I’ll be the first to admit, I was never in on this whole “Mallory got re-married” joke that Archer has been trying to pull off, but with “Midnight Ron”, I can finally say I get it. It’s hard to believe that we’re already four episodes into the new season, but with last week’s misfire, “Midnight Ron” offers a fine return to form.
It’s hard to say what I liked best about this episode, some of the new gags they gave us or the slight tweaks on some fan favorites. I mean, I wasn’t the only one who lost it when Archer was giving Ron the “Lana” treatment, right? I don’t know how Archer does it, but elongating and screaming somebody’s name is just… indescribably funny, really. No, I mean, seriously, it should not be that funny.
With a quick show like Archer, it’s easy to get caught up in the jokes and forget about the characters as more than catchphrases, but last night marked a turning point for the show. I think we actually got a little character development. Weird, right? I mean, who knows how long Ron Cadillac will stick around (if that even ishis real name… it’s not, guys. It’s totally not. No, seriously, that was one of the jokes in the episode…)? Still, he’s got an interesting dynamic with Archer. Still, the episode delivered plenty of its usual laughs without sacrificing those moments of character development.
Honestly, the real charm of this episode was the overall feel of it. It felt like a really politically incorrect Bing Crosby/Bob Hope “Road To…” movie. Or maybe it was just the scenes on the train car that made me think that? Well, regardless, there was a distinct “buddy comedy” element to the show last night. As the episode points out, we don’t usually get to see Archer on the same level as any of the other characters. Sure, he interacts with them, but usually just to tell Pam she’s gross (to be fair… she really is) or to tell Lana that she’s got sausage fingers (not wrong, again) but they’re usually pretty one-sided exchanges with one person dominating the other. It was nice to see a little more give-and-take between Ron and Archer.
The only real fault of the episode, which was a minor one, is the balance of storylines. Whereas last week was super heavy on the side characters, I could’ve used a little more Pam this week. Hell, I would’ve even taken a Cyril B-plot. Especially with the great exchange between Archer and all of his co-workers when he was asking them to wire him money, I thought that was the start of a great thing. Besides that bit and the awesome moment when Ray calls Cheryl a “chlamydiot” (by the way, how great was that? Seriously, I’m gonna start calling all my friends that) we didn’t get much from everyone else. It was a bit of a bummer, but definitely not enough to bring down an awesome episode.