10 February, 2012

ARCHER 3.06 and 3.07: 'The Limited' and 'Drift Problem'

Since I forgot to write about ARCHER last week, you get TWO reviews in ONE! You lucky shits.

3.06 - The Limited
Archer and the rest of ISIS transport a Nova Scotian terrorist, Kenny Bilko, over to Canada for a payday in what may be one of the best episodes of the series.

As the team prepares to board a train to cross the border, Archer arrives drunk, having mistakenly thought their departure was 12-hours later. Bilko and Archer kind of bond over their love for cool and dangerous spy shit.

Cyril is mistakenly put in charge of watching Bilko while Archer and Lana argue off in another car about his drinking. The terrorist escapes and the hunt is on. What follows is racism and Canadian jokes; gunfights; Archer's crazed love for Cheryl's pet ocelot; a battle on top of a train; and funtabulous dialogue.

In the end, the gang captures the Canadian terrorists and Archer is arrested for attempted murder on a black guy and illegally transporting an exotic animal across the border.

Archer arrives to the mission drunk and his mother is not happy.
Malory: You knew we were transporting a dangerous terrorist to Canada! So how and why are you drunk at six o'clock?!
Archer: [very drunk] Well, the how's pretty self explanatory. And the why is because I thought we were leaving at six AM tomorrow! Ergo, Latin, plenty of time to sleep it off.
Lana: Well, drink some coffee because there's a good chance Bilko's terrorist pals..
Bilko: [interrupting] Alleged terrorist pals.
Lana: [continuing] Are gonna attack the train at some point and try to bust him loose.
Archer: Awesome!
Bilko: Right?!
Malory: I'm sorry, but how is that 'Awesome'?
Archer: Because! Pretty much my whole life I've wanted to fight some guys on the roof of a speeding train.
Bilko: Well, if I know my boys, you may just get your wish.
Archer: Ohhh, thanks, Freddy Foreshadowing. [pause] Who is this?
Cyril: [with Malory and Lana sighing] Come on, Archer.
Archer: Please tell me he's a renown chicken and waffle chef. Because, I am starving.

On the train, Archer continues to drink and Lana isn't happy about it.
Lana: Archer, at any time in the next twelve hours, this train could be attacked by radical Nova Scotian separatists!
Archer: [amused] Armed with what? Pamphlets about Canada's responsible gun control laws?

Archer gives in to Lana's demands for him to sober up with coffee.
Archer: [to the bartender] Hey, Heinz 56, can I get an Irish coffee?
Lana: No!
Archer: Lana! I have to taper off! Trust me, if these Nova [unsure] Scojans are a real threat, you do not want me hung over!
Lana: Do you even still get hangovers?
Archer: Normally no, but I drank about two gallons of Mamajuanas this afternoon. I was, uhh, playing dominoes with, uhh, a Dominic bike gang.

Bilko, hiding in a bathroom, calls his terrorist pals to come save him and mistakenly thinks he has heard Archer killing the train's porter.
Bilko: [on the phone] Okay boys. Make sure you bring the heavy stuff. 'Cause these crazy ISIS bastards aren't playing. They just killed a black guy. I know, right? Welcome to America.

As Archer gives a food order for his mother to the porter, George, the train suddenly slows down.
Archer: Wait. Why are we slowing down?
George: We're at the border.
Archer: Of?
George: Umm, this new place called Canada.
Archer: So?
George: So customs, passport control, immigration. You know, the border.
Archer: Yeah but with America.
Lana: They still guard the border!
Archer: [amused] Lana, we're going into Canada!

With Bilko escaping via the roof of the train, Archer pursues him with glee.
Archer: [climbing a ladder to the top of the train cars] Oh my god. This is going to be awes[he hits the top of the car and the fast moving wind hits him]shit! Ow! The dust! It's like being shot in the eyes by a glitter gun! [puts on night vision goggles] There, that oughta do it. Okay, let's try that ag[sticks his head up and is immediatly hit in the eyes with the bright headlights from an oncoming train] ahhhhh shit! Retinas! Sheered like tuna steaks! All I want is to fight on the top of a train! Is that too much to ask?! [turns off the night vision] The good news is now I'm furious.

If I had to rate this one, I'd give it:

96 out of 100

Awesome! A blast! Why can't all spy shows be this kick ass?! WHY?! I always love how much Archer loves vicious kittens. And I am a sucker for a good Canadian joke or ten. Plus the fight between Bilko and Archer on top of the train is pretty funny.

