Archer: Season 3, Episode 9
So here is the thing: I may be biased when it comes to viewing "Bloody Ferlin" objectively. Over the past few months, I have binged through the first two seasons of Justified (a binge used to take me days. Sometimes, I hate you, law school), and I have fallen completely in love with the world it has built. So an Archer episode built around a parody of the show's second season is just...well, to paraphrase a great Simpsons joke, its like one of my favorite things stuffed with one of my other favorite things. In other words, "Bloody Ferlin" is the lobster stuffed with tacos of Archer episodes.
For some of you, this will always be "the episode with Jack McBrayer being Jack McBrayer," and it is that, for all of the positives and negatives it implies, but its also the episode with Pam gearing up to take part in Krieger's Ultimate Bum Shock Fights, so any type-casting woes you may have experienced (personally, McBrayer's "type" hasn't worn out on me, at least not when well used) should be more than off set by the awesome going on all around him. I love the idea that Gillette has been faking paralysis for months because the ISIS gang thought he couldn't walk when the hospital made him leave in a wheelchair (as hospitals do, for liability reasons) and then he decided it would be easier to get a cab. I also love that this development allows Gillette to be back in the field, which will either push Cyril back to office drone or give us a GREAT new dynamic in weeks to come.
I also love the particularly sterling (it had to happen at some point) way the show weaves the Justified elements into this season's developing plot line so seamlessly that any of you who do not watch the show (and really, all of you should. Like right now.) were probably no worse off for that fact. Gillette, who left home long ago to escape his red neck past for a life in law enforcement is drawn back to the rural town where he grew up (and where familial rivalries still fester). Turns out, he's drawn back in because his brother is growing marijuana, and the Sheriff (who used to bully Gillette) wants to take the business from him. This is both hilariously similar to Justified's over arching plot and second season storyline, and a perfect addition to the season's developing theme that these characters will help out their families (real and created) no matter what the costs.
Ray has convinced his brother (McBrayer) that he is straight and married, so Carol tags along as his wife. As for Archer, he is mostly there because the situation reminds him of White Lightning. Carol believes the marriage is real, and just unconsummated (of course she does), Archer immediately sets out to bang Ray's sister-in-law (of course he does) and ends up wasted on moonshine (In the words of Lana, YUP). This is all good stuff, helped by the little touches, like Carol's attempts to figure out how to shave a dead rooster and her love of cauterizing even the smallest of wounds, yet the real highlight of the episode comes from the material back at the office.
On the surface, this is another in a long line of plots recently where the office has to keep something from Malory and is bad at it, yet this is a plot line that works for the show, and I won't begrudge it the repetition when it has the now running gag of everyone scheming in the bathroom only to have Malory walk in...and, oh yeah, Pam wearing shock gloves around.
Ultimately, "Bloody Ferlin" is not one for the record books, nor the episode I would use to sell people on this show. But it is so consistently funny and so much fun that I will remember it fondly in weeks to come, and its one I imagine will play well in the future. It may be a cliche at this point for the show to do the ending shoot out and then a twist, but Ray's blunt refusal to visit his brother in prison made me laugh so much, I didn't really mind. "Bloody Ferlin" works more in individual moments than it does as a whole, and obviously suffers by comparison to last week's instant classic "Lo Scandalo," but on the whole, this is another solid base hit for a show that is killing it in its third season.
-Today it was announced that Archer has been renewed for a 13 episode fourth season. Huzzah!
-Archer talking to animals continues to be just about the most hysterical thing in existence. More please.
-"He's not a drug dealer...he's a drug farmer."
-"What? Come on. You're gigantic."
-"Six Flags over the shittier part of Chernobyl?"
-"I'll drive if you wanna hop back there, and uh...enter her..."
-"What's my dowry, tetanus?"
-"It would be rude not to eat her pie, which I assume is not only hot, but also moist."
-"Just so many...vaginas..."
-"How did you afford all this?" "Farm subsidy."
-"Damn if I'm going to contribute to the obesity epidemic." "Man's gotta have a code."
-"I'll cook it, if someone shaves it or whatever..."
-""Why you look so nonplussed?" "Because I wasn't sure you knew what amenable meant...until you followed it up with nonplussed."
-"Well, hello there, game changer..."
-"It did sound too cool for the Bible..."
-"That is the weirdest rule..."
-"Don't judge me...food."
-"It was the Olympics." "Which you lost!" "It was a Bronze Medal. That's not losing!"
-"I don't know, sun down sounds more colloquial..."
-"Do I have cancer again?" "You drank too much!" "That's a thing?"
-"Thank God you got here before they started killing hostages. Which would have been us...the hostages..."
-"I....it's just 911?"