Editor’s note: The Fourth Wall is knocking down barriers between entertainment industry talent and the audience. This recurring feature is a platform for creators, actors, and industry insiders to bring the readers behind the scenes of the production process. In our latest installment, we removed the curtain on the writers’ room for the seventh season of FX’s hit animated comedy, Archer.
This part of the walkthrough looks at episodes five through seven from Archer’s seventh season. Click here to read part 1.
Archer Season 7 Episode 5 – Bel Panto: Part I
“Party crashers turn a fundraiser into no laughing matter.”
Written by Adam Reed
DEN OF GEEK: With Shapiro being set up early on in the season, did it make sense to have him be the one filling the role of bringing them work and outlining a case?
ADAM REED: That was more a product of Patton Oswalt being so damn great. After his first episode, the goal was to get as much Patton in there as possible.
Any decision between the five that you chose to be all glammed up, or did it always seem like these guys made the most sense?
I think the agency has always been divided between the self-styled “cool kids” – Archer, Lana and Malory – and the “geeks” – everybody else. Although Krieger obviously switched teams this time.
Pretty brilliant that it’s a fundraiser for tinnitus, what with Archer’s history, and even what happened in the very last episode.
We are big supporters of the American Tinnitus Association.
We get another example of Archer shamelessly hitting on someone here, and right in front of Lana. Was there any thought on scaling this back since AJ’s birth? In this new context it’s certainly saying something different about him.
It’s funny: a lot of viewers felt that Archer had really crossed a line here, when just a few seasons ago he was running around banging hookers every minute of his life – presumably while dating Lana, before the show began.
Another pretty deep cut with the Kate Warne, the first female detective, reference. Cheryl’s almost a factory of them at this point.
There is probably a German word for her particular personality type.
We’re treated to a classic hostage situation in this episode. Is this an archetype that you had been looking to do for a while now?
It was probably more that my favorite episodes are the ones where the entire group is forced together somehow, and this seemed a good way to do that.
A “kakow” gets dropped here and it’s too good! Frisky Dingo should never die and I’m glad to see more of that world progressively seeping into Archer’s.
Archer Season 7 Episode 6 – Bel Panto: Part II
“A hostage negotiation spirals out of control when Archer and Lana go missing.”
Written by Adam Reed
This episode digs into coulrophilia — being sexually attracted to clowns — a little bit. Were you aware of this terminology before the episode, or do you reverse engineer a lot of the nuggets of knowledge that the show parses out?
I am happy to say that I didn’t know there was a word for wanting to fuck a clown.
This episode feels very grandiose in its execution. There are a number of really exceptional fight scenes, there’s that string music scoring it all…
Well, I normally just write something like “big fight scene” and then all the insanely talented people who work on the show do the rest.
The slo-mo sequence is a really great showcase of the series’ animation. Had you been looking for an occasion to do something big like this?
Slo-mo is actually something we couldn’t do well even a few seasons ago, but new software (and those budget increases, for which we are so grateful) has made it possible.
This ends up almost feeling like your equivalent of a classic Frasier cabin episode, with all the costume switching and no one knowing who anyone is. It feels very stage play-like.
I would like to see our cast star in a production of “Noises Off.”
Archer Season 7 Episode 7 – Double Indecency
“Who’s sexier, Cyril or Krieger? Pam or Cheryl? Only one way to find out… Bar fight!”
Written by Adam Reed
There’s a really great story to this episode that’s so simple, yet really inspired, too. This is especially a show where splitting the group up by gender can have dangerous results. They’re all such sexually charged people.
I think they’re all extremely competitive, which doesn’t help matters.
Is it nice to be able to just dig into the egos and sexuality of these characters for an episode?
Yes, although sex usually isn’t that far removed from whatever they’re doing.
The symmetry of this one is really beautiful. Was the idea always to do this as sort of a call and response sort of setup?
Yes, and helped by the fact we have an even number of male and female characters.
Have you seen any Wheeler & Woolsey? Is there a certain film of theirs that particularly captures their eccentric chemistry that you’d recommend?
No, I didn’t even know who they were until Archer said that.
We get some nice reminders here that Krieger is in fact a clone of Hitler. Do you see that nugget eventually culminating into something?
I’m not a gene scientist (or whatever those are called) but I genuinely think that if Krieger were in fact a clone of Hitler, that he would look like Hitler.