Archer: The 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
We just passed the decade mark for FX's hilarious animated series Archer. The show has been a consistently funny network staple for a litany of reasons. The animation is beautiful, the writing is witty, the voice acting is outstanding, and Archer manages to reinvent itself every few seasons.
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The gang has kind of done it all during the show's long run. They've had adventures in space, on a blimp, and on a submarine. They battled pirates, drug dealers, and cyborgs. But what did fans like the most? The users at IMDb have spoken and these are the 10 episodes to receive the best ratings.
10 White Elephant (8.6)
Get ready to see 8.6 as a score because several episodes are tied with it. To sort those, we ranked them based total reviews. "White Elephant" was the Season 5 premiere and it marked the start of a huge change for the show. It began with the team headquarters getting raided by the FBI.
The issue was that the United States government never sanctioned their missions. Mallory got them all off the hook on the condition that they stop working as spies. However, they still had a ton of cocaine and got the idea to start a drug cartel. That set "Archer Vice" in motion.
9 Lo Scandalo (8.6)
"Lo Scandalo" was the eighth episode of Season 3. It worked like a bottle episode in that all of the action took place within the confines of Mallory's home. Archer and Lana were called over, only to discover a dead body and some bullet holes in the wall.
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According to Mallory, she was being framed for murdering her lover who was also the Italian Prime Minister. The rest of the gang arrived to help either prove her innocence or cover things up. The story took plenty of twists and still gave us no true explanation about what happened in that apartment.
8 El Secuestro (8.6)
Sometimes Archer was at its best when it delved into the depths of the characters. This was the tenth episode of Season 2 and it revealed that Cheryl/Carol was actually insanely rich. An attempt was made to kidnap her but the criminals got Pam instead. Hilarity ensued.
On one side, you had Archer and Ray trying to rescue Pam. Another side saw everyone discussing what Cheryl/Carol being rich meant for everyone else. And then there was Pam showcasing her toughness as she stood up to the kidnappers and talked trash to them.
7 Stage Two (8.6)
A couple of episodes before the previous entry came "Stage Two." It started by tackling an important topic. Malory had a breast cancer scare and it put everyone on edge. That included Archer. Malory turned out to just be the victim of a false positive but a closer look at her son revealed that he was sick.
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This gave us our introduction to the storyline where Archer had cancer. It managed to expertly balance the seriousness of the situation with the comedy we're used to seeing from the show. The episode ended with the emotional back-and-forth of whether or not Archer's surgery had cured him.
6 Skytanic (8.6)
It's the earliest episode on this list. "Skytanic" was the seventh installment of the series and felt like the first to truly shine. It showcased the great character dynamics, unique style of the show, and more. This plot focused on a bomb threat being called on the luxury airship, the Excelsior.
Eventually, it was revealed that Malory called in the bomb threat as a way to get free tickets onto the ship. As Lana contacted Archer with the news, he uncovered a real bomb on board. It was the kind of plot twist Archer does so well. This also had Cheryl blackmailing Cyril, and Archer's inability to understand the difference between helium and hydrogen. Classic.
5 Arrival/Departure (8.7)
As noted, Season 5's "Archer Vice" theme was one that fans seemed to thoroughly enjoy. And according to IMDb, the season finale "Arrival/Departure" was their favorite episode. The series needed to wrap up the drug cartel storyline and set things in motion for the Season 6 theme.
This episode brought together various storylines. Krieger fought off a gang of his clones, Lana went into labor, Cyril became the leader of a drug cartel, and the team had to stop a deadly rocket. All this led to the revelation that Malory secretly worked with the CIA to set up the entire drug storyline.
4 Vision Quest (8.7)
Locking all of the main characters on Archer in one crowded elevator proved to be an outstanding idea. The elevator broke down as they all arrived for a morning meeting in the fifth episode of Season 6. Within the small confines, the personalities of each character began to grate on the others.
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This episode hammered home how strange everyone is. The tiniest of quirks got under the skin of everyone. The discussion covered Krieger being a clone, Cyril's chronic masturbation, and a whole lot more. The final image Malory saw when the elevator opened was telling. This is classic Archer.
3 Deadly Velvet: Part 2 (8.9)
Once again, Archer nailed a season finale. "Deadly Velvet: Part 2" was the ending of Season 7 and it blew minds. Things began with plenty of plot twists involving insurance fraud and a plan to frame Lana. But the thing that made this episode special was the presence of the android doppelgänger.
Archer used his doppelgänger to confront the villainous Veronica and it was shot multiple times before falling into the water. Archer emerged to propose to Lana, only to malfunction and reveal that it was the android. It was the real Archer who was seemingly dead in the water. What a cliffhanger. Several seasons later and we still don't know if Archer is alive.
