After a wild string of Hollywood-set mysteries, Archer’s seventh season ended with a cliffhanger that left fans wondering WTF?! Is it really curtains for our favorite tacticalneck-loving, cocktail-guzzling ex-world’s greatest spy? Well, the first teaser for season eight suggests not.
Take a look. Then let’s look closer.
After the finale ep of season seven aired, executive producers Matt Thompson taunted fans through a Daily Beast interview, saying the climactic reveal could mean our vice-driven antihero is dead for good—if FX didn’t renew the show. So, the announcement of renewal should have us all sighing with relief. Except, what the what with this trailer? Why is it set in a new era? Why is it subtitled: “Dreamland”? I’ve got a theory: Season eight will be be Archer fighting his way through a surreal new but strangely familiar setting in a redemption arc that will conclude with him awaking back in Hollywood, resuscitated back to life, perhaps with help from Lana’s giant hands. (Johnny Bench called.)
Follow me down the rabbit hole.
Archer is notorious for playing fast and loose with the “when” of it all, boasting modern tech like cell-phones, but ’50s era etiquette like martini-lunches (and breakfasts and teas and elevator pick-me-ups), yet ’60s fashion in Lana’s leg-revealing mini-dresses, and modern politics and taboos everywhere else. But this season doesn’t take the fashion forward to the ’70s or ’80s, but back to the 1940s, complete with pre-hipster fedoras. Sure, creator Adam Reed could could justify the redesign with a throwaway joke. But my guess is Archer is diving back into a Golden-era to escape his terrible present (A.K.A. bleeding out in the pool of the movie star who shot him). And isn’t it curious he’d be diving back into the heyday of his last season obsession, the glamorous Veronica Deane!
More curious is the season synopsis (courtesy of Uproxx):
“(Season eight) revolves around the hardboiled private eye Sterling Archer and his quest to find his partner’s killer in 1947 Los Angeles. The case proves to be more difficult than expected after Archer quickly gets mixed up in a deadly game of tug of war between Los Angeles’ most powerful crime bosses. Every clue leads Archer further away from his goal and deeper into a mystery involving kidnapping, prostitution, and drug addiction.”
What partner? In this quick teaser, we see Lana (as a lounge singer), Cheryl (as a nun-dercover?), Cyril and Pam as minions of Mallory once more, and—that’s it! No Krieger. Could Krieger be the late partner? Doubt it. He’s too much fun too kill off offscreen. My guess is that Archer’s partner will not be shown, and the reveal will be it’s himself. Like his quest to track down the killer is actually his brain trying to Sherlock a solution to not dying. Or maybe Dreamland will bring us back on track to finally uncovering the identity of his long lost daddy! I mean, we’ve traipsed into this before when the spy who sasses got bit by a gorp gorp and hallucinated a “who’s your daddy” trip through his memories and mind with James Mason.
A Soft Reboot?
Stay with me. If this is not the real world of Archer, but instead a safe space from series continuity, then the show can reset all the characters’ relationships to its central anti-hero. Which means Archer would make some of the same mistakes again, like banging Cheryl. But also, that he has a second (well, more like ninth) chance to dive into the danger zone and romance Lana to form a bond that will last. (Note we didn’t see their baby AJ in this teaser either!)
AND PERHAPS MY FAVORITE BIT OF SPECULATION: What if Mallory isn’t Archer’s mother or boss in “Dreamland”, but one of the crime lords he’s out to thwart? This could tie into the long-running father plot. Mallory has been against Archer knowing his real dad’s identity for the whole of his life. So, perhaps here they can be proper adversaries, and his Mommy Issues and Daddy Drama can play out in the form of a Sam Spade detective tale, complete with gunfire showdown and deathbed confessions!
I might be a genius. It’s okay to say so.
Kristy Puchko will accept praise, Twitter followings, and cheese.