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Far From Over

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Tony Wonder was in bed with Sally Sitwell. "Are you sure your father isn't suspicious?"

"I'm sure," she said as she smoked a cigarette. "He totally thinks you're gay. That's why he's hiring you to perform at Lindsay's birthday party. He wants you to do your whole 'coming out of the closet' act in front of Lindsay's husband Tobias, so that he'll be inspired to come out as gay after all these years. Then they'll get a divorce and she'll be happy."

"Okay, that makes sense." Tony smoked the cigarette too. "So that means your dad doesn't know that I'm secretly not gay and dating you." Tony had rebranded himself as a gay magician recently, and he hoped that his new magic act would be successful enough for him to fund a movie remake starring himself in Doug Henning's role. Tony wouldn't get to star in a musical unless he was gay, like all the other fake gay celebrities in Hollywood.

Sally said, "Yeah, and he thinks that I'm going to be all nice and sisterly to Lindsay when she comes to our house for the big birthday party he's throwing for her. He thinks that I'm not upset about him taking over the Bluth Company and getting closer to her. It was shocking enough to find out that Lindsay's adopted, and that she was almost a Sitwell."

"That's gotta be rough," he said, as she took back the cigarette. They kept passing it back and forth between them.

"It's so fucked up. This is why, when I was a kid, Dad always compared me to Lindsay in school and elections and charity work. He hated her showboat dad, but he always had a soft spot for her. He said that I shouldn't make fun of Lindsay's nose or weight, even though it turns out that he knew the reason why all along, and never exposed the truth for 40 years! It's twisted!"

Tony nodded. "It's like how my dad always compared me to my older brother all the time." Tony's older brother died, and (before he came out as gay) Tony slept with his brother's widow as a way to get revenge on his dead brother for all the competitions he lost. Tony still had a younger brother who annoyed him, though.

Sally said, "He still loves her more than me, and now he's trying to get closer to her by taking over the Bluth Company. I'll teach him and Lindsay a lesson. I mean, the nerve of him to say that I shouldn't be jealous now that I know that Lindsay's three years older than me and should have been my sister. Plus her name was Nellie! We were gonna be Nellie and Sally Sitwell! How horrible."

Tony shrugged and asked, "What's wrong with the name Nellie?"

"It's stupid and old fashioned and not elegant. It was the name of that spoiled girl on Little House on the Prairie." She laughed. "So I guess it's kind of appropriate, given that Lindsay's such an entitled princess."

Tony had never met Lindsay Bluth himself, though he had heard plenty about her from Sally, who had a longstanding rivalry with her. Sally even showed him an old newspaper article criticizing the entire family as "Cold Hard Bluths." (The article had been written by their former publicist Jessie Bowers, in revenge for Michael Bluth dumping her. In retaliation, the Bluths started a brawl in a restaurant, and Lindsay kicked Jessie's ass.) Tony however disagreed with what the article said about Gob, calling him "a joke" and a "failed magician."

Last year, Tony had met both Gob and Buster at the Gothic Castle, and he wanted them to be on his Use Your Allusion DVD. (Well he wanted Buster only when he thought Gob was just the assistant.) "Gob had a pretty good Sword of Destiny illusion. If only Buster didn't cut off his fingers for real." Gob couldn't recover his manual dexterity in time to be on the DVD.

Sally was annoyed by the change of subject. "What are you bringing up Gob again for? He might have been a big fan of your tricks or whatever, but it was probably just a fake act for his magic career. He was using you, like he was using his brother Buster's fake hand. Don't let the Bluths fool you. I thought that Jessie was wrong about Michael too, but then I dated him myself and saw what a selfish jerk he is."

Michael had tried to hide Sally Sitwell from his son George Michael, and he even denied that they were dating, after they had already been on eight dates. At that point, Sally had felt fairly serious about Michael emotionally, and it was why she put up with him being uptight in bed and never taking off his shirt. Michael was always looking for things to get in between them, and then he got crazy over his ex-girlfriend Maggie Lizer showing up pregnant; even though Maggie was a liar, Michael was convinced that she was having his baby. Sally dumped Michael for her own sanity and realized that the newspaper article about the Bluths must be correct, even about Michael, the supposedly good son.

