Season 1, Episode 8: In God We Trust


Original airdate December 13, 2013
Written by Abraham Higginbotham
Directed by Joe Russo
Production Code #1AJD06


“George Sr. is granted furlough for a Christmas pageant. While this presents George Michael with an attractive opportunity, a dissatisfied Michael seeks to replace the family’s incompetent attorney, and devises a plan with Lindsay. But when Lucille catches wind of this newfound sibling comradery, she proceeds to pit the brother and sister against each other. Meanwhile, Maeby pretends she’s running away to get the attention of her preoccupied parents, and Lucille 2 hopes to publicly exhibit her new relationship with Buster.”

NOTE: Deconstructing Arrested Development openly discusses spoilers when relevant (which can include episodes that come later in the series). Readers who have not seen the series in its entirety are advised to proceed at their own discretion.


By all metrics, In God We Trust is a classic Arrested Development episode. Its script deploys several of the show’s signature formulas, using the first 2 acts for setup and the final act for a series of pay-offs (weaving most of the storylines together in the process). The larger narrative gives every Bluth something to do as they prepare to gather for an event, which of course, goes horribly awry thanks to the family’s involvement. Not only does the episode contain some of the first season’s most memorable moments (George Michael’s muscle suit, the never-nude montage, etc.), but it introduces two beloved recurring characters, in addition to featuring George Sr’s earliest legitimate escape attempt. Its first act may be on the short side, and there’s the noticeable lack of an “On the next,” but otherwise, this is a quintessential installment of Arrested Development.


In God We Trust is the first of two consecutive annual Christmas episodes the show would do before dropping the tradition. It’s an element confined largely to the episode’s soundtrack and set decorations; this is not a “Christmas special,” but rather, a regular episode that’s set during the festive season. The writers use the holidays largely for world-building purposes – establishing here the family’s annual involvement in the Living Classics pageant, wherein affluent figures of Orange County reenact famous paintings (the perfect exercise in lavish pointlessness for a family like the Bluths, whose traditions are so often guided by pageantry). The pageant itself is more important to the narrative than the fact that it’s Christmastime, since every storyline in this episode spawns from – and then concludes at – the event.


Perhaps most notably, this is the first opportunity the show’s had to do a story with George Sr. out in the real world since his incarceration in the Pilot. George Sr. wouldn’t find true freedom until the Netflix years, seeing as his arrest drives the narrative for the entire Fox run (he’s only in Orange County Prison for one season, but he’s typically confined to a single set in all three). While the immediate imprisonment of the family patriarch gave the writers opportunity to flesh out the other Bluths, it meant George Sr. himself took a little longer to him to really gain the same depth and become as fully-developed (bearing in mind, too, that he was initially initially conceived as a minor character). The first season sometimes deploys him as more of a plot device than an actual character, so this is a refreshing and exciting change of pace for someone we’ve grown accustomed to seeing exclusively being bars.


That theme of being out in public carries into Buster’s storyline, his relationship with Lucille 2 finally losing its clandestine nature when she insists they attend the pageant together. Buster is characteristically reluctant about taking this next step, and when he finally does so, there’s perhaps no better insight into Buster’s anxiety and self-denigration than his assumption that the crowd is booing him. As we come to learn throughout the series, there are many factors when it comes to these aspects of Buster’s personality, and pretty much all of them can be traced back to Lucille. It was inevitable she’d become aware of her motherboy’s inappropriate new romance – what’s more surprising is just how little time it’s taken for the the other shoe to drop, just one episode after the couple took the first step. Lucille’s newfound awareness is the perfect wrench to throw in the works as this story arc reaches its approximate half-way point (not including their attempts to rekindle their romance in later seasons); what Lucille perceives as betrayal by Buster here leads to a series of repercussions over the rest of the season, and serves as the catalyst for the next big Buster/Lucille arc (the introduction of Annyong in Shock and Aww).


Buster isn’t the only Bluth worrying about how others see him, though. George Michael spends a large portion of the episode wearing a muscle suit in order to impress Maeby (building on this theme, Maeby is also trying to get the attention of some other family members herself – more on that shortly). In the previous episode’s deconstruction, I said the kids’ storylines in these early episodes sometimes bordered on generic, in relation to the episode’s “sneaking into an R-rated movie” story. In God We Trust also delivers a George Michael/Maeby subplot propelled by the former’s crush on the latter, placing the two in another premise that only works with child-aged characters. This instance, however, is undeniably original in its absurdity and weirdness, placing George Michael in a ridiculous muscle suit for much of the episode (an amusing enough visual gag in and of itself). It smartly plays into In God We Trust’s overarching themes, while also tying in perfectly with the Tobias storyline.


