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October 6, 2015

'Archer' Season 2, Episode 8 Recap

by Maureen Ryan, posted Mar 17th 2011 10:30PM
['Archer' - 'Stage Two']

A rather strange outing for our hero this week, as he grappled with an enemy more insidious than than an evil arms dealers and more dangerous than Krieger's hybrid goat-boy.

It was interesting to see the 'Archer' characters, especially Sterling, grapple with a real dilemma that they couldn't shoot or drink their way out of. Of course plenty of liquor was involved, but a vulnerable Archer came close to experiencing human emotions like regret, fear and love.

Talk about a Danger Zone!

Of course, there was more to Archer's brush with cancer (is it a brush? Will we ever hear it referred to again, or was the whole thing a giant mistake courtesy of the Archer family's supremely idiotic doctor?). The spy's response to the diagnosis wasn't just about regret and fear: One of his first actions upon learning the bad news was to steal Woodhouse's vacation and go on a bender in Vegas. When Archer returned home, he thanked his butler, then ordered him to clean up a mess.

So did cancer really change Archer? Not so much. When drunk, he told Lana he was still in love with her, but when mildly sober, he couldn't quite find the time to share his feelings with her. And assuming this crisis is over (if there ever really was a crisis), Archer will undoubtedly stick with the usual womanizing, hard-drinking, baby-tattooing lifestyle that has worked for him up until now.

It was an episode that seemed designed to keep us on an uneven keel, given that the typically blase Archer did seem genuinely afraid (he even opened up to the notoriously icy Malory, so he must have been terrified). I kept expecting the doctor to tell Archer the whole thing was a mistake well before he got into the operating room, but the cancer thread lasted throughout the entire episode.

It was an interesting experiment -- having the characters face real stakes gave the episode a different flavor, and I respect the show's desire to mix things up. If nothing else, Archer's medical scare allowed the whole gang to hang out together for most of the episode, and good things usually happen when that occurs.

Even Malory got to show some real fear about her son's condition, though both mother and son floated through the cancer crisis on an ocean of booze. Not surprisingly, the crisis also brought out Malory's constant need for attention and Archer's bitter side: He blamed Malory for his defective genes. Ah, family. You can always rely on them to make a bad situation somewhat more irritating.

When all is said and done, however, I think my favorite part of the episode involved the mentions of Krieger's hybrid creations.

Oh, Goatly!

Here's my bullet list of notes, observations and favorite quotes (feel free to add yours in comments):

• Leave it to an FX show to find a way to show people having sex in an X-ray machine.

• "Where you taking [wee baby Seamus]?" "I don't know, what's he into?"

• "Do you not know what disease means? Oh, sorry."

• "Thanks, I'll let you know if I need a hybrid pig-boy."

• "That'll do, Pigly. That'll do."

• "Can you not? Right now?"

• "Well, he certainly doesn't have cancer in his wrists."

• "It's like we've got each other's backs."

• "Mexico's pretty big. So's your heart, Woodhouse."

• "I'm sorry I haven't always been... you know. Whatever."

• A new catchphrase combo appeared again this week: "So how's this going?" "Not great."

• Is it me, or did Archer in a jaunty hat look a lot like Charlie Sheen?

• Loved the scene of Archer treating Pam badly (not surprisingly, he was beating her with her fish puppet), and the treating-Cheryl-badly montage consisted of Archer kicking a naked Cheryl to the curb -- repeatedly.

• It was nice to hear Cyril's cheery post-operative "Hooray!" Which is almost as cheery as the "Hello" he usually utters when he's caught having sex with someone he should not be having sex with.

• It wasn't nice of Archer to steal Cyril's identity for his Vegas jaunt, but why wouldn't Cyril want to be Chet Manley? That guy sounds awesome!

• I like how the policemen taking Cyril away looked like old-school G-Men from the '50s.

• "What are you, hourly?"

• "I don't want to be Chet Manley!"

• "Suck it, cancer!"

• "Shut up, I saw him first!"

'Archer' airs 10PM ET Thursdays on FX.

Follow @MoRyan on Twitter.

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Justin Sturm

Best show on tv, hands down.

March 19 2011 at 2:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

What the hell was that anyway?? Once upon a time, Archer was a raunchy spy comedy, but now that's just so 3-episodes ago. Somebody want to ask the Archer folks what they're thinking? Mercy, what a roller coaster this show's become.

March 18 2011 at 9:33 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

It was "cancer in his fists," not wrists. Close, but not quite, haha.

And they definitely mentioned cancer in the scenes from next week.

March 18 2011 at 8:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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