Tony argued, "But your dad liked Gob for a while and even hired him at Sitwell Housing." The way Sally told the story, Stan Sitwell only hired Gob to play on the softball team and win the game against the Bluth Company. "He was using Gob, and then later he stole Gob's girlfriend Lucille Austero. So maybe Gob's just another victim of his dad and your dad."

Sally was getting fed up. "Look I don't care about Gob! He can do whatever he wants as long as he doesn't help my dad try to adopt Lindsay and put her in the will." Sally had overheard her father discussing it with their lawyer when Stan Sitwell was supposed to be arranging things for Sally to take over as CEO of Sitwell Housing.

"Okay," Tony said, relieved that Gob wouldn't be harmed by Sally's plans to sabotage Lindsay. Buster seemed to be fairly innocent as well, but lately Tony was more impressed by Gob, who did a USO tour in Iraq and got arrested. Since Tony didn't know about the CIA stuff, Tony thought that Gob escaping from the prison in Iraq was an impressive magic feat.

Sally said impatiently, "Now come on, help me figure out how I can foul things up with Lindsay and my father! Can we ruin the birthday party somehow? Like plaster a giant image of Lindsay with her old nose somewhere in front of all the party guests? But my dad might figure out that I did it. Or maybe you can screw up your illusion--"

"Sally!" He was shocked that she would suggest that, at such an important public event.

"All right. Then maybe we just create a diversion and lock Tobias in a closet somewhere so he misses seeing your gay magic act. Then he'll stay married to Lindsay and keep making her miserable. Also, I think my dad is trying to make Tobias his mole to spy on George Bluth, so maybe I can turn him against my dad somehow."

"I guess so," Tony said. So they discussed how to get Tobias alone and trapped during the party on Saturday.

At the model home, Lindsay and George Sr. were having breakfast in the dining room, and he gave her instructions on how to spy on Sitwell. "And if you can't remember everything he says, use this tape recorder, then play it back for me when you get home."

Then the front door opened and Tobias finally returned from Hollywood. (He ended up staying overnight at a motel.) Tobias was beaming about being cast as a home school teacher in the Bluth movie. Waving around the script and research materials he'd been given, he announced to his wife, "Huzzah! I got the part."

"Part?" But then Lindsay remembered. "Oh right, you had an audition." Tobias had told her about this on the phone when she told him about the kids running away from home.

George Sr. rolled his eyes and mumbled under his breath that Tobias was a useless Nellie.

Lindsay pulled Tobias over to the table. "Never mind that. Did you find the kids in L.A.?"

He sat down with them. "Yes and no. It turns out that Maeby works at the same studio where I used to be a security guard. It's called Tantamount--"

"Tantamount Studios, part of Imagine Entertainment," George Sr. grumbled impatiently. Ice the bounty hunter had already reported to him where Maeby's car went this morning, according to the tracker he placed.

Lindsay asked her husband, "Well, what happened at Tantamount?"

Tobias said, "When I got there yesterday, the kids weren't there, but I talked to Maeby's boss, Mort Myers, and he told me that they were on their honeymoon."

George said, "Yeah they stayed the night at some hotel and must have consummated their marriage." Now the kids couldn't get an annulment. On the bright side, though, George Michael had lost his virginity and became a man. If only George Sr. could be sure that Maeby wouldn't get pregnant!

"Consummated it?" Tobias thought that George Michael was afraid of sex. "Are you sure?"

"Yes, I'm sure! I had a bounty hunter following them." He turned to Lindsay, "You see how useless he is? It was redundant sending him to look for the kids."

Tobias protested, "I wasn't redundant! I found out that Maeby is making a movie about the family, and I got a part."

"A movie? You mean like a feature-length Scandalmakers?"

Lindsay was confused. "Wait, that's the part you had an audition for?"

