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Modern Marvels

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

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

George Michael attempts to follow his musical dreams. G.O.B. tries to keep his new friends. Tobias passes up a job, then lands in a rocky situation.


The army are helping Buster to train his new mechanical hand with little success. They want to use Buster as a "killing machine" while Buster just wants the army to be his new family which is why he intentionally fails their tests. Meanwhile, at C.W. Swappigan's, Tobias connects with DeBrie over their acting experiences and they decide to run away together. However, before that can happen, DeBrie passes out and Tobias rushes her to the hospital. DeBrie is touched that Tobias didn't desert her although he is surprised to know that she is a drug addict as he believes they met at an acting class. He convinces her to sign out of hospital so she can pursue her acting career.

G.O.B. has been discharged from the same hospital and phones his son Steve Holt so they can meet later that evening. G.O.B. opens up to Steve at the bar, although he doesn't recognise his initially, and Steve offers him a job at his pest control business, beginning the next morning. Meanwhile, the army begins to realise that Buster doesn't want to leave so they decide to give him the Q test. Buster is told to kill a kitten with his new hand but he can't do it because it is the "cu-test".

At the nightclub, G.O.B. continues to party in order to celebrate his new job. His illusions are noticed by John Beard Jr. who wants G.O.B. to perform a trick for popstar Mark Cherry. His entourage are impressed by him and so is the actress Rebel Alley. When the paparazzi appear, G.O.B. distracts them with his magic and is accepted into the group. However, because of his partying, he misses starting his job with Steve Holt who isn't surprised.

Tobias keeps pushing DeBrie to act but she must be rushed to hospital again. He decides he will help her by letting her play Sue Storm in The Fantastic Four again. They go to Hollywood Boulevard dressed as Johnny Storm and Sue Storm although no one wants pictures of them. Tobias makes his own Thing costume to help with public recognition but this gets them a cease and desist letter.

Buster must leave the army after failing his test. On his way out, he is stopped by Ophelia Love who is shocked how a veteran like him has been treated. Ophelia thinks that her husband, Herbert Love, can help him. Tobias and DeBrie continue to dress up although not on Hollywood Boulevard. This doesn't stop them from getting another cease and desist. DeBrie is concerned that they might get a third strike but Tobias is determined to continue. DeBrie grows desperate and tries to sell herself but Tobias stops her.

G.O.B. keeps partying with Mark Cherry's entourage although he is mainly there to be their limo driver. Buster, however, is welcomed into the Love family.

On the next Arrested Development: Fateful Consequences... Tobias returns to Balboa Towers in order to ransack it but finds that it is already a mess. He then hears Lucille 2 being attacked by an ostrich and rushes her to the hospital.


Main Cast (in order of appearance)



  • Lennon Parham as Therapist Sandy
  • Diedrich Bader as Gunner
  • Jillian Armenante as Armstrong
  • Chad Hall as 'Gay' Straightbait Actor
  • Beck Bennett as 'Straight' Straightbait Actor
  • Nelson Franklin as Dr. Tilive
  • Phil Reeves as Colonel Smalls
  • Peter Giles as Stuart the Bartender
  • Justin Grant Wade as Steve Holt
  • James Pumphrey as Fake General
  • Molly Erdman as Lupus Sufferer
  • Daniel Amerman as Mark Cherry
  • Asif Ali as Trout
  • George Watsky as Chris Kazmierczak
  • Wyatt Russell as Oakwood
  • Trevor Einhorn as Josh Abramson
  • Aimee McKay as Tourist
  • Dave Anthony as Tourist Dad #1
  • Quinn Friedman as Tourist Kid #1
  • Greg Levine as Feinberg #1
  • John Phillips as Feinberg #2
  • Rebekka Johnson as Check Out Nurse
  • Benjamin Burdick as Undercover Cop
  • Thomas Robinson as Undercover Cop Kid
  • J.K. Baker as Billy Crystal Meth
  • Jamila Webb as Nurse Janice

Recurring Themes[]


