Archer – “Heart of Archness” Parts I, II, & III

Archer – “Heart of Archness” Parts I, II, & III

So Archer ended its last season on a somewhat down note, with Sterling’s fiancée being killed in front of him on their wedding day. Kind of heavy for what is often the funniest fucking show on television. Now Sterling Archer is missing and comforting himself in his grief with alcohol and sex with random newlyweds on an island paradise (shaped like a dick). We all have varied grieving processes. Naturally Mallory wants to get him back so she sends Rip Riley (guest voice Patrick Warburton) to get him back. One of the best things about “Heart of Archness” is hearing Patrick Warburton and H. Jon Benjamin sharing a scene. Those are two dudes with awesome voices.

The battle of wits between Riley and Archer is hilarious, even with Archer being an idiot. In fact his idiocy manages to sabotage Riley’s competence at every turn. After their plane crashes (and Archer sets two personal records for breathe-holding and shark face-shooting), they’re abducted by pirates which are apparently still a real thing. Part II follows the predictably awful reign of Sterling Archer as a pirate king. David Cross adds to awesome roster of guest stars as Archer’s reluctantly appointed slave pirate first mate Noah. There really is no better way to highlight Archer’s many less-than-noble qualities than giving him dominion over an island full of people. His low-profit, anti-raping policies don’t go over well with the pirates so by the end of the episode he finds himself with a mutiny on his hands. The rescue doesn’t go much better, though in the end it is successful with two characters losing eyes and one regular character being crippled. Yet all of it pretty damn silly.

Actually my favorite thing about Archer has always been the way the characters are often in the middle of incredibly high-stakes literally life-or-death situations but decide to focus on the trivial. The discussions of the prevalence of idioms in modern discourse while attempting to quell a pirate mutiny, for example. Or sometimes, they just throw around words like “eschew” or “remunerate…” just ‘cuz. Extra points for using them correctly. Also the characters. The entire Archer universe operates on insane cartoon logic yet there is still consistency of character. Sterling Archer’s self-absorption is always the main motivator for his actions. Actually come to think of it, that’s the motivation for most of the characters on the show. The voice cast (Benjamin, Aisha Tyler, Chris Parnell, Judy Greer, Amber Nash, Adam Reed, and Jessica Walter) is uniformly excellent. There’s also a real sense of continuity. Things like the dangers of firing guns in the vicinity of one’s ear drums are brought up A LOT. Or Cyril’s fake excuse of “just jackin’ it” whenever he’s doing something more illegal. Actually this show has a lot of things going for it. Most weeks, Archer ends up being the funniest fucking thing on television.

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