Arrested Development: Season 4, Episode 2, Borderline Personalities, Review

With the second episode of Netflix's Arrested Development we can see where this reboot is going. And it's all good.

Well, Arrested Development is officially back and we here at Den of Geek couldn’t be more excited about it. The new season’s premiere gave us the chance to reconnect with Michael, but more importantly we are reintroduced to the program as a whole and are given a glimpse at how the season is going to play out. Confirming the reports of numerous news outlets and the star’s own stories, it appears the season is set up in singular stories for each character. With scenes and jokes overlapping and repeating from different characters’ perspectives, this new element not only allowed the season to come together (the actors’ busy schedules made filming together almost impossible) but it promises an incredible rewatch value. While Michael’s episode sought to set the tone and re-immerse us in the AD world, George Sr.’s episode, “Borderline Personalities,” mainly shows us what this new season will be about.

With each episode centering on a singular character, the new season gives us a chance to get closer to our characters than ever before. In the show’s initial run, George Sr. was the character we got to spend the least amount of time with, with him being locked up in prison, hiding in an attic or using a body double stand-in while he holed up in the penthouse bedroom. One thing about George that we do know is that he’s a schemer and always looking out for Number One (maybe that’s where Maeby gets it) so naturally his episode centers on pulling a big trick on everyone.

If anything, George Sr.’s scheme is at best high concept and at worst convoluted. It’s hard to understand just everything that he’s doing and at times the episode can be a tad overwhelming. It’s said that Arrested Development is a show that can feel like overload at first and as if it takes repeat viewings to understand all the jokes and interworkings of each episode, but when writing a review you don’t really have that luxury. Let me do my best to sum things up: George and Lucile are faking a divorce to prove to the family that they are not in cahoots and not trying to steal Stan Sitwell’s plan for selling the government land close to the border and developing border fences on the property. To get the property, George becomes involved with his twin brother, Oscar. It’s fun to watch Oscar and George interact face to face, with Jeffery Tambor relishing the opportunity to play against himself. George Sr. is still kind of a shmuck though and there’s a whole bunch of business with a Sweat and Squeeze that doesn’t necessarily work, but includes some guest help from John Slattery, Mary Lynn Rajskub and Karen Maruyama.

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Basically, as an episode I’m not sure that this was my favorite, but it did give me a better idea of how the season is supposed to be viewed and it gives me the impression that the season is just going to get better and better and eventually be slaying it with all the reoccurring jokes and gags. Happy Memorial Day folks, I’ll be spending mine inside with the Bluths.

The Best of the Rest
  • I love how that even though it’s only the second episode, you can see the series trying to start new running jokes instead of relying on old callbacks. John Beard is going to be popping up a lot, I’m guessing.
  • Max Winkler as a young Berry Zuckercorn is absolutely delightful and hilarious.
  • “I don’t know what you saw, but I got an ostrich and no boner.” – George Sr.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub as the silent Heartfire is absolutely perfect. The text bubbles work very well and are a lot of fun.
  • We never really get to see the rivalry between George Sr. and Ed Begely Jr.’s Stan Sitwell in action either, so it was great watching the two go at it. George Sr. uses his fleeting hair to make Sitwell feel inferior.
Den of Geek Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars


3 out of 5