  • Disney Channel - Mark Cherry became famous from a cable channel show Pop-a-R.O.T.C. before becoming a famous party person, similar to some Disney Channel stars. He became famous for the song "Practice Kisses".
  • DVRs
    • During Buster's bionic hand training, one of the tests is to fast-forward during commercials. DVRs (digital video recorders) are often blamed for Arrested Development's low viewership during its initial run from 2003-2006 because at the time Nielsen ratings did not measure homes with DVRs.
    • Viewership_ratings - The show Buster must fast-forward during is Two and a Half Men which also premiered in autumn 2003. Men received 15-16 million viewers per episode from 2003-2006 while Arrested received 4-6 million.
  • Entourage - The episode opening parodies the pilot of HBO's Entourage which focuses on a celebrity and his group of friends. The club they attend is called And Jeremy Piven, a nod to the opening credits of Entourage, where they drive past buildings with cast members' names on the signs.
  • Fantastic Four
    • Tobias 'recognizes' DeBrie from her appearance in an early 90's low-budget version of Fantastic Four. In 1994 producer Bernd Eichinger scrambled a production of The Fantastic Four for under $1 million to retain film rights. The film was never released to the public. (More info on Wikipedia)
    • DeBrie is dressed like Invisible Girl from the Fantastic Four. She also is saddened by the fact that her ex-boyfriend Marky Bark couldn't see her due to his face blindness.
  • Mark Cherry - The singer Mark Cherry is a nod to the TV writer Marc Cherry, first mentioned in "Righteous Brothers".
  • R.O.T.C. - Cherry's show Pop-a-R.O.T.C. is a musical show about kids in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.
  • The Blind Side - Herbert Love calls Buster "Blind Side Monster".

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • "Come on!" - Rebel Alley's PSA has the jingle "I mean come on!"
  • Cutoffs - Tobias' Thing costume wears cutoffs.
  • David Spade - Rebel calls her purse a David Spade. Lindsay bought a knockoff Kate Spade jacket in India called a David Spade.
  • "Is that going to happen to my hair?" - Steve Holt was worried about balding in "The Immaculate Election" and is balding now.
  • Is Tobias gay?
    • DeBrie starred in 9 episodes of Straightbait in one day, one named "anus tart". Tobias admits to watching the second, fourth, and ninth flicks.
    • Tobias says to DeBrie at the hospital "When I first saw Straightbait, there were two men making love, but I couldn't take my eyes off of you."
  • Juice - The attendant at the methadone clinic calls the methadone medicine "juice". Tobias says Carl Weathers charged him $5 for grape juice at his acting classes.
  • Lighter fluid - G.O.B. squirts lighter fluid in the paparazzi's eyes.
  • Medical emergencies - G.O.B. and then DeBrie find themselves in a hospital in this episode.
  • Nobody recognizes Steve Holt - Gob doesn't recognize his own son.
  • Ostrich - Lucille Austero is attacked by Marky Bark's ostrich.
  • PSAs - Rebel Alley appears in a PSA for the first time - "Never yell fire in a crowded place."
  • Rock, Paper, Scissors - Tobias says "in this case, paper beats rock". In "The One Where They Build a House" several Bluths play rock, paper, scissors.
  • Sex for money: DeBrie says "I was gonna have sex with him. For money," in the same manner than Michael says "I'm gonna have sex with you. For money," in "Re Cap'n Bluth".
  • "Steve Holt!" - Steve shouts "Dave Holt!" and his pest control business is called Steve Holt! Pest Control.
  • "X... no Y." "It was Z."- When Tobias visits the penthouse, he assumes the destruction was Michael... no... George Michael.

