Archer (TV series)

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For the current season, see Archer (season 8).
Archer
File:Archer 2010 Intertitle.png
Intertitle from Seasons 1–4 and 6–7
Also known as
  • Archer Vice (Season 5)
  • Archer Dreamland (Season 8)
Genre
Created by Adam Reed
Voices of
Theme music composer
  • Scott Sims
  • Mel Young
Opening theme Archer Theme Song
Ending theme The Killer
Composer(s) J. G. Thirlwell
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 8
No. of episodes 89 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s)
  • Jeff Fastner
  • Neal Holman
  • Chad Hurd
  • Eric Sims
  • Bryan Fordney
Running time 19–24 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor 20th Television
Release
Original network
  • FX (2009–16)
  • FXX (2017–present)
Picture format 16:9 HDTV
Original release September 17, 2009 (2009-09-17) – present
External links
Website

Archer is an American adult animated spy sitcom created by Adam Reed for the FX network. The series formerly aired on FX from September 17, 2009 to June 2, 2016.[1][2] On June 21, 2016, FX renewed the series for an eighth, ninth, and tenth season, each to consist of eight episodes.[3] The eighth season premiered on April 5, 2017, with the series moving to sister network FXX.[4]

Reed indicated in September 2016 that he planned to end the series after the tenth season.[5]

Premise

Seasons 1–4

Working for the "International Secret Intelligence Service" (ISIS) in New York City, suave, profoundly self-centered master spy Sterling Archer deals with global espionage, as well as his domineering, emotionally-distant mother and boss Malory Archer, fellow ISIS agent and ex-girlfriend Lana Kane, and ISIS employees Ray Gillette, Cyril Figgis, Pam Poovey, Cheryl Tunt, and Doctor Algernop Krieger.[6]

Season 5 - Archer Vice

A season-long arc took place in the fifth season, re-configuring the show from a spy series to a Miami Vice-style satire of the drug industry. To reflect this, the season was titled Archer Vice. When ISIS is disbanded by the U.S. government, its employees take a stockpile of cocaine that they acquired from previous operations and form a drug cartel to fund their retirements.[7] Meanwhile, Cheryl decides to launch a new career as a country singer.[8]

Season 6

In the sixth season, the series returned to the spy format, and essentially "unrebooted" the characters back to their personalities before the fifth season.[9] However, some elements from the fifth season had a big impact on the series going forward, including new character introductions (Lana Kane giving birth to her daughter, and Christian Slater playing a fictional version of himself), and the revelation of the CIA's involvement in some of the events that happened during Archer Vice. The characters now started working as contractors for the CIA.

Season 7

The seventh season once again retooled the show, after the characters were fired from the CIA and blacklisted from espionage in the sixth-season finale following failure during a mission. They move to Los Angeles, California to start their own private detective agency, known as The Figgis Agency (named after character Cyril Figgis). The show once again took on a serialized, season-long story arc.[10]

Season 8 - Archer Dreamland

This season resolves the cliffhanger from last season which was revealed that Archer has been in a coma for three months, but finds himself trapped in a 1940s noir-esque setting called Dreamland.

Time period

The show's time setting is comically anachronistic, deliberately mixing technologies, clothing styles and historical backdrops of different decades. The characters wear 1960s clothing and hairstyles, and many episodes feature references to the Soviet Union as a current nation, yet in the fourth-season episode "Once Bitten", Turkmenistan is an independent nation rather than a Soviet republic. It also contains references to Fidel Castro as the current leader of Cuba. The show frequently uses pop-culture references which are contemporary to the 2010s, yet character backstories place them at older events—such as Woodhouse's service in World War I, or Malory's involvement in various espionage events of World War II and the Cold War era—which would require them to be much older than they are if the show were actually set in the 21st century.

The technological sophistication within the series also varies, with characters using dated computer technology (e.g. reel-to-reel mainframe systems, desktop computers closely resembling the Macintosh XL, dot-matrix printers, and punch cards) and making surveillance recordings on cassette tape rather than digitally, but also using modern technologies such as GPS devices, the Internet, laser gunsights, cryptocurrencies, USB flash drives, sophisticated cyborg appendages/endoskeletons and cellular phones (season 6 saw the appearance of touchscreen devices and flip phones, whereas cellphones in season 7 resembled very large, early cellphones). This ambiguity is alluded to in at least two episodes, in which characters are unable to answer when asked what year they think it is.[11]

Malory is depicted in flashback meeting Wodehouse and giving birth to Sterling in Tangiers during WW2. Sterling's age is given as "36" on a computer screen in episode one. The beginning of the series could then be dated to no later than 1945 + 36 = 1981.

Episodes

Archer 2009 logo.svg

Archer is an American animated comedy series created by Adam Reed for the FX network. The first four seasons are set at the International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) and surround suave master spy Sterling Archer as he deals with global espionage; a domineering, late middle-aged mother/boss, Malory Archer; his ex-girlfriend, Agent Lana Kane; ISIS accountant Cyril Figgis; and a less-than-masculine code name—"Duchess".[6]

On March 6, 2014, the series was renewed for a seventh season.[12] As of April 2, 2015, 89 episodes of Archer have aired, concluding the sixth season.

Series overview

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
1 10 September 17, 2009 (2009-09-17) March 18, 2010 (2010-03-18)
2 13 January 27, 2011 (2011-01-27) April 21, 2011 (2011-04-21)
3 13 September 15, 2011 (2011-09-15) March 22, 2012 (2012-03-22)
4 13 January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) April 11, 2013 (2013-04-11)
5 13 January 13, 2014 (2014-01-13) April 21, 2014 (2014-04-21)
6 13 January 8, 2015 (2015-01-08) April 2, 2015 (2015-04-02)

Episodes

Season 1 (2009–10)

Main article: Archer (season 1)
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Written by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
1 1 "Mole Hunt" Adam Reed September 17, 2009 (2009-09-17)[n 1] AR01001 0.91[13]
Wishing to hack the ISIS mainframe to hide an issue with his expense account Archer inadvertently spreads a rumour there is a mole in ISIS. There actually is a mole, Krenshaw, and on hearing this he plans to flee using Archer's expense account.
2 2 "Training Day" Adam Reed January 7, 2010 (2010-01-07) XAR01002 1.82[13]
In an effort to make Cyril more attractive to Lana, Malory promotes him to field agent. Archer teaches him Krav Maga and how to dispose of a dead hooker.
3 3 "Diversity Hire" Adam Reed January 14, 2010 (2010-01-14) XAR01004 1.23[13]
After the death of yet another agent, ISIS needs a new operative and a racial minority, and Malory hires Conway Stern (voiced by Coby Bell) to fill the position. As Conway makes an impressive splash at ISIS, he quickly draws the suspicion of Lana. Meanwhile, Archer is worried that Conway has his sights set on marrying Malory and cutting him out of her will.
4 4 "Killing Utne" Adam Reed January 21, 2010 (2010-01-21) XAR01003 0.87[13]
To get a major client, Malory hires a German hit man and his twisted girlfriend to fake an assassination attempt during a dinner party, unaware the duo have been hired to really kill the man.
5 5 "Honeypot" Adam Reed & Tony Carbone January 28, 2010 (2010-01-28) XAR01005 0.62[13]

Archer has to seduce an enemy agent to recover incriminating video footage of his mother. The enemy agent however is a man.

Special guest stars: Thomas Lennon as Charles and Ron Perlman as Ramon Limon
6 6 "Skorpio" Adam Reed February 4, 2010 (2010-02-04) XAR01006 0.76[13]
Archer and Lana go on a mission to stop an arms dealer while Malory has a tryst with her KGB lover and reveals he may be Archer's father.
7 7 "Skytanic" Adam Reed February 11, 2010 (2010-02-11) XAR01007 0.87[13]
While on the maiden voyage of the luxury airship Excelsior, a bomb threat requires the attention of the ISIS agents. Malory eventually admits that she called in a false bomb threat as an excuse so she could get free tickets. Just as Lana calls Archer to tell him this news, he ironically finds a real bomb in the cargo hold.
8 8 "The Rock" Adam Reed & Boswell Cocker March 4, 2010 (2010-03-04) XAR01008 0.72[13]

When ODIN steals a contract away, Malory sends Archer and Lana to steal a priceless diamond as payback. However, the mission (and Cyril's plan to propose to Lana) are upset when the ISIS workers decide to go on strike for better pay.

Special guest star: Jeffrey Tambor as Len Trexler
9 9 "Job Offer" Adam Reed March 11, 2010 (2010-03-11) XAR01009 1.08[13]

ODIN offers Lana a job but Archer believes the offer is for him and accepts after he and Malory have a falling out. It seems great at first, until his mother drunkenly puts out a burn notice on him.

