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The Ocean Walker

"The Ocean Walker"
Directors: Paul Feig — Writer: Jake Farrow & Sam Laybourne — Aired: December 5, 2005 — Icon-image      

"The Ocean Walker" is the sixth episode of Arrested Development's third season.

Michael's parents disapprove of him marrying Rita until a revelation from her uncle.


Michael was sharing some very important news with his parents. He was getting married. George and Lucille thought this was a very bad idea, but Michael defended his relationship. But what Michael didn’t know is that mentally, Rita had only progressed to a first grade level, a fact that was masked by her English accent. Michael told the family the wedding was in one month.

Concerned that his family may have been making sense, Michael decided to talk to Rita. At the model home, Michael ran into Tobias, who was now getting around in a wheelchair because of numbness in his left arm and legs. Michael attributed this to Tobias’ recent hair transplant. Maeby then mentioned to Michael that she loved Rita because Rita had helped her with a little project the previous evening. It seemed that Maeby needed help with a script she was working on for her secret studio job. The man was in L.A., his love was in Tokyo. How to get them together? Rita suggested having them walk. Maeby thought this was brilliant since nobody could critique it for fear of looking stupid and set to finishing The Ocean Walker.

Michael went to G.O.B. to tell him not to do an illusion due to him accidentally setting his former wife, Tracy on fire at his last wedding and to be his witness/best man. Michael regrets doing this, as G.O.B. wants to get a call girl for the bachelor party.

Meanwhile, Lindsay and Rita, quickly becoming the best of friends, returned from a shopping excursion. Michael took Lindsay aside and expressed his concerns about the lack of physicality in the relationship, wondering if Rita was just using him for a green card. Lindsay suggested getting a hotel room for the evening.

And G.O.B. began to prepare an illusion for the wedding. Rita oversaw and told G.O.B. that she loved magic and begged him to do a trick for her. He tried to shoot her with a fireball, but only succeeded in dousing her with lighter fluid, a feat that Rita still found remarkable. G.O.B. realized he needed to get Rita involved in his wedding illusion somehow. Rita bragged that she could hold her breath for 20 minutes. The Narrator revealed her actual record was only 20 seconds.

Michael then caught up with Rita and invited her to a hotel for the evening. Rita said she needed to get her jammies and tiny teddy first. And so George-Michael drove Rita to Wee Britain. That’s when he first became concerned over her behavior. While Rita packed for her sleepover, her Uncle Trevor warned her about what that truly meant. Rita complained that she wanted to have some grown up fun, but Uncle Trevor said she wasn’t ready for a sexual relationship (the Narrator agreed). Rita retorted that she was since she had seen Uncle Trevor’s secret magazine, Bumpaddle, and that she and Michael were getting married. Forbidding her, Uncle Trevor put "invisible locks" on the door, so Rita stormed to her room.

At the same time, Michael was sprinkling rose petals on a hotel bed and awaiting Rita's arrival. He called his father to brag that he and Rita were at a hotel and very much in love, so George asked his son to put her on the phone. After claiming that she was in the shower and then watching two episodes of E! True Hollywood Story with his father over the phone, Michael finally admitted that she wasn’t there. And she still wasn’t there the next morning when Michael and George awoke, phones still to their ears.

Michael drove to Wee Britain to call off the wedding. He asked Rita to tell him to his face why she never showed, but she said the invisible locks made it impossible to open the door. So Michael decided to scale the fire escape to rescue the beautiful, sweet mentally challenged woman he had fallen in love with without realizing she was mentally challenged. Pulling her through the window, Michael then used Buster’s hook on the overhead Poppins wire and, with Rita on his back, gently descended to the ground. And so, reunited with Rita, Michael told his parents he’d be getting married tomorrow.

But that’s when George and Lucille had a surprise visitor, Uncle Trevor. He was looking for Rita, adamantly declaring that she wasn’t getting married. That there was no way Michael was getting her millions simply because she was mentally challenged. George and Lucille focused more on the millions part. Uncle Trevor went on to explain that Rita owned all of Wee Britain, as well the Wee Britain in Cleveland, which Uncle Trevor feared she might lose if the plans for her idea of a floating town, Sea Britain, came through.

George said that Michael wasn’t after her money, and Lucille remarked that Michael probably didn’t even know about her condition. Uncle Trevor admitted that most Yanks are fooled by her accent, and the plastic surgery Rita recently had also masked her condition (the show cuts to a shot of Charlize Theron from Monster). Uncle Trevor vowed to stop this wedding, even if he had to search every hotel in town. George and Lucille directed Uncle Trevor to Legoland. But when he left, they said they had 24 hours to find Michael and Rita and get them married.

