Key Decisions

Key Decisions

"Key Decisions" is the fourth episode aired of the TV comedy series Arrested Development.


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.

Lindsay, too, is making a connection of her own. Forced to spend the evening in the tree with Johnny Bark, she begins to recollect on her activist roots. However, Johnny Bark mistakes this nostalgia for attraction and leaves the tree he is protecting to profess his feelings for Lindsay. As he learns that she actually finds him disgusting, the tree is cut down. At the prison, G.O.B.'s first game of catch with his father is ended when a fellow inmate, White Power Bill, stabs the brash magician. Michael visits Marta to reveal his feelings for her, only to be interrupted when the hospital calls with the news that G.O.B. has been stabbed in the back. His near death experience has led G.O.B. to finally commit to Marta, much to Michael's chagrin. However, G.O.B. immediately regrets his commitment to Marta, once again admitting that he has "made a huge mistake."

Character cameos

  • This is one of the two episodes featuring the original Marta played by Leonor Varela. She would be replaced by Patricia Velásquez later in the first season. It is one of multiple instances in Arrested Development in which the actor/actress portraying a character changes.
  • This episode marks the introduction of Lucille Austero (more commonly known as "Lucille 2"), played by Liza Minnelli. She is a frequently recurring character throughout the first half of Season 1, and the middle of Season 2.
  • This is the first appearance of the short-lived Prison tormentor White Power Bill.
  • This episode features Clint Howard (as Johnny Bark), who is the brother of narrator Ron Howard.

Episode notes

  • The title refers to both making an important choice (which all the characters must go through at some point in this episode) and G.O.B.'s key.
  • This is the only Season 1 episode other than "Pilot" to have a cold opening, rather than opening with the show's usual intro.
  • Tobias does not appear in this episode.
  • The song played with scenes between Marta and Michael bonding is "You Here With Me" by Gabriel Mann, it's an original song produced for the series
  • The "stair car", formerly used to service the Bluth Company jet, is based on a 1979 Ford F-150 pickup.
  • Johnny Bark says, "That's why you never leave the tree", a line similar to those in Pier Pressure, a future episode of the show.

External links

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