Archer, “The Archer Sanction,” (6.3) - TV Review


Archer Sanction

Archer, Season 6, Episode 3, “The Archer Sanction”

January 22nd, 2015, 10:00 PM,FX Network

Archer, Ray and Lana head into the Swiss Alps to assassinate an assassin during an internationally staffed mountain climbing expedition. Archer manages to leave the mission dossier behind, which means they have no idea who their target is – only that they’re an agent from an Axis power – and naturally their climbing companions are Japanese, German and Italian, so they’re surrounded by suspicious faces on all sides. With Lana and Ray each flirting with one of the prospective climbers and Archer jealous of the expedition’s leader, they’re already in deep trouble; a storm and the early death of one of their companions just adds to their trouble. One naked warmth huddle between Archer, Ray and Lana later and the trip soon turns into a dangerous disaster that leaves Lana’s life hanging in the balance. Meanwhile, Archer and Lana have no idea where Mallory is with the baby - again - so Lana enlists Pam to find AJ and the rest of the gang contributes while boozily continuing to enjoy their illicitly-won Japanese Jacuzzi. It leads to a whole lot of puking and very few revelations as to how Ms. Archer is spending her off time.

“The Archer Sanction” is amusing; the problem with it is that it’s only just amusing, not rip-roaringly hilarious. Strong lines provide a few good laughs, specifically the weird friendly tension between Lana, Archer and Ray as Lana and Ray compete for Crash’s attention and Archer abhors his macho take-charge attitude. Speaking of Ray, he sadly doesn’t get to do much more this episode than crush on Crash – I’d prefer to see him kick a little more butt, as he’s one of team Archer’s more effective members. Lana is her smart, outspoken self, forever unable to keep Archer from going off the rails and doing something irresponsible, and strangely straddling the line between damsel in distress and tough, smart agent. At least she got to spend a little time in McCaren’s arms, which is more than Ray gets. Archer almost doesn’t bear mention, as he’s his typical ridiculously self-centered, dim self.

Meanwhile, Pam, Krieger and Cheryl are their typical sleazy selves as they try to find little AJ and Ms. Archer; everyone but poor Cyril lands a funny line, but Pam and Cheryl steal the show – as they often do. Their storyline isn’t for the weak-stomached but it provides a bit of splatty bathroom humor to contrast with the a-storyline’s sex-driven debauchery. Also I hope the show has something new in store for AJ and Malory next week, because watching the Grand Doyonne of Team Archer spend whole episodes either misplacing her own granddaughter or completely neglecting to tell the child’s mother where they’ve gone will get very tiresome after awhile.
But all of it feels…maybe a bit too typical? A bit too safe? A bit rote and too like various Archer stories we’ve witnessed before? That doesn’t mean the story doesn’t amuse, but it does mean that it’s predictable – we all know that Archer will get the job done, save the day, and manage to cover for his own blaring incompetence for another week. Last week the show jokingly lampshaded that foregone narrative conclusion, the week before it pointed out the fact that they were directly parodying a Six Million Dollar Man episode. This week’s yet another example of a retro episode of Archer, but in this case there’s no joking about it. It’s a cut-and-paste episode that makes me yearn for Archer Vice’s innovation while allowing me to appreciate the comfort of a decent episode that doesn’t strive for the stars.

The Roundup:

  • And after years of dealing with elaborate inbox messages from Archer, Malory finally one-ups him.
  • Crash McCaren is voiced by Rob Huebel. Crash got his name after saving eight lives in an avalanche.
  • Krieger still has his Mulatto Butts ringtone, as introduced in season one.
  • Ray and Pam simultaneously murmur Pam’s “sploosh” catchphrase in reaction to Crash’s deeds.
  • Number three on Archer’s bucket list: bang boxer Joe Frasier.
  • Pam has a tiny dolphin keychain, to go along with her infamous hand puppet.
  • So Pam and Cheryl may or may not have had sex with Malory’s ex-husband Ron. And possibly Malory. And each other. Which I think is something we all presumed already happened.
  • Cheryl owns a Formula 1 team.
  • ”Eat a dick, blizzard!”
  • Next Week: Archer is Pam’s plus one for her sister’s ceremony, but they have to overcome a speedbump called Barry if they ever hope to make “Edie’s Wedding” in time.< /li>

A solid B for this week’s episode; it’s not the funniest episode the series has ever produced, but it still brings home the laughter.

  • GREAT 8

About Author

Staff Television Critic: Lisa Fernandes, formerly of, has been watching television for all of her thirty-plus years, and critiquing it for the past seven. When she's not writing, she can be found in the wilds of the Northeastern United States.

  • Jason Blankenship

    It’s not “Mulatto Butts” anymore, it’s something else. Couldn’t quite make it out… I’ll have to watch with the closed captions on to see.

  • Jason Blankenship

    Yeah… it’s “Teutonic Butts” now.