One of my favorite aspects of "Curb Your Enthusiasm" is the way Larry David sometimes sets up his stories so perfectly that every single plot he introduces has some effect on one another. Some of the episodes he does feel like they stretch a bit to connect all of the dots, but the best episodes of his feel like perfect writing, even though it's mostly all improvisation.
The thing is, "Arrested Development" started doing this style of storytelling a few years after "Curb" premiered, and they did it even better with less time in an episode. This episode is a perfect example of how little details can accumulate to perfection with just a little tweaking here and there. It's difficult to say exactly where my interest in "Arrested Development" blossomed from intrigue to full-blown love, but it was right around here, this episode, along with the next one and the episode before this. They're perfect examples of how plot points can actually be a part of a big picture.
For instance, with this episode, we have a bunch of little details that not only reveal plenty about the overall story in the episode but also reveals a ton about the characters themselves. For instance, the episode gets its title from two different things: the "charity" section comes from an auction that takes place once a year where people bid on other people to take them out on dates and whatnot, and the money that is bidded goes to charity. Every year, Lucille ensures that Buster bids on her, and every year, Lindsey tries her best to be hot so she can get the highest bid. The problem is, Buster is dealing with Lucille Austero, the other Lucille, who just so happens to be interested romantically with him.
Meanwhile, the "drive" part of the episode comes from George Bluth's old car that he used to be super strict about. He never let Michael eat ice cream in it and was just the type of person who loved the car, regardless of anything else. Michael, who's been riding his bike to work ever since his father's arrest, learns that the rest of the family has been driving the car and that he's the only one who hasn't. This realization turns into an argument with Lindsey about who is the more charitable person in the family. Lindsey goes to volunteer in the Wetlands while Michael attempts to bring his mother's maid home as a charitable act.
But the problem HERE is that the car has been defaced significantly, so much so that the car looks like it belongs to a serial killer: Lindsey's spilled nail polish looks like blood, Buster's skeletons in the backseat look like human remains instead of animals... oh yeah, and the maid that Michael picks up is not the maid but a random Mexican woman who thinks Michael is a serial killer. It doesn't help that Michael says things like "LOCO!" and "I'm not going anywhere until she's taken care of!" while talking to Lindsey. It's a classic misunderstanding situation, but the writers earned the payoff by including all the little details beforehand.
And Buster's plot pays off well after he accidently bids on Lucille Austero instaed of his mother and faints as a result. There's also other little plots here and there involving Michael's attempts to make things right with investers by having Gob break into the office and plant some information that they were missing before, something Gob hands off to George Michael and Maeby. There's also the introduction to Gob's "BananaGrabber" character, a random but hilariouis addition to the Bluth family.
Overall, this episode accomplishes the daunting task of introducting about five or six plots at once and then having them all connect with each other. Maybe it's not the best episode in the series' run, but it definitely is one of the best in terms of tying everything together.