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Burning Love

"Burning Love"
Directors: Paul Feig — Writer: Chuck Martin & Lisa Parsons — Aired: January 30, 2005 — Icon-image      

"Burning Love" is the ninth episode of Arrested Development's second season.

Michael reunites with his long, lost love Sally Sitwell, but faces interference from parents; meanwhile, the two Lucilles need someone to bid on them at the bachelorette auction with Buster already in a relationship.


George Michael asks his father if they have any music he can use for the Christian music bonfire that he and Ann are going to be hosting at the house. Michael suggests Christmas music, but George Michael clarifies that it's not a "Christian music" bonfire but rather a Christian "music bonfire", in which they burn satanic music. He decides to take the day off to buy music to burn and Michael offers to cover for him at the Banana Stand. Lucille asks Michael to bid on her at a charity auction, because she can't have a replay of the previous year, when Buster accidentally bid on Lucille Two instead of her. Michael refuses. Lindsay asks Lucille if she can borrow a fur for her date with the actor Moses Taylor. Tobias announces that he is no longer a standby understudy for the Blue Man Group, showing Michael a cease and desist order he received because of an ad he took out in a trade magazine promoting his own "Blue Man" show. A television news anchor states that a wolf has been spotted in the park. A wolf call sounds from upstairs, and Michael goes to check on George Sr. He requests a hot tub, suggesting that it could be his water supply as well as a place to cook boil-in-the-bag meals. Michael refuses, citing the family's tight budget.

At the Banana Stand, Michael is ordering an air-conditioner when he sees Sally Sitwell, a girl that he had always been interested in but was awkward around because of his father's competition with her father Stan. G.O.B. interrupts their awkward exchange and later reveals that he is still with Lucille Two, even though he says it was a "one time thing". Michael asks Lucille for her country club membership because he wants to run into Sally. Lucille agrees, on the condition that Michael bid on her at the charity auction.

Michael goes to the country club for his "accidental" encounter with Sally, but he has forgotten about the club's dress code. Eventually the club lends him a ridiculously oversized jacket and he is allowed in. When he runs into Sally and her father, they invite him to lunch. Michael notices G.O.B. dining with Lucille Two, and Stan invites them to join as well. At lunch, both Michael and G.O.B. pretend to not be interested in the women that they're interested in. Michael tries to pick up the check, but his card is declined due to increased activity. It is revealed that George Sr. used the card to buy a hot tub and a case of bag-and-boil dinners. Michael confronts George Sr. about his spending. George Sr. tells Michael not to go after Sally because he doesn't want Stan Sitwell saying that his daughter is sticking it to George Sr.'s son. Now that his father disapproves, Michael decides that he will go after Sally. Michael strikes up a deal with G.O.B.; if Michael doesn't tell anyone about G.O.B. and Lucille Two, G.O.B. will siphon gas from Sally's car so that Michael can rescue her in the Corvette.

Tobias, having seen a sign offering a bounty on the wolf that has been sighted, purchases a tranquilizer gun in order to capture the wolf, claim the prize money, and bid on his wife at the charity auction. Lindsay, dressed in a fur coat, is meeting Moses Taylor for their date in the park. While he has steppd away, she breaks her heel, falls to the ground, and howls. Tobias fires the tranquilizer gun at her. Moses returns to find Lindsay knocked out, and leaves her on a bench. It is revealed that he is trying to distance himself from the "Moses Taylor hunts people" scandal started by "a rabid anti-gun fanatic". Michael arrives to help Sally with her car trouble to find that it is on fire. He tries to put the fire out, but is rescued by the fire department before Sally sees his heroics. She arrives in time to find him in a fireman's arms wrapped in a blanket. At the hospital, Michael tries to ask Sally out on a date, but is cut off by a coughing fit. Before it finishes, Sally announces that she has to leave to attend the charity auction. Michael decides that he's going to bid on Sally.

