This week's episode, "Edie's Wedding," is all about relationships. It's also the most brutally violent ep yet in season six. Coincidence? NOPE. Some spoilers ahead!
In our pre-season interview with Archer executive producer Matt Thompson, he dropped some serious hints about this particular episode:
One of the things I missed most in season five was, Archer's got this natural enemy in the cyborg Barry, who's also married to the head of the KGB, Katya. They're both back. Barry's episode is early on in the season and it's one of our best ones. We have, playing Pam's sister in that same episode, Allison Tolman from Fargo. Originally we were never going to see Pam's sister, because we talked about her a couple of times, and we always felt like it was similar to Norm's wife on Cheers, where he always talked about her but you never met her. It's a typical sitcom trope where you talk about that person but you never meet them. But we were having a couple of beers with Allison at an event, and it just kind of fit, you know? So we wrote that for her as well.
The "Edie" of the title is, of course, Pam's sister, whose impending wedding has Pam sobbing in the office break room. Archer enters, observes her distress, then takes his sweet time getting coffee (which he adds whipped cream to, then aims the can directly into his mouth, then adds booze to his cup from his flask, etc.) before finally sighing and asking what's wrong: seems Edie has not asked Pam to be the maid of honor, anointing one of her long-ago high-school mean-girl foes instead.
Archer has to stop the hysterics ("I've got other shit to do today!"), so he slaps her ("Calm down, Ike Turner!", she barks) and agrees, surprising even himself, to accompany her to the wedding. His cover: "Gordon Shumway," dairy farmer, though Archer argues "the world's greatest secret agent" sounds much cooler. Speaking of cool, nay, cold-blooded, is that ... Barry Dylan lurking in the airport, following Pam and Archer to deepest Wisconsin?
Specifically, Dickcheese, Wisconsin? At least that's what Cheryl smirks to Lana about Archer's current location. Lana, whose default/only emotion is increasingly "exasperation" (was it always this bad, or is it getting much worse lately?), is wheeling AJ around the office looking for her baby daddy, who previously agreed to watch their child while she spends a weekend at survival school. Naturally, everyone around her would prefer not to help. Malory's got a hot weekend with Ron in store, but she can't resist getting a dig in about AJ's weight ("a fat little baby!", in baby talk) on her way out the door: "Fast-forward to me buying her liposuction for graduation," she sighs. Thanks for the complex, Grandma!
Meanwhile, in a Green Bay-area Econo-Tel, Archer is dressed in his rehearsal dinner/fake boyfriend attire (a white tuxedo jacket that Pam hates for its waiter-like quality); Pam is dressed not unlike Marilyn Monroe, back tattoo on full display beneath her halter straps. There's a knock at the door, and we meet what may be Archer's most scathing and ruthless character to date: bride-to-be Edie, whose taunt calling Pam "Spamalot" wages a face-clawing, tooth-dislodging, sibling-rivalry catfight of epic proportions. When Pam storms out of the room, she's stopped in her tracks ... by Barry's fist.
Back at the office, Lana is getting desperate, even asking Krieger (who pretends he's meeting AJ for the first time) to babysit. No dice. (There is, however, a dirty diapers-"brown note" joke.) The best rejection has to be the one that comes from Ray, who pretends he's trying to keep the elevator doors open as he makes his frantic escape: "Oh my god, it's just like Maximum Overdrive!" At last, it's Cyril to the rescue, who generously offers to accompany Lana to survival training and babysit AJ during the day. (What's the catch? Well, as Cyril mutters lasciviously under his breath as Lana sleeps on the drive, "I am gonna re-hit thaaaaat!" TBD, dude.)
The action in the frozen Midwest gets totes cray once Archer realizes Pam's been snatched by Barry (side note: love how this episode really shows the deep friendship, liberally shot through with white-hot insults though it is, between Archer and Pam). Edie's due at her rehearsal dinner ("All you care to eat prime rib" and "bottomless vin rouge"), but a knuckle sandwich from Archer makes her a somewhat willing (ok, not) rescue partner. Archer puts pedal to the metal, but he's still on Archer time ("Had to get more Tom for the Collins, and rob a gun store. Or technically, burgle.")
Once they arrive at Warriors-paraphrasing Barry's evil lair (he's set up shop in a grain elevator, the concept of which blows Archer's mind ... like why are they vertical??), they're horrified to see Pam hogtied from the rafters (though her pleas of "Edie, cut me down" unleash a torrent of cutting insults rather than practical assistance: "You'll never find a husband unless you convince a blind man you're a seeing-eye pig!") While Archer and cyborg Barry go mano-a-mano (reason for Barry's butt-hurt rage: "My fiancee dumped me for the dumbest guy in Russia," with a quick-cut of Katya being served a plate of syrup and a pat of butter by a hulking man who realizes, "I forgot the waffles!"), the sisters' war of words continues. Finally, it's enough to catch even a robot ear, who dares to utter the following: "You know you're no prize, right, Edie?"
BIG mistake. HUGE. Though it takes a gun that fires explosives to actually take Barry down (and even that doesn't really work, thanks to the last-shot Terminator series homage, complete with robot skeleton and glowing eyes that flicker off ... AND THEN ONE COMES BACK ON!), the power of Edie's catfight skills to kneecap even a metal man cannot be overstated. Though the sisters never really strike a truce, Edie's wedding is off (seems all that free-flowing wine leads to bad decisions, like grooms-to-be getting blow jobs behind the sundae bar). Her life is ruined! And Pam. Is. Happy.
Image via Indiewire.