Special guest star: Jeffrey Tambor as Len Trexler
10 10 "Dial M for Mother" Adam Reed March 18, 2010 (2010-03-18) XAR01010 0.76[13]
Archer is kidnapped and implanted with a mind control chip to try and kill Malory. Meanwhile, Lana tries to teach Cyril a lesson after cheating on her with several women (including Cheryl) while Pam attempts to lose her virginity with one of the co-workers.

Season 2 (2011)

Main article: Archer (season 2)
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Written by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
11 1 "Swiss Miss" Story by: Mehar Sethi
Teleplay by: Adam Reed
January 27, 2011 (2011-01-27) XAR02002 1.53[14]
Weakened by the recession, Malory institutes pay cuts in addition to seeking outside investment. Tasked with protecting the flirtatious 16-year-old daughter of a wealthy German dignitary, Anka (voiced by Kari Wahlgren), Archer finds the girl to be more trouble than she's worth.
12 2 "A Going Concern" Adam Reed February 3, 2011 (2011-02-03) XAR02006 1.11[15]

With her fortune wiped out by a ponzi scheme, Mallory plans to sell ISIS to ODIN so Archer takes drastic measures to stop it, including using the modified Ludovico technique.

Special guest star: Jeffrey Tambor as Len Texler
13 3 "Blood Test" Adam Reed February 10, 2011 (2011-02-10) XAR02001 1.12[16]
Archer's favorite hooker Trinette claims that he fathered her child, Seamus.
14 4 "Pipeline Fever" Story by: Boswell Cocker
Teleplay by: Adam Reed
February 17, 2011 (2011-02-17) XAR02007 0.99[17]
Archer and Lana travel to the bayou to stop an eco-terrorist out to destroy a pipeline.
15 5 "The Double Deuce" Adam Reed February 24, 2011 (2011-02-24) XAR02004 1.00[18]
When members of Woodhouse's old WWI unit die mysteriously, Archer discovers his valet's connection to the family.
16 6 "Tragical History" Adam Reed March 3, 2011 (2011-03-03) XAR02005 1.02[19]

After being mocked as a failure one too many times by his coworkers, Cyril accepts an offer from a mysterious man (Peter Serafinowicz) to upload a computer virus into the ISIS mainframe so he can "save the day" by stopping it, only to find out he's become a pawn in a scheme to steal a list of undercover ISIS agents.

Special guest star: Peter Serafinowicz as George Spelvin
17 7 "Movie Star" Adam Reed March 10, 2011 (2011-03-10) XAR02003 1.02[20]

A Hollywood actress follows the gang on a mission to research a role.

Special guest star: Rachel Harris as Rona Thorne
18 8 "Stage Two" Adam Reed March 17, 2011 (2011-03-17) XAR02008 0.93[21]
When Malory suspects that she might have breast cancer, she undergoes a medical examination; Archer decides that he should be thoroughly checked for the disease as well.
19 9 "Placebo Effect" Adam Reed March 24, 2011 (2011-03-24) XAR02009 1.09[22]
After discovering his cancer medication is fake, Archer goes on a murderous rampage against the Irish mob with Lana in tow.
20 10 "El Secuestro" Adam Reed March 31, 2011 (2011-03-31) XAR02010 1.32[23]
When Pam is kidnapped, mistaken for Cheryl/Carol, ISIS discovers that Cheryl/Carol is really an heir to a billion-dollar empire and is being hunted by masked gunmen. Malory offers Cheryl/Carol ISIS as her personal bodyguard service, in exchange for financial compensation. Meanwhile, Archer and Ray attempt to rescue Pam while everyone else weighs the dollar-value of her life. (Spanish for "The Kidnapping")
21 11 "Jeu Monégasque" Adam Reed April 7, 2011 (2011-04-07) XAR02011 1.01[24]

Malory and the ISIS agents travel to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix to recover another one of her sex tapes, but Archer loses all the blackmail money gambling and must enlist Ray and Lana's help to recover it before Malory finds out. (French for "Monaco Game")

Special guest star: Peter Serafinowicz as Benoit
22 12 "White Nights" Adam Reed April 14, 2011 (2011-04-14) XAR02012 1.21[25]
Archer's search for his father's identity takes him to Russia where he is held prisoner by KGB head Nikolai Jakov; Malory has to ask Archer's rival Barry Dylan to rescue him.
23 13 "Double Trouble" Adam Reed April 21, 2011 (2011-04-21) XAR02013 1.01[26]

Krieger works to finish a top-secret project, and Archer brings a mysterious former KGB agent named Katya Kasanova home to meet Malory, unaware that Barry Dylan is on his way to kill him.

Special guest star: Ona Grauer as Katya Kasanova

Season 3 (2011–12)

Main article: Archer (season 3)
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Written by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
24 1 "Heart of Archness: Part I" Adam Reed September 15, 2011 (2011-09-15) XAR03001 1.17[27]

Malory hires an adventurer named Rip Riley to find Archer, who has been missing since Katya Kasanova sacrificed herself to save Archer on their wedding day. Rip finds him on a tropical island, but Archer has no interest in leaving.

Special guest stars: David Cross as Noah and Patrick Warburton as Rip Riley
25 2 "Heart of Archness: Part II" Adam Reed September 22, 2011 (2011-09-22) XAR03002 1.10[28]

After being captured by pirates, Archer emerges as Pirate King, but he has bit off more than he can chew, getting little help from his first mate, Noah. Meanwhile, his ISIS colleagues keep up their attempts to rescue him, sort of.

Special guest stars: David Cross as Noah and Patrick Warbuton as Rip Riley
26 3 "Heart of Archness: Part III" Adam Reed September 29, 2011 (2011-09-29) XAR03003 1.19[29]

Archer, Rip, Lana and Ray try to escape the island. Meanwhile, Cyril realizes he hid all the agency's money while drunk and has to find a way to get it back.

Special guest stars: David Cross as Noah and Patrick Warbuton as Rip Riley
27 4 "The Man from Jupiter" Adam Reed January 19, 2012 (2012-01-19) XAR03005 1.31[30]

Archer is overjoyed when he meets personal hero, Burt Reynolds, only to find out that Reynolds is dating his mother, Malory.

Special guest star: Burt Reynolds as himself
28 5 "El Contador" Story by: Tesha Kondrat
Teleplay by: Adam Reed
January 26, 2012 (2012-01-26) XAR03006 1.12[31]

Against her other agents' wishes, Malory promotes Cyril to field agent and sends him with Archer and Lana to capture a drug lord, where they find out he might actually have a talent for it. Back at the office, Malory institutes a strict drug testing policy for her employees, forcing Pam, Cheryl, and Ray to use Dr. Krieger's purifying herbal tea to beat it. Its side effects, however, cause them to have horrifying hallucinations.

Special guest star: Joaquim de Almeida as Román Calzado
29 6 "The Limited" Adam Reed February 2, 2012 (2012-02-02) XAR03007 1.06[32]

ISIS helps The Royal Canadian Mounted Police capture a Canadian terrorist while on a high speed train. Malory finds out that the support staff have tagged along with Cheryl, and the terrorist escapes when Cyril leaves him alone. The agents have to search the train to find him, but Archer is more concerned with finding Cheryl's pet ocelot when it escapes.

Special guest stars: Mike Smith as Mountie/Terrorist, John Paul Tremblay as Mountie/Terrorist, Robb Wells as Kenny Bilko and Dave Fennoy as George
30 7 "Drift Problem" Adam Reed February 9, 2012 (2012-02-09) XAR03008 1.22[33]

When his birthday present of a spy car is stolen, Archer's quest to get it back leads to a conflict with the Yakuza.

Special guest star: George Takei as "Mr. Moto"
31 8 "Lo Scandalo" Adam Reed February 16, 2012 (2012-02-16) XAR03004 1.20[34]
Mallory claims to have been framed for killing her long-time lover, the Italian prime minister, and the gang have to help her cover up the crime fast.
32 9 "Bloody Ferlin" Adam Reed February 23, 2012 (2012-02-23) XAR03010 1.27[35]

Archer and Lana discover that Ray has been faking his paralysis all along when he's caught stealing weapons from ISIS. Ray needs to help his drug-dealing (or 'Farming') brother which leads to a trip to Ray's backwoods hometown of Ferlin, West Virginia where Ray has Cheryl pose as his wife.

