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Borderline Personalities

"Borderline Personalities"
Directors: Mitch Hurwitz & Troy Miller — Writer: Jim Vallely & Richard Rosenstock — Aired: May 26, 2013 — Icon-image      

"Borderline Personalities" is the second episode of Arrested Development's fourth season.

George and Lucille create a plan to get back on top by making a border between the U.S and Mexico, but George Sr. gets sidetracked by a new get rich quick scheme involving his brother Oscar's Californian-Mexican land. 


After his exoneration party and his wife's arrest, George begged Michael to turn The C-Word around so Lucille wouldn't flip on him. After meeting with Barry at the harbormaster's lodge and agreeing to help Lucille's defense, George visited Stan Sitwell and tired to cash out. There he saw Stan's plans to build a fence on the border of Mexico (but George thought it was a 15 mile tall monument to George W. Bush). Lucille suggested the underbid Sitwell and in order to do so, they would need to fake a divorce to avoid any legal trouble. 

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George at the family meeting

Soon thereafter, George became lonely and visited the Balboa Club where he found his twin brother Oscar using his identity to eat lunch with his friends Heartfire, Dr. Norman, and China Garden. Oscar invited him down to see their shared land on the border of Mexico, where they all ate the maca plant and sat in a sweat lodge. George bought the land to gouge the government when they wanted to buy it, but the Mexico wall plan stalled so he came up with a plan to make money in the meantime: build a "Sweat and Squeeze" lodge where he would have Oscar take CEOs into a sweat lodge for an hour, then swap with his twin brother to charge them $10,000 or more for a cup of lemonade.

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Oscar and Lucille

The plan worked for a while but started to wear George down. He was no longer physically attracted to Lucille anymore either, and their "divorce paperwork"/conjugal visits became tedious. Barry stopped by the desert and informed George that he was $15,000,000 in debt for the land. Barry suggested bribing the far-right Herbert Love to build the wall. George asked Oscar to keep Lucille company while he visited Love and Oscar, who was becoming more and more aggressive, had a passionate night of love with Lucille.


Each character has a specific instrument that plays along with the title music: George has a guitar,


Finale Theme (aka George-Michael 2) from Arrested Development season 4


Main Cast
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Jeffrey Tambor as George Bluth

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John Slattery as Dr. Norman

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Dan Harmon

  • Todd Jeffries as CEO #1
  • Tom Yi as CEO #2
  • Greg Worswick as Maitre d'
  • Eric Zuckerman as Workman
  • Busy Phillips as Joan
  • Natasha Leggero as Jackie
  • Dan Harmon as Yurt clerk
  • John Hartmann as CEO #3

Recurring themes[]

Celebrity References[]

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Halliburton Teen

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Hal & Burton's Frozen Goat Cream

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A young Barry Zuckerkorn

  • Halliburton - The oil drilling conglomerate has rebranded two divisions into "Halliburton Teen" and "Hal & Burton's Frozen Goat Cream".
  • Ray Romano - When George is mocking the man who he thinks is an Indian, he asks for tickets to his casino to see Ray Romano perform standup comedy.
  • Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton - Oscar hallucinates about the celebrities while eating maca.

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • Barry's bad legal advice -
    • In 1982 George and Lucille meet with their attorney Herb Zuckerkorn and his son Barry, who suggests holding all meeting on a boat in the ocean to keep them safe and that a husband and wife can't be charged with the same crime. ("Pilot")
    • Barry admits that he went to law school in the Virgin Islands (graduated 1982) and that he paid a lookalike named Stuart to take the California Bar exam for him.
  • Caged Wisdom - George remembers his faith video series when becoming the spiritualist "Father B."
  • "Hot Mess" - Oscar calls a passed out George a "hot mess".
  • In-flight magazine - George appears in an exclusively first class magazine called we12. Michael appeared in a coach in-flight magazine called Altitude. Both Bluth men make prayer hands.
  • "I don't want these..." - George says this line about Oscar's friends Dr. Norman, Heartfire, and China Garden. G.O.B. says the same thing about the Veal family in "Colony Collapse".
  • Lemonade - In this episode, George "squeezes" money from millionaires for a glass of lemonade. Oscar sold lemonade off his lemon grove in "Whistler's Mother" and John Beard uses lemonade to entrap local predators in "A New Start".
  • "Look what the homosexuals have done to me." - Lucille repeats a complaint she used in "Pilot".
    4x02 Borderline Personalities (07)