Conversely, the episode’s running gag with Tobias and Lindsay forgetting Maeby feels little uninspired by Arrested Development’s standards, but it does a great job establishing the fractured relationship between the Fünke family. We know Maeby is a teenage rebel who acts out against her parents (inheriting that rebellion from her mother, funny enough), but no other episode to date has made it clearer why she behaves the way she does; underneath it all, what Maeby wants more than anything is for her parents to simply notice her. And of course, it’s a dream that’ll never come to fruition, as they’re both far too wrapped up in themselves. In the grander scheme of the full series, this joke goes a long way to sew the seeds of the Fünke family’s eventual dissipation (with Lindsay and Tobias separating in the fourth season, each believing Maeby to be with the other parent). But it also works on a meta level, as Maeby herself is the show’s most overlooked character in these early episodes.


This episode also depicts Michael and Lindsay at the most affable we’ve seen them towards each other since their scene on the steps in the Pilot. Lucille, of course, views this as a threat to herself, and employs the same brand of callous manipulation we witnessed in the previous episode. Only this time, Lindsay and Michael’s alliance provides them with the opportunity to be equally as manipulative, constructing a farcical ploy to gain a more competent lawyer when they believe the family’s long-time attorney, Barry Zuckerkorn, is attending the pageant with Lucille. But things are never quite as they seem on the show, and when Lucille’s date turns out to be prospective new attorney Wayne Jarvis, their entire plan falls to pieces.

Barry and Wayne themselves are both strong additions to the minor cast, each lawyer personifying the other’s polar opposite. The Arrested Development writers often use running gags to flesh out new characters, and In God We Trust is a prime example of this. There are multiple instances of Barry Zuckerkorn’s unscrupulous billing practices, and a series of appallingly homophobic comments (partially building as its own runner with Barry’s assistant), the latter of which gets recontextualized at the end of the episode, when Barry lets word slip of his own sexual persuasions. Meanwhile, the exceedingly professional Wayne Jarvis is given the equally memorable runner of ducking behind various objects. It’s all amusing on the surface, but what’s admirable is just how much these running gags say about their respective characters. Each seemingly throwaway joke gives the viewer a little peek into these characters’ personalities; a creative approach that, over time, would produce a deep bench of colorful supporting players.


While it’s still early days for Arrested Development, the pacing is definitely beginning to pick up (with many scenes clocking in under the 30 second mark), and the intertwining storylines are becoming increasingly complex. The show’s writers love weaving its plot threads and character arcs together, be it thematically or through the actual events that transpire (often both, as is the case with this episode). A prime example here would be the never-nude runner, a plot point about Tobias which is introduced via the Lindsay/Michael storyline, and eventually leads to a big pay-off in George Michael’s storyline. Not only does it play into the episode’s wider themes of characters being preoccupied with how others see them, but it happens during a setpiece in which multiple other storylines coalesce. Arrested Development truly paints a portrait with the craftsmanship of a supreme deity…



BlueDot2 BARRY: How long was I on the phone?
MICHAEL: 25 minutes.
BARRY: Well, you know, with the cell phone charges, I could have rounded it out to about an hour, ’cause it’s easier to bill. All right. Anything else to go over?
MICHAEL: We’ve got everything else to go over. We haven’t done anything to get my dad out of jail.
BARRY: Okay, first of all… (turns to Lucille) What are you doing? Pilates? Because no 40-year-old woman should look like that.
MICHAEL: Well, no 40-year-old woman does look like that.

BlueDot2 BARRY: The courts have agreed to let your father out of prison…
LUCILLE: This is a lawyer!
BUSTER: He’s a master.
BARRY: …for the entire afternoon!

BlueDot2 Michael observes some concerning behavior from the family attorney:


BlueDot2 “Can’t we just stay here and play poker again? You can bet your vertigo medicine against my anxiety pills.”

