Take a moment to marvel that Archer, a dedicatedly irreverent spoof of all things James Bond, has been on air since 2009. Now in its seventh season, the series has stayed fresh and fiercely provocative thanks in no small part to creator Adam Reed’s fearlessly shaking up its premise like one of 007’s signature martinis. But it’s not always been a smooth move.
Having been booted from espionage by a FBI raid in season five, the core group got into the drug trafficking with a predictable but often hilarious lack of success. Season six had them scraping by on odd jobs from the CIA before being disavowed for blowing up a scientist with an embiggened submersible. Now in season seven, the whole crew has up and moved to Hollywood, relishing in that sweet L.A. noir angle teased in the opening Sunset Boulevard allusion. While these misadventures among the rich, famous and duplicitous has been fun so far, I’m growing irked that Archer’s latest direction has left so many threads dangling.
Why DID the CIA keep setting ISIS up for failure?
Whether it was stealing the fingerprints off a prince, rescuing an undercover double-agent, or Fantastic Voyageing to save a genius’s life/brain, Archer and the gang made a mess of their assignment, often literally. It was so blatant that the formerly-ISIS crew began to wonder if the snide Slater had an ulterior motive from bringing them into convoluted plans they’d inevitably clusterfuck. But while we’re left wondering what the deal was with all that, Archer carries on like none of it matters with no mention of Slater or the strange collaborations that brought their spy careers to an abrupt end. In a show as richly laced with inside jokes as this, isn’t it galling that balls this big can be left in the air? (Phrasing.)
What happened to Babou?
Though I’m glad the glue-sniffing, choke sex-having, nutjob Cheryl made the move to Los Angeles with the rest of the gang, it’s left me wondering about the fate of her corpuscular pet ocelot. Babou called Tunt Manor home. And while unseen, the reeking critter was still stalking its secret tunnels in season six with Cheryl complaining, “He’s around somewhere, probably either puking or pissing on something I care about.” But the deranged heiress did travel with him to Canada during “The Limited,” where the gang transported a Canuck terrorist via train. So, will he resurface around the Figgis Agency? Or is Babou lost to us like so much Conway Stern, Rona Thorne, Ramon Ramon, Charles and Rudy?
It’s weird no one mentions the wee Baby Seamus anymore, right?
I know, I know. He’s not actually Archer’s son, but the gang doesn’t know that. And you’d think with Archer and Lana now raising a baby of their own, someone might bring up AJ’s “half-brother” on occasion. Maybe this plot line is played out, but a lone line of dialogue could quench me, much like when Reed brought an end to the Kreiger as Hitler clone run with the frustrated “doctor” declaring, “If I was a clone of Adolf goddamn Hitler, wouldn’t I look like Adolf goddamn Hitler?!” YUP.
What Happened to Woodhouse?
The last we heard of Woodhouse was at season six’s tail-end. Archer and Lana were hot and heavy again, and he was stealing Cyril’s Stir Friday tradition. Before Katya and her vibrating cyber-gina showed up, Archer admits Woodhouse has gone missing. Last summer at San Diego Comic-Con, producer Casey Willis teased a return of Archer’s MIA valet, saying, “If this person comes through in the story, I know that Woodhouse is going to have a really cool appearance. So hopefully that all comes to fruition.” But a few days later, George Coe, the Saturday Night Live alum who voiced Archer’s tormented butler, passed away, leaving the character’s future uncertain.
Shortly after Coe’s death—which occurred less than half-way through production on Archer’s current season—Reed confessed, “I’m not sure about Woodhouse’s fate. It’s too soon after George’s passing to know for sure.”
Perhaps Reed feels it’d be wrong to recast the role. But the lovable smack addict has become too central to Archer’s story to just have him Judy Winslowed out of existence, right? I mean, he’s the closest thing Sterling’s ever had to a father. And speaking of…
Who IS Archer’s father?
Early seasons leaned hard on this question. In her heyday, Mallory Archer got around, so potential candidates include jazz drummer Buddy Rich, ODIN head Len Trexler, and former KGB leader Nikolai Jakov. But then in season three, Mallory dropped clues that Archer’s true dad was none of the above (classic her), and instead an unnamed secret agent who was murdered by order of another of her lovers, prime minister of Italy Savio Mascalzoni.
Later, in a cobra bite-fueled flashback, Archer even got a below the neck glimpse of his dad in season four’s “Once Bitten.” But since then, all we’ve gotten is…dammit. I had something for this.
Kristy Puchko is not saying she invented the turtleneck, but she was the first person to realize its potential as a tactical garment.