Like last week, “Un Chien Tangerine” hones in on the strained dynamic between Archer and Lana. This time, however, they had another friend along to join the ride. To be more specific, man’s best friend, a dog named Kazak who, it appears, has a natural sense of comedic timing.
He can’t talk, at least not in a way that we can understand, though apparently in a way that Archer can understand, and yet he’s the centerpiece of the episode and it works. While he really only has one note to play, which is that he farts and throws up a lot, the writers of Archer somehow manage to milk an entire episode’s worth of comedy out of that.
Part of that’s thanks to the rapport he and Archer share. It’s as if Kazak is Archer reincarnated in canine form. He even pulls a very Archer-esque move at the end, substituting flatulence for “danger zone.” It’s almost enough to make me hope he becomes a recurring character.
Then again, since he is so one-note a character, I foresee him wearing out his welcome very quickly. I think they’ve stretched that note out as long as they can, just as they did with Archer-saurus in the “un-aired pilot.” I’m surprised they were able to milk it successfully for as long as they did and feel they should quit while they’re ahead. Though I wouldn’t be against him popping up occasionally, not unlike Kreiger’s holographic girlfriend.
On the other hand, what I really do sincerely hope to see more of is Pam’s push to become a field agent. As good as the main storyline involving Archer, Lana, and Kazak was, Pam’s side-plot stuck with me more, largely because it makes a surprising amount of sense. I say surprising since I didn’t realize just how qualified she was until she laid it all out for Malory.
Honestly, of everyone at ISIS, she’s probably the third most qualified after Archer and Lana, yet you wouldn’t know it because she’s been so content to watch from ringside. While that makes her sudden ambition peculiar and a tad out-of-nowhere, I’m glad the writers are attempting to flesh her character out more.
She’s always been one of the show’s MVPs, with lines such as “shut your dick holster,” yet the writers never let her go very far beyond the foul-mouthed wise-cracker who was involved in any number of shady dealings. So, even if she ends up being denied the job, it’s a step in the right direction because we get to see another, more serious side to her.
Similarly, this week’s episode teases Lana having her own revelation and finally quitting ISIS for real and for good, but then it reneges on that soon thereafter as it always does. It was kind of touching to hear Archer admit that maybe he pushes Lana’s buttons because he still harbors feelings for her, yet I wish that had been given more focus and not forgotten about as quickly as Lana’s resignation.
Hopefully Pam’s aspirations aren’t pushed aside so swiftly. Speaking of which, I’m sure Archer wouldn’t exactly be resistant to her joining him in the field. If things with Lana aren’t going anywhere, then why not forego the hookers and do it with the woman who, in a past episode, gave you the most mind-blowing sex you’d ever experienced?
And can you imagine a team of Pam and Cyril? Anything that results in more of those two working together is a decision I think practically anyone can get behind.
In short, “Un Chien Tangerine” was an Archerepisode of promise, squandered potential, and one rumbling, gassy note contorted into a symphony.