BlueDot2 MICHAEL: Excuse me, but we’re not going to pay $20,000 to get my dad out for one day.
BARRY: No, no, it’s a bond. It’s all refundable. Unlike my time.
MICHAEL: It’s been a complete waste of two hours, okay? We’re just not going to do it, and that’s that. (observes Barry writing in his file) What do you doing? Are you writing two hours?
BARRY: No, I’m taking notes. I’m taking notes on the case.
MICHAEL: Are you writing…? Let me see that. Let me just see that…
BARRY: (hastily exiting the penthouse) You’re scaring me. You know what? Just leave it alone!
MICHAEL: Let me just see what you wrote!
BARRY: Leave it alone! It is a gift from a client!

And then, following a brief pause:


BlueDot2 “Wayne Jarvis had become famous after an employment discrimination suit against the family’s current attorney, Barry Zuckerkorn…”


BlueDot2 LINDSAY: Maeby, where have you been?
MAEBY: You left me at home. You do remember you have a daughter, right?
TOBIAS: Uh, yes, uh, of course we remember. And we were worried sick, young lady. She’s fine. Our daughter is all right! Sorry… (whispers to Lindsay) You said you didn’t want her to come.
LINDSAY: I said I didn’t want you to come.
TOBIAS: Oh, that makes more sense.

BlueDot2 LUCILLE: Lupe, there are some juice glasses on the sofa table.
LINDSAY: Oh, mama, I’ll help you clean up…


BlueDot2 “A stay-in-bed mom. Probably because you don’t work and you’re lazy. …Oh, his words.”

BlueDot2 MARTA: Te quiero.
GOB: English, please.
MARTA: I love you.
GOB: Great. Now I’m late.

BlueDot2 JAMES ALAN SPANGLER: (answering phone) The law offices of Barry Zuckerkorn.
MICHAEL: Yeah, it’s Michael Bluth for Barry.
BARRY: (whispering) I’m not here!
JAMES ALAN SPANGLER: Uh, Barry’s not here. Can I give her a message?
MICHAEL: Yeah. Tell her she needs to whisper a little softer next time. And I’m not paying for this phone call.
BARRY: I am not a girl, you…


BlueDot2 “Lindsay was so upset at Michael that she tried meditating to calm herself, but ended up taking a 2 hour angry nap.”


BlueDot2 LINDSAY: Now I hear you’re telling our mother that I’m completely irresponsible and a stay-in-bed mom?
MICHAEL: That doesn’t even sound like me. That sounds like mom. Or Bruce Vilanch. Could be Bruce Vilanch.

BlueDot2 LINDSAY: She’s always trying to get me to admit that my marriage isn’t working.
MICHAEL: How’s it going with you and Tobias?
LINDSAY: It’s not working.

BlueDot2 LINDSAY: He’s a never-nude.
MICHAEL: …Is that exactly what it sounds like?
NARRATOR: Tobias suffered a rare psychological affliction of never being able to be completely naked, even when alone…


DOCTOR: Oh, I’m sorry. No, I need you to be completely undressed.
TOBIAS: I am completely undressed.


MICHAEL: I thought he just liked cut-offs.
LINDSAY: Me too.

BlueDot2 GEORGE MICHAEL: (after doing some push-ups) 100.
MAEBY: 100? I had you at 10.
GEORGE MICHAEL: I did some earlier in the day. It’s a running total. So, wh-what’s with the suitcase?
MAEBY: It’s a little test to get my parents to notice me. You ever get the feeling like no one even sees you?
GEORGE MICHAEL: I’ve got a really good body, so, no.

BlueDot2 “Oh, please, I’ll never un…? I’ll never understand? That you can never be nude?”


“I understand more than you’ll… never know.”


“… Yikes.”

BlueDot2 WAYNE JARVIS: I’m a professional. I am serious, and I’m a professional.
MICHAEL: That’s fantastic. So, how long have you been…?
WAYNE JARVIS: I also don’t like small talk.
WAYNE JARVIS: I find that unprofessional.
MICHAEL: Mm-hmm.
WAYNE JARVIS: Why should I be billing you for small talk when I’m enjoying it as much as you are?
MICHAEL: Then this must be a freebie, ’cause I’m having a ball.
WAYNE JARVIS: (chuckles) …When you’re ready to get serious, give me a call.

BlueDot2 WAYNE JARVIS: We’re going to get this company’s name back to where it started.
MICHAEL: Or hopefully higher.
WAYNE JARVIS: I didn’t say that. Don’t hold me to that.

BlueDot2 “I shall duck behind the couch.”


“What a pro.”

