Archer: Vicious Coupling

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By Alex Hall (@AlexKHall)

This week on Archer, the audience got the rare opportunity to see Archer’s more sensitive side, with the return of former fiancée Katya. The only issue for Archer is that she’s still favoring the lost in space Barry over the alcohol-loving spy.

The show opens with Archer asking everyone in the Isis building if they have plans for Valentine’s Day and to his surprise they all do. Carol and Pam have dates with firemen, Mallory is off to see Ron Cadillac and Cyril and Lana have suddenly gotten back together.

Archer quizzes Lana why she’d go back to Cyril over himself, in what appears to be an attempt to rekindle things with her. That is, until he gets the call from Katya to come to her apartment, then Archer abandons Lana and rushes across town.

Archer is not the type of show where one would expect a Valentine’s Day episode, but then again it has proven to be unpredictable over the years. It was nice to see all the characters share their big holiday plans and see Archer on the outside looking in, which he does throughout this whole episode in a way. Fans got to see a little lighter side of the show, even if it was just for the opening scene.

Archer later arrives at Katya’s only to find out she only wants his help rescuing Barry from the space station he’s trapped on (which happened back in Season 3). Sterling agrees to help his longtime nemesis Barry in an attempt to somehow win Katya back.

Kreiger is enlisted to help Barry fix the spaceship via satellite communication, in what the scientist hopes will result in a robot battle between Barry and his girlfriend. The love-struck Archer attempts to make Katya believe Barry has been cheating on her in space in the meantime, but to no avail and Barry is shown flying back to earth towards the episode’s end. It’s also revealed that Katya played Archer “once again”, with the mission the whole time being to bring Barry back, knowing he’d attempt to kill Archer once back on earth.

It’s always great to see characters return to the show that once played important roles in earlier seasons. To me, it’s always helped keep the world the show is based in more believable because it’s not like Barry and Katya served their purpose and were then just written off the show. They’ve still been going about their lives off-screen and were available to stitch right back into the show. Plus, they both serve as great antagonists for Archer so it was fun to see that dynamic again in this episode.

It was interesting to watch Archer in such a love-stricken mood the whole episode, because fans are so often used to the over-confident ladies man instead. It was a nice little way to show depth to the character and there was no better time for an episode like this than Feb. 14.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


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