When Arrested Development returns for season 5, the show's plot will revolve around a murder-mystery concerning Liza Minnelli's Lucille 2, who is presumed dead after disappearing during season 4. Star Jason Bateman also revealed that series creator Mitchell Hurwitz has mapped out a three-act story for the show that would be wrapped up in a sixth season, should the series continue that long.
The Lucille 2 murder-mystery plot was set up in season 4 when the character died after apparently being pushed down the Bluth Family stair-car during Cinco de Quatro, with Buster Bluth being arrested for the crime. Complicating matters was the fact that Lucille 2's body disappeared in soap opera fashion after being discovered. In actual fact, almost every member of the cast had reason to want to kill Lucille 2 after the events of season 4, setting up the entire Bluth family and others as potential suspects.
Speaking to EW's Sirius XM channel, Arrested Development star Jason Bateman confirmed earlier reports that season 5 will concern itself with the mystery of Lucille 2's death and who may have killed her.
“The central spine of that story of is the death of Liza Minnelli’s character, and a bit of whodunit, who may have done it, who had something to do with it. That’s sort of a central thread around which [creator Mitch Hurwitz] is going to braid in all the colorful plot complications that he knows how to do.”
Bateman also revealed that Hurwitz has mapped out a three-act story that was begun in season 4, will be continued in Season 5 and would require a season 6 in order to complete:
“The first act was done on the first batch of Netflix episodes [in 2013], and we’re about to do now the second act of that story, and then the act third act presumably will be done if we can all get it together at a later date, maybe in another few years. We’re kind of turning into a Michael Apted Seven Up! thing.”
Though Buster was arrested for Lucille 2's murder at the end of season 4, the only evidence against him was the fact that he got her blood on him after finding her body. A quick review of the events of Season 4 - if such a thing is even thinkable given the season's wild non-linear narrative - reveals that every major cast member was left with a motive for killing Lucille 2:
- Buster: Was in a rage after finding out Lucille 2 used him.
- Michael: Borrowed $700,000 from Lucille 2, tried to seduce her so she would forgive the loan.
- Lucille Bluth: Went to prison after Lucille 2's unflattering testimony.
- Tobias: Lucille 2 threatened to send him back to prison for being a child predator.
- George: Congressional candidate Lucille 2 opposed his desire to build a border wall.
- Lindsay: Lucille 2 used pictures of her and Herbert Love together to undermine Love's Congressional campaign.
- G.O.B.: Needed money to pay off the Mongol Horde he hired to build the wall.
- Maeby: Lucille 2 saw her and Perfecto together in bed, leading to Maeby's arrest as a child predator.
- George Michael: His fraudulent Fakeblock software company was founded after a loan by Lucille 2 to Maeby.
In his interview with EW, Bateman reiterated that the Arrested Development cast will get to spend more time on-screen together in season 5 after being broken up during season 4 due to scheduling conflicts. This should lead to a more cohesive narrative - at least in theory.