April 2nd, 2015, 10:00 PM, FX Network
The voyage gets even more dangerous for the whole crew with radio contact cut off from the OR and the gang under pressure to make it from the good doctor’s foot to his tear duct and laser his clot before they return to normal size. Docror Sklodowska has a solution to that – hyperdrive - but the dangerous thrust needed to take them there results in Ray’s injury, and TV’s Michael Grey stows away, eating up their oxygen. The rivalry between Sklodowska and Lana grows more intense, Malory grows more impatient with AJ and everyone tries to keep calm and carry on. At the last minute it all comes down to Archer, Cyril and Pam. Can they accomplish the impossible and save the crew’s jobs?
There are a good handful of funny moments in this year’s season finale; chief among them is a climactic speech Archer gives to the crew as a rallying cry. There’s a couple of good moments between Pam and Archer and Archer and Lana, and a few good Cheryl lines. But the majority of the episode sinks under the weight of a feeling of familiarity – when the credits roll we’ve been through this exact situation before, and it will take a miracle for the show to make it feel fresh again.
The biggest problem is its choice to cripple Ray yet again. This was a running gag that was once funny, and continues to be funny as a facet of Ray’s relative competence and badassery, but isn’t funny when it’s done twice in a season, in this case less than three episodes since the last time Ray was mutilated. Lampshading by having Cheryl and Pam sigh over the situation doesn’t make it seem any funnier, it’s just an example of the series is confusing metahumor with actual jokes. It’s not working.
The season in general built up so much foreshadowing that it never delivered on. This used to be one of the series’ strengths; there was so much subtle build-up to Archer being revealed as AJ’s father last season for instance. This season’s hints that the CIA were using Team Archer for a nefarious purpose? The various hints that Cyril might be going Axe Crazy because he can’t have Lana? Malory’s general plotline invisibility throughout the season? Lana’s repeated worry that something terrible would happen to her and that would leave AJ orphaned? All paid off to nothing. You could say that Lana’s worries and the CIA stuff led to the conclusion we ended up with, but that’s weak reasoning.
It’s starting to feel like the producers are just blindly steering the show from gross out gag to gross out gag without thought, not even bothering to take the time to make the jokes as hilarious as they usually are. Negative continuity is fine when you’re writing a series like Sealab 2021. But Archer has continuity, an emotional core and a sense of purpose. With luck the show will remember itself next season after this remarkably uneven one, which managed to contain dizzying series highs and lows all in the same package.
- Props for the perfection of the animation in this episode.
- “And everyone’s Kickstarter has merit!”
- “On the farm, it was literally a pot” “I have no response to that.”.
- “We could ask Wikipedia!” “Good luck ‘cause we’ve got negative bars!”
- “He’s had the clap so many times it’s almost like applause!”
- Carrie Brownstein, actress and Sleater-Kinney musician, voices Doctor Sklodowska.
- “Well, let’s see how they mind a laser beam blasted up…whichever part of the euclasite is the asshole.”
- Michael Grey did indeed play Billy Batson on the Shazzam show. He retired from his career as a florist in the 0’s and lives somewhere in California. And yes, he did voice himself in this episode.
- “WE’RE THE BAD NEWS FREAKING BEARS.”
- We have at least one guaranteed season left, so I’ll be back next year, with luck!< /li>
The jokes are a bit weak, the storyline is headed in a fuzzy direction and I think Ray’s dead, guys. Let’s see if they can underdog it next season.