    Maritime waterproof cameras

  • Lupe - Lupe bleach stained Lucille's teal blazer, making her want to build a wall between the US and Mexico.
  • Maca - Oscar and his friends introduce George to the Mexican drug.
  • Maritime law - Barry tells Lucille and George that Lucille's crimes fall under maritime law. The cameras in her penthouse must be waterproof.
  • Noodle Stab - George refers to his flaccid erection during sex with Lucille as a "noodle stab." This is the same term later used when Lucille is almost shivved in prison with a sharpened dry noodle in "Queen B."
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    George poses with prayer hands

  • Prayer hands - George makes prayer hands in his magazine, and the greeting at the sweat lodge is to make prayer hands then wipe your brow.
  • Security cameras - Security cameras are installed in Balboa Towers. Cameras record George and Lucille talking in a cell.
  • Showstealer Pro Trial Version - Scenes from "Development Arrested" are watermarked.
  • Something - The word "Google" can't be used, so George tells Heartfire to do a "something" search.
  • Sitwell Enterprises - We see inside Stan Sitwell's company again.
  • "The O.C." - John Beard's new show is called Good News O.C. and he calls Orange County "The O.C." in the opening.

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • Young Barry Zuckerkorn - The actor portraying the young Barry Zuckerkorn is Max Winkler, Henry Winkler's son.
    4x02 Borderline Personalities (13)

    Good News O.C. with John, Joan, and Jackie

  • Good News O.C. with John, Joan, and Jackie - John Beard's rocky television career temporarily leads him to a morning coffee show until he quits on camera.
  • Bees - George and Oscar call themselves "Father B." at their colony.
  • Ashamed of their name - Oscar and George don't use their last name in their sweat colony. George Michael is ashamed of his name and Michael calls his new company "The Michael B. Company" in "Flight of the Phoenix" and his movie "The Untitled Michael B. Project" in "The B. Team". The episode title "Queen B. is a continuation of this.
  • "I'm going to sit opposite you so it won't look bad." - George says this to Oscar, a nod that they are both played by Jeffrey Tambor and the editing used to make them appear on screen at the same time can look fake if done poorly.
  • Mexican makeup - Lucille 2 dresses her adopted Hispanic son in a red wig and freckles, seen to be a favorite of Hispanic audiences previously in "Key Decisions".

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

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The cave's ad on Craiglist

  • Craigslist - Heartfire buys a cave off Craigslist.
  • Ostrich - George mentions that Divine Spirit looked like an ostrich. Also, many ostrich screeches are heard while in the desert.
  • Herbert Love - This is the first episode Herbert Love is mentioned.
  • Perfecto Telles - A photo of Perfecto and Lucille 2 is shown.
  • Red wig - Lucille 2's adopted son wears a red wig.
  • Noodle stab - George says he gave Lucille a "noodle stab." Lucille later gets attacked with a sharpened noodle in "Queen B."

In Comparison to the Remix[]

In the chronological re-cut of season 4, footage from Borderline Personalities is used in 8 different episodes. The original cut of Season 4 is slightly longer than the re-cut version. Because of this, various lines of dialogue and sometimes even scenes are cut. These changes, as well as which scenes appear in which remixed episode, are listed below:

