Edie’s Wedding, the fourth episode in this season may have been a lesser entry overall, but damned if it didn’t contain some of the funniest bits of the season so far.

by Rob Rector

While focusing on a minor story in which Sterling and Pam head to Green Bay to Pam’s sister’s wedding, the episode was slight. Plus, it was hard to live up to the flawless, wordless opening bit.

In it, Pam is openly sobbing in the office break room when Sterling enters to refresh and, of course, “Irish up” his coffee. Each time it appears that he might actually display humanity and comfort his distraught co-worker, he merely reaches out and moves her aside so that he can get the proper ingredients for his java. It’s one of those self-centric scenarios in which everyone in Archer excels: how everyone can be such insufferable pricks, only to be offered a last-minute reprieve by demonstrating the slightest shred of compassion.

We learn that the source of Pam’s blubbering is the marriage of her sister, Edie (voiced by Fargo’s Allison Tobin ), the oft-referred-to sibling that is somehow even more emotionally damaged than Pam. Sterling (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) agrees to accompany Pam as her date, and little do they know that they are being followed by that now-almost-full-robot freak Barry (voiced by Dave Willis). Barry seems to have been reduced to being driven by only one directive in life now — kill Sterling Archer.

Meanwhile, the office gang is treated to yet another “adjust to life with the baby” plotlines (which in increasingly becoming this season’s “Pam’s” got a coke habit” go-to gag of last year, and is beginning to feel just as tiring). It does, however, give us another peek at one of Dr. Krieger’s increasingly demented and frightening inventions: a sonar gun that makes its targets instantaneously and simultaneously ejaculate and crap themselves. And peaking of premature ejaculation, the episode also plants the seed that the mild-mannered Cyril may soon take another stab and his relationship with Lana.

Back at the Pam Poovey Family Farm, Pam (voiced by Amber Nash) is greeted with an unrelenting assault from her sister — verbally and with fists. The two have a sibling rivalry of Mufasa/Scar proportions, and usually ends in a lost tooth or two. This is where the show is at its strongest, as we get a chance to see all the things that drove Pam to be the maladjusted woman she is today. We also see how far she’s developed as a character on the show, as well. And she and Sterling seem to strengthen their twisted bond after this episode.

Overall, Edie’s Wedding is not as consistently funny at the level this season’s episodes have operated, that said, it was quite a solid build in the development of Pam, and her and Sterling’s fractured friendship. Now, let’s either use Lana and Sterling’s baby for a solid addition to the plot, or leave the kid out of the picture, because it’s beginning to feel like a crutch for the narrative and we need to see the whole gang back in action!

Episode Rating: B

Favorite lines/gags:

Lana: “If you wake this child I will climb inside you with my shoes on!”

Krieger’s Infrasonic K-9000 Pulse Rifle.

Dumbest Man in Russia (uncovering a plate with a butter pat and syrup): “Who want waffle?…I forgot to make waffle.”

Sterling: “Asimov’s Three Laws of…never mind, they don’t apply to Barry because he’s a cyborg.”

Cheryl, entering the room, casually munching on a potted aloe plant.