Special guest stars: Paula Malcomson as Janelle, Jack McBrayer as Randy Gillette and Michael Rooker as Sheriff E.Z. Ponder
33 10 "Crossing Over" Adam Reed March 1, 2012 (2012-03-01) XAR03009 1.07[36]
When Barry becomes the head of the KGB, Jakov decides to defect to the U.S. with ISIS protecting. Archer finds himself in a relationship with a woman who gives him the best sex of his life: Pam.
34 11 "Skin Game" Chris Provenzano & Adam Reed March 8, 2012 (2012-03-08) XAR03011 1.04[37]

Krieger revives Katya as a cyborg but Archer is jarred by her inhuman nature despite his love for her. Barry comes back for revenge.

Special guest star: Ona Grauer as Katya Kazanova
35 12 "Space Race: Part I" Adam Reed March 15, 2012 (2012-03-15) XAR03012 1.16[38]

The team (including Malory but not Pam and Cheryl/Carol) receive emergency Space Training; before heading to The Danger Zone, this time an international space station called Horizon where murderous mutineers have apparently gained control. While in transit Pam and Cheryl are discovered to have been stowed by Archer who continues to have his affair with Pam.

Special guest star: Bryan Cranston as Commander Tony Drake
36 13 "Space Race: Part II" Adam Reed March 22, 2012 (2012-03-22) XAR03013 1.33[39]

Archer and the rest of ISIS are held captive by mutineers on the Space Station Horizon.

Special guest star: Bryan Cranston as Commander Tony Drake

Season 4 (2013)

Main article: Archer (season 4)
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Written by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
37 1 "Fugue and Riffs" Adam Reed January 17, 2013 (2013-01-17) XAR04001 1.61[40]

Archer has amnesia, brought about by the trauma of watching his mother get married, and believes he is now a fry cook at a burger joint called Bob's Burgers. When he inexplicably stops a KGB attempt on his life, he flees to a spa, where ISIS tries to bring back his memories.

Special guest stars: Ron Leibman as Ron Cadillac and John Roberts as Linda Belcher
38 2 "The Wind Cries Mary" Adam Reed & Chris Provenzano January 24, 2013 (2013-01-24) XAR04003 1.58[41]

Archer sets out to clear the name of a former ISIS agent, but there might be more to him that Archer is yet to discover.

Special guest star: Timothy Olyphant as Lucas Troy
39 3 "Legs" Adam Reed January 31, 2013 (2013-01-31) XAR04004 1.58[42]

Krieger offers to give Ray the power to walk again. Archer runs afoul of Rodney, the new armory supervisor. Archer also hears about Ray's procedure and, fearing robots, tries to stop it.

Special guest star: Ron Leibman as Ron Cadillac
40 4 "Midnight Ron" Adam Reed & Tesha Kondrat February 7, 2013 (2013-02-07) XAR04005 1.28[43]

Ron Cadillac's past is revealed and step-father and son bonding occur as Ron rescues Sterling Archer from a drunken debauch in Canada. Woodhouse eats spider webs.

Special guest star: Ron Leibman as Ron Cadillac
41 5 "Viscous Coupling" Adam Reed February 14, 2013 (2013-02-14) XAR04006 1.15[44]

Katya enlists Archer's help to bring Barry back from space. Archer uses this opportunity to try to get her back.

Special guest star: Ona Grauer as Katya Kazanova
42 6 "Once Bitten" Adam Reed February 21, 2013 (2013-02-21) XAR04007 1.70[45]

A snake bites Archer's taint during a covert operation to blow up an oil pipe and his subsequent venom-induced hallucinations uncover mysteries from his past, including the identity of his long-lost father.

Special guest star: Peter Serafinowicz as James Mason
43 7 "Live and Let Dine" Adam Reed February 28, 2013 (2013-02-28) XAR04008 1.52[46]

When there is a threat against the Albanian ambassador, the ISIS agents investigate the threat undercover in Lance Casteau's restaurant. Meanwhile, Mallory has Pam and Cheryl try to get a table at the restaurant.

Special guest stars: Anthony Bourdain as Lance Casteau, Ona Grauer as Katya Kazanova and Ron Leibman as Ron Cadillac
44 8 "Coyote Lovely" Adam Reed March 7, 2013 (2013-03-07) XAR04002 1.53[47]

Sterling Archer's weakness for beautiful women bungles a Border Patrol mission. Mallory leads a witch hunt style investigation of the incident.

Special guest stars: Dayton Callie as Veterinarian, Carla Jimenez as Mercedes Moreno and Nick Searcy as Border Patrol
45 9 "The Honeymooners" Mike Arnold & Adam Reed March 14, 2013 (2013-03-14) XAR04009 1.17[48]
Archer and Lana go undercover as a couple on their honeymoon to catch North Korean terrorists attempting to buy uranium. Cyril, Pam and Cheryl follow to spy on them, while Mallory takes away Archer's bonus for stealing her credit card.
46 10 "Un Chien Tangerine" Adam Reed & Mike Arnold March 21, 2013 (2013-03-21) XAR04010 1.37[49]
Archer and Lana extract an agent from Morocco only to find out his bark is worse than his bite. Pam wants to be a field agent.
47 11 "The Papal Chase" Story by: Eric Sims
Teleplay by: Adam Reed
March 28, 2013 (2013-03-28) XAR04011 1.38[50]

Archer, Lana and Pam are sent to the Vatican to try to prevent an assassination on the Pope by using Woodhouse as a decoy.

Special guest star: Ron Leibman as Ron Cadillac
48 12 "Sea Tunt: Part I" Adam Reed April 4, 2013 (2013-04-04) XAR04012 1.30[51]

ISIS is sent on a mission to recover a hydrogen bomb from a crashed B-52 with the help of Cheryl's brother and his girlfriend, who fears is after her inheritance.

Special guest stars: Jon Hamm as Captain Hazel "Hank" Murphy, Eugene Mirman as Cecil Tunt and Kristen Schaal as Tiffy
49 13 "Sea Tunt: Part II" Adam Reed & Rick Cleveland April 11, 2013 (2013-04-11) XAR04013 1.61[52]

Murphy threatens to detonate nerve-gas missiles over the Eastern Seaboard unless his demands are met. Meanwhile, the ISIS agents descend to deal with him in his underwater lair, where it is revealed that Lana is pregnant.

Special guest stars: Jon Hamm as Captain Hazel "Hank" Murphy, Eugene Mirman as Cecil Tunt and Kristen Schaal as Tiffy

Season 5 (2014)

Main article: Archer (season 5)
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Written by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
50 1 "White Elephant" Adam Reed January 13, 2014 (2014-01-13) XAR05001 1.65[53]

ISIS is raided and disbanded by the U.S. government when it transpires that the agency was never sanctioned by them. Cyril, Pam, Cheryl, Krieger and Ray promptly spill the beans about all of ISIS's operations, while Lana and Archer creatively break out of custody, only to find that Malory has managed to get everyone off the hook, on the condition that ISIS be dismantled immediately. As the staff discuss what they all plan to do next, Archer reveals a hidden vault containing a ton of cocaine and Lana suggests that they form a cartel.[8]

Special guest stars: Gary Cole as Special Agent Hawley, Fred Armisen as Gustavo Calderon, Thomas Lennon as Charles and Blake Perlman as La Madrina
51 2 "Archer Vice: A Kiss While Dying" Adam Reed January 20, 2014 (2014-01-20) XAR05002 1.17[54]

Disguised as a doctor and nurse, Archer and Lana take twenty kilos of cocaine - hidden in plaster covering Pam's entire body to a deal with an unknown buyer. A nervous and sweaty Pam absorbs cocaine through her skin and ends up addicted - to the point of eating the plaster/cocaine body cast. They then meet with the buyer, who turns out to be Ramon. Ramon is making the buy on behalf of Rudy and Charles, all three last seen in the Season 1 episode "Honeypot." As the deal turns increasingly sour and all three buyers wind up dead, it is revealed in the final scene that it was an elaborate ruse to steal the cocaine from ISIS, pretend to be dead to throw suspicion and to have paid ISIS in counterfeit bills. Meanwhile Cheryl is beginning her goal of becoming a country music star, performing the original song "40 Miles of Mountain Road" in the background of the episode. Her vocals are provided by singer Jessy Lynn Martens. While horrible in rehearsals, it's discovered that when no one is watching her, Cheryl is actually an amazing singer, pushing Mallory to become her agent.

