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'Archer' 2.05 'The Double Deuce' Review

Brittany Frederick Brittany Frederick
February 25th, 2011 1:49am EST

Archer-022310-0011.jpgOh, Woodhouse.

Poor, put-upon, abused Woodhouse.

On this week's Archer, we finally learn the backstory for everyone's favorite butler, as the members of his former military unit are possibly being killed off over a tontine, leading him to revisit his past. With only three of them left, is one of them a murderer? Leave it to Archer to find out - and screw everything up in the process, as usual.

Of course, true to the tone and nature of this show, Woodhouse's backstory is anything but normal. We discover that he had a homosexual crush, stumbled through half the world, and once owned a bar. That last part is how he met Malory Archer, who just happened to give birth to a certain future ISIS agent there. In fact, Malory credits Woodhouse with saving her life and the life of her son, as well as raising him for five years while she was gone - not that Sterling is particularly grateful for any of this until she explains it to him. Pretty freaking talented for a butler, if you ask me. "The Double Deuce" sheds some much-appreciated light on Archer's most mistreated character; by episode's end, you get to know Woodhouse, and even get an idea of why he takes so much crap from Archer. (At least, in part, because he is not above knocking him unconscious if he has to.)

As if that wasn't enough, the episode also shows us Archer struggling to be a parent to baby Seamus, even if we know that the infant is not actually his. He manages to pass the kid off on Woodhouse, and later his mother, but that still doesn't keep him from going a little nuts anyway. On top of that, his penthouse gets trashed as Woodhouse and his friends hole up there to keep from being killed. Archer is his usual arrogant, cranky, and not very bright self - he ends up pushing one of Woodhouse's squadmates to his unnecessary death when he believes the guy is a murderer - but his behavior this episode also shows why we love him. Unlike characters on other shows, Sterling Archer may be a jerk, but he never loses a certain likeability about him that keeps him watchable. He might be stupid enough to accidentally kill someone, but he's doing it because he honestly is trying to save Woodhouse's life. For all the crap he puts his butler through, he's still willing to save his life at the end of the day.

And the icing on the cake? There isn't a murderer at all, therefore making the entire crazy adventure largely a moot point and adding one last laugh as the credits roll. (On top of the fact that one of Woodhouse's mates thinks he and Archer are a gay couple.)

Oh, Woodhouse. You finally got your turn in the spotlight and damned if it wasn't hilarious.

For more Archer, check out the show category at my blog, DigitalAirwaves.net.

Photo Credits: FX