It’s a good day to travel, yet again, with the world’s most incompetent spy agency– ISIS. The destination: London (cue God Save The Queen). In this week’s episode of Archer, the team travels across the pond to retrieve a bug that Mallory herself installed many many years ago. This mission could gain the team a lot of money that they desperately need! While the mission in itself is not too clear, the episode proves very Archer—phrasing, costumes, Mallory (the late Jessica Walters, Arrested Development) making inappropriate jokes and Archer (Jon H. Benjamin, Bob’s Burgers) trying to crack somewhat offensive jokes.
The episode begins with the marketing dweebs (Harvey Guillen, What We Do in The Shadows and Natasha Rothwell, Insecure) congratulating the magnificent trio: Mallory Archer, world’s former best spy Sterling Archer and Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler, Criminal Minds). Between their success with stopping last week’s highjacking and Robert’s (Stephen Tobolowksy, Californication) seizable donation to the environmental fund has helped ISIS quite a lot. While the money did most of the heavy lifting, the agency hasn’t made quite the impact it needs. As the marketing team skydive out of a plane, they might be millennial, Cyril (Chris Parnell, SNL) comes in with actual good news.
Apparently, ISIS has an open contract with London. About many years ago, Mallory (who not only had dark hair but a catsuit too!) bugged the British government along with the help of Cornelius Varma (Aasif Mandva, The Proposal). A trip down memory lane, full of motorcycle rides and overtly-sexual double-entendres, reminds Mallory that there is a lot of money at stake if a battery is replaced. Apparently, if the team change the battery of the bug, they can trace a code back to an account that would give them— wait for it—a million dollars. So off we pop!
While the team does the pre-mission work, which contains a chalkboard with a lot of drawings and that’s pretty much it, Lana receives a beautiful bouquet of flowers that she quickly rejects. If Robert thinks that she can forgive last week’s words he is deliriously wrong. This season might prove crucial to Lana’s marriage to a much older, boring and rich husband. In a proper spy-movie way, the dialogue of the pre-mission work plays as the actual mission is taking place, very Mission Impossible indeed. Also, Pam (Amber Nash, Mr. Robot) and Cheryl (Judy Greer, 13 Going 30) try to blend in London by wearing turn-of-the-century hats. Cyril acts as a watch-out and, of course, fails miserably. The mission is compromised and someone steals the briefcase that contained the code to get the money. Everything was going uncharacteristically well. Let’s not mention the fact US-UK relations are at risk for the first time since 1812, because of Cyril’s crippling candy addiction.
Thankfully, and very luckily, Krieger (Lucky Yates, American Dirtbags) installed a tracking device on the briefcase. Unluckily, the team is as incompetent as ever and everyone messes up. Archer distracts himself with touristy tsotchkes, Cheryl and Pam involve themselves too much in their British personas and Cyril helps Mallory reunite with her long-lost-English flame. Cornelius is no longer a spy. In fact, he is the most dreadfully boring English older man since Boris Johnson. He no longer seeks adventure outside his rose-filled cottage.
While on the lookout for the man who jeopardises their mission, Archer and Lana engage in a discussion: Is Lana fun? Surprise surprise, Archer argues no. To a no lesser extent of surprise, Lana (poorly) argues that she is. As she yells to her colleagues that they are a bunch of useless morons. Thankfully Lana’s bossy attitude comes useful to Archer, for it reminds him of his cane magnetic power and allows him to climb up the London’s ferris wheel. In a sequence full of old-action movie scenes, some X-men references and a surprise yet brief appearance of this season’s villain Fabian Kingsworth (Kayvan Novak, What We Do in The Shadows)— ISIS manages to obtain the briefcase, get the money and have the whole incident blame on another agency! In a surprising turn of events, ISIS did not only not screw up but actually succeed. While we venture into an unknown territory at this point, Archer continues to balance re-invention and classic-Archerisms to perfection.