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“The thermostat is becoming sentient.” Does that make you afraid? It should, because according to international super-spy, Sterling Archer, The Rise of the Machines is upon us. In this week’s episode of Archer, Sterling Archer becomes profoundly distressed when he learns that one his fellow ISIS agents is going under the knife for some robotic alterations. In many cases in the past, the reasons for Archer’s rage have been pretty trivial. But this time, Archer’s feelings of anger and resentment against the cyborg community are not entirely unfounded.
Fans of previous seasons of Archer will recall that two very important figures in Archer’s life have been robots: his nemesis, Barry (formerly of ODIN, now head of the KGB/homicidal cyborg), and Archer’s ex-wife (the recently resurrected) Katia. So basically, the man who is always trying to kill him, and the only woman he ever loved (other than his mother), are both robots. I would say that is reason enough to have some strong feelings on the subject. And in this week’s episode, Archer learns that co-worker Ray is being fitted with a completely bionic lower half of his body.
Let’s take a moment to revisit some events that took place during last season. In the season three finale, after successfully putting down a mutiny aboard the International Space Station and marooning The Bionic Barry in orbit, Archer proceeds ruins everything by crashing the shuttle during the landing. As a result, Ray is now paralyzed from the waist down. Life in a wheelchair has not been especially kind to Ray. He finds everyday tasks difficult and downright soul crushing. He is ignored at work and even left out of an important mission to Italy that he himself planned.
However, Ray’s luck changes when Dr. Krieger proposes that he fit Ray with a completely new bionic set of legs. Ray is skeptical of Dr. Krieger’s abilities and is pretty certain that if he agrees to the surgery, Krieger will kill him. It certainly did not help that when Dr. Krieger was explaining the procedure, he did so without using any medical terminology. Not because he was trying to simplify, but because he doesn’t actually know the proper medical terms. In fact, it’s been alluded to many times in the past that Krieger isn’t even a medical doctor (or any other kind of doctor for that matter). In spite of this, Ray agrees to the procedure, which is a good thing because Dr. Krieger has already drugged Ray without his knowledge and before we know it, Ray is on the operating table.
Meanwhile, Archer desperately tries to stop this from happening. He is convinced that if Ray is given his robotic makeover, it will most certainly lead to The Rise of the Machines (as suggested by The Terminator film series, not to mention The Sarah Connor Chronicles). Archer acquires a rocket launcher and he attempts to use it to blast open the doors, but only succeeds in rupturing his eardrums for the umpteenth time. In the end, Archer is unsuccessful and Ray is freed from his wheelchair. Will this failure on Archer’s behalf ultimately lead to the downfall of man and the triumph of Skynet over the human race? I don’t know. Probably not.
Even if it does, try to catch Archer at 10pm Thursday on FX.