Later that night, Michael was at the hotel with his bride-to-be. She told him she was ready for sexual relations, then brought out her Bumpaddle paddle. But then George Michael knocked on the door. George Michael struggled with his words at first, then finally told his father he had been videotaping Rita lately. He showed Michael footage of Rita eating the plastic fruit in the model home. Repeatedly. Michael finally realized that Rita was a few steps slow, then thought back on the mountain of evidence he had missed over the past weeks.

Back in the room, Rita was ready for their adult fun, but Michael was now trying to find a way out. He suggested waiting until after they were married. The next morning, however, as Michael prepared to let Rita down gently, he was surprised by his family, which was throwing him a surprise wedding. Lucille drummed up excitement for the day, but when George made an aside about Rita being retarded, Larry the surrogate repeated it. Michael couldn’t believe his family would stoop so low, then realized Rita must be rich. George fired Larry. Michael caught up with Rita to set everything straight.

He explained that things couldn’t work between them and she realized she had to go back to England with Uncle Trevor. After a sad goodbye, Rita walked away over the pool. Michael asks G. O. B. if that was a part of his magic trick but he says no. In the "next time" segment G.O.B. reveals, "It's my illusion!" He then accidentally sets Tobias on fire.



Recurring themes[]


  • Alice in Wonderland - Michael refers to Rita and Lindsay as Tweedledee and Tweedledum (identical characters from Alice in Wonderland) when they enter the house dressed alike. There is a double-meaning with this joke, as Rita is referred to as Tweedledum by Michael. The fact that he calls her a name with the word "dumb" in it is an inadvertent jab at Rita's intelligence from an unwitting Michael. The narrator comments on this, saying, "Michael didn't mean it in that way. How could he? He didn't even know."
  • Being There - The ending to this episode heavily references the Peter Sellers film Being There, in which a mentally disabled man walks across the water, not knowing he can't. The plot of Being There also concerns the political elite mistaking the man's limited cognitive functions for words of wisdom.
  • Blossom - George watches an E! True Hollywood Story that appears to be about the star actress of the show, Mayim Bialik, judging from his comment, "Wow, that Blossom really blew up, huh?"
  • Deliverance - Rita is shown playing the banjo much like the boy, Lonny, in the film.
  • E! True Hollywood Story - Michael and George watch two E! True Hollywood Stories while on the phone, waiting for Rita to show up.
  • Hot Potato - The song that Rita plays in the stair car is "Hot Potato", by popular children's performers The Wiggles.
  • Howard Johnsons - When George said, "cheap waitress at a Hojos", he was referring to the Howard Johnson chain of restaurants. Lucille retorted with, "It was Stuckeys", referring to a roadside convenience store chain.
  • Monster - The photo of Rita before getting plastic surgery is in fact a photo of Charlize Theron as serial killer Aileen Wuornos, an Oscar-winning role that Theron played in the movie Monster.
  • Mr. Roboto - Buster dancing to Styx’s "Mr. Roboto" (“Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto”) is a reference to Tony Hale’s early work in a commercial for the 1999 Volkswagen Golf where he’s seen dancing and singing to the same song. Tony Hale's Volkswagen Golf commercial on YouTube.
  • Parliament - As a test of Rita's intelligence, Michael asks her how many Houses of Parliament there are in the British government. She responds with seven, Michael says, "Does sound about right" and the narrator twice interjects and says that there are actually three. This is reiterated later by George-Michael. In fact the Parliament is composed of two chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords.
  • Tiny Teddy - When Rita refers to her stuffed animal as a "tiny teddy (bear)" he thinks she is referring to the lingerie known as a teddy.

Callbacks/running jokes[]

