Archer, “Nellis,” (6.7) - TV Review


Archer Nellis

February 19th, 2015, 10:00 PM,FX Network

After last week’s whole Lana-hired-a-guy-to-shoot-at-her-baby daddy to prove his worth thing, Archer ran off in a tiff to Las Vegas and had a drunken and debauched weekend. Cash poor and hung-over, he calls back home for money and a ride back to New York. Cheryl sends a private jet to pick him up – along with Pam, Krieger, Cheryl herself and Cyril. The trip is interrupted when a land-to-air missile causes them to swerve, bank and make an emergency landing. It turns out they’ve landed in Area 51, and Archer uses his Q clearance to get them kept safe and get them transpo out, which works until Krieger and Pam are let loose on the base, which leaves Archer to rescue them from their own foolishness while the two of them deal with an unexpected extra terrestrial encounter. Meanwhile, a lonely Malory makes nice with Lana in the hope of getting Abbijean named after her, eventually relying on tears and wheedling to get what she needs.

“Nellis” provides a solid rebound from last week’s good-except-for-that-ending episode. Unleashing Archer in a brand-new environment, where all he really wants is some fresh booze, a change of clothes and a ride home, is amusing; he’s so self-absorbed that he doesn’t even notice little green men circling his friends and doesn’t really care, as long as he can crawl to safety and find a bottle of vodka he’ll be fine. That puts the onus on poor Pam and Krieger to figure out the truth behind Area 51, and the slightly daffy twosome that they are. It’s quite a sight to see the incredibly confident Pam this shaken up and traumatized by her encounter with a couple of little green men, and I wonder if it’s going to lead somewhere in the series’ overarching plot. As for Cheryl and Cyril’s presence in the plot, they’re almost entirely unnecessary and they don’t get funny lines like they did during “Vision Quest” – at least Ray gets to fly the plane. The end result is cheerful mayhem that rolls off the rails yet keeps a tight rein on its narrative – while having an incredibly fun time doing so.

Lana and Malory’s subplot was the clearest example of bridging material I’ve ever seen. There’s no need for them to have this conversation now except it’s clearly going to lead into something important in the next episode. There’s absolutely no reason to set it up than to prepare us for the inevitable Kanes/Malory showdown next episode. But it’s always great to watch Lana and Malory match wits, and it’s always a good time to watch Lana have to deal with an equal who’s unafraid of her. Perhaps one could call this a bit of payback for what Lana did to Archer last week, but either way she and Malory have the most delightfully thorny relationship and I’d like to see it explored in more depth.

One could argue that the A-plot feels like filler, too; it’s low-stakes, allows Archer to level back up to badass after Lana took him down a peg last week, and exists to throw some layers onto Pam’s character. But it’s funny – funny, as always, counts and counts a lot when you’re watching comedy. And if you’re looking for funny, Archer remains your best Thursday night bet.
The Roundup

  • ”God damn! Who is it, cancer?”
  • Everyone’s reasons for coming with Ray to pick up Archer: Cheryl wanted to tick off Malory, Ray needed more instrument rated time to get his pilot’s license, Cyril didn’t want to stick around the office alone and Krieger and Pam want to go to Branson.
  • Cheryl’s country music singing alter ego, Charlene, made her debut and exit last season.
  • Question of the week: are Krieger and Pam together?
  • Slater’s authentication phrase is Sweet-44-Tender-9-Hot-Juicy-Porkchops.
  • Abbijean was Lana’s grandmother’s name.
  • “I bet their anal technology is lightyears ahead of mine!”.
  • Next Week: Lana’s folks come to town for AJ’s christening, and soon they learn just what sort of man their daughter’s chosen< /li>

A funny little episode that manages to joke about little green aliens without relying on anal probe humor. Too much. Not perfect, but not bad either.

  • GREAT 8.5

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.