It’s pretty much on record at this point that the last season of Archer was a weird one. Starting with ISIS being shut down by the CIA in the first episode, the season then proceeded to feature the team trying (and failing) to sell a literal ton of cocaine.
How did that go? Well…
- Starting from the first episode, Pam got addicted to coke, eating up a good chunk of the stash and losing an unhealthy amount of weight.
- Archer makes out with a dead gay man on their first outing as coke dealers.
- Malory and Ron breaking up because he realized how much of an awful human being she is.
- Cheryl/Carol become a country star named Cherlene in a plotline that produced a pretty good album and very little else.
- Kenny Loggins guest starred and was inexplicably crazy. He might actually be keeping his soul in a brief case.
- Krieger starts his own cryptocurrency, accidentally blows up the cocaine, and finds his own clone brothers that he immediately has to defeat before they attack the US with nerve gas. We also have no idea if the current Krieger is the real Krieger or one of those clones.
- Cyril briefly becomes the dictator of a small South American country because he’s really good at Warhammer.
- Lana has her baby while the US is invading. And it’s Archer’s baby.
Yeah, that all happened. And it kind of worked. Emphasis on ‘kind of.’ While it certainly did its job of keeping the show from falling into a monotony of ‘team goes on an irreverent spy mission every week’ and showing that they’re not good at much else, the season had a lot of plots that didn’t go much of anywhere or were explained kind of haphazardly. Cherlene had a drive to become a country singer, but no one actually knew why and it just sort of plodded out at the end. Pam gets addicted to cocaine, but mostly for laughs. Malory was the one who made the deal with the CIA for the cocaine because… they needed to use up their annual budget. Geez.
I feel like it could have easily been expanded into two seasons, but halfway through the season, Adam Reed declared “just kidding” and announced that they’d be going back to being spies in this upcoming season. Though, not without changes. Lana still has a baby, y’know. Also, due to the deal Malory struck at the end of the season and tragic real world events, the ISIS team will now just be an offshoot of the CIA.
Will it actually be back to business as usual for the team? How will Lana being the mother of Archer’s baby affect their lives? Did the nerd rage over the change keep the show from progressing? We’ll find out when Archer returns on January 8th at 10 p.m. on FX.