  • Cuter If They Were Younger - As George Michael is showing Michael the tape proving Rita is mentally handicapped, he says it would be cute if it was someone much younger (because she was eating plastic fruit). But as he is trying to show it the video of his Star Wars training shows up. What George Michael said about Rita can also be applied to his awkward video.
  • All You Need Is Smiles - The song that plays during the "Bumpaddle" and "Real Cricket" magazine displays is a British version of "All You Need is Smiles", the song Oscar played (and had written) in "Whistler's Mother".
  • Banners - The banner at Michael's wedding reads "Michael Love Marry". This is a continuation of the poor-grammar "*blank* Love *blank*" banners, first seen with a "Family Love Michael" banner in "Forget-Me-Now". This is accompanied by G.O.B.'s equally poorly constructed line "Check out banner, Michael!".
  • Candy beans - The Narrator calls the mini-bar treat a “$15 thing of candy beans,” a callback to "For British Eyes Only" when he refers to the treat Michael's eating as a "thing of candy beans". Candy beans are a recurring product on the show, first mentioned in "Switch Hitter".
  • Club Sauce - G.O.B. mentions “club sauce” to cover accidentally revealing a club in his card trick. Club sauce was first mentioned in "Burning Love".
    • This is the first instance where G.O.B. tries to tell a story by revealing cards, only to accidentally reveal the wrong one and struggle to cover it up. This happens again later in "Exit Strategy".
  • Come on! - Michael delivers the catchphrase upon discovering that local calls from the hotel are $2.95 a minute.
  • Her? - When Michael announces that he's getting married to Rita, Lucille asks, "Her?"
    • This more specifically references the episode "Notapusy", when George-Michael is telling Michael about Ann's entrance into a beauty pageant. Michael asks "Her?" as he always does, until he learns that it is an Inner-Beauty pageant, at which point he says "There it is."
  • Hop-ons - Michael uses Buster's hook to help Rita escape from her apartment by zip-lining. As she's climbing out of the window he tells her, "Hop on!"
  • Horny - Rita tells Michael, “Rita corny,” a play on George's “Daddy horny” line from "Visiting Ours".
  • "I've made a huge mistake" - Michael utters G.O.B.'s trademark line after George Michael convinces him that Rita is mentally challenged.
  • Incest - Trevor tells Rita, "It’s not your fault your parents were cousins, but here we are." connecting her mental disorder with being the product of incest. This was foreshadowed in "For British Eyes Only", when the Narrator says that if George Michael and Maeby ever had a child, it would be stupid.
  • Legoland - In order to throw Trevor off the trail in his quest to prevent Michael and Rita's wedding, the family tells him that the couple has gone to LegoLand.
    • Uncle Trevor is seen wearing a Legoland shirt in the episode as well, having taken George and Lucille's fake tip-off that Rita and Michael were headed there.
  • Lighter fluid - This is the third episode where G.O.B. accidentally squirts lighter fluid from his wrist instead of doing the fireball trick, the first two times being in "Burning Love" and "Sword of Destiny". When it happened in those episodes, G.O.B. still tried to pass it off as a trick by saying "But where did the lighter fluid come from", which nobody bought. However, this time, when he squirts Rita, Rita herself asks "Where ever did it come from?"
  • Pop-Pop - When Rita refers to having sexual relations as "pop pop", Uncle Trevor responds that "the mere fact that" she refers to it as pop pop shows that she is not yet ready. This is exactly the same response Michael gives George Michael during a scene in the episode "Good Grief" in which George Michael confesses to his father that he has "Pop pop" (the family nickname for George Bluth) in the attic.
    • However later in the episode Rita tells Michael that she wants sexual relations and he replies with "the mere fact that" she calls it that shows that she is ready.
  • Merry Poppuns - Michael is hit by the Poppuns for a third time, the first two times being in "For British Eyes Only" and "Forget-Me-Now".
  • Star Wars Kid - When George Michael shows Michael the video of Rita attempting to eat the plastic fruit at the model home, the feed cuts out, and we again see George Michael's staged lightsaber fight (first seen in "The Immaculate Election"). George Michael comments that the family needs to buy a new tape, citing that "they're not that expensive".
  • Is Tobias gay? - Several jokes are made at Tobias' questionable sexuality.
    • Tobias thinks the British are saying he’s a tourist when they call him a “poofter,” which, in reality, is slang for a homosexual.
    • Tobias is in a wheelchair, holding a video camera. When Michael asks what he's doing in a wheelchair, Tobias says that it's a dolly to help videotape his nuptials. Michael realizes that Tobias is pointing the camera at his crotch, and tells Tobias that he doesn't need any footage of Michael's "nuptials".
  • Tricks v. Illusions - Although G.O.B. corrects Michael with "illusions" at the end, G.O.B. referred to them as "tricks" several times throughout the episode, a thread leading back to the pilot highlighting G.O.B.'s short attention span and hypocrisy.
  • Winking - Lindsay does Lucille's signature wink that Michael was so horrified by in the "Pilot", "The One Where Michael Leaves" and "For British Eyes Only". As soon as Lindsay does the wink, Michael tells her not to do it.
    • Later, when Rita is trying to seduce Michael, she does the wink too.
  • "You're such a..." - Rita saying to Michael "Oh Michael, you're such a grown-up" mirrors her line "Oh Michael, you're such a [bleep]" from "Notapusy".
  • Zipline - Michael and Rita escape the apartment using Buster's hook as a zipline, just as Buster used his hook to zipline to George Michael in "Motherboy XXX".