Special guest stars: Thomas Lennon as Charles and Ron Perlman as Ramon Limon
52 3 "Archer Vice: A Debt of Honor" Adam Reed January 27, 2014 (2014-01-27) XAR05003 1.13[55]

The gang decides to use the counterfeit money to buy guns but Pam takes it instead to buy amphetamines from the Yakuza. They trace Pam down (as she had left full and detailed listing of living at Cheryl's mansion at her old apartment) as the Yakuza boss, Mr. Moto demands the drugs be returned. He also wants Pam's head and despite Cheryl offering to pay him, he still refuses. Cheryl reveals she has an entire arsenal of old-fashioned weapons the team uses to defend the mansion from Yakuza attackers. They manage to use the tunnels built under the mansion by one of Cheryl's crazy uncles to escape and Archer cuts a deal with Moto to give away 5 million dollars worth of cocaine to even things up. Ron is shot and wounded in the attack and as he's taken to the hospital, refuses to support Mallory's criminal lifestyle.

Special guest stars: Ron Leibman as Ron Cadillac and George Takei as Mr. Moto
53 4 "Archer Vice: House Call" Adam Reed February 3, 2014 (2014-02-03) XAR05004 1.13[56]

As the gang discusses their diminishing coke supply and sending Pam to rehab, an FBI agent knocks on the door. Because he was invited in by Woodhouse, the gang fears they will be incriminated by their coke pile under the plain view doctrine. Everyone scrambles to distract the FBI agent. The agent is fooled into leaving, and a computer chip is installed into Cheryl to remove her anxiety and allow her to become a country singer.

Special guest stars: Gary Cole as Special Agent Hawley and Ron Leibman as Ron Cadillac
54 5 "Archer Vice: Southbound and Down" Adam Reed & Ben Hoffman February 24, 2014 (2014-02-24) XAR05005 1.05[57]
With Cherlene on the verge of discovery, Archer pays for an extravagant tour bus to get the gang to Texas for her debut performance. Things go off the rails when he lets slip to Pam that a shipment of cocaine has been smuggled onto the bus for distribution over state lines.
55 6 "Archer Vice: Baby Shower" Adam Reed March 24, 2014 (2014-03-24) XAR05008 0.95[58]

With Krieger operating an online pharmacy to distribute the cocaine to buyers, the gang has the free time to throw a neglected Lana a baby shower. Archer takes Pam along for backup on a trip to the Tuntmore Hotel to secure a very special shower gift: a performance by Kenny Loggins.

Special guest star: Kenny Loggins as himself
56 7 "Archer Vice: Smugglers' Blues" Adam Reed March 3, 2014 (2014-03-03) XAR05009 0.87[59]

Without Malory's knowledge or permission, Archer takes some of the cocaine to South America, dragging Cyril and Ray along. Archer plans to simply ask around to find a drug lord named La Madrina and give her the cocaine as a sample for more. He ends up in bed with La Madrina only to discover that she's an undercover police officer who sends the trio to jail without backup.

Special guest star: Blake Perlman as La Madrina
57 8 "Archer Vice: The Rules of Extraction" Adam Reed March 10, 2014 (2014-03-10) XAR05006 1.08[60]
When the jeep carrying them crashes, Archer, Cyril and Ray (who has supposedly become paralyzed yet again) have to navigate their way through a jungle river, forcing Archer to confront his fear of crocodiles. Seeing Malory frantic about Archer, Lana tries to give her a "spa day" overseen by Pam and Cherlene.
58 9 "Archer Vice: On the Carpet" Adam Reed March 17, 2014 (2014-03-17) XAR05007 0.91[61]

Archer avoids crash landing in a dangerous swamp only to come face-to-face with a shady arms dealer. They manage to escape back to New York with a slate of illegal arms meant to be sent to a Central American country in civil war and Malory decides to sell the arms for money after discovering Kreiger wasted the last of the cocaine on a failed submarine experiment.

Special guest stars: Christian Slater as Slater and Fred Armisen as Gustavo Calderon
59 10 "Archer Vice: Palace Intrigue: Part I" Adam Reed March 31, 2014 (2014-03-31) XAR05010 0.92[62]

Archer and the rest of the ISIS gang are the guests of Gustavo Calderon and his wife Juliana. Calderon is a big fan of Cherlene, but Juliana is a bigger fan of Archer.

Special guest stars: Fred Armisen as Gustavo Calderon and Lauren Cohan as Juliana Calderon
60 11 "Archer Vice: Palace Intrigue: Part II" Adam Reed April 7, 2014 (2014-04-07) XAR05011 0.87[63]

Archer tries to keep his fling with the dictator's wife a secret while Krieger bonds with his clone-brothers.

Special guest stars: Fred Armisen as Gustavo Calderon and Lauren Cohan as Juliana Calderon
61 12 "Archer Vice: Filibuster" Adam Reed April 14, 2014 (2014-04-14) XAR05012 1.07[64]

Cyril becomes the new president of San Marcos, Cherlene becomes the first lady of country music, and Archer becomes a resistance fighter.

Special guest stars: Christian Slater as Slater, Lauren Cohen as Juliana Calderon, Gary Cole as Special Agent Hawley and Fred Armisen as Gustavo Calderon
62 13 "Archer Vice: Arrival/Departure" Adam Reed April 21, 2014 (2014-04-21) XAR05013 0.68[65]

Archer helps Lana with the delivery of her baby, while Krieger and Ray try to prevent the launch of a deadly nerve gas rocket. Cyril is dethroned as 'leader' of San Marcos, Mallory negotiates an underhanded deal with the CIA to reactivate ISIS, and the father of Lana's baby is finally revealed.

Special guest stars: Christian Slater as Slater, Lauren Cohan as Juliana Calderon and Gary Cole as Special Agent Hawley

Season 6 (2015)

Main article: Archer (season 6)
No.
overall
No. in
season
Title Written by Original air date Prod.
code
U.S. viewers
(millions)
63 1 "The Holdout" Adam Reed January 8, 2015 (2015-01-08) XAR06001 1.51[66]
Archer searches a jungle in Borneo for a crashed plane carrying sensitive information. He is ambushed by a Japanese soldier named Sato Kentaro, who has been marooned on the island and still believes the war is being fought. After saving Archer from guerrillas, "Ken" finds videos of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on Archer's phone and, at first, attacks him, but later, accompanies him. The two complete the mission, and Archer reconnects Ken with his family. Meanwhile, back home, Cheryl and Pam have renovated the futuristic office for Malory, who then realizes it is simply a hologram over the pre-ISIS office – only a copier-shaped toaster robot named Milton and a Japanese hot tub have been added.
64 2 "Three to Tango" Adam Reed January 15, 2015 (2015-01-15) XAR06002 0.90[67]

Slater has an assignment for Archer and Lana: extract a freelance CIA agent stranded in Buenos Aires. That agent happens to be Conway Stern, who apparently stole a whisper drive to sell to the Chinese government. Conway was, in fact a decoy, set up by the CIA, to ensure the safety of the real plans. After Archer and Conway fight upon seeing each other, Conway tells them he was sent to retrieve a computer file with the identities of every CIA operative operating in Central and South America. All three must now work together to complete their respective missions. Ultimately, Conway intended to sell the files to the Russians. Back home, the search is on for A.J., who has gone missing. She is found in Krieger's lab, where she was taken for research for Krieger's "Cyberneddly Teddly" cyborg, which he has completed.

Special guest stars: Christian Slater as Slater and Coby Bell as Conway Stern
65 3 "The Archer Sanction" Adam Reed January 22, 2015 (2015-01-22) XAR06003 0.88[68]
Lana, Archer, and Ray travel to a mountain climbing resort in the Alps to kill an assassin, only Archer has forgotten the mission dossier, leaving them without the target's name. They meet the climbing party: Crash McCaren, Mario Sevino of Italy, Michiko Ishikawa of Japan, and Hans Hessler of Germany. Archer then recalls the target being from an Axis powers nation. One by one, Michiko, Mario, and Hans mysteriously die. Archer gets Crash to admit that he is the assassin, that he is Irish, and that he killed all the other climbers, who were Interpol agents. Archer shoots him, despite being warned of a resulting avalanche. Later in the ambulance, Archer gives a compelling reason why he thought Ireland was an Axis power.
66 4 "Edie's Wedding" Adam Reed January 29, 2015 (2015-01-29) XAR06004 1.23[69]

Pam's sister Edie is getting married and has overlooked Pam for maid of honor, in favor of a woman who stole her old boyfriend. Archer accompanies Pam to Wisconsin, only to be spotted in an airport by Barry Dylan. He later kidnaps Pam from the hotel, takes her to an abandoned farm, and calls Archer, who knocks out Edie when she refuses to help with Pam. At the farm, all engage in a verbal and physical fight until Pam saves Edie from Barry's choking her by shooting him with Archer's explosive shotgun shells. The building gets set on fire, and the three leave Barry's mechanical, still alive endoskeleton behind.

