This week’s Archer – easily the best of the season so far – finds the gang split up by gender and unknowingly pitted against one another in what they all initially believe is a cheating spouse case. Turns out the spouses in question were not cheating, exactly, but had strategically brought the entire Figgis Agency into an elaborate sexual game designed to cater to their mutual cuckhold fetish.
Because, of course.
The case itself created a nice, coherent stand-alone plot, but it was actually the group dynamics between both the men and women respectively that made “Double Indecency” shine. Both Mr. and Mrs. Zissner request that a member of the agency try to seduce the other, and while Lana and Archer both seem like the obvious candidates, the fact that they are still together means the job is up for grabs. Ray backs Cyril, but Archer decides to bet against them in favor of Krieger, after attempting unsuccessfully to get Ray to take on the task.
Side-note: the Archer-is-a-bit-queer suggestion reared its head fairly ostentatiously here, when Ray turns the tables on Archer and asks if he would sleep with a man for 2 shares of their promised $20,000. “If it had a negative impact on Cyril, I would,” Archer responds, as if this should be obvious. When Cyril become incredulous over this statement, Archer merely doubles down and asserts not only would he sleep with another man, he would date him as well. On the one hand, the scene actually does a good job of circumventing the homophobia it could easily engender. On the other hand, what’s the word? Starts with a ‘q’ ends with a ‘g’…
But I digress. Amongst the women, Lana ultimately backs Pam while Mallory bets on Cheryl. Both groups put their competitors through a series of escalating make-overs which are 70s-tastic and distinctly evocative the shopping montage from Pretty Woman, and every other movie with a makeover/shopping montage sequence. The end result is, well, Pam ends up describing Krieger as evil Nazi Bob Ross Knievel, which is accurate in the extreme.
I’ve always said the best episodes of Archer are when the group spends most of their time bantering with each other, and this set-up provided a glorious opening for precisely that. It was not at all plot-heavy, which serves this show well. Watching these ridiculous people be themselves with each other is what makes the series a perverse delight. The barest bones of a premise is good enough to make an outstanding episode, which this indubitably was.
It ends in predictable shambles when, after drinking a tumbler full of germicide at the barber (thinking its blue Curacao), Archer starts a brawl with Zissner’s body guards at the hotel where the entire affair is intended to take place. After the men and women run into each other, they quickly realize what is really going on, and the whole thing falls apart, as farces are wont to do. While the episode was surprisingly low on running gags, it more than made up for it in novel zingers and one-liners.