FIELD GUIDE TO ARCHER: A KISS WHILE DYING

IT'S THE OFFSEASON, SO HERE'S 22 MINUTES OF TV OVERANALYZED

Series: Five, aka "Archer Vice." You know, the one where they are banned from spying and have to sell coke to make ends meet. They have to, and there is no alternative. Shut up with the quibbling: Pam's trucking it in on a forklift as we speak, and forcing us to the natural intersection between Pusha T and Archer's story arcs.

Location: Miami. And also New York City, where the ISIS mafia has holed up at Tunt Manor while they figure out how to move bricks, but mostly Miami simply for the point of getting the show to Miami. (No sign of Babou the Ocelot, sadly.) The point is to get the show to Miami sometime in the 1980s, which Adam Reed wisely realizes is the point of at least 40% of all quality television.

Somewhere along that bloodstained neon shore, Dorothy Zbornak is stepping over the bodies of drug couriers who skimmed a bit too much off the top one night. She might have done the work on them, too, because Bea Arthur was a trained killer who faked her own death. She is right behind you, and you have never been more aroused in your life. Cherish this moment: it may be your last.

Plot: They sell the coke via Ramon to Charles and Rudy, the gay assassins who nearly killed Archer in "Honeypot." But that's putting a few things ahead of the important smuggling vector ripped straight from the headlines: Archer and Lana get the coke there via putting Pam in a body cast.

Why Pam, you ask? Because no amount of cocaine on the planet could kill her indestructible, pit-fighting body, even when her body is enveloped in a full-body cocaine cast. Can you eat cocaine in solid form? Oh, you really, really should not ever try this, particularly when it's cocaine taken from someone's butt. You'll die horribly, and not end up "coke strong" and raging like Pam in "A Kiss Before Dying." Coke. Cocaine. Coke.

Ramon is in on the sale, double-crosses Archer with Charles and Rudy, joins forces with Archer to get the money back, dies in a firefight, requests a dying kiss from Archer, gets it, and then is revealed to have set the whole thing up in a hot tub revelation with Charles and Rudy who describe it as "stupid, stupid, stupid," and add a few more stupids. The custody of a fondue pot is also involved, and it's not even Le Creuset.

Also, Cheryl is training to be a country singer with Ray, who is still paralyzed. Or may just be sitting down because he likes it. It's hard to remember at this point, and that's the point, people who like points and logic. There is no point, and we've opened up Miami in a transitional episode shifting the series towards whatever the unholy fuck "Archer Vice" is gonna be.

(Oh, the money was counterfeit, too, and they're still broke, because of course that's how this would end.)

Ripped from the headlines: Some poor Chilean man tried the cocaine cast in 2009 with a leg cast, and we know this because it really, really did not fool anyone at Spanish customs.

References: The "Leon" reference by Lana when offered pieces of Pam's cocaine candy/cast was from The Andy Griffith Show. Leon was the kid who ate sandwiches and offered bites to cast members without saying much, an offer that was usually refused politely. Leon was played by Clint Howard, Ron's brother, aka the dude from The Waterboy and WoW handle "Peekay."

Cameos: Ron Perlman as Ramon, Tom Lennon as Charles.

Was Pam naked: Yup.

Did Archer lose another loved one to gunfire: Yes, but not really.

Complaints about free entertainment: It's not a great episode, and Ramon's a hard hook to hang half an episode on without some serious support work from other characters. I'm only tolerating Cheryl's singing career plotline because it will lead to country music caricatures, and mocking the hell out of Nashville and other country music fodder. We miss Babou, but that's really about needing a pet and enjoying ocelot references, and not Archer. They've barely begun to dip into the rich filth of Florida, but this is the second episode, and 22 minutes can only fit in so many fondue pots, cocaine body casts, and faked deaths. But we're underway, and it's going nowhere normal. We're right on schedule, even with a setup/tweener story in a larger arc like this one.

Projections:

  • Krieger will be the Mickey Munday of the operation as soon as he stops looking at bathroom cams
  • Ray's gonna be the Porter Waggoner to Cheryl's Dolly
  • Mallory's going full Griselda Blanco
  • We'll see Ramon again

Lines:

"It smells like a kennel, but for dogs that are poor." --Archer, referring to Pam's body cast

"Uno Rampageo!" --Archer

"COCAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE." --Pam, like, at any point in this episode

"Hellooooooo---" Woodhouse, living in an empty swimming pool. I like to think any empty swimming pool is a J.G. Ballard reference, so I will.

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