Arrested Development: Season 1, Episode 20

Whistler's Mother (11 Apr. 2004)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Comedy
8.2
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Some company funds have been unfrozen, and everyone in the family wants a cut of it. Michael makes a bad investment on his uncle Oscar's land, and takes the blame for it. Meanwhile George ... See full summary »

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Title: Whistler's Mother (11 Apr 2004)

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Buster Bluth (credit only)
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Military Officer
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Mr. Jordan
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Ted
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Activist (as Dave Gruber Allen)
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Storyline

Some company funds have been unfrozen, and everyone in the family wants a cut of it. Michael makes a bad investment on his uncle Oscar's land, and takes the blame for it. Meanwhile George Michael spots a mysterious man who looks a lot like his grandfather, and the Bluth Company institutes a new whistle-blowing policy. Written by halo1k

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Comedy

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11 April 2004 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The long haired hippie who, in frustration, shouts at Lindsay to abandon her protest is played by Dave Allen. Gruber Allan also advised a character named Lindsay to abandon her protest in Freaks and Geeks: The Little Things (2000), a show written by Paul Feig, who directed this episode of Arrested Development. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: On the next Arrested Development, Michael finds having his mother on the board problematic.
Lucille: Oh, I remember a certain young man who said "But I don't have scary dreams in your bed!"
[the board room starts laughing]
Michael: That was Buster!
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References Annie Hall (1977) See more »

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Arrested Development
Composed by David Schwartz
(opening theme)
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Lucille's best episode
29 May 2009 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

Here's an episode that makes me grateful Arrested Development's first season got extended beyond the 13 episodes originally ordered; earlier in the season we had My Mother, the Car which explored Lucille's character, a flawed woman who even her own children can't trust, but who at the same time isn't purely evil. This one tops that, making Lucille surprisingly motherly, which throws off Michael as this is a side of her he rarely sees (he doesn't even recognize his mother's hug). When Michael buys land from his father's twin brother Oscar, he finds out the land is worthless and has a member of the board threatening to take the company down. We see Michael in a rare fragile state as he blames himself for his mistakes; usually he's the only one of his family who's not screwing up. And Lucille shows an even rarer side: she cleans up the whole mess, getting Oscar to take back the land, and it seems Lucille and Oscar have a history of their own. Lucille's skill at handling company business foreshadows season 3's revelation that she's the power behind the throne.

This is the first time we see Oscar and, as noted on one of the DVD commentaries, he really does look different from his brother. The downside is that we have a couple fart jokes, which is a low point for AD, but they're actually forgivable. Why? There's much to cherish in this episode, from Maeby effectively mocking George Michael at the beginning of this episode to the members of the board acting like children with the whistles, to Michael confiscating the whistles like a teacher. The joke about the hair no one is meant to see is too bizarre for words. The free speech zone joke is funny for its absurdity, and Lindsay's cage dance is not only funny (she really is an attention whore), but also genuinely sexy. This episode is a perfect reason for why you should gobias a copy of the AD season 1 DVD.


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