Episode Title: "Double Trouble"
Writer: Adam Reed
In a neat bit of continuity from last week's episode, Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) returns to the U.S. with Katya, a former KGB spy who wants to defect and marry him. And if you've seen "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" than you know how that played out.
Just as an aside, I was really impressed by the continuity of this episode, which also managed to pretty seamlessly sneak the recap into the episode itself without feeling forced. In fact, the transformation of Barry Dillon (Dave Willis) into a cyborg "Six Million Dollar Man" style was one of the highlights of the entire show.
This season of Archer has actually developed Sterling and his supporting cast beyond simple one note characters. Archer himself is still a jerk of the highest order, but the cancer episodes showed that he can have deeper emotions. Katya's arrival is the culmination of that. For once, Archer is completely in love and devoted to a single woman. It probably wouldn't have worked out long term, but Archer and Katya were a hell of team and a fun couple to watch.
Of course the Russians weren't going to just let Katya go. Their attempt to frame her as a double agent actually manages to turn everyone in ISIS against her. Everyone except Archer himself. The spy gone rogue storyline has been a staple of all espionage tales, but we've never actually seen Archer shooting at his own mother, Mallory (Jessica Walter) and Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler) before. And for the record, I think Archer was spot on about why they had a problem with his relationship with Katya.
Woodhouse (Geroge Coe) had a few good moments this week that reminded us that he's essentially Archer's surrogate father, even if Archer was surprised that he gets paid and thought that "slave wasn't quite the right word" for what Woodhouse did around the house.
And then there's Barry… who is now an extremely vengeful cyborg. After his fall last week, I didn't expect to see Barry until next season and I almost forgot about him in this episode as well. To be sure, Barry deserved some measure of revenge against Archer for everything that he did. But now Barry finally went to far by (accidentally?) killing Katya, even though he was actually just trying to kill Archer.
Even knowing how Archer's romance was likely to play out, that ending was a lot darker than I expected. It made the cancer episodes look light and fluffy. "Archer" is now almost on par with "The Venture Bros" in terms of mixing jokes with tragedy. Seeing Archer crying for his lost love was also surprisingly affective. That in of itself is a major accomplishment.
To top it off, this was one of the funniest episodes of the season with the return of Krieger's anime hologram bride, Pam's 8-Ball antics and another episode full of quotable one liners. "Double Trouble" was a great way to wrap up "Archer's" amazing second season. And luckily, we've got three new episodes heading our way in the fall.
For the last time this spring, here are your top five "Archer" moments of the week:
Mallory: "What in the name of prepaid venereal disease do you think you're doing?"
Mallory: "All ashore for the SS Date Rape!"
Ray: "Toot, toot!"
Archer: "I don't need a doctor, mother! Katya doesn't have VD."
Mallory: "You haven't had sex with her?
Archer: "Ha, Ha. For your… Huh, that was pretty good."
Ray: "How about a disgraced former minister?"
Pam: "What the s***, Ray?"
Ray: "Long story and kind of boring. But I'm still licensed by the state to perform marriages… The irony of which is not lost on me."
Archer: "You! Can you hack into the KGB servers?"
Fat Annalist: "Does one ring rule them all?"
Katya: One ring? I don't…
Archer: "Don't engage him! From there it's just orcs and goblins and balrogs."
Crave Online Rating: 9 out of 10.