If you’ve watched the first half of Season 5 of Arrested Development, there might be one question that’s really bugging you. What happened to Lindsay (or Portia De Rossi, the actress who portrays her.) She really didn’t show up that much this season, and when she did, she wasn’t interacting that much with the rest of the cast.
Well, there are two explanations: one for the character and one for the actress.
Lindsay decided she was no longer interested in running for office and she took off. Some fans don’t remember this exchange during Season 5. It happened when Lucille stole Maeby’s speech and Lindsay heard the words from her mom that she had always wanted to hear. Only, she suddenly realized that she didn’t need those words like she thought she did. The words weren’t as liberating for her as she thought they would be. That’s when she decided she was done with the campaign and took off, announcing that she was off to find her real family and her birth mother.
In case you don’t remember that part, Lindsay is not Lucille and George Sr.’s biological daughter. She was adopted at the age of three and grew up believing that she was Michael’s twin sister. (She’s actually three years older than Michael.) In fact, Stan Sitwell almost adopted her, but Lucille and George adopted her first just to be competitive.
Some fans have speculated that Lucille 2 is her biological mother, but at this point we really don’t know.
As far as Portia De Rossi, we don’t see her much because she had already retired from acting by the time the season was being filmed. So if you think you’re seeing her on green screens at times, you’re likely right. She filmed some of her scenes separately.
She did agree to come back to the show after she had retired, but only in a limited fashion. De Rossi, 45, announced her retirement while talking with her wife, Ellen DeGeneres, on Ellen’s show in mid-May. She said she decided to retire 18 months ago. She told Mitch Hurwitz that she had no intention of doing a new season of Arrested Development. But he wrote her into five episodes anyway. After this season, she said she’s officially done with all acting and will be focusing on her business, General Public (an art curation and publishing company based on 3D technology.) This will also allow her to focus more on art, since she’s an artist too.