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The Immaculate Election

"The Immaculate Election"
Directors: Anthony Russo — Writer: Barbie Adler & Abraham Higginbotham — Aired: March 20, 2005 — Icon-image      

"The Immaculate Election" is the fourteenth episode of Arrested Development's second season.

George Michael runs for student body president, which G.O.B. manages to ruin; Buster has an affair with Lupe, who is being sought after by Lindsay; Tobias attempts to move out of the model home, then develops a new persona when he regrets his decision.


2x14 The Immaculate Election (05)

Michael is surprised to find the house still a mess a week after the fumigation, which Michael had Lindsay call and arrange, long before Michael had begun hiding his fugitive father in the attic. Michael complains about Lindsay's laziness, but she is preoccupied, having finally kicked Tobias out of the house, telling him that he would never work as an actor and that their relationship wouldn't work either.

With nowhere to go, Tobias ends up at the studio where he occasionally works as a guard, and takes up residence in the apartment of Detective Frank Wrench on the set of Wrench. G.O.B. is concerned that Tobias took the video camera, which he needs it to make a magic video of tricks around the office. Michael wants G.O.B. to concentrate on work more, needing him for an upcoming project vote. G.O.B. laughingly mentions the time that George Michael used the video camera to recreate a Star Wars battle in the garage (a parody of the Star Wars kid).

Realizing that George Michael might be having self-esteem issues, Michael talks to his son, only to hear Ann has beaten him to it by suggesting George Michael run for student body president. She has offered to run his campaign and create a campaign video. Lupe takes pity on Buster for losing his hand, Lindsay feels sorry for herself for her loss of Lupe, because Lindsay now has to clean the model home by herself.

2x14 The Immaculate Election (53)

While looking for a spot to store all the garbage she's collected, Lindsay goes into the attic and comes upon an old friend, the doll she had as a girl, which had become George Sr.'s only friend in the world. At the office, Michael has come to regret having given G.O.B the video camera. During a meeting on the latest Bluth Company project, G.O.B. performs a magic trick. Michael, frustrated that G.O.B. didn't show to give his vote in support of the project, fires his brother. Michael then runs into Maeby, who is using the office copier to make campaign posters for Steve Holt. Michael, now informed that George Michael isn't as popular as he once imagined, heads to the school to prevent his son from signing up for the presidential race. Having been defeated himself in a high school race, Michael knows what a devastating blow this could be.

Lucille finds Buster in bed with Lupe and promptly fires her. Lindsay then comes upon the just-fired Lupe, but Lupe won't work for her. Michael arrives at the school to talk his son out of running for office, but George Michael has already collected the required signatures and is excited to run. Ann is hanging posters highlighting George Michael's chaste nature. G.O.B. arrives at Lucille's to complain that Michael has fired him. Lindsay finds a replacement maid, Tobias, who is dressed like Mrs. Doubtfire. He borrowed the costume from the studio in an attempt to see his daughter and prove to his wife that he has what it takes to become an actor.

Michael returns home. He and Lindsay both immediately recognize Tobias in his costume, but neither say anything to him. Michael is more concerned with his son being crushed by Steve Holt in the school election. Lindsay says it's too bad that George Sr. isn't around because they could have used some of his dirty tricks to rig the election for George Michael. Unfortunately for Michael, George Sr. stumbles across a religious pamphlet left by Ann and has a profound realization. Michael instead goes to G.O.B., who he fired earlier that day. G.O.B. agrees to help, on the condition that Michael re-hire him.

Michael, G.O.B., Ann and George Michael meet to discuss the campaign. G.O.B. asks for every awful rumor about Steve Holt, which causes Ann to walk away in disgust. Maeby meets her new singing nanny, which doesn't go well. After a few days, G.O.B. is ready to unveil George Michael's new message. Steve Holt plays his campaign video, which has been produced by his new campaign manager, Ann. In the Christian-themed video, Steve says that although he didn't know his father, he felt like he had a new father, Jesus. George Michael's video is a hit piece mocking the fact that Steve Holt doesn't know his own father, followed by George Michael's Star Wars scene. Steve Holt drops out of the race to find his father. The Indian kid wins with 97% of the vote and Ann is wowed by George Michael's mock lightsaber skill.