BlueDot2 LUCILLE: I said you wouldn’t give her the money, and she said, “He will if I get him drunk.” Probably because she thinks you’re a cheap bastard. Oh…! Her words.
MICHAEL: She set me up?! All that stuff about her marital troubles and Tobias being a never-nude…
LUCILLE: A never-nude? I thought he just liked cut-offs.

BlueDot2 MICHAEL: How do you treat somebody in your own family like that? Lying and deceiving and saying anything just to get your own way?
LUCILLE: So, what did you want to see me about?
MICHAEL: Hmm? Oh, um… there’s a big bowl of candy in my office. Why don’t you go eat it?
WAYNE JARVIS: Wayne Jarvis, attorney at law. I have a responsibility to tell you that there is no candy in this office.

BlueDot2 “Excuse me, Wayne, my sister and I were outside having a business discussion…”

BlueDot2 MAEBY: Okay, so I printed the fake airline ticket from my computer. If my parents miss this, I really might go to South America.
GEORGE MICHAEL: That says Portugal.
MAEBY: That’s right.


NARRATOR: Maeby’s parents didn’t find the ticket, but Gob did…
GOB: (examining airline ticket) Portugal?
NARRATOR: …which confirmed his suspicions.
GOB: Gonna live it up down ol’ South America way, huh Mikey?

BlueDot2 LUCILLE 2: Are you ready to show me off before god and the whole world?
BUSTER: Well, it’s not my dad’s reaction I’m worried about.

BlueDot2 “Mom, what the hell are you doing?”


“I don’t have to answer that.”

BlueDot2 WAYNE JARVIS: I shall duck behind that little garbage car.
MICHAEL: Guy’s a pro.

BlueDot2 GOB: Michael! I’m on to you! The Spanish lessons, the lawyer… If you’re heading for Portugal, it’s due south.
MICHAEL: What? No it isn’t!

BlueDot2 GEORGE SR: Thank you for coming down on Christmas Eve.
BARRY: Oh, it’s like any other day, except that I bill double. So, they’re not filing charges, alright? I got them to call your flee from justice “religious expression.”
GEORGE SR: This is a lawyer.
MICHAEL: Yeah, he’s… he’s very good.
BARRY: Oh, and you’re going to have to forfeit that bond. I was way off about that.

BlueDot2 BARRY: Are all the guys in here, you know…?
GEORGE SR: Oh, no, no, no, not all of them.
BARRY: Yeah, it’s never the one’s you hope.
BARRY: Think.


BlueDot2 A cameraman’s arm makes it into shot on the right-hand side of the screen when Lucille arrives at the Bluth Company offices:


BlueDot2 Little is done to sell us on the idea of Wayne Jarvis courting Lucille. There’s barely any of common ground between them, let alone detectable attraction. Arrested Development generally drops a few hints before executing a plot twist, but the only real instance here is the double-meaning of the term “hopeful lawyer” on the card Lucille receives alongside her flowers. Naturally, we’re meant to assume it’s Barry Zuckerkorn, but his constant flirting with Lucille is perfectly in character – he’s a sleazy person with no filter, whose flattery of the Bluth matriarch likely explains his continued employment – while Wayne just seems far too professional to date a client.

BlueDot2 Maeby and Lucille’s plans to spend more time together never really receive a follow-up  The two do share a lot of screentime two episodes from now, as Pier Pressure pairs them up in a B-plot together, though their consorting is arranged by Lindsay, and Maeby exhibits far less fondness for Lucille than she does here.



BlueDot2 The episode’s title is a reference to both George Sr’s role in the painting reenactment, and the slogan printed on American money (which the Bluths manage to lose even more of here, as George Sr’s escape attempt voided his non-refundable bond). Money and trust are both key themes in the Michael/Lindsay storyline.

BlueDot2 This is the first episode penned by Abraham Higginbotham (not to be confused with the clan Featherbotham). He wrote 5 episodes over the course of the show’s first 2 seasons (the other 4 being Justice is Blind, Afternoon Delight, The Immaculate Election and Spring Breakout), in addition to being the show’s story editor for all of season 1, and playing Gary in Good Grief and The Immaculate Election. His other tv writing credits include Back to YouDo Not Disturb, Family Guy, Modern Family, The Singles Table, Ugly Betty and Will & Grace. He’s also worked as an executive producer on all of the aforementioned shows.