2 The Kanes (8.9)
The eighth episode of Season 6 was called "The Kanes" for good reason. It put the focus on the relationship between Archer and Lana as she introduced him to her parents. And they had no clue that she was a spy. But in the most classic Sterling Archer sense possible, he misread a situation and tried having a threesome with Lana's parents.
Of course, the episode didn't end there. Lana's secret life as a spy was uncovered because some of her father's work became a target of some bad people. It led to an exciting high-speed chase that was one of the best in series history. A side story involving Krieger's van was fun, and the inclusion of Slater added to the surprises.
1 Placebo Effect (9.0)
The only episode of Archer to score a 9.0 is "Placebo Effect." The ninth episode of Season 2, this put us right in the heart of Archer having cancer. When he noticed a lack of side effects from taking his medication, he found out that they were counterfeit. The only way to resolve that? RAMPAGE!
Archer headed out to get his revenge on the Irish Mob for the fake drugs. But it became more difficult as he went through real chemotherapy during it. The rampage was filmed as Archer made his very own movie. The whole thing we were watching was footage from the movie and Archer had since seen his cancer go in remission.
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NextBrooklyn Nine-Nine: 10 Best Quotes From The Final SeasonAbout The Author
Born and raised in New York City, I eventually went on to attain my Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing for Entertainment at Full Sail University as Valedictorian. I have written in the past for various websites covering celebrities, pop culture, sports, movies, television, and wrestling. You can always find me on my Twitter, @the_kevstaaa.
Archer Worst Episode in Each Season, Ranked (According to IMDb)
The show, Archeris one of the slickest comedies around and has been since it first arrived in 2009, having aired an impressive 10 seasons, with an 11th on hold. The James Bond spoof is known for its selfish but lovable characters, iconic repeat gags and having a dialogue game second to none.
RELATED: Archer: The 10 Best Episodes (According To IMDb)
But the law of truly large numbers, plus how high they set the bar in season 1, caused the show's quality to falter occasionally and then start to slide. Many episodes seemed to be phoned in some even forgot they were supposed to be funny. Here are the 10 least popular episodes of Archer:
10 s2e6 - Tragical History (7.8/10)
In this episode, Cyril's particularly low on self-esteem and gets talked into infecting ISIS with a formidable computer virus by George Spelvin, and enigmatic Englishman - played by Peter Serafinowicz - who claims to be selling security.
After he doesn't get to save the day as Spelvin promised, Cyril is forced to confess to Archer so they can confront him together and stop Spelvin extorting information from them. The fact it's the 'worst' episode is just a testament to the quality of season 2.
9 s5e6 - Archer Vice: Baby Shower (7.8/10)
In this episode, the gang of disgraced operatives puts on a baby shower for Lana. Archer gives Woodhouse some money and tells him to set up the party, then immediately leaves with Pam to locate Kenny Loggins to perform at the party. It turns out to be a more complex task than he first thought.
The joke is that Archer assumes Lana likes Kenny Loggins just because he does, but Loggins felt a bit shoehorned in, and the constant Danger Zone references were better without the cameo.
8 s6e7 - Nellis (7.8/10)
This episode sees the gang wind up in Area 51 under pretenses, leading to all sorts of fun hijinx with aliens and military dudes while Archer uses his name as a verb like never before.
It had a fun boxed-in Skytanic vibe but didn't live up to the writing of the earlier seasons, and after season 5 took things in a different direction, and almost acted as a finale to the show, season 6 felt a little played out, forcing them to go in a new direction yet again.
7 s7e8 - Liquid Lunch (7.8/10)
This episode focuses on Archer and Lana's relationship as Slater sends them on another dubious mission. The friction between Archer and Slater grows as well. Meanwhile Krieger drugs and hypnotizes almost everyone in the office and films the results.
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Archer and Lana are both great characters, but they're also bad people, and there are only so many ways their on-again/off-again relationship troubles can manifest themselves, so their relationship isn't very interesting or investable. It's clear that if Archer changed enough for Lana to accept him he wouldn't be Archer anymore, so all her efforts are just noise.
6 s3e11 - Skin Game (7.7/10)
In this episode, Krieger brings Archer's dead (or near enough) fiancee Katja back to life as a cyborg. Archer is thrilled that the love of his life has returned, but struggles to overcome his phobia of cyborgs. Once he does, Barry shows up on the scene, and after a cyborg battle turns into cybersex, Katja runs away with Barry.
