Archer Review: “The Honeymooners” (Season 4, Episode 9)

Archer has proven many times over that it can pair its characters up at random and make each mixture just as golden as all the others, but its creators are also well aware that some, such as Archer and Lana, have been certified platinum.

In “The Honeymooners,” each of Archer‘s characters is in his or her sweet spot. To begin, you have the aforementioned duo of Archer and Lana which, as per usual, is fraught with sexual tension. At least it is for Archer.

I’m almost disappointed that nothing happened to make Cyril think that Pam wasn’t talking out of that sizable ass of hers. Lana could always have lost her top somehow when Archer saved her from plummeting to her death. The argument that followed could’ve played out much the same as it does, just with Lana unwittingly giving the spectating child more to look at (and photograph).

But, to be frank, that’s namely the critic inside me speaking, the part of me that feels it’s my duty to find some flaw to draw attention to, lest I sound like a corporate shill for the show.

Thus, instead of manufacturing more supposed shortcomings, I’ll point out that “The Honeymooners” works in large part because the mission is backgrounded, and the characters limited to the main cast, letting their decidedly unprofessional professional relationships play out minus any distractions.

Upwards of half the episode consists of just Archer and Lana’s endless bickering, and it’s all the better for it. It’s episodes like these that makes part of me wish the people behind Archer would fall so in love with the idea of the bottle episode that they would turn it into, shall we say, a bottle show.

Skip the formalities, such as plot, and simply let the characters have at each other. It’s why I, and many others, watch the show to begin with, to see how these people (fail to) interact (at least civilly)  in a wide variety of situations.

Except here, as in some of the Archer‘s best episodes, the situation merely drudges back up long-standing conflicts, each with seemingly never-ending mileage, and gives them a modicum of context.

For instance, there’s the love/hate triangle Archer, Lana, and Cyril are all three a part of, which is a well that I argue will never go dry, seeing as there is so much there to work with.

Archer’s insistence that Lana secretly pines for him. Lana’s spurning of his countless advances. Cyril’s insecurities about his and Lana’s relationship, and everyone from Archer to Lana herself only serving to fuel them. Archer’s deep-seated jealousy of Cyril, the motivation behind his verbal jabs. Lana’s brief bouts of insanity in which she grants Archer an unwarranted second thought.

While, as a writer, I hate to use such a phrase, it practically writes itself. As does the pairing of Pam and Cheryl, with the occasional cameo from Cyril. Or Malory and Krieger left on their own. And Archer on auto-pilot is still one of the best shows around.

Yet the writers were clearly at the controls this week and hit all the right buttons. Each line set up the next, insuring that there was never a dull moment at the same time as it makes it nigh on impossible to pick and choose favorites.

To be brief, “The Honeymooners” nestles each of its characters into his or her respective sweet spot(s) and lets them run wild, the result so flawless that I won’t waste any more of your time trying to find the words. Just do yourself a favor. Stop reading this review and watch it. Already have? Well, watch it again.

Stray Thoughts:

  • “I’m coming, Cyril.” “Lana, wait. Bet that’s the first time you ever said that, right? Huh?” If that were me, I’d have said exactly the same thing. Sometimes I like to think Archer is a fictional version of me. Only, you know, tons more attractive… and clever… and everything else, just about.

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