5x01 - Michael and Buster Bluth 01

"Family Leave"
Directors: Troy Miller — Writer: Mitchell Hurwitz & Jim Vallely — Aired: May 29, 2018 — Icon-image      

"Family Leave" is the first episode of Arrested Development's fifth season.

Surprises greet Michael at the penthouse and Sudden Valley. George-Michael confides in Maeby, who's trying to avoid Sudden Valley.


Months after Cinco de Cuatro, Michael is working at a web search company and is making friends and staying busy.

Months earlier, two mornings after Cinco de Cuatro, Michael leaves the model home but is told by Steve Holt, fumigating the house for his Steve Holt! Pest Control business, that someone is in the attic. Michael reminisces about failed scuba trips with his son George Michael and is startled to find his brother Buster in scuba gear in the attic. Buster explains that Lucille told him Michael would take care of him. Michael says he has too many problems of his own and leaves.

Outside Rebel's apartment, moments after George Michael punched Michael in the face for knowingly sleeping with his girlfriend (4x15 — "Blockheads") the father and son swallow the awkwardness and pretend as if nothing happened.

Michael returned to the penthouse where he left a note for Lucille 2 telling her that he's sorry he missed her, while simultaneously on a call with her ignoring every word she said. He meets Lt. Toddler who is inquiring if Lucille 2 is home.

George Michael calls Maeby who's in Lucille Austero's penthouse cleaning up any evidence that she was there having sex with Perfecto Telles. She convinces the maid to swap clothes with her so that she can leave the building without being discovered. Maeby goes to meet with George Michael who hands her a cup of coffee. He tells her that he punched Michael and that he doesn't know what to do. Maeby tells him that she told Michael about Rebel having a boyfriend because she hoped something like this would happen. Maeby also tells him that he should call and apologize to him because it'll make Michael feel horrible. George Michael gets a call from Michael but declines it.

Michael leaves his son a voicemail telling him that Rebel doesn't know that they are father and son. He goes to leave the penthouse but is again questioned by Lt. Toddler who is looking for Lucille 2, who hasn't been seen since Cinco. Michael tried to charm her and distance himself from Lucille 2 but an unphased Toddler asks him a series of questions about the redhedded woman in the Bluth penthouse (who was George wearing Lindsay's red wig) and Lucille Bluth and Tobias's whereabouts (who fled Austerity.) Michael awkward babbles through both answers and leaves, deciding to report Buster as a missing person as a method of getting Lucille (Bluth or Austero) to take care of him again.

Meanwhile in Mexico, G.O.B. attempts to buy forget-me-now pills to forget his tryst with Tony Wonder but is interrupted by his father George arriving. They two pretend to be super-machismo and agree to party their way through Mexico. Lucille Bluth and Tobias arrive at the Bluth beach cottage and Lindsay attempts to pass the border in her limousine.


Main Cast
  • Scott Broderick as Self-Defense Instructor
  • Traci Crouch as Realtor
  • Pedro Lopez as Bodega Owner
  • Ross MacKenzie as Limo Driver
  • Rob Norton as Scuba Instructor
  • Jimmy Ortega as Mexican Border Officer
  • Sam Pfoser as Young George Michael
  • Zakary Risinger as Young George Michael
  • Gloria Sandoval as Rosa
  • Kimmy Shields as Lisa
  • Ryan Bailey as Cop #1
  • John F. Schaefer as Cop #2
  • Kristin Vahl as Krystal

Recurring themes


  • ...

Callbacks/Running Jokes

  • ANUSTART - Michael spells out Tobias's license vanity plate to Lt. Toddler, who correctly deciphers it as "A new start".
  • Analrapist - Michael also begins to spell out this word to Lt. Toddler.
  • Are we good? — Michael calls George Michael to repeatedly ask if they're good, much like GOB did with George Michael in "Colony Collapse". In both instances, this was followed after George Michael punching them in the face.
  • Boyfights — Maeby tells George Michael to put a video of him punching Michael in the face on a website called Dadfights, riffing on the Boyfights concept (with sons fighting their fathers instead of brothers fighting each other).
  • Love Each Other — Michael tells Toddler about Pete the mailman and the phrase "love each other" as an excuse for ending his note to Lucille 2 with "love you."
  • Forget-Me-Now (pill) – G.O.B. attempts to order a "shame-wow" from the store in Mexico.
  • Running away from a hotel — Tobias and Lucille run away from Austerity in the same manner that Tobias and Lindsay ran away from their hotel in "Pilot"
  • Therapy — As soon as Lucille is having a breakthrough in her therapy Tobias is not paying attention, similar to the therapy session in "Queen B.".

Hidden/Background Jokes

  • Fantastic FourGene Parmesan is seen with the rock monster 'Thing' costume, and likely performs in Fantastic 4: An Action Musical.
  • Ostrich — While playing volleyball, Michael sticks his head in the sand.
  • Do a something search — Google continues to refuse to have its logo be seen.
  • Transparent — The Narrator mentions that George Sr.'s impression of a woman (George Sr. in a red wig) wasn't going to win him any awards (the actor, Jeffrey Tambor has been nominated for multiple awards for his role as Maura Pfefferman on the series Transparent).

Foreshadowing/Future References

  • ...


Maeby: What did Gangie always say? "Forget but never forgive."

George Michael: Do you think she meant to say it that way? Do you think "A friend in need is no friend indeed" was also on purpose? What about "they should take all the rapists and all the murderers and put them all together on an island..."
Maeby: ...and all the murderers can be raped and all the rapists can be murdered...
Both: ...until you only have either two rapists left and you're down to one raped murderer and who cares about him."


G.O.B.: Can you set me up with a pill that makes the memories go away? Like a shame-wow?


Michael: It’s A-N-U-S and then for some reason T-A-R-T.


Maeby: One of those double-headed bondage things with the curly choke leash.
George Michael: That’s probably a landline.
Maeby: Ew, gross. She put her ear on that?



→ See 88 pictures from Family Leave at Images from Family Leave.

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. Coming soon!
10. Coming soon!
11. Coming soon!
12. Coming soon!

13. Coming soon!
14. Coming soon!
15. Coming soon!
16. Coming soon!

Season OneSeason TwoSeason ThreeSeason FourSeason Five