Special guest star: Allison Tolman as Edie Poovey
67 5 "Vision Quest" Adam Reed & Ben Hoffman February 5, 2015 (2015-02-05) XAR06005 0.98[70]
Malory calls the team to the office for a 7:00 am meeting. They gather into the elevator for the ascent, and it gets stuck near the top floor. The team must escape the elevator, before they do each other any harm.
68 6 "Sitting" Adam Reed February 12, 2015 (2015-02-12) XAR06006 0.81[71]

Lana leaves A.J. in Archer's care. When she departs, Slater arrives at Archer's with a bullet wound and a Pakistani agent, named Farouk, needing a safe house. Farouk later forces Archer at gunpoint to drive him to the office to hack the mainframe. With A.J. in tow, Archer does, and they find the team playing poker. While the team overpowers Farouk, Pam takes A.J. to the top of the building, à la King Kong.

Guest stars: Christian Slater as Slater and Kumail Nanjiani as Farooq Ashkani
69 7 "Nellis" Adam Reed February 19, 2015 (2015-02-19) XAR06007 1.08[72]
After learning Lana set up his recent kidnapping to test his paternal abilities, Archer goes on a drunken bender to Vegas and somehow gets put on the no-fly and no-train lists. He asks Cheryl to send her family's private jet, the Sky Tunt to get him home. However, Ray's poor piloting forces them to land at Area 51, where Archer pretends to be CIA Agent Slater and Pam and Krieger go searching for aliens. After a quick rescue, they steal an Air Force plane. Back home, Mallory buys naming rights to AJ for $25,000-plus. Archer and Lana's daughter will have the full name of Abbiejean Mallory Kane-Archer.
70 8 "The Kanes" Adam Reed February 26, 2015 (2015-02-26) XAR06008 1.08[73]

Lana and Archer travel to Berkeley so that her parents can meet their granddaughter. But when Lana's microbiologist father's research is stolen by a team of masked gunmen, Archer and the Kanes must give chase through the streets of San Francisco in a scene straight out of Bullitt. Meanwhile, Krieger, Pam, Cheryl, Cyril, and Krieger's Virtual Girlfriend run out of gas in the ghetto on their way to league bowling night.

Guest stars: Christian Slater as Slater, Keith David as Lemuel Kane and C.C.H. Pounder as Claudette Kane
71 9 "Pocket Listing" Adam Reed March 5, 2015 (2015-03-05) XAR06009 0.92[74]

Slater has the gang swindle the Durhani royal family and Gillette lends a hand. The group attempts to steal the hand prints and retinal scans of prince of Durhan during a tour of Tunt Manor in the city.

Special guest star: Christian Slater as Slater
72 10 "Reignition Sequence" Adam Reed March 12, 2015 (2015-03-12) XAR06010 1.07[75]

Disgusted by Archer and Lana's renewed romance, Cyril, Ray, Pam, Cheryl, and Krieger conspire to drive a wedge in between the couple.

Special guest star: Ona Grauer as Katya Kasanova
73 11 "Achub Y Morfilod" Adam Reed & Mike Arnold
Story inspiration from a rousing tale by Matthew Rhys
March 19, 2015 (2015-03-19) XAR06011 0.84[76]

Archer and Lana travel to Wales for a romantic getaway and end up aiding Welsh separatists.

Guest star: Matthew Rhys as Lloyd Llewellyn
74 12 "Drastic Voyage: Part I" Adam Reed & Casey Willis March 26, 2015 (2015-03-26) XAR06012 0.79[77]

To save the life of a preeminent scientist who has discovered miniaturization, the team must enter his body and destroy a blood clot.

Guest stars: Christian Slater as Slater, Gary Cole as Special Agent Hawley, Carrie Brownstein as Dr. Sklodowska, Michael Gray as himself and Ron Leibman as Ron Cadillac
75 13 "Drastic Voyage: Part II" Adam Reed & Casey Willis April 2, 2015 (2015-04-02) XAR06013 0.72[78]

The team's mission inside Dr. Kovacs goes awry, and they are blacklisted by the CIA.

Guest stars: Christian Slater as Slater, Gary Cole as Special Agent Hawley, Carrie Brownstein as Dr. Sklodowska and Michael Gray as himself

Notes

  1. "Mole Hunt" originally aired as a special sneak peek of the series on September 17, 2009, the episode later made its official premiere on January 7, 2010, when the series made its official debut.

References

  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Sneak_peek
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Series_premiere
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  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Season_8
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named S10_Final
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External links

