This week on Archer, the ISIS team goes undercover in Bastard Chef Lance Casteau’s kitchen. Casteau needs to prepare a dinner (made from yogurt and a sheep’s head) for the Albanian diplomats, who have been anonymously threatened, hence ISIS. The kitchen scenes are animated in the reality-show style, complete with camera zoom-ins, title card sequences, bleeping, bumpers, and hilarious character bios, such as the following:
Casteau, voiced brilliantly by famed real-life chef Anthony Bourdain, is excellent, with plenty of witty burns, vegetable-throwing antics, his policy of ABBAB (Always Be Belittling and Berating), and unimpressed reaction to Lana’s boobs/abilities to speak French.
Meanwhile, back at the office, Mallory is desperate to get into Seize and holds Pam’s fish hostage while making Cheryl/Carol call the restaurant repeatedly. Luckily, Cheryl/Carol is, you know, rich so she knows that the actual reservation number for high class restaurants like Seize is a secret. In one of the more uncomfortable moments of the episode (astounding, considering this is an episode that included Cyril butchering a sheep’s head), Cheryl/Carol has to perform sexual favors for Rodney to gain access to some kind of telephone device that will let them track down the real reservation number.
Though the episode was hilarious, I was a bit disappointed by some of the repeated storylines. Mallory faking the Albanian threat was reminiscent of the same stunt she pulled to get on the Excelsior (remember the helium airship from season 1?). The diplomat being actually poisoned by a third party felt like the dinner party episode with Utne, also from season 1. And of course, the betrayal by a guest character has happened at least twice before with both the movie star Rona Thorne from season 2 and Homeboy Mc. Jewerson from season 1.
Return of Running Jokes:
“People in Hell want ice water”
Cheryl/Carol’s “fanciest people in New York” voice/costume from the dead Italian prime minister episode.
Return of Grammatically Correct Archer:
Archer: Child-Murderer shouldn’t be hyphenated. That makes him seem like a murderer who’s also a child.
Casteau: We’re not making food, people! We’re creating cuisine! Food is what a dog eats! Or a tourist!
Archer: Wait…a dog ate a tourist? What, that was ambiguously worded.
Best Pam and Cheryl Moment:
Cheryl: I so can’t relate to that.
Pam: Could you try?
Pam: Could you pretend to try?