3.07 - Drift Problem
It is Archer's birthday and his mama gives him a brand new decked out, bullet-proof, Dodge Challenger with machine-guns and anti-pursuit countermeasures in the rear. Archer loves it like he has never loved anything before. It even has a bar in the glove compartment (Archer's freak out when he sees it is amazekittens).

His mom warns him not to lose the car or she will never get him another. He of course loses the car and overreacts by going after the Yakuza, who he thinks have stolen his precious "Genie." He volunteers the ISIS gang to help him and they end up in a fight to the death for what they discover is the wrong culprits.

In the end, we learn that it was his mom who took the car to teach him a lesson, much like she did with his favorite bicycle when he was a young boy (essentially revealing Archer's "Rosebud" that may explain his entire adulthood).

As Archer rides the elevator up to the ISIS offices he ponders what kind of celebration awaits him.
Archer: I wonder what the guys in the office have planned for my birthday. I wonder if Fudgie the Whale will be there. Or Cookie Puss. [amused] Cookie Puss. Those guys at Carvel know what they're doing.

Lana demonstrates that Archer's new car is bullet proof by shooting it with her fully automatic weapon of choice. Fred catches a ricocheting bullet to the gut.
Archer: [excited] Holy shit!
Fred: [on the ground and bleeding] Yeah, I'm like a magnet.
Archer: Fred, shut up. [sits in the car] What else does it do?!
Doctor Krieger: Press that red button.
Archer: Wait, is it gonna kill everybody?
Doctor Krieger: Press that blue button.
Voice: Welcome Mr. Archer.
Archer: It does know my name!

While watching the promo video for his new car and seeing all the cool features included, he opines.
Archer: It makes the Mach 5 look like a vagina.

When the glove-box bar is revealed, Archer loses his shit. Then falls in love.
Archer: It's like seeing the face of god.

If I had to rate this one, I'd give it:

85 out of 100

It was fun but coming off the brilliant previous episode it kind of felt a bit flat. Though, the opening with Archer's reactions to the car was excellent.


  1. 3.06 was definitely better. Terrorist+Ocelot=Awesomeness!

  2. Yeah the train scene was fantastic as was the rest of this awesome episode. Them talking about all the crap that makes fighting on top of train stupid had me in tears. "Your still on top of a train !", "do you have a helicopter?", "there are no bullets dick head, yes there are super dick head, you shot 8 rounds ultra dick head!". Hehehe, so awesome and so funny.

    What I love is how the jokes just built throughout the episode and how they continued with using serialised elements like the ocelot and the Tunt fortune. "Those crazy Tunts", hehe, still not funny.

    There was the old call back to the "Lana, Lana, LANA!!!!" with the added twist of "he remembers me!".

    A perfect episode of comedy.

    I only saw Drift Problem once and was drunk at that so I need to rewatch to form an opinion. But this season including the heart of archness trilogy is on a phenomenol roll, include seasons 2 and parts of 1 and this is been some phenomenal storytelling.

    I checked out the ratings and they are getting 0.6-0.9 in the key 18-49 demo, is that good for this type of show?

    1. Those ratings aren't "good" but it will keep the show around. These type of animated shows are cheap to make. Like 1/10th of a scripted live-action show.

    2. That is great to hear, White collar did a 0.8 and Justified a 0.9. Archer this week did a 0.9 and so it is there or there abouts in terms of competing. Plus I suppose being 1/10th of the cost means being 0.1/0.2 off is no big deal. Let's hope they are around for some time to come!

      When I check cable ratings it is so disheartening that repeats of NCIS and Big Bang Theory out rate original live shows on cable. Not that I do not like either show but they are repeats! Come on people!

    3. ARCHER will be around for as long as they want to make it. No worries. Hell, WHITE COLLAR and JUSTIFIED will probably stick around with those ratings. Cable channels are subsidized by subscription money.

    4. I meant it did a 0.7

  3. How am I a racist? What is your problem with calling me a racist?

    In a way He has a point, Archer is a dick to everyone and I think mallory is the racist especially with the George thing in the beginning of the episode..

  4. "Let's not get in a Mexican standoff"
    "Oh how abooooot we throw out some more American stuff, hey, Commendate?"
    "Stuff like Mexican standoff?"
    "Now look whose playing the race card?"