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • GANGIE 4 - When Tobias first puts his "Thing" costume on there is a sign in the background for a movie called "Gangie 4: Face Lift". This is of course a sequel to the movie that Maeby produced about a horrifically ugly grandmother after seeing Lucille's face after getting plastic surgery of the same name.
  • Is DeBrie a man? - Dr. Tilive calls DeBrie "a 61-year-old male" in the hospital.
  • Mark Cherry - When Lucille tells Buster that he needs to grow up and get away, she repeats get away like the song of tween singer Mark Cherry "Getaway!" She then says, "It's as if they wrote that song for my own son," which they did, except for G.O.B., not Buster.
  • Movie title - At the beginning of the episode, the entourage's limo is seen driving past a sign advertising Maeby's movie, Gangie 4: Face Lift.
  • Music - when Tobias and DeBrie have their moment in the restrooms, realising one of the Straightbait films DeBrie starred in was called "Anus tart", just liked Tobias' plates, the singer in the music sings "coincidence!"

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

  • Feinberg, Feinberg, Feinberg, & Feinberg - The law firm owns the rights to the 4 in a circle logo, and later represents P-Hound when he sues George Michael for FakeBlock.
  • "Getaway" - Lucille 2 sings Mark Cherry's hit song.

In Comparison to the Original Cut[]

This episode is made up from 4 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:

  • Buster trains his new hand, new dialogue in italics (4x14 Off the Hook)
    • Narrator: At the US Army’s bionic testing facility, far beneath the modest hunting cabin of one-time vice president Dick Cheney, training was underway on the latest subject to receive a state-of-the-art robotic hand.
  • Tobias and DeBrie, flashback at the clinic (4x5 A New Start)
    • The scenes at the hospital are new to the remix:
      • Tobias: Lord, don't call this beautiful angel home.
    • The Fantastic Four poster of DeBrie is new:
      • Poster signed De Brie Barduex / as not seen in: / THE FANTASTIC FOUR / Imagine Generic / A division of Imagine Entertainment / WATERDROP EFFECT
  • C.W. Swappigan's flashback (4x3 Indian Takers, 4x5 A New Start)
    • Tobias: No, Lindsay, we're together.
    • “It was the first positive reinforcement Tobias had had since India” is now “It was the first positive reinforcement Tobias had had in ages” in the remix.
  • Tobias and DeBrie at the hospital, continued (new scene)
    • Narrator: Tobias was both praying for his new girlfriend...
    • Tobias: Please let her live. If you do, I promise I will devote all of my acting talents to you.
    • Narrator: And putting out some feelers for a new job.
    • Tobias: I'll even keep working in religious programming. For less than scale- for Christian scale, as it were. And As It Is Such So Also As Such-
  • G.O.B. in the hospital, flashback to his wedding (4x7 Colony Collapse)
    • This exchange is new:
      • Narrator: Of course, he was referring to what turned out to be the televised marriage escape act of his brother-in-law G.O.B. A disaster, which landed G.O.B. in the very same hospital bed days earlier, and where he announced…
      • G.O.B.: I'm ready to settle...
      • Narrator: ...down. As he yearned for a family too.
      • G.O.B.: Marry me.
      • Narrator: And although she wouldn't provide one...
  • G.O.B. rings Steve Holt (4x7 Colony Collapse)
  • Tobias and DeBrie at hospital, continued (4x5 A New Start)
    • There is now a quick cut to the Straightbait video after the doctor says “you have landed a real party girl”.
    • This exchange is mostly new:
      • Tobias: I'll make you famous then you won’t need any drugs.
      • DeBrie: Well, you’re a doctor, you could get me signed out of here. So I can pursue my dream of acting?
      • Tobias: Of course I can. Let’s go.
      • DeBrie: Oh!
    • In the original cut, Tobias says “I’ll make you famous, by cashing in on your most celebrated role.”
  • Buster and the Q-test (4x14 Off the Hook)
    • The Top Secret magazine front page and some inside pages are new
    • Gunner: What's a Q test?
  • G.O.B. and Steve Holt at the club (4x7 Colony Collapse)
  • Buster and the Q-test, continued (4x14 Off the Hook)
    • Buster: Thank you. Thank you.
    • Colonel Smalls: And he can't... see us at all, that's correct?
    • Armstrong: God help the kitten.
  • G.O.B. at the club, joining the entourage (4x7 Colony Collapse)
    • The music is no longer "Bang Bang Bang Bang" when G.O.B. does the cherry trick.
    • Rebel’s PSA now has a song “I mean come on!”
  • Tobias and DeBrie return to hospital (4x4 The B. Team)
    • The exchange in the hospital room is new:
      • Tobias: Okay, let’s go back to something you’re more comfortable with. We should resurrect your most famous character, Sue Storm.
      • DeBrie: We’re gonna do the Fantastic Four movie?
      • Tobias: Well, I don’t know about that just yet, but… DeBrie, if you make this leap with me, I promise I’ll have you splattered all over Hollywood Boulevard. How does that sound?
      • DeBrie: Confusing.
      • Narrator: It was.
  • Tobias and DeBrie as the Fantastic Two (4x5 A New Start)
    • Narrator: They were not The Blue Brothers.
  • Buster leaves the army (4x14 Off the Hook)
    • Ophelia Love: I’m sorry? [She’s says “Ex...cuse me?” in the original cut]
  • Tobias & DeBrie Fantastic Two, continued (4x5 A New Start)
    • Tobias: Come get your picture taken with Rock Monster and Ability to Be Invisible Person.
  • G.O.B. with the entourage (4x7 Colony Collapse)
    • Narrator: For after running from two families that wanted to be with him, G.O.B. ended up with a family of five guys who didn’t.
    • G.O.B.: [running to the limo] No, wait-
  • Tobias returns to DeBrie (4x5 A New Start)
    • Tobias: I missed you out there. I- DeBrie, what are you doing?
    • Tobias’ lines “I missed you out there. I-“ are more audible in the remix.
  • Ophelia and Herbert discuss Buster (4x14 Off the Hook)
  • On the next... Tobias at the penthouse, saving Lucille 2 (4x5 A New Start)
    • Lucille 2: (singing) Why don’t you get away?


