As a sort of fill-in before the next full season of spy antics, FX is airing a special three weeks of brand-new Archer episodes. Heart of Archness Part 1 began with Sterling Archer MIA as Mallory puts ISIS on the case of finding and bringing her son home following the loss of his fiancÃ©e Katya. In order to do this, she enlists Rip Riley, a rugged solider of fortune type, to track him down. Any fan of this hilarious espionage animated comedy will tell you that Rip Riley has now accepted a ticket straight into the… danger zone!
The ep. begins with some exposition about Archer’s fiancÃ©e being killed while Mallory hires on Rip Riley, and how Sterling has disappeared without telling anyone where he’s going following her death. It wasn’t a surprise to find him in some random woman’s bed on a tropical island just about to ditch her the morning after. I knew later on when called on the behavior that he would refer to this and the other women he’s slept with while holding down a bar-tending gig as part of his ‘grieving process’ for Katya. Classic class-less Archer. I particularly liked how he called the girl out on it himself because he was right in implying that if she’s sleeping with someone right after her marriage–it isn’t going to last long anyway. I’m sure in his head he saw sleeping with her as providing a service for her husband to prove she wasn’t going to be faithful in the long run.
Upon leaving that one-night stand he encounters Rip Riley, voiced by the incomparable Patrick Warburton, who snags him and puts him on a seaplane, (looks like an airplane had a baby with a boat) headed back for home. Of course Archer manages to free himself and crash the plane as well, because if he’s not doing one good thing and one bad thing then it just isn’t up to his standard. One of the best scenes in the episode would be the bonding between Rip and Sterling once it’s revealed that Rip used to be a member of ISIS back in the day. And of course it’s alluded to that he slept with Mallory Archer because there really hasn’t been many male characters on this show that haven’t at some point. It’s also pretty great to have two of the most popular voice actors working today have plenty of dialog together as H. Jon Benjamin and Patrick Warburton have fine chemistry.
Floating out on a survival raft together where Rip activates an emergency beacon for ISIS to track, the duo encounter a ship of pirates, (yes they are still a real thing Sterling). Fortunately in Archer’s typical ass-backwards way, they manage to not only take out their captors, Sterling also manages to become as he puts it a Pirate King. Loved that it wasn’t just something where they had opposition and then more opposition because that would have been tiring. I can’t wait to see, as the parody-laden title suggests he will, Archer going native. It’s all he needs is to be seen as royalty by people that he can take advantage of, particularly the flock of women at the pirate fort–yes you heard that right a pirate fort.But with ISIS agent and Archer’s ex, Lana Kane, on her way, I think it’s going to be interesting to see what can actually get him home. Though I’m sure Pam doesn’t really want him back since she admitted that most of her job was basically handling sexual harassment complaints from around the office because of Archer’s advances.
- Archer mocking Rip’s whole 1940’s sense of style and manly swagger. Loved Jon Benjamin’s old-style radio voice during.
- He shot a shark. In the face. It was as awesome as Sterling found it to be.
- Carol/Cheryl wondering if she had ‘psycho-kinetic powers’ after she said in an off-handed manner that the plane would probably crash and it did. Her simple ‘No’ with a smile about ‘using her new powers only for good’ was so fitting of the not so subtly deranged nature of the character.
- More Gillette is always a good thing. From his disappointment at their no longer needing a Carvel ice cream cake at the unnecessary welcome home party for Sterling to his total decadence on the charter jet with Lana on their way to find Sterling. I used to really like Cyril, but now Gillette is pushing into my circle of favorite Archer supporting characters.
- The appearance of the pretty offensive pirates cemented the fact that this show is not going soft in the start of its third season as it spat in the face of politically correct portrayals for the sake of ‘misunderstood English words’ humor. If South Park can do it, certainly Archer can.
- Archer’s entire scene where he talks about his Tinnitus. It shows why Archer is an asset to the ISIS agency, and it also had Archer’s trademark of being completely selfish and inconsiderate of others as he whined about his own problems while not listening to Rip complaining that he was firing a gun right by his ear.
- David Cross showing up as Noah, a ‘slave-pirate’ and translator, thus marking another Arrested Development alumni to appear on this show. Here’s hoping he manages to at least have a moment of dialog exchange between himself and the former Lucile Bluth, Jessica Walter who plays Archer’s mother and the head of ISIS, Mallory.