"Oh no, the first audition was something else. I didn't book that. But when I got to Tantamount, Mort told me about the movie about Maeby's life story, and he said that I could have a part as a home school teacher. They would write it especially for me!" He felt very proud of this, having no idea that Mort Myers was just trying to appease him and also use him to fake good school grades for Maeby, so that the lawyers could get her a work permit.

"Great." Lindsay shrugged, and privately believed that Tobias would get fired from this role, as he was from many other acting jobs. "What about the kids?" she asked again.

"Well I stayed in town, hoping to see Maeby and George Michael this morning when they were supposed to arrive. But security wouldn't let me back on the lot, even when I flashed my old badge. I called Mort Myers, and he told me that Maeby and George Michael were still on their honeymoon, and then they would go househunting, so they wouldn't be around for weeks. He said I should go back home and start learning my lines. He gave me all this research stuff too so I could get into character."

(Tobias didn't know that Mort had lied. Maeby had already arrived at Tantamount that morning and didn't want to see her father until the birthday party, so she asked Mort to get rid of Tobias. Mort didn't like Tobias either, and he said they would make sure that he could only come in on the day they filmed his scene.)

Lindsay asked, "So you didn't see them at all?"

"No, I'm sorry."

George Sr. tsked at the useless Nellie, and he suspected that Maeby deliberately kept Tobias out, for Ice had said that her car definitely drove to Tantamount Studios. "Lindsay, you'll have to try to call the kids again, or maybe I can get Ice to shake down this Mort Meyers guy."

Lindsay sighed at the thought of Ice. "Maybe he can shake me down too."

Tobias felt jealous about his wife wanting the bounty hunter again, but he wasn't sure anymore if they were still doing the open marriage thing. Maybe he could impress her by taking her to the studio when he filmed his movie scene. For now, Tobias looked around and asked, "Where's Michael? I forgot to come back to give him an analrapy session after he got out of jail."

"Michael's not welcome here anymore." George explained that he kicked Michael out of the house, for trying to have sex with Lindsay. "He's a sick bastard."

"Wait, what?" Tobias was stunned.

Lindsay argued, "Dad, it's not Michael's fault. I asked him to--" She broke off when she finally noticed Tobias's face, and she realized how selfish she had been to speak of Ice that way earlier. Although Lindsay knew that she couldn't have sex with her husband, she still loved him and didn't want to hurt him by mentioning her attempt to have an affair.

George had no such compunction. "You were just desperate and confused because you found out that you're adopted. Michael should know better, and you said he's been coming onto you for years before he ever knew you were adopted."

"What?" This was news to Tobias too.

Lindsay said uncomfortably, "He used to always call me beautiful when we were kids, and once he asked to stay in my room with me, when he was fighting with Gob." She shuddered. "But he's just lonely and afraid of girls, you know." She turned to her father and argued, "I can understand you making Michael move out of this house, but you can't just kick him out of the family, Daddy!"

"Yes, I can, and I don't appreciate you defying me and getting Buster and Oscar to let him move to the penthouse. That's my home! I've half a mind to go over there and throw them all out."

"No, Daddy!"

Then George Sr. called Buster to berate him, and he found out that Michael was not living at the penthouse anymore. He'd only stayed one night, and now he was moving in with Gob on the yacht. Now George was angry about Gob defying him. Why would nobody let him kick Michael out of the family?

Tobias could barely hear their argument anymore, and he muttered to himself, "So Michael's incestuous feelings go back to childhood. Hmm." Tobias still sort of hoped that his own psychiatric theory was right, that Michael was secretly attracted to him, though he didn't analyze why he wanted Michael to have the hots for him. He told himself that he just wanted to be right as a therapist.

Then Lindsay said she had to leave for work and spy on Sitwell, so she put the tape recorder in her purse and got up. But then she paused and kissed Tobias apologetically. "I'm sorry about Michael." She used the excuse that her father gave her. "I was just confused about my adoption and everything. I felt sorry for Michael too, because he was upset about the kids running away from home. I thought sex would make him feel better, but I didn't go through with it. It won't happen again." Actually, she still planned to try to seduce Ice, but she would keep it a secret from Tobias and anyone else in the family that might tell her husband.

