Arrested Development Season 4, Episode 6 Review: “Double Crossers”

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[toggle title=”Editor’s Note” state=”closed” ]Due to Netflix’s controversial method of releasing an entire season of television to the world all at once, we had to decide just how to tackle Season 4 of Arrested Development. Ultimately we decided to review all 15 episodes of the show, with one new review going up every weekday for three weeks straight. To achieve this goal, we divided the work amongst three people: Matt, Jared, and Jeremy. Jeremy will be covering the sixth episode.[/toggle]

When Matt, Jared, and I divided which episodes of Arrested Development we’d review, the fourth season hadn’t even premiered. It was decided it would cycle through Matt, Jared, and then myself, and that sounded good to me. Now I wish we’d have waited until we’d all seen them, because even though I loved episode 3, and am overjoyed I get to review the finale, I can’t help but feel duped that Matt and Jared got to review “The B Team” and “A New Start” while I got stuck with “Double Crossers.”

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That’s not to say “Double Crossers” is a bad episode, because it’s not. Up until this point, Arrested Development had made 58 episodes without producing a dud, and “Double Crossers” doesn’t break that streak. But compared to what’s come before it, “Double Crossers” is an ultimately lesser – while still being very funny and clever – episode. And that’s not an insult to “Double Crossers,” it’s a compliment to Arrested Development and season four that you can have an episode where Gob drives a limousine full of bees and John Slattery plays a drugged-out doctor, and it makes for a lesser episode compared to the greatness that surrounds it.

While John Slattery (who has always been comedic relief on Mad Men, but shines in an actual comedy) is the stand-out of “Double Crossers”, he’s almost upstaged by Terry Crews as Herbert Love. Both are terrific editions to the Arrested Development universe and, even better, serve a purpose instead of just being celebrity appearances. When dozens of big names began signing on to appear this season, it seemed like it would be an endless parade of Hollywood stars. And while that’s sometimes been the case, Mitch Hurwitz and the staff have made sure to give them all something to do, and that’s never more apparent than with these two.

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We’re also starting to see these episodes branch off to other characters and not be as confined to one Bluth, shown here with GOB and Michael meeting at the model home for some brotherly bonding over Mike’s Hard Lemonade. I love George Sr., and having him as the main character of two episodes doesn’t stretch him as thin as others seem to think, but I was thankful we got a detour to the Bluth brothers. Jason Bateman and Will Arnett always had some of the show’s strongest chemistry, and it’s that connection that makes pretty simple concepts – like their friendly-turned-antagonistic exchanges outside the model home – into comedy. Arrested Development is known for its well-crafted one-liners, but they’re also able to churn laughs out of people repeating each other’s names.

Near the end of the episode, we were introduced to another interesting storyline in George Sr. having the testosterone of a baby. In a season that’s (to steal a line from Matt Singer) making Primer look like The Oogieloves, I’m interested to see how that ties in to the rest of what’s happening. That inter-connectivity also makes “Double Crossers” an essential episode for the season. Some of the puzzle pieces we’ve gotten so far might look faded or ruffled compared to the others, but you still have to have it if you want everything to come together. “Double Crossers” is a very funny episode, and might be a tad slighter than what’s come before it, but it’s still essential to the season and makes me anticipate what comes after.

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Loose Ends:

  • Dr. Norman to George Sr.: “The Hopi Indians believed that this spot here, when manipulated, can create sexual feeling.” “That’s my penis.” “Well, you don’t have to tell me.”
  • Barry Zuckercorn: “You’re acting like a little girl lately and not in a good way.”
  • George Sr.: “No, I mean it’s good to be out of that sweaty old hotbox at the compound.”
  • GOB: “This heat just makes me want guac.”
  • Mary Lynn-Rajskub is also terrific as Heart Fire, here projecting that she’s allergic to bees amongst the screaming chaos.

Want to listen to a podcast review of season four? Click here.

Check back tomorrow as Matt tackles Arrested Development season 4, episode 7: “Colony Collapse.”

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