Sunday, March 17, 2019

REVIEW: 'Arrested Development' - The Banana Stand Money Turns Disastrous for George-Michael in 'Check Mates'

Netflix's Arrested Development - Episode 5.12 "Check Mates"

George Sr., Lucille and Maeby give honesty a try. Good news becomes bad for George-Michael. Michael remembers there's always money... somewhere.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Arrested Development.

"Check Mates" was written by Evan Mann & Gareth Reynolds and directed by Troy Miller

The many disparate threads of this season are finally starting to come together. Sure, there are some storylines that have had overall thematic connections. But for the most part, this has mostly been a hit-or-miss stretch of episodes when it pertains to the comedic hijinks everyone in the Bluth family is getting into. And now, some of the big stakes are coming out that will unify the family towards a collective goal. George Sr. and Lucille were working on the wall project and were worried about dealing with their Chinese investors. Honesty allows them to keep some dignity in this business relationship. Sure, they just want to take the three million dollars and spend it. That's what they are always prone to do with money. They don't expect that they have to give it all back right away to prove that they still honor these investors. That's what makes it amusing when Michael believes he has suddenly found all of the profits from the banana stand from over the years. He is still absolutely clueless about what the phrase "there's always money in the banana stand" actually means. It's certainly shady that George-Michael never got a paycheck from that job while a check also came in from an overseas bank account that treated him as an item that was sold as a part of the business. It's enough for Michael to realize that his parents have once again lied to him about showing him all of their books. He is able to unearth this money at the same moment that George Sr. and Lucille get it. He chooses to invest it all in an earnest effort to help his son make his business successful and profitable. He has seen the stress that George-Michael is under. He wants to help. However, George-Michael keeps the ruse going about Fake Block being an actual companion. He didn't want to take Rebel's money only for her to realize it was a fraudulent company. He and Maeby are celebrating when the news comes in that they have successfully sold the company. That means they can break even from all of this. They can move forward with the next phase of their lives. They even get the appreciation of their family for making a three million dollar sale for their first business. That's very impressive. It's certainly more so than Maeby sneaking away for a Golden Girls spoof with her father and his new family. Of course, honesty is able to help her there as well. Their presence makes it vital for Stan to move out. He may still be recovering from his multiple accidents. But this also presents as a simple solution. And yet, these simple solutions to many of these criminal problems aren't all that simple in the long run. Michael was the new investor in George-Michael's company because he wants to be working alongside his son again. He sees that as a nice, wholesome goal. The kind they have both longed for since George-Michael was young. George-Michael just doesn't have the heart to be honest and say that his company is a scam. The entire family is relying on it to be a success now. There is even more pressure. That's terrifying. Plus, it is only punctuated further by Buster returning to the family and immediately getting arrested because he and Oscar left the stair car at the police precinct which only incriminated him further.