2x14 The Immaculate Election (03)
  • John Harrington Bland as Clerk
  • Armie Hammer as Student #2
  • Ron Michaelson as Himself
  • Phyllis Smith as Carla
  • Omi Vaidya as Rav Nadir
  • Michael Coleman as Security Guard

Recurring Themes[]


  • 2x14 The Immaculate Election (17)
    2004 U.S. Presidential Election - Many references compare the school election in this episode to the 2004 U.S. Presidential election that took place the preceding fall.
    • When Michael remembers his participation in the race, he says that there were many in the school that wanted to overturn the decision, but didn't want to put the school through that, parodying Al Gore.
    • After Steve Holt's religious-themed video garners the sympathy of the voters, Michael says that they underestimated the religious vote. George W. Bush won the 2004 election largely due to his dominance of the religious vote.
    • The Indian student running against Steve Holt and George Michael is named Rav Nadir, similar to Ralph Nader, the Green Party candidate in the 2000 election and independent candidate in the 2004 election.
    • Steve Holt's supporters chant "Four more years!" at his rally, echoing the rally cry of the 2004 Republican Convention (as well as pointing out that Steve Holt has spent well over four years in high school).
  • 2x14 The Immaculate Election (27)
    Chicago - Buster is shown dancing in similar style to the musical, his favorite film.
  • Christopher Lowell show - When Tobias moves out, Michael mentions that he noticed they stopped TiVo-ing the Christopher Lowell show, an interior decorating show hosted by an openly gay man.
  • Feast of the Immaculate Conception - The title is a play on the Christian Feast of the Immaculate Conception, referring to G.O.B.'s fathering of Steve Holt.
  • Fen-phen - Tobias tells Maeby to "take [her] Fun-Fun," referring to the anti-obesity medication banned by the Food and Drug Administration.
  • Goofus and Gallant - After his religious awakening, George Sr. compares G.O.B. and Michael to the "brothers, Gallant and Goofeth."
  • Mary Poppins - The song that Tobias sings as Mrs. Featherbottom is a parody of a Mary Poppins song.
  • 2x14 The Immaculate Election (60)
    Mrs. Doubtfire - Tobias disguises himself as a British nanny in order to spend time with his daughter, which mirrors the plot of the film.
  • Roomba - After firing Lupe, Lucille replaces her with one of these robotic maids.
  • Qusay Hussein - Referencing the fact that George Sr. was building in Iraq, Michael asks if he sees Qusay Hussein standing at the omelet bar in the 40th anniversary video.
  • Star Wars kid - George Michael videotapes himself pretending to fight with a lightsaber. During the parody, George Michael play-acts the loss of his hand; the camera immediately cuts to a close-up of Buster.
  • Tyco scandal - The wedding anniversary video with the living statue is a parody of the famous birthday party video used by prosecutors in the Dennis Kozlowski trial during the Tyco scandal.

Callbacks/Running Jokes[]

  • 2x14 The Immaculate Election (24)
    Missing Limbs - During the flashback showing the first viewing of George Michael's Star Wars video, after George Michael "loses his hand," the camera flashes to Buster, who has an uncomfortable face.
  • A Huge Mistake - G.O.B. utters his signature phrase after seeing Steve Holt's religious campaign video.
  • Bluth abortions - G.O.B. warns that dating a religious girl is trouble because that type "stays pregnant," intimating that he tried to get the girl he dated to have an abortion and that it isn't the only time he's pushed for that.  This is later confirmed in The Cabin Show when we are told that he got three women pregnant but only one (the religious one) kept the baby.
  • Company Phone - G.O.B. demonstrates his inability to operate the office phone for a third time when trying to call security.
  • Dead Doves - G.O.B. rips open an employee's lunch bag to release a dead dove, a frequent malfunction in his magic act.
  • Dolls in the Attic - George Sr. covers one of the doll's mouths during the fumigation, and is upset when Lindsay takes one to sell on eBay.
  • George knocks himself out - When Lindsay takes the doll, George knocks himself out on a pipe coming after her.
  • The Final Countdown - G.O.B.'s signature song plays when Steve Holt learns that G.O.B. is his father.
  • "Hole in his Heart" - Buster can't fit the aorta into the model of a heart he is building, a reference to his perforated heart.
  • 2x14 The Immaculate Election (67)
    "I'm a Monster!" - Buster screams this for the third episode in a row after being caught in bed with the Roomba.
  • "Marry Me!" - Maeby accidentally uses her standard deflection on Michael when he asks why she isn't in school.
  • Michael loses an election, badly - It is revealed in this episode that Michael came in last place when he ran for class president in high school. His getting voted out of the dorm room in Flight of the Phoenix is reminiscent of this. 
  • Religion - After George Sr. hits his head on a pipe, it leaves a mark in the shape of a cross and he becomes a devout Christian. This echoes the Season 1 episode Storming the Castle when the Star of David appeared to him and he became Jewish.
  • Saddam Hussein - Michael notices Qusay Hussein while watching the video of George Sr.'s anniversary party, a reference to George's business dealings with the Saddam regime.
  • Slut Shirt - Lindsay's "Slut" shirt makes its third appearance in George Michael's campaign video.
  • 2x14 The Immaculate Election (71)
    Is Tobias gay?
    • When approached by Lindsay trying to save their relationship, Tobias is reading the "Poof" magazine.
    • When Maeby meets Mrs. Featherbottom, she calls him Mr. Finger Bottom, and he only corrects her calling him "Mrs."
    • He refers to himself as "she" when disguised as Mrs. Featherbottom, telling Maeby, "I'm sure wherever your father is right now, she loves you very, very much."
    • The name Tobias makes up for himself is "Felitia Featherbottom," the first name being very similar to the word fellatio.
    • The song Mrs. Featherbottom sings when entering the model home is about "when you put a squirt of frosting down your throat".
  • 2x14 The Immaculate Election (40)
    Tricks/Illusions - G.O.B. refers to his magic as 'tricks' and titles his video "Tricks Around the Office," showing his poor memory, as he usually corrects others calling his magic "tricks" by saying they are "illusions."
  • Wrench  - Tobias sleeps on the couch on the set of the popular television show.
  • "Double Negative" - After firing G.O.B., Michael tells Maeby "Your uncle doesn't not work here anymore," continuing the Bluth family's habit of speaking in double negatives.
  • "Immediate Contradiction" - When watching the scene explaining George Michael's use of the video camera, you hear George Sr. say the business party didn't cost them anything. Moments later, after having watched George Michael's portion of the video, George Sr. says "I spent 2.1 million dollars of good company money and end up with this?"