BlueDot2 This episode was broadcast one week before My Mother, the Car. Not only did this inexplicably put My Mother, the Car closer to Christmas,  but it created further continuity issues. Buster and Lucille 2 share their first kiss in that episode, while here, they are well into the throes of a romantic relationship (albeit a secret one). Gob’s theory that Michael is fleeing to South America also makes more sense when this episode follows My Mother, the Car – as Gob had the same idea himself there – just as Lindsay and Michael’s newfound alliance could also be attributed to the siblings’ thwarting of Lucille in that episode.

Furthermore, Storming the Castle should follow this episode, as it deals with the fallout of Lucille learning about Buster and Lucille 2’s relationship, and sees George Sr. fresh from a stint in solitary confinement for his escape attempt here (provoking his conversion to Judaism).

BlueDot2 As mentioned, Henry Winkler makes his first appearance as Bluth family attorney Barry Zuckerkorn. A fan favorite among the show’s strong roster of recurring characters, Barry appears in all 5 seasons (albeit only for a single episode in season 3, due to him having picked up a major role on another series at the time). Winkler is best known for his role as Arthur Fonzarelli (A.K.A. “Fonzie” or “The Fonz”) in Happy Days, where he starred alongside Arrested Development producer and narrator, Ron Howard. More recently, he has had starring roles in Barry, Childrens Hospital and Royal Pains, though there is a long list of film and tv work outside of that.


John Michael Higgins also makes his series debut here, as the deathly serious Wayne Jarvis (who, like many other lawyers on the show, is a relatively popular character among devotees). He would later become the primary prosecutor against the family in seasons 2 and 3. Following Arrested Development’s initial cancellation, John Michael Higgins would work with Mitch Hurwitz again on a pilot for a US adaptation of the excellent British political comedy The Thick of It – which was ultimately not picked up to series – alongside director Christopher Guest, known for his critically acclaimed mokcumentaries. John Michael Higgins regularly features in said films, and is the first of several cast members from Guest’s ensemble to star in Arrested Development (the others being Jane Lynch, Michael Hitchcock and Ed Begley Jr), though he has an extensive filmography outside of this.


Lastly, there’s Zuckerkorn’s paralegal, James Alan Spangler, an openly gay man who recently sued his employer for discrimination (something he would later do again to the military, in season 2’s Sad Sack). He appears infrequently throughout the first three seasons, and is played by Sam Pancake, who also has a lengthy resume (that includes Kitchen Confidential, A Million Little Things, Pretty the Series and Where the Bears Are). Sadly, neither Wayne Jarvis nor James Alan Spangler return for the Netflix run. Other recurring cast members in this episode are BW Gonzalez (Lupe), Liza Minnelli (Lucille 2) and Patricia Velasquez, the last of whom actually has her first speaking role as Marta (2.0) here, following a silent appearance in the previous episode.

BlueDot2 This is one of two Christmas episodes the show’s done, the other being season 2’s Afternoon Delight. Season 3 did not feature any holiday episodes (most likely due to its reduced episode count and erratic broadcast schedule), and while the Netflix seasons had scenes set during several different holidays, the closest it comes to putting a holiday at the center of a full episode is Premature Independence (which revolves around a 4th of July celebration, albeit one held on the 2nd of July).

Very little mention is actually made of Christmas in this episode, but seasonal decorations are shown throughout, and the episode’s soundtrack contains iterations of several Christmas carols, including “Joy to the World,” “Sleigh Ride,” and “Jingle Bells.” A string quartet also performs Handel’s “Messiah” (a song traditionally associated with the holiday) when the Bluths’ contribution to the Pageant is unveiled.

BlueDot2 The Living Classics pageant is based on the Pageant of the Masters, a real-life Californian tradition. Held annually by the Festival of Arts, the 8-week-long event sees performers replicating classical and contemporary works of art on stage, accompanied by an orchestra, professional singers and a narrator (though sadly, said narrator is not Ron Howard).


BlueDot2 The painting the Bluths recreate is Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. We also briefly glimpse another group enacting Tahitian Women on the Beach by Paul Gauguin.

BlueDot2 Lucille keeps saying “he’s very good” in regards to Barry, which we later learn is Barry’s promotional slogan:


The phrase would be said about Barry again in ¡Amigos!, Righteous Brothers and The B. Team, with a Spanish version of his park bench also appearing in Burning Love.

BlueDot2 Lucille tells Michael “You can’t fire family.” The Bluths would actually prove this statement wrong quite a few times as the series progressed, with Michael firing Gob in The Immaculate Election, George Sr. firing Gob in Double Crossers, and George Michael firing Maeby in Señoritis and Michael in The Untethered Sole.

