Family Meetings: Chapter 1
by Creedog VanDrey
Category: Arrested Development
Summary: Michael and George Michael escape to Cabo for a little while, but can't resist returning back to the family.
A/N: I wrote a virtual Season 4, planning to do four episodes, but only got through two and a half episodes before realizing I couldn't finish it. This is intended as a rewrite of that virtual season, in the same style, but with shorter chapters. This will be a series of "family meetings" that tell of the ongoing insanities that invade the Bluths' lives.
This is the story of a wealthy family lost everything and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together. It's Arrested Development.
Michael Bluth, for the first time in his life, had finally escaped his family.
Michael Bluth sits with his son George Michael in the C-word, the family yacht, passing the S.E.C. boats that were no doubt on their way to the Queen Mary.
The S.E.C. had uncovered evidence that it was Lucille Bluth, not George, Sr. who was the real mastermind of the various crimes committed by the Bluth Company. They were easily able to capture the slow-moving ship and take down the queen.
Several police officers tackle Tobias, who is wearing a women's pant suit and Stan Sitwell's wig.
It would take them a while.
They tackle Oscar and demand that he take them to his wife, believing him to be George, Sr.
"I'm Oscar!" Oscar screams before being hit by Officer Taylor's night stick, "Dot-com," he adds wearily.
They eventually corner Lucille at the helm. "Careful with me," she warns as she's being arrested, "my neck alone is worth more than your life."
But it was Buster who was in the most precarious situation.
Buster is treating water near the dock when a seal in a yellow bow tie surfaces, looking at him menacing.
"Come on!" he bellows as he starts to flail around. He accidentally hits the seal across the head. It whines pitifully and Buster rubs it across the head with the curve of its hook, "Oh, you're just scared, aren't you? Don't worry, I'll take you home and you can live in my bathtub and I'll call you… Sealy. Sealy Bluth."
At that moment, Buster was saved by a handsome FBI agent who came to assist in the arrest of Lucille Bluth.
A hunky FBI agent helps Buster into the boat.
After explaining his situation, which the agent did not seem to find strange, he called in a forensic team to extract the hand, which unfortunately, had been digested down to bones.
Despite the unfortunately circumstances, Buster and Sealy would become the best of friends. Unfortunately, unlike what certain 90s family films would tell you, a bathtub is not a good place to keep a seal. Sealy, after being given a prosthetic fin, would be moved to Sea Land, where Buster visited him once a week.
Buster reaches his prosthetic hand into the seal tank and Sealy bites the hand and yanks it off. He swims off without it, leaving Buster to fetch it out of the water. He is dragged away from the edge of the tank by several marine biologists.
Michael, now safe in Cabo with his father and his son, is following the news about his mother.
Three weeks later: The sign outside Cabo reads: "Bienvenidos a Cabo San Lucas: donde está cálido". This is translated as "Welcome to Cabo San Lucas: Where It's Warm (Hot)". The temperature is listed as "33". It is translated below as "91 (Hot)".
A Mexican newscaster, Juan Barbas, talks rapidly in Spanish with an unflattering picture of Lucille in the corner of the screen, her left eye closed. The three Bluth men watch with lowered eyebrows, uncomprehendingly.
"You know, it would have been smart for one of us to learn Spanish," George, Sr. comments.
However, it was at that point that Michael discovered a compelling reason to return home.
Michael's picture shows up on screen. Michael comments, "Okay, I can see that they've converted my portrait to grayscale and reduced the resolution to make me seem sinister. I'm guessing that they're looking for me."
George Michael becomes frightened, "But, Dad, we've fled to Mexico! Aren't you going to be in a lot of trouble?"
"I don't think so," Michael states confidently.
Two days later, Michael sits at a table with Bob Loblaw on his side and Wayne Jarvis on the opposing side.
"We've got you, Bluth. Embezzlement, conspiracy, fleeing the country."
Michael would be let off easy, for he knew a loophole in the American legal system.
"I will roll over on my mother."
"Don't say it like that," whispers Bob into Michael's ear.
