TV Diary | Archer: “Skin Game”
TV Diary | Archer – Episode 3.11 – “Skin Game” – Original Airdate: 3/8/12
Episode Grade: B+
Wow… been a while since I wrote about Archer. I’ve been slacking, I suppose. When last we left the show, Archer had entered into a bang-buddy relationship with Pam and Barry had killed Archer’s possible biological father at the end of “Crossing Over.” “Crossing Over” ended on a solemn note, which was a bit of a jarring shift in tone for the show so it was natural to wonder if that would carry over to the show’s next episode, “Skin Game.” The answer? To quote one Lana Kane, “Nooooope.” “Skin Game” finds the show going back to the debauchery and over-the-top inappropriate comedy that it’s essentially perfected this season. The episode is based around Kreiger’s after-hours work of restoring Archer’s previously-thought-dead fiancée Katya to fully-working cyborg form . What follows is a rumination on cyborg/human sex, detachable mechanical vaginas, and the merits of having a super-strong cyborg agent working for your spy agency. You know… your average, upper-shelf Archer episode. Archer and Cyborg Katya decide to make a go of their relationship – much to Malory’s vocal dismay – only to have Barry seemingly enact Stage Two of his vengeance plan by showing up to kill Katya again as revenge against Archer except, if you’ve ever watched television before, you could see the ending coming from a mile away. Yup – cyborg on cyborg love. Following Krieger’s suggestion to kill the lights in the ISIS office so that Katya’s and Barry’s batteries – which are apparently solar-powered – would sap causing them to lose strength, Archer walks in on Barry and Katya going at it, giving Barry the upper hand once again in his war with Sterling Malory Archer. “Skin Game” was almost Archer on cruise control but the show has become a such a well-oiled  comedic machine that even when it’s cruising it’s better than almost everything on television. Yes, I’m behind and only have the two-part finale left to watch in this exemplary third season. Maybe subconsciously I’m saving them since I don’t want a season this good to come to an end, but rest assured that I’ll likely get to them in short order. And I have no doubt that they’ll be a fitting capper to an all-time classic season.
 No, your eyes weren’t deceiving you and yes, you read that correctly.
 Not a mechanical vagina reference there. Or was it?
*Anyone surprised that Kreiger’s apartment building contains a communal bathroom and that his apartment itself has scores of car air fresheners hanging from the ceiling Se7en-style? No? Good.
*Kreiger is also apparently a Rush fan with a Neal Peart-esque drum set and has been trying to nail the solo in “XYZ” for years. Because of course he was.
*The following was the only time that the unholy Archer/Pam union was referenced, when Archer re-introduces the ISIS crew to cyborg Katya: “Wait, does this mean you and me…” “PAM!!”
*Also, to the episode’s credit, there is an attempt to take a deeper look at the internal conflict of Katya dealing with what she’s become, though admittedly it’s more of a surface attempt than anything else.
*I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion this season how much I love Archer’s running gags and that continued in “Skin Game,” this time seeing Archer repeatedly slapping Cyril’s hand any time Cyril attempts to touch Katya or say anything inappropriate about her. Also qualifying – Archer’s continuing lack of understanding exactly how night-vision goggles work.
*Carol’s strangling fetish rears its head again after Katya crushes an ashtray to dust with her bare hands: “Hey! Wait… or do I mean ‘sploosh’?”
*Listen up, kids. In case you ever need to polish a detachable cyborg vagina, Woodhouse suggests the following: white vinegar, mineral oil, and elbow grease. You know… the same thing he used to clean plane engines during the war.
*Also, Archer’s description of said robo-vagina: “It was like a transistor radio and a veal cutlet had a baby.”
*”What is that? I’ve never smelled that smell in America.”
*”I hate surprises. Except for surprise fellatio. That I like. The non-Midnight Cowboy kind.”
*”No! No! I had Korean barbeque for lunch. I cannot look at a Dr. Moreau pig-baby.”
*”Gross. And/or ick.”
*”Is she alive?” “Yeah, man. Flick her titty.”
*”Kreiger, thank you! This is the… why do you have an erection?” “I’m happy!”
*”Just like the gypsy woman said!” “You need to quit going to her.”
*”That’s your original skin, right?” “(Cough) Hobo.”
*”I have feelings just like all of you. I feel love, I laugh, I sometimes cry.” “Albeit a saline lubricant solution. Which reminds me… we need to talk about other… internal…” “STOP!”
*”Oh, please. I bet the gene pool of Polynesia is irreparably altered.”
*”Would you mind closing your eyes? I feel like I’m banging taillights on a country road.”
*”My balls are like cranb-aisins.” “Craisins?” “Yeah… cranberry/raisins. I call them ‘cranb-aisins.”
*”I’ll take the liberty of poaching you an egg.” “It’s not that much of a liberty when you’re going to be polishing my vagina.” “No. No, it isn’t.”
*”A little thing called ‘timing’ Krieger. And the erection’s really not appropriate.” “I’m still happy.”
*”Ray, don’t you have a priest outfit or…” “No. I wore it to Fetish Night at The Snug and it’s covered in…” “OK! Ugh.” “Red wine, ass.”
*”Whoa! You kiss your motherboard with that mouth?”
*”You will always have a special place in my, well… I guess my C-drive.”