BlueDot2 This episode provides us with several instances of the Bluth family’s ignorance towards all things south of the border: Firstly, Gob’s poor Spanish is on display during his brief scene with Marta. And then there’s the gag with Gob and Maeby both believing Portugal to be in South America (and Gob thinking that Michael’s learning Spanish to go there, despite the country’s native language being Portugese). We also glimpse the family’s broader inability to tell Hispanic people apart (a trait that played as a notable plot point just two episodes prior in Charity Drive), from the most hypocritical possible source:


BlueDot2 Gob calls Michael “the boy who lived under the stairs,” a reference to Harry Potter.

BlueDot2 Maeby is again trying to “teach a lesson” to her parents here, having unsuccessfully attempted to do so in the Pilot. The origins of the Bluth family’s underhanded lessons would be explained in a couple of episodes with Pier Pressure.


BlueDot2 Michael utters the words “this must be a freebie” to Wayne Jarvis. It’s very similar to “that was a freebie,” which is first uttered in the season 3 premiere, The Cabin Show, and then becomes a recurring catch phrase uttered by numerous characters over the remainder of the series (though is predominantly used in the third season).

BlueDot2 The line “that sounds like mom” was also uttered in the previous episode.

BlueDot2 This episode finally explains why, earlier in the season, Tobias could be seen sporting cut-offs in the shower (Top Banana) and under his towel (Visiting Ours; footage of which is reused here). It’s some of the earliest foreshadowing the show ever did.

BlueDot2 Michael and Lindsay’s drinking montage is the first of several instances where the show would use time jumps to show the characters becoming increasingly inebriated. Other examples are Season 2’s Spring Breakout (with all of the Bluth siblings and Tobias) and season 3’s Exit Strategy (with George Michael and Maeby).

BlueDot2 The Adam costume returns in season 5’s Everyone Gets Atrophy, when George Michael returns to the model home in his 20s and looks through his childhood possessions. Upon seeing the frontispiece, George Michael remarks “God, it’s so much smaller than I remember.” He then dons the muscle suit again in the hopes of meeting women, which proves equally unsuccessful the second time around.

BlueDot2 Tobias’s frequently-quoted line about the ubiquity of never-nudes is repeated (in a more casual manner) in season 2’s Motherboy XXX:


Furthermore, Let Them Eat Cake would also see Tobias wielding a corn dog during a particularly Tobias-esque moment.

BlueDot2 George Sr. makes his first escape attempt in this episode; his next one being in Beef Consommé. He does so while wearing a wig, presumably with the intention of posing as his twin brother, Oscar (introduced much later this season in Whistler’s Mother). This plan was first hinted at in Visiting Ours (“Give pop-pop your hair!”), though he would not succeed in pulling it off until the very end of the season.

BlueDot2 Gob’s tackling of Michael serves as an early model for a Michael/Gob fight, of which there are several throughout the series (Beef Consommé, Righteous Brothers, Making a Stand and A New Attitude).


BlueDot2 Maeby says to Lucille, “I don’t think you’re a monster.” In season 3’s Making a Stand, Maeby’s secret career as a film studio executive, would lead her to depict Lucille as a literal monster in the horror film franchise Gangie.

BlueDot2 This is first episode to not feature an “On the next.” As the deleted scenes indicate, an “On the next” was indeed scripted and filmed, but had to be cut for time. The next episode to not feature one would be Pier Pressure, for which there are no deleted scenes.

BlueDot2 In God We Trust has a total runtime of 21 minutes and 39 seconds, and is rated TV-PG-L. It is tied with Charity Drive and My Mother, the Car as the show’s shortest episode.


BlueDot2 Michael mentions here that Lucille takes estrogen pills. Lucille would later begin secretly dosing George Sr. with this same medication in season 4’s Double Crossers, a fact we would learn in season 5’s Rom-Traum.

BlueDot2 Lupe is wearing a Halloween-themed sweater during the Christmas gathering at Lucille’s penthouse (the implication being that the garment is a discarded hand-me-down from the previous Bluth holiday celebration). She would similarly be sporting a Thanksgiving-themed sweater for Valentine’s Day in Marta Complex.

BlueDot2 God’s pose in The Creation of Adam is reenacted by Tobias at the beginning and end of the episode:



BlueDot2 When Gob says “Ugh, if I have to smell another meal of fish, rice and mango, I’m gonna kill somebody,” Lupe can be seen in the background eating some food out of a tupperware container. She pauses after Gob’s remark and reseals her meal.

