Sunday, October 2, 2011

"Archer" - "Heart of Archness, Part Three"

Spoilers for the last new "Archer" until 2012 after the jump:

Again, for a variety of reasons I'm a bit too exhausted to do a full write-up for "Archer" this week. However, I did want to say a few quick things about it.

First of all, I definitely feel that the first part of this three-part arc was the best. It was probably my favorite episode of the show to date (either that or "Placebo Effect"), and the jokes on both the ISIS end and in the Archer-Rip storyline were as well-executed and brilliantly paced as anything I've ever seen on TV. That includes "Arrested Development" at its best. So yeah... high praise.

The second and third installments couldn't quite live up to that, but they were still really good. Archer's predictably short-lived reign as pirate king was great. The problems came from the stuff back at ISIS, where the jokes didn't land with the same amount of success as they did in part one. I think that trend continued in the final installment, aside from Cyril's attempts at guessing the password he's forgotten ("killarcherdie" and Pam's "way to not give him the power" were two of the best lines of the episode). Not sure why the rest of it didn't work for me, but it didn't.

But the nice thing about "Archer" is that it always keeps moving, regardless of whether or not a particular joke works. As such, plenty of time was spent with Archer, Lana, and company as they tried to free themselves. This resulted in an escape sequence that represented the very best that the series has to offer: namely, blisteringly-paced humor often revolving around serious danger. It then followed that up with Archer wanting to stay on the island to watch his lacrosse team play, even as they were making their escape by helicopter. Superb stuff, and just phenomenally funny.

So to sum up... Heart of Archness" was pretty great even if it wasn't quite perfect. The show's not coming back until 2012, which (while it definitely makes my life a bit easier for a while) is a bit too long of a wait in my book. The good news is that we get a full 13-episode order when it does come back. Love this series, can't wait to see more. Outside of the two shows airing back-to-back on NBC at 7*, you won't find a better TV comedy than this.

Episode Grade: B+
Arc as a Whole: A-   

* And "Louie", of course. But "Louie" isn't really a comedy, at least not in the traditional sense.

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