Part two of a series is always my favorite. My preferred Star Wars, Indiana Jones, The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, and Terminator films are The Empire Strikes Back, Temple of Doom, The Two Towers, The Wrath of Khan, and Judgment Day, because the action is always more exciting than the set-up (1) and climax (3), and there’s no let-down that comes with a disappointing ending. Second part of Archer’s “Heart of Archness” trilogy belongs in the TV version of the list below, because not only were the pirates and David Cross back, so was Pam’s back tattoo. So let’s get to the stills, shall we?
Lana and Gillette are on their way to Pirate Island to rescue Rip and Archer, who doesn’t believe he needs rescuing. After all, things are going so well now that he’s Pirate King. He’s added karaoke night, an “awesome” feast, and intramural lacrosse to the pirate’s schedule, and morale should be high. Except, because he’s such a “WHOOO”-shouting jackass, particularly to “buck-toothed little shit” Bucky, he’s doing more harm than good, and revolution is in the air. And yet, in his mind, Archer believes this and only this:
So many bodily fluids everywhere. First mate Noah (David Cross), an anthropology degree-holder (heh), tries to tell Archer of the morale problem, but he still won’t listen. (Archer won’t let his pirates rape the crew of another boat, or even steal their goods because they’re struggling small business owners. This economy, y’know?) Last week, it was great hearing the way H. Jon Benjamin and Patrick Warburton bounced off of one another; this week, it’s Benjamin and David Cross. It’s a one-sided relationship, and the more irritated Noah gets, the funnier Cross is. My favorite part was Archer trying to talk to the pirates, with Noah as his translator, but having trouble getting his meaning across without the use of idioms, or “colloquial metaphor,” as he correctly defines it. If only pirates understood the “lead a horse to water” phrase, then we’d have a much better understanding of each other.
Things go from bad to worse when Archer says no to a democratic election for a new king, and he’s challenged to a fight to the death by Bucky, who calls on his girlfriend (as seen above; pirates really do eschew traditional gender roles, don’t they?) to do the actual fighting. Archer, never having read the pirate orientation book, which he burned at a recent “awesome feast,” doesn’t know that the fights are encouraged to be hand-to-hand, which is why he “wins” by shooting Bucky’s girlfriend in the knee. Been there.
By now, it’s full-on mutiny, and after Archer shoots the island’s only radio, because Rip was trying to contact ISIS on it, he, along with Rip and Noah, find a secret passageway that lands them…right in a jail cell. (One more Rip note, who mostly sat out of the episode: unless Archer’s 15 years old, he’s not his dad. He still slept with Malory, though.) Moments later, Lana and Gillette, who now can only see out of one eye, after an incident involving boat-swerving and a twink, are thrown in there, too, having been captured by the pirates. (They were the episode’s one slight weak link, because their getting to the island was clearly a time-waster, and the show has done enough variations of Lana saying she’s not attracted to Archer when she is not-so-secretly is by now.)
Things zip right along in “Pt. II” because the writers were wise enough to flash forward slightly from “Pt. I.” Archer’s already embedded at the king, and taking advantage of all the sexy perks that come with being king, and that made all the difference in the world. It’s also to their credit that nothing really happened, story-wise — they’re still on the island, Malory is still looking for them, Lana and Gillette only arrive in the last minute — yet it felt as fast paced as any other episode of the show. Here’s hoping part three (the last new episode until 2012) is more Prisoner of Azkaban than Superman III, although I bet Archer could pull of a villain wearing a pink cape. Until next week’s finale, remember this:
Josh Kurp…and RICE!