Hidden/background jokes[]

  • Bubuman - Michael mentions that Rita refers to a doctor as a "bubuman". Rita is in fact calling the doctor a "Boo-boo man." Michael incorrectly assumes that Rita's childish term is, in fact, a commonplace Britishism. Similarly, using a commonly cited example of a Britishism, she refers to elevators as "go up boxes" instead of the correct term, "lift".
  • Legoland - Early in the episode, George and Lucille lie to Uncle Trevor by telling him to look for Rita and Michael at Legoland. Later, at the end of the episode Uncle Trevor can be seen wearing a Legoland shirt underneath his jacket.
  • Real Cricket Magazine - The batsman on the cover Real Cricket Magazine is holding a paddle in the same pose as on Bumpaddle Magazine. Both magazines cost £12.82.
  • Rita - When George Michael tells his father that Rita is mentally handicapped, he stutters, "I think she might be ... reta- retarded", where "reta-" is pronounced as "Rita", indicating that "Rita" is a back-formation of retarded.
  • Scary Movie 2 - Tobias' insistence on getting back in his wheelchair alone is a reference to David Cross' role in Scary Movie 2 as paraplegic Dwight Hartman, who refuses the aid of others.
  • See Britain - Rita's idea for "Sea Britain" is a variation of "Wee Britain" in the show. Both fictional place names are references to the UK's successful "See Britain" advertising campaign. Ironically, the real Great Britain is an island, and is in theory, already a "Sea Britain".
  • The Ocean Walker - This is the first mention of Maeby's film project The Ocean Walker. Although Maeby says she's going to have to stop production on The Ocean Walker, we see an online banner advertising it in "S.O.B.s".

Foreshadowing/future references[]

  • Hair plugs - Tobias continues to get sicker from his hair plugs in this episode, falling over and being confined to a wheelchair (though denying there's anything wrong with him).
  • Wedding Nightmare - Throughout this episode, the wedding incident at the end is repeatedly foreshadowed in several of G.O.B.'s lines, followed by dramatic music. However, the foreshadowing is in fact used to mislead the audience into thinking that something horrible might happen to Rita, rather than Tobias.


→ See more quotes from "The Ocean Walker" at Transcript of The Ocean Walker.


  • This episode marks the last appearance of Charlize Theron and Dave Thomas as Rita and Uncle Trevor (although still photos of Rita later appear in "Prison Break-In" and "Development Arrested").
  • Bob Einstein's character, Larry Middleman, is fired by George in this episode, but he appears again as a surrogate for someone else in "S.O.B.s".


  • Cameraman - At the 07:26 mark when Michael goes to sit down with Rita, a cameraman can briefly be seen on the left of the screen.
  • Continuity - At the end of "Mr. F", Michael and Rita leave to get married before Trevor finds out, and Trevor figures this out from the note that Rita leaves. However, at the start of this episode, Michael and Rita are no longer on the run from Trevor, and Trevor appears shocked when Rita tells him that she's going to marry Michael.
  • Factual Error - The Narrator, as well as George Michael, comment that three houses make up British parliament. In fact it is only two, the House of Commons and the House of Lords. The writers may have gotten confused by the fact that there are three components of Parliament, but the third one is not a "house", it's the King/Queen-in-Parliament.
  • Factual Error - George Michael says that it is illegal for cousins to marry in California. in fact, first cousins are allowed to marry in California, and later when he and Maeby accidentally marry in "Fakin' It" the marriage is not automatically considered void due to consanguinity.
  • Star Wars Kid - Unfortunately, the video tape with George Michael on it fell into the hands of the FBI at the end of "Sword of Destiny". It seems unlikely that the Bluths would have gotten it back, or have another copy.


→ See 45 pictures from The Ocean Walker at Images from The Ocean Walker.

1. "The Cabin Show"
2. "For British Eyes Only"
3. "Forget-Me-Now"
4. "Notapusy"
5. "Mr. F"

6. "The Ocean Walker"
7. "Prison Break-In"
8. "Making a Stand"
9. "S.O.B.s"

10. "Fakin' It"
11. "Family Ties"
12. "Exit Strategy"
13. "Development Arrested"

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