In previous weeks, I have been somewhat lukewarm as to how Archer Vice has seen the Isis gang bumble through one illegal activity after another without spending enough time on any for its full comedic value…but if it was to rush to this point before the end of the season, then it might have very well been worth it. Because Cyril, of all people, is a dictator of his very own third world South American regime. It appears that all those hours of studying history (and playing World of Warcraft) has paid off with the reign of El Senor Presidente Figgis! Now, that is a platform so absurd that we all should vote for it! Even Archer, if it means he gets to spend time in the cell next to “Crazy Tits” (Pam’s words…which mean’s they’re also basically Archer’s).
Given that this is the penultimate episode of Archer Vice, I find myself entertaining the idea that next season’s announced return to espionage would include the Isis gang turning this country into their own new dysfunctional office space where Sterling could have crazy adventures as spying for His Majesty’s Secret Service. But bah, who am I kidding? Cyril couldn’t keep the lights on for more than three weeks, especially with the Krieger triplets running around with a nuclear missile aimed at potentially millions of citizens or, worse, the Upper East Side!
So, enjoying the premise while it lasts, it should be noted that Season 5 of Archer has been the most structured and thought-out in all its years. Unlike previous seasons, where we did not have more than one or two episodes narratively connect, the last entire half season of Archer Vice has organically grown like a coca flower into a beautiful powder of white smoke worthy of Pam’s inhalation (or a tropical smoothie). It has been a bold choice that’s left the comfort zone of nearly all previous Archer stories. Nonetheless, it is easy to see why Adam Reed wants to return to the original format next year, because despite building to crescendos of absurdist mayhem—like Cyril becoming dictator of his own country, all so he can marry a woman who Archer already wed in the Biblical sense (see Episode VI in the Gospel of Lucas)—the premise has still tripped over itself several times due to the narrative constraints of a storyline that builds upon each previous week. In a show full of the random non- sequitur, the increasingly non-random atmosphere has led to several dud episodes.
Fortunately, “Filibuster” is not one of those. From the word go, I was genuinely surprised to see the return of Gustavo and Juliana in the cells next to Archer, which provided some great insight into not only Sterling’s need to swing, but also his still ever growing comfortability with his own bi-curiosity (we never saw him turn down moving Gustavo over a cell). Obviously, he like all viewers would prefer to have Cherlene one wall over, but she is as about as trustworthy as Shane the Tiger, a grumpy fellow in need of a good meal (farewell, Fred Armisen!).
All the comedic shenanigans about who’s on who’s side and that even with an entire country at his back, Cyril is still cast deep in Archer’s shadow, can make it easy to overlook the ending. First, there is the revelation that Slater, the coolest kid in school this side of J.D., was actually transporting weapons to the rebels instead of the dictator. I bet Sterling feels like an ass. Albeit, not as much as he does for discovering that the Fed who busted Isis was really CIA. I suspect that their entire dissolution was an agency scam, facilitating the storied return of Isis next season. Oh, and Lana’s water broke!
Going into the season (or is it series with Vice?) finale of Archer promises that the story will be focused on averting a nasty explosion that will scar countless, as well as stopping the nuke in the scenes not dealing with Lana giving birth. I expect a loud declaration of adoptive paternity on Sterling’s behalf, and Lana’s refusal to let him do that or stay at Isis. Also, I predict that the CIA is going to owe Mallory one for ending this communist stalemate when she stops the nuke and turns Cyril over to them. Who doesn’t want to shoot him in the face, now?
…Yes, we should bring back phrasing into the rotation.
Quotes from the DAAAANGGGGGGER ZOOOOOOONNNNEEEEE!
-GUSTAVO: Archer, do you want me to move over one?
-LANA: But spoiler alert, Vader ends up killing Palaptine.
CHERLENE: But only for three days, right? Then he moves the rock and comes out of his caver stronger than ever.
PAM: Then he shuts off a tractor beam, releasing the Jews from captivity.
MALLORY: Wait, yes that sounds familiar. Gospel of Luke?
-MALLORY: Krieger, I’m about two seconds away from telling Pam to get a wooden stake.
KRIEGER: I am not a vampire!