Exit Strategy (Arrested Development) - Synopsis


Michael Bluth is preparing his sister for her upcoming deposition in the case against their father. But she can not focus on the task at hand, as she had a lot to drink the night before. So did Tobias, who was trying to fortify himself for a sexual encounter with his wife of many years. But Tobias has a low tolerance, so Lindsay finished the bottle of vodka herself, thinking vodka goes bad once it is opened.

Tobias announces that he cannot be deposed, as he has been called by the prosecution, which asked for old photos and documents. Tobias happily grabs them from the model home's secret room and puts them in a box, thinking that he is auditioning for a role on a new CBS drama.

In the kitchen, George Michael nervously tells the family that Maeby's birthday is coming up. He suggests throwing her a surprise party, an event he has already informed Maeby about after she complained that her parents probably did not even know her birthday was on the horizon. Tobias decides on the spot to go buy Maeby a present.

Then G.O.B. enters and informs Michael he is going to be performing in a USO show in Iraq. Considering that their father is being tried for treason for building homes in Iraq, Michael thinks this is a fairly bad idea. But G.O.B. insists he is going, despite his brother's protests and he had been doing his Christian magic act, including his walking on water and wine into water illusions.

Later that day, Tobias meets with Wayne Jarvis. Again, this is not an audition, despite what Tobias thinks - something that Jarvis coldly reminds him of. Jarvis offers Tobias a deal if he can put George Sr. behind bars. But because Jarvis pans Tobias' acting, he angrily turns down their offer. But as he waits for the elevator, a flyer catches Tobias' eye: an advertisement for a scrap booking class. He thinks this will make a perfect gift for Maeby, not knowing the ad was actually a trap set by Jarvis.

Meanwhile, Michael goes to confront his father about G.O.B.'s trip to Iraq. George Sr. explains that he needs a way to get off the hook. Buster went into a coma, Lucille was taking Lindsay to rehab, he was running out of options. Michael complains that he will have to ask the prosecution for a delay, and then warns his family not to make a liar out of him by skipping rehab.

But Buster finds his coma increasingly hard to withstand. His mother offers his body to doctors, dentists and beauticians in training to practice very painful techniques on his supposedly unconscious body. But he endures it all for Adelaide, the nurse who fell in love with his limp form. When she tells Buster she wants to hear him say anything, even if that would mean he was faking the coma, he says "anything". Adelaide slaps him, calls him a coward and a faker and berates herself for allowing herself to fall in love with a comatose man. Buster tries to follow her as she runs off, but he has not used his legs in three weeks.

Michael meets with Wayne Jarvis, assuring him that no family members is in hiding. Jarvis informs him that surveillance tapes show that the two women who checked in to Shady Palms under Lindsey and Lucille's names are clearly not his relatives. Buster had made fifteen phone calls to radio stations while supposedly in a coma. Lastly, G.O.B. is in Iraq, being held in jail as an insurgent.

Michael is called to sign Buster out of the hospital. Buster is despondent over Adelaide calling him a coward. Michael tells him that he has to travel to Iraq to get G.O.B. out of prison. Buster begs Michael to let him come along. He can prove to Adelaide that he is a hero, and use his limited Army training and Arabic language skills to boot.

The depositions are delayed, but the prosecution is about to get a bagful of evidence, thanks to Tobias falling for their scrap booking sting. Meanwhile, Lindsay and Lucille are at a spa in the desert, avoiding both rehab and their depositions. Unfortunately, it is a dry resort.

Michael and Buster check out of the hospital. Adelaide overhears Buster mention their trip to Iraq, which makes her think Buster is a hero again. After saying goodbye to Adelaide, Michael and Buster leave for Iraq, on "Operation Hot Brother," as Buster calls it. As they leave, George Sr. is admitted to the hospital, now in a fake coma of his own.

George Michael, meanwhile, gets a hold of Maeby's address book to invite all of her friends to her secret Sweet 16. And the guys finally get to Iraq, arriving at the prison the Americans are training the Iraqis to run. G.O.B. is thrilled to see his brothers and informs Michael that he was arrested for doing street magic. But what got him in trouble was doing "the late, great Jesus' biggest illusion, the 'Burning Bush.'" When the bush caught fire, the crowd began chanting "Burn Bush!" and soon it looked like G.O.B. was leading an anti-American rally.

G.O.B. confesses to Michael that George Sr. asked him to burn a few model homes in Sadr City if he had the time, but now he is ready to go. Michael tells him he was deemed an enemy combatant, and perhaps is going anywhere for a while. But they are actually released quite easily, which arouses Michael's suspicions. Michael then decides to go check out one of the model homes in question.

There, they find somebody the U.S. government has been able to depose, one of Saddam's many body doubles who lives with many other body doubles. The men are quite polite, so Michael offers to fix their air conditioning. But first, he decides to see if this model home also has a secret room. It does, and inside, Michael finds a bombshell: an actual bombshell.

Back at the American model home, none of the invitees show for Maeby's birthday party. The invitations reading, "Guess Who's Turning 16?" have exposed Maeby's secret and cost her the studio job. Alone, Maeby and George Michael help themselves to some wine, not aware that it is the fake wine from G.O.B.'s magic show.

Back in Iraq, the Bluth boys stare at the nuclear warhead in the secret room. Their American cab driver, who is actually an undercover CIA agent by the name of Richard Shaw, comes in and busts them, which explains why it was so easy to get G.O.B. out of prison. In fact, they had given G.O.B. multiple chances to break out. Then one of the fake Saddams points out the warhead was a fake made by Homefill, the same company that made fake home decorations for the Bluth model home. But inside the hollow shell is a U.S. government tape recorder. Richard Shaw calls Langley, where he learns the government got George Sr. to build houses in Iraq so they could wire them.

Back home, George Michael and Maeby are "drunk" on fake wine. George Michael tries to console Maeby by telling her Lucille once confided that Lindsay never got pregnant. Maeby is touched by her cousin's kindness in arranging a surprise party for her and, because of this, as well as the possibility that they may not be cousins, the two end up passionately kissing and finally reach "second base".

In Iraq, Michael finally learns that his father actually was a patsy, used by the government through a British building company, just like George Sr. had always claimed. Unfortunately, now that they know this, the CIA agent is going to have to kill them. However, Buster has already sent cell phone pictures of everything to Adelaide. Michael hints that the pictures can be kept secret if they were set free. Richard Shaw agrees to let them go, and now in a bargaining position, the Bluth boys are able to negotiate direct flights home, and that the treason charges against George Sr. are dropped. And so, with Operation Hot Brother a success, they return home.

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