Cast and characters

Main

  • Sterling Malory Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) is considered the world's most dangerous secret agent, comparable to James Bond. He is extremely egotistical and self-involved, and usually doesn't take any situation seriously. Though he shows proficiency in stereotypical spy skills, such as weapons, driving, and martial arts, his primary interest in the job is the opportunity to enjoy a jet-setting lifestyle full of sex, alcohol, thrills, lacrosse, fast cars, designer clothing, and spy gadgets. His obsessions include Burt Reynolds, Kenny Loggins, and big cats such as tigers and ocelots. Archer's favorite catch-phrases include the exclamation "Phrasing!" (which he cries whenever he spots a sexual innuendo in an inadvertent remark from someone), "Do you not?", "I had something for this" (when he is searching his mind for a pun or an insulting nickname), and "Danger Zone", said in expected situations. Despite his gross negligence, incompetence, and willful ignorance, Archer is usually successful to some degree in most of his endeavors, though sometimes due to blind luck. He possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and literature, and peppers his speech with esoteric references. His biggest fears are, in order of severity: alligators, crocodiles, brain aneurysms, the Bermuda Triangle, cyborgs and Predator.
  • Lana Anthony Kane (voiced by Aisha Tyler) is the top female agent at ISIS. She is a competent and deadly agent but is constantly frustrated that she is treated as the number two ISIS field agent behind Sterling, as his mother runs the agency. She has dated Archer in the past and they have had an on again-off again[citation needed] relationship before dating Cyril. The fact that she is 6 ft (1.8 m) tall with abnormally large hands is often a source of jokes at her expense. She is revealed to be pregnant at the end of season 4, via a sperm donor. In the season 5 finale, Lana gives birth to a daughter, whom she reveals to Sterling is his daughter, conceived through in-vitro fertilization after she used one of Sterling's sperm samples without his knowledge or consent. Lana almost always wears one-piece, cowl-neck dresses, thigh-high stiletto boots, and a shoulder holster which carries her twin TEC-9 guns. Due to various circumstances, Lana is often forced into desperate situations wearing only her underwear.
  • Malory Archer (voiced by Jessica Walter) is Sterling Archer's mother and the head of ISIS. A self-centered, greedy alcoholic and former black-ops agent, she regularly hatches half-baked, frequently disastrous schemes to use the agency's resources and personnel for her own personal gain. While often cunning and usually worldly, she is also a compulsive micromanager, blatantly manipulative, and constantly belittles her employees and anyone she sees as her inferior (almost everyone). Malory was an absentee mother to Archer, due in part to her career in espionage, leaving him to be raised by his valet, Woodhouse, or in the care of various boarding schools. Malory sheds brief light on her introduction to black ops through cultural reference in season 2, episode 7, Movie Star. Here, Malory states that she once was a burgeoning actress who was recruited by William (“Wild Bill”) J. Donovan. “Wild Bill” is credited with being the “Father of American Intelligence,” as chief to the Office of Strategic Services.[1] This government faction is considered as the precursor to Central Intelligence Agency. What little parenting she did do typically involved some form of psychological manipulation or strange punishment such as spanking Sterling with a ping pong paddle, taking all of his Halloween candy as his bet in a drunken game of Blackjack, and stealing his brand new bike (and later a new car) and selling it to someone else to "teach him a lesson." Despite her highly abrasive nature, Malory does show genuine concern for Sterling and sometimes Lana whenever presented with the likelihood of one of them being killed or seriously harmed, though she immediately reverts to her normal self-centered personality after they are confirmed to be alive. Malory is also obsessed with staying thin, and when her infant grandchild, Abbiejean, is left in her care in Season 6, she also attempts make the baby thin—constantly making fat jokes at the baby's expense and only feeding her ice cubes. She also has had and currently has sexual/romantic encounters and relationships with important characters such as Burt Reynolds; bounty hunter Rip Riley; head of the KGB, Nikolai Jakov (see below); the (fictional) Italian Prime Minister; a high-ranking Catholic Cardinal; and Len Trexler, head of rival spy agency ODIN (see below.)
  • Cyril Figgis (voiced by Chris Parnell) is the comptroller of ISIS. Cyril is portrayed as quite competent at his job, but is plagued by a number of personal issues. He was Lana Kane's love interest at the beginning of season 1, but due to residual trust issues from her relationship with Sterling (and her later discovering Cyril was frequently cheating on her), she refused to call Cyril her boyfriend or say she loved him. Later seasons see him struggling with alleged sex addiction and becoming an active field agent, with generally (though not consistently) disastrous results. Cyril has an abnormally large penis, a debilitating inferiority complex with Sterling, and has had sex with most of the main female characters. In season 5, episode 1 Archer Vice: White Elephant, Cyril reveals that aside from being comptroller to ISIS, he is also a defense attorney. As of Season 7, Cyril officially owns and operates "The Figgis Agency", and allows Archer and the others to work under him as private investigators after they were fired and blacklisted by the CIA at the conclusion of Season 6.
  • Cheryl Tunt (voiced by Judy Greer), also known as Carol and various other similar first names, is Malory's secretary. In the pilot episode, she was portrayed as a lovesick, ditzy secretary frequently taken advantage of by Sterling, but that side of her character was gradually phased out as her behavior became more and more unhinged; she has pyromaniacal and masochistic tendencies, eats an office plant (which closely resembles aloe vera, which she may be eating for herbal medicinal reasons], and is often sniffing or swallowing rubber cement. Despite her insanity, she sometimes demonstrates surprising insight into the other characters' motivations and personal feelings. She is also revealed to be an heiress with a fortune of half a billion dollars. During Season 5, Cheryl allowed Archer and the others to use her mansion as their main headquarters after the dismantling of ISIS, during which time, Cheryl began a country music career, adopting the name "Cherlene". Her singing voice during Archer Vice was provided by Jessy Lynn Martens.[2]
  • Pamela "Pam" Poovey (voiced by Amber Nash) is ISIS's human resources director. A gossipy, crude, impulsive hedonist raised on a dairy farm, she is subject to many jokes regarding her weight and serves as a foil for most of the members of the cast, often calling them out on their zany schemes. Though initially portrayed as being socially inept with few life skills, it is gradually revealed that she is a skilled drift car racer and bare-knuckle fighter, with over a dozen kills under her belt (represented on her back, along with the third stanza of Lord Byron's poem "The Destruction of Sennacherib" in tattoo form). Among her other interests and talents are graffiti, directing amateur tentacle porn, putting billiard balls in her mouth, and cockfighting with Siamese fighting fish. Archer and Pam have sex several times and Archer claims it's the best sex he's ever had. Pam has also had sexual encounters with Lana and Malory, and frequently makes highly sexual comments about both men and women. Originally ISIS's HR representative, she eventually convinced Malory to approve her for field work. During season 5, Archer Vice, she developed an ever-present cocaine addiction, ingesting the drug in both conventional and highly creative ways. As a result, her weight during the season is significantly lower, although it returns to normal in the following seasons, suggesting that she has overcome her addiction.
  • Algernop Krieger (voiced by Lucky Yates) is the head of the ISIS applied research department. He spends most of his time and money working on projects to facilitate his kinky sexual fantasies or on bizarre, Dr. Moreau-esque experiments. He has had at least two iterations of a holographic, anime-style girlfriend/fiancé named Mitsuko Miyazumi, and has developed the technology to turn human beings into cyborgs. It is discovered that he is possibly a clone of Adolf Hitler, being one of the "Boys from Brazil", but there is some ambiguity to his status as a Hitler clone, as he points out in the season 6 finale that he doesn't actually resemble Adolf Hitler. Krieger's credentials are often called into question, and he admits that he's not really a doctor. However, he is often as competent as the show needs him to be, alternating between being ingenious and horribly inept. It is furthermore suggested that the character to emerge at the end of season 5 and going forward into season 6 is not season 1-4 Krieger, but that one of the clones with whom he [fatally] tangles in the season finale has substituted him. A recurring meme is the appearance of different Rush album art on his van in each episode where it is seen.
  • Raymond Q. "Ray" Gillette (voiced by Adam Reed) is an openly gay intelligence analyst/field agent and one of the few competent members of ISIS. Along with Lana, he often serves as the voice of reason on the show. Ray appeared only three times in season 1, becoming a regular character in season 2. Raised in a trailer park in Ferlin, West Virginia, he was once an ordained minister, as well as an Olympic bronze medalist in the giant slalom. Malory frequently emasculates him, often calling him "Ms. Gillette." The show has made a running gag of Ray sustaining serious injuries including being shot in the abdomen, twice injuring one of his eyes, being repeatedly crippled and wheelchair-bound, and losing his right hand. Krieger equips Ray with bionic legs, feet, and a (dark-skinned) right hand as a result of his various injuries, turning him into a cyborg.
  • Arthur Henry Woodhouse (voiced by George Coe [2009–2015]; Roy McCrery, flashbacks; Tom Kane, Archer Vice) is Sterling's long-suffering, heroin-addicted, English valet, who usually patiently accepts the unending stream of abuse hurled at him by Sterling, possibly in part due to Sterling's resemblance to a pilot friend of his from World War I with whom Woodhouse was secretly in love. Season 3, episode 5: The Double Deuce, Woodhouse speaks of his admiration for Captain Reginald Thistleton during the war in France; spring 1917. He is an old acquaintance of Malory, having helped her deliver Sterling under dangerous circumstances, he is also one of the few people she (generally) treats respectfully. In the season eight premiere, it is revealed that Woodhouse has died, and the episode opens with his funeral.

Recurring

  • Nikolai Jakov (voiced by Peter Newman) is the head of the KGB and one of Malory Archer's (numerous) lovers. He is killed by Barry Dylan in season 3 after Barry usurps him as head of the KGB. Like most of Malory's lovers, he is possibly Sterling Archer's biological father.
  • Barry Dylan (voiced by Dave Willis) is initially a top agent at ISIS's rival agency, ODIN. Like Sterling Archer, he is a highly adept field agent, though while ODIN is portrayed as the competent and professional agency, Barry, himself, is constantly the hapless victim of Sterling's chicanery. Sterling twice allows Barry to fall from considerable heights, the first time causing Barry to have pins inserted into his leg, the second time resulting in Barry being turned into a Terminator-like cyborg by the KGB. Barry has a peculiar habit of carrying on conversations with himself, referring to himself in the third person as both "Barry" and "Other Barry". After being turned into a cyborg at the end of season 2, Barry becomes obsessed with killing Sterling, though his efforts are always thwarted due to unforeseen circumstances. He eventually ends up married to Sterling's former fiance, Katya Kazanova. In season 6, Barry is incinerated in an explosion, and while his cybernetic skeleton survives, his ultimate fate is unknown. He returns in season 7, having kidnapped Malory in order to force Sterling and the rest of the group to help him in finding his birth mother.
  • Katya Kazanova (voiced by Ona Grauer) is a former KGB agent who defected to ISIS after seeing a picture of Sterling and instantly falling in love with him. Upon meeting her, Sterling reciprocates her amorous feelings, and the two quickly decide to marry with Katya set to become an agent for ISIS. Barry Dylan crashes the wedding and Katya is killed when she falls from the terrace in an effort to save Sterling. Krieger later turns Katya into a cyborg and she enters into a relationship with Barry. She eventually dumps Barry and supplants him as head of the KGB.
  • Ron Cadillac (voiced by Ron Leibman) is Malory's husband as of season 4. He is the owner of six Cadillac dealerships on the East Coast. In contrast to the antics of the staff at the spy agency, Ron is a relatively strait-laced and competent businessman who leads a life of leisure, trusting his managers and sales associates to run his dealerships. This is in contrast to Malory, who insists she can't trust anyone at ISIS to do anything, thus justifying her compulsive tendency to micromanage.
  • Slater (voiced by Christian Slater) is a fictionalized version of the actor himself, a CIA operative who frequently calls on the services of ISIS to perform secret operations that the CIA deems too politically sensitive to do themselves. Such operations are usually in foreign countries controlled by dictatorial regimes.
  • Len Trexler (voiced by Jeffrey Tambor) is the head of ODIN, the rival spy agency that constantly one-ups ISIS. He is a former lover of Malory's, and wishes to resume his relationship with her until Sterling and Krieger subject him to a series of shock treatments (in the style of A Clockwork Orange) designed to make him hate and fear Malory.
File:Salvador Dali NYWTS.jpg
Salvador Dalí and his pet ocelot, Babou.
  • Babou the ocelot is Cheryl Tunt's pet ocelot, who is loved by Archer but loathed by Cheryl in equal measure. Possibly named after Salvador Dalí's pet ocelot of the same name.
  • Holley (voiced by Gary Cole) is a CIA agent who secretly coordinates with Malory to sell cocaine on behalf of the CIA in Series 5 and makes limited appearances in season 6.
  • Conway Stern (voiced by Coby Bell) is an operative hired by Malory for diversity (as he is both black and Jewish). He double crosses Archer twice, and twice suffers traumatic amputation of his hand by Lana.