  • Michael Bluth, George Michael Bluth, Maeby Fünke, and George Bluth don't appear in this episode.
  • The title of the episode is a reference to Buster's hand being a medical marvel as well as Tobias and DeBrie dressing up as the Fantastic Four characters, owned by Marvel. The narrator references this when he says:
    • Narrator: And Tobias ends up being a superhero after all.
  • During the Season 4 remix, the narrator often draws parallels between the Bluths' lives being similar despite being separated. In this episode in particular, the theme of the Bluths wanting a family is prevalent.
    • Narrator: As Buster was failing to adapt to a new life, another Bluth family member was in another hospital embarking on one.
    • Narrator: [...] which landed G.O.B. in the very same hospital bed days earlier.
    • Narrator: As he yearned for a family too. [G.O.B. with Ann and Tobias with DeBrie]
    • Narrator: But while Tobias was trying to sneak out of a hospital, Buster was determined not to leave his.
    • Narrator: And the Army began to suspect that Buster was in no hurry to become the killing machine that their internal documents perhaps over-promised, G.O.B. was planning on using someone [Steve Holt] as well.
    • Narrator: As G.O.B. reconnected with his family, Buster was on the verge of losing his.
    • Narrator: The same couldn’t be said for Tobias” [G.O.B. doesn’t come back for Steve Holt but Tobias returns to the hospital with DeBrie]
    • Narrator: Buster also found himself without a uniform to wear as he was being discharged from the Army
    • Narrator: DeBrie, however, found herself with no Thing” [Buster has "something"]
    • Narrator: Hollywood Boulevard at night is the playground of the hip, young and successful, and while Tobias may have just left, G.O.B. Bluth had finally arrived
    • Narrator: For after running from two families that wanted to be with him, G.O.B. ended up with a family of five guys who didn’t. Tobias’ family life wasn’t much better.
    • Narrator: Only Buster, it seemed had a chance at having a real family as Ophelia made the case to her husband about the homeless vet with the big heart and hand.
    • Narrator: And as the other Bluths tried to find love and be part of a family, the Love family tapped Buster to be part of theirs.