Arrested Development Season 1, Episode 2: Top Banana - Recap

The local news station reports that the Bluth Banana Stand burned down. To reveal how it happened, we flashback to a week earlier. Michael visits his father at prison to ask for some papers from him so he can free some money for the family. George explains that "there's always money in the Banana Stand" and introduces his cellmate, T-Bone, asking Michael to give him a job since he's getting out that day. Frustrated by his father's noncooperation, Michael declines. George Michael is still having trouble forgetting his crush on his cousin, Maeby, so he asks for more hours at the Banana Stand in the hopes of spending more time away from her. Michael responds by promoting George Michael to manager and gives him the green light to hire an employee. Seeing Tobias, Lindsay and Gob still lazing on the couch, Michael asks whether they are attempting to find work. Lindsay says her job is supporting her husband, so Michael, wanting to set an example, has his son hire Maeby as his Banana Stand employee. Maeby spends her first day taking money from the register and, after George Michael explains that the cash in the register must match the number of bananas, throwing out bananas so the numbers will match. Meanwhile, Michael drops in on Lucille in his quest to locate the flight records he needed from George Sr. She knows they're in a storage unit, but keeps quiet about any other details. She does, however, ask if Michael can give his brother, Gob a job to make him feel important.

The next day, Tobias, motivated by Michael's call to action, looks for acting work without much luck. Michael sees him despondent that he can't find work, and points out a flyer advertising open auditions. Tobias snatches it and Michael spots another flyer that gives him an idea. He calls his mother and says the SEC wants to drop by and check if she recently bought any big ticket items with company money. He then follows Luz, the maid, as she is sent to hide the evidence in the storage unit. Meanwhile, Tobias has arranged an audition for a local commercial and Lindsay goes along for support. But when Roger Danish, the casting director, spots Lindsay, whom he knows from high school, she gets the role. At the same time, Michael arrives at the storage unit only to find it in flames.

At home, Lindsay giddily informs Michael of her new acting role and Tobias tries to put on a brave face, then excuses himself to cry in the shower. Michael confides to Lindsay that he thinks George Sr. is trying to run the company from prison, so he's heading off to confront him. On the way out, he gives Gob a very important job: mailing a letter to the insurance company. Michael tells a dubious Gob that it's so important, he can't trust a mailman with it. Feeling spurned, Gob defiantly hurls the letter into the sea. Michael then confronts George Sr. about the burned down storage unit, telling him that he's not giving T-Bone a job and he won't let his father run the company from prison. His father brushes him off, saying again that there's always money in the banana stand. Michael informs him George Michael is running the banana stand and T-Bone goes to work with George Michael and Maeby at the stand. Maeby seizes this opportunity to sneak off with George Michael for dinner, where he begins to add up the numbers and panics when he realizes his dad will obviously know they've been stealing money. Maeby tells him to relax and just figure out what George Sr. would do in this situation.

Michael drops by the Banana Stand and sees T-Bone at the helm. Michael asks T-Bone if he burned down the storage unit and T-Bone replies "Most definitely." Frustrated, Michael heads to the beach to think; Gob confronts him about being treated like a "goofball", Michael commiserates with Gob, telling him that George Sr. still treats him like an employee. At that moment, Maeby calls Michael to inform him George Michael is about to do something irresponsible. Michael arrives at the Banana Stand to find his son crumpling up newspaper around the stand to use as kindling. George Michael admits that he screwed up the Banana Stand and apologizes, but thinking of an opportunity to take back some control, Michael tells him to light it up anyway. Later, at prison, Michael gloats that he torched the Banana Stand and George should remember who's in charge now. Irate, George Sr. tells his son that the walls of the stand were lined with $250,000 in cash, and demands to know how much more clearly he could have told him that "there's always money in the Banana Stand."


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