Written by Lucas P. Jones
Episode three, “Deadly Prep,” opens on Malory, Lana, and Archer standing in the waiting room of what we find out is an elite pre pre-school, which is the school you send your child to BEFORE you send your child to school. While Lana talks about all the benefits, Sterling meekly asks why they haven’t even considered public schooling, and Malory makes a snide comment about how in that case it would be better to just leave AJ by the dumpster. They are interrupted by Ivy, one of Sterling old classmates. As soon as Ivy is introduced, Sterling turns from the suave and calm superspy to his apparent high school alter ego, who stammers, looks away, and can’t stick up for himself. This suggests Ivy was an old bully of Archer’s but nothing is revealed yet.
Until the very next scene, when Archer recounts an episode when he was bullied by Ivy and another student named Whitney. He was given a fairly intense swirly which caused him to get sick and be in the hospital for five weeks and miss his chance to make varsity lacrosse back in high school. Just after, Ivy reveals that he is dying from cancer, and requests that Archer performs a fake home invasion and kill him so that his wife can get the life insurance check. Archer agrees, to the tune of $100,000
After receiving special made bullets from Krieger, and a short debate on why having a vagina apparently gets you a pass to get out of any work at the Figgis Agency, Archer leaves to execute his plan and his target. While at the house, Archer realizes that Ivy didn’t send him to kill him, but rather, his business partner Whitney, who has been “allegedly” stealing money from the hedge fund and sleeping with his wife. We learn some clues that point to Ivy’s possible insanity, before a sniper takes out Whitney from the woods overlooking the house. The sniper turns out to be none other than Ivy himself, and he pins Archer and Cyril, the latter of which is very much regretting his decision to follow Archer to keep tabs on him. When Ivy clips a gas line, Archer and Cyril have seconds to escape, so Cyril grabs the money while Archer starts the car. Cyril sees the “Longhorn” disc from the first two episodes, but leaves it behind in his rush to escape.
As Archer and Cyril make their escape down the mountain, Ivy follows them and a car chase begins. I have to praise the writing and animation team here, because the action sequences in the first three episodes have been stellar, they have clearly been using a lot of reference material when planning their shots, and the result is a slew of well put together car chases and fighting sequences. But the car chase is just a backdrop for Cyril, who thinks that this is a good time to try and get Archer to open up about being bullied in the past, and how it might affect him now. Archer instead jumps from his car to Ivy’s and starts beating him senseless before Ivy plunges their car into the ravine. Archer survives by jumping out at the last second (of course). The episode ends with Archer telling Lana that maybe they should consider public school, so that AJ doesn’t grow up with the elitist attitude that private school can sometimes foster.
This was by far the strongest episode yet. This was a side story, but still managed to move the main plot along. Why did Whitney have the Longhorn disc? How was he connected to the events of the first two episodes? Hopefully those questions will be answered soon. Cyril’s character was also very well written, in that his actions of the course of episode three actually made me hate him, and his own insecurities as a leader are starting to show. Hopefully the next episode will be as strong as this.