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TV Recap: ARCHER, “Crossing Over”

Archer has been on fire the last couple of weeks, but “Crossing Over” was one of the few episodes that didn’t do it for me. Usually, I’m a fan of this show when it gets all twisty and turny and plays with different tones, but this one was oddly dark and serious which led to a slightly off-putting television watching experience.

After a post-wake binge that included drinking, strippers and waffles, Archer woke up the next day to realize that he had just had the best sex of his life. He was determined to find the woman, and Woodhouse informed him that she was in the bathroom. When Archer opened the door, it was revealed that Pam was