At the Christian music bonfire, Ann is upset because Maeby told people that it was a CD burning party, and they have arrived to copy CDs. At the charity auction, Lindsay is still feeling the effects of the tranquilizer and no one is bidding on her. The amount is down to $10 when Tobias asks Michael for some money to bid on his wife. Michael says that he has $5,000 dollars that he needs to bid on Sally, but that Tobias can make a low bid. Tobias promptly bids $5,000. George Michael makes Ann listen to the Jerky Boys, and after prank calling Michael they share their first kiss. Michael agrees to give Stan Sitwell the Corvette if Stan will give him the money that he needs to bid on Sally. When Sally learns of the deal, she tells Michael that he can have the car back because she's sick of her father interfering with the men that she dates, and that she does not want to be with someone her father approves of. When G.O.B. learns that Stan Sitwell is bidding on Lucille Two, he spends all the money that his mother gave to him to bid on her.


  • Spencer Redford as Young Sally Sitwell
  • Brian Baumgartner as Gun Salesman
  • Kevin Kirkpatrick as Maitre d'
  • John L. Adams as Worker #1
  • Amy Kidd as Intern
  • Jordan-Scott Quinn as Red-headed Boy
  • Michael Naughton as Auctioneer
  • Michael Shepperd as EMT

Recurring Themes[]


  • Peter and the Wolf - George Michael wants to take a Peter and the Wolf read-along record to the Christian music bonfire, but it turns out to be a "Homefill" model home decoration.
  • Jerky Boys - George Michael and Ann listen to the Jerky Boys and prank call his father.
  • Thriller - Upon learning about the Christian music bonfire, Maeby tells George Michael that Jesus called and wants his Thriller album.
  • Blue Man Group - Tobias is no longer a standby understudy of the Blue Man Group, having received a cease and desist order.
  • Pat Boone, Eminem - When George Michael is talking about the albums that he was thinking of burning, he mentions these artists. Both have attracted controversy amongst conservative Christian groups.
  • The Sun and The Times - After Moses Taylor placed tranquilized Lindsay on a bench, a tabloid newspaper, British Sun Times, headlines "Moses Taylor Hunts People." The newspaper is a title reference to both News Corporation British newspapers, who is also the series' broadcaster owner. However, The Times is a broadsheet newspaper.
  • Charlton Heston - The name Moses Taylor is a combination of two of Heston’s most famous movie roles, Moses in The Ten Commandments and Taylor in Planet of the Apes. At the time of broadcast, Heston was president of the rifle-loving National Rifle Association (NRA).

Callbacks/running jokes[]

  • Club Sauce is first mentioned in this episode as G.O.B. reads the menu to Lucille 2. It is later used by G.O.B. again while doing card story tricks in "The Ocean Walker" and "Exit Strategy".
  • Magic
    • G.O.B. unsuccessfully performs his fireball trick, spraying Sally Sitwell with lighter fluid.
    • G.O.B. accidentally triggers the fireball trick while talking to Michael about siphoning gas from Sally's car so that he can "rescue" her.
  • Bleep - While talking about Stan Sitwell, G.O.B. says, "...and I hate the guy, but at least he's got [bleep], satiny and smooth probably."
  • Chicken dance - When G.O.B. is telling Michael that he didn't go after Sally because he was scared, G.O.B. does a half hearted chicken dance while still on his Segway. Michael asks if he's going to get off and do his dance, and G.O.B says that he hurt his ankle "shooting hoops or something" (although he actually hurt himself while performing the chicken dance for Buster).
  • Come on
    • When G.O.B. and Michael are at lunch at the country club, G.O.B. calls Sally "Michael's girl", and Michael responds, "Come on. I don't have a girl".
    • When G.O.B. asks Michael if he's going to tell anyone about him and Lucille 2, Michael says, "Come on. I'm not one to judge."
  • Fünke sexuality issues - Lindsay says, "I'm going to see if I can get a wrench to strip my nuts. I, uh, tried to be sexy. It just... got away from me."
  • H.O.O.P. - Hands Off Our Guns (H.O.O.G.) is similar to Lindsey's Hands Off Our Penises (H.O.O.P.).
  • Tobias is gay
    • To Michael: "I need to prove to [Lindsay] that I'm not just a man, but a man's man."
  • Sitwell's hair - In a flashback, Stan takes a Mustang convertible for a test drive, and upon his return he's lost all his hair except for a misplaced eyebrow on his forehead.
  • Wolf howl - George Sr. howls like a wolf, which he does again in "Ready, Aim, Marry Me".
  • Mirroring "Charity Drive", Lindsay is in no condition to be bid on and a Bluth son spends the money that his mother gave him to bid on Lucille 2. She then responds "how grand!"
  • Michael's BlueCross BlueShield insurance was denied, which might call back to when G.O.B. failed to deliver the insurance check in "Top Banana"

