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TV Diary | Archer: “Lo Scandalo”

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TV Diary | Archer – Episode 3.08 – “Lo Scandalo” – Original Airdate: 2/16/12

Episode Grade: A

As I told a friend when discussing Archer’s latest in a string of series-classic episodes, “Lo Scandalo,” any time you can refer to an episode of a show as “the dildo one” it speaks to how truly special that show is. In what’s essentially a bottle episode [1], Archer and Lana are called to Malory’s apartment to help dispose of the dead Italian prime minister in a catsu… excuse me, zentai, in the middle of Malory’s living room. Oh… and he’s also sitting in a chair with no seat with a dildo in his ass. Because of course he is. What follows is frankly one of Archer’s best episodes [2] as Malory attempts to prove her innocence to the skeptical audience of Archer and Lana, eventually leading to the rest of the ISIS office [3] and then a police detective appearing at the apartment, all as part of an elaborate plan by Malory to place her far from suspicion. Because she actually DID kill the Italian PM after carrying on a 35-year affair with him because he got “weird” in the bedroom [4]. She’d been willing to overlook the fact that he’d killed a man who may or may not have been Archer’s biological father [5] 30-plus years prior, but as soon as things went sideways with the sex… she was out. This is the type of plotline that really only Archer can pull off – essentially turning one of its central characters into an assassin of a foreign leader for base reasons – and the episode as a whole was chock full of so many great lines and situations – witness the upper-crust dinner party scene used to throw the visiting detective off of the trail, complete with Lana playing a maid named Calpernia and Carol’s ridiculous wealthy accent – making it an instant classic. There were so many moments in the episode, from Archer’s disbelieving disgust in realizing what type of chair the PM was sitting on, to his insatiable hankering for spaghetti and meatballs in the middle of the situation, to him then ACTUALLY COOKING spaghetti and meatballs in Malory’s kitchen, to Krieger’s plan to “disseminate” the body [6], that the overall plot – which was expertly executed and intricate, even for a show as intelligent as Archer – was almost secondary to the little moments and lines that made the episode so rich in quality. Without question, “Lo Scandalo” was yet another top-shelf episode in a season that’s rapidly shaping up to be a very special one.

[1] Assuming that animated series can, in fact, have bottle episodes.
[2] Joining this season’s “The Man From Jupiter” and “The Limited” on that list.
[3] After Krieger, who’s been tasked with the grim duty of er… preparing the body for disposal, needs their help as part of his plan. “Preparing the body for disposal.” Yeah… let’s call it that.
[4] I’d introduce “dildo in the ass” as Exhibit A.
[5] That she’s unsure of who Archer’s father actually is is one of the show’s greatest running jokes.
[6] Carol: “Eeeewwww!” Pam: “Not what it means.”

Miscellany:
*That Malory thinks to debate the semantics of zentais versus catsuits with Archer in the middle of the situation was an incredible touch.
*Dildo humor: Never not funny.
*Malory refers to Lana as “Holly Hindsight” at one point. Clearly, she’s related to “Freddy Foreshadowing.”
*One very, very slight misstep: The gag of Malory refusing to take her trenchcoat off so that Lana could examine the gunshot wound that Malory claimed to have sustained during the struggle with “intruders” could be spotted a mile away. Of course she was naked under there so why did neither Archer nor Lana recognize that?
*Archer’s Woodhouse impression (“I shall fetch a rug!”)? Aces.
*Completely consistent Malory characterization: She’s not on the best of terms with her Irish super because she’s given him a potato as a Christmas bonus three years running.
*More consistent characterization? Krieger snapping a picture of himself with the dead body.
*In flashback, we see that when Malory called Archer he was doing something with flour to a stripped-down Woodhouse. I… don’t… want… to… know.
*Quotes are maybe a little heavier than usual this time but this episode was just packed full with classic ones that I could hardly narrow them down. Here goes:
*”Well, unless it was the Creepy Old People Bondage Sex Police, why would anyone break in here and shoot HIM?”
*”Wait… doesn’t Italy use a king?”
*”No, no, no… don’t. Don’t go back there, Sterling…” “I have a question, Mother. Why does this chair have no seat? (Pause) And what (pause) is in his ass?!”
*”Mother… what is in this guy’s ass?!” “Oh, please… don’t act like you’ve never seen a ‘marital aid’ before.” “Not in a dead prime minister’s ASS!” “You don’t need to keep repeating it. We’ve established where it is.”
*”What’s more romantic than a dildo party-slash-murder?”
*”As he got older, Savio’s tastes got more and more… exotic and so he started introducing all these accoutrements very gradually.” “Well he’d have to. That thing’s huge.”
*”So what happened Malory? Can you walk us through the crime?” “Just the crime of murder. Not the crime of sodomy by rubber eggplant.”
*”Jesus, Mother… what else was on tonight’s menu? Sex under a hive of Africanized bees?”
*”What? I put Bactine on it.”
*”We have to uncuff him and de-dildo him, obviously. We’ll smash the furniture like he was chasing you around all rapey, fortunately he’s Italian so that shouldn’t be too hard to sell.”
*”I bet I’ll never be able to have sex again without thinking about this. I bet I won’t even be able to eat spaghetti and meatballs. OH, GOD!” “What?” “I could eat… I mean, not necessarily spaghetti and meatballs but not necessarily not spaghetti and meatballs. I mean… I really like spaghetti and meatballs. Man, if I don’t get some spaghetti and meatballs I might literally die.”
*”Especially given the circumstances leading up to his death which were…” “Dildo-y.” “Unseemly.” “Hmm… potato, a dildo.”
*”Sure, we’ll just walk a dead body right out the front door, IDIOT.”
*”No, we’d have to go right past the super’s apartment and his door is always open. I assume to let the stink of cabbage waft through the halls.”
*”Oh, dear… so once again you’re faced with the classic Irishman’s dilemma: Do I eat the potato now or let it ferment so I can drink it later?”
*”Can’t or won’t?” “Whatever. Call it her – can’t. Me – won’t.”
*”And a pot of coffee like I like my women — black, bitter, and preferably fair trade.”
*”And is Krieger hard at work?” “He literally might be, yes.” “Ew.”
*”Well… apart from this sullen wench murdering good etiquette… OUCH.”
*”I hate you all SO much.” “No one cares, Figgis. You were only invited to round out the numbers.”
*”Good God… if you were my servant I’d have you over my knee in a trice.”
*”I mean… I did what I could but you can only ask so much of a vanilla candle.”
*”You don’t want to know. But you do probably want to go wash your lips now.”
*”Holy shit… she killed him.”
*”God… what is with me and Italian lately?”

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Written by jeremylikestv

March 3, 2012 at 1:27 am

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