Archer Review: “The Handoff”


Kyle’s Thoughts

While I had fun watching the first episode of Archer’s seventh season “The Figgis Agency,” I was left with a lot of questions and they were answered, for the most part, during “The Handoff.” Since most of the loose ends were tied up, I’ll reveal some of the things I held back in my thoughts last week.

Sterling was floating—presumably dead—in a swimming pool at the beginning of last week. This hasn’t happened yet. We just caught a glimpse of the season finale most likely. The Figgis Agency were duped into stealing a computer disc—who uses floppy discs anymore?—from the Hollywood starlet Veronica Deane, and this week they stole it back for the real Veronica Deane. These events explained how The Figgis Agency remains afloat financially. There were times I wondered if the Deane story would be an ongoing one but even if it doesn’t, Archer did a great job of showing the team’s transition into PI work. But a comedy doesn’t need to explain itself as much as a drama. A comedy needs laughs, and Archer continues to deliver.

The standout scene this week was when Malory refused to call Sterling’s phone, because Sterling uses his patented outgoing messages that sound like he answered. Hello. Yes, it’s me, Sterling. Yep. Yeah. My thoughts exactly. Just kidding. I’m off saving the world, leave a message. What’s even better is that Sterling began one of these outgoing messages with “yes, Mother, it’s me,” which was how he answered the phone when Malory called this week. Mallory called at the worst moment. Her call was how Sterling was discovered by a gang of thugs. He fought for his life but all we saw was Mallory and the rest of the agency listening to Sterling’s fight, expecting Sterling to say, just kidding. I waited for a minute, thinking they’d shift back to Sterling at some point, but I’m glad they didn’t. I laughed and didn’t quit after the third punch—at least I thought it was a punch—and by the time we see Sterling, he’s bloody and naked.

Fake outgoing messages wasn’t the only old joke that returned. Phrasing made a couple of appearances. Pam tried to supplant it with “Politics,” but Sterling rejected that joke. I liked the nod to this election year but I’m also glad Archer won’t pander to the upcoming election: it gets enough coverage. Lana mentioned her and Sterling’s child, so I’m glad they haven’t dropped that side story like so many wee-baby Shamuses. And Krieger made his triumphant return. I can’t wait to see his next invention.

“The Handoff” worked on many levels. It set up The Figgis Agency for future PI work, while keeping the pool scene hanging over the season’s head. And I love the bit of fashion advice Sterling gave this week. When asked why he was naked (after his fight for life), Sterling answered, “It’s after Labor Day.” Excellent.

Thanks for reading.

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