March 12th, 2015, 10:00 PM, FX Network
With Lana and Archer back together – and in a honeymoon phase the rest of the gang finds noxious –it seems like it’ll be smooth sailing for our intrepid spy couple from here on out. They’re planning date nights! And talking about raising their daughter together and passing around fliers to help them find Archer’s lost valet, Woodhouse.
But people like Cheryl, Cyril, Pam Krieger and Ray aren’t the sort who’re comfortable with letting the pot go unstirred; they decide the only way to deal with the sugary dross the Kane-Archers are dishing out is to get them broken up for good. After realizing that sticking a high-class prostitute in bed with Archer would be too pricy for them to jointly afford, they decide instead to bring to life a different idea. The easiest solution – in their minds – is to trap Archer alone with his ex-wife Katya Kazanova, a buxom blonde cyborg who now heads the KGB and – post-break-up with Archer’s biggest rival, Barry – is tired of Boris and ready to mingle. The gang flies her in on the same night Archer and Lana are set to have a big stir-fry dinner (A day that was once, to Cyril’s deep lament, Stir-Friday, a weekly idyll he shared with Lana many a season ago), and then sits outside in a rented van listening to events as they unfold. Will Archer cave to temptation? After he and Lana have a conversation specifically about him avoiding such a trap, can heartbreak be far behind?
This episode manages to combine two of the three things Archer does quite well into a single episode; it’s ability to find the vulnerable, human warmth of its characters hidden under thousands of miles of cynicism while displaying the show’s raunchy, slightly-gross core that always keeps it from melting into a sloppy mess of feelings. With Archer’s climactic speech to Katya, Lana’s quiet speech to Archer about their trying to fall in love again and is as close as the show’s gotten to genuine sentiment since Archer helped that lost Japanese soldier reconnect with his wife in the season premier, and it’s filled with, well – missing vaginas, people puking into crockpots and misused buckets of ice.
Archer is at his most charming in this episode – even when he’s just barely clinging to fidelity and only marginally concerned that the man who raised him has disappeared. A lighthearted Lana is almost as out of character as the woman who dragged her daughter into the line of fire, but it works in the context of the show. Malory barely appears in the episode, a trend this season - which has to be intentional.
Just as intentional as the increasing desperation of Cyril’s now one-sided attraction to Lana. He’s been seen scheming next to her sleeping body, watched her and Abbijean with subtle jealous, and now throws himself at her with a full-on declaration of love that nets him…less than favorable results. Again, this has to be leading to someplace fresh, something that might just give us a villainous Cyril.
But until then, we have a good. Long string of sharp jokes to enjoy, a new step (and a step backwards) for Archer, the gang at their most devious, a burgeoning mystery when it comes to the missing Woodhouse situation, and the confused romance of the Archer/Lana connection. It’s a good episode – a couple of notches below ‘great’, but still a fun episode.
- “Broom closet, it’s dirtier! No, bring the burrito.”.
- Cheryl’s flip book plot/cartoon combines elements of the real Lindberg kidnapping case, as well as Kill Bill and Batman.
- ”Larger penis probably didn’t hurt…”
- Katya Kazanova was first seen back in season two’s White Nights. Her character arc, containing a courtship with Archer, brief marriage, violent death and resurrection as an enemy reflects James Bond’s brief marriage and courtship, also abutted by a violent unexpected death, in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service .
- Now the show’s just making a joke about Woodhouse’s absence. Is he going to turn up dead and cause an emotional epiphany for Archer? Turn out to have been kidnapped and reprogrammed by the CIA? Is this leading somewhere?
- I have no idea how I feel about Krieger’s anime wife becoming part of the gang, but I love it.
- Cyril’s courtship of Lana lasted from season one through season 2. They broke up in the middle of season three and until her pregnancy were often on again-off again.
- Katya is shown in bed with Boris at the beginning of the episode. She’d entered into a relationship with “the dumbest man in Russia” sometime during season 5, post break-up with Barry.
- “WHY IS THERE A VAGINA IN A SINK?!”
- Among the signs seen during Cheryl’s flipbook story – “Lana’s still annoying”.
- I love that the supplies that Krieger’s van hint that he just might be actually slinging ice cream on the side and nothing more.
- Next Week: < /li>Archer and Lana embark on a romantic Welsh vacation – where they plan to help separatist fighters - in “Achub y Morfilod”