Tobias felt better. "All right, Lindsay. Michael is indeed quite a mess."

George Sr. rolled his eyes, and he had to leave to meet with Lucille's new lawyer, John Haverstock.

Tobias stayed home to read his material and learn his lines as a home school teacher.

Meanwhile, Gob and Michael had a fun morning on the beach with Steve Holt. However, Michael had to warn Gob a couple of times not to try to rub sunblock on him, or otherwise get too close. They all built a sandcastle and discussed the fact that Lindsay was now the company president.

"Can you imagine what kind of houses she's going to build? Maybe one of those crazy ultra-green buildings made out of straw bales!"

Gob said, "Sitwell will give her all my great ideas. It'll be Fuck City!"

Michael laughed and shook his head.

Steve Holt asked about the magic show they were planning for Lindsay's birthday party at the model home. He wanted to get the details right so he wouldn't fail his father again.

Michael looked up from the sandcastle. "Oh you're having a birthday party for Lindsay too?"

Gob nodded and explained that Dad was trying to compete with Stan Sitwell's party. "But he said he wasn't going to invite you because you're out of the family." Gob felt rather sad about that; he wished Michael could come see his illusion.

Michael shrugged it off and said, "That's okay, Gob. I don't want to be invited there anyway. But that reminds me." He called Lindsay to get the details about the other party, at Sitwell's estate. "George Michael mentioned it to me on the phone. We made up yesterday."

Lindsay was still nervous about seeing him, though. "Oh, um, that's great that you made up with George Michael. Look, about the party, I-I don't think you should come. To Sitwell's or the one at the model home."

"What?" Michael was confused and hurt. "I know it's probably not my birthday too, but--"

"It's not that." She breezily mentioned that the PR campaign was about the new face of the Bluth Company, and with Michael being out on bail, it would look bad if he came; many of the party guests were investors and the press. "I mean, I'm not inviting your mother either."

"That's because Mom's in jail," he pointed out. "Come on, Lindsay! It would look even worse if your twin brother was not at your party. You're seriously trying to shun me?"

"But we're not technically twins. And they'll all know it from the press release. I'm sorry, Michael, but it--it's too soon. After what happened... Look, maybe as a birthday present to you, I can send flowers to Sally Sitwell for you, and you guys can make up."

Michael realized now why she was being a jerk; Lindsay still thought he was lusting after her. So he explained that he didn't want to see her or Sally Sitwell, just the kids. They were going to meet him there at Sitwell's, and Michael would give his son Tracey's wedding ring.

"Oh! That's so romantic." Lindsay felt relieved, so she agreed to let Michael come to the party. "But we can't be... seen together."

Michael rolled his eyes, though she couldn't see him. "I'm not going to come onto you, Lindsay. Just make sure that Dad doesn't make a scene if he sees me."

"Okay." So she told him she would send him an invitation with the details about the party at Sitwell's. "By the way, I heard from Buster that you're moving to Gob's yacht. Is that why you asked me to sign it over to him, so he can help you escape to Mexico?"

Michael said, "No, I can't skip town, Lindsay. I don't want to be a fugitive, and I want to be here in case George Michael decides to move home. But maybe I should get an apartment instead. What do you think? Can you help me?"

Gob looked annoyed and started to protest, "Stay with me, Mikey."

Michael hushed him.

Lindsay said, "I already helped you. I asked Buster and Oscar to let you move into the penthouse. Why didn't you stay there?"

Michael stammered for a bit, searching for an excuse. He couldn't tell her, "I can't stay there, or they'll find out I'm sleeping with Gob now." So he gave in and said, "Never mind. I guess I'll stay with Gob."

That made Gob feel better, though he was still worried.

Michael suggested that they leave the beach and have lunch now. He didn't want to get sunburned.