Production

Adam Reed is the creator of Archer. The inspiration for the series came to Reed while in a cafe in Salamanca, Spain. Finding himself unable to approach a beautiful woman seated nearby, Reed conjured up the idea of a spy who "would have a perfect line".[3] Reed conceived the show's concept while walking along the Vía de la Plata in 2008.[4] He pitched his idea to FX, which accepted it and ordered six episodes, along with an additional four scripts.[5] Originally, FX wanted to pair Archer with another FX comedy series, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, in September 2009. However, during the starting phases of the series, producing one episode of Archer took "almost a whole month", meaning that it became "impossible" to air all of Archer's episodes at the time. FX decided to delay the official premiere of the series, but opted to air the pilot episode as a special sneak peek in September after an episode of Sunny, set up as a "programming stunt ... purely for the numbers and aimed at seeing who sticks around to watch".[6] The series made its official debut on January 14, 2010.[7]

While developing the sixth season, the show's producers decided to end the use of the term "ISIS" (which, in the series, was an acronym for "International Secret Intelligence Service", the fictional spy agency the characters worked for in seasons 1-4) due to its growing association with the Islamist terrorist organization of the same initials. Archer merchandise with the ISIS initials was also withdrawn from sale.[8]

While developing the seventh season, the creative team took inspiration from Magnum, P.I. while developing the stories, and they also used the series' location switch from New York City to Los Angeles to change the series from the 1960s-aesthetic of prior seasons forward to 1970's-style, which included new clothing for the main characters.[9] The seventh season also marked the first time the show had a composer, J. G. Thirlwell, scoring the soundtrack for the season,[10] a notable difference from previous seasons, in which only the opening and ending music themes were made by composers (Scott Sims and Mel Young, respectively), and the episodes used stock library music.

The seventh season was originally announced to contain 13 episodes,[11] but creator Adam Reed later stated in an interview that the season would be a "10-episode story".[12] Before season seven premiered, the show was announced to be moved to sister network FXX to be paired with a new action-buddy comedy series, Cassius and Clay.[13] However, when Cassius and Clay was cancelled before it started airing,[14] Archer stayed on FX for season seven. The move to FXX occurred for the series' eighth season, which premiered on April 5, 2017.[15]

in September 2016, Reed stated that he intends to end the series after its tenth season, saying, "The plan is to end Archer after season 10... I was gonna end it after 8, but then I had sort of a brain explosion of a way that I could do three more seasons and really keep my interest up. So the three seasons that are coming up are gonna be pretty different from what has come before, and they’re gonna be different from each other."[16][17]

From left to right: Aisha Tyler, Adam Reed, H. Jon Benjamin, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer and Amber Nash at Comic-Con International in 2010

In an interview before season five, show producer and art director Neil Holman stated that "An average episode takes about eleven weeks from the moment we get a script to the moment we turn it in. We generally have four episodes in production at a time in staggered phases, so we end up doing 13 episodes in 10 months."[18] In an interview before season 6, show creator and main writer Adam Reed stated that each episode takes five weeks to make, from start to finish.[19]

The show is mostly animated by Reed's Floyd County Productions in Atlanta, Georgia,[20] while 3D background models are made by Trinity Animation in Kansas City, Missouri.[21] Originally, Radical Axis housed the show's animation staff for season 1, but the crew has since moved to their own facilities close to Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

The artistic style of the series was designed to be as realistic as possible, so the character designers used as much reference material as they could.[22] The character drawings are based on Atlanta-area models; they coincidentally resemble some of the voice actors in the series.[23] As Chad Hurd, the lead character designer for the series, noted, the end result resembles "a 1960s comic book come to life."[24] Television critics have also compared the show's overall visual style to that of the drama series Mad Men,[25] and noted that lead character Sterling Archer bears a substantial resemblance to Mad Men protagonist Don Draper.[26] Characters in the show have made references to this resemblance on several occasions. The artwork is also similar to the original Jonny Quest cartoon series penned by artist Doug Wildey in the 1960s.[citation needed]

Stylistically, the show is a mix of several different time periods; show creator Adam Reed described it as "intentionally ill-defined", noting that the show "cherry-pick[ed] the best and easiest from several decades".[23] Numerous plot details arise from contemporary culture, such as affirmative action and sexual harassment complaints.

Archer is influenced by the early James Bond films, as well as OSS 117, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and The Pink Panther,[23] and can be compared to Reed's former shows for Adult Swim, Frisky Dingo and Sealab 2021.[22] Driven by rapid-fire dialogue[27] and interaction-based drama, the series is "stuff[ed]...with pop-culture references"[28] and features an anachronistic style, using fashion from the early 1960s, cars and vans from the 1970s, a mix of 1980s-era and modern technology, and a political status quo in which "the Cold War never ended".[23]

Relation to other TV series

Arrested Development

Jessica Walter, Jeffrey Tambor, David Cross, and Judy Greer previously starred in the critically acclaimed Fox sitcom Arrested Development. Since both shows largely revolve around feuds and rivalry disputes between family members, Archer has been described by its creator, Adam Reed, as "James Bond meets Arrested Development".[29] There are also notable similarities between the characters played by Greer, Walter, and Tambor. Of particular note is Archer's relationship with his mother, which parallels somewhat Buster Bluth's relationship with Lucille Bluth, including the fact that both sons refer to her as "Mother" and are still under great parental influence as adults. Judy Greer's character is a "lovelorn secretary",[30] Walter is the wealth-wielding alcoholic matriarch, and Tambor, while not the husband, is her long-lost love interest and possibly Sterling's biological father (which is similar to Tambor's secondary role on Arrested Development, Oscar).[31] Both shows also frequently use callbacks and catchphrases. Walter said in an interview that she became interested in Archer after her manager sent her the pilot script describing Malory as "Think Jessica Walter in Arrested Development."[32] In a more limited role, Gary Cole portrays a CIA agent in both series.

Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo

Just as some series voice-actors have worked together previously, notable people on the Archer animation and production teams, including Adam Reed and Matt Thompson, were also cooperatively involved in several shows for Adult Swim, most notably Frisky Dingo and Sealab 2021. All three shows share similar animation styles, which began with Sealab's cut-and-paste juxtaposition of vintage cartoon clips and modern dialogue, was modernized with computer animation for Frisky Dingo, and continues with essentially unchanged appearances for some characters in Archer. The show also shares numerous stylistic and character development similarities with its two predecessors.[22]

Frisky Dingo
One of the supporting characters from Frisky Dingo, Mr. Ford, makes a cameo appearance in "Drift Problem", the seventh episode of Season 3 of Archer, repeating one of his Frisky Dingo catchphrases ("My ass is everywhere."). Simone, Frisky Dingo's homeless prostitute/heroin addict, makes a cameo appearance in the seventh episode of Season 6 of Archer, telling Archer that he doesn't have "kick pants" (a reference to Xander Crews wearing the bottom half of an Xtacles suit). In "Midnight Ron", the 4th episode in Season 4, Archer's exclamation "Aw, Fat Mike, too?" upon hearing that Fat Mike had been arrested, is a line uttered by Xander Crews on hearing he had just killed Fat Mike, an Xtacle in the show Frisky Dingo. The look of the character of Xander Crews was in many ways a prototype for Archer. "The Double Deuce", episode 5 from Season 2 of Archer includes another nod to Frisky Dingo where Cody 2 appears in the tontine bracket under Lana. Luckily for the staff at ISIS, Cody 2 died shortly after his birth in Frisky Dingo. "Reignition Sequence", episode 10 from Season 6 of Archer includes another nod to Frisky Dingo where Cheryl says "In the immortal words of Wendell Stamps: that's going in the slideshow!" Wendell Stamps being a character that would reference his slideshow that is never seen by the viewer.