BlueDot2 George Michael’s response following Tobias’s cut-off-clad exit out of the bedroom – “Yikes” – is later repeated by Michael when the painting reenactment is unveiled.

BlueDot2 The M. Sabino guard uniform makes it second appearance:


It first showed up in Key Decisions, donned by another guard (suggesting there are budgetary troubles at Orange County Prison).

BlueDot2 At the end of the episode, Lucille says to Maeby, “They turn you into a monster and then they call you one.” In season 3’s Making a Stand, Maeby quite literally does just this by making “Gangie” – a horror movie franchise revolving around a monster based on (and named after) Lucille.


BlueDot2 The deleted scenes for this episode reveal a completely dropped subplot (and running gag). It involves Buster trying to get the role of Adam back from George Michael, presumably to avoid being seen in public with Lucille 2:

BUSTER: (entering the penthouse) Hey Lucille…
LUCILLE: What did you call me?
BUSTER: Mother! Mother, I mean mother!
LUCILLE: Yes, mother. That’s the third time you’ve called me by my first name, what’s wrong with you?
BUSTER: What’s wrong with you?! … Did George Michael come by for the frontispiece?
LUCILLE: An hour ago. You’re not still trying to get out of being Adam, are you?
BUSTER: No… Just the opposite. (exiting the penthouse, he passes Lindsay) Hey Lucille.

Following this, Buster is seen chasing George Michael around the dinner table at the model home, George Michael clutching the frontispiece box.

BUSTER: Come on, George Michael, give me the costume back! And the frontispiece!
GEORGE MICHAEL: I’m sorry, I can’t give it to you! I have to do it now!
BUSTER: But it’s my frontispiece, Lucille!
GEORGE MICHAEL: I’m sorry… D-Did, did you just call me Lucille?
BUSTER: …Oh, I mean mother. Michael. George Michael! Keep it! Fine. I don’t care, I don’t even want to do it anymore! (exiting the model home, he passes Maeby, who is holding her airline ticket) Hey Lucille.

BlueDot2 There is a deleted “On the next” where Buster and Lucille are sitting on the couch together watching the New Years Eve festivities on tv. Buster is wearing a festive “Happy New Year” hat and sporting a grin, while an icy cold Lucille sits in silence next to him sipping her drink. The narrator explains, “Buster starts the new year having to deal with the fallout of his relationship with Lucille 2.” Buster giggles and wishes Lucille a happy new year, and she responds by leaving the room. Dejected, Buster then glumly blows into a party horn, unfurling it at a snail’s pace to release a sad, wheezy horn sound.




Deconstructing Arrested Development is in no way affiliated with Imagine Entertainment, The Hurwitz Company, Netflix, 21st Century Fox, Disney or any subsidiaries thereof. It is a completely unofficial fan-made project.

7 thoughts on “Season 1, Episode 8: In God We Trust

  1. I’m definitely in the camp of loving Henry Winkler in this and future appearances. Watching him in the show Barry (which I’ve only seen the first season of so far, and quite enjoyed) was constantly reminding me of Zuckerkorn. And yeah, the pace of this one’s really kicking things into high gear. It’s also hard to believe they were already weaving so many little bits and jokes and call-backs (and forwards) in by this point. I’m really enjoying dipping back into the show as I follow along with these write-ups!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man, Barry is so, so good! I would definitely recommend making season 2 a high prioritry on your “to watch” list, it really became top-tier television this year.


  2. Huh, I don’t know how I missed the publication of this episode. But apparently I did! Another early run classic for sure! And it throws so much at you!

    John Michael Higgins is a comedy gift, it really was a shame Wayne Jarvis didn’t appear in the Netflix run at all. I’m guessing it might have clashed with some of his other commitments (he’s juggling a lot the past few years in front of the camera and in voice recording sessions). But on that note real quick *pours one out for Great News*

    Henry Winkler too is great. He’s pretty much got Barry nailed from his first scene onwards. So much more of him to come

    I can’t stop staring at Tobias’ corndog in that screenshot. Maybe I’ve never paused the episode at this particular point but damn is that phallic!

    “Wayne Jarvis, attorney at law. I have a responsibility to tell you that there is NO candy in this office.” What a pro he is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man, I loved Great News. Such a shame that show never found its audience, it really filled the 30 Rock shaped void in my life for a little while there


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