Arrested Development

Season 1 Episode 12

Marta Complex

Aired Unknown Feb 08, 2004 on Netflix
out of 10
User Rating
346 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When Lucille throws an anniversary party for Tobias and Lindsay on Valentine's Day, Michael gives an impassioned speech about love. This makes Marta realize she has feelings for him and Lindsay realize she wants a divorce. Meanwhile, Buster decides to move out of the penthouse and Lucille revels in living alone for the first time.moreless

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  • "Baby, I had a stew goin'!"

    In a way, this episode and the episode that follows it are an unofficial two parter, which makes rating it a little more difficult. They both have different sub-plots that are equally funny but very similar plots at the forefront: Michael and Marta. I mentioned in the review for the last episode that the show occasionally loved focusing on Michael's love-life, even more so after George Michael gave his permission. "Marta Complex" begins the process of bringing the "Marta/Gob/Michael (and sort of Buster)" triangle (or square) to an end.

    In the first episode, it's Lindsey and Tobias' 14th anniversary, which Michael tricks his mom into celebrating. Right from the get-go, the episode seems intent on focusing on the eradication of old relationships in favor of forging new ones. In the course of 21 minutes, Michael and Marta begin hinting at their feelings for each other ("I love you all, Marta.") leaving Gob in the dust, buster moves out of his mom's house and is broken up with by Lucille 2, Lindsey and Tobias nearly divorce and the working relationship between Tobias and Carl Weathers (who continues to steal scenes as an exaggerated version of himself) comes to a tragic yet hilarious end. And in the midst of this, George Michael learns that he might not be related to Maeby.

    It's a lot for any normal show to cover in one episode, but as I've said before, "Arrested Development" is not just any normal show. By splitting the stories into two different yet similar episodes, everything is resolved by episode's end. We get the start of a great running gag where Gob hears Marta talking about a guy named "Hermano," not knowing that "hermano" is Spanish for "Brother" and that she's talking about Michael. Michael, who doesn't know that "hermano" is brother either, begins to see if Marta is cheating on Gob with some guy named "hermano." The show milks this joke for all its worth and never lets it feel stale.

    Also, the way Buster, Carl Weathers, Marta and Michael's plot all sort of blend into one another is fun to watch. I can't say it enough: Carl Weathers steals the show here. I dare you to try and not laugh about the time he made that movie with Anne Archer and didn't touch his per diem. Awesome.

    The story is eventually resolved in the next episode, but it's rare when a two part episode can make both parts equally great. That's the case here.moreless
  • Marta Complex

    Definitely will go down as one of my favorites of the series. The whole "Hermano" mix up was absolutely hysterical. Also the possibility of Maybe being adopted was also a great plot line.

    "I made a huge mistake" - Great running gag that I definitely enjoyed. The separation of rooms was also great. Lucille living alone was hilarious, and the Buster & Lucille 2 relationship still manages to make me laugh.

    The party in the beginning was also a great lead in to following events. Arrested Development always manages to tie in every story line like it did here. Good job!moreless
  • Hermano!

    While the Michael-Marta side plot isn’t my favourite aspect of the show, I did find this episode very entertaining with numerous characters saying “I have made a huge mistake”.

    Michael screws up his chances with ever being with Marta without even realising he had a chance. My favourite scene in the episode is the phone conversation between Gob and Michael which always makes me laugh at Gob’s idiocy with the “nobody’s here” scenario.

    Buster’s meeting with Lucille 2 also had some classic moments such as “this has nothing to do with my mother. Besides it’s the only way she’ll ever respect me” and “you’re replacing my mother”.

    Overall, this episode is quite entertaining with a few revelations aswell, the main one being Maeby possibly not being George Michael’s blood cousin.moreless
Jeffrey Tambor

Jeffrey Tambor

George Bluth Sr. / Oscar Bluth

Portia de Rossi

Portia de Rossi

Lindsay Bluth Fünke

David Cross

David Cross

Tobias Fünke

Ron Howard

Ron Howard

Narrator (uncredited)

Jason Bateman

Jason Bateman

Michael Bluth

Jessica Walter

Jessica Walter

Lucille Bluth

Carl Weathers

Carl Weathers


Guest Star

Bashir Salahuddin

Bashir Salahuddin


Guest Star

Patricia Velasquez

Patricia Velasquez


Recurring Role

Liza Minnelli

Liza Minnelli

Lucille Austero

Recurring Role

BW Gonzalez

BW Gonzalez


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

  • QUOTES (34)

    • Tobias: No, no, no, there's a shower scene? I have to be nude?
      Carl Weathers: Hey, you don't shower with your clothes on, now, do you?

    • Marta: Well, as you said, finding out who you really are, it can be painful, but you can't live a lie.
      Michael: No, I can't, but some people find a way to make that work.

    • Tobias: 14 years of lies. Yes, I'm the doctor. The perfect husband. The big manly man. The big strong daddy. Do you know the last time that I made love to my wife?
      George Michael: No.
      Tobias: I'll tell you when.
      George Michael: No, don't.

    • Gob: I'm gonna speak very carefully in case she's with you.
      Michael: You're right.
      Gob: Right about what? She's there? What's going on? Who's with you? If it's Marta, say "nobody."
      Michael: Nobody.
      Gob: Well, now I don't know what's going on!

    • Narrator: And suddenly Buster realized Marta was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
      Buster: I've been dating an old lady.

    • Buster: Hey, brother-in-law.

