Archer: Season 3, Episode 2
Heart of Archness: Part 2
Archer is usually at its best when all the set up is out of the way and the characters are allowed to just let loose with the craziness. Which means "Heart of Archness: Part 2" is pretty much wall-to-wall hilarity, and gives me high hopes for the conclusion next week. With all of "Part 1"'s exposition out of the way, "Part 2" is content to mostly just stall the plot for 20 minutes and let Archer, Rip and Noah talk to each other. And when those three characters are played by H. Jon Benjamin, Patrick Warburton, and David Cross, it stands to reason that the result is going to be pretty hilarious.
Archer's reign as Pirate King goes pretty predictably terribly. He drinks a lot, bangs the native girls, and continuously harasses the same pirate (named Bucky) throughout all of his "morale raising" activities (which consist of Karaoke night, feasts, and lacrosse games). He's locked Rip (Warburton) in the basement and elevated Pirate Slave Noah (Cross) to first mate, mostly just to mock his Anthropology Degree. Meanwhile, Lana and Gillette speed towards the fortress to rescue Archer (on the boat Gillette insisted on buying, with the boy he decided to just rent) and Malory freaks out back at ISIS, while the rest of the staff just get kind of tired of having to care about Archer.
The highlight of the episode is the extended mutiny set piece, which is basically an excuse to spend roughly half the episode with Archer, Noah and Rip bickering hilariously while Archer lobs grenades with his lacrosse racket. Yet unlike last week, a substantial amount of time was spent back at the office, where Cyril is squirreling away ISIS funds in Swiss Bank Accounts and hooking up with Pam, Malory is worrying hysterically and Cheryl is left being bored, stupid, and racist. Pretty much everybody is where we need them, and pretty much everyone has some great moments here (except Krieger. Where the hell is Krieger?).
If there's a flaw to the episode, it comes in the Lana and Gillette subplot, which basically serves to reiterate the "Lana is still attracted to Archer" thing that the show apparently wants in the foreground for some reason. While there's always been a vague tension between Lana and Archer, its mostly masked by honest hatred on her part and cad-ish ambivalence on his, so it seems strange to me that the show is pushing it this hard right now. I also feel like this means the show is underserving Lana in the arc intended to draw in more viewers. And considering she's a great character, I don't understand why that would be the case. I imagine there's a reason for all this, but for now it strikes a discordant tone in an otherwise note perfect episode.
Almost nothing happens this week, and fans of the emotional core of Archer might be a little disappointed here. Last week set us up for a story of Archer's recovery from the death of his fiance, and allowed for the possibility of a little soul searching, but this week throws that aside for a lot of tomfoolery and a few shenanigans. This might bother some, but it seems perfectly natural to me. Archer has always been the type to run from his problems and hide at the bottom of the nearest bottle or underneath whatever woman is willing (this is the guy who headed to Vegas after he heard he was dying of Breast Cancer, after all), and that aspect of his personality hasn't changed. Yet those of you looking for emotion will probably get some satisfaction next week.
For now, there's not much else to say about "Heart of Archness: Part 2" except that it is funny. Really funny. Really funny throughout its entire run time. If last week's opening gamut hooked in any new viewers, they're sure to be addicted by now. And for us long time fans, well, "Heart of Archness" is shaping up to be a pretty great reminder of all of the things we love about this show. I could use a little more Krieger though. And, if we could, a bit of Woodhouse to wash the whole thing down with. But I'm a patient guy. I can wait for "Part 3."
-Ok, seriously though. I can't wait for "Part 3." Is it next week yet?
-"I've never even heard of that position. What, did the missionaries not swing by here?"
-"Pirate King Archer? ready for this morning's briefing?" "I'm half drunk and covered in every bodily fluid imaginable. So yeah, this is about as Pirate King-y as I'm gonna get."
-"I'm letting him go. Shut up! He's a small business owner! If we take this ship, it'll ruin him!"
-"Just try to control all your jealousy and sexual frustration."
-"Is a pig's ass pork?"
-"If a King loses to another King in battle he has to step down...or be dead." "Since when? "Oh, since 19-always!"
-"Do you even know what an idiom is?" "Colloquial metaphor." One of my favorite things about Archer is how great everyone's vocabulary is and how often the show uses actual intelligence for the basis behind its stupidity. More examples of this below.
-"Way to eschew traditional gender roles, pirates!"
-"Wow. I never realized how much we rely on idioms."
-"Way to eschew traditional labeling, pirates!"
-"I guess I should upgrade that mutiny from potential to..." "Incipient?" "Oh, nice!"
-"What comes after incipient?" "In progress." "Nailed it!"
-"Uh, hey gang? Why don't we just use that?" "Well we're obviously going to use that!"
-"Orientals are crazy for firecrackers!" "Oh my god, and rice?"
-"Tell me you're not my father." "Not unless you're 15..."
-"My field is anthropology." "Good luck with the job hunt." "For your information, I plan to teach." "Anthropology! To other anthropology majors. you're just continuing the cycle of who gives a shit!"