While Lucille Bluth would beg to differ, Lucille 2 is an integral part of Arrested Development. However, since Lucille 2 might have been murdered in Season 4, Liza Minnelli may not be in Arrested Development Season 5. She doesn't appear in the trailer for the new season and the Oscar-winning actor hasn't been doing any press for the show. But the mystery of Lucille 2's whereabouts still looms large in the new episodes, so there's a chance that the legendary Minnelli could return.
When Netflix brought back Arrested Development in 2013, Lucille Austero was a major character; she became even more intertwined with the central family when she bought the Bluth company. But at Cinco de Cuatro, she went missing. And because Buster saw her unconscious body on the bloody stair car before she disappeared, it looked like she might have been murdered. Jason Bateman teased to Entertainment Weekly Radio in 2017 that Season 5 would be about solving Lucille 2's murder. Yet, in interviews given to The Hollywood Reporter at the Los Angeles premiere of Season 5, the cast implied that Lucille 2 is only missing — and not necessarily dead. "Her disappearance is advantageous in some of the things Michael is trying to do, and then it gets in the way of other stuff he's trying to do," Bateman said.
Michael was one of the last people to see Lucille 2 conscious and may even be the reason for Lucille 2's disappearance. But Michael doesn't remember what happened at Cinco de Cuatro, since Gob forced Michael to take a forget-me-now after Michael saw Gob with Tony Wonder. As he's the relative moral compass of the Bluth family, it would be surprising if Michael had physically harmed Lucille 2, so someone else must be involved. But there's no doubt that the Bluths have played some part in this mess.
Because Lucille 2 might still be alive, the show has left the door open for Minnelli to reprise her role. But just as the show has yet to reveal what happened to her on the night of Cinco de Cuatro, there is no information on whether she'll show up again. Minnelli has missed a season of Arrested Development before since she didn't appear in the abbreviated Season 3. But she came back with a vengeance when Arrested Development was revived. And based on interviews, she obviously likes working on the show. For example, in the below interview with The Hollywood Reporter before Season 4, Minnelli said how the show was "so wonderful" and "written so brilliantly."
However, since 2013, Minnelli hasn't been working as much. According to her IMDb page, Arrested Development Season 4 was her last screen appearance. She hasn't retired from performing though; Playbill reported in 2016 that she had sung at a private event and her publicist said she was looking forward to future performances. But her status in Arrested Development Season 5 hasn't been made public knowledge.
Before Season 4 premiered, Vulture asked Minnelli what would happen to Lucille 2. "I am under contract not to tell you! Literally, they made me sign a piece of paper," Minnelli said. And perhaps a similar contract was drawn up again since the mystery of what happened to Lucille 2 is so essential to Season 5. So when the new season premieres, fans will be just as confused about what happened to Lucille 2 as Michael is. But be on the lookout for her spiky hair because if she survived Cinco co Cuatro, there's a good chance that Minnelli's character could fall her way back into the Bluths' lives again.
Editor's note: Season 5 is controversial due to the presence of Jeffrey Tambor, who was fired from Transparent after being accused of sexual harassment by two co-stars (he denies these claims); he also admitted to and apologized for verbally harassing Jessica Walter on the Arrested Development set in a recent New York Times piece. Co-stars Jason Bateman, David Cross, Will Arnett, and Tony Hale were criticized for seeming to defend Tambor and minimize Walter's experience, in the same interview. Bateman, Cross, and Hale have since apologized.