  • The opening scene in the sweat lodge (4x4 Just Deserters)
  • George Sr.'s speech to the executives (4x4 Just Deserters, flashbacks in 4x8 The Weak Become the Strong)
    • The caption “George Bluth Sr. aka Father B.” no longer appears
    • The CEO who shouts “Fifteen!” only appears in 4x8 The Weak Become the Strong
  • Flashback to the season 3 finale (4x1 Re Cap'n Bluth)
  • Flashback with a young Lucille, George, Barry, and his father (4x1 Re Cap'n Bluth)
    • This exchange is cut down signifcantly, cut lines in italics:
      • Young Lucille: I’m wondering if we shouldn’t have a plan in regards to bookkeeping, in case we accidentally make a mistake or get caught.
      • Young George, Sr.: What if we were to become a… An NLC?
      • Young Lucille: Ooh!
      • Young George, Sr.: A “No Liability Corporation.“ We just have no liability, just nothing…
      • Herb Zuckerkorn: Well, first of all, I would avoid doing anything illegal.
      • Young Barry: May I make a suggestion?
      • Herb Zuckerkorn: Sure.
      • Young Barry: Take to the sea! Three miles out, and it’s a free-for-all! No rules, pirate radio laws.
      • Young George, Sr.: Really! Is this true, Mr. Zuckerkorn?
      • Herb Zuckerkorn: Sure.
      • Young Lucille: So we will stick together and have all of our meetings on boats.
      • Herb Zuckerkorn: Well, I don’t know if that’s necessary.
      • Young Barry: Yeah, because they don’t have to be together, because you can’t try a husband and wife for the same crime, right?
      • Herb Zuckerkorn: Sure.
      • Young George, Sr.: We have the best (BLEEP) attorneys.
    • When Michael and George Sr. talk on the yacht, Michael no longer says “Okay. We’re going back, George Michael!”
  • At the coast guard's lodge (4x1 Re Cap'n Bluth)
    • The narrator says “at the beginning of a fourth season that would never come” in this episode but “at the beginning of a fourth season that almost didn’t come” in 4x1 Re Cap’n Bluth.
    • George Sr. says “My wife, how is she?” here but “My wife, where is she?” in 4x1 Re Cap’n Bluth
    • Lucille no longer says “Look what they’ve done, George! Look what the homosexuals have done to me.”
    • One of Barry’s lines is slightly cut down in the remix: “Also, it turns out that stealing the Queen Mary comes under maritime law, which, I just found out, is an actual thing. It’s a real thing.
  • George Sr. meets with Stan Sitwell (4x2 Three Half Men)
    • This Stan Sitwell line is cut slightly short: “I also lost a perfectly good part of human chest hair nipple tufts when we hit the water.
  • Lucille and George Sr. talk in prison (4x2 Three Half Men)
    • George Sr. no longer says “I know, I know. And I told him it wouldn’t stand, which I probably shouldn’t have.”
    • He also doesn’t say “was your idea” when Lucille says “which was my idea!”
  • George and Oscar at the Balboa Club (4x2 Three Half Men)
    • George Sr. doesn’t say “Bluth for two… I mean, one.”
    • The caption “Oscar George Bluth / not a member of the Balboa Club” doesn’t appear.
    • Oscar no longer says “And they have mahi-mahi today.”
    • This exchange is cut:
      • George, Sr.: Oscar, you don’t believe that nonsense, do you?
      • Doctor Norman: No, no, no. You’re a skeptic. But I’ll tell you something, the desert changes you.
    • Doctor Norman no longer says “I’ll tell you this. If that nastiness had never happened, I never would’ve gotten those prison pen pal letters from the most beautiful woman in the world.”
  • George Sr., Oscar, and friends in the desert (4x2 Three Half Men, flashbacks in 4x8 The Weak Become The Strong, and 4x12 Moving Pictures)
    • This exchange is cut:
      • Oscar: And you can bring it into Mexico, but you can’t bring it out.
      • Doctor Norman: So, it’s. uh, hard.
    • Oscar: Hey, guys, we're staying. Oh, thank you, brother.
  • Lucille and George Sr. in the apartment (4x2 Three Half Men, flashbacks in 4x4 Just Deserters, and 4x12 Moving Pictures)
    • George Sr. no longer says “Okay” after Lucille says “In here.”
    • Nearly all of these scenes are in 4x2 Three Half Men, except the section from the worker saying “So, that one’s all set” to George Sr. saying “to protect our love” which is featured in 4x4 Just Deserters.
  • The family meeting at Lucille’s apartment (4x1 Re Cap’n Bluth and 4x2 Three Half Men)
    • Some of this footage is in 4x1 Flight of the Phoenix too
  • Good News O.C. and George Sr. in the desert (4x4 Just Deserters)
  • Buster and Lucille smoking in the apartment (4x4 Just Deserters)
    • The music is no longer an instrumental version of I’m Blue, Man.
    • Some lines are slightly cut down:
      • Buster: That restaurant, typically, has a really nice maitre d’…
      • Buster: Oh, Mother, please, please…
  • George Sr. passing out in the sweat lodge (4x4 Just Deserters) then buying a larger one (4x5 A Trial Run)
    • George Sr. no longer misses Lucille’s trial because he is passed out in the sweat lodge, it is revealed in 4x5 A Trial Run that he misses the trial when purchasing a larger sweat lodge.
    • The following dialogue is cut:
      • George Sr.: Can fit 20. Do a something search. Used is fine. No, no, I got it. Sweat caves. See what you get.
      • George Sr.: You got ‘em? All right, well, then, ship it!
  • George Sr. expanding the sweat lodge business, George and Oscar in the trailer (4x4 Just Deserters)
    • The narrator’s line “there was a Phoenix for him too” becomes “there was an online school for that.”
    • The narrator no longer says “The seminar was reasonably priced at $1,000.”
    • George Sr. no longer says “Sign ‘em up, sign ‘em up.”
  • Oscar and George Sr. eat maca root, a flashback with Lucille (4x8 The Weak Become The Strong)
    • Lucille doesn’t say “My angel” in the remix
    • Divine Spirit no longer says “See ya.”
  • George Sr. can no longer hold seminars and cannot find Oscar  (4x8 The Weak Become The Strong)
    • George Sr. doesn’t say “Where was I? Um… Oh, yeah,” or “Will you excuse me just one sec?” at the seminar
    • The following exchange is cut:
      • George, Sr.: Norman, have you seen Oscar?
      • Doctor Norman: No, have you seen China Garden?
      • George, Sr.: No. Did you kill that armadillo?
      • Doctor Norman: No, no, he’s just under. If only we could use some of his medicine for our own pain. Oh, wait, I’ve got a full syringe in the car.
  • Barry arrives in the desert  (4x8 The Weak Become The Strong, flashback in 4x11 Fun Night)
    • George Sr.’s line is cut down: Oh, this can’t be good.”
    • Barry doesn’t say: “Doesn’t matter, she’s not going to win anyway. The guy you want is the guy she’s running against.”
  • George Sr. confronts Oscar (4x8 The Weak Become The Strong)
    • Assorted lines from the scene:
      • George Sr.: Whoa, we don’t have to yell.
      • Oscar: All right, I mean, I’m not saying that. I just… I need a break.
      • Oscar: I’m begging you. There has to be something else […]
      • Oscar: Thank you.
  • Oscar and Barry talk (4x8 The Weak Become The Strong)
    • The following exchange is cut down:
      • Oscar: There’s a commode. It’s directly uphill from the maca root.
      • Barry: Yeah, I really feel bad […]
  • WE12 magazine prints a retraction (completely cut from the remix)
  • Oscar visits Lucille instead of George Sr. (4x8 The Weak Become The Strong, flashbacks in 4x12 Moving Pictures, and 4x21 Cinco de Cuatro II)


