This week’s mission (titled The Archer Sanction) takes Sterling, Lana and Ray atop the Alps for an “extrajudicial killing,” or in layman’s terms: an assassination.

by Rob Rector

The fact that the target adds a layer of difficulty to the proceedings, but complicating matters even more is that Sterling can’t seem to recall which one of the climbing group is the target, as he merely skimmed the mission dossier and left it at home. Though, according to Sterling (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), the true crime committed on this outing is the fact that Ray (voiced by Adam Reed) forgot to bring gum.

The rest of the crew are back at home base, kicking it in the office jacuzzi, when they are informed that one of Krieger’s (voiced by Lucky Yates) unholy lab experiments is loose, and Mallory (voiced by Jessica Walters) and baby A.J. are nowhere to be found.

In other words, it’s a fairly standard mission, but one — like last week — that is stuffed to breaking point with one-liners and crackling wordplay that merits multiple takes (and a visit to Wikipedia to understand some of its references).

Once again, more detail is spent on its animation, resulting in one of the show’s most impressive action sequences when an avalanche envelops our heroes. The sliding snow as it splashes over the edge and results in the annihilation of a log cabin is quite thrilling and demonstrates a dedication to visually kicking it up a notch this season.

Creator Adam Reed and company have also managed to shoehorn as many zingers, one-liners, insults, entendres and ridiculously obscure references as he could in this episode. For example, after this episode, you will now be familiar with one of the pioneers of the watermelon industry. See? It’s educational, too!

There was not much growth for anyone in this particular episode, as the state-side crew was left within almost the identical situation as last week (where is baby A.J.?). And even the episode’s guest, climber extraordinaire Crash McCarren, added little to the equation aside from being an object of lust for both Lana (voiced by Aisha Tyler) and Ray. Crash was voiced rather blandly by the usually dependable comic Rob Huebel, and one hopes that since his character does not meet a grisly demise as some of the others in this episode, that he may return in the future and provide his typical wit.

It’s of no real consequence, though, as the regulars have more than enough comedic ammunition in their respective quivers. By all accounts, this is merely a “filler” episode, but man, did they take that literally, as it is packed to the breaking point of all the nonsensical naughtiness that we Archer devotees have come to know and love about the series.

Episode rating: A

Favorite lines:

Archer: “And that’s a.m.?”

Crash: “As opposed to…?”

Archer: “P.M. Dawn?”

Ray: “Set adrift a memory bliss! C’mon, buddy.”

Krieger: (emerging from the hot tub in a SCUBA suit): “Don’t make any sudden movements…bowel or otherwise.”

Another Star Wars reference this week when the trash compactor monster pops up its ugly eyeball out of the hot tub the gang is lounging in.

Sterling: “If I ever have sex with a man, it will be a man who remembers the gum. And, not that it matters, but also black.”