Hidden/Background Jokes[]

  • 2x14 The Immaculate Election (89)
    G.O.B.’s campaign video for George Michael includes subliminal images of the devil, a pentagram, and Mr. Bananagrabber.
  • The unflattering photo of Michael in the campaign video is taken from a scene in "Switch Hitter".
  • In the campaign video, George Michael wears G.O.B.'s leather jacket, which G.O.B. also wears in the video.
  • In his Star Wars sword fight video that the family is shown watching a year earlier, George Michael pretends his hand gets cut off and yells out "My hand! You cut off my hand!" and we then get a close up of Buster a bit worried when seeing that part.
  • Lindsay's exchange with Lupe is a play on words; Lindsay wanted Lupe to "dust buster" in the house, which Lupe mistook for "does Buster."
  • The music when Buster dances to Chicago is actually "Hot Cops."
  • 2x14 The Immaculate Election (77)
    When introducing himself in his video, Steve Holt stands up and yells his catch phrase but appears to leave the "St" off of his name, saying, "Eve Holt!" This is most likely referring to his mother Eve Holt. After he says that, G.O.B. then says "This kid is popular? He looks like a chick I did once in high school," also referring to Eve Holt.
  • When filming "Tricks around the office" G.O.B. successfully changes a clock that starts at 10:45 to "lunchtime." However, the clock now reads just 11:00, typical of the Bluth family work ethic.

Foreshadowing/Future References[]

  • Several moments foreshadow the revealing of Steve Holt's paternity, which is explored further in season three. Each of these instances are accompanied by dramatic music.
    • G.O.B. says that if a religious woman gets pregnant, she stays pregnant. He knows this because he dated a girl like that in high school.
    • When Michael enlists G.O.B.'s help for the campaign, he says that Steve Holt is basically a young version of G.O.B.
    • Upon seeing Steve Holt for the first time, G.O.B. says that he looks like a girl he did in high school.
    • When Steve says during his campaign tape he never knew his real father the camera immediately turns to G.O.B.


→ See more quotes from "The Immaculate Election" at Transcript of The Immaculate Election.


  • Mrs._Featherbottom_Introduced

    Mrs. Featherbottom Introduced

    Feast of the Immaculate Conception - The episode title is a play on the Christian Feast of the Immaculate Conception, referring to G.O.B.'s fathering of Steve Holt.
  • This episode begins Tobias’s Mrs. Featherbottom storyline, which would continue for three episodes.


  • Gary (the gay employee at the Bluth Company) makes his third appearance, operating the camera for G.O.B.'s "Tricks Around the Office" video.
  • Moses Taylor (playing Frank Wrench) is heard off-screen while Tobias is using the bathroom of the Wrench set.
  • Phyllis Smith makes a brief credited appearance as "Carla" during the office meeting, but has no lines. Within several weeks of this episode's original air date, she would begin appearing regularly in NBC's The Office.
  • The voice of Ron Howard can be heard off-screen shouting about someone using the bathroom set, though not as the "narrator" (presumably a guest director on the show Wrench).
  • Armie Hammer, star of The Social Network and The Lone Ranger makes his first ever television appearance as the student that calls George Michael "Star Dork".


  • The Immaculate Conception, which the title of this episode is parodying, refers not to the conception of Jesus Christ by the Virgin Mary, but to the sinless conception of Mary, according to Catholic dogma. Therefore, the selection of that title — a reference to Steve Holt not knowing who his father is — makes no sense.


→ See 105 pictures from The Immaculate Election at Images from The Immaculate Election.

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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