.” Now that I’ve finally finished the season I felt that “punch in the face.” It was swift and certainly caught me off-guard, but god damn did it make me feel alive. Let me use the Showstealer Pro Trial Version to rewind and put the final moments of Arrested Development’s return in context. The major conflict of “Blockheads” isn’t some big resolution at Cinco like we are led to believe, rather a father and son growing apart. It comes to overshadow other conflicts (Michael paying off Lucille 2, the building of the wall, Lindsay running for office, whatever is wrong with George Sr.) and rightfully so. Michael, usually the first one to jump at the chance to mask his calamities, has no choice but to face the reality that he is dating the same woman as his son. Michael is the backbone of the family but with his life in the shitter, someone had to come along and take Arrested Development to a brave new level. To defend the ending of Season 4, I have to look forward. George Michael’s whopping strike at his father was a symbolic shift of power, putting the future of Arrested Development in the clenched hands of the next generation of Bluth. Whether he’s playing shirtless football with a bunch of sex offenders or courting the daughters of the Hollywood elite, Michael Cera’s George Mi…aharis proved that he’s every bit as capable of being the leader of the show as his old man did back in the glory days.
But George Michael’s evolution does not excuse Mitch Hurwitz for leaving us hanging. The cliffhanger is a cruel cinematic tool that has frustrated audiences since the dawn of time. It’s disheartening, sure, but it also gives Arrested Development something that it never had, a somewhat certain future. In TV, nothing is ever as concrete as we want it to be, but as a viewer it’s hard to watch “Blockheads” and think that we’ll never see another new episode of Arrested Development again. The final script of season three was a comedic safety net, giving Hurwitz an outlet to continue the story of the Bluths, if the opportunity someday arose, while also facing the reality that the show needed a proper sendoff. Maybe it was the reunion hype seven years in the making, maybe Netflix whispered sweet nothings about a fifth season in Hurwitz’s ear or maybe the most unlikely revival in television history gave him the confidence to take a risk and leave plenty to be desired. No one likes to be punched in the face, but if it means the Bluths have more stories to tell, then I’ll take all the blows I can handle. Soon, Nick Harley and I will have a longer discussion to answer some of the burning questions Season 4 left us. Until then, “love each other.” Maharis Banter: “’I’ve got some birth control in me that I paid for myself” “That’s perfect because I’m not quite ready to have children.” “Tweet and drive” “That was good but it’s text and don’t” “He’s 22 but looks 16!” “It’s going to be our next Da Vinci Code!” Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!