Spoilers in this review!!!
With the third episode of Arrested Development comes the story of Lindsey and Tobais Fünke, a couple whose quest is to justify their unmitigated egos and play house while flitting in and out of their responsibilities at whim. Even though these characters probably make me the most frustrated of all the Bluth clan, they are also the two for whom I have the most strange sympathy. This episode managed to bring me to this realization, and I didn’t even have to go to India.
Lindsey’s own quest for Eastern enlightenment and oneness, so typical of privileged women in her imagined station in life, proves to be fruitless. After a hackneyed attempt at a trip to India and yet another bird joke consisting of her shaman “turning into an ostrich”, Lindsey finds herself back where she started, but with prayer hands. She still makes selfish decisions based on lies and delusions, mostly aimed at upsetting her mother Lucille.
As frustrated as I became with her character in the first half of the episode, I still was happy for her when the end rolled around. Even though Lindsey comes to some clarity through questionable means (and with questionable, albeit genuine, people), I still was rooting for her to find happiness and for once and for all NOT be with Tobias.
Lindsey’s aspiring actor husband takes a bit of a back seat in this one, but still has plenty of screen time. He provides many very typically David Cross-esque non-sequiturs, and continues his unwavering belief in his own potential for a “normal” life. I guess if he all of a sudden got a clue, moved to Vermont and married Carl Weathers there would be nothing left to watch (I don’t know…I kind of smell a spin-off), but he remains so dedicated to Lindsey and to his acting “career” that it becomes tragically endearing. He meets up with guest actress Maria Bamford, who I can’t wait to see more of; her few lines in this episode were scary and delicious, like butter.
Even though I am getting a little weary of only watching one episode a week, I am still marveling at the writers’ abilities to craft stories that work comically and symbolically. The subconscious motivations behind the characters’ actions are highlighted by well-placed narration and seemingly unrelated narrative elements. I find it poignant that Tobias seems to have mistaken an acting clinic for a rehab clinic. It’s hilarious to me that Lindsey ends up shacking up with the son of the activist who had once fallen in love with her; she was too disgusted to love him back and is now accepted by his “face blind” son.
I also find it perfect that while discussing ex-psychiatrist Tobias and his very un-self-aware wife that I fancy myself an amateur shrink. Maybe their fantasies are contagious. If so, I hope I’m not just spellbound…but I really liked this episode.