Arrested Development

Season 1 Episode 4

Key Decisions

Aired Unknown Nov 23, 2003 on Netflix

Episode Fan Reviews (6)

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out of 10
418 votes
  • "Gob's been stabbed in the back!"

    I'm a big fan of episodes that can tie together the plots of each character without it seeming contrived. Otherwise, you have storylines that are sort of just hanging in the wind, and despite their quality, it isolates those characters from the rest of the show sometimes. This was NOT one of those episodes. In fact, of the first four episodes so far this season, this was probably the one that did it the best. There were just so many great little jokes, from the "White Power Bill" to the introduction of the Staircar to the first appearance of Gob's classic line "I've made a huge mistake."

    In this episode, we get another small glimpse of Gob's girlfriend, Marta, the soap opera actress who somehow finds it tolerable to be in a relationship with a guy who announces during her interview that he'll be putting himself in prison only to break out a day later as a publicity stunt. Gob's plan is to prove himself a great magician, likely to the Alliance that he never can get into, and he swallows a key in order to escape the next day… however, he forgets that he has to poop in front of people, and he's bathroom shy. Oops!

    Meanwhile, in an effort to cut back and get the company back on track, Michael sells the car and, along with his bike he always rides around on, uses the Staircar that the Bluth Company used for their old jet as their new car. Michael also tries to get a tree chopped down to make room for new mansions and ends up having to deal with a grumpy man (Clint Howard, the narrator's brother) who is an activist, which makes Lindsey want to do activism again.

    Hovering in the background of all of this is the Desi's, a Spanish soap opera award ceremony where multiple things happen: Michael realizes he really likes Marta, despite the fact Gob is dating her, Buster (not wearing his glasses) meets a new woman who he later realizes is his mother's friend, also named Lucille (played by Liza Minelli). I never was a huge fan of Lucille Austere (or Lucille 2) in the show, but her appearance here was good.

    A lot happens in the episode, but it never (as usual) gets out of control or feels pressured. In fact, it's as cool, calm and collected as can be. Take into account all of the little jokes that come and go before you can even notice them: the "White Power Bill" plot, "You're going to get a lot of hop-ons," the way Gob quietly mutters "But I'm… white" upon being stabbed, the way the key he swallowed is what saves him, the first Carl Weathers appearance (in name, not in person) and countless other little things.

    I've found that it's pretty difficult to do a really good job analyzing and reviewing this show. It's easier to just comment on whether it was good or not, but I'll do my best to follow the Bluth family throughout the show. So far, it's been difficult, if only because there's so much to comment on. But so far, rewatching it for a second time and reviewing it for the first time, it's been just as fun as the first time.
  • Key Decisions

    Everything about this show is just outstanding. The intelligent episodes titles (like this one), perfect comedic timing, well thought out script, and just endings that tie in so perfectly, it's just good TV.

    The Marta/Job/Michael thing is interesting enough, I just hope not every episode is focused on this triangle. The irony of the situation was hilarious: if he only brought the stairs. Then of course, we got Lindsay who actually helped with the tree being demolished without trying.

    Maybe & George Michael interactions were hilarious. The Buster/Lucille tie in was also awesome. With Buster's loss of sight, and Lucille's vertigo, it was just another great tie in from this show. Great episode of Arrested Development, looking forward to future installments.
  • Better everytime

    When G.O.B. abandons his girlfriend, Marta Estrella, to stage a publicity stunt at the penitentiary that holds his father, Michael is left to accompany her to the Desi Awards. Meanwhile, Lindsay attempts to persuade activist Johnny Bark out of a tree on Bluth property so that it can be cut down. Having swallowed the key and ready for his dramatic escape, G.O.B. finds himself unable to pass the key without a private bathroom, spurring him to utter for the first time, "I've made a huge mistake." Trapped in prison with his father, we begin to learn G.O.B. is a man desperate for his father's approval and attention, noting that George Sr. has never even played catch with him. Michael, meanwhile, is finding himself quite attracted to Marta. Also at the Desi Awards, Buster, while not wearing his glasses, mistakenly flirts with his mother's friend and social rival, Lucille Austero. This another really great episode.
  • Gob swallows the prison key

    Gob is my favourite character on Arrested Development and what I love about this episode is that he is featured predominantly with great gags about his idiocy and his magic and also develops his relationship with George Sr. What I found most amusing about this episode was that the warden put him in the prison just because Gob was being so self-confident and that Gob completed his magic trick accidentally since he was rushed to the hospital after being stabbed (Ta da!).

    Lindsey in the tree was very funny, my second favourite plot, but Michael having feelings for Gob’s girlfriend never felt like a very amusing storyline but Gob’s is by far the best, causing this episode to be one of the best so far.
  • this episode rocks! the show gets off and running

    When I first saw the first episode on FOX, I wasn't too sure about it. For some reason, I returned the next week and the next week. By the time this episode came around, I was laughing myself silly. I started to miss those laugh tracks (from old sitcoms) because the jokes were just coming at me too fast... I found myself uncontrollably laughing the whole way through the commercial break... "Is there a private bathroom around here?" - "I'd ask the guys to leave, but they've been locking the doors lately." - "I've made a huge mistake." - I just laughed and laughed through all of those advertisements for crap I already have and crap I would never buy... then the show came back and it was just laugh after laugh and sometimes two jokes in one sentence. The "On The Next" Arrested Development part came up and I laughed... "Why were they saying on the next episode when it just started?" I looked at the clock and it was 9:56... the episode was over...

    ...any of that make any sense? sorry
  • Although I'm still confused about the lack of intro (probably a time issue), this is a fantastic episode that followed 3 fantastic episodes.

    I can't quite remember, but I believe this was the first episode of Arrested that I saw. Although I'm still confused about the lack of intro (probably a time issue), this is a fantastic episode that followed 3 fantastic episodes. Whereas the Pilot and Top Banana focused mainly on Michael, and Bringing Up Buster was a Buster-centric episode, this one belongs to G.O.B., who goes into his father's prison for a magic stunt that doesn't quite go to plan. Also, Clint Howard, brother of the Narrator, plays Johnny Bark, continuing a long tradition of being in things that Ron is a part of. I love this episode, and I wish that the original actress who played Marta had stayed on, because her replacement looked nothing like her. Really bothersome.