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Slick’s Nit-Picks: Archer, Episode 401 – “Fugue and Riffs” (Season Premiere)

I never got to see too much of Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist, but since the days of Home Movies, H. Jon Benjamin has been a source of constant laughter for me. He continued to please when Archer began back in 2009. The madness of the ISIS crew has made the show one of the top programs on FX and earned it continued season renewal. Tonight begins the fourth season of Archer and it is well deserved as fans like myself were eagerly awaiting to see what Archer and crew are doing after returning home from Space Station Horizon. Considering how wild the last season (now available on blu-ray) was, the next 13 episodes are inevitably going to be pure comedy gold.

Bob wishes he & his family looked this good!

WAIT, WHAT SHOW AM I WATCHING AGAIN? We open to a rainy night at. . . Bob’s Burgers? The comedy writes itself when a voice actor’s show opens at the locale of one of his other shows. We find Archer at the grill, going by the name Bob and making dinner for his stepchildren and wife that just happen to be the main cast of H. Jon Benjamin’s animated comedy on Fox. This does not last long as a KGB hit squad walks in and locks the door with intent to kill Archer and his new family. “Bob” seems to have no idea whatsoever who this Archer person is that the Russians keep referring to, but he instinctively takes all four of them out when they threaten his family. He then proceeds to leave them for their protection and go have a spa weekend to relieve his stress. The debacle learns the ISIS crew of Archer’s whereabouts, who had apparently been missing for two months. Instead of running off to be a pirate king, this time he actually had amnesia. Malory employs Krieger’s plan to ease Archer back into his memories by having Lana pretend to be on the run from the KGB, aka Cyril and Krieger. The plan goes south when the real KGB shows up to kill Archer. Then the plan suddenly works as a frying pan shot to the head from Lana brings Archer back to his senses. After the dust settles on the (literally) roasted KGB agents, we find out why Archer had amnesia. After witnessing his mother’s wedding to Ron Cadillac, the stress caused the mental fracture and temporary identity. The episode ends in space with good ol’ Barry threatening to kill scientists on Space Station Horizon if they do not rebuild his ship so he can get back to Earth.

Yes Pam, the hatred.

NOT SO GROOVY They say that drugs rot your brain. In the case of Cheryl Tunt, one might consider that an improvement. However, after the hotel fiasco, we might have to reconsider that one. After all the years of eating rubber cement, erotic asphyxiation, LSD and God only knows what else, I think Cheryl may have finally hit that point of no return. For some reason she had been making ostrich references all episode long and the groovy bears she was tripping off of actually made her see one at the end. The promo for this season has her riding an ostrich, so this may be one of those weird, “Cheryl” things this season. That does not sound any weirder than the last two seasons where her thing was owning an ocelot that pisses everywhere. Difference is that Babou is a real ocelot; I think the ostrich thing may be more her weird spirit animal or something. It’s Cheryl, she will probably just wake up naked on the floor when it’s all done and/or burn the ISIS building down.

Two episodes in a row! WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

IN THE END…IT’S STILL ARCHER Sterling pulled off Bob Belcher flawlessly; especially for a guy that never met him. Maybe he was a burger chef in another life….I guess we will never know now. As Bob, Archer was surprisingly kind and well-mannered. He showed an intelligence not completely alien to himself but one that he rarely utilizes. Even still, the sarcasm, overconfidence and selfishness of the real Archer would peek out consistently as if he were trapped and trying to claw his way out. We even saw the trademark Archer “WHOOOO!” come from Bob along with him using stickers as pasties on Lana’s breasts. Eventually, a frying pan set Archer’s true persona free and it looks like things will go back to normal. Normal, a state which at ISIS means anything but.

Barry (and Other Barry) are still stuck in space.

And so, we start a new season of Archer and the madness level is already high. Barry is still hell bent on killing Sterling, despite his promise to Katya. I wonder what she will do when she finds out. Cheryl’s crazy has officially hit batshit levels as she is hallucinating without having drank Krieger’s tea. Ray is pissed about apparently being paralyzed for real this time and he blames Archer. I mean, he should blame Archer since it actually is his fault. Lana definitely still has a thing for Archer, because that fake kiss lasted a lot longer than it needed to. However, it seems that Pam was enjoying their secret rendezvous more than she let on as she was upset when she thought Sterling was dead and equally upset when she heard he was married. And of course, we cannot forget the new player in the game, Mr. Ron Cadillac. I mean, it has only been two months since ISIS crash landed on Earth and while Burt Reynolds is clearly out of the picture, Malory somehow met this entrepreneur and married him in that short time. Even stranger, he seems to care about Archer’s well being, so something about this guy just seems a bit fishy. The world of circus ring espionage looks to have some spectacular acts this season and I for one do not intend to miss a moment of the show.