Charity Drive

Charity Drive

"Charity Drive" is the fifth episode aired of TV comedy series Arrested Development.

Plot

With most of the family's cars impounded by the SEC, Michael has been forced to ride his bike to work. However, when it begins to interfere with his work, he realizes he needs a car. When he finds out that G.O.B. has been secretly driving their father's car, he confronts him about it at the banana stand. G.O.B. admits to having it, but says that Lindsay is currently using it. Michael then realizes that G.O.B. has been receiving free bananas from the company's banana stand. Fed up by G.O.B.'s deception, Michael instructs George Michael to not let G.O.B. have any more free frozen bananas from the family's stand. G.O.B. offers to pay by giving Michael the rights to promote the stand by using G.O.B.'s likeness for a cartoon character named Mr. Bananagrabber, but Michael declines. G.O.B. decides to switch from frozen bananas to candy apples in protest. Next, Michael tracks down Lindsay, who is busy preparing for the annual charity Bachelorette Auction at the local country club. Michael, unimpressed, says that Lindsay cares more about going for a high bid amount than the charity's cause, saving the wetlands, but Lindsay says he wouldn't understand since he's not charitable. Michael asks Lindsay about the car, and is told that Buster has it.

So Michael goes to Lucille's apartment and finds that she has to get ready for the Charity Auction as well, freely admitting that she's only doing it to be sold for a higher bid than her rival Lucille Austero. She then gives Buster explicit instructions to bid $10,000 on her. Michael gets the car keys from Buster and sees the terrible condition that his siblings left it in. G.O.B. scorched part of the car while trying to perform magic, Lindsay spilled nail polish all over, and Buster had various items left from his archaeological dig. He then goes to visit his father to ask what to do about some permits, necessary to continue work on their next development, that George Sr. failed to file for. George Sr. advises Michael to send G.O.B., who is especially furtive, to break into the permit office, slip the application into a folder and tell the permit office they messed up.

Reluctantly, Michael approaches G.O.B., who had chipped his tooth on a candy apple. Michael asks G.O.B. to fulfill his father's request, but G.O.B. insists on certain conditions: a free banana whenever he wants, and full creative control to the Mr. Bananagrabber character and any spinoffs that may occur. He also wants Michael to make up for humiliating G.O.B. in front of George Michael. Michael agrees, and instructs George Michael he should do whatever his uncle wants him to do. Stung by constant charges of being selfish, Michael decides to do something nice and offer a ride to Lucille's new housekeeper, Lupe. However, Michael has actually picked up another woman, who notices a skull left by Buster, sees G.O.B.'s burn marks, mistakes Lindsay's bright red nail polish for blood, and becomes convinced that Michael is going to murder her.

G.O.B., meanwhile, is casing the permit office. But his disguise as a new delivery man fails when they notice his chipped tooth whistling, so he orders George Michael to break into the permit office instead. George Michael is reluctant at first, but Maeby's enthusiasm changes his mind. Michael gets a call from Lindsay, who begs him to pick her up from the wetlands, where she went to prove she cares about the environment, but now was finding to be too much for her. And at the same time, Lucille Austero is stalking Buster, hoping he is saving up some grand romantic gesture to save their relationship. Lindsay, running out of time to get to the Charity Auction, calls a cab home – but forgets to call Michael. When he arrives at the wetlands, his terrified passenger takes off running. The Auction starts, and a scratched, scraped, ragged Lindsay isn't fetching any bids. Michael, seeing that she really did try to help the wetlands and feeling bad for her, pledges $1,000. Lucille then takes the stage. Lucille Austero, that is. Hearing only the name Lucille, however, Buster comes rushing in and desperately/accidentally bids $10,000 for her, which Lucille Austero takes to be his grand romantic gesture. Walking to the parking lot following a semi-successful evening, Michael is arrested for the forced abduction of his passenger earlier in the day. And when he's tossed into the back of a squad car, George Michael is sitting there waiting for him. Breaking into the permit office didn't go as cleanly as it could have.

Cultural References

  • It is possible that the newspaper article featuring Tobias, which reads: "Actor" Causes Mass Delays in Western Flight Grid, is a reference to the film Citizen Kane, in which a newspaper headline describes Kane's lover as a "Singer". The joke being in both cases that while both characters claim to be either an actor or a singer, neither of them has a sufficient amount of talent to merit the title.

Character cameos

  • This is the first mention and appearance of the Banana Stand mascot, Mr. Bananagrabber.
  • This is the first time Lupe appears in the show, replacing one-time character Luz as Lucille's maid.
  • If the episodes are viewed in Broadcast order, this is the first appearance of Kitty Sanchez, George Sr.'s secretary.

Foreshadowing

Buster leaves various items from his archaeological dig in the car, notably a giant rock, which becomes an important plot point in a later episode, "My Mother, The Car".

Episode notes

  • Although this episode was broadcast as the fifth episode of the season, it was made as the sixth episode (and appears on the DVD as the sixth episode, too). Technically, while there's no lack of continuity, this episode should go AFTER "Visiting Ours", as Kitty is in both episodes, but receives a more in-depth introduction in "Visiting Ours". Also, George-Michael is scared of prison in "Visiting Ours", but in this episode he and his father both go to prison at the end.
  • The title refers to both a charity and transportation event. This relates to the episode as charity is a running theme throughout it, and the storyline heavily revolves around a car.
  • Tobias does not appear in this episode, except in newspaper photographs.

External links

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