Archer: “Berenice”


Kyle’s Thoughts

I continue to enjoy Archer Dreamland. It’s fun watching Sterling in a film noir and how the characters retain their unique personalities. “Berenice” was a tip of the hat to Weekend at Bernie’s. I lost count of how many times I belly laughed at Sterling and Charlotte Vandertunt (Cheryl) carrying a dead maid, pretending she’s alive.

Judy Greer’s Charlotte Vandertunt drove this week’s episode. She’s still a wealthy heiress, distrusts her family (she wants to fake her death by using the dead maid, who Archer named Berenice), highly excitable, and has a fondness for drugs. Sterling and Charlotte popped codeine like Mentos. Interesting note, Charlotte marks the sixth time in eight seasons Cheryl has had a name change (Cherlene, Carol, Cristal, and Carina). She may be the same gullible, sex maniac but Charlotte stepped into the realm of compassion, something Cheryl isn’t known for, when she expressed concern for Berenice’s dignity. It’s an odd and superficial thing (in the way she expressed concern) but this compassion is a small departure for the character and I wonder if Archer may explore it in the future. At any rate, I thought Tunt was a suggestive name but somehow, Vandertunt is worse.

“Berenice” introduced the rest of the main cast too. Krieger is the one in charge of fixing Other, Other Barry (aka Dutch)—I’m thinking steampunk cyborg. Figgis is another one of Len Trexler’s goons and they ignore him as much as Isis or the private detective agency formerly known as Isis. And Malory shows up again as “Mother.” I may have missed it the first week but it tickled me when I heard every character call Malory Archer, “Mother.” That must be an unconscious, Freudian slip.

I still like Archer’s World War II flashbacks. This week Sterling flashed to a nun nursing him to health. The image was shocking because of its juxtaposition with Vandertunt. Charlotte is as crazy in Dreamland as Carol—I mean Cheryl—is in Archer’s baseline reality. There wasn’t a lot of the real world seeping into this week’s episode but as the season progresses, I’m sure the real world will creep in. Archer has been renewed for two more seasons. There’s little chance Sterling will remain in a coma for those two seasons, is there?

Thanks for reading.

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