Archer Season 6 – and more callback gags
Archer Season 6 [Mild Spoilers]: Another year, and another season of FX’s show Archer has come and gone. While Season Six suffers from a tiny dip in overall quality, it places a lot more emphasis on witty conversations and established callback / running jokes than previous seasons. Also, admirably, the show hasn’t began to lean on entire ‘homage’ / ‘parody’ plots yet – keeping all episodes as original stories (other than the finalé). Some of the old favourites re-appear Conway Stern, “Mr” Slater, Barry Dylan (and Other Barry), Katya (Slutya Slutzakova), and Agent Hawley. Unfortunately, Woodhouse is still missing, after the voice actor died. The season sees some interesting episodes like one centered on a Japanese Stragglers (The Holdout) & a [now fairly standard] bottle episode (Stuck in a lift). They also visit locations like Brazil, Wales, Area 51, San Francisco, Wisconsin, and an Eiger-esque mountain. Overall, another top season that’s already proved to be a good watch, and re-watch!
Below is another list of running gags that make watching Archer an absolute treat… (1st List. 2nd List.)
Krieger’s Vans: through the seasons ‘Doctor’ Algernop Krieger (who’s first name was legally changed to Doctor) has owned a bunch of modified 1978 GM G-Series vans, which include upgraded “illegal-ass window tint”, chain steering wheels, projectors for his Hentai girlfriend, and each one has its own custom RUSH (the band) inspired paint job. Due to the questionable modifications, the vans are referred to as “Rolling probable cause” and “S.S. Date Rape”. These are also the main motivation behind Krieger’s illicit activities.
Namechecking & People References: This is one of the best riffs in the show, and includes everyone from Tron, Alan Turing, DB Cooper, and Norman Bates, through to bizarrely specific people like Frederick Andress (Watermelon Breeder), Elisha Otis (Elevator brake inventor), Thomas Corwin Mendenhall (Metric System), Cypher (The gayest X-man), Karl Landsteiner (Blood Groups), and even William Safire (lexicographer). It makes you want to stop the show just to Google the name. Here’s an entire page of Archer references – LINK
“Read a book!”: (sticking with references) for being one of the world’s top spies Archer is particularly well-read. From Lord of the Rings and Wolverine through to heavier texts like Of Mice and Men, Shakespeare and Orwell. This often leads to colleagues missing references and jokes – like those above – and Archer shouting “Read a fricking [coffee table] book!” – LINK
Ray’s continual limb-loss & paralysis: since initially faking paralysis in S3 Ray has been constantly breaking bones and being healed by Kreiger’s robotics skills. He now sports bionic legs, and a black bionic arm (potentially Conway’s), and is – unsurprisingly – left re-re-re-paralysed in a wheelbarrow at the end of Season 6. BONUS: Ray also LOVES wearing commando paint whenever he can get away with it.
Cyril’s Gun Handling: the only person in ISIS you don’t want on your side in a gunfight is Comptroller and Accountant Cyril Figgis, who can’t be trusted with any firearm. He’s accidentally shot colleagues & interrogation witnesses, and regularly empties entire clips of ammo with his eyes closed in battle – whilst shouting – SUPPRESSING FIRE… only to hit nothing but air. He’s so dangerous with a firearm that he’s even given a wooden gun-shaped stick in one episode. He did however once manage to get several rounds into a small computer. Thank god for small miracles, right?
Archer Counting Bullets: despite having severe tinnitus (you cruel mistress!) Archer’s is able to count bullets on-the-fly, including multiple automatic weapons. He’s also able to identify the make and model of a gun (and blender) from hearing it over a phone.
Malory insulting Ray: although everyone insults everyone continuously, and Malory is particularly racist and homophobic – her swipes at Ray are easily the most brutal and scathing. Like upon being told he can walk again “You mean mince?”, commenting his “excellent legwork”, and continually calling him ‘Ms‘ and ‘Missy‘ instead of ‘Mr’…. It helps that Jessica Walter’s bitter voice acting is perfect for this.
Ray Gillette: To reiterate! I am paralyzed!
Cyril Figgis: Well join a support group.
Malory Archer: For who? Cripple, gay, hillbilly spies? There’s a niche…
Signs/Posters: ISIS and the show in general have some fantastic posters/signs/warnings on the walls. Kreiger’s lab has a huge ‘Clean or Die’ poster, even though there are animals, radiation and everything else in there. ISIS Armory employee Rodney (Season 4) has a bunch of bureaucratic notices, championed by “Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.“. Others are used for continuity or callbacks like the Native American themed ‘Red Beer’, the poster for the movie ‘Disavowed’ from a previous season. The ISIS mainframe has a restricted sign on the door, despite being open most of the time.
Drinking/Chugging finger: as you can see from this YouTube clip, pretty much everyone in the show enjoys a big stiff drink (phrasing boom!), and when anyone else tries to ruin that special moment they’re usually met with an abrupt single finger to the face. It’s not exclusively for drinking either, as has also been used for smoking.
Classic Mother / Archer / Her / Him: if you claim to watch a lot of Archer, and don’t use the phrase ‘Classic [insert acquantance]’… hand over your ISIS I.D. badge because you’re not watching enough Archer. This rule equally applies to yuuuuuuuup, noooooooope, Boom… phrasing, and shut up.
Vocabulary: Where Archer truly rises above other comedy shows is in its tight and dense writing, which is absolutely laden with playful syntax and language. So much so that episodes like the confined Vision Quest are more entertaining than those with nudity, explosions, sex, action and guest stars. Season Six is an absolute goldmine for this – covering everything on the full spectrum of wordplay.
Slater: You’ll be given a cursory explanation at the CIA laboratory in New Mexico.
Slater: Well, I assume they needed a large building in a remote location with plenty of parking, and real estate is a lot cheaper out in the desert.
Pam: No! The solution to every problem isn’t throwing freakin’ acid on it.
Krieger: Unless the problem is a solution with an overly alkaline pH balance.
Lana: Have you at least babyproofed this place?
Archer: I don’t think a baby can hurt anything.
FINAL BONUS: The voice actor for Kreiger (Lucky Yates) is also the face of Ray! MIND BLOWING INTERVIEW CLIP.
FIRST LIST OF RUNNING GAGS
SECOND LIST OF RUNNING GAGS
*Drops mic on stage*