Hi folks! Welcome to our weekly recap of Archer on the Multiversity Summer TV Binge 2019. The episode for this week is named “Training Day” and we got to explore Archer and Lana’s relationship for the first time, (although it was featured on the first episode, obviously), let’s dive right in!
1. “I’m a secret ageeent!”
This episode begins with them doing a body guarding mission, where Archer’s first appearance is through dialogue, when he tells a transvestite man that he is a secret agent and he likes her because she is thick and he doesn’t bother because he’s drunk, it turns out that he is an Irish independentist and Archer knocks him down.
There are two things to explore here, first of all, the political implications of the show, here, they feature indiscriminately political events in history, given that the show is set in a retro futuristic unspecified era (somewhere between the 50’s and the 90’s?), they have the opportunity to feature events that are not so controversial and use them as analogies to modern era conflicts, I love that about this show.
The other thing is, this show is seriously stacked with a fuck ton of running gags, that’s why I love it, in the first minute it featured: Malory’s dissatisfaction and slight racism against Lana, Archer screaming that he’s a Spy, Archer’s alcohol problems and Lana’s emasculation of Cyril , it’s amazing.
2. Lana & Cyril
Speaking of them, I love this early depiction, where they have a relationship that Lana dismisses in public, and he is more like a parasite living in a host than a boyfriend, the only thing between them is the allegedly gigantic penis of Cyril, and even then she doesn’t looks very satisfied by that.
Obviously this is only a mean to depict Archer’s relationship with Lana, of course he is an asshole to her, and a womanizer, but they had something special and Lana yearns for that past. Obviously Archer cares deeply about her, but he won’t stop having sex with everyone he can.
3. Malory helps Cyril
The main plot of this episode is triggered by Malory not being comfortable with Archer and Lana’s potential relationship, so, she decides to make Cyril more appealing in order to him to maintain his relationship with her. Her argument is pure dark comedy, she doesn’t want Lana near Archer because she is a black… ops agent.
So, Malory decides to make Cyril a spy and enlist Archer as his teacher, he understands her intentions but teaches him nevertheless, after all, who wouldn’t miss a chance to reveal his super cool spy secrets?
This story revolves around the Chekhov’s gun trope, Archer has a little gun literally manufactured by a Chekhov that ends up not being used, and a pen and a rug that work as narrative devices after they are introduced, this was a great use and subversion of the trope.
4. The girls
Meanwhile, in the office, Malory gets an allergic reaction to zucchini and gets really high on painkillers, which is taken in advantage by
Cheryl Carol and Pam to make their health plan better. An important part of this show is the heavy use of female characters, I believe that, although dealing with a lot of misogyny and toxic masculinity, the show passes the Bechdel test: four women (one black) that talk regularly to each other about something besides a man.
Incredibly, it was 2010 when this show came out and, as of this first two episodes, the main characters are four women and two men, that’s 66%, it will eventually drop to 50% (when Krieger and Gillette become regulars), but that’s still way higher than the best numbers in this chart from Wikipedia based in four studies.
5. Woodhouse abuse
Poor Woodhouse, this is the least amusing part of the show to me, Archer being an unbelievably mean asshole to his butler, although the show tells us about the reasons behind this, namely Malory being an absent mother and Sterling being an entitled boy, this is heavy stuff, and I’m speaking about a series that involves heavy shit and pitch black comedy.
BONUS: I’ve noticed Krieger’s silence for the first time, how many episodes will it last? When will he become a speaking, show stealer role?Continued below
Joke of the week:
Malory: “Oh, like you’d recognize a vegetable that wasn’t wrapped in a Monte Cristo sandwich!”
Pam: “What’s that supposed to mean?”
Malory (blinded): “That is Pam, isn’t it?”
And that’s it for this episode, overall, a mighty fine addition to this first season, while we are still getting to know the characters. What did you think of this episode? Leave your comments below and join us next week for our take on episode 103, “Diversity Hire”.
And remember! Season 10, Archer: 1999 is airing right now on FXX, the third one is airing tonight! Go watch it!