    In tears, I am in tears just thinking about that wonderful exchage.

    "Way to man up Ray"
    "I'm in a wheelchair"
    "Yeah no offence but we are going to be running around stuff"
    "Everyone ok?"
    "Still Paralysed but yeah I am ok"

    Hehehe, I love that they are actually keeping the serialisation and have kept Ray paralysed and that they are milking it for every joke they can. Not that I wish Paralysis on Ray or anyone but it is just impressive that this cartoon actually keeps things and does not reset them.

    Episode 3.05...

    "We need to pee in a cup"
    "Which I cannot even do y'all"

    Adam Reed's delivery is brilliant.

    Man I love this show!

    1. I don't understand why more CHUCK fans aren't watching. Especially the dudes.

    2. First up a confession...I have been drinking.

      Ok so I have been reading tv.com's Mad Men re-watch in preparation for the return of said series in March and one sentence just blew my fucking mind!

      "Man Men at its core is a sad show, it is about the manufacturing of the American Dream and the emptiness that fuels it."

      Does that not hold true for every show that digs even a little deep? I mean maybe that is why shows like Archer, Man Men, Breaking Bad, Chuck, Fringe, Justified, etc are never really ratings hits because at their core they are in a way sad shows?

      Do not get me wrong I loved Chuck (as you probably guessed) and I loved all the rest of the shows in there a little less than Chuck but are they all not basically the same theme. Leading people and characters that lead a sort of empty single note existence that aspire to dream for better lives?

      Is Raylan Givens any different fundementally to the criminals he chases just because he has a code? Is Chuck Bartowski worth rooting for just because he could not pick himself up for a long time when dealt a bad hand? Do we really sympathise with Walter White even though he lived a dead end existance before being handed a death sentence and now is the man who knocks? Can we root for Sterling Mallary Archer's shallow drunken misognynistic existance (even though it is fucking funny as hell) even if we know that deep down there is a reason for it?

      These shows are funny, smart, sweet, endearing, they pack an emotional punch that at times is filled with heart (now this is Chuck that makes me say this in particular not Mad Men or Breaking Bad) but does the darkness at the beginning put people off.

      Or are the general audience just dumb mother fuckers who would not know creative genius if it slapped them in the face?

      Food for thought, speaking of which, I got the muchies, later.

  5. Archer and Chuck are not sad shows or weren't.

    I think the general audience just being dumb fuckers is a more plausible explaination although i'd be more polite and wouldn't word it that way.

    How else can CBS continual ratings domination over more creative shows be explained.

    I think Chuck fans don't watch Archer because it's a cartoon and they think based upon that that they wouldn't like it.

    Also it's not a show that gets tons of publicity.

    1. Yep... I didn't watch ARCHER because it was animated and, outside of SOUTH PARK, I don't watch cartoonish stuff. But once I tried it, I realized I had been missing out. Though, it didn't turn me onto animation. Just ARCHER.

  6. Anonymous if you remember season 1 of Chuck there was a lot of sadness and pathos in there! Yeah it at times was funny as hell but at the same time watching Chuck mope around a lot asking himself if he has what it takes to be a better man and if he can find a way to be that better man via a supposed 5 year plan.

    Sidenote! Fuck this show went for 5 seasons! how the fuck did Chuck not bring up his 5 year plan from the pilot and not ask himself how well he actually did than what he thought he would do! Shit...they missed a huge opportunity there.

    Chuck was a very sweet and funny show that had a lot of heart no doubt but the thematic tone of the show was always about a man who one day sat on a beach facing a world he did not know or understand and ended it sitting at that same beach a man who had learned how to live. There is nothing more poetic then that but as I said it started from a somewhat empty place and from there the dream took off.

    Archer is a shallow show pure and simple, the characters are awful to each other and themselves albeit some of the funniest characters going. I love these shows...yikes.

    1. Yeah, no... CHUCK is not a sad show. ARCHER has been sad like once. Otherwise, it's a deeply sarcastic show. I don't think "sad" is the word you were looking for. They are consequence shows. Chuck and Archer are each a consequence of the decisions their parents made when they were young. Each absorbed it differently. Each is suffering from some sort of arrested development. But once greatness was thrust upon Chuck, he eventually accepted it as his calling and became a man. Whereas Archer turned his childhood pain into a rage that exists to suppress his demons.