Archer 5×09 ‘On the Carpet’: Moving briskly along to the next vice

Archer

The cocaine stash comes to a spectacular end, as Archer, Ray and Cyril have no choice but to hand over the plane full of coke to a CIA-run drugs-for-arms operation and Krieger obliterates almost all the remainder in true Krieger fashion. Malory believes they can use the CIA operation to their advantage, and it looks like her plan will consume the rest of the season. Let’s discuss the latest Archer, after the jump.Well, it only took 8 episodes (with the season premiere as setup) for the ISIS crew to bring their dream of becoming wealthy drug kingpins to a crashing halt, blowing up and eating and giving away $60 million in street value of the drug. Krieger alone blew up almost 780 kilos of the 1,000-kilo stash. That definitely happened faster than expected, and I wonder if it was planned all along or a result of the writers running out of cocaine humor.  I’m frankly relieved. I’ve been vocal about my dislike for the writers constantly going to the “Pam’s a cocaine addict” well, and now they’ve gone and blown that well up. I hope we can get back to normal, weird and crazy Pam. The character is funny enough without a recurring drug addiction gag.

It was most assuredly good to see the female characters back in the fray now that Archer, Ray and Cyril are out of Colombia. Rather than go through the story chronologically, leaving Malory, Pam and Cherlene without much to do until the trio’s return, they are engaged throughout, reacting to the story being told or putting together the pieces of the CIA operation regarding the fictional Central American country San Marcos.

The episode is very tightly paced and as always the comedic editing is top-notch. In particular, Jessica Walter playing Malory at the end of her rope is hysterical. I laughed out loud many times at her over-the-top reactions (“Ohh! This is exciting! I hope everyone dies.”) and threats. I shudder to think of any other actress playing that role.

A few additional thoughts:

  • By far the best gag in the episode is the “Red Kriegtober” bit. Not only is it a reference to one of my favorite ’90s movies, but it highlights all of Krieger’s best character attributes – he’s a genius but all of his inventions have some kind of fatal flaw. He’s always looking into technological solutions to big obstacles but usually ends up creating more problems than he solves. And, he has a definite soft-side, blowing up the Red Kriegtober when he learns she’ll never fulfill her purpose rather than, oh I don’t know, sell it for scrap and recover the cocaine nestled inside.
  • Archer seems very confident in his ability to convince Slater that he’s one of them, but apparently can’t do it smoothly without the pseudonym Randy. “Rando” just doesn’t have the charm that Randy does, apparently.
  • Ron is going to be back, apparently. While I am no fan of the character, I did enjoy his calls to Cherlene and Pam once it was revealed that he and Malory have decided to have an open marriage. I’ll be OK with more Ron if it’s just him calling random women from offscreen during the rest of the season trying to take advantage of that arrangement.

I’ll leave you with some dialogue highlights as always:

Malory (to a topless Cherlene): And why are you dressed like the whore the rest of the trailer park finally decided they had to stone to death?

Archer: OK, listen up, say what you will about my skills as a drug kingpin-
Ray: You don’t have any.
Cyril: Completely nonexistent.
Archer: Are you done?
Ray and Cyril: Yes.
Archer: Good. Because if there’s one thing I’m good at out of the million other things I’m good at, it’s infiltrating the enemy with an assumed identity.
Ray (under his breath): Named Randy.
Archer: Named shut up, it’s not always Randy.
Ray (laughing): Oh my god.
Cyril: Always.
(Back in the present, the group agrees it’s always Randy.)
Archer: That’s because Randy is awesome!

(Archer introduces Ray and Cyril as the McCracken brothers, Phil and Odie. Later…)
Slater: Either you guys are the shittiest coke thieves on the planet…
Cyril (laughing): Which we are not! You know, I mean if that was….I mean if we put our minds to it. Look, here’s the thing about the McCracken brothers…
Archer: Odie, hush!

Archer

Source: FX

(Krieger turns on the lights in the mansion’s pool. There is a submarine in it.)
Krieger: I give you….the Red Kriegtober!
Lana: Uuummm….
Krieger: Or the Red OctKrieger, I can’t decide.  It’s a narco-sub, for transporting cocaine. It’s totally undetectable by the Coast Guard. Thoughts?
Lana: How are you gonna get it out of here?
Krieger: Hmm?
Lana: How does that thing leave this room?
Krieger (after a pause): Goddamnit!

J.P. Laub

is a pop culture connoisseur, politics wonk, sometimes gamer and consummate nerd. To give you some idea, he is an avid reader of Wikipedia entries about fictional and theoretical faster-than-light drives. Seriously, he once saw a random Dune reference on a website and spent 45 minutes reading about the Holtzmann effect and related entries.

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