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Archer – Fugue and Riffs Review: Shazam!

If you have ever wondered what Sterling Archer would be like if he were to settle down and start a family, then all of your questions would be answered in the first ten minutes of the season four premiere, Fugue and Riffs.  It seems the dashing secret agent has himself a doting wife, three lovable albeit odd children, and he spends his days flipping burgers. If all of this looks and seems familiar, that’s because it is. If you’re a fan of Bob’s Burgers, Fox’s other Sunday night animated show that’s not The Simpson’s nor created by Seth MacFarlane, then you’ll surely recognize the setting.

The KGB has found Sterling Archer working at a burger joint with his new family. Unbeknownst to them, Archer has no memory of his former life. His training kicks in as his assailants threaten his new livelihood and the super spy quickly eliminates them. Sterling/Bob hits the road as to not attract anymore harm towards his new family and to spend a few days taking in the sun at a spa resort. At ISIS headquarters, the team has located Archer and hatches a plan to recover his memories through the questionable medical knowledge of Dr. Kreiger.


Archer, the show, has definitely paved its own way and set a standard (or lack there of) that has not been met by any other show. Never have so many sexual innuendoes, crude remarks, handicapped jokes or anything else deemed inappropriate been cultivated into such an amazingly well written and hilarious program. This latest adventure is no different. Sterling Archer, even with psychogenic retrograde amnesia, can’t help but be the most obnoxious and self-absorbed person in the room. Even the cadre of KGB hit men trying to gun him down can’t shut him up. And we don’t want him to shut up.

The tie-in with Bob’s Burgers was a really great intro and I personally would love to see more along that line. Jon Benjamin has been the voice of so many unforgettable cartoon characters as well as himself on the short-lived Jon Benjamin Has A Van. I would be ecstatic to see more of his previous work bleed over into Archer. If Coach McGuirk shows up next week I will lose my mind. 


The previous seasons of Archer haven’t followed much of a story, in that there isn’t a continuing thread throughout an entire season. Each episode is its own little nugget filled with debauchery and violence. I think the writers are trying to see how awful a person they can make Sterling out to be and if we’ll still watch. Well I’m certainly hooked no matter what happens. The characters are so awful that you have to love them. Pathetic and overworked Cyril, clueless and mysteriously asexual Cheryl, and of course cold-blooded and over bearing Mallory Archer played brilliantly by Lucille Bluth herself, Jessica Walter.

One character from Archer’s past does show up at the end. Barry, the psychotic cyborg bent on destroying Sterling is seen orbiting the earth in a space station at the end of the episode. Still desperate to put an end to Archer’s life, Barry has a team of scientists, most of which he has murdered, furiously working on a way to get him back to earth.

There is always a great balance on whatever “mission” the team is on and there personal lives getting in the way. Cheryl and Pam taking in a spa at the hotel while Russians fire upon Lana and Archer is a great example. These sociopaths are so ridiculously out of touch with reality and usually on a plethora of mind-altering substances to ever be scared or even apprehensive. Season four has come out swinging and surely will not disappoint fans.


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