Archer basically does what he did in episode one of this season: He gets upset about something related to fatherhood, goes on a bender, and then ends up stranded, in need of a rescue mission. This time, however, the whole crew — minus Lana, Malory, and Milton — comes to Archer's aid, in Las Vegas. Naturally, they get side-tracked and end up at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, where Archer pretends to be Agent Slater to save their hides. While a lonely Malory discusses re-naming her granddaughter with Lana at HQ, everybody else gets half-naked, drinks alcohol, and hunts aliens. Only on Archer.
The Highlight Reel
This episode whizzed by, with an unfortunate amount of non-action. Obviously, it had its gems, but if we're being honest, I'm worried the show and its snappy dialogue peaked this season in the elevator with Cyril's priapism. (I AM WRONG, HOPEFULLY.) Anyway: Specifically pissed at Lana for what happened in the last episode, Archer's self-destruction leaves him stranded somewhere in downtown Vegas, with ripped pants and a huge problem with all public — well, basically any and all forms of — transportation. He sends an S.O.S. to Cheryl from a pay phone.
Cheryl: Lemme guess, you’re all butt hurt because Lana hired some Pakistani dude to shoot you so you went to Vegas and now you’re drunk and broke outside a casino and you want me to wire $1,000 to buy you a plane ticket and a pre-flight whore?
Archer: Okay, I’m gonna list everything you just said that’s totally wrong.
Archer: And before you ask, the answers is no, Carol, a thousand times no, I will not, I cannot, ride the bus.
[+1 to Cheryl for using the mind-control skills that she gained in the elevator episode; +3 to Archer for being such an extroverted passenger, also for avoiding the no-bus list. It's wonderful that Archer's fourth-ever fear might be that of buses.]
Archer drives an unmarked Bluth stair car to the airport, where Cheryl in Sky Tunt picks him up — along with everybody else, minus Lana and Malory, from HQ. Onboard, Pam and Krieger say they want to go to Branson, the biggest buffet-slash-country-music tourist destination in the world. Unfortunately, Cheryl's selective memory still has her forgetting that she used to be the No. 1 country musician in the world. Or maybe she just wants us to think that and is going to rock our world soon (praying-hands emoji or whatever Drake has a tattoo of times 100).
[+1 to Cheryl for potentially being a mastermind of suspense or for just doing a funny voice and being an Amnesic Amanda.]
On the way home, Ray, who's piloting, flies past Nellis Air Force Base, purportedly home to Area 51 (which is kind of true, but not completely accurate). Ray doesn’t do well with peer pressure, so at the behest of everybody but Archer, he gets too close to Nellis's air space. The plane is shot down, and it's not long before everybody — half-naked, hanging out, drinking at the on-site gentleman's club because they're pretending to be Archer's CIA hostages — sees aliens.
Cheryl: Jesus, use your talking words!
[+1 to Cheryl for adulting very hard right here.]
Back at HQ, Malory and Lana discuss selling AJ’s name.
Lana: I guess maybe Malory could be her middle name.
Malory: Well, obviously that’s not worth $100,000, but —
Malory: Twenty-two-five, and I want a revised copy of the birth certificate on my desk by Friday. Oh, and christen her in a white church and I’ll kick in five more.
[+1 to Malory for expert haggling, but also minus, like, 5 for being a dick and for doing this with her granddaughter. Remember when Malory called AJ fat? AJ is for sure going to hate Grandmalory. +1 to Lana for being a trooper, though.]
Pam turns into a half-naked bear again, while she and Krieger go search for the aliens. For Krieger this makes sense. For Pam ... less so, but she's apparently well-versed in astrophysics, and that's fun:
Krieger: I have so many questions.
Pam: Huh, like what? How to build a better anal probe?
Krieger: Right? I bet their anal technology is light years ahead of mine!
Pam: Uh, light year is a unit of length, dip shit.
Krieger: Whatever, then. Parsecs.
Krieger: Hey, you know what?
Pam: I know how far light travels in a vacuum in a Julian year.
Aliens: Ooooooooooh, very good, Pamela.
Pam: You know my name.
Aliens: Yes, Pamela, and yours, Algernop.
Krieger: But, but, but, but English?
Pam: Yeah, head, head, heaaaaaad.
Krieger: Pam, I think he means telepathy.
Pam: Holy shit, like in Scanners?
[+1 to the aliens for being a cute combo of the martians from Toy Story and bite-size Professor Xes; +1 to Krieger for being the most proactive weirdo we know; and +1 to Pam for going from the opposite of 0 to 60 in terms of referential knowledge.]
Since they were posing as naked prisoners and risked getting shot, Archer has to go out and find Pam and Krieger before the rest of the Air Force does. This means a fight scene that gives you butterflies and makes you feel like you're watching a wonderful Planet Earth episode of an Archer in its natural habitat:
[+1 to Archer for obliterating the Air Force singlehandedly, but also probably minus 100 because that's not good, right?]
In the end, everybody is forced to believe that there are no aliens, and that Krieger inexplicably fornicated with an electrical outlet, causing a burst of light and tears. Because it's Archer the crew hijacks an Air Force plane with no problem and re-begins their flight back to Branson. Hopefully this is setting up something involving Cherlene and Woodhouse at a bar in Missouri, but, sadly, I don’t think so:
In an episode that was moderately funny and felt mostly like filler, everybody had only semi-precious moments. I can't help but feel like more could've been done with the idea of Area 51 and aliens — not to mention more with other characters interacting with aliens. Also, did we really need that redundant Malory-Lana-name story line that we've already seen? Or at least, did we need a whole subplot out of it? It felt like a waste. The trophy this week, therefore, goes to Archer. The lieutenant-colonel mix-up was clever and paid off well for the most part. Archer set up some good dialogue cuts (e.g. "brain ... freeze!"), the beginning exchange with Pam and Cheryl was sacred, and, at the end of the day, yes, he endangered everybody, but, yes, he also saved everybody. Which proves yet again, that he's a nonpareil guardian and dad. C'mon, Lana!
- GUNS OUT, BUNS OUT!
- This is an expensive name: AJ Malory Kane-Archer.
- Pam and Krieger now know the secret to the universe, which is problematic for the human race. Don’t you think?
- Archer has never had hush puppies, which is a crime.
- Simone from Frisky Dingo made a cameo to harass Archer and tell him he didn’t have kick pants. Beautiful.
- Slater's clearance code is spicy.
- Krieger loves Tony Orlando. Can you picture him jamming to this? YES.