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Check Mates

"Check Mates"
Directors: Troy Miller — Writer: Evan Mann & Gareth Reynolds — Aired: March 15, 2019 — Icon-image      

"Check Mates" is the twelfth episode of Arrested Development's fifth season.


Oscar drives the staircar to the police station and confesses to Buster that he's not a fugitive. Buster admits that knew the truth but wanted to spend more time with his father. Oscar says Buster should go inside and sign out, then they can continue their adventures. Buster agrees, but he gives Oscar an ultimatum that he must give up marijuana. While he's gone, Oscar runs away.

George and Lucille have dinner with the Chinese investors and lie that Sally Sitwell is against the wall. However, they know it's a lie because she gave a public endorsement. Eventually George confesses the truth, as Michael told them to do, and the investors offer them $3 million to save face and remove shame. They wire it into a bank account for the Bluths.

Michael visits George Michael on the third floor Fakeblock office. Maeby tells Michael that Gob is the new president, and George Maharis is now the Chief Technical Officer. Michael visits George Michael in his office and gives him a present, his first paycheck, framed. Reminded of "there's always money in the banana stand," Michael notices that the check is from a Cayman Islands account at Grand Harbour Bank. He takes the check back from George Michael, so he can investigate the secret money.

Dusty shows up at the restaurant after the Bluths got $3 million, and he explains that they will have to give the money back to save face. If they don't return the money, the investors will be "mildly displeased" and get revenge on them. Lucille leaves with Dusty to get ice cream.

Meanwhile, Maeby is fed up with Tobias's fake family taking over the condo. She tells them they can't stay, because Stan is already getting suspicious of her as Annette. Then Stan walks in, assumes the others are her family, and asks if she wants him to leave because of them. She says yes, and he leaves to pack. The others all hug Maeby.

At Fakeblock, George Michael and Maeby worry that the employees are growing suspicious. Maeby forces George Michael to give an inspirational speech to them. Then she gets a phone alert that they've sold Fakeblock for $3 million, so George Michael tells the employees to cash their paychecks.

Upstairs at the Bluth Company, Michael meets with George and Lucille to confront them about the money he discovered. George Michael and Maeby interrupt to share their news. Then Michael reveals that he bought Fakeblock using a shell company called B.S. Enterprises; originally the initials stood for "banana stand" but Michael changed it to "Bluth and Son." George Michael gets upset, while George and Lucille ask Michael where he got the money from. He found their "banana stand slush fund." They tell him that the $3 million in that account was from the Chinese investors and they need to give it back. Michael refuses, and says that George Michael already spent it on his employees. Under pressure from his dad, George Michael lies that Fakeblock is real and everything's fine.

Gob suddenly appears in the elevator, dancing, and announces his new assistant Buster, whom he found at the police station last night. Buster gets his fake hand caught in the elevator door, but comes back from the stairs. Lucille blames Buster for wanting to be in the July 2nd parade. Then two cops arrive in the elevator. Gob was expecting Hot Cops, whom he called earlier to prove he was still gay. But these are real cops, and they arrest Buster because they found the staircar outside the police station last night. Buster doesn't know he's really being arrested, and neither does Gob, so they continue dancing as the cops take Buster away in the elevator.

On the next AD, Gob continues singing and dancing, long after the other Bluths realize Buster was arrested.




  • Wilky Lau as Chen Wu
  • Lee Chen as Xiang Wu
  • Nico Evers-Swindell as Officer Howell
  • Kevin Dorff as Eddie Evidence Guy

Recurring themes[]

On the next Arrested Development...[]

  • "G.O.B. continues to sing well after the rest of the family realizes that Buster has been arrested."


  • Anne Hathaway - George Michael is doing a quiz to decide which of her characters he is most like.
  • Drive - The Cars song "Drive" plays when Gob gets sad remembering the July 2nd parade.
  • George Michael - G.O.B. mentions the singer-songwriter because George Michael Bluth is going by the name George Maharis at Fakeblock.
  • Steve McQueen - Lucille calls Buster this after his "Great Escape". She also calls Buster this in "Key Decisions".
  • South Park - Michael believes that "there's alway money in the banana stand" must be a reference to this comedy show.
  • Wayne Brady - Maeby complains that Stan Sitwell is listening to him too loudly.