Sealab 2021
The season 4 finale "Sea Tunt: Part II" includes a nod to Sealab 2021,[33]), featuring an underwater research laboratory with an insane commander named Captain Murphy. Sealab 2021 was also set in an underwater research laboratory with an insane commander named Captain Murphy. The Archer character bore a significant resemblance to the Sealab 2021 character both in appearance and mannerisms. He is later killed by an off-brand soda machine, an event that also occurred on Sealab 2021. As a tribute to Harry Goz, the actor who played Captain Murphy in Sealab 2021 and who died in 2003, the soda machine dispenses "Goz" soda in the Archer episode.[34][35]

Bob's Burgers

Since 2011, H. Jon Benjamin has simultaneously voiced the title characters in both Archer and the Fox animated series Bob's Burgers. Since then, the show has referenced Bob's Burgers as well as guest-starred various cast members. Prior to Season 4, Bob's Burgers cast member Larry Murphy made a minor appearance in the Season 3 episode "The Limited" as Frank, one of Cheryl's train conductors.[36] During the season 4 premiere, Archer, after getting amnesia, is convinced he is Bob Belcher and works at the Bob's Burgers restaurant. The episode featured a cameo by John Roberts as Linda Belcher. Additionally, the two-part season finale of season four stars Bob's Burgers actors Eugene Mirman and Kristen Schaal; Mirman played Cheryl's philanthropic brother Cecil Tunt, while Schaal played Cecil's opinionated girlfriend.[37]

Reception

Archer has received critical acclaim. It has been called "jaw-droppingly funny and brilliantly voice-acted",[38] with a "wonderful, perverted world, rich with running gags and meta comedy",[39] and that it "succeeds where so many of the snarky animated series tend to fail".[40]

Season Reception
Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
1 92% (13 reviews)[41] 78/100 (20 reviews)[42]
2 100% (9 reviews)[43] 88/100 (12 reviews)[44]
3 100% (6 reviews)[45] 75/100 (6 reviews)[46]
4 93% (15 reviews)[47] 79/100 (6 reviews)[48]
5 100% (10 reviews)[49] No score[50]
6 100% (8 reviews)[51] 78/100 (5 reviews)[52]
7 100% (5 reviews)[53] 78/100 (6 reviews)[54]
8 83% (5 reviews)[55] 72/100 (6 reviews)[56]

Home release

Season Region 1 release date Region 2 release date Region 4 release date Episode count Discs Additional content
1 DVD: December 28, 2010[57]
Blu-ray: December 27, 2011[58]
May 2, 2011[59] March 2, 2011[60] 10 2 "Unaired Pilot"
Unaired Network Promo
Deleted Scenes
Six-part "Making of Archer"
Pilot episodes of The League and Louie
2 December 27, 2011[58] May 7, 2012[61] February 29, 2012[62] 13 2 Archersaurus - Self Extinction
Ask Archer
Semper Fi
L'espion Mal Fait
ISIS infiltrates Comic-con
3 January 8, 2013[63] July 1, 2013 March 13, 2013[64] 13 2 Commentaries on episodes El Contador, Drift Problem, and Lo Scandalo
Extended version of episode Heart of Archness
Answering Machine Messages
Cooking with Archer
Gator 2 trailer
4 January 7, 2014[65] February 5, 2014[66] 13 2 Fisherman's Daughter
Archer Live!
5 January 6, 2015[67] February 2, 2015 [68] 13 2 Midnight Blues Music Video by Cheryl Tunt
Cherlene Tunt Interview on Wake Up Country
Old MacDonald Pam Poovey Had a Farm, The Musical
6 March 29, 2016[69] February 17, 2016 [70] 13 2 Conan & Archer Battle Russian Mobsters
Slay-J
Cooking with Milton

Each season of the series, except for season 1, has received a DVD and Blu-ray release on the same date, in region 1. Season 1 was originally released only on DVD, but the Blu-ray was released later, on the same date as season 2's DVD and Blu-ray.[58]

Books

How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written (ISBN 9780062066312), a book with information on how to get a life like Sterling Archer, the series' main character, was released on January 17, 2012.[71]

A second book, The Art of Archer, was released on December 6, 2016, and features "240 pages of concept art, exclusive interviews, script excerpts and the never-before-released original pitch for the series".[72]

Cherlene (Songs from the Series Archer)

In 2014, after season 5 was finished, an album filled with country songs recorded by Cheryl Tunt (as Cherlene) was recorded and released, including many of the songs featured throughout season 5 (including a cover of Danger Zone, featuring Kenny Loggins).[73]

Awards and honors

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2010 Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Voice-over Performance[74] H. Jon Benjamin for voice of Sterling Archer Nominated
NewNowNext Award Best Show You're Not Watching[75] Archer Won
2011 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Comedy Series Archer Nominated
2012 Comedy Awards Best Animated Comedy Series Archer Won
Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Animated Series[76] Archer Won
2013 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Animated Series Archer Won
Annie Awards Best General Audience Animated TV/Broadcast Production Archer Nominated
2014 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Animated Series Archer Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program[77] For "Archer Vice: The Rules Of Extraction" Nominated
2015 Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Animated Series Archer Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program[78] "Pocket Listing" Nominated
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media - Multiplatform Storytelling[79] Mark Paterson & Tim Farrell for "Archer Scavenger Hunt" Won
2016 Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Animated Program[80] "The Figgis Agency" Won
Primetime Emmy Award Outstanding Creative Achievement in Interactive Media - Multiplatform Storytelling[81] Mark Paterson, Tim Farrell, & Bryan Fordney for "Archer Scavenger Hunt 2" Won

References

  1. https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/gen.-william-j.-donovan-heads-oss.html
  2. Abbott, Jim (March 6, 2014). "Jessy Lynn Martens of Orlando is musical voice for 'Archer'". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved March 9, 2014. 
  3. Brophy-Warren, Jamin (January 11, 2010). "New FX Series "Archer" Puts an Animated Twist on the Spy Genre". Wall Street Journal. 
  4. "Jan. 14 Thurs. 10 PM" (PDF). FX Network. p. 4. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  5. Zahed, Ramin (August 18, 2009). "FX Orders 6 Episodes of Archer Toon". Animation Magazine. Archived from the original on January 16, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  6. Toomey, Jonathan (September 16, 2009). "FX quietly plans sneak-peek of animated Archer". TVSquad.com. Archived from the original on February 13, 2010. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  7. Eng, Joyce (December 1, 2009). "FX Sets Midseason Schedule". TV Guide. Retrieved January 8, 2017. 
  8. Sterm, Marlow (October 10, 2014). "‘Archer’ Drops ISIS: The FX Series Dumps the Spy Org’s Name in Light of Recent Events". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 11, 2014. 
  9. Framke, Caroline (March 31, 2016). "Archer, FX’s gleefully filthy spy comedy, returns for maybe its most ambitious season yet". Vox. Retrieved April 26, 2016. 
  10. Wilbur, Brock (April 1, 2016). "'Archer' Is Stealing The Composer From 'Venture Brothers' For Its LA Reboot". Inverse. Retrieved April 27, 2016. 
  11. Gelman, Vlada (March 6, 2014). "Archer Renewed for Two Seasons at FX". TV Line. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  12. Bucksbaum, Sydney (May 5, 2016). "Archer Boss Reveals the One Thing That Can Actually Kill Archer". Nerdist Industries. Retrieved May 10, 2016. 
  13. Fowler, Matt (August 7, 2015). "Archer Moving to FXX for Season 7". IGN. Retrieved April 2, 2016. 
  14. Miller, Liz Shannon (January 5, 2016). "What FXX's 'Cassius and Clay' Tells Us About the Current State of TV Cancellation". Indiewire. Retrieved April 2, 2016. 
  15. Kofi Outlaw (January 12, 2017). "Archer Season 8 and The Americans Season 5 Premiere Dates Revealed". Comicbook.com. Retrieved January 12, 2017. 
  16. Andy Swift (September 30, 2016). "Archer Poised to End After Season 10, Reveals Series Creator Adam Reed". TVLine. 
  17. Hughes, William (September 30, 2016). "Adam Reed plans to end Archer after its tenth season". The A.V. Club. Retrieved September 30, 2016. 
  18. "How an 'Archer' Scene Gets Made". Rolling Stone. January 13, 2014. Retrieved April 30, 2016. 
  19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named DailyBeastS6
  20. "Archer Crew". FX Network. Archived from the original on December 31, 2009. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  21. "Local Animators Ready for Cable Debut with 'Archer'". FOX4 News. January 5, 2010. Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Exclusive: Adam Reed On The Origins Of FX's 'Archer' 22, 2011/https://web.archive.org/web/20110822100227/http://www.fanbolt.com/headline/10837/Exclusive:_Adam_Reed_On_The_Origins_Of_FX%27s_%27Archer%27 Archived August 22, 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 Reed, Adam (February 24, 2011). "Adam Reed Interview". The A.V. Club (Interview). Interview with Vlada Gelman. Retrieved February 24, 2011. 
  24. Hurd, Chad (November 21, 2009). "Hey Everyone!". FX Network. Archived from the original on February 1, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2010. 
  25. "Spy Spoofing in Archer". Animation World Network, January 14, 2010.
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External links