Recap / Arrested Development S3E11 "Family Ties"

The Arrested Development episode "Family Ties" provides examples of:

  • Attractive Bent-Gender/Dude Looks Like a Lady: Girl Michael, according to Tobias. He is male, as we see near the end of the episode.
  • Brick Joke:
    • GOB mistakes his Christian girlfriend (Ann Veal) asking him to embrace "the Holy Trinity" as asking to have a threesome. Near the end of the episode, Girl Michael thought Lindsay and Tobias wanted to have a "Holy Trinity" with him.
    • John Van Hueson crawling into bed with Buster like Nurse Adelaide did earlier.
  • Cluster Bleep-Bomb: When Nellie is laying down her ground rules in the Bluth company office.
  • Callback: There are callbacks to "Mr. F" (when Lindsay reminds Michael of the incident, and when Michael realises that Franklin is "Frank"), and to George Sr's cheating.
  • Continuity Nod: GOB lying about his sex life, which was a major issue when he tried to divorce his wife, but refused to admit that he never consummated the marriage.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Nellie's pimp and boss turns out to be Franklin, of all people.
  • Dude, She's Like, in a Coma!: Buster's nurse, Nurse Julia Adelaide, falls in love with him while he fakes being in a coma, and eventually crawls into bed with him. Apparently, she exclusively seeks out this trope, as she has had this exact situation with various other patients before. At the end of the episode, John Van Heusen, the representative trying to keep Buster alive, crawls in with Buster too, much to his horror.
  • Finish Dialogue in Unison: Lindsay and Tobias together at the bar "How dare you! And with another man/woman!
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Michael attempts this with Lindsay.
    Michael: It's like we finish each other's...
    Lindsay: Sandwiches?
    Michael: Sentences. Why would I say—
    Lindsay: Sandwiches.
    Michael: That time I was going to say sandwiches.
  • Literary Allusion Title: To Family Ties (which Justine Bateman also starred in).
  • Oh, Crap!: When George and Michael find out that Nellie has emptied the N. Bluth account.
    George: It's gone, it's empty. She got to it.
    Michael: Well, there goes the company!
    George: Okay, now, hold on now, let's not panic, because I know someone who can find her. His name is Frank.
    Michael: That's GOB's puppet.
    George: ...I'm going to prison.
  • Platonic Prostitution: In "Family Ties," Nellie's clients never seem to end up having sex with her, and end up crying on the floor about their emotional issues. In a flashback, George sobs about his inability to make Oscar jealous with his money; GOB sobs about his inability to get Michael's approval; and all of the employees of the Bluth company mostly ended up doing this too when she was hired accidentally as an in-house prostitute. This doesn't stop both GOB and at least one of the employees from pretending they actually did have sex with her.
  • Running Gag: Specific to this episode is when Michael asks his parents about the mysterious "Nellie", and they respond that they only know the one who married Lindsay.
  • Something Only They Would Say: Michael realises that the mysterious pimp is actually GOB (or more accurately, Franklin) when the latter makes a remark about "turning tricks illusions on the street."
  • Trespassing to Talk: Pimp Franklin does this to scare Michael.