I'm so sad that the second season of Archer is over now. Where am I supposed to get my fix of complete insanity?!
Seriously, though, this episode ensures that the season goes out a winner. Picking up from the events of last week's "White Nights," "Double Trouble" is packed with hilarity, more shooting, and even a touch of genuine emotional impact. I'm not supposed to be getting choked up watching Archer, dammit!
Our hero has brought his new ex-KGB lady friend Katya back home, where she declares that she wants to become an ISIS agent and he swears he's madly in love with her. These developments are met with deserved skepticism, particularly when Archer tells his mom that he's quit drinking (surely, a sign of the apocalypse). When the Russians plant a file that convinces everyone Katya is a double agent, she and Archer go on the run from everyone at ISIS...and a newer, better, still ticked off Barry Dylan.
There are so many great gags in this episode, many of which poke fun at either things that have happened in earlier episodes, or cliches we've tired of on TV long ago. We get a reference to Archer and Lana's "cancer sex" and find out what happened to the computer-generated girlfriend Krieger lost during ISIS' attack by the pirate virus (she's not too happy). Malory can't work the ISIS security system despite running the joint. Ray is actually a licensed minister (irony). Almost every character in the show shoots up Archer's apartment and no one hits anything. And is anyone surprised that Krieger is one of those creepy guys with a van - in this case, a 70's esque pimp van?
This is before we get to Barry, who is turned into a cyborg by the Russians in a brilliant takeoff on The Six Million Dollar Man, down to the tracksuit. I have to say I figured that Archer would just get him killed someday, but this is even better - I'm glad he'll stick around. Now he has to team up next season with Conway Stern, who will be back in season three with his robot hand. Witty bad guys with robot parts for the win.
Aside from how funny this episode is, what I didn't expect was that it actually made me a little sad. I knew Archer's romance with Katya wouldn't last. considering that the show gets a lot of schtick out of both Archer's womanizing and his drinking. What I didn't expect was that she was going to die. Seeing Archer genuinely broken up by her death did get me a little misty. It was a nice touch showing that he's capable of actual emotional attachment.
And then true to Archer, Krieger started sobbing over the demise of his van...touche.
"Double Trouble" was a great way to end the season. It shows all the ways that Adam Reed and Company are so very witty, from being utterly unafraid to go there (hello, CGI girlfriend), to poking fun at themselves and their characters (Archer, we love you and your drinking problem), as well as doing the same to everyone else (that shootout scene is straight out of any number of shows and movies). And they did it all without being particularly vulgar - not that there weren't moments (Pam, I'm looking at you) - but compared to some Archer episodes, and a lot of other shows, this was fairly light on the adult humor. It just goes to show you that these guys are so funny that they don't have to rely on being crude to make the series work.
What have we learned this season? Among other things, we still don't know who Archer's father is. Archer has cancer. Lana wouldn't mind a baby. Cyril has no idea that he fathered a baby. Cheryl has a whole lot of money. Krieger's related to Nazis. The dry cleaners in the ISIS lobby is now run by a (former?) pimp. Oh, and Barry is a cyborg. Isn't that all just awesome? And treading territory most shows would never go? What am I going to do without all this mayhem?
See you next season, Archer. I miss you already.
For more Archer, head to DigitalAirwaves.net.