10 Thoughts on Archer – The Handoff

Hello, all! We’re continuing our look back at this season Archer until we’re all caught up. And so far, it’s a hell of a season. On today’s episode, Archer and Lana make a tricky handoff while the rest of the gang hears the best voicemail ever.

Here are some thoughts.

ARCHER -- "The Handoff" -- Episode 702 (Airs Thursday, April 7, 10:00pm e/p) Pictured: (l-r) Malory Archer (voice of Jessica Walter), Cyril Figgis (voice of Chris Parnell), Real Veronica K. Deane (voice of Mary McDonald-Lewis), Sterling Archer (voice of H. Jon Benjamin), Lana Kane (voice of Aisha Tyler). CR: FX

1. Cyril is bad at being a detective

When Veronica Dean shows up (the real Veronica Dead), and pitches her problem to the agency, they have to pretend they don’t know the situation (even though they were the ones who caused the situation in the first place). But Cyril, I guess in an attempt to impress Ms. Dean with his understanding, keeps giving away that he knows details about the heist of her videotape. This leads Mallory and Archer to paint him as “an observant idiot-savant.” This is the reason Cyril was always a bad field agent.

2. Krieger has a new fetish!

Old ladies. Which makes his perspective of the entire series rather unsettling. Apparently, he is now prone to “old lady boners.” Krieger never ceases to be a bright spot of the Archer series.

3. Patton Oswald!

I knew it was him playing Alan Shapiro last episode, but he had so few lines I didn’t feel like I should remark upon it. But he’s front and center this time around, so I can say it. Patton Oswald is a comic machine, and his casual, endearing presence make the character of Alan a joy to watch onscreen. Granted, it’s a character we’ve seen time and time again on Archer: the unscrupulous, bumbling power broker who also happens to have a razor wit. But it’s a fun character, and I don’t mind seeing it in different incarnations.


4. “It was like a Family Circus cartoon”

Perhaps the funniest joke in the episode comes from Alan himself. The drugs Archer and Lana gave his dogs last episode did their job and put them to sleep, but it also made them incontinent. So Alan has to put diapers on his rottweilers in an attempt to keep their fecal matter in check. “It was like a Family Circus cartoon,” he says. “You know when Billy would leave a trail of mud all over the neighborhood? It was like that, only with blood and watery dog shit.”

5. New running joke: “meh”

One of the new jokes this season that is so perfectly Archer, it makes me smile every time I hear it. Generally, one of the characters makes a joke, usually a pun, and one of the other characters in response says, “meh.” As in, “You could do better.”

6. The logical extreme of the voicemail gag

Mallory calls Archer when they don’t check in, expecting to get a longwinded voicemail gag. So when he actually picks up and she hears the sounds of Archer fighting for his life, she assumes it’s a joke. It’s not until later when she tries to dial out and can’t that she realizes the line is still open and that it wasn’t a gag after all.

Classic Archer.

Speaking of classic Archer:

7. How… how did Archer get naked?

Once Archer disposes of the biker gang that has captured him, Alan, and Lana, he is bloody, bruised and… naked? We don’t actually see the fight, so it’s unclear how he gets to that state. I guess I shouldn’t be questioning it anymore. There’s no rhyme or reason to some of the stuff on this show. But still…


8. Now it’s out in the open

Archer inadvertently tells Alan that they were the ones who originally stole the video disk, due to a series of miscommunications. So now, at least, it’s all out in the open. And Alan seems fine with it, because he recommends their services to a friend at the end of the episode.

9. So what is Longwater?

“Longwater” is what is written on the disk. It seems clear at this point that the damaging video disk is not a sex tape or something similar. Longwater sounds like a CIA operation or something like that. But this season is taking a more mystery style approach to storytelling, which means we probably won’t know what Longwater is until late into the season.

10. “There’s your fridge magnet”

Another new running joke: whenever somebody says something pithy, one of the other characters (usually Pam at this point) will say “There’s your fridge magnet.” I want a fridge magnet with “There’s your fridge magnet” written on it.

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