Archer: “The Archer Sanction” Review
It’s a little harsh to judge after only three episodes, but I’ve unfortunately found this season of Archer to be pretty underwhelming. Maybe it’s because I have such high expectations for this show after years of amazing quality, but something about this season just seems…off. The humor just isn’t as high as it usually is, and the storylines feel rather stale. Yes, maybe it’s just a sign of the show approaching its age and not appearing as fresh as it once was, but I don’t know — Archer Season 6 so far isn’t working for me.
Not to say it hasn’t had elements that work, little jokes here and there that make me giggle. But this is far from the quality I’m used to with this show, even when put up against the shakier material…like Archer Vice, for instance. Archer Vice wasn’t outstanding but it was still Archer and still very, very funny. So far, I can’t say the same about this season.
And a lot of that I feel does have to do with a lack of freshness in pretty much, well, anything. Tonight’s episode, “The Archer Sanction,” could have easily been slotted into Season 2 or 3 without much changes, as the one element of the series that WOULD introduce the most differences (Archer and Lana’s child) is once again rather ignored. Yeah they talk about her and express worry about how Mallory is babysitting her, but other than that, she continues to contribute nothing new to the dynamics of the show.
“The Archer Sanction” had an interesting enough set-up I guess, but barely goes anywhere with it. Archer, Lana, and Ray on an assassination mission and unsure exactly who they are suppose to assassinate seems ripe for comedic potential, but only utilizes the plot thread to make (admittedly humorous) cracks at Archer’s single memory from the dossier: that the hit comes from a country that was an Axis party in World War II. Unfortunately, the gang’s fellow mountain climbers are an Italian man, German man, and Japanese woman.
But unfortunately, the actual identity of the hit was THE GUIDE ALL ALONG. You know, the American (nee, Canadian) man played by special guest star Rob Huebel. It was literally not a shocker in the slightest, and the underlying “joke” of his character (Lana and Ray TOTALLY want to bang him, and Archer don’t like that!) didn’t really make up for the predictability.
Was “The Archer Sanction” a bad episode of the series? No, not really — it had a few funny moments, and the subplot with the rest of the cast had a few really funny laughs (the reveal that Mallory was getting her placed bug bombed and that the staff had poisoned themselves was much funnier than it had any right to be), but even it was basically a re-do of the events of last week. The baby is missing, and the cast tries to find it. They literally cannot do this plot again, at least for a while. In any case, “The Archer Sanction” was an okay half hour of animated comedy, but Archer is a show that’s for more capable of just being “okay.” I hope this season starts to pick up soon, because so far it’s been a bit of a bummer.
- Archer’s voicemail gag being thrown back on him by his mother was perfect. PERFECT.
- “No! How hard is it to remember gum?”
- “And Ray didn’t bring the gum!” Archer’s obsession over Ray not bringing gum was an excellent running joke, as was the reveal that Ray actually had gum and was just keeping it away from Archer. I don’t know why, but I laughed hysterically when he burst into tears in the car.
- “One of us is weeping in the car.”
- “As opposed to?” “PM dawn?” I laughed, but that joke’s a little dumb, even for Archer.
- “Oh he’s harmless, just tell him…” Both Lana and Archer assume that the mountain climber is getting a weird vibe from Ray…for obvious reasons.
- “You both had sex with hopefully Ron?” “DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT.”
- “Would your feelings be super hurt if I bang him?”
- “You better be eating snacks.” “EWW.”
- “I am not riding bitch in this tent!”
- “Ray is the DMZ.”
- “If I ever have sex with a man, it will be a man who remembers the gum! Also, doesn’t matter, but he would be black.” Well, he definitely has a type. And technically he already DID sleep with a man, but I’m sure he’d like to forget that one…
- “Eat a dick, blizzard.”
- “That’s just smart branding.”
- “They died in your arms.”
- “Number Three: Bang Joe Frasier.” He really shouldn’t have told them that stuff.
- Having the episode end on Archer reciting a concise, factual history of Romania’s involvement as an Axis power in World War II was the absolute best way to end the episode.