Last night’s Archer was… something. The trouble is, I’m still having trouble thinking of what it was. When I say “Legs” got weird, you have to consider the show that I’m talking about here. Remember Piggly, anyone? Or Piggly 2? Yup, “Legs” was almost weirder than the two combined.
I guess part of that is because the episode (and its title) was dedicated to some of the unsung heroes at ISIS, namely Ray. Ever since the infamous “M as in Mancy” incident back in season one of Archer, I’ve been a fan of Ray. However, last night, it occurred to me… I’m not sure if we were ever meant to spend an entire episode with him. It’s not that he isn’t funny, because he still delivers that cattiness perfectly, but too much time with him is… well, it’s kinda sad. I mean, the entire cold open is pretty much dedicated to how much his life sucks. Thankfully, Archer and Mallory are there to take the edge off with some of the “you’ll hate yourself, but you’ll laugh” style humor that makes Archer so irresistible. Still, Ray’s storyline is a shared one with Dr. Kriger, who proposes bionic legs to allow Ray to walk again. It’s a solid enough premise, but there’s only so much weirdness you can take from Kriger before it just becomes exhausting. Luckily, when Ray is down, Kriger typically has Pam to balance him out. In the end, it’s kinduva random plot to leadthe episode, but everyone at ISIS, including its lesser-seen supporting cast like Ray and Brett, works overtime to make the joke land.
Still, despite the episode’s title, the show really belongs to the Archer B-plot. Most of the story revolves around Archer trying to get a rocket launcher from the armory. It sounds like a weird B-plot to react so positively to, but there’s something about it that works. I think a lot of the episode owes so much of its humor to Rodney, the sycophant armory worker who is constantly at odds with Archer. Like I said earlier, Archerdoes well with its supporting characters. Plus, “Legs” gives just about everyone an opportunity to interact with him. I think my favorite moment is between him and Cheryl when she goes to ask him for medical supplies. (Side note and fun fact for our hearing-impaired fans, the closed captioning puts “Cheryl/Carol” whenever Judy Greer speaks… remember her frequent name changes from season one?)
The whole episode comes together when Archer, who has a bad history with robotics, tries to stop Kriger at all costs. “Legs” is rife with Terminator references, so for all the other sci-fi nerds out there, that’s at least something to keep an eye out for when you’re watching. The only thing that sorta disappointed me in this segment is that there were plenty of nods towards Katya, Archer’s former bride-to-be, but not a single mention of Barry! I mean, have we forgotten about the end of the first episode of this season entirely? Hopefully, Archer will see the return of Barry soon (alongside “Other Barry”) but who knows? Also, considering the time Archer spent in the HVAC ducts, I was hoping for at least a passing reference to Die Hard but no such luck.
Ultimately, “Legs” isn’t a bad episode of Archer. Correction, there is no such thing as a bad episode of Archer. “Legs” is just an anomaly in the show. Kind of like after an extensive surgery, the jokes in this episode might not be strong enough to stand on their own, but the amazing cast and the spot-on references still place this show much higher on my list than most animated sitcoms.