[personal profile] daisiestdaisy posting in [community profile] arresteddevelopmentcomm
Copying this over from tumblr, since it's not the best format for discussion:


More Notes on Timeline In Season 4

Or: Why we can’t trust any of the dates stated ever.

Ok so at the beginning of Tobias’s episode it says five years have passed between the sinking of the Queen Mary and him ending up on “To Entrap a Local Predator”

Which makes no sense if you think about anything because it’s obvious that seven years had to have passed, not five. “Three weeks” before he ends up on that show, DeBrie gets into GOB’s limo and is stung by all those bees. The night after is the Opies/Herbert Love Campaign/Tony Wonder Performance. We know because GOB is wearing the same white suit from earlier and all of his entourage are checked in at Austerity, where Tobias is poised to work.

We know GOB goes to visit his father in the same limo with his enraged bees the day after the Opies. His colony is released into the sweat lodge. The next day he goes and has a talk with Michael in which he agrees to sell all the Sudden Valley Homes. That night is the magic show. When he wakes up in the morning from his night out with Tony, he is greeted by Tobias, who has already started at Austerity and is working on his musical, almost ready for performance.

This makes zero sense in real time as three weeks between even DeBrie’s being stung by bees and Tobias being on To Entrap extends technically past the end date of season 4, if we’re going off of GOB’s plotline in which between the time DeBrie gets stung by the bees and Cinco de Cuatro no more than two and a half or three weeks has passed period.

So I guess we could call this one: In Which To Entrap A Local Predator And Onward In Tobias’s Plotline Actually Takes Place In A Parallel Universe Where It’s Still 2010.

I mean of course when you think how these episodes connect outside of a calendar they all make logical chronological sense, it’s very clear what comes first and what comes next, but these dates are never going to work, I guess.


No one ever explicitly states [that Cinco is not in 2011], but I was thinking about it and Maeby’s plot rests on the fact that she’s 23 years old. She’s 16 when the Queen Mary is sunk, which is in February of that year. That means that theoretically seven years has passed and it is 2013 on Cinco de Cuatro. Maeby and George-Michael’s plotlines are pretty much the only ones that “definitely” take place over seven years. The family meeting for them specifically is two years after the Queen Mary sinks, in 2008, because George-Michael is preparing to go off to college. He spends five years in college. Maeby repeats her senior year of high school six times.

Meanwhile Tobias’s plotline takes place definitively in a little over five years- five years before he ended up on “To Entrap a Local Predator” was the sinking of the Queen Mary. He goes to India, comes back in time for the family meeting which seems to take place around June of whatever year it is, given the discussion of GM’s graduation. For both Tobias and Lindsay, the family meeting takes place in the same year as the sinking of the Queen Mary. He and Lindsay buy their house in late 2006, which indicates in his timeline that the family meeting happens much earlier for him and her as well. His plotline ends in May 2011, in our hypothetical world.

Lindsay’s timeline also seems to span about five years and end in May 2011. She lives in her mother’s penthouse for a year before getting caught up with Herbert Love for a few weeks. Her trip to India is the same length as Tobias’s. They both buy the house in late 2006. The subprime mortgage crisis happened in February of 2007. This is when Michael’s homes also became worthless, incidentally, lending him to an interpretation of a June 2006 family meeting.

I could go on- I mean depending on interpretation, GOB’s plotline could be over like a two years or over seven years. All the stories interconnect in ways that make logical sense, but none of the dates we get are accurate.

ETA: Maeby only repeats high school 5 times, not six. But- I say this age is probably wrong and she is more likely 21 in the bar scene, as George-Michael and Maeby discuss being seniors and “two months from graduating” when the Queen Mary sinks, despite only being 16 years old.

I’m inclined to believe that season 4 is intended to take place over 5 years, not 7, and that Cinco de Cuatro takes place in May 2011. The only slight hiccup I can think in that idea is that GOB has Siri integrated on his iPhone, but as Siri existed as an app prior to her integration in the 4S that can be explained away as GOB just downloaded the app or whatever.

There’s still a bit of date fuckery leading up to Cinco but not nearly so much overall if we assume that the characters are all on 5 year timespans rather than 7.

ETA 2: The military released their plan for implementing the end of DADT in January of 2011, which lines up around the time where Buster would have joined.


DID SOMEBODY SAY ‘TIMELINE’?! (Seriously, this is like my equivalent of yelling ‘wonder’ while flashing the bat signal, it summons me as if from nowhere)

'depending on interpretation, GOB’s plotline could be over like a two years or over seven years.' - two years would definitely fit better with the entourage and the time since he met Rebel and everything, but his story has to span an absolute minimum of five years nine months because of Ann's kid. Plus, even assuming he's the father, not Tony, and ignoring all the stuff from multiple other people's episodes that puts the wedding in 2007 - if the kid was conceived the night of the boat party, mid-November 2005, they'd be born August 2006 and wouldn't be five as of Cinco 2011.

For added fun, at one point there’s a flashback to the Mexican land before George snr lived there that’s subtitled “two years earlier” when it’s got to be at least 5 years and more like 7…

*throws up hands*


I was hoping you would see and throw input at my “May 2011” theory! I knew there had to be something fucking it up. I trust you definitely, you marvelous and knowledgeable person.

The boat party actually has to take place in somewhere around March or April of 2006 because George-Michael says that they’re “two months away from graduating.” Which for me says that the intention was for them to be graduating in June of 2006 and George-Michael graduating from college in 2011.

I definitely do think the wedding was in 2007. I used to think it was later, but now I think it almost certainly was intended to take place in 2007.

Yeah if the kid was conceived by Tony Wonder in 2007 or even by GOB in 2006 they wouldn’t be five no matter what by Cinco 2011. However what I’m aiming for is intent, not detail, because the details are shitty I know. From the overall observation I think we’re supposed to assume that everyone’s stories take place over slightly more than five years, from March/April of 2006 to May of 2011. When I said “depending on GOB’s timeline” I was referring more to his time getting married/being in the entourage and not taking into consideration his possible child.

But yeah over and over again we hear “five years, five years, five years has passed” etc. so although things don’t match up the way they should all the time I think our best bet is to assume that Cinco is taking place in May 2011. I think maybe even the kid’s age is a…shitty clue that we’re supposed to on the surface associate that with five years ago, even though if you do the math the conception and birth obviously doesn’t work out. So the kid wouldn’t be five most definitely, but we’re still supposed to hear “five” and think “oh, five years ago, near the beginning of the story.” Five years so far in my rewatch is the most repeated number in relation to time that has passed since the beginning of the story.

I don’t think we’re ever going to get correct calendar dates because it simply won’t work but I think the story certainly works better assuming that it ends in May 2011 because I think that was the intention even if everything ended up getting kind of screwy.


You’re right that we hear ‘five years’ over and over: maybe it took so long to get the series written and everyone together that it originally should have been released in 2011 or 2012? It does seem plausible they mean it to be 2011…

”The boat party actually has to take place in somewhere around March or April of 2006 because George-Michael says that they’re “two months away from graduating.” Ah, but that would put the family meeting, which is at least three months later (it’s after the hearing) in July/August, and it’s the one solid date we actually have: seven weeks after Christmas, so mid-February 2006. (Which fits with season 3, since Michael implied on the day of the boat party he had a birthday soon, and his birthday’s in December.)
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