Wayne prompts him, "And let me guess, you want immunity."
"Wayne, during my tenure with the Bluth Company, I committed no crimes, at least not anything near the magnitude that my parents did. I have full backups of all the computers. There should be more than enough to indict my mother."
"I can't believe you'd screw your own mother like that."
"Don't say it like that," Michael pleads, but Bob Loblaw cuts in.
"Drop all charges against my client and we will surrender all the backups. If you insist on bringing up charges, we will use them to bury you in court."
"You cannot withhold evidence!" Wayne declares.
"Read the Patriot Act!"
Wayne was no fool. He released Michael, after which he and his son returned to his family, where Michael was welcomed warmly.
Michael walks in to the model home and Lindsay leaps into his arms, screaming "Michael!" George Michael takes advantage of the distraction to run upstairs, not seeing Lindsay attempting to kiss her brother on the lips.
Michael pulls his head back, saying, "Lindsay, stop this. I'm not going to kiss you."
"Michael, you're gonna have to eventually. I said if I wasn't married by the end of the month, I'd sell all my shares to Dad Two."
"Oh, yeah, you haven't heard. I got unofficially adopted—pre-adopted, you could say…"
"I wouldn't say that," Michael jumps in.
"…by Stan Sitwell, so I've taken to calling him Dad Two. By the way, we haven't seen Dad One in a while."
George, Sr., Lindsay's "Dad One", elected to stay in Cabo after Michael left.
Michael, Lindsay still cradled in his arms, turns to the living room where Tobias, GOB, and Buster are sitting. To Tobias, he asks, "Tobias, your wife is trying to leave you for your brother-in-law."
"Been there, done that," GOB joked, laughing at his own wit and raising his hand for a high-five; no one else laughs or high-fives him, and he sheepishly lowers his hand, trying to shrug it off as a stretch.
Tobias dramatically rises from the couch, "Well, Michael, my old lady and I have decided to cease our heterosexual coupling but remain parenting life partners. Alas, I am a confirmed bachelor now."
"You're already divorced?" Michael finally sets down his sister, who nonetheless keeps her hand on his forearm.
Lindsay replies, "Yeah, it took Barry all of a half an hour to process it. We're sharing all our possessions."
"Joint custody for Maeby?" prompts Michael.
"It didn't come up," Lindsay replies, causing Michael to roll his eyes.
Michael believed that his sister had simply not paid attention during the proceedings, but the issue of Maeby's custody had not come up.
Tobias approaches and tightly hugs Michael, who has to twist his head away to prevent Tobias's lips from touching his. Michael wrangles himself free, only to be met by his older brother. GOB, too, tightly hugs Michael, who again has to twist his head away, this time to prevent GOB from licking his eyes, wanting to "taste the happy." Tasting nothing, he calls Michael a "robot" and returns to the couch.
Michael notes, "So, I see that you didn't burn down the house while I was gone."
GOB had almost burned the house down.
One week ago: GOB shows Steve Holt a magic trick, resulting in the couch catching on fire. He throws vodka from the minibar, only fueling the flames. Steve Holt beats down the fire with his letterman jacket while GOB pours $600 bottles of wine on the couch, putting out the fire and permanently staining the fabric.
"So," Michael comments, "I don't suppose any of you have gotten jobs."
Only Tobias answers, saying he's worked every day since Michael left. "I must be the most sought after extra in the GLA area district."
"Don't call it that," Michael notes. He notices Buster sitting quietly on the couch, "Hey, Buster, how have you been holding up with Mom in jail?"
Contently, Buster remarks, "Oh, Michael, I have been doing great. I have Lindsay acting as my adopted-sister-mother-figure and Uncle Father Oscar cares for me, too. He brings me brownies and I'm telling you, I have not had a single anxiety attack in the six months that you've been gone."
"I've been gone three weeks, Buster."
"Huh," Buster replies, rubbing his chin with his prosthetic hand.
Michael surveys the group, "Have you all been living here?"
Lindsay answered, "Well, I moved into your room. I didn't want to delay the inevitable."
