Archer Vice: A Kiss While Dying (5×02)

Summary: The former ISIS team scores their first big drug deal with a visit to Miami to see some old friends. Ray serves as Cheryl/Carol’s voice teacher as she strives to become a country star.

Rating: ★★★★☆

To be honest, I’d probably give this episode more of a 3.5 on the grading scale. An effective episode, but not up to full potential of the season yet.

With the ISIS team moved into Tuntmore Manor, it’s about time for them to start making some drug deals. The first being with a contact of Malory’s somewhere in Miami. Of course, being Malory, she’s refusing to give the details of the deal. She’s also sending Pam with Archer and Lana because of Lana’s pregnancy and Ray’s current wheelchair status.

Of course, since Krieger’s great plan to get 20 kilos of cocaine on a plane to Miami involves putting Pam in a body cast made of it, the stuff ends up absorbing through her skin and she becomes a cocaine addict in no time. To the point she actually eats about a pound of the cast without dying by the end of the episode. Damn Pam. You are way too hardcore for me. And as Lana points out, two days in to the drug cartel business and she’s already addicted to cocaine? Oh lord, this bodes well for the rest of the season.

It's like Dr. Rockso, but with less makeup. [facebook]
It’s like Dr. Rockso, but with less makeup. [facebook]
After a struggle with Pam that nearly kills Archer with blunt force trauma to the head, the three of them finally meet the buyer. If you haven’t already guessed by the return to Miami, the buyer is Ramon (Ron Perlman) from the season one episode “Honeypot.” He’s actually in cahoots with some other buyers, but he promises that the buyers are reputable and asks for a cut so he can buy out a club across from the little sandwich shop he’s running now. Of course, Archer thinks that’s a great idea. Lana notices his little man-crush on Ramon, but Archer denies it up and down.

After Ramon informs them that he gave his palabra that no guns would be used in the deal, the four of them go out to the swamp to meet the real buyers: Charles and Rudy from the very same season one episode. Through a series of unfortunate events that somehow involve a fondue pot, Charles and Rudy end up stealing all the cocaine as well as the promised money.

Understandably, Archer is pissed and decides that he’s going to raid their house to get the money. Since Lana is, well, pregnant, he talks Ramon into going with him. Which just mostly leads to Ramon showing off how awesome Charles and Rudy’s house is. It is pretty awesome though. I’d kill to have a minibar like that.

A firefight ensues between the four men after Charles and Rudy send a “message” to Ramon from some secret boss or something. Charles and Rudy are killed, and Archer holds Ramon in his arms while he dies. He asks for explanations, but Ramon can’t give them to the whole dying thing. He does ask Archer for one last thing though…

Cut to outside where Lana is leaving a coked out Pam in her car to raid the house. She makes promises to her unborn baby if he’ll forgive her for what’s about to happen. As she kicks down the door though, she’s only met with Archer making out with a dead Ramon.

Back in New York, the team is relieved that the mission is over, despite the now coke addicted Pam and the three dead gay criminals. One of which Lana is certain Archer was using tongue on, but Archer defends that he was just giving a man his final dying wish. However, it turns out to be a big ruse when Cyril discovers that the money is counterfeit and Lana puts two and two together about everything that went down. Which proves to be true as the show cuts to a hot tub in Miami where Charles tells Ramon just how stupid his plan was.

While all of this was happening, Ray has started to serve as Cheryl/Carol’s voice teacher as she  plans to become the #1 country star in the US and some parts of Canada. This, of course, proves to be harder than it looks and even ends with Ray getting shot at about it later in the episode. Ray and Cyril later wonder why she’s so jetset on this dream when she could do just about anything do to the fact she’s richer than any of them even without the drug business. I smell character exposition for Cheryl/Carol later on?

Of course, the biggest surprise is that Cheryl/Carol is actually pretty damn good when no one else is watching. Or thinks no one is watching. Kreiger, of course, has cameras to prove otherwise. Either way, Malory soon hatches a plan to be her manager. Which I’m sure will lead to shenanigans later on this season, especially with the Cherlene country album coming. (And before anyone asks, yes, I’m going to review that album!)

The first full episode of Archer Vice doesn’t hit quite as strong as the episode that lead into it, but it’s still pretty fun and sets a good foundation for the rest of the season. Plus, I think I might enjoy drugged out Pam if this continues to be a thing.

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