Archer season 4 episode 3 review: Legs
Ignoring 5*'s erratic scheduling, James finds episode three of Archer's fourth season its best yet. Here's his review of Legs...
This review contains spoilers.
It’s creator Adam Reed-voiced, wheelchair user Ray Gillette who opens this episode with the characteristic loathing for his own existence and the fact that his legs don’t work anymore thanks to being maimed by one Sterling Archer, the man now parked in ISIS’ sole disabled parking space. It’s the turn of disability to come under fire this week for Archer’s opening scene when Ray’s fellow ISIS employees show him little sympathy.
Apart from Doctor Krieger, who offers Ray an attractive, if somewhat dangerous opportunity to try out his newly developed robot legs. We’d not seen much of Krieger so far this season (apart from continuously suggesting that nerve gas be unleashed into the ISIS air vents, which seems to be becoming a recurring idea as he mentions it again this week), and had perhaps forgotten just how risqué the show can become when he’s around. We’re well used to Archer’s characters having their irrationally selfish ways, however Krieger can be downright disturbing but often very funny with it.
Krieger’s surgery, which seems not dissimilar to a Doctor Who cyber conversion, is ably assisted by his attendees, who turn out to be a beer-drinking, taco-eating Pam, and Cheryl, who has been despatched to the armoury to retrieve a bunch of stuff that she’s convinced Krieger has made up – a fact that blows her mind. There’s a welcome return this week for Rodney – the armoury guy, who continues to flaunt his new-found power to refuse weapons to ISIS agents, and some great banter between him and the forever frustrated Lana Kane. We also get a blink and you’ll miss it return from season one’s rogue agent Conway, and the answer as to what happened with his missing arm after it was torn off in a helicopter getaway.
Unfortunately, once Sterling gets wind of what Krieger is up to he is convinced that he’s facing the rise of the machines and sets out to stop him. As Krieger operates on Ray, Pam drinks from blood-stained beer cans and Archer tries to shoot in the door, it’s a bizarre scene. Why is Sterling so uptight? Again, it’s a very quick moment shown during a flashback and involving his mother, and wig and picture taped to a vacuum cleaner while Archer complains of aching testicles. Wow! The Mallory Archer guide to parenting strikes again!
Legs is Archer at its absolute best. All the ingredients that make the show what it is are present, with some new ones, such as Rodney and Mallory feeling frustrated with her boring new husband Ron Cadillac, thrown in too. Archer’s mother issues are running rampant once more and Rodney takes great delight in teasing him that the only way he is granted permission for a rocket launcher is with a note from his mum. Cyril and Lana continue their merry dance of bickering and fighting. The agent known only as Brett gets shot, again, as a result of which Mallory is concerned about getting blood on her new shoes. We have a great revisit to the old Cheryl and Sterling relationship with Cheryl’s hormones going into overdrive due to all the mayhem raging around ISIS. It’s very good to see this character at her most unhinged.
As close to the bone as it’s ever been, especially with Krieger, Legs was a bizarre, exaggerated, sexually charged and extremely funny half hour of television.
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