This week's Archer begins with a slow-moving, painfully obvious black van rolls up on Pam and Cheryl/Carol, and a few guys in ski masks kidnap Pam after Cheryl/Carol tells them that Pam is Cheryl. I suppose it's telling that, given we've already dealt with ninjas and a cancer scare this season, kidnapping seems relatively normal to me.
Cheryl/Carol breaks the news of the kidnapping to the rest of ISIS, explaining that as she's part of a very important family with a very impressive mansion, the guys in the black van were probably after her. (In short order, we also learn that her last name is Tunt, she has a brother as well as an ocelot, and her parents have just died in a car accident.) Ever the opportunist, Malory assures Cheryl/Carol that they'll protect her - for a retainer, of course.
Her plan involves locking down ISIS to keep the kidnappers from coming back for Cheryl/Carol. Malory stuffs her into a vault, Cyril learns that he shouldn't be allowed to play with guns, Archer sucks at negotiating, and Lana is shocked that Malory wasn't planning on rescuing Pam. ("No heroics, it's just Pam!" she says at one point.) Ray seems to be the only sane person in the room. But things take a nasty turn when Cyril, ticked off that Cheryl/Carol won't repay a loan he gave her, tries to abduct her himself just as a vengeful Pam brings the kidnappers to ISIS. While the former plan blows up in all of thirty seconds, the latter leads to a hail of gunfire and one very ticked off HR director.
I'm not surprised that Cheryl/Carol had a secret; it'd be more surprising if she didn't, considering this is Archer. It does shed some light on who she is (though not why she's a mental case; then again, I'm not sure I want to know why she's a mental case). It's actually more fun to see what this episode reveals about Pam. It's almost as much a Pam episode as it is a Cheryl/Carol episode. She's been the butt of jokes about her physical unattractiveness, her growing up on a farm, and all sorts of things...so it's entirely unexpected and brilliant that she finally has enough. I don't blame her one bit. Though I have to admit, ending the episode just as she was about to give Mallory a well-deserved beating? So not fair. I was looking forward to that. This episode makes great use of both characters, and it's nice to see the supporting characters get more screen time. My only complaint? I would've loved to see more of Ray. Then again, I always like seeing more of Ray.
This might be one of my favorite Archer episodes of the season. It just proves why none of these people should ever be trusted with anything - and yet, they're trusted with highly secretive intelligence work. Oh, the irony.
If you missed it earlier today, don't forget to check out my interview with Judy Greer, the woman behind Cheryl/Carol, about all things Archer.
For more Archer, head over to DigitalAirwaves.net.