Animated Archer Recap: ‘Hearts of Archness, Pt. III’

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“Don’t talk like black people, OK?”

Before I get to any actual recapping: Archers of Loaf reference! Archers of Loaf reference! Archers of Loaf reference! It’s like Andy and April talking about “The Neutral Milk Hotel,” but BETTER. Why? Because it’s the name of a lacrosse team, and it gives me a reason to listen to “Web in Front” from their masterpiece of an album Icky Mettle, which gives me a not-at-all-forced segue into: wasn’t the third and final part of the “Heart of Archness” trilogy rather icky?

Not in a bad way, that is. Pam’s naked body is back…again…but there’s also a ton of gore. Gillette gets shot and becomes crippled; Rip gets struck in the eye with a spoon; and there are countless explosions, resulting in dozens of dead pirates. There’s also a shit bucket. The icky I’m referring to is the “gross” kind, not the lacking-in-quality kind, because “Archness” went out with a literal and figurative bang.

The episode begins where the last one left off, in the dungeon of Pirate Island. The whole gang’s there, they devise a way to escape that involves luring Bucky into the cell, it works, they find a helicopter, Lana guns down the participants of the island’s intramural lacrosse final that’s going on (Archers of Loaf-crosse!), and they escape. Meanwhile, at ISIS, Pam and Cyril get really drunk and have gross sex, Cyril forgets the password to the account where ISIS’ funds are kept (it’s not “killarcherdie”), and Malory and Cheryl remain awesome.

One thing that I’ve learned while recapping these episodes of Archer is that: it’s a tough fucking show to recap. At the end of every episode, things reset in a way that makes it difficult to talk about the character’s growing, at least when compared to The Office or Community. Take last night’s episode, for instance, where even Archer can’t remember the reason why he went off the grid (it’s because of his dead fiancee). The show has made fun of its lack of consequences in the past, too; think of all the gun fights where the bad guy’s hit no one, and Archer’s meta references to how awful their aim is. Thing is, we don’t really want any of these characters to change, just like how it was on Arrested Development (another show that’s REALLY tough to properly recap, other than saying, “That was funny”). We want Archer to remain a self-entitled dick, like Gob; we enjoy Malory as a louse and a bad mother, like Lucille; we need Lana to remain the straight(wo)man, like Michael, for the rest of the characters to bounce off of. Archer and Lana should never get together, and they should never not talk to each other, either. (When they’re fighting on the helicopter, Noah mutters, “Just screw already,” which, no.) Everything in Archer is perfect as is, with one exception: add David Cross to the main cast. He was great as the ball-gag possessing, slightly nebbishy Noah, and he’ll be sorely missed.

My one and only complaint about “Heart of Archness” is how little screen time Cheryl got. (Her parody of Malory was fantastic.) She’s probably my favorite character, because in an office full of unhinged characters, she’s the most unpredictable. Pam’s wilder, but you know she’s going to drink, fight, or fuck, or all three at the same time. Cheryl, on the other hand, you’re never sure where her story is going—I mean, who would have guessed she’s a millionaire with a pet ocelot. Even Malory admits in “Part III” that she’s great when she says, “That may be the funniest thing you’ve ever said.” (Speaking of Malory, I detected a hint of George Senior, or should I say THE MUFFIN MAN, when she threatens to burn the school and office down.)

As happy as I am about having The League (DIRTY RANDY), I’m equally as depressed about Archer being off the air until 2012. But when it is back, hopefully everything’s stayed the same, and we get more of this: