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TV Review: Archer – “The Man From Jupiter”

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After the three-part “Heart of Archness” aired in September, which saw International Secret Intelligence Service (ISIS) Secret Agent Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) forced to return from his tropical-island sabbatical at the demand of the agency’s head/his mother Malory (Jessica Walter), Season Three of Archer continues with “The Man from Jupiter.”

Although the title may hint at a science fiction tale, this episode deals more with fantasy as the “Man” in question is Burt Reynolds (Himself), who Sterling, creator Adam Reed, and particularly everyone who went to the movies while he was the box office king in the 1970s and ’80s thinks is cool. So cool that Reynolds led many men to buy a black Trans Am because of Smokey and the Bandit. Sterling was similarly influenced, becoming a spy because of Operation C.I.A.

Sterling is ecstatic to meet Burt in a bar and pitches him a movie idea for “the final chapter in the McKluskey trilogy,” but Sterling’s hero worship immediately dissipates when he learns Burt is planning to meet Mallory for drinks “and obviously sex was implied,” she reveals. A Cuban hit squad is in town to kill Sterling but he thinks it’s a ploy of his mother’s to distract him. He focuses on working to keep Burt and his mother apart. His first attempt is so dumb its funny as he tries to impersonate Burt. Though the ISIS gang takes a smaller role in this story, they are called to action to deal with the Cubans, though Kreiger’s van isn’t the best vehicle to use when dealing with international assassins. Someone has to save the day, and no surprise, it’s the coolest guy around.

For the past two seasons, Archer has been my favorite comedy because its outrageous humor has me laughing harder and more often than any other series. Four episodes into this season, I don’t see anything taking the crown. As usual, you have to pay attention or watch it multiple times to catch all the jokes and references Adam Reed packs into the script. It was awesome to hear Hal Needham get a well-deserved mention. I also appreciated that even though a cartoon, there’s a continuity to the series for those who follow along as evidenced by Ray (Adam Reed) still being in a wheelchair after he was shot while rescuing Archer from pirates.

Archer airs Thursday at 10pm e/p on FX.

About Gordon S. Miller

Gordon S. Miller is the artist formerly known as El Bicho, the nom de plume he used when he first began reviewing movies online for The Masked Movie Snobs in 2003. Before the year was out, he became that site's publisher. Over the years, he has also contributed to a number of other sites as a writer and editor, such as FilmRadar, Film School Rejects, High Def Digest, and Blogcritics. He is the Publisher of Cinema Sentries. Some of his random thoughts can be found at twitter.com/ElBicho_CS