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • Banana Stand - George Michael suggests that himself and Michael will end up working there together someday.
  • Burner phones - During the meal, the phones Lucille has destroyed throughout the season are mentioned.
  • Click - Maeby clicks her heart off for the new Fakeblock owner, as she showed in "Unexpected Company".
  • "Come on!" - Michael says this when Maeby tells him Fakeblock sold for 3 million dollars.
  • "Did somebody say Wonder?" - G.O.B. says "Did somebody wonder... if somebody else made G.O.B. president?" followed by "I wonder."
  • The Final Countdown - G.O.B. sings this when Buster is being arrested.
  • Geo-bead - G.O.B. calls Buster this when he doesn't come out of the elevator in time.
  • G.O.B. as president - G.O.B. is made the president of Fakeblock while other people do the work. This is similar to him becoming Bluth Company president while Michael did the work in Season 2.
  • Hot Cops - When the cops show up Gob thinks they're Hot Cops.
  • I ain't going nowhere - Oscar says this at the start of the episode.
    • Later Michael says "Fakeblock ain't going nowhere".
  • Ice cream - Dusty wants to get ice cream with Lucille. Lindsay and Tobias claim to be going for ice cream in "Visiting Ours" while Maeby wants to get ice cream with Lucille in "Pier Pressure".
  • Illusions - Maeby says that G.O.B. creates the "illusion of success".
  • Inside, Outside - When Oscar runs away from Buster, he chants "outside, outside, outside".
  • Mr. Manager - At the end of the banana stand's check there's a memo with "Mr. Manager" written in it.
    • Later Michael calls George Michael "Mr. Big Business".
  • Noodle stab - George Sr. uses this phrase again, as he did in "Borderline Personalities".
  • Nose Job - Lucille says " I think my nose got smaller " and then Michael responds " Well, wouldn't have been the first time" referring to a nose job that she could had done, like Lindsay.
  • "Oh, that voice" - At the meal, one of the Chinese investors says this about Lucille's voice. Lucille says the same thing about Hillary Clinton in "Chain Migration".
  • Put it in Bluth - Michael thinks this is a family motto although he actually first heard it and disliked it in Blockheads". However, G.O.B. does say it in "Blockheads" too.
  • Rip up the check - George Michael is worried Michael will make him rip up a check, which he does make him do in "It Gets Better".
  • Straightbait - DeBrie references her past making these films.
  • "That was a freebie" - Maeby says this when Stan Sitwell tells her that he will leave.
  • There's always money in the banana stand - Michael knows the phrase, but doesn't seem to remember where it's from.
  • Two Fingers - When Michael says B.S. Enterprises has a second meaning, he does this.
  • "Voices up!" - Tobias tells his family to do this when Stan Sitwell appears, like he did in "Chain Migration".
  • What's that from? - Michael forgets that "there's always money in the banana stand" like he forgets "always leave a note" in "Self-Deportation". Tobias also forgets where his fallacy song is from in "Indian Takers", although Maeby suggests that it's from nothing in "Senoritis".

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • Banana Stand Check - The check says "Payment for two drums of dried 'George Michael'. A cocoa based non-digestible colorant."
    • The memo has the memo "Mr. Manager
    • It was given on 11/03/2003 which is 6 days before the episode "Top Banana" aired and one day after the "Pilot".
  • Bluth Company Logo - The Bluth Company logo in the office now has "A 'Bluth-Austero Company' Company" written underneath it.
  • Eric Axel - When George Michael gives his speech, a pinball with this magician's name on can be seen. His magic kit is bought by a young Michael, as seen later in the season.
  • Evidence Parking Only - When Buster and Oscar are sitting in the stair car, which is wanted by the police, the sign can already be seen in the background. It could be a reference to the "Parking in rear" sign in "Afternoon Delight".
  • Mark Cherry - There is a Mark Cherry pinball machine in the Fakeblock office. It also has his songs "Practice Kisses" and "Getaway" advertised on it.
  • Ping pong tournament - In the "Ping Pong Tournament" board there's written "NO WEAPONS" and "NO GLUE PADDLES".
  • The Great Wall - The restaurant where George Sr. and Lucille talks about their wall with the chinese investors is called "The Great Wall".
  • Thread-count - George Michael mentions this while going the Anne Hathaway quiz, although it is also a term in computer science and would be useful for programming Fakeblock.
  • 3KK - G.O.B. calls 3 million, 3KK since learning that K means thousand.
  • "Where'd the fireball come from?" - The Eric Axel pinball machine has this written on it. When his fireball illusion fails in "Burning Love", G.O.B. says "where did the lighter fluid come from?" instead.
  • Woodblock - The woodblock starts playing during George Michael's speech.

Foreshadowing/Future References[]





  • Lindsay doesn't appear in this episode

Promotional Photos[]


External Links[]


1. "Family Leave"
2. "Self-Deportation"
3. "Everyone Gets Atrophy"
4. "An Old Start"
5. "Sinking Feelings"
6. "Emotional Baggage"

7. "Rom-Traum"
8. "Premature Independence"
9. "Unexpected Company"
10. "Taste Makers"
11. "Chain Migration"
12. "Check Mates"

13. "The Untethered Sole"
14. "Saving for Arraignment Day"
15. "Courting Disasters"
16. "The Fallout"

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