Hidden/background jokes[]

  • Blue paint - There are blue hand prints in the house.
  • Frank Wrench is a homage to the 1980s comedy Sledge Hammer!.
  • Moses Taylor, the fictional actor who plays Frank Wrench, got his name from Charlton Heston's famous roles in The Ten Commandments and Planet of the Apes. Taylor supports the National Rifle Association, and is shown in this episode at a pro-gun rally.
  • At the beginning of the episode, the camera is focused on a Sudden Valley sign that reads "Thank you for visiting Residence Two." When the camera pans to Michael at a table in the courtyard, a Sudden Valley sign nearby reads "This courtyard is an included feature and varies per building elevation."
  • At the country club, G.O.B. reads Lucille 2 the appetizers in a deep voice. The actor who plays G.O.B, Will Arnett, used to do voiceover work for commercials.
  • Steve Holt delivers George Sr. his bag-and-boil dinners.
  • Barry Zuckerkorn's Spanish bench sign appears in this episode on the bench that Moses Taylor leaves Lindsey on.
  • Lucille 2 (played by Liza Minnelli) chastizes G.O.B. for having "no courage" after his embarrassment to be seen with her. This parallels lines uttered by her real-life mother, Judy Garland, who helped the Cowardly Lion in the film The Wizard of Oz.
  • When Stan Sitwell is shown test driving a convertible, the name of the dealership is Depeche Motors, a reference to the band Depeche Mode.
  • Notice Board - Tobias approaches a notice board again, this time passing a female couple (mirroring the same occurrence, except with a male couple seen in "The One Where Michael Leaves").
  • Hornblower - When Tobias approaches a notice board a boat's name in the background is Hornblower most likely another joke being made at Tobias' sexuality
  • Tobias is seen with a bowl of Candy beans in the model home

Foreshadowing/future references[]

  • Tobias declares, "I'm going hunting for my wife." His intention is to shoot the rumored wolf to win her over, but he ends up shooting her.
  • Father Marsala's name and occupation (as a colleague of Terry Veal) is a reference to the dish veal marsala. A foreshadowing reference is made when George Senior attempts to cook boil-in-a-bag meals in a hot tub, one of which is veal marsala.("Burning Love")


→ See more quotes from "Burning Love" at Transcript of Burning Love.


→ See 76 pictures from Burning Love at Images from Burning Love.

1. "The One Where Michael Leaves"
2. "The One Where They Build a House"
3. "¡Amigos!"
4. "Good Grief"
5. "Sad Sack"
6. "Afternoon Delight"

  7. "Switch Hitter"
  8. "Queen for a Day"
  9. "Burning Love"
10. "Ready, Aim, Marry Me"
11. "Out on a Limb"
12. "Hand to God"

13. "Motherboy XXX"
14. "The Immaculate Election"
15. "Sword of Destiny"
16. "Meat the Veals"
17. "Spring Breakout"
18. "Righteous Brothers"

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