“Arrested Development” premiered its fourth season on Netflix at 3 a.m. EDT. The highly anticipated series returned with its first episode, “Flight of the Phoenix.” So what happened?
Michael, who owes Lucille Austero $700,000, is at the town's “Quatro de Mayo” celebration (a holiday that a young Lucille Bluth made up back in the day). Spending the holiday on the top of the newly renamed “Austero Bluth Company” stair car with Lucille Too and Sally Sitwell, Michael breaks some bad news to Lucille Too – he can’t give her the $700,000 she needs back just yet.
“Why can’t you go to your family?” she asks. “I don’t need them,” he responds. “What I need is you.”
Following in the footsteps of his brothers Buster and Gob, Michael tries to seduce her. But when his attempt to swoop in and kiss Lucille too fails by her accidentally falling off the stair car, he decides to straight up tell her, “I’m going to have sex with you … for money.”
After Michael does “the unthinkable,” he heads back to the model home he thought had long since been abandoned. Unfortunately it’s already occupied – by Gob (and a mystery lady friend)! Michael catches a glimpse of Gob’s house guest (“I knew it!”) and Gob shoves a “forget me now” (actually a roofie) into Michael’s mouth.
Six months earlier …
Michael finally went to Phoenix – not the city, but the online school, the University of Phoenix. Although taking classes online, he was getting the full college experience … by living with George Michael in his dorm room at the University of California at Irvine. (George Michael was initially given a double room because campus housing thought he was actually twins – George and Michael. He then had a roommate named P. Hound move in.) While George Michael and P. Hound work on a new privacy software, Michael is working on his law degree and getting interviewed for Altitude magazine, where he hopes his family’s luck will turn around.
Episode one reveals what happened after the party boat was chased by police in the season three finale. Stan Sitwell ended up pawning off the company onto Lucille Too when he discovered the latest batch of problems. Lucille Bluth turned the boat around back to shore after trying to flee, and her charges were filed under maritime law. Barry Zuckerkorn is hired to be Lucille’s lawyer but he drops the ball when he misses her court date because he forgot or doesn’t understand maritime law.
George tells Michael that he used up whatever money the company had to buy 4,000 acres of California desert, but ends up explaining that he and Lucille are getting divorced. Angry that he’s president of a company that won’t let him use any money to finish Sudden Valley (and that Lucille needs him as the key witness to her trial), Michael decides to sell his shares to Lucille Too with the compromise that he can keep Sudden Valley as a pet project.
With the money he got from Lucille, Michael sent George Michael off to school in the stair car and finally finished up the Sudden Valley community (although no roads actually lead to it – “We’re waiting for the city to build it,” says Michael). Unfortunately the building coincided with the collapse of the California housing market (and the Internet wire for the community was severed when the community pool was built). He went to Lucille Too to borrow $700,000 to offset the costs of Sudden Valley, but the ghost town didn’t turn around. The big change came when Pete, the mailman, keeled over … and Michael couldn’t call 911 because Sudden Valley has no cell service … and that’s how Michael moved into George Michael’s dorm room. (And Michael isn’t the only one hanging out in George Michael’s dorm room. Michael comes back one day to find that his son has a girl in his room. His cousin Maeby to be exact.)
George Michael tries to hint for his dad to move out of the room, but Michael doesn’t get it. They finally have a vote and Michael is forced to leave (to the tune of sad Charlie Brown music).
Michael heads to the airport to get a copy of Altitude magazine but the ticketing guys (the “Workaholics” crew) tell him that the only way he’ll get a copy is if he gets on a flight. Hell bent on getting that magazine, he buys a ticket to Phoenix, a place he’s always wanted to go (and shortly heads back from after a mishap with a very hot car door handle).
Episode 1 guest appearances:
-“Workaholics” actors Blake Anderson, Adam DeVine, Anders Holm and Erik Griffin guest star as employees at the airport.
-Kristen Wiig appears as a young Lucille Bluth.
-Seth Rogen guest stars as a young George Sr.