The Papal Chase
Original Air Date: Mar 28, 2013
Elizabeth – TwoCents Reviewer
This week, the unthinkable has happened. Archer has donned a cassock. Don’t panic though! He’s not found God, he’s just going undercover at the Vatican to avert a Papal assassination. You know, the usual. What’s worse is that he’s unsupervised in the Vatican, because in a double-whammy display of discrimination both Malory and the church liaison feel that neither Lana or Ray would blend in as believable Catholics. No black Nuns in the Vatican apparently. Oh and Cyril has a ‘thing’ about ‘church stuff.’
But hang on! He’s not entirely unsupported in this mission, he has Pam! That’s right, our favourite dolphin-wielding HR representative has finally been approved for field work! And Malory concedes that Lana is probably needed as outside back up on the mission considering she is the only one who can speak the languages they need to infiltrate the Vatican. And for some reason Woodhouse came to. Totally unexplained, mind you.
Archer meets with ISIS’s Vatican contact the discuss the plan of the rogue Swiss Guard members who are planning the assassination, and Pam proves to be much more useful than anyone could have ever anticipated. Unnnntilll she almost kills the Pope with a giant mirror. Lana was pissed…
It is at this point that Woodhouse’s presence is explained, they brought him to use as a decoy/body double for the Holy See. Very fortunate that Archer’s manservant looks exactly like the Padre. Due to Archer’s idiocy, and his underestimation of the fire power of the Swiss Guard, the team is left unarmed when the rouge Guards attack.
Back at the office, Cyril explains to Cheryl that he doesn’t actually have a ‘thing’ about ‘church stuff’ (which incidentally completely contradicts an earlier flashback to a sexy nun outfit incident that Lana has earlier in the episode), he had just told Malory that because he couldn’t stand to serve on another mission with Archer. Returning to the Papal car chase in Rome, it becomes apparent why Cyril feels this way; Archer is a dick on missions, and Lana might be the only one who knows how to deal with it. Thankfully, he’s still a good agent, and despite Pam and Lana suffering a couple of bullet wounds, he manages to blow up the pursuing assassins. He also manages to somehow singe off every item of his clothing, but somehow not get a single burn on him.
And then, all too quickly, the episode is over.
Despite the potential for this episode, it somehow falls a bit flat. What should have been an awesome plot is clumsily structured, and there is a distinct lack of quirky inside jokes. There is plenty of confusion and unexplained cutaways though, and the opportunity to make Pam’s first field mission the most hilarious thing ever was totally missed. Additionally, the set up as to why Pam was sent on the mission in the first place was clunky and had massive logic holes. Over all, it was a rare miss this week, but that’s just this reviewer’s opinion! Let us know what you thought in the comments. Give us your TwoCents!