By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)
For the first time in what feels like a very long time, the Archer showrunners gave fans an episode focusing on Krieger and Ray of all characters. It was something different and unexpected…but I’m not sure I can say it was effective.
Ray has been wheelchair-bound for some time now after an injury in the field and as the team is about to leave on a mission to Rome, Krieger insists on fixing Ray’s legs. The Isis head (and seemingly, only) scientist eventually talks Ray into accepting his offer of giving him robotically-functioning legs.
The scenes between these two debating the idea of fixing Ray’s legs bring back a few callbacks to earlier seasons, with several mentions of robotically-enhanced characters Katya and Barry. It’s always nice to have dialogue with characters referencing events of earlier seasons, especially with a show like Archer that doesn’t lean too much on its continuity.
When Archer gets news of Krieger’s plans, the Rome trip is put on hold and he does everything in his power to stop the operation from taking place. This is also leaning on the continuity that due to bad experiences with cyborgs and taking Terminator too literally, Archer is afraid of robots taking over the world.
This leads to Lana and Cyril trying to stop Archer from stopping Krieger, with Mallory being convinced by her boyfriend to let things work out on their own and not intervene. Eventually, Archer makes the mistake of trying to sneak through the vents to get to Krieger’s lab, and Cyril and Lana turn the heat up to 90 degrees to halt his progress. Krieger completes the surgery and Ray is able to walk once again.
The plot to the episode seemed weak throughout due to Ray being one of the show’s least developed characters but there were some redeeming qualities to “Legs”. First off, the callbacks to earlier episodes were great, not just with the Katya and Barry mentions but also to when Cyril and Lana dated. The other part that was just genius was how the show transitioned to different conversations with different characters.
For example, Mallory’s boyfriend at some point asks why Mallory’s so angry and the scene cuts to Lana and Cyril with Lana explaining why she herself is angry. It’s a technique I’ve only seen done by Archer and it’s just another thing that is unique to this show. It helped make this episode much more enjoyable.
Overall though, this has been the weakest of the three episodes in Season 4 so far and the good things were definitely overshadowed by the bad.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars