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Just Deserters

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

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

George and Lucille hope a "trial separation" pays off but it means Lucille has to spend her house arrest alone with Buster. G.O.B.'s big day arrives.


In the desert, George Sr. is running a sweat lodge for CEOs where he places them in a sweat lodge with Oscar and then sells the dehydrated CEOs expensive lemonade in order to "motivate" them. All the customers there are unaware that George and Oscar are identical twins and believe them to be one man, Father B.

This business was part of a scheme with Lucille, who is under house arrest, to make money before they send the land to the goverment so they could build a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. They also decided to get a fake divorce so people don't suspect their plans. At the family meeting at the penthouse, Lucille announced that Buster will be the star witness in her trial. G.O.B. also announced his marriage to Ann, and Michael left to sell his shares to Lucille 2.

After he returned to the desert, George Sr. found out that the government put the border wall on hold because of the housing market crash. He joined Oscar in a sweat lodge and fainted due to the heat. However, it gave him an idea to start the sweat lodge business seen at the start of the episode.

George Sr. misses G.O.B.'s wedding along with the rest of the family. G.O.B. notices Tony Wonder and eventually Tobias, although Tobias is not there as a guest and is only there to play a role in the wedding illusion. During the illusion, G.O.B. frees himself from a giant, glittery cross then is supposed to escape from a model cave he brought into the church although the actual plan is undo his handcuffs then hide in a fake boulder to avoid the wedding. However, the handcuff keys are missing from the cave and G.O.B. is knocked out and stuck in the boulder because he cannot cushion his fall with his arms. Pastor Veal and his congregation wait for two weeks before they open the cave, as G.O.B. requested. When they open the cave, they find it empty as G.O.B. (in his boudler) have been taken to a storage unit.

Buster and Lucille continue living together although, after three months, tensions start to rise. They argue and Buster threatens to not testify in Lucille's trial. He leaves the apartment and bumps into Lucille 2 who offers his a drink of juice, which he accepts.

On the next Arrested Development: Fateful Consequences... Lucille notices all her possessions have the names of family members on them and thinks it's because they believe she'll go to prison. Also, G.O.B. is found in a storage locker by the TV show Locker Hawkers: Something Smells Terrible Edition.


Main Cast (in order of appearance)


  • Todd Jeffries as CEO #1
  • Tom Yi as CEO #2
  • Eric Zuckerman as Workman
  • Bruce McCulloch as Father Marsala
  • Busy Philipps as Joan
  • Natasha Leggero as Jackie
  • Dan Harmon as Yurt Clerk
  • J.J. Wall as Uncle Paul Veal
  • Michelle Gillette as Bingo Announcer
  • Patrick Robert Smith as Truck Driver
  • Debra Leigh as Betty the Church Official
  • John Hartman as CEO #3
  • Allison Jones as Lorna Hawker
  • Marc Evan Jackson as Storage Auctioneer

Recurring themes[]


  • Anne Murray - The award-winning Canadian singer's name appears on an "Anne Murray Live!" moving truck.

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • And As It Is Such, So Also As Such Is It Unto You - G.O.B.'s wedding is aired on this channel.
  • Caged Wisdom - George remembers his faith video series when becoming the spiritualist "Father B."
  • G.O.B.'s religion - Although pretending to be religious to please Ann, he is not:
  • "Her?" - A big sign reading "H.E.R.?" appears in the sanctuary of the Church of Holy Eternal Rapture.
  • "Hot Mess" - Oscar calls a passed out George a "hot mess". Lucille and Buster both discover the phrase watching TV together.
  • 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 "Recurring Dreams".
  • Love Each Other - Appears on the banner on G.O.B.'s Amazing Jesus illusion cross and on the back of the "Shhh!" sign hanging on G.O.B.'s dummy.
  • Missing limbs - The mannequin in the tomb was missing a hand.
  • 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 "Turning on Each Other".
  • Notes - Tobias finds a note on the mannequin's body.
  • Prayer hands - The greeting at the sweat lodge is to make prayer hands then wipe your brow.
  • Roman Centurion #2 - Tobias continues to land characters without names and with numbers, such as Frightened Inmate Number Two and Confidence Man #2.
  • Security cameras - Security cameras are installed in Balboa Towers. The flatbed truck with G.O.B.'s boulder on it runs a red light and is caught on camera.
  • Storage Wars - The storage locker reality series is parodied in Locker Hawkers: Something Smells Terrible Edition.
  • "The Final Countdown" - G.O.B.'s theme music plays during his Jesus' crucifixion illusion.
  • The Miracle Network - Tobias appeared in several programs for The Miracle Network, namely Father Marsala's John the Baptist, Father Marsala's Embryo Dan: It Would Have Been a Wonderful Life, and Father Marsala's A Jew Came to Dinner.
  • "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.
  • Tipping Black people - Two Black movers 'tip' G.O.B., while trying to load the boulder onto the truck.
  • Trick vs. Illusion - During his Jesus' crucifixion illusion G.O.B. clarifies the distinction between "trick" and "illusion." This is a reference back to "Pilot".
  • "Two Weeks!" - G.O.B.'s vow to beat Jesus' 3 days in the tomb by two weeks echoes the time he vowed to beat Michael's 2 month estimate by two weeks in "The One Where They Build a House".

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • 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 "Three Half Men" and his movie "The Untitled Michael B. Project" in "Get On Up".
  • Bees - George and Oscar call themselves "Father B." at their colony.
  • Dove - Tobias discovers a dove wrapped up with a note instead of G.O.B when removing the body from the tomb illusion. In Christianity after Jesus ascened he sent the Holy Spirit, most commonly depicted as a dove. This also calls back to G.O.B's dead bird incident "Top Banana".
  • Empty chairs - Tobias' picture is not on a seat for G.O.B.'s wedding.
  • 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.

