Queen B. is unfortunately marred by the highest frequency of bad green screen moments (in order: Sailor Barry, Witness Lucille 2, the FF4 audition, all of which puzzlingly involve people who shouldn’t have too many conflicts) as well as the “Real Asian Prison Housewives” miss we’ve previously discussed, but I’d still rank it in my top five episodes of the season simply due to how brilliant Jessica Walter is in it. “I made a pun!,” notes to the camera crew, her shortened breakthroughs with Tobias, her Invisible Girl interpretation, holy crap does the lady still have her live-action comedy fast ball (not to mention those stems).
Seeing as how Lucille Bluth is arguably the most underrated primary Arrested Development character, I would make the case she rightfully deserves two full S4 episodes over the likes of George Sr. or Lindsay, but there’s some undeniable stand-alone benefit to a single action-packed episode that brings us from the past to the present. The payoff — especially this late in the season — feels complete. And that means there was plenty to be missed on first watch.
Before we jump right in, this is as good a time as any to announce that selfless UPROXXer wuggle has created The Isla Fisher Bagpipe GIF the internet has sorely been lacking. Save to your hard drive at your own convenience. Lord’s work indeed. Deep breaths. OK, let’s do this.
Lucille’s prison number. I know its been pointed out already in other recaps and comments, but since this is THE Lucille-centric episode feel like it should be featured here.
Also, a Reddit commenter pointed out: “The chinese characters listed beside each woman’s name actually translate to the english beside it, but in Lucille’s case the character chosen (鲁) means rude, crass, or ignorant.”
It’s good to see some Buster. Not something you missed, but something worth including.
The frame Buster “claimed” is shown a split-second beforehand to be a picture of Lucille. All Buster called dibs on was a picture of his mom. Awwww. I’m sure he feels sorry for that “hundred years” line.
“And he’s supposed to be the good one.” Lucille assumes George Michael claimed her ashtray when it’s really just his signature on a gift he made for her in art class.
An Ann reference?
“Ladies Internment Terrace Enclave,” in case you didn’t catch what “L.I.T.E.” stands for.
“That Sterile Cuckoo Bird” sounds a lot like “that Austero cuckoo bird” but is actually a reference to one of Liza Minnelli’s first films, for which she was nominated for best actress.
“China Garden’s aunt, Olive…” In case you missed this joke the first go round.
“Where the hell did we go wrong with that kid?” — Lucille on Michael, a callback to an earlier season acknowledgement between George and Lucille that Michael was the one kid that did something right with.
“Sorry for giving you the old noodle stab.” — George Sr.’s best line/apology from “Borderline Personalities” takes on hilariously literal meaning.
“Well that was fast you hot little…” We don’t realize it at the time, but when GOB answers Lucille’s call he thinks it’s Tony Wonder.
“It’s time for mama to put on the old drunk act.” It’s hard to make it out with just audio but GOB’s cut-off reply is made more clear by fun with Netflix captions.
“Well, at least we have a dialogue going” — Tobias says during his and Lucille’s first Austerity session as winking acknowledgement to the fact that the only time Lucille ever spoke to him during the first three seasons was the magical, “You are a worse psychiatrist than you are a son-in-law, and you will never get work as an actor because you have no talent” moment. This feels like appropriate accompaniment.
Austerity’s Bob Fosse Poster. Fosse directed Liza Minnelli in Cabaret. That time she won Best Actress. (There’s also the, “And the Oscar goes to…” line later at Cinco.)
GENE! I’m going to assume that everyone caught all the dead dove callbacks and the Depardieu name drop during the cutaways sequence of the Lucille-Michael scene, so let’s get to the GIF wall we’ve all been waiting for…
This scene gave me goosebumps. Seriously.
Chicken Dan’s = Chicken Dance. Not just Gene’s horrible night job, but also a most excellent play on words.
When Lucille has her Invisible Epiphany she looks over to see an ostrich pinata, further emphasizing the head-in-the-sand Bluth symbolism.
You’re Killing Me Buster. During the ominous cutaway and lightning flash to close the episode, you get a glimpse of the blood on the stairs and if you look closely the foreboding “You’re Killing Me, Buster” backside of the Lucille 2 campaign banner.
In the recent interviews I’ve read Mitch Hurwitz suggests with his word usage that Lucille 2 is actually dead. I’m starting to believe (in his mind for now anyways) that is the case. Maybe he just doesn’t want us to crack the Lucille 2 = Rock Monster theory too soon.