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A Trial Run

"A Trial Run"
Directors: Mitch Hurwitz & Troy Miller — Writer: Mitch Hurwitz, Dean Lorey, Richard Rosenstock, Jim Vallely & Caroline Williams — Aired: May 4, 2018 — Icon-image      

"A Trial Run" was the fifth episode of chronological re-cut of Arrested Development's fourth season. It premiered on Netflix on May 4, 2018.

When Lucille's maritime trial begins, her family is nowhere to be found. Lindsay and Tobias make new friends at a clinic they inadvertently attend.


Lucille's trial has begun although none of the family have turned up to testify or support her. Days earlier, Lindsay was struggling to prepare her testimony and Tobias suggests that they go to an acting class together, so she can sound more believable when she's on the stand. On the morning of the trial, they visit the Garden Grove Method One Clinic although Lindsay realises that it is actually a Methodone clinic and decides to talk to activist Marky Bark. Meanwhile, Tobias talks to former actress DeBrie Bardeaux about her role in a Fantastic Four movie. Although it was time to go to the trial, Lindsay and Tobias instead decide to go for lunch together with their new friends.

G.O.B. was also missing the trial because he was still in hospital after his magic trick went wrong at his wedding to Ann Veal. George Sr. bought the cave used in the wedding illusion and missed the trial while building up his sweat lodge business. Even Buster was late for the trial as, after an argument with Lucille, he spent the evening drinking juice with Lucille 2. By the time he reached the trial, it was already over and Lucille 2 testified instead which only condemned Lucille more due to the two Lucille's years of antagonism. Lucille doesn't want Buster to ever visit her in prison where she has been sentenced for 3-5 years.

Linsday and Tobias eat at C.W. Swappigan's where customers must trade objects to get food. DeBrie starts to eat butter and Tobias takes her to the bathroom to clean herself up. At the same time, Lindsday and Marky Bark discuss their beliefs and decide to run away together.

On the next Arrested Development: Fateful Consequences... Lindsay starts to live at Marky Bark's mother's ostrich farm while Buster moves back into Lucille 2's apartment.


Main Cast (in order of appearance)



  • Nancy Lantis as Clinic Supervisor
  • Jessica Chaffin as Junkie
  • Scott Vance as Fantastic Four Henchman
  • Joel Hodgson as Joel Robinson
  • Trace Beaulieu as Crow T. Robot
  • Clint Howard as Johnny Bark
  • Bernie Kopell as Judge Kornzucker
  • Becky Thyre as Loretta
  • Eddie Pepitone as Govennah
  • Jackson Odell as Skateboarder
  • Dana Powell as Crab Shack Worker
  • Laurel Coppock as Maggie
  • Debra Mooney as Joan Bark

Recurring themes[]


  • Fantastic Four - Tobias 'recognizes' DeBrie from her appearance in an early 90's low-budget version of Fantastic Four. In 1994 producer Bernd Eichinger scrambled a production of The Fantastic Four for under $1 million to retain film rights. The film was never released to the public. (More info on Wikipedia)
  • Mystery Science Theatre 3000 - The low budget Fantastic Four film is shown with the three MST3K characters overlayed.
  • Peanuts - Tobias mentions that he fell in love with acting while watching You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
  • Al-Qaeda - Marky Bark signs up for Al-Qaeda just because he wants a free beard brush.
  • Andrew Dice Clay - When Buster makes his "motherboy ball" joke, Lucille calls him Andrew Dice Clay, a reference to the notoriously explicit stand-up comedian.

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • Balboa Bay Window - An issue of the magazine with the headline "Eternal Flames Offend at Motherboy", where Lucille dressed at Jackie Kennedy and Buster as John-John Kennedy.
  • Banners - Buster ends up too late for Lucille's trial due to stopping to make two banners before he leaves, one to welcome her home and one to say that the banners were what made him late.
  • Birds - Continuing the trend of birds in Season Four, a duck appears in the Fünke's house.
  • Black marks - Lucille said Lucille 2 would know all about black marks, as her pillow must look like a Rorschach test. In The Parent Traps, Buster kisses Lucille 2 and they nuzzle their heads together, he ends up with a dark smudge on his forehead from her hair.
  • Blue Man Group - A blue sign that reads "Feeling Blue?" is hung at the Garden Grove Methadone Clinic.
  • Halliburton Teen - The cover company for Halliburton Penitentiaries has the slogan "Live truthfully. Skate through life," which Marky Bark steals.
  • Johnny Bark - Johnny's son Marky tells Lindsay that Johnny died from falling out of a tree, after Lindsay postulated that he died from falling out of a tree.
  • Juice :
    • The attendant at the methadone clinic calls the methadone medicine "juice". Tobias says Carl Weathers charged him $5 for grape juice at his acting classes.
    • Buster misses Lucille's trial due to going on a juice bender with Lucille 2.
  • Loretta - Loretta is the former waitress of Klimpy's and Skip Church's Bistro, now working at C.W. Swappigan's.
  • Motherboy - Buster jokes that his testicle is a "motherboy ball".
  • "That was a freebie" - Buster utters the phrase after waking up from his juice binge and realizing he had destroyed his effigy of Lucille.
  • "Worst [bleeping] attorney" - After realizing she's living in a shit hole with Marky, Lindsay admits she has "the worst [bleep]ing shaman" as George admitted he has "the worst [bleep]ing attorney" in "Pilot".

