Netflix review: Arrested Development Series 4 Episode 2
Andrew Jones | On 28, May 2013
Borderline Personalities brings in Arrested Development’s well known political slant to Season Four. No longer related to the Bush administration, Season Four opts for a look at US immigration and George Sr.’s wranglings to build a wall on the border of America and Mexico, conveniently situated on land owned by his twin brother, Oscar.
George buys the land and pretends to help Oscar out with his hippy commune – featuring a struck-off doctor (Mad Men’s John Slattery), silent type Mary Lynn Rajskub and a nice cameo from Community creator Dan Harmon – before taking charge in a grand scheme to sell lemonade for thousands of dollars to thirsty CEOs.
For a second episode, Borderline Personalities avoids so much of the previous episode’s story lines, only intertwining a few times with explanations for one of episode one’s shocking revelations, while throwing more twists in the puzzle – a puzzle that is but a blur at this point.
Mostly focussed on Lucille and George’s relationship, and that of George and Oscar, it’s a slow episode without much drive to it and then, all of a sudden, it ends – because, like Michael, George Senior has another episode in the season to fill things out. This feels more like a prologue to that episode rather than a story in itself. The in-flight magazine schtick from the previous episode and references to Google are the only recurring jokes, while Seth Rogen and Kristen Wiig as young Lucille and George are shown up by Tambor and Walter’s performances as the vile, insular couple. Hold a candle? Sir, they don’t get within a five mile radius of this candle.
Ultimately, the episode is a deathly dull one. Despite the occasional jolt of overly cartoony folk, it feels like a jump in the wrong direction for a show that always gave human qualities to its outlandish characters. George Sr. has no qualms spending time with these people and that feels so unlike him. Sure, he’s just making money until he can sell the land and destroy their lifestyle but how deep he gets into this community is very un-George-esque.
That’s why this instalment just doesn’t work. If any of the series’ episodes feel like a lead-up to a feature film, it’s this: nothing is resolved nor as enjoyable as it should be. It’s weightless and, worst of all, tedious; plots begin but don’t conclude and jokes are left along the way for the sake of the plot.