TV Recap: Archer, ‘Midnight Ron’

joel wosk goes on a midnight ron…

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In this week’s episode of Archer, our hero, Sterling Archer, confronts his daddy issues once again. The question regarding the identity of Archer’s real father has been an ongoing saga over the past few seasons. Even Mallory, his mother, can’t really be sure. She does however have a shortlist of potential candidates: Glenn Drexler (head of ODIN), Nikolai Jakoff (late ex-head of the KGB), Buddy Rich (legendary drummer), and a few others I’m sure. In the season premier, it was revealed that the reason for Archer’s disappearance and subsequent memory loss was Mallory’s recent marriage to car dealership magnate, Ron Cadillac. To call Archer and Mallory’s relationship “complicated” would be a grand understatement. To simplify, let us just say that every time a potential significant other comes into either one of their lives, they have to sabotage the situation. It has been suggested numerous times, but it actually seems to be true: Archer and Mallory have an oddly intense co-dependent relationship that is fueled in equal parts by mutual resentment and jealousy. So, that’s the history behind this week’s episode, for those who need refreshment.

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In the opening scene, the camera zooms in on ISIS headquarters and into Mallory’s office. She is in the middle of having a conversation with her new husband. And as with every “conversation” Mallory seems to have, it has less to do with mutual communication and more to do with Mallory yelling at whomever she is speaking to at the moment through her speakerphone. The phone call is interrupted by Archer, who is calling for help after he lost all of his money in addition to his passport at a casino in Montreal. Mallory commands Ron to pick up Archer in Montreal. It’s at this point that the episode starts to remind me of the movie Dutch (the 1991 Ed O’Neil comedy treasure), but with guns and gangsters and semi-trucks. Ok, maybe it’s more like Over the Top. Whichever. I’ll tell you what: pick a movie from your childhood in which a dad/father figure tries to bond with a petulant child and go with it.

Despite his protests, Archer eventually accepts the ride from Ron and off they go towards the Canadian/American boarder. This poses a serious problem because Archer has no passport. Ron decides that the best thing would be for Archer to get into the trunk of his Cadillac and keep quiet until they are back in the states. Ron manages to keep Archer in the trunk for several hours, thanks to Archer passing out from excessive alcohol consumption. Here is where the trouble starts: apparently Ron has a large briefcase of cash that a group of gangsters are trying to steal from him. He needs Archer’s help and Archer shoots out the tires from the pursuing vehicle. In the melee, Ron crashes his own car, and from there he and Archer are forced to hitchhike back to Manhattan.

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From here on, it’s classic road movie type stuff. One crazy encounter after another, with Archer getting them out of each situation by the skin of his teeth. They make it back to the city just in time, and in the end, they both realize realize that they are actually a lot alike. When Mallory observes this, she is visibly agitated. So, things may or may not work out between her and Ron. I guess we will have to wait and see. This episode was very well done, featuring witty banter between Archer and Ron, which was clever and fast paced. One of my favorite scenes was at the very beginning; during which Ron is in his underpants alone in a hotel room psyching himself up to go to Montreal. He does this in a fashion similar to the way Archer talks to himself all of the time. So far, the creators of the show have been 4-4 in regard to great episodes this season. Keep up the good work.

Check out Archer Thursdays at 10pm on FX

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