    • Michael: Excuse me. I'm looking for an Hermano.
      Soap Actor #1: (in Spanish, subtitled) My brother? Right there.
      Michael: Right there, in the green? Great. Thanks. Gracias. Hermano. Are you Hermano?
      Soap Actor #2: (in Spanish, subtitled) My brother? Right there.
      Michael: That's the guy who just ...
      Soap Actor #2: Mm-hmm.
      Michael: Son of a bitch.

    • Maeby: I don't get it. Why do we have to change rooms?
      Lindsay: Cousins of the opposite gender shouldn't be sharing a room.
      George Michael: But that's just the point. I mean, we're cousins. You know, gender has nothing to do with it. Cousins can bunk together. That's why they call it "bunking cousins."
      Lindsay: They call it "kissing cousins."
      George Michael: We're not kissing. That's the point.

    • Gob: And she kept using this guy's name like, "Hermano."
      Michael: Let me tell you something, Gob. We're going to track this Hermano down, ok? And we're going to nail him. Because if anyone's going to go out with that girl, it's going to be one of us.
      Gob: Right. Me.
      Michael: And I'm ok with that.

    • Gob: Great speech last night.
      Michael: Really? What did it inspire you to do, kill somebody?
      Gob: Getting there. Marta's cheating on me.

    • Buster: Hey, brother, I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your speech yesterday -- about family and being true to ourselves.
      Michael: Oh ... well, I'm glad it made an impact.
      Buster: Yeah. I never want to look at mom again.

    • Michael:So, on a very unusual Valentine's Day, cheers to Mom and Dad, to Buster and Lucille....
      Buster: Don't forget my girlfriend.
      Michael: That's who I meant.

    • George Michael: What are you doing?
      Maeby: I'm just trying to throw stuff at my dad's head, but the wind keeps taking it.

    • Carl Weathers: Whoa, whoa, whoa. There's still plenty of meat on that bone. Now, you take this home, throw it in a pot, add some broth, a potato. Baby, you've got a stew going.

    • Michael: Where's Tobias?
      Lindsay: He's on the balcony having margaritas with Carl Weathers.

    • Michael: 14 years, huh? You've got to be doing something right.
      Lindsay: Well, if you call not filing for divorce something right.

    • Marta: Michael, all alone on Valentine's Day? How's that possible? You seem like such a romantic to me. I can just see you showing up on some lucky girl's porch in a tuxedo with a bottle of champagne.
      Michael: Yeah. But if I show up with all that stuff, I could probably just get away with shorts and a T-shirt, right? Which is good because I don't even have a tuxedo.
      Marta: So, you're saying there's no one that you're even interested in?

    • Gob: Did you know that "fratello" means "brother" in Italian? Strange I know that. I took four years of Spanish.

    • Lindsay: Don't worry, sweetie. Mommy and Daddy aren't going anywhere.
      Maeby: Ok. I'll go unpack my suitcase.
      Lindsay: No! We may have to bolt!

    • Buster: This isn't about my mother! Besides, it's the only way I'm ever gonna get her to respect me!

    • Lindsay: I was thinking about that toast you gave at my anniversary party. So, I wanna get a divorce.

    • Michael: To love and happiness. I love you all Marta.

    • Narrator: The family continued to chant "speech, speech, speech" for no one in particular.
      (clapping ceases)
      Michael: Gee, after all that, I was kinda hoping somebody would make a speech.
      Buster: Speech! Speech! Speech! Speech!
      Michael: I'll say something.
      Gob: Typical.

    • George Sr.: I cheated and I lied. And I whored around.

    • Michael: There was somebody for a little while, but it was too much of a brother -- bother.

    • Lucille: You tricked me.
      Michael: I deceived you, Mom. Trick makes it sound like we have a playful relationship.

    • Gob: You've only had sex four times!
      Michael: Not four times, four women!

    • Maeby: That's it! Tell me what's up with you and Dad.
      Lindsay: Nothing. Nothing's wrong with your father and me. We have a-a wonderful, close relationship. Can I let you in on a little secret? Hmm? Having him in the next room makes me miss him all the more.
      Maeby: Mom, please. He's got a big boy crush on Action Jackson.

    • George Sr.: Hey, Bruno, any chance that the hole is available between 4:00 and 6:00?
      Lucille: I don't even want to know what that means.

    • Lucille 2: Buster, this is exactly why our relationship does not work.
      Buster: Our relationship doesn't work?
      Lucille 2: No, not as long as you keep getting me all mixed up with your mother.
      Buster: It is exactly the opposite. I'm leaving my mother for you. You're replacing my mother.

    • Carl: Now, wait a minute. This is just purely a social call. You know, just two adults getting a stew on, man.
      Buster: I don't know what that means, but it sounds disgusting.

    • Lindsay: (to George Michael) We're all just going to have a more normal arrangement. I'm going to sleep with my daughter, and you're going to sleep with my husband.

    • Lucille: Blow.
      (Holds out tissue)
      Buster: No, Mother! I can blow myself.

    • Maeby: So, do you want to go to the movies? (George Michael pricks off a small piece of Maeby's hair with a tweezer and walks past her) Ow!
      George Michael: I'll let you know when I get back from the lab.

  • NOTES (0)


    • The music Lucille was listening to was "Rose's Turn" from the musical Gypsy. Also, she later says "How do you like them egg rolls, Mr. Goldstone", which is a reference to the song "Mr. Goldstone", also from Gypsy.

    • Lucille: Lucille! Guess who's coming to dinner!
      Lucille's comment about Carl Weathers is a reference to the 1967 classic in which, a young woman brings home a black fiance.

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