Season 5 Episode 5

Archer Vice: Southbound and Down

Aired Thursday 10:00 PM Feb 24, 2014 on FXX
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Episode Summary


Cherlene, who refuses to fly, has a gig in Texas so Archer procures a bus and a blocker car, a la Smokey and the Bandit, to get her there in time.

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  • Archer Southbound and Down equals up for good television

    Archer S5E05 - Southbound and Down Review

    Written by Altered Abandon

    This episode saw the gang driving cross country to get Cheryl (or Cherlene as she wants now) to perform live, and also unbeknownst to everyone but archer, to transport a hundred pounds of coke to Texas. The episode started well, with urine soaked crusty underpants wearing Ray saying he was going to pry them off with a blow torch, after getting his bionic legs functional again. If not too morally grey for your liking it was at least humorous; I was kind of hoping that Dr. Krieger was going to keep ray in the dark about curing his crippling injury as an ongoing joke. As dark as that sounds this is Archer we're watching, the show has made more questionable laughs in its run.

    Sterling drinking what looked like a Bloody Mary topped with a celery stick in a crystal vase was a big win for me; We've all used a make shift, so largely sized to the point of novelty sized container for drinking a cocktail (or at least some form of alcohol; cask wine for some) at some point in our lives (and yes they can be "too spilley"). For all of us that have done that there'd probably be a similar number who have had a smart aleck friend who made some sort of snarky comment about our drinking choices, so the scene just worked and felt relatable .

    Archer has been top notch these past few seasons (I feel the show has really aged well) and has hit its stride in the current one. It seems as though the writers have really understood which of their jokes work the best and tailoring the story and setting around these strong points. In the past we've seen Archer go week to week plonking its characters into new situations and standalone stories (with a few multi-part exceptions) based around being agents on (what we all presumed was) legal hired gun global missions for their country. The reboot of this premise in Archer Vice has been a welcomed breath of fresh air into the series. The characters now have long standing goals and obstacles outside of the limits of espionage; albeit one with a similar skill set requirement.

    The jokes in this episode had good momentum and were well paced, when one fails or is too obscure a reference it's never long before the next actual laugh. There was the moment Mallory was taking a stab at Lara for being single and pregnant, followed by a pause for personal reflection at her own parental situation which was a very clever and humorous use of hypocritical irony in my books. Or the part when she was commenting on not being able to believe Sterling is a worse at being a drug lord then he was as an Isis agent. To which Sterling staying true to his ever ridiculously arrogant character denies as he believes he is 'the world's greatest spy' was also a great moment. Sterling's ego will always put itself between self-realisation and never being able to admit fault; but would we ever really want him to change from this anyway?

    One thing to take away from this episode is that the ex-Isis employees are in well over their heads and are blowing through an embarrassingly large quantity of coke. This is not only due to Sterling's' questionably deranged motives and actions but to the collaboration of the rivalling insanity/incompetence of his peers. You could notice the lack of agency assistance in this episode. Sterling is used to having personal helicopters and planes fly him around the world and extract him when need be, he's used to having an abundance of weapons and ammo. Without the element of being a spy archer seems more naked being unarmed and unprepared. I don't think this is a bad thing for show either; Archer is at his funniest when he's mad. Jon Benjamin's voice acting really compliments the humour of sarcastic rage and lends itself perfectly for the character.

    Final notes on the episode:

    - I laughed out loud at Pam's fart in the hat joke, and it got even funnier as it evolved into a shart joke.

    - Nine minutes to change a tire on that huge tour bus is not too shabby considering its size, don't worry Sterling.

    - Snowball and Lick Bag are terrific radio handles for Pam and Archer

    - All's well that ends well; unless you lose 100 pounds of cocaine

    - I can't decide if Jon benjamin's voice is funnier for Archer or for Bob's Burgers

    Over all I thoroughly enjoyed the episode and will continue to tune in every week, its episodes like this that remind me why Archer is favourite show on the air at the moment and possibly in the top 3 of favourite comedies of all time. Thanks for reading, If you felt differently about the episode why not drop a comment? What was your favourite part of tonight's episode?


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    • Crew Additions and Clarifications: Chad Hurd (Associate Art Director)
      Kim Feigenbaum (Background Director)
      Jason Li (Illustration Director)
      Robert Paraguassu (3D Animation Director)
      Marcus Rosentrater (Lead Animator)
      Wes Parham (Lead 3D Animator)
      Dominic Maschler (Lead 3D Compositor)
      Mark Paterson (Lead Motion Designer)
      Yusuke Sato (Senior Animator), Thomas Weiser (Senior Animator)
      Kevin Rich (3D Animator), James Roberson (3D Animator)
      Dan Murdoch (Associate Illustration Director)
      Fernando Vazquez (Lead Illustrator)
      Chelsey Cline (Senior Illustrator), David Kuettel (Senior Illustrator), Stephen Slesinski (Senior Illustrator), Chaz Zoubek (Senior Illustrator)
      Chris Hsu (Background Designer)
      Tommy Arnold (Illustrator), Jon Bass (Illustrator), Rod Ben (Illustrator), Thomas Boucher (Illustrator), Jen Cram (Illustrator), Josh Grubbs (Illustrator), Courtney Hicks (Illustrator), Beth Lewis (Illustrator), Chris Malone (Illustrator), Shannon Manor (Illustrator), Andrew Miller (Illustrator), Jennifer Montes (Illustrator), Nora O'Connor (Illustrator), Nicolas Palmer (Illustrator), Ramida Rojanavipat (Illustrator), Cassidy Stone (Illustrator), Tedwood Strong (Illustrator), Kyna Taylor (Illustrator), Amanda Todd (Illustrator), Jorge Velez (Illustrator), Eric Warren (Illustrator)
      Julian St. Pierre (Lead 3D Environment Artist)
      Andrea Sipl (Lead Texture Artist)
      Chris Appel (Texture Artist)
      Neal Biggs (3D Modeling & Backgrounds), Cody Cobler (3D Modeling & Backgrounds), Jennifer Hickman (3D Modeling & Backgrounds), Chad Koerner (3D Modeling & Backgrounds), Jim Lammers (3D Modeling & Backgrounds), Andy Lozano (3D Modeling & Backgrounds), Mason Rhoades (3D Modeling & Backgrounds), Mary Shields (3D Modeling & Backgrounds), Matt Tyree (3D Modeling & Backgrounds)
      Alisha Anderson (Assistant Manager), Justin Kennedy (Assistant Manager), Jamie Moss (Assistant Manager)
      Chaz Zoubek (Costumes & Styling)
      Scott Sims (Theme Song)
      JC Richardson (Sound Design & Mix)