After season five's detour into Archer: Vice, the gang returned to good old spycraft in season six ... which wrapped up last night with the conclusion of the two-parter "Drastic Voyage." Including the heavy suggestion that season seven, slated for 2016, will take yet another new direction. Spoilers ahead!
When last we saw them, the gang (minus Krieger, who was making his own trouble elsewhere) had been miniaturized and injected into the body of A Very Important Scientist, Dr. Kovacs, by the CIA. Guided by a grumbling Slater and the oversexed Dr. Sklodowska, voiced by Carrie Brownstein, their mission is to laser a blood clot in the comatose man's brain. If they succeed, Archer and company will get a million dollars each. If they fail, they'll be blackballed from the espionage world forever.
Frankly, it's not looking good (but really, when have these guys ever carried off a mission without a hitch?) They've made their entry via the foot rather than, well, anywhere close to the brain, and they're surrounded by muscle fiber. "Muscle fiber," murmurs Dr. Sklodowska as she fondles Archer's arms. "Just think if I ever worked out!" he brags. (Lana ain't thrilled.)
But Archer's got bigger problems, namely the lack of cocktail mixers aboard the mini-submarine, which he's still confusing for a spacecraft, given his talk of Tang (if no Tang, Goofy Grape; if no Goofy Grape, he'll settle for Rootin' Tootin' Raspberry). Most everyone else, meanwhile, is very aware that the clock is ticking; they have only 57 minutes and counting to get to the blood clot. A convoluted path via arteries and ventricles is plotted, and everyone straps in for the high-speed ride.
Back at mission control, Malory actually shows a teensy bit of concern (can it be?), though she still has plenty of bile (pro-tip: never ask her to contribute to your Kickstarter) and energy to fat-shame a baby. Gary Cole's Special Agent Hawley is so ready to write off Malory and her employees that when AJ starts wailing, he mutters, "If I were to make a list of things I'm not in the mood for, that would be second."
Tiny-sized Cyril and Ray, guiding the ship at breakneck pace, have a heart-to-heart. Cyril wants Ray to apologize to Lana for the string of racist remarks he's made since getting a new hand that happens to be dark-skinned. But that's not what Ray meant at all! He's mad that it's a robot hand, not a black hand! Horrified, he decides now is the time to go explain to Lana ... right when the sub hits the equivalent of going into hyperspace. Bad idea. (Cheryl asks if he's gotten disabled AGAIN? The answer is yes, and he's horribly crumpled for the rest of the episode ... not to mention the probably undeserving recipient of a knitting-needle thigh stab by Cheryl a little while later.)
And there's yet another complication, when Slater notices their oxygen levels are lower than they should be. There's a stowaway aboard, and it's TV's Michael Gray, jealous former lover of Dr. Sklodowska! "Mikey MIKE!" Archer cheers, though he's not so happy when he realizes the dire situation his idol has placed them in, leading to this uber-nerdy inside-baseball exchange:
"What do you want me to do, transform into Captain Marvel and save the day?"
"I'd be happy if you could transform into Jackson Bostwick."
Archer lets the slap slide (to Pam and Cheryl's amazement) and addresses the mission's most pressing concern: white blood cells, which have mistaken the submarine for hostile invaders and are attacking the ship, blocking its clot-busting laser port in the process. Someone's gotta suit up in scuba gear and laser backpack and take 'em on ... naturally, it'll be Archer, and by process of elimination, Pam will help. With 15 minutes to go, they start blasting away. And though they succeed in zapping the cells and the blood clot, they don't quiiiiiiittttteee make it to the exit point (Kovacs' tear ducts) before the ship and everything on it returns to normal size.
Adios, Kovacs, and adios, espionage careers. Oh, and adios supercomputer built by Kovacs, thanks to Krieger, whose rampage of destruction ends with him screaming "Shrinkydink THAT! Krieger OUT." (Mic drop.) In the final scene, the whole group is assembled in the New Mexico desert, out of jobs and out of luck, or so it seems. Lana is glad to be out of the CIA ("I don't want to risk my life on shady missions for those assholes"), and Archer agrees, because working for The Man is not what any of them want out of life:
"We're the outsiders! The scrappy underdogs! We're Delta House! The Dirty Dozen! The Rebel Alliance! We're the BAD NEWS FRIKKIN' BEARS!"
Malory, pearls gleaming, has a very practical concern: "What are we going to do for money?"
And with a dramatic sunglasses flourish, Archer's reply ends the episode, and the season: "Well, I actually have some thoughts on that..."
Until next season, Archer! Will we be seeing Vice 2.0 or what?
- "Go eat several dicks, Slater."
- "There's enough room in the world for science and miracles."
- "It's basically the old zerp-and-flerp"/"It's basically the old float-and-gloat"
- "I don't believe that I personally can die. Although I do believe in ghosts."
- "He's had the clap so many times it's more like applause."
- "So hey, if you've got this..." "I've always got EVERYTHING."
- "You're a father now. Shut up and be careful!" "No to both."
- "Is there a steakhouse around, and do they have flowerpot bread?"
Image via Indiewire