So Steve helped them pack up their beach stuff and they returned to the Camaro. They stopped at the yacht so Michael and Gob could change their clothes.

While the brothers were alone, Gob asked Michael why he kept talking about getting an apartment. "Stay with me."

Michael kissed him apologetically. "Gob, it's not you. I'm just worried about the police."

"I'll tell them you won't go anywhere. You're with me."

"You can't tell them about us."

Gob sighed. "I know. I just--" He touched Michael's face sadly. "I kinda wish I could tell Dad or something, just to spite him. He and Mom always tried to make us hate each other you know? But you don't, Mikey. You kinda like me." He wondered if Michael would say he loved him, if he dared ask.

Michael nodded and kissed him again. He pressed their foreheads together and thought of their fucked up childhood, with all the Boyfights, lessons, and lies. Their crazy family was the reason why they were so screwed up as brothers. Maybe it was also the reason Michael could never have a successful relationship, other than with his wife Tracey.

Soon Michael and Gob dressed and rejoined Steve for lunch. They went to Skip Church's Bistro. Michael's lawyer Jan Eagleman called him, though. She said that she found out that Michael moved to the yacht.

Apparently George Sr. got his wife's new lawyer John Haverstock to complain to the judge about the terms of Michael's bail. Since he didn't have a job anymore, and he was living on the yacht, that made him a flight risk. He should be sent back to jail.

"Oh no!" Michael couldn't believe his father was being this big of a jerk, and he told Gob what Jan said.

Gob took his hand and said they should definitely skip town now. Go hide out in Cabo.

Jan said, "No!" and insisted that Michael just move into the penthouse instead.

Michael said, "Fine, I'll move. But I can't go to the penthouse, Jan. I can't be with my family again right now. It's all awkward since the thing with Lindsay."

"Lindsay?" Also, she wondered why Michael was with Gob, if he couldn't be with family.

Michael uncomfortably told Jan about the incident where he almost had sex with Lindsay.

"Oh my God!" She was shocked.

Michael said, "But I didn't really mean it. I was just trying to scare her off. She has this crazy idea that I'm attracted to her and have been hitting on her since we were kids. But I was just trying to be nice to her when our mother teased her about her nose and her weight. It's just a horrible misunderstanding, but everybody else believes her instead of me."

"But Gob believes you?" Jan guessed. "That's why you moved in with him?"

"Yeah. So I'll find someplace else to live. I'll check into a hotel now until I find something more permanent okay?"

"Sure. It would help if you found a new job too."

Michael sighed, not in the mood to find a new job yet after leaving his old stressful job. "All right. Maybe I can help Gob with his magic career or something. Get him into the Gothic Castle again." It might give them an excuse to spend time together.


So Michael hung up and talked things over with Gob, who was happy to include Michael in his own career. Then he wouldn't have to use Steve Holt for an assistant. Michael cleared his throat and told Gob to not be insensitive to Steve Holt. "That could be your gimmick. A father and son act, you know? We just gotta figure out how to make sure your tricks don't fail."

"Illusions, Michael. A trick is something a whore does for money."

"Okay, I know." Or maybe he could restart the Gobias Industries coffee shop idea with some money from Lindsay. Or the bee company.

Michael called a hotel to make a reservation, then after lunch, they went back to the yacht to get Michael's bags. It was a good thing that he hadn't unpacked yet. When they were alone again, he held Gob close and promised that they could be intimate again that night. Gob just had to come by secretly and leave before any maids or security people saw him. For the rest of the day, he could go hang out with Steve and work on their show for Lindsay's birthday party.

"Okay, Mikey. But we gotta get you an apartment so that we'll really have privacy."


They grabbed Michael's bags and started to leave together. But Gob paused at the door and said to Franklin, "I'll explain about Michael moving out later. Dad fucked it up for us, like always."

Michael looked concerned again about his brother being crazy, but they needed to get to the hotel soon, so he said nothing yet. One of these days, he would need to find time to talk to Gob about the puppet.

So he and Gob left the yacht, feeling sad and worried.