Archer 5×10 ‘Palace Intrigue: Part 1’: The Boys from San Marcos | Gotta Watch It!

Archer 5×10 ‘Palace Intrigue: Part 1’: The Boys from San Marcos

Archer

The former ISIS crew travels to San Marcos to deliver the weapons to President Gustavo Calderon and arrange an ongoing partnership. This quickly devolves into running through palace hallways and debating ice machines and towels. Oh, and Krieger gets kidnapped (Kriegernapped?) by a group of his clones. Let’s discuss another Archer, after the jump.

I thought the episode started out strong and fizzled toward the middle. The many different running-through-hallways scenes became a bit tedious, even in under 22 minutes, and the characters were all over the place.

I have an issue with Malory’s whole plan. The issue was addressed in the episode, but it still bears some discussion, because it forms the whole basis for the last third of the season. Malory is an experienced spy. She’s been around the block. She’s no stranger to CIA involvement in Central American civil wars, I’m sure. Why she would think Gustavo would be willing to pay cash, or even could pay cash, for weapons when he’s already providing cocaine for weapons is beyond me. Malory says the White House is losing faith in his ability to win, and so they require cash for any more weapons. Seems to me the reason a Central American dictatorship would provide cocaine for arms is because it’s an abundant in-demand commodity they have at their disposal, as opposed to an unstable currency. I admire Malory’s desire to turn lemons into lemonade by going behind the CIA’s back and dealing directly with the dictator, but she has to know it would be extremely unlikely that Gustavo would sell personal assets for weapons. I was also hoping she would take charge in a much more over-the-top fashion than she has. We need more Malory in the field!

Look, I know Archer is an animated comedy and I don’t expect perfect character motivations and reasoning. The show is mainly a big joke machine, and the plot exists to put the characters in different situations/places so that the pop culture/historical references and hilarious curse words can fly. The show is very very good at that, and the fact that the writers can make it work reliably is a testament to the premise and the characters. I know it’s nitpicky, but I think the portion of this episode dealing with the central plot arc (the arms dealing) could have been more fleshed out. It actually feels like an afterthought in the other drama going on, and that’s unsatisfying. Maybe the second part of the two-parter will remedy that.

Some final thoughts:

  • How does Gustavo know about Cherlene if her album isn’t out yet? Maybe the Krieger clones want it for one of their projects? They did put Cherlene right next to the Krieger clone lab.
  • I think a Krieger clone plotline was only a matter of time this season. I for one welcome additional Lucky Yates voice acting.
  • Another “Only on Archer” moment – an awkward conversation between Malory and Gustavo, where both are unclear about whether the topic is wine or international arms trafficking.
  • Fred Armisen plays Gustavo. I can only handle Fred Armisen in small doses, and apparently that extends to animated characters he voices. The amount of Calderon in this episode is probably one of the reasons it’s not my favorite of the season.
  • The animation of Archer trying not to spit his wine out on a $40 million painting that’s basically just a blank canvas is the real priceless object in this episode.
Archer

Source: FX

And, some highlights:

Lana: You think I’m Ally Sheedy?
Malory: Are you all just saying random words?

Pam: So, can we get out of the crate now?
Malory: No.

Archer (rapping): Apache!/Helicopters/We should sell those/cause I’m a rop-per. Hahaha, wow, that’s awful. But so far, being an international arms dealer is not. I could get extremely used to this. (picks up banana and puts it to his ear as a phone) Matt, Joel, hi. Shut up. Let’s set up lunch with Adnan Khashoggi.

Calderon: Because, and I happen to know this as a fact, her debut album has now officially sold 1 million copies!
(Malory screams, everyone cheers)
Cherlene: Wow, it came out like yesterday.Gustavo: Yes, amazing. A toast!
Cherlene: No, like, literally yesterday.
Gustavo: And now it is platinum. A toast!
Cherlene: I just don’t see how it’s possible.
(Cut to palettes of Cherlene’s albums being unloaded from cargo planes into the presidential palace.

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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