Archer is tasked with babysitting AJ while Lana goes to a Zen center to sweat in a yurt for 24 hours. As soon as babysitting begins, however, Archer finds himself having to babysit another person: a rogue special agent from Pakistan. Over at HQ, the rest of the crew is having a hate-crime-filled poker night, complete with Breaking Bad costumes, potato chips, and alcohol (but seriously lacking in Milton). Oh, and apparently Woodhouse is on vacation.
The Highlight Reel
At the beginning of the episode — and also for the rest of eternity, probably — Lana is skeptical of Archer’s babysitting and/or fathering capabilities, because she knows he has guns and booze stashed all over his apartment. But Archer really wants to prove himself in this episode:
Archer: Lana, go, AJ is in good hands, I know what I’m doing. I’ve read 10 of The Baby-Sitters Club books.
Archer: Yeah, I’m totally a Kristy with maybe a dash of Claudia.
[+1 point to Archer for identifying the fact that he is an ego-maniacal, bossy tomboy with a penchant for creativity — if they ever made a rated-R version of a Baby-Sitters Club: All Grown Up, H. Jon Benjamin would obviously have to be Kristy.]
For dissonance, here’s a clip from the not-grown-up movie:
As soon as Lana leaves, Archer realizes it’s bro time for him and AJ. She pounds breast milk, while he gets his Claudia on at his in-home bar:
Archer: Tequila and coffee liqueur? All right, so we can make, I guess this will be a black Mexican? What? No, that’s not racist. If you added milk it would be a white Mexican, but all we have is breast milk — ew — which would make it a rusty Krieger.
[+1 to Archer for trying to ensure his daughter is cultured (and for naming a weird, pervy drink after Krieger); +1 to AJ for being a champ and hopefully a well-adjusted child in the future.]
Before Archer can really enjoy his night, a wounded Slater crashes father-daughter night with a Pakistani spy named Farooq (Kumail Nanjiani) in tow. Slater explains that they escaped from a safe house that wasn’t safe, and that Archer needs to protect Farooq for the CIA.
Farooq: What’s the deal with that safe house, am I right? They should call it a misnomer house.
[+1 to Farooq for the first of many wonderfully dumb gems.]
After Slater leaves, Farooq tries to get a feel for his host and his host’s security. Like, does he have any guns? Are all the doors locked? Is anybody else here? Etc.
Archer: Yeah, I’m always strapped … homie.
[+1 to Archer for officially becoming the whitest dad we know; but also +1 more because he was probably thinking about this and just got excited.]
So actually, it turns out Farooq is not a Pakistani spy looking to defect, but really just a Pakistani spy. He orders Archer to take them to HQ so he can access their mainframe.
Farooq: Wow, you drive like a gaping dick hole!
[+1 to Archer for toeing the line between badass and responsible parent, even in the face of danger.]
When Archer, Farooq, and AJ get to HQ, they see that a slightly less-than-normal poker night is happening (easily the best of string of scenes in the episode). Ray is winning:
Ray: I’m going to Hotlanta!
Cheryl: Have fun, I hope you get hate-crimed!
Krieger: Goddamn, woman!
Pam: I’ll hate-crime your ass right here.
Cyril: Can’t we have one poker night without a hate crime?
[+1 to Cheryl and Pam for the sportsmanship.]
A couple quick but fantastic things happen when Archer says hi to everyone:
Cheryl reveals she’s losing at poker because she thought they were playing another game:
[+2 to Cheryl.]
Farooq introduces himself as a manny named Manny, and chaos, more or less, ensues:
[+1 to Farooq for the on-the-spot improv.]
Manny tries to access the CIA mainframe via Archer, but then it’s Pam to the rescue: She goes into maternal survival mode to simultaneously save AJ from danger and then kidnap her, knocking the wind out of Cyril in the process:
Krieger: Well you don’t see that every day.
Cyril: I didn’t even see it today.
[+1 to Pam for saving AJ; +1 to Cyril for taking the charge.]
With Farooq stunned and the tables momentarily turning, Archer takes the opportunity to mount this inspirational monologue (print it and put it above your bed):
Archer: Whatever badass shit you heard I did, you really need some context, because pretty much my whole life, pretty much right up until this minute, my default setting has been half-assed, but that was before I had a child, a child you threatened to harm, a child I just realized who’s probably on her way up to the roof so Aunt Pam can swat at biplanes. So imagine as I literally beat you to death — hang on — yeah, literally, that a giant hand has turned my dial from half-assed to quadruple-assed.
Farooq: Wow, that’s a lot of ass.
Archer: Yeah, basically eight times the ass.
[+1 to Archer for, over the course of six seasons, basically going from Kenny Powers to FNL’s Coach Taylor.]
Cyril gets wrecked again because he’s Cyril:
So — and this is a big so — it turns out Farooq is not a Pakistani spy at all. He’s an improv actor:
Farooq: I dream The Improvable Dream down on 23rd and Lex. You guys gotta come down, you know maybe take a class. That’s good for confidence. Or just at least come out to a show. Here are some fliers, our upcoming shows are on there, plus there’s a coupon on there for a free drink if you’re a lady, so …
Cyril: Wait, is it not The Improv-able Dream?
[+1 to Cyril; +1 to Farooq for oozing confidence and hilarity.]
Confession: This reveal (that Lana made up the whole Farooq scenario) was frustrating. It felt like one of those cop-out writing techniques (almost like “Archer wakes up and realizes it was all a dream”). Although Farooq, Cheryl, Pam, and Archer were mostly funny in this episode, “Sitting” served no purpose. It was also a deflating follow-up, compared to last week’s episode, which was nearly flawless. There have been too many stagnant instances in which Lana doesn’t trust Archer’s fatherhood abilities (maybe not outright episodes, but it’s a sentiment we’ve been beaten over the head with). I’m not sure it’s funny anymore; it feels old hat and predictable. Here’s hoping next week’s episode deviates and is either more in line with last week’s, or pushes Lana and Archer’s dynamic to new territory.
Farooq. Nanjiani’s voice acting was flawless, Farooq’s facial expressions were hilarious, and his lines were mostly so bad they were good. I kind of want to give Archer some sort of award, but every episode he’s basically just proving that he’s more a dad and less his old self (which is a good or bad thing depending on the type of fan you are, obviously).
- Archer types on keyboards like a grandparent. He’s not aging well.
- It looks like Archer’s going to drink his gun-shot-wound pain away in the next episode.
- Call off the search party: Woodhouse is either at rehab or having 30 days PTO.
- Although the Farooq reveal was annoying, it does make rewatching the episode about ten-times funnier; it’s kind of like a redemptive two-for-fun episode. (So if you were pissed off, watch again and pay attention to the subtle strokes of ironic genius in the beginning — e.g., Archer calls it from the very beginning. It is not a guaranteed cure for your frustration, but it does help.)
- That was a nice #tbt to Brett and Rodney.