Archer – Recap & Review – Once Bitten

photo: fx

photo: fx

Once Bitten

Original Air Date: Feb 21, 2013

Elizabeth – TwoCents Reviewer

Trouble in Turkmenistan this week on Archer! Mallory has sent Ray, Cyrill and Archer on a mission to the desert to blow up an oil pipeline (a task which Lana, enviro-freak, disapproves of) and their jeep gets bogged in the sand. Obviously, this is the time when Archer feels a certain call of nature (“the Lambs are screaming!”), and unfortunately gets a nip on his you-know-what from a Cobra during his bathroom break in the dunes. Slowly dying, Archer slips in and out of hallucinations of James Mason doing a ‘Ghost of Christmas Past’ routine with him.

Despite his protestations, James Mason shows Archer the end of his lacrosse career at the hands of a gun-wielding stalker and a lonely 6th birthday, when his real father came to visit him. Unfortunately, Archer is revived at precisely this moment, and having been so close to grasping the identity of his pops, the image fades from his mind. Set up for a story arc, anybody?

Meanwhile, Cyrill and Ray try to negotiate with some bearded locals to obtain some anti-venom for archer. Unfortunately, the leader of the country had changed the word for Friday, bread, and apparently Snake, to his dog’s name: Gerpgork. What follows is a hilarious old-school shtick routine in the vein of a “no not they’re, their!” moment.

Back at ISIS, Lana is confronted by a strangely eloquent speech from Carol, which points out that despite Lana’s constant moral objections to ISIS operations, she will never leave the organization because ISIS is the closest thing to ‘true love’ she will ever find. Stung, Lana strides about ISIS proclaiming that she does know what true love is.

Oh and Mallory is drunk and Kreiger is conducting a rat wedding in his lab. You know, the usual.

Even though Archer has been becoming increasingly serialized lately, Once Bitten seems to work better as a stand-alone, rather than a follow on from last week’s plot. Archer is one of the few animated shows that I have seen that actually attempts the serialized plot points from week to week, and while it’s refreshing on one level, I do occasionally enjoy a random adventure. Having said this, the episode ends with a pretty good set-up for Archer to explore his daddy-issues, which is always fun.

Despite the fact that the “life flashing before you” thing has been done to death, Archer, as usual, makes it hilarious. The dialogue is as sharp and hilariously inappropriate as ever, and as storylines goes, this one is pretty textured. Almost all the characters get a word in, development wise, and finding out more about Archer is delicious. This is one of the better episodes of Season 4, and the background visual jokes are worth looking for. And who doesn’t love a cobra bite to the wing-dang-doodle?

Let us know what you thought of this week’s Archer in the comments!

Next week: Live and Let Dine

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