Archer: A Kiss While Dying Review

Sterling reconnects with an old friend while Pam develops a new hobby as this soft Archer reboot snorts along to clever heights.

Wow. In tonight’s episode of Archer, Agent Duchess grants a “dying” man his final wish, but we all know that it’s a lip-lock that Sterling himself was dying to taste. Sure, they may have lost about 20 kilos of pure, uncut Colombian cocaine to the most fabulous double-double-cross this side of Ray lying about his paralysis (before, …actually becoming paralyzed). But still, in the back of Archer’s mind, he knows it was worth it. “A Kiss While Dying” marks the first episode to fully deal with the concept of the incompetent Isis spies becoming incompetent international coke dealers. So of course, it has to go to Miami. With a name like “Vice” in the title, it may as well just move down to the Florida Keys next week. Indeed, almost as soon as Archer, a very pregnant Lana, and Pam step off the plane, they are meeting Mallory’s contact in town: a Cuban who works right across the street from the Little Havana nightclub in his sleazy “Sandwich Cubano” stand by the Meida Noche. Obviously, we expect many, many more Scarface and Miami Vice callbacks this year. Yet, it isn’t only about referencing 1980s Tropical Chic in this episode. Old favorites come back too during “A Kiss While Dying” in the forms of Ramon, Charles, and Rudy. For those who need a refresher, Ramon was the gay Cuban ex-patriot in Season 1’s “Honey Pot” that Archer was sent to Miami to seduce. While they did not quite hook up, Archer overcame his crippling homophobia to see Ramon as an equal worthy of having a connection with. So as Lana points out early in tonight’s episode, he’s totally crushing hard on Ramon. So hard that he lets Ramon lead them right into a trap set by two more “Honey Pot” callbacks, the LGBT freelancers of Charles and Rudy, who are now ready to buy twenty kilos of coke from Mallory and co., if Pam does not eat it first. Sadly, it all ends as a double cross when the Season 1 returning guest stars fake their death in a shootout, and Sterling gives Ramon the long kiss goodbye. Yet somehow, I suspect that these two’s stars shall cross again as Sterling becomes increasingly…understanding of his duplicitous BFF. It is refreshing to see them toy with Archer’s image like this. In “Honey Pot,” he was very much against seeing gay people in even a tolerable light until he and Ramon were united by a shared passion of hating their mothers, and in last season’s “The Wind Cries Mary” (also the second episode of a season), Archer’s unwitting role in a one-sided love affair with College Lacrosse BFF Lucas Troy was discovered. And Archer seemed generally okay with it until Lucas in his dying breath revealed one last little secret dating back to that time Archer passed out in college… Now with “A Kiss While Dying,” Archer’s orientation is as subject for comedy mining as characters like Eric Cartman and Stewie Griffin; if the joke works, Sterling can swing it. And the punch line of wannabe 007-meets-Burt-Reynolds in that situation never gets tired. Luckily, tonight’s Archer also chose to break some new ground in comedic territory with Pam’s burgeoning addiction to cocaine. To get the Florida Snow to its namesake homeland, our gang has the clever idea of wrapping Pam in a body cast coated with the coveted candy cane. Making Pam play the lackey role of smuggling it is totally in character for Archer and Lana, but at least the latter should have realized someone with an addictive a personality like Pam should not be forced into ventilating cocaine through her bloodstream for six hours. For tonight, Pam’s issue is only eating about 2 kilos of cocaine, much to the horror of their buyers who knocked several thousand off the money they ultimately stole back (counterfeit money at that!). However, this will clearly become a season-long addiction that’s worth documenting as Pam goes from Peggy Olson to Jordan Belfort. Cocaine dealers who can’t keep from EATING their own product? And who says Isis ever really closed their doors? Also, Cheryl is now a country singer after Krieger revealed what she sounds like in her bathroom. Alone. Where he has multiple cameras watching her. Should be a fun Western-styled ride next week. Though knowing Cheryl, she’d prefer bareback. Quotes from the DAAAAANGGGGER ZOOOONE: -ARCHER: Pam, relax, breathe, you’re doing fine. But since that ‘plaster’ in your cast can totally be absorbed through the skin, you’re probably going to want to try and minimize the sweating. Just think cool thoughts like eating mint chocolate chip ice cream. In your refrigerator drawer. At the morgue. -MALLORY (listening to Cheryl practice): God, how I envy the deaf. -ARCHER (while smelling Pam’s used cast): Ah, this smells like a kennel, but for dogs that are poor. -CHARLES: How can you eat a pound of coke and not be dead? PAM: I’ve actually never felt better. I hope that lasts… CHARLES: Oh, I’m sure it will. -CHARLES: It was still a stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid plan. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for all news updates related to the world of geek. And Google+, if that’s your thing!


3.5 out of 5