Young Barry: Take to the sea!


Barry: But basically, this is a good news / bad news deal. First of all, won't be cheap. It’s gonna cost you a fortune in legal fees.

George, Sr.: What's the good news?

Barry: Oh, yeah. From your perspective, I can see where you think it's all bad news. It's all bad news.


Oscar: George! Actually, we came in to use the bathroom, but they sat me. And they have mahi-mahi today. Will you join us? Will you have a mahi-mahi on me? On you.

George, Sr.: Fine, but I'm gonna sit opposite you, so it won’t look bad.


George, Sr.: We haven’t had sex since Christmas, Michael!

Buster: I'm... I'm sorry. You had sex seven weeks ago? They were remodeling my room, and I pulled my cot in there, just like camp.

Lucille: We yelled at you to leave.

Buster: Yeah, but then you whispered, “Don't pull out!“


→ See more quotes from "Borderline Personalities" at Transcript of Borderline Personalities.


  • In the opening credits, George's instrument is a guitar.
  • Tobias Fünke is fully visible while Lindsay and George Michael are partially visible in this episode. None of the three have any dialog. Maeby only appears in archive "Development Arrested" footage, but can also be seen lying on the gurney when Michael and George Michael arrive in the Yacht club.
  • Herbert Love is first mentioned.
  • Oscar's middle name is revealed to be George.


→ See 107 pictures from Borderline Personalities at Images from Borderline Personalities.

1. "Flight of the Phoenix"
2. "Borderline Personalities"
3. "Indian Takers"
4. "The B. Team"
5. "A New Start"

6. "Double Crossers"
7. "Colony Collapse"
8. "Red Hairing"
9. "Smashed"
10. "Queen B."

11. "A New Attitude"
12. "Señoritis"
13. "It Gets Better"
14. "Off the Hook"
15. "Blockheads"

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason Five