Spoilers for the first of three all-new "Archer" episodes airing this September after the jump:
It's hard not to simply give in to the temptation to list all the hilarious one-liners, running gags, and character-based humor that "Archer" packs into every episode, and that's doubly true here. I could write a hundred words or so just on the extended scene in this episode where Archer takes out a dozen or so pirates while still finding time to deliver a number of remarks towards Rip Riley that (as always) straddle the line between "cool" and "enormously self-involved". This episode and this show flat-out rock. But then, we knew that already.
So I'll just focus on recapping a little bit of the enormous amount of action that took place in "Heart of Archness, Part One", which may be my favorite episode of the show to date. It takes place three months after the events of the season two finale: in which Archer's fiancee was murdered by cyborg Barry. Well, Archer's been missing ever since. And Malory won't stop until he's found. She tasks Riley with this task, and he finds Archer on a small island doing what he does best: namely, sleeping with random women and acting like a total jerk. All this exposition takes place within the first few minutes. The real fun starts when Riley captures Archer and attempts to take him back to ISIS. Things... don't go well, and eventually the two of them find themselves captured by pirates after Riley's plane crashes.
Riley makes a fine addition to "Archer's" eclectic cast of characters. Thus far, he seems like a perfect foil for Archer's self-involved behavior. His reactions upon discovering Archer had eaten their survival rations (and then promptly vomited them back up) are priceless, and their back and forth displays of irritation with each other even more so. This show is always a blast to watch, but I can't ever recalling laughing as hard and as often at it than I did this week.
And that's without even mentioning the stuff back at ISIS, which was equally enjoyable and laugh-out-loud funny. We had Pam discussing making chili in a certain part of Lana's body, and Cheryl discovering her potential gift for predicting the future. There's no comedy on TV quite like this one right now. And this is coming from someone who completely adores "Parks and Rec" and "Community". Those two shows may be slightly better than "Archer", but they're not funnier. No way.
- Okay, here's where I'm going to go a bit crazy and list a ton of my favorite individual moments from this episode. There's Archer diving back to grab the alcohol. Archer talking about his ear problems while killing the pirates. Archer's failed attempts to conceal his true identity from Rip ("did you say ISIS?"). And of course, his "where do I start?" when Rip mentions a possible ISIS rescue attempt.
- Cheryl's "no" to the possibility of using her powers for good: so funny, and so Cheryl. This show has been described by many as the spiritual successor to "Arrested Development", and with lines like this it's not hard to see why.
- Completely random aside: I watched the final few minutes of the "It's Always Sunny..." premiere as I was waiting for "Archer" to come on. What I saw was very funny. At some point I think I'm going to have to catch up on it. Maybe next summer.