Welcome to the “Arrested Development” Rewatch. Leading up to the release of Season 4, Zap2it
will be taking a look back at the 53 episodes that made the show one of our
most beloved TV comedies. We continue with episode 16 of Season 1, “Altar Egos,” which first aired March 17, 2004. Watch the first three seasons of “Arrested Development” on Netflix.
Note: On the “Arrested Development” Season 1 DVD this episode follows “Missing Kitty,” as originally intended. The order was altered for FOX’s original broadcast run and Netflix streaming.
Plot: Michael decides to try out a one night stand with predictably disastrous results: the woman he picks up at a bar is Maggie Lizer (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), the prosecuting attorney on his father’s case. Also, she’s blind (twist ending spoiler alert — she’s just faking that). Meanwhile, Barry Zuckerkorn (Henry Winkler) tries to convince the Bluths that George Sr. should accept a plea bargain that no one has read, Gob gets married on a dare (to an unnamed woman played by future “Parks and Recreation” star Amy Poehler, Will Arnett’s real-life wife at the time) and George Michael discovers Maeby is pretending to be a terminally ill girl named Surely Funke to scam money from her fellow students.
Secondary characters introduced: Maggie and Gob’s wife make their debuts.
Notable guest stars: Jane Lynch returns as Cindi Lightballoon, James Lipton as Warden Stefan Gentiles and Michael Paul Chan as Judge Lionel Ping.
Milestones: The first flashback to Michael’s childhood performance in the school musical “The Trial of Captain Hook” (he sings: “You’re a crook, Captain Hook, Judge won’t you throw the book, at the Pirate”). We discover Barry’s affinity for prostitutes who look like women… but aren’t.
Huge mistakes: Michael takes Gob’s advice and makes up a fake identity (Chareth Cutestory, a maritime lawyer) when he introduces himself to Maggie at the bar.
Most sexual tension: Lucille catches George Sr. tweaking Cindi’s nipples through the prison fence; Gob insists he consummated his quickie marriage even though he never did (and could get an annulment if he only admitted it).
Best narrator commentary: There’s no direct commentary on this but Winkler reprises Fonzie’s move in the mirror (shown in the GIF above) as a subtle reference to “Happy Days,” which co-starred narrator Ron Howard.
Next on “Arrested Development”: “Maeby attempts to deposit her check” [but it’s comically oversized] “Gob adapts to married life” [and discovers his wife needs a maritime lawyer] “Tobias is sent to break into Maggie’s house to steal evidence, only to discover that she’s not blind” [in a rarity, this actually happens in the next episode!]