Here, the Bluths prepare for George Sr.'s trial with a televised mock trial, with actor Judge Reinhold presiding. GOB, who has fixed his black puppet Franklin, gets Franklin on the witness list while Michael handles the defense. Buster doesn't want to testify and goes into a fake coma, and George Michael and Maeby stage a wedding to entertain hospital patients.
Like other episodes of Arrested Development, Fakin' It has a title that fits for more than one reason- fake sleeping, fake son (Franklin), fake trial, fake coma, fake wedding, fake Tobias-Lindsay intimacy. But an episode has to have more than a clever title, and there is indeed more substance that makes for quintessential AD. For starter's, Franklin's back, in his first major role since Righteous Brothers. We get more of the characters ridiculously treating him as an actual person ("Franklin guess what"). Then we get something new (and clever)- GOB manages to write a whole routine with a talking Franklin with just the recorded phrase "My name is Judge." We have returning themes of family unity and loyalty, and the episode ties in well with the Peter Pan lawyer jokes from season 1 (a less gratuitous call-back than others we got in season 3). There are good laughs, with the use of the word "mockery," George's "wedding speech," and the line "seven minutes heals all wounds." It's even got good deleted scenes and bloopers (thankfully available on the DVD)- the "Michaelment" gag is hilariously lame, and Cross' "gift certificate" joke is sharp.
Are there any flaws? I've heard at least one fan say the scene where the doctor suggests the fake wedding is forced, but personally I think it was convincing. My real gripes about this episode are that GOB taking the doctor's tape is cruel (hopefully the patient will be okay), and that George Michael in lying to Maeby becomes unlikeable for the first time (but on AD, no one's perfect). Still, these are minor problems. The beginning of the end is terrific.