Archer: Un Chien Tangerine, Revew

A tangerine dog? .. Really? Named Kazak. Is that a Kojak reference? ...Anyone?

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Oh, look at him! He’s so cute! Who’s a good terrorist throat-ripping good boy with a bad case of chicken-kabob flatulence? You are, Kazak. Yes, you are! You little, 150 pounds of slobbering mutt, you!

In this episode of Archer, the perpetually gorgeous super-spy team of the fetching Lana and Sterling were joined by a giant hound of animated cuteness who can out-fetch both of them combined. Sent to retrieve (yes, its a breed joke!) special asset agent Kazak from Tangier, Morocco, the duo had no idea going into the mission they would meet the dopiest cuddle-ally in the world. Seriously, the animators worked overtime to make his droopy eyes more adorable than half the videos on YouTube. His cheeks hang lower than Senator Joe Lieberman, but he has the kind of humanistic quality of great animated sidekicks like Scooby-Doo and…I’m sure there are others (list ‘em if the comments section below if you can think of any). 

Archer is, of course, immediately smitten with the pooch. Despite being held as a distant second to poodle Duchess in Mallory’s heart when he grew up, Archer even begrudges Mallory never forgot the dog’s birthday (the two went for a carriage ride in Central Park while Archer cleaned the fireplace), he has nothing but love for this guy. Lana tries to resist his howling charms, but she obviously is just cranky. The night before, Archer blew all their cash at the hotel for a $1,000 upgrade when he was told he could stay in the room where Allen Ginsberg wrote the poem, “Howl.” God, Lana show some literary respect for the Beat generation! He also got drunk when he brought teenage Dutch girls to the room and took over the whole bed for himself, leaving Lana on the floor.

The three go on a rollicking adventure together in the desert after Lana begrudges her Isis duty. But if one hound dog like Archer pushing her buttons was bad before, having an equally obnoxious mountainous fur-ball in the backseat spouting wuff-talk to Archer is just too much. The two gang up on her when the dog starts throwing up the chicken kabobs Archer bought for him from a street vendor. “It’s my fault,” Archer says with that sheepish grin when the dog pukes on him too. “I urged you to eat five [servings.]” Why could Lana be so mad?!

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Meanwhile, Pam is back at Isis convincing Mallory to make her a field agent. Sure, she was originally just the sad HR person, but now she is as demented as the rest of the incompetent crew. Mallory refuses to consider it until Pam shows that she aced the spy test and provides a video of her beating up Cyril, Krieger and Ray all at once in training exercises. “So…you beat up a Nazi, a nerd and the Queen of the Robots,” Mallory hisses with homophobic condescension (poor Ray). Why would Mallory need another field agent?

It may be fortuitous that Pam ultimately gets Mallory to consider the offer, because Lana is simultaneously quitting. Not being able to take another moment of Archer chit-chatting with his new super BFF, she walks off into the desert without her GPS, gun or even some water. Archer, mistaking a dog crying because it wants to puke and fart with a moral conscience giving him the advice to go after her, finally turns the jeep around for Lana just as she is kidnapped by terrorists. With the help of Kazak and some skilled driving, the bad guys are stopped and Lana agrees to stay at Isis…for now.

It seems to me that Season 4 is going to end on some type of cliffhanger regarding Lana’s relationship to Archer and perhaps all of Isis. Last week, she was coming to a decision involving Cyril that she unmade when she found out he could not trust her. Perhaps it was to settle for him in marriage, but maybe it was something else? She certainly looked interested this week when Archer pulled out a small box…and was then righteously angered when it was only codes for nuclear weapons. Just as Season 2 ended with Archer “quitting” when Katya was left for dead on 72nd street by Barry, I feel there will be a pseudo-serious season finale involving Lana.

Then again, she did promise never to threaten quitting Isis again if Archer would stop being such a colossal asshole. He hesitates, laughs and finally responds, “I can’t.” But like Kazak, you just must love this son of a bitch. Hey, Kazak really is one! So is Archer when you think about it. Isn’t that right? Who’s a son of a bitch? Why, you are! Yes, you are!

Quotes from THE DANGER ZONE:

“Look in there and tell me the Arabic for ‘your mother is a whore and a goat herder is her pimp.’” Archer to Lana as he passes her a book translator while driving Tangier streets.

“Lana, look! He thinks he’s people!” Archer.

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“He’s like the Pelé of…let me finish….fetch!” Archer.

“Is that a real ‘we’ll think about it’ or a ‘Pam, if your pig Leon wins a blue ribbon at the county fair, we won’t kill him and eat him for Easter Dinner and render what’s left into soap, we’ll think about it,’ because I never got over that.” Pam.

“It was actually pretty awesome.” Pam about her childhood on the farm. “And if I’m being honest, so was Leon.”

“Normally in this situation, I do a pit maneuver, but if I do, the truck will flip and if Lana doesn’t die, best case she’s a quadriplegic and I marry her out of guilt, but after a few years of feeding tubs and colostomy bags, I start to resent her and the night nurse is like Brazilian and 20.” Archer in mid chase and shootout talking to Kazak. When Kazak growls, Archer retorts, “Don’t judge me! I have needs, man!”