Not because the episode didn’t live up to my admittedly high expectations. No, the ep was good, but now we’ll have to go an entire summer without weekly doses of Sterling, Mallory, and co. (And there won’t even be Mad Men this summer! 2011, the Summer of Sadness.)
The last episode ended on a cliffhanger of sorts. Sterling Archer was cornered in an elevator, with KGB agents set to execute, when a stunning blonde in an impractical suit appeared and shot them down, saving our golden boy. In this episode, we see the aftermath.
We open with a steamy scene between Archer and Katya, the Russian blonde. True to form, Adam Reed throws a curveball as the scene ends abruptly, with Mallory walking in on the couple…in her office. Why would Archer choose to have sex in his mother’s office?
More importantly, how long can we drag out the oddly close relationship b/t mother and son? Hopefully at least a few more seasons.
While this episode wasn’t the best Archer ep ever, it was still solidly funny, with a believable (for the show’s universe) plot, and plenty of opportunity to showcase side characters.
Perhaps the character that has grown the most during this series is Pam. Originally a dumpy, pathetic human resources officer, the character has been fleshed out this season in a variety of surprising ways. Pam is now a former underground boxer, a possible Rastafarian, and–second mention in this episode–a champion in the ancient art of fitting multiple billiard balls in one’s mouth. Kudos to you, Pam, and kudos to Amber Nash, who has definitely been proving she deserved that place in the title credits.
Pam aside, this is also a great episode for Krieger fans. The character gets prime placement in this episode, as does his virtual computer girlfriend. It’d be funnier if this weren’t actually happening in Japan and other nations with lonely, technologically proficient men.
Cyril and Cheryl/etc. only show up briefly in this episode, but a surprising return player…returns. Bionic Barry is an interesting plot development. I’m glad Reed planted the seeds for an overarching arc for next season. I know a lot of people are tired of the Who’s The Father? plotline, but I am perfectly fine with that never being resolved.
I suppose I should return to the plot. So, Katya appears. She and Archer are madly, oddly, in love. ISIS suspects her as a double agent or, best case scenario, a foreigner angling for a green card. Can’t say I really buy Archer’s sudden, deep abiding love, but we’ll go with it. The KGB is shown as not approving Katya’s defection. Nickolai Jackov and crew change Katya’s file to cast doubt on her intentions. Hijinks ensue.
One of Reed’s great successes in this season of Archer, is the making of Archer into a sympathetic character. His honest emotion in the cancer arc of episodes helped, and his relationship with Woodhouse has been cast in a much softer light this season. In this episode, Sterling has a heart-to-heart with Woodhouse, which persuades the old man to act against Mallory’s orders in order to help him.
The end of the episode is predictable. From the moment we knew Katya was truly in love with Archer, I was waiting for her demise. When Bionic Barry showed up, I knew the weapon. There was no other way the episode could have ended, but I was hoping for a Reed-esque surprise resolution.
The ending was my only major qualm with this episode. The rest was, as always, fantastic. If you haven’t watched Archer, well, what made you click on this review? But also, go watch it. You can thank me after you consume the first two seasons in a manner of days.