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Archer Hits The West Coast To Meet The In-Laws ... With A Bullitt

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This week, Archer meets Lana's parents (well, technically he's met them once before, but ...) on a wild trip to Berkeley that turns into a Bullitt-inspired car chase through San Francisco. And how's this for voice casting: Keith David and CCH Pounder as Dr. and Dr. Kane! Spoilers follow.

No case this week, and no scenes set in the office (which means no Malory, alas). We open with Lana, AJ, and Archer prepping to fly to the West Coast (Archer tossing no fewer than six metal flasks out of his pocket at the airport X-ray machine), and Lana sternly reminding Archer that he's strictly her baby daddy. Not her boyfriend, nor future husband, and "Nobody's guessing who's coming to dinner!" Archer's response: "Totally clear ... -ly annoying." When the flight attendant tells him they don't have pitchers (for cocktails, duh), he tells her to "rinse out a little trash can." It's going to be a long journey.


SIDE NOTE: As someone who lives in San Francisco this bugged the crap out of me, but TV shows and movies do this all the time. When you land at SFO and then proceed to the East Bay, THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE IS NOT INVOLVED, unless you're taking some crazy route that's gonna add hours to the trip, which, considering these two have an infant in tow, seems very unlikely. It's the Bay Bridge, people. Bay Bridge. /rant over

Lana's parents, she informs Archer, are academics; her mother's a UC Berkeley prof, and her dad is a microbiologist working on a top-secret fossil fuel project. Oh, and her parents have no idea she's a spy ... they still think their daughter is working on her PhD in environmental science. (It goes without saying they don't know Archer is a spy, either, leading to an inevitable moment in which a put-on-the-spot Archer reveals his studies are focusing on "medieval Slavic history," a subject he clearly knows zero about.) Lana also informs Archer he's met her folks before, but he doesn't remember ... cut to flashback, Lana with awesome Afro hairdo, Archer wasted and swan diving into the dinner table while yelling "If it's gonna be that kind of party, etcetera, etcetera, mashed potatoes!" Upon arrival, Papa Kane greets him in David's velvet tones: "We've got the mashed potatoes juuuuust the way you like 'em."


Meanwhile, back in New York, the rest of the gang (plus Krieger's Virtual Girlfriend!) are dressed in their bowling shirts for League Night, but the van's broken down in an unsavory neighborhood. This segment, which mostly exists to provide overlapping dialogue and action (or lack therof) to break up the main plot, yields little in the way of story advancement, but it reminds us that a) Pam likes to hang out at strip clubs and b) Pam used to be in a fight club.

Back in Berkeley, things become screamingly tense when Archer realizes the Kanes prefer dipping into their hot tub completely naked. They tell Archer they have something to ask him ... which he interprets as an invitation to a three-way ... which of course horrifies them. And him, once he realizes how wrong he was. AWKWARD.

Though Lana's dad openly asserts that Archer is "an assbucket" (not for the last time this episode), he's willing to accept help when it's discovered that his library, with all his potentially lucrative research on fossil fuels, has been ransacked and burgled. He's also willing to let Archer drive his vintage green Mustang, an exact dupe for the car Steve McQueen drove in action classic Bullitt, which means an epic car chase through the streets of San Francisco is obviously a-coming.

(Note: They access San Francisco from Berkeley by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. NO. Guys! Next time try putting the parents in Mill Valley instead. I'm LITERALLY begging you.)


In the ensuing chaos, Dr. Kane is shocked to learn that Archer and Lana are spies. Archer is shocked (and amused) to learn that Lana's middle name is Anthony (she: "After Susan B!" He: "Our ugliest president.") Never has a chase scene contained so much petty/hilarious arguing as the bullets fly! But Kane is grudgingly grateful for the tire-screeching assist (Archer of his own driving: "It's called a PIT maneuver. I've done it like a million times. (Pause.) Like, three times") and the culprits are cornered. But wait! It's Slater and his CIA cronies, who've snatched the scientific data in the name of national security, since research that might render the oil industry obsolete is bound to ruffle a few international feathers.

Fortunately, though Dr. Kane is a man of impeccable moral fiber, he's not above agreeing to a lucrative payout to part with his life's work. And that secret he wanted to tell Archer in the hot tub? It was to invite him to the Kane family reunion BBQ (Archer's response: "Are they a brisket crowd, or a pulled pork crowd?"), which Lana expressly forbid them from doing. But she begrudgingly agrees, finally admitting that yes, Archer is ... family. Can this relationship be saved? And, while these character-building episodes of late are amusing, will Archer get back to its spycraft roots next week? Time will tell.


Image via Vulture

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