Archer, Season 4, Episode 2: The Wind Cries Mary, Review

Archer’s best friend in the whole wide world is dead. And he may have been Gay.

At the start of the second episode for the season, entitled “The Wind Cries Mary,” Archer has his memories back (presumably, he must have divorced Linda Belcher) and things have reverted to the status quo at Isis. Mallory has gotten rid of the break room because it saves her money and it was so disgusting that a “pig wouldn’t be caught dead there,” though Krieger’s gutted pet begs to differ. Pam is pretending her HR job is worth a damn by forcing everyone to do peer reviews. And Archer is drinking at 10 in the morning. Everything is as it should be until Mallory brings up at the office meeting that Archer’s super special BFF from spy training, Lucas Troy, is dead.

Lucas was the kind of guy who Archer loved spending time with. They would pick on flamboyantly Gay Ray together, make sexually explicit “Your Mom” jokes together and they would even enjoy Archer getting laid together (Lucas only watched). It was a time of idyllic grown men frolicking naked on the locker room floor. Alas, Archer knows that his mother drove them apart because she was jealous of their totally masculine and hetero relationship. That’s why the day he graduated spy school from Isis, Lucas went to work for the competition, Odin. Like, duh! 

Well, turns out Odin was also not a good fit for Lucas, because a day ago he seemingly died in a plane crash after he was framed for murdering four Odin agents and stealing hundreds of millions in bearer bonds. Mallory is glad that he burned a traitor’s death, but Archer simply knows he faked the fiery demise to flush out an Odin mole. His trust in his beloved friend is rewarded when he gets a call on his anachronistic cell (smartphones and the Internet during a time of the KGB and ‘70s style, you just go with it on this show) from Lucas. The soul mates will be reunited! Hurray!

We have never seen Archer show real male camaraderie before this episode. Usually, he keeps getting the male contingency of Isis killed because he calls them while they’re undercover to vouch to his newest bar honey that he’s a for real secret agent. The living ones cannot stand him for either being an ignorant, homophobic lout or because he keeps all the office ladies working late for himself. Thus, finally seeing that Archer once had a friend, unlike his lonely days at Lacrosse School, is made all the more gut-busting when you learn just how Gay it was. There is no “sub” in these bros’ subtext.

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There’s plenty of humor to go around, like Cyril forcing Lana to do their peer review while they’re covertly following Archer to his secret rendezvous with Lucas (it’s in Vermont). Also, Krieger is selling genetically mutated ants, along with most of Isis’s gun inventory, to New York street gangs. But the best parts all involve Archer realizing that Lucas didn’t invite him to Vermont to help clear his name. No, he wants Archer to help him fix up a countryside Bed and Breakfast so that they can run it together. That whole “framed by a mole thing?” Turns out, Troy is willing to let it slide and focus on his other activities. His willingness to go all Lance Armstrong on the accusatory charges should be a red flag to Archer, but it doesn’t become clear to him what happened until Lucas reveals that he coated Sterling’s wine glass with roofies. 

The best moment is the end of the episode where Troy lays dying and Archer tries to comfort his buddy. Lucas decides to confess all his crimes. Yeah, he murdered those Odin agents and feels bad about it. But there was also this one time when Archer passed out…Archer tries to stop the confession, because he doesn’t want to live with the knowledge. But Troy continues. “After you passed out, I snuck into your room with a big bottle of suntan oil, put on some Al Green and…”

We didn’t hear the rest of Lucas Troy’s last confessio, but by the way Archer screams “NOOOOOOOO!” we can only guess he wasn’t crying for Mary.

Quotes from the DANGER ZONE:
“Dead! Jesus, clean the secretly Gay for Lucas Troy out of your ears!” Cheryl impatient with Archer’s reaction to the news of his dead BFF.
“Wait, oh my God! Holy shit! No, Vermont has liquor stores, right? Yeah, they have to. It sucks there.” Archer having a panic en route to Vermont.
 “Twin Oaks. You like that for the name? Twin. Oaks.” Lucas describing his and Archer’s future B&B.
“It’s understandable…I mean, I’d do me.” Archer taking in that Troy is in love with him as he passes out from the roofies.
“So why are these damn peer reviews so hard! Only like 10 people work in this whole goddamn chicken shit outfit!” Pam losing it that nobody is doing her required paperwork.
“Okay, don’t really know what to make of that…unless…No, no, get it out of your head. Predator only hunts in tropical jungles. I assume. And hope.” Archer on finding Cyril’s clothes abandoned in the Vermont snow.
“So, judging from the shell ejection she was firing at…what I really hope was not an Ent. Because that’s the last thing we need, an Entmoot. Oh my God, what if I’m Gay for Tolkien?” Archer finding the clues in the wooded Vermont snow and displaying his surprisingly erotic LOTR fantasy.