Arrested Development

Season 3 Episode 11

Family Ties

Aired Unknown Feb 10, 2006 on Netflix
out of 10
User Rating
309 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

In an effort to get to the bottom of things, Michael tracks Nellie down and hires her as a consultant for the Bluth Co. Unfortunately, Michael discovers Nellie’s hands-on approach is more than he bargained for. Meanwhile, George Micheal and Maebey find out that their fake marriage was real.moreless

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  • Michael hires a prostitute, who he thinks is his sister, to help out in the office.

    Jason Bateman's sister guest stars as a prostitute who Michael thinks is possibly his sister. As the truth unravels, we see that although she is not his real sister, she effectively steps in and helps out within the company in more ways than one.

    Perhaps the funnies part of this episode was Franklin's appearance. He and Gob as Nellie's pimp(s) was hilarious and very creative. It is amazing how these writers can go "out there" and always manage to tie things back in to the main story of the show. Definitely amazing!

    It was also nice to see Jason Bateman's sister willing to jump in and play such an "uncomfortable" role. They have a great on-screen chemistry and hopefully will have the opportunity to demonstrate this again.moreless
  • Michael finds out he has a sister

    Michael finds someone he thinks is his sister, named Nellie, which comes in handy when comparing her to Tobias, and who also turns out to be a prostitute (including George Sr’s – it’s a good thing it turns out they aren’t siblings.

    When plots are as well woven as this one, it’s a wonder why Arrested Development is getting cancelled, with the hilarious revelation of who the pimp Frank turns out to be, the person controlling the puppet still not believing there to be any sign to change his ways.

    George Michael takes his marriage to Maeby a little too seriously and Maeby takes it a little too lightly but I have yet to see the episode they actually get married in.

    Overall, the plots of this episode are great and show that anything can happen in the Bluth family.moreless
  • This episode was fun

    This sets up the premise of an 'older sister' that Michael may have, which in fact turns out to be Linsday later on.

    This episode showcases how naive and oblivious Michael is to everything going on around him. It likens him to Tobias's denial that he may be gay.

    The hilarious reference to the old computers was fun; Tobias called the computer Michael was on a "ky' model and said 'make sure you don't get any moisture on these babies"

    Justine Bateman was outstanding in this episode and it was great seeing her again.

  • Another girl Michael misunderstands

    Between the misunderstandings with Rita, not figuring out that George Michael is infactuated with Maeby and now Nellie, I'm starting to see Michael really is a bluth. He's as dim- witted as the rest of them... okay he's not that dumb but still... not figuring out Nellie was a prostitute was a bit over the top.

    Loved the whole Franklin/ Frank thing, I was wondering when Michael would figure that out... while George Michael's take on the wedding to his cousin was funny too. Not much really to say on this one... can't wait for the final few episodesmoreless
  • Michael finds and hires Nellie who he thinks is his long lost sister. Buster falls in love with a nurse while still in his fake coma. Lindsey and Tobias schedule a night of “heterosexual intercourse”, and George Michael tries to make his marriage work tmoreless

    Finally Justine Bateman is on Arrested Development. It seems like the rumors have been going around forever that she was going to come on the show. But she finally made it on and she did good. I think that the only problem I have with this episode is that it could have been three or more episodes (hardly a problem at all) but all of the four final episodes were rushed storylines each and every one could have been material for the rest of the Third season which was cut short or the fourth season. But I’ll take what I can get. I’m still a little confused though. In a news article about Justine Bateman being on the show it showed a picture of her wearing a large amount of make-up to make her look digusting and dirty but she didn’t look like that at all, maybe they just rewrote the episode.

    The genius of the writers never stops astounding me and those laugh out loud moments are just everywhere. The way they write the stories is just so circular and hilarious. Too bad America didn’t get it.

    At this point now that the show is over I find myself just trying to enjoy the show as much as I can. Because I could be outraged and hate the guy at FOX that cancelled the show but then I wouldn’t enjoy the show to the same degree. So remember that people, we can write our outraged letters and sign petitions in our spare time just don’t forget to enjoy the show while we still (kind of) have it.

Alia Shawkat

Alia Shawkat

Mae "Maeby" Fünke

David Cross

David Cross

Tobias Fünke

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman

Michael Bluth

Jeffrey Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor

George Bluth Sr. / Oscar Bluth

Jessica Walter

Jessica Walter

Lucille Bluth

Michael Cera

Michael Cera

George Michael Bluth

Justine Bateman

Justine Bateman


Guest Star

Bronwen Masters

Bronwen Masters


Guest Star

Ron Riggle

Ron Riggle

Congressman John Van Heusen

Guest Star

Charlie Hartsock

Charlie Hartsock


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • When Michael returns to the office in the final scene, there is a printout of a poster taped onto the wall that reads "Workers Love Nellie," which was a repeating joke during season 3, referring to the previous posters the Bluths have made: "Family Love Michael" & "Family Love Rita."

    • The information for Nellie in George's secret file says "Nellie -- Conslutant". A bit of foreshadowing for her career.

    • Nellie Bluth is played by Justine Bateman, who is Jason Bateman's (Michael Bluth) older sister.

    • During the original airing of this episode, Jeffery Tambor appeared as himself in an ad for Progressive Insurance.

