Synopsis of 6×01: Six weeks after the birth of Abbijean Kane, Archer returns back from his latest trip of panic by going on his first CIA mission where he meets Kintaru Sato, a Japanese soldier from World War II. Pam and Cheryl renovate the office.
So here we are. Everything old is new again with the team formerly known as ISIS as they’re back into the spy game and officially answering to the CIA. However, it doesn’t mean everything is exactly the same. I think the fact that Lana had a baby is enough to prove that.
Off the bat, I always love seeing how much the animation improves with each season as their budget gets larger. This episode easily had some of the most fluid animation I have ever seen on Archer and it makes me excited to see what else the season has in store for us in terms of animation.
The cold open gave me a bit of despondent sigh off the bat though. Archer wakes up in a dirty hut in the middle of the jungle with a call from his mother. Turns out, similar to a few seasons prior when Katya was killed, Archer ran off to “find himself” in the middle of the jungle, probably somewhere in the Philippines or Thailand. It would be a relatively harmless “hookers and whiskey” thing if it wasn’t for the fact they made the hookers purposefully transgender just so they could make “ladyboy hookers” and “genetic female” quips. I know I don’t necessarily watch Archer for characters that are decent people, but I expect better humor from the show. Picking the route of “hurr hurr, that woman is actually a man” is not just offensive to transgender people, it’s lazy as hell. Plus, Archer’s been kind of laissez faire about such things in the past. Why suddenly have him act like having sex with a transwoman is disgusting?
Anyway, before Archer can come back home, he’s given a CIA mission to be dropped on an island to retrieve a computer from a crashed plane and then destroy the plane. The jungle is also full of insurgents. After being dropped on the island (and one CIA pilot using ‘inapprops’ unironically), Archer is clearly annoyed to be left in the jungle once again, but it only gets worse when he’s randomly attacked by an old Japanese man who sees him as an enemy combatant. Oh boy, this is a plot trope as old as the war itself now. Archer keeps calling him Kato, but he informs him that his name is Sato.
Sato and Archer make a strange team throughout the episode. Initially, the two are wary of each other since Sato sees him as an enemy and Archer just sees him as crazy. Especially after Archer falls into a tiger pit and gets his foot impaled. However, they end up forming something of a bond as Archer educates him about relations between the Allies and the Axis post war. He also tells Sato about Abbijean, and Sato calls him a dickhole for walking out on his family when he’d give anything to be able to watch his daughter grow up. However, the uneasy bond is broken when Sato learns about the end of World War II from Archer’s satellite phone. He breaks two of Archer’s ribs from a kick and declares that he’s going home. Archer reminds him that it’s kind of far to swim back and hey, he does need his help to get into the plane.
The two manage to get the computer, but insurgents attack before Archer can blow the plane. When Archer realizes this, Sato insists that he goes back because he can’t shirk his duties. Archer informs him that he does it all the time, but Sato isn’t hearing it. With a scream, Sato goes running back with Archer around his shoulders and grabbing the remote, blowing the plane sky high.
At the extraction point, Archer asks Sato if he’s ready to head back home. Sato says that he will stay since he’s fairly certain his family has moved on without him. Archer uses his satellite phone to connect with his wife and it turns out, they haven’t. It’s actually a really beautiful moment when Sato speaks to his wife again for the first time in years. I swear, I haven’t gotten this emotional at this stupid show since ‘Sea Tunt.’
While this is happening, the team is prepping to move back into the office in New York. Malory left Cheryl and Pam in charge of the renovation in hopes that she’ll get a fancy new office and it initially appears that way, but instead they renovate everything to be exactly how it was before it was shot up. Exactly. Even down to Brett’s blood stains. I don’t know what cracked me up more with this plot line: Cheryl’s glee, Malory’s despair, or Archer’s reaction of liking it because he doesn’t like change. That felt mighty pointed, Adam Reed.
With Archer back in New York, he and Lana start arguing about his involvement with Abbijean. Archer says he really isn’t going to listen to her about it, but considering they both respond to Malory telling their child to shut up with “Hey!”, I think Archer might be able to do this parent thing after all.
You know, provided he doesn’t tattoo this child the way he did the Wee Baby Seamus. Lord, we can only pray.
Also, we got signs pointing to the fact the real Krieger might be dead considering the fact he didn’t remember Pam’s name, but I guess we’ll find out later.