“Smashed” is where Arrested Development Season 4 goes full steam ahead. It’s a wonderful episode in its own right, but there’s not a bump in the road from here on out. The interweaving plotlines are coming together and there’s enough supporting cast in every episode where it doesn’t feel like a single character is left on an island.
My only real gripe with “Smashed” is that the DeBrie stuff drags on, but my love for the GOB, Michael, and Lucille portions of the episode outweigh my Maria Bamford overload. The Michael-Tobias dynamic is the most underrated in all of AD history, in my humble opinion. I also especially adore (PHRASING) how Hurwitz and Co. handled the sex offender stuff so casually. They take a gimmick that has seemingly been overdone from a comedy standpoint and make it such a secondary afterthought joke that it actually heightens the overall effect.
Actually, I do have one more gripe, except this one is with internet. WHERE ARE MY GIFS PEOPLE?!?! “Hey, I can whistle,” “Hello, anus tart,” and “You’re ruining my life, Ron Howard!” are just a few that are sorely missing from the world wide web and it has not gone unnoticed. I’m keeping a list and at the end of all this there will be hell to pay. Until then though…
In case you missed it in Red Hairing, Lindsay and Marky Bark are on the opposite side of the prison holding from Tobias.
Tobias is Riker. Or at least I choose to pretend that’s been his influence for sitting style all along.
Tobias’s Acting Reel is set to the “Hot Cops” theme. I didn’t even realize they had a theme.
The House audition from the reel is a callback to the early seasons reference that David Cross lost out to Hugh Laurie for the role.
Pretending to know the song is a most excellent callback to Michael pretending to know the words to the “Sugarfoot” theme.
GOB’s face though. And his “yes, yes” acknowledgment of Tobias’s registered sex offender announcement is not being discussed enough. Arnett owns.
“I call all my barber’s Floyd.” This is an Andy Griffith Show reference, and there’s too much of an age gap between you and I for us to be friends if you didn’t already realize that.
“I’m going to start wearing a hat when I get my haircut too.” Tobias repeatedly throughout the episode looks to be mulling devastating news over, only to say something that makes you realize his head-in-the-sand focus is completely, randomly elsewhere. See also: “That red-haired lady can’t throw her wad.” Bravo to David Cross to making those moments so tremendous.
Tobias Onyango Funke. Possibly the biggest reference/reveal/callback in the entire episode is Tobias’s middle name, which further confirms theories that he is actually an albino black man. “Onyango” is also Barack Obama’s paternal grandfather’s middle name.
“And that’s when fate dealt Tobias a new hand.” This narration is a lot more fun on second watch.
The bathroom graffiti translates to “the cockroach sh*ts here,” if you’re interested in that sort of thing. We also find out that Tobias is still a nevernude, just like The Thing.
Fist! Poof! Drill! Stab! All the action bubbles on the FF4 set are all double entendres, which makes sense, especially if Tobias acted as set designer.
Which brings us to the final lingering question, who was The Thing in the Cinco production? This is one of the best shots I could get of him from the episode’s credits. The popular theory seems to be Michael since he “debased” himself, owed Lucille 2/Argyle money, AND had a forget-me-now forced down his throat shortly after. I’m fairly sold that’s who it was, but would love to hear other theories. Carl Weathers, anyone?