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

  • Craigslist - Heartfire buys a cave off Craigslist.
  • Noodle stab - George says he gave Lucille a "noodle stab." Lucille later gets attacked with a sharpened noodle in "Turning on Each Other".

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:

  • Opening scene at the sweat lodge (4x2 Borderline Personalities)
  • George Sr. giving a speech (4x2 Borderline Personalities)
    • When Heartfire thinks “Did you pay my FICA yet?”, it is accompanied by an echoing man’s voice saying “Fraud”.
  • Lucille & George Sr. at the penthose (4x2 Borderline Personalities, 4x10 Queen B.)
  • Buster & Lucille living together (4x10 Queen B.)
    • The TV show is synced up slightly differently than in the original cut
  • Lucille & George Sr. at the penthouse, new dialogue in italics (4x10 Queen B.)
    • Lucille: That's why I'm making him my star witness.
  • Buster & Lucille living together, continued (4x10 Queen B.)
  • Family meeting (4x1 Flight of the Phoenix, 4x7 Colony Collapse, Michael’s line about being done with the family from 4x1 Flight of the Phoenix, 4x2 Borderline Personalities, 4x7 Colony Collapse, 4x13 It Gets Better)
    • Narrator: But while Lucille and George pretended to have fallen out of love, G.O.B. was pretending the opposite. In fact, he was planning on using his wedding to do one of his famous magical illusions, and all of it was to be televised on one of those weird religious channels.
  • Good News O.C., George Sr. in the desert (4x2 Borderline Personalities)
  • Buster & Lucille smoking (4x2 Borderline Personalities)
    • The music for the Lady Allure cigarette advert is new:
      • Music: Lady Allure… Lady Allure… What is it about that lady? Lady Allure… Something about her speaks allure. Slender and long, even her cigarette. Allure’s Slender Long smokes: Slender and long, smooth and stylish. Allure Slender Long smokes: Aromatically finished with the Type 3 slender tip. Lively, stylish, and now. Lady Allure… Allure Slender Long smokes: designed to be modern, extra slender, with the stylish taste of where she’s going, never where she’s been Slender tipped, smooth and stylish. Lady Allure… Lady, that’s Allure.
  • Oscar & George Sr. in the sweat lodge (4x2 Borderline Personalities)
    • The new Lady Allure music plays in this scene too
  • Setting up the sweat lodge (4x2 Borderline Personalities)
    • George Sr.: Change that into, "Now, let's get our check books..."
    • The narrator’s line “there was a Phoenix for him too” becomes “there was an online school for that.”
    • Yurt Clerk: Are you afraid of lizards, bats, tarantulas, the Wall Street Journal or the New York Times? I’m sorry, those are your newspaper choices.
    • Narrator: Which is why, along with never having intended to go in the first place, he missed his son’s wedding.
      • In the original cut, George Sr. faints and misses Lucille's trial, not G.O.B.'s wedding
  • Before G.O.B.'s wedding (4x7 Colony Collapse)
    • Narrator: And soon it was time for G.O.B. to take the small, moist Ann of his girlfriend hand.
  • G.O.B.'s wedding (4x7 Colony Collapse)
    • Narrator: And he was planning on deserting his bride…
  • Buster & Lucille play "Guess the Fur" (4x14 Off the Hook)
    • Narrator: But after three months, Lucille was ready to desert her youngest son.
  • Two weeks after the wedding (4x7 Colony Collapse)
    • This scene is longer in the remix:
      • Wedding Guest: I loaned him a thou- (choking)
      • Music: Forgive us
      • Caption: We are currently experiencing… TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES
      • Caption: Please Stand By
  • At the sweat lodge (4x2 Borderline Personalities)
  • Buster threatens himself (4x10 Queen B., 4x14 Off The Hook)
  • Buster and Lucille 2 (4x14 Off The Hook)
    • Narrator: And that’s how Buster joined a family of deserters…
  • On the next... Lucille looks at her possessions (4x10 Queen B.)
  • On the next... G.O.B. in the storage locker (4x7 Colony Collapse)


  • Lindsay, Maeby, and George Michael only appear as photos at G.O.B.'s wedding.
  • The episode's title has multiple meanings. Firstly, it is a reference to the phrase "to get their just deserts", which means something bad happening to a person who has done bad and deserves it. Secondly, G.O.B., Lucille, George Sr., and Buster are trying to desert others. Finally, George Sr. and Oscar and living in the desert. There are references to desertion in the new narration:
    • Narrator: He was working on an escape act […] and was planning on deserting his bride […] instead of marrying her.
    • Narrator: But after three months, Lucille was ready to desert her youngest son.
    • Narrator: And that’s how Buster joined a family of deserters.
  • Even though the Bluth family are living fairly separate lives in this episode, the narrator keeps drawing parallels between them:
    • Narrator: But while Lucille and George pretended to have fallen out of love, G.O.B. was pretending the opposite.
    • Narrator: George Sr. chose to enter the small, smoke-filled room, while his wife was also confined to a smoke-filled room.
    • Narrator: But if Buster was being taken advantage of, it paled in comparison to what Ann would experience after waiting two full weeks.
    • Narrator: Only George Sr. appeared to be free.
      • In comparison to G.O.B., Lucille, and Buster.
    • Narrator: But if George hadn’t discovered that people can be pushed too far, Lucille was certainly about to.
    • Narrator: And that’s how Buster joined a family of deserters.