Archer: White Elephant (5×01)

Summary: After getting busted for running illegal espionage operations, ISIS is shut down by the FBI. Everyone wonders what to do next, and what to do with the white elephant in the room.

Rating: ★★★★★

You know. I known for a while that the crew at Floyd County Productions is insane. I live in Atlanta. They come to cons and talk about all the work that goes into the show. It’s impressive and crazy how much work they put into the show to bring Adam Reed’s work to life.

However, I was about 95 percent certain they were screwing with us all when they announced that season 5 of Archer was going to be a drastic change from previous seasons. Like, there was no way that they would shut down ISIS and have the characters form a drug cartel. I mean, these characters are awful people, but there is no way they could make them worse.

Except that’s exactly what happened. Shows what I get for underestimating a show that’s previous season finale was basically an ending to Sealab 2021.

And the day had started so well. []
And the day had started so well. []
The episode opens with quite a literal bang as the top two floors of the ISIS building are blown out in an explosion on Malory’s birthday. Believing they are under attack, everyone begins to shoot at the “storm ninjas” in the office. Which leads to Brett getting caught in the crossfire and getting a bullet straight to the brain as he’s about to tell Archer that Beaker’s boss was Dr. Bunsen Honeydew. RIP Brett. Your gag probably went on a bit too long, but it’s over now.

Archer finally manages to get a damaging shot in to one of the shooters, but that’s when he notices that they aren’t terrorists, assasins or anything like that. It’s the FBI. If you’re like me, this is probably the moment you realized that Reed and crew were not messing around.

So yeah, ISIS is in hot water because all of those weird ass operations that have happened in the past four seasons weren’t strictly legal. The entire office gets arrested, including Dr. Krieger who has to be flushed out by the feds and doesn’t even have time to wipe his browser history. Archer tries to resist, but it ends up with him getting tazed and Cheryl/Carol being… well, uh… very into the idea. If you watch the show, you probably know what that means already. Clearly, Violet Wands ain’t ever gonna cut it for that girl.

Of course, I don't expect any less. []
Of course, I don’t expect any less. []
Tensions are high after the team is detained because no one wants to go to prison on Malory’s account, but Malory urges them to go into the interrogation and not say a word about anything that happened at ISIS. Of course, since you can’t trust this motley crew to do shit, they all spill the beans on everything that has happened in the previous four seasons. At this point, I was dying. Between the editing and the callbacks, the team interrogation is easily the best interrogation scene that has happened on TV since the one in the Firefly episode ‘Bushwacked.’ (Which is the best thing about that boring as hell episode, but I digress.)

Of course, Archer and Lana’s interrogation turns into a personal argument between them which ends with Archer saying to the feds that Lana has a weird looking vagina. However, it turns out that they had planned to argue to distract the feds so they could hatch an escape plan. The comment about Lana’s vagina was unplanned though. Archer tries to apologize and worries about the future for the both of them. With Lana being pregnant and Archer not being intent on going to prison without her, it is looking pretty bleak. Archer proposes the idea that the two of them get married, go underground, and raise her child together. Lana hesitates at the idea and point blank tells Archer that she’d rather lose her baby than do that. It’s harsh and kind of devastating, but I can see exactly where Lana is coming from. I mean, being on the run fron the feds with a baby and professional manchild Sterling Archer? Think about it.

Lana might actually be entering a zone of danger this season. []
Lana might actually be entering a zone of danger this season. []
The two of them bust out the rest of the crew from their interrogation and take a few feds hostage as leverage for Malory. However, when they find her, they see that she’s signing the immunity deal that they all asked for and didn’t recieve. They all get off scot free for their various crimes, including the attempted escape and hostage taking that just happened, but it means that ISIS gets dissolved in the process. Yay not going to jail, but boo to losing their jobs. Of course, Archer picks the moment to remember Dr. Bensen Honeydew’s name right as Malory is about to sign away liability for Brett Bunsen’s death. Way to go, Sterling.

The team goes back to drink their sorrows at Malory’s office and contemplate their futures. Lana worries about the lack of health insurance since she’s got a little one on the way. Cheryl/Carol announces her dream of becoming a country star, Pam considers getting back into underground fighting, and Cyril wonders how he’s going to move on back into regular accounting or law after working at ISIS. Archer, however, has a bigger question: what are they going to do with the ton of cocaine that ISIS has obtained over the years?

No, really. It is a literal ton of cocaine.

After a moment’s pause and contemplating how much it would cost to sell it all, Malory makes a decision. If drug cartels could sell this much cocaine, how hard could it actually be for them to do it?

This leads into a preview of the upcoming season, which can only be described as “balls to the wall” with how insane it looks. Between Cherlene, Pam taking a million dollars worth of amphetamines from the Yakuza, and Archer getting his own pet tiger, it looks like we’re in for a wild ride as the Archer team goes vice for season five. Even Archer seems tickled by the idea, if his gleeful declaration of “Archer Vice!” is any indication.

The Miami Vice look suits him. []
The Miami Vice look suits him. []
As unbelievable as the idea seemed, I really do have to give props to Reed and Floyd County Productions for making the decision to switch up the show to keep it from growing stale. It’s a risk that a lot of shows refuse to take, and it seems like they’ve found a good way to introduce the changes in this hilarious season opener. The change is, of course, making these awful and insane people even more awful and insane. Abandon all expectations of the show now because Archer isn’t sticking to them anymore.

Well, I’m going to have at least one expectation of more Kreiger shenanigans now that Lucky Yates is finally listed as a main cast member. That only took, what, three seasons?

Leave a Reply