Arrested Development Review: "A New Start" (Episode 4.05)

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<i>Arrested Development</i> Review: "A New Start" (Episode 4.05)

Tobias Funke wasn’t even supposed to be a main character. We’re glad David Cross blew (blue?) Mitchell Hurwitz away with his performance resulting in the analrapist-turned-actor getting upgraded from a guest spot to one of the most beloved characters on the show.

“A New Start” is coupled perfectly with the Lindsay-focused episode “Indian Takers”—as it should be. Their stories are intertwined, and his episode was a welcome reminder of how enjoyable it is to see Dr. Funke on screen. His double entendres are back and better than ever. So is his oblivious outlook on life. While other characters may have lost a step in the past seven years, Tobias and his Birkenstocks haven’t missed a beat. The character benefited from never having too much weight to carry in the show’s original run; he was just an added bonus. But he can clearly carry his own episode.

Like Lindsay, Tobias decides to read Eat, Pray, Love but decides to only read two-thirds of it. The result is the same: he needs to head to India to find himself. If you didn’t call that he was the “annoying lady” on the plane from Lindsay’s episode, then you need to pay better attention. His time in the exotic country was vastly different than his better half’s. Instead of meeting Lindsay’s “worst fucking shaman,” Tobias encounters the same terrible doctor from the original run—where he goes through revelations of his own.

In America he forms a relationship with DeBrie Bardeaux, a recovering drug addict who once starred in the original Fantastic Four. The one before Jessica Alba was wildly miscast. They take advantage of her acting experience (not the straight-bait porn films) and dress as Sue Storm and Johnny Storm: “The Human Flamer.” This is where the episode lulls a bit. The reoccurring “you got served” plot could have been cut if the show ran 22 instead of the 30 minutes each episode runs (something that is weakening each episode), but it reminds us all how oblivious Tobias is and offers a few awkward puns, but nothing too vital.

One aspect of the show that was hilarious was the family admitting they all believe Tobias to be gay, which is flabbergasting to him. Throughout the original run, the family never let on, but now it’s clear that everyone sees his sexual tendencies except him.

While that plot itself was to keep the new season wrapped within itself with lots of references to the other episodes, the real winner of this episode was the To Entrap a Local Predator: Orange County plotline. Throughout the episode Tobias’ mantra is “a new start.” He even goes as far as to get a license plate that reads “A NU START.” The only problem is that this keeps being read as “ANUS TART” which was the best Tobias-is-gay reference thus far this season. The episode is bookended by Tobias being the target of Predator where he honestly thinks he is going to reconcile with his daughter, but because of how he speaks the host, John Beard, believes he is trying to seduce a 15-year-old. It was absurd and pushed the boundaries of going just a tad too far, but we all know Tobias is too daft to be an actual pedophile, so it never actually crosses the line.

If one thing was proven during “A New Start” it’s that Tobias can still get his rocks off in all the right moments.

Stray observations:
- The Shemale shirt returns!
- “It’s just I’ve got a bit of a stick up my bunghole about what I’ve now found is a running joke about me.”
- Feinberg, Feinberg, Feinberg & Feinberg
- Tobias watching just three of the 10 straight-bait pornos