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • Bite Me - Marky's nametag reads "Bite Me" but Lindsay reads it as "buhtimey"
  • Fudge: Lindsay and Tobias decide to go to an acting class because Lindsay cannot act like she loves Tobias even when thinking of fudge. At the Methadone Clinic, she has brought a box of fudge with her.
  • Music - When Marky Bark mentions that he owns an ostrich, the singer in the music says "coincidence!" When Lindsay says "that can't be a coincidence" the singer says "yes it is!"
  • Ostrich - The ostrich on Buster's juice box riddle is balding and wearing glasses like Buster.
  • RMS Queen Mary - The Queen Mary is half sunk in the background when Buster is running to his mother's trial.

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

  • Carl Weathers - Lindsay mentions that Tobias spent all of his money on Carl Weather's "master acting classes". Which he had done multiple times throughout the series. Carl then appears in the later episode "Get on Up".
  • Craigslist - Heartfire buys a cave off Craigslist.
  • Deranged bees - Marky mentions that Johnny Bark was attacked by deranged bees and fell out of a tree to his death. Johnny runs a bee company/hospital in "Recurring Dreams".
  • Lindsay becomes Lucille / Lindsay is a true Bluth
    • Lindsay falls in love with an activist and makes love in his crappy trailer, just as Lucille did with Oscar and his trailer.
    • Lindsay has a roomba like Lucille does.
    • Only the word "Twin" is put in quotation marks in the opening credits, though technically the quotation marks could extend to any Bluth relation given she's adopted (e.g. Lindsay's "twin brother" instead of Lindsay's "twin" brother).
  • Shaman:
    • As Lindsay meets with her shaman, the shaman's face is usually obscured by the blowing curtains. The shaman later turns out to be Maeby in disguise.
    • In the credits the Shaman is credited as RICH ALIAANDANOST, if you change a few letters you'll read ALIA AND AN OSTRICH

In Comparison to the Original Cut[]

This episode is made up from 6 episodes of the original cut of Season 4. Because the re-cut is chronological and combines the characters' stories into one narrative, new narration was recorded and there is even some additonal dialogue. These changes, as well as which scenes appear in which original episode, are listed below:

  • At the trial, new dialogue in italics (4x3 Indian Takers)
    • Barry: Have you seen Lindsay Bluth?
  • At the mansion (4x3 Indian Takers)
  • At the Method One Clinic (4x3 Indian Takers, 4x5 A New Start)
    • Narrator: And that’s when Tobias became entranced by what he first thought was a Carol Channing impersonator…
    • The Fantastic Four poster is new
    • Tobias: I thought it was "fantastic... for" a threadbare production of Fantastic Four.
    • “…was performed by a fishing line” becomes “…was performed by a bare thread”
    • Shaman: You are living a life without love because you only care about appearances.
    • Lindsay: And it just so happens we’re free today. I’m not due in court until, like, eight bells.
  • G.O.B. & Ann in hospital (4x7 Colony Collapse)
  • George Sr. & Heartfire (4x2 Borderline Personalities)
    • George Sr. misses the trial which purchasing a larger sweat lodge, however, in the original cut, he misses it because he was passed out in the smaller sweat lodge.
  • Buster & Lucille before the trial (4x10 Queen B., 4x14 Off the Hook)
  • Lucille’s trial, Lucille 2’s testimony (4x10 Queen B.)
    • Narrator: And so it was Lucille who did the questioning of her new star witness, Lucille 2 although she was clearly green at screening witnesses.
  • Lindsay & Tobias drive to Swappigan’s (4x3 Indian Takers)
  • Buster wakes up late on trial day (4x14 Off the Hook)
  • At Swappigan's (4x3 Indian Takers)
    • The line “Lindsay felt guilty because she was about to go enter a crab house/courtroom and do just that” becomes “Lindsay felt guilty because she had lied to her mother in her promise to testify at a trial she now knew she’d miss.”
    • Narrator: And that’s when Lindsay ran off for a try at a new life and Lucille waited after being tried for her old one.
  • Lindsay and Marky Bark run away (4x3 Indian Takers)
  • Buster is late for the trial (4x14 Off the Hook)
    • Buster: Where do, where do I go? What do I do? Where do I go?
    • Narrator: And as Buster contemplated a new start, Lindsay let her husband know that their new start had reached a newer end.
  • Lindsay calls Tobias (4x3 Indian Takers)
  • On the next… Lindsay at the ostrich farm (4x3 Indian Takers)
  • On the next… Buster returns to Lucille 2 (4x14 Off the Hook)


  • Michael and George Michael only appear as photos on chairs at Lucille's trial
  • The title of this episode is both a reference to the phrase "to have a trial run" as well as to the fact that Bluths are running away from Lucille's trial. The narrator repeatedly mentions trials and running away:
    • Narrator: On the day of Lucille’s trial for her various crimes at sea...
    • Narrator: The two couples headed off for lunch despite the fact that the maritime clock has eight bells at twelve o’clock in the forenoon which was when Lucille discovered that Lindsay wasn’t the only Bluth who didn’t show up for her trial. G.O.B.’s excuse was equally compelling. G.O.B. had been involved in an escape act gone wrong and wound up in a storage unit in Tustin. And on the day of the trial, he awoke in a hospital.
    • Narrator: She unknowingly sold the cave to another Bluth [George Sr.] who missed the trial.
    • Narrator: Lindsay felt guilty because she had lied to her mother in her promise to testify at a trial she now knew she’d miss.
    • Narrator: And that’s when Lindsay ran off for a try at a new life and Lucille waited after being tried for her old one.
    • Narrator: Lindsay ran off to a life she felt was her destiny.
  • During the Season 4 remix, the narrator often draws parallels between the Bluths' lives being similar despite being separated.
    • Narrator: Buster wasn’t smiling either [like Lindsay] when he finally it to the food courthouse.