After a few weeks in the field, we get another office-based Archer this week, one with plenty of throwbacks to earlier classics and a spotlight on some of my favorite supporting characters. So yes, “Legs” was awesome.
I think the most brilliant thing about Archer is the wonderful chemistry of the cast, and while the field missions are always amazing– with great send-ups to all kinds of spay tropes– the employees at ISIS are so funny that we can switch gears to a workplace comedy and not miss a beat. “Legs” takes place entirely in the ISIS headquarters, and it gives many of these crazy characters a chance to shine.
Ray is one of my favorite supporting characters in the series, and it was excellent to see him step (or roll, I guess?) into the spotlight. We get a look at what his life has been like, since he was actually paralyzed in the Season Three finale, and it’s both hilarious and heartbreaking. The frustrations Ray faces, especially in light of his crass and self-absorbed co-workers, makes you understand why he would listen to mad scientist Krieger, who proposes an experiment that would graft cyborg legs into the wheelchair-confined former field agent. Since it’s Krieger, the idea is clearly wrought with risk, but he’s already drugged Ray to prep him for surgery before he can back out.
Meanwhile, Sterling, Lana and Cyril are supposed to be embarking on a swanky field mission in Rome– one Ray put together before his accident– but before they leave Archer catches word of Ray’s operation and his fear of robots kicks in– he abandons the mission to stop Ray from becoming a cyborg, as Lana and Cyril have to also abort their plans to stop Stering.
What follows are a collection of amazing sequences, workplace comedy through the gun-toting, spy-driven world of Archer, as Sterling accidentally shoots poor bullet magnet Brett with a “magic bullet,” before facing off against meticulous pain-in-the-ass armory manager Rodney in his attempt to gear up and stop Krieger’s operation.
Shockingly, the demented Krieger is remarkably professional and capable, completing his procedure despite Pam’s slovenly, beer can-losing antics in the operating room, and by the end the new cybernetically enhanced Ray is back on his feet, presumably finally ending his two-season paralysis gag. It was a great running joke, the kind of uncomfortable, longform comedy that Adam Reed does so well, but I’m very happy to see where Ray ends up now that he can walk, but his field agent job has been given to the incompetent Cyril. I’m sure the results will be hilarious… and this week’s episode certainly was.