"Not happening, Lindsay," Michael cut in.
Lindsay, not paying attention to Michael, continued, "Buster took my old bed. Maeby's still in her room. And GOB's been staying at Mom's."
"How's Maeby?" Michael asks with genuine interest.
No one in the room answers, nor seems to think that they are the one being asked.
Maeby was doing well. She was working on the Bluth Family Documentary Project. It took a little bit of work to keep her parents oblivious.
"Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad. I'm off to school." Her parents nod and tell her have fun.
"Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad. I'm going to be working late. At school, I mean. I have a tutor, you see. He's teaching me spelling." Her parents nod and tell her to work hard.
"Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad. I'll be home late again. I have detention. I purposely scheduled the Conservative Baptist Society's meeting in the same room as the Atheist Belief Club." Her parents nod and congratulate her on her achievements.
"Bye, Mom. Bye, Dad. I have to go to work at Tantamount Studios where I conned a job, got fired, and have been rehired because I'm producing a movie and/or television series about all the family's dirty secrets." Her parents nod and tell her to drive safe.
Speaking of Maeby, George Michael got a warm welcome, too.
George Michael walks into the room and Maeby leaps into his arms and tries to kiss him.
"Maeby, we can't do this. We may not be biological cousins, but we're still family."
"George Michael…" Maeby whined.
"Actually, I was just trying to stall to see if morals would hold out against my lust."
"My lust won before I even finished talking." He walks up to her and they start to make out on Maeby's bed.
Downstairs, Michael makes the comment, "Well, we're going to have to reorganize the sleeping arrangements."
"Oh, Michael, I've got that taken care of. I went shopping."
"What a surprise," Michael quips, "I meant we need to discuss who is sleeping where."
"Not too difficult," Lindsay replies, "George Michael moves back into his old room. You move back into our room. See, no problems."
There was this.
George Michael and Maeby are making out on the lower bunk.
"Lindsay," Michael states in his patronizing tone, "you're my sister. We're not sharing a bed."
"Fine, if you're going to be old-fashioned, I'll stay in my room until we get married."
"We're not getting married," Michael calls out to deaf ears.
Buster inhales with fright, "You're kicking me out? What if I have nightmares?"
Tobias leaps up from the couch, "No worries, Bluth family, I shall move in with GOB. We'll be like that classic 1969 television series The Odd Couple. I wonder who will be the Jack and who will be the Tony."
"I think that's kind of obvious," GOB answers. He turns to Buster and asks, "Your door locks, right?" Buster just nods.
On the next episode of Arrested Development…
George, Sr. rethinks staying in Cabo…
Two police officers are standing outside the Mexican model home, causing George, Sr. to flee out the back, wearing a sombrero. The police officers are there with a real estate agent.
…and Lucille adapts to prison life.
"I'm having the time of my life," Lucille relates to Michael. A Hispanic woman by and hands Lucille a martini. She takes a sip and shakes her head. To the woman, she reminds, "No stirring."
A/N: I want to apologize to grammar nazis everywhere for writing this in the present tense. Ron Howard narrates in the present tense, and it sounds strange if I don't narrate the action like that, too.
This chapter was mainly to introduce where the characters are three weeks later. The overarching theme will be, of course, family meetings, or family members meeting each other. Anyway, I'll be casting all these stories.
Jason Bateman … Michael Bluth
Portia de Rossi … Lindsay Bluth
Will Arnett … GOB Bluth
Michael Cera … George Michael Bluth
Alia Shawkat … Maeby Fünke
Tony Hale … Buster Bluth
David Cross … Tobias Fünke
With Jeffrey Tambor … George Bluth, Sr. / Oscar Bluth
And Jessica Walter … Lucille Bluth
Special Guest Star
John Michael Higgins … Wayne Jarvis
Scott Baio … Bob Loblaw
Justin Grant Wade … Steve Holt
John Beard … Juan Barbas
Jay Johnson … Office Taylor / Mexican Cop #1
Jerry Minor … Officer Carter / Mexican Cop #2
Charles Esten … FBI Agent Bardot