  • QUOTES (23)

    • (Michael is talking to Nellie)
      Narrator: Hey, let's see what some of the other folks are up to.
      (Shot of George Michael doing homework)
      Narrator: Nothing there.
      (Shot of George, Sr. clipping his toenails)
      Narrator: Or there.
      (Shot of Buster's nurse getting into bed with him)
      Narrator: Oh, my ... Let's get back to Michael.

    • Lucille: Michael. What a surprise.
      Michael: Really? Were you expecting somebody else? Maybe, uh, one of your two daughters?
      Lucille: Oh, Lindsay and Tobias never visit.

    • (Lucille's necklace has just stuck to the magnet)
      Lucille: That's not a real gold necklace, is it?
      George, Sr.: Well, it wasn't really your 50th birthday.

    • Tobias: I find myself attracted to someone who is not my wife.
      Michael: What's her name?
      Tobias: Michael. ... Can you believe it?

    • Michael: Lindsay, I can tell that it's real. It's like that feeling that you read about twins having.
      Lindsay: We're twins. You didn't give me access to the banking.
      Michael: No, you'd just ... you'd go out, and you'd just whore it up Lindsay, you know? Now, she's different. She's a little bit more like me. It's like we finish each other's --
      Lindsay: Sandwiches.
      Michael: ... Sentences. Why would I say --
      Lindsay: Sandwiches.
      Michael: (nods) That time, I was going to say sandwiches.

    • Maeby: I'm worried you're taking this too seriously.
      George Michael: (huffs) Are you ... just the opposite.
      ("Here Comes the Bride" plays from Maeby's cell phone, George Michael chuckles and looks away)
      Maeby: (turns off phone) What the hell is that?
      George Michael: I bought you a wedding ring ... tone. (chuckles) Opposite of serious.

    • Michael: What the hell is going on? Nellie is not a, uh, uh, a prostitute.
      Gob: Of course, she is. Oh, but I can see where the misunderstanding is. You didn't know. (yelling to Nellie in the background) Maybe we can give him a family discount!
      Michael: Family discount is right, Gob. This is the sister I've been talking about.
      Gob: Maybe I should have been getting a family rate ... (breaking down) Oh, my God.

    • Gob: The real problem is she keeps saying God is going to show me a sign, the ... something of my ways ... wisdom?

    • Michael: Even if we're not related, I think I would like for you to work here. You're very, very good at it. What you do for a job is not really a great way to make a living, you know?
      Nellie: I make 300 grand a year.
      Michael: Marry me. It's weird on so many levels.

    • Michael: You know, Gob, this might be that sign from God that you should change your ways.
      Gob: No, I think that's going to be something big.

    • Gob: A lady of the evening. Working girl. She turns illusions for money ... tricks.

    • Tobias: Oh, God, here she is.
      Michael: Next to that guy?
      Tobias: What guy?
      Michael: That guy.
      Tobias: No, that's her.
      Michael: Him?
      Tobias: That's a girl. I think the name "Michael" is making you look for a man.
      Michael: I think I'm looking at a man.

    • Tobias: Michael, look, this has got to stop. I mean, flattered? Yes. Interested? Not tonight.

    • Michael: (into the phone) Really? And all the guys like her, huh? That is - that is - that is great. Uh, you mean "away," though, right? Because, otherwise, it sounds a little different, but, uh, that's, uh, that's outstanding. You forgot to say "away" again. But listen, let me call you back in a bit, ok? Bye. (to Lindsay) Nellie has blown them all away.

    • Narrator: But she did have a list of won'ts.
      Nellie: We're gonna have some ground rules first, ok? No (bleep bleep bleep) or (bleep). And no (bleep) unless you're wearing a (bleep) or you (bleep bleep). If this winds up on the Web, I will (bleep) you in the (bleep).
      Ted: Our computers don't even work on the internet.

    • Nellie: Well, I was buried in loan debt from business school, so I started whoring myself out.

    • Michael: I-I'm not interested in you that way.
      Tobias: What way?
      Michael: Pick one.

    • Michael: Gob, listen. Can I ask you a question? Do you remember growing up with a sister?
      Gob: Sister? Uh ... No, I don't. Not really ... ringing any bells.
      Michael: Other than Lindsay, of course.
      Gob: Oh! Lindsay!
      Michael: Well, you might not be the most reputable source on this.

    • Lindsay: Oh, you know what? I've already prepared a list of "won'ts."
      Tobias: Oh, you're not going to believe this. My list is of "can'ts."
      Michael: Marital love can be so romantic.

    • Lindsay: Well, you know, maybe I would be more attracted to you if you were in better shape. You know, if you were just more muscular and masculine. Does that make me shallow?
      Tobias: No. I was going to say the same thing to you.

    • Tobias: Yes. Lindsay and I are planning a night of heterosexual intercourse.
      Michael: You can just say intercourse.

    • Lindsay: Well, why don't you just go to Dad and ask him who Nellie is, point-blank?
      Michael: So, he can just cover it up and lie? I can't stand to hear one more lie out of this family.
      Tobias: Oh, there's the woman I'm sexually attracted to.
      Michael: Ok, but that's the last one.

    • Michael: That might be an older sister that we've never met.
      Lindsay: Wow! Look at the beak on that bird.

  • NOTES (1)