Arrested Development

Season 1 Episode 16

Altar Egos (1)

Aired Unknown Mar 17, 2004 on Netflix

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • "But I assure you; if you bring our little girl's grades up, I will pack your sweet pink mouth with so much ice cream, you'll be the envy of every Jerry and Jane on the block!"

    Re-watching this show, I think what most surprised me about Season 1 was how absolutely funny this two part episode was. We get a superb guest-star appearance from Julia-Louis Dreyfuss, and boy, she really did mesh well with this cast. What surprised me even more was how insane everything was; everybody in the episode seemed to have some sort of plot that was not only endlessly entertaining but also completely ridiculous. For instance, it's funny and strange enough for Michael's plot to be the fact that he has a one-night stand with the lawyer that is prosecuting his father who is also blind, using a fake name and career to pick her up (Chareth Cutestory, the pirate lawyer)… throw in the fact that Gob gets married to a woman because she dared him to and that she makes him wear horrible sweaters (the wife is played by a pre-Parks and Rec. Amy Poehler, who is also his wife in real life), George Sr.'s admirer (Jane Lynch's Cindi Lightballoon) falls in love with him, Maeby pretends to be a sick girl to get money… you have one weird and fantastic episode on your hands.

    The crux of the story is everything involving Michael and Maggie Lizer (Dreyfuss' character). They meet at a bar, with Michael trying to trudge through his father's plea bargain. Instead of actually reading it, he meets Maggie and sleeps with her, learning that she's blind the next morning. Turns out Michael was so drunk that he didn't even realize she was blind, even when she went right out and said she was. The rest of the episode finds him spending time with her because he feels too bad to break it off with a blind woman. It turns out that they have a fiery connection though.

    As I mentioned above, there's a lot of other stuff going on. Gob gets married to a woman who apparently sells seals or something insane like that, while George Michael learns that his cousin is masquerading as a girl named Surely Funke (a horrible cover-up, but still funny) and George Sr. gets closer to learning about what evidence the prosecution has on him. These come nowhere close to the greatness that comes from Jason Bateman and Julia Louis Dreyfuss together. Maggie being a blind woman leads to some amazing jokes, including Michael looking right at her and shaking his head in frustration or mouthing the words "Oh my god!" There's also Justice, the seeing eye dog, who probably steals the scenes right out from under the actors. Justice is the worst seeing eye dog in television history, and watching him run away and attack a woman and her child and eventually run in front of a roller-blader, making him fall down in the background of the scene is hilarious. I had to keep rewinding it because it was making me laugh so much.

    Besides those scenes, there's two big revelations: one is that Maggie is the prosecuting lawyer that's trying to get George Bluth in jail and that Maggie is not blind. The "Maggie not being blind" part comes at the end of the episode, and we get a glimpse at what will happen as a result (it involves Tobias sneaking into the house through the dog door and trying to be silent as he sneaks around).

    Overall, this was a great first part to a superb two part episode.
  • Michael tries a one night stand

    The twists and turns in this episode are unbelievably entertaining, whether they be Maggie being blind (with hilarious flashbacks as to how many signs there were), Maggie being the rival attorney on the case and Cindi not knowing what a blooper reel was, all of which are pivotal to the episode’s plot.

    Michael’s sexual experience rising from four to six women in only three episode develops his character well and shows that he is now successfully getting out there though doesn’t follow the basic one night stand rules, though Gob breaks even more, actually getting married, not getting it annulled because he wants people to think he slept with his wife.

    Overall, this episode is very funny and sets up many plots to be followed through in the next one.
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