Ultimately the stakes were a little too low even for Archer, what with Katja's resurrection and Barry's unconvincing explanation for not killing Archer.
5 s1e4 - Killing Utne (7.6/10)
As with season 2, nearly every episode of season 1 is prime Archer, so this episode's crime is simply not being awesome enough. In this episode, Mallory invites U.N. Ambassador Torvald Utne round for dinner with the hopes of securing a contract.
She hires 2 German mercenaries to make a phony assassination attempt so Mallory can appear to save the day, but unbeknownst to her, Nicolai Jackoff has hired the same 2 mercenaries to actually kill Utne, leading to one of her more lively dinner parties.
4 s4e5 - Viscous Coupling (7.6/10)
In this episode, we get more relationship drama with Katja, but Archer's boring when he's in love because he's always on his best behavior (his best, a relative term), be it with Katja or when Lana starts to go baby crazy.
After leaving Barry stranded in space in the finale of season 3, Archer is approached by Katja, who asks for his help in bringing Barry home. Both Barry and Archer use the opportunity to try and get with Katja and have the other killed.
3 s8e5 - Archer Dreamland: Sleepers Wake (7.2/10)
This episode was an interesting piece of the Dreamland puzzle and bit more relatable than the episode that preceded it. Archer finds a way, as he always does, to mess up a simple transaction, in this case, a ransom exchange, while a rogue 'Dutch' Dillon steps his game up a notch.
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Unfortunately, the episode was given too much of the over-arching story to bear to effectively tell its own. They had fun with it but the plot to comedy balance was out of whack.
2 s10e1 - Archer 1999: Bort The Garj (7.1/10)
The second half of Archer's run didn't really live up to the first half. You could even argue the 2nd quarter didn't live up to the first, but even though they never recaptured the genius of the first few seasons, the show got some energy back when it conceded the initial formula was stale and started going in bold new directions.
Unfortunately, the season 10 premiere laid it on way too thick initially. There was barely a laugh in the prologue, making it quite chilling to watch, and the rest of the episode didn't gather much comic steam.
1 s9e3 - Danger Island: Different Modes of Preparing the Fruit (7.1/10)
Season 9 started very slowly. The overall plot made for an interesting puzzle, but 3 episodes in they'd still barely laid any pieces down.
There was some interesting character stuff happening with Fuchs and Princess Lanaluakalani as well as Archer and Pam, but it was getting frustrating how little the story was moving as we approached the halfway point. And while the dialogue was a shade of its former world-beating self, the action was a lot of fun and gave us some good old fashioned Archerization.
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Is Archer cancelled? Season 12 future in question after Jessica Walter’s death
Is Archer cancelled? Questions have been raised about the future of the show following Jessica Walter’s death
Loved by fans for voiced Malory Archer, Jessica Walter sadly passed away in her sleep on March 24th.
The actress’ daughter Brooke Bowman told Deadline in a statement:
“It is with a heavy heart that I confirm the passing of my beloved mom Jessica. A working actor for over six decades, her greatest pleasure was bringing joy to others through her storytelling both on-screen and off. While her legacy will live on through her body of work, she will also be remembered by many for her wit, class and overall joie de vivre.”
Jessica Walter was 80 years old at the time of her death, and is survived by daughter Brooke and grandson Micah Heymann.
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Archer was renewed for season 12
In October 2020, FXX renewed the carton for a season 12, with it set to debut in 2021 on FXX and FX on Hulu.
At the time, Nick Grad, president of original programming for FX Entertainment, said to Variety: “Archer is back in a big way this season, with viewership up as the Emmy Award-winning spy series returns to its roots and begins to plot a 12th season next year.”
Is Archer cancelled?
As it stands, Archer has not been cancelled by FXX. Although, fans have been left to wonder if the future of the show could change after Jessica’s death.
Of course if enough of season 12 was already recorded, it could be possible to continue with both the character and voice for the upcoming season.
One option the show has is to continue with a new voice actress— a prospect fans on social media have out-right rejected. “They cannot make anymore archer unless they just get rid of Malory. They cannot get a new voice I will actually fight someone,” wrote one user.
While an Archer without Malory is also possible, with shows like Two and a Half Men and 12 Rules For Dating My Daughter continuing after a main actor left or died. Although Jessica Walter’s character is loved by so many, Malory isn’t the technical protagonist, so there is potential for storylines without her.
That’s not to say that wouldn’t upset fans though: “Archer must be cancelled. There is no Archer without Malory and there is no Malory without Jessica Walter,” shared one viewer on Twitter.
HITC have contacted FX for a comment on the future of Archer.
In other news, What happened to Billy Milligan and where is he now?
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