joel wosk is a secret agent man…
H. Jon Benjamin is my hero. Seriously. If you don’t know of whom I’m speaking, that’s completely fine. If you’re not familiar with the name, I’m positive you’ve heard his voice in any number of TV shows or movies. His voice can be heard in movies such as Wet Hot American Summer and TV shows like: Family Guy, Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Bob’s Burgers, and my personal favorite, Archer. Benjamin provides the voice of main character, Sterling Mallory Archer, International Spy in the employ of the ISIS Spy Agency. For those of you who have never seen the show Archer, do yourself a favor, immediately go to your DVR and set it to record FX at 10 PM every Thursday for the next two months. You will not regret this decision, I assure you.
The season four premiere finds Sterling Archer caught in a crossover story, in which he is stricken with amnesia and has assumed the identity of Bob Belcher, the main character from Bob’s Burgers (also voiced by H. Jon Benjamin). He is shown manning the grill at his burger restaurant, with the rest of the Belcher family who are all animated in the Archer style of animation, when suddenly a group of men enter Bob’s Burgers. We soon discover that they are KGB Agents and have been sent with orders to kill Sterling Archer. Archer (now, Bob Belcher) has no idea what these men are talking about, but within moments he neutralizes these would be assassins with deadly accuracy. The whole scene is a lot like that Vigo Mortensen film, A History of Violence, except WAY funnier. Because that movie wasn’t funny. At all. ANYWAY, Archer has found himself in a bit of a pickle, and decides he must leave his new family and find out what is really going on. And the best way to accomplish this goal, in his mind, is to take a spa vacation.
Now, for the uninitiated, all of this might seem a little hard to digest. I can appreciate your feelings of confusion. I really do. In fact, if you have never seen the show Archer, this episode may not be the best one to start with. It essentially has the main character in a position in which he cannot remember who he is, and if you’ve never seen the show, you won’t know who is he is either. Therefore, if you are new to the whole “Archer experience,” do yourself a favor and watch the first three seasons. Every episode. I can promise you that there is not a more cleverly written or well-acted animated series on television right now.
For those of you who are fans of both Archer and Bob’s Burgers, you are in for a treat. Not only do you get a little dose of the Belcher family at the beginning of the episode, but you also get to watch Sterling Archer slowly remember why he is the world’s greatest secret agent and the world’s worst person, all at the same time. After learning that Archer has suffered some sort of retrograde memory loss, the rest of the ISIS crew follows him to the spa to delicately refresh his memory. However, associates of the KGB agents mentioned earlier in the episode have other plans. Plans involving murder (DRAMATIC MUSIC).
This was an awesome start to what I am sure will be an amazing season. We get to see all of our favorite dysfunctional characters doing what they do best. Whether that involves a homicidal cyborg marooned on a space station, or an insane secretary/railroad heiress who is fond of gobbling LSD laced gummy bears (seriously, how do they come up with this?), it all makes for a wonderful television viewing experience. Check it out for yourself, Archer on FX, Thursdays at 10 PM.
All Images Credit: FX Network