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Archer – The Honeymooners Review: Nuptial Bliss

“The Honeymooners” focused mainly on the perpetually stunted relationship between Lana and Archer. Forced to pose as a newly married couple on their latest mission, the situation is prime for Archer to make his routine sexual advancements and Lana to systematically shut them down. The prospect of marrying Archer or ending up with him is absolutely horrifying to Lana, as she put it, “it’s like my heart’s being gripped by the icy fingers of some terrifying ghost of honeymoon future” when she is referred to as Mrs. Archer. Archer takes great amusement from Lana’s anguish and exploits her feelings for his own enjoyment. The mission these two undertake also breeds insecure feelings within Cyril, who is spurred by Pam’s delightfully inappropriate embellishments of what Lana and Archer could possibly be getting themselves into.

All the Lana, Archer, Cyril love triangle-y stuff is a bit repetitive and ultimately uninteresting and makes a waste of Lana as a character. Remember back in the day when Lana was this badass spy chick, who didn’t put up with Archer’s crap and wouldn’t get all emotionally compromised and tortured? No? Me neither. That idea of Lana is a mere shadow, a specter of seasons past who once in a while emerges to taunt us with her awesomeness. It’s not that she is a completely different character or a useless character, but the amount of time we spend watching her worrying even obsessing about her personal life is disheartening and plain boring. I just want to see her kick ass as and knock Archer down a few pegs. The antagonistic relationship between Archer and Lana is far more interesting and inherently funny than any kind of relationship love triangle melodrama. Also, it would be great if she realized what complete idiots both Archer and Cyril are and finally recognize that she is far better off without them. It seemed that towards the end of the episode she appeared to have a much necessary epiphany and reach that conclusion, but who knows how long that will last. Hopefully the writers will be able to write scenarios for Lana that don’t involve her past relationships with her coworkers.

But I digress, not only because I have been elaborating on a fictional animated character’s personal life quite seriously, (it’s just a half-hour comedy) but also because even though the main premise of the storyline is quite blah, it was a great vehicle for amazing Pam and Cheryl weirdness and irreverence, without which the episode would have been a complete letdown. We have come to expect high levels of off the wall, strange, and puzzling humor out of those characters and they did not disappoint in this installment. From Pam’s uncomfortably long and cringe-y sexual assault of a gyro to Cheryl’s blind enthusiasm for “tranqued” tigers, it was just perfection. Without Pam’s insistence they go spy on Lana and Archer, then our heroes would have been in even bigger trouble than what they found themselves in, so there is a narrative justification for their wacky shenanigans in the hotel room. Pam’s running commentary on the situation was absolutely golden, and accompanied by Cheryl’s nonsensical absurdity it became the source of some of the episode’s best gags.

Pam uttering the words, “get in my big old vagina, I’m Lana” off screen as we see Lana and Archer arguing in the distance, was fantastic and a surprise since we expect to hear the rest of Lana’s mini-speech. The use of off screen space and sound was expertly used in this episode. The sound of Archer’s suction cup thingies speeding up as he scaled the building to catch up with Lana was hilarious as well as his calls to her as he made his way up. These kinds of gags incorporating the broader environment seemed to be more present in this episode.

I still get a kick out of Archer being a surprisingly skillful secret agent, while at the same time being the worst secret agent possible. His inability to remain discreet or handle any situation with caution constantly gets him and the team caught, but somehow he always manages to come out alive. He has had so much experience getting captured that he can now deftly maneuver his way out of nearly any situation. Archer is so proficient that he saves Lana multiple times in this episode alone. It is frustrating how the writers deal with Lana’s turn at being agent on command, one would think that she would be competent and skillful enough to be good as the leader, but she ends up being rescued by Archer and even Cyril, ultimately failing in her task. It is disappointing that she wasn’t able to show off her ‘badassery’ and prove to Archer that she could be in charge and in control.

This week’s installment had disparate moments of genius, but they weren’t able to keep the episode completely together. Though the material with Pam, Cyril and Cheryl was close to flawless, it was brought down by the insipid Archer, Lana storyline. Still, a weak-ish episode of Archer is still better than almost any other half hour comedy out there.

Notes & Quotes:
 -- Seriously, Pam molesting that lamb gyro made the episode, especially her dropping it, picking it back up, cleaning it off and taking a huge bite, so good. Cyril’s reactions were spot on too.
-- When are we going to get an episode where they go to the zoo? I want to go to there.
-- Where is Woodhouse? It has been forever since we’ve seen him, miss him.
-- Ugh, gross there’s moose in this?!” Cheryl’s oblivious disgust of the nonexistent ingredients in her dessert was great.



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