(This is part 1 of a special three-part storyline called “Heart of Archness” )

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Sterling Archer has really been put through the ringer lately. He almost got hit with statutory rape charges, nearly lost his job, became a dad (but not really), he was diagnosed with cancer, went insane and then beat cancer, declared his love for Lana and then Katja and almost married Katja until she died saving him from a killer cyborg. That is a lot for any man to deal with. Archer, however, is not just any man; he is a special individual – you know, licking the windows on the little yellow bus kind of special. Instead of facing his problems like a man, he chooses to run and hide himself far away from where anyone could find him. Malory obviously is not going to stand for this. You know how she gets when she does not have her way – she paves a whole new road and God help anyone that tries to stop her.

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The episode opens with Malory blasting Cyril, Lana and Ray for having no info regarding Archer’s whereabouts. He has been gone for three months and they swear that he cannot be found. Cheryl adds her classically dim-witted two cents and says he probably killed himself because Katja died at their wedding (cue flashback). Disgusted with their lack of results, Malory has contracted the help of Rip Riley, a former ISIS agent, who has already located Archer on a small island in French Polynesia. As Riley ends the call, the entire “female” staff has to comment on how handsome he is – it’s hard to describe how funny it is, but Ray plus “sploosh” followed by opening credits equals another classic moment on Archer.

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Somewhere in French Polynesia, Archer has a full beard and is up to his old tricks as he just finished having sex with a rather resentful newlywed. She kicks him out and as he turns, Rip is standing right in front of him, instructing him to come back to ISIS with him. Archer breaks a bottle of rum on his face and then finds himself aboard Rip’s seaplane, after Rip very apparently kicked his ass. Sterling is handcuffed to the co-pilot controls while he and Rip continue to have a more friendly conversation. Then he tells Rip that he has to drop a deuce and that he’s been living off of liquor and mangos for the past three months. From inside the bathroom, he kicks the door down to knock Rip out. When he awakens, he finds that a now clean-shaven Sterling has handcuffed him to a table. He immediately wants to know how long he was out and comes to the horrifying realization that they missed their only refuel opportunity as both engines conk out. Back at the controls, Rip tries to pull off an emergency sea landing. It as going quite well until Archer, for some unknown idiotic reason drops the landing gear, thus sending the plane into the Pacific. Once again, Riley is knocked out and Archer drags him out of the cockpit and tosses him towards the surface as the plane sinks. The idiot goes back for the liquor stash and notices that a shark is circling Riley. He reaches him just in time to pull of what is easily his most badass move to date – killing an Oceanic Whitetip Shark via gunshot to the face!

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So Archer and Riley are aboard a life raft as Rip regains consciousness for a second time. Not knowing exactly what happened he threatens to shoot Archer when he fins that he has eaten almost all the survival rations. Luckily Archer has his gun. Luckily for both of them, Rip finds the survival kit still has a few gallons of fresh water, a desalinator, flare gun and an emergency beacon that he immediately tunes to the ISIS frequency. Malory is beside herself when the tech guys pick up the signal and sends Lana and Ray to go get them with the ISIS Black Titanium corporate card. Back on the raft, Sterling and Rip have a standoff when Archer threatens to toss the beacon overboard. They resolve to call a truce until they get to safety just as a speedboat approaches. Unfortunately their rescuers are pirates and they are going to be ransomed because the pirates think Archer’s mother is super rich for some reason. In the hold of the pirate ship, Rip figures it is only a matter of time before ISIS rescues them and Archer laughs, knowing that it will be Lana and Ray sent to their rescue. It is very fortunate that despite being a complete idiot, Archer is actually a world class spy capable of killing ten pirates in a minute. One of those pirates was the captain, which by pirate rules makes Archer the new captain. As the ship comes to port, Archer sees the island is full of beautiful women and declares to Rip that he is going to be a pirate king.

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This episode was grade A hysterical. I am not quite sure why they held out on playing this story arc until now, but I am glad we get a little bit of new Archer goodness in the off season. From Malory’s four second long bleep (which I am not sure I even want to know what she really said) all the way to Archer declaring that he is going to be pirate king, this episode was full of hilarity. I have seen this said many times before on other sites, but it is still hard to believe that the voice actors have zero interaction with one another when they record. Patrick Warburton and H. Jon Benjamin produced comedic gold together for this episode and knowing they did it individually is mind-boggling when you see the final product. That plus the writers either spend days scouring urban dictionary for dialogue or this show is responsible for a whole lot of what goes into that site. You can think me disgusting, but this episode has me wanting to “sploosh” in some “cooch chili,” and I doubt that I am the only one.

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