A corrupt mission? Sounds like things are about to go arwy. Archer, Cyril, and Ray are sent on a mission to the middle east to blow up an oil pipeline, which isn’t going quite well. The blame is put on Lana’s unwilling absence. For once, I agree with Mallory’s decision; sending Lana out would cause a ruckus on its own, a black woman who hates everything they’re doing. She spends most of the episode trying to lead a revolt, and failing. Meanwhile, in the main plot, bigger things happen, specifically to Archer. He’s the title character, after all.
After getting the jeep stuck and while relieving himself, Archer is bit by a poisonous snake on his taint (midpoint between the two male sex organs). He tries to get Ray to suck it out, but refuses. Archer isn’t Lorne Greene, and Ray isn’t in Ponderosa. Cyril refuses as well, saying it could fail or hurt him worse. He gives Archer directions, specifically not to panic or drink, which he fails to recognize. Cyril tries to take over Ray by getting him to lift their now-stuck Jeep. He forgets about the bionic legs, lifts with his back, and throws said back out. Cyril has to dig the jeep out on his own, no thanks to half crippled again Ray and hallucinating about alligators Archer.
Archer slips into a poison coma, starring James Mason as his spirit guide. Mason takes Archer through some key memories in his life, a clever way to show backstory. The first comes from when Archer was 18; he went to Baltimore to decide if he wanted to take a lacrosse scholarship. Seduced by a Ruth Ann (may be important later this season), she shot Archer in the chest. How many times has Archer been shot?
In the real world, Cyril is driving Archer to a doctor, hoping one can help somewhere. What happens instead, since he’s Cyril and sucks at everything, is he hits a camel in the middle of the road. This attracts the authorities, who take him, Archer, and Ray back to their camp. Cyril tries to communicate “snake” to the authorities, but the word for snake is the same for bread, Friday, and the ruler’s dog. Eventually, Ray draws a snake, and the message gets across. Cyril and Ray by the antivenom with the money they were going to use to blow up an oil pipe and split the rest 50/50.
The other James Mason-lead memory starts. It’s Archer’s 6th birthday, with no one around. Mallory was on a mission and Woodhouse went on a drug spree in the bathroom. Archer was not left presentless; his real father appeared out of nowhere and gave him an alligator. This is when Archer snapped back up, forgetting who his father was.
Abnormally high concept (by Archer standards) and character focused, the episode is definitely a top 5 Archer episode. While not much of every character is utilized, they do a lot with those given.
Best parts+Additional notes
- I feel I say this every week, but Cheryl had a spot-on joke this episode, telling Lana why she’ll never leave ISIS in the darkest way possible.
- Krieger married two mice off camera, and made them a fancy cake on camera.
- The discussion Ray and Cyril have about getting an extraction, which included jokes about masculinity, killing bears, and a new insight to Ray’s childhood.
- Jokes about how Lana stomps when she walks, where Cheryl and Pam compare her to an AT-AT.
- I like how a lot of the voice actors could be the characters in a live action setting (Judy Greer, Aisha Tyler), while other’s can’t (H. Jon Benjamin, Amber Nash). Diversity on the animation front is a good thing, kids.