Archer starts its sixth season with a very familiar, yet welcome, tone and setting.
After the events of the last season, ISIS is merged with the CIA, and the team goes back to performing freelance missions. Archer is now a father, but goes missing for a while to avoid responsibility. Eventually, he is brought back into a mission to retrieve World War II artifacts from a crash plane and destroy the aircraft.
The ISIS disbandment is tastefully handled and is fitting considering the way the story was heading last season. It blends into the story well and focuses on getting things back on track. The return to status quo extends so far as the renovation of the old offices to a great detail, which sets up some the best jokes of the episode, with Mallory constantly being disappointed that their headquarters remained their mediocre old selves.
However, Archer now has new responsibilities as a father to Lana’s child. His handling of the mission and Sato, the old Japanese soldier he meets ,provide a great foil to his attempt to bail out from taking care of the kid. It actually makes it very satisfying when he actually completes the mission successfully, even if he was forced to do it, and in a one of the show’s rare touching moments, re-unites Sato with his long-lost wife. This character development should be interesting to see further in the season.
Unfortunately, beyond the renovation of the office and some of Archer’s lines (like the one with the painkillers and candy), there was a lack of strong humor in the episode. This is fine for the moment, as the show is busy re-setting its universe in this episode, but hopefully there are stronger jokes in oncoming episodes. The long-awaited return of Conway Stern already shows some promise.
What are your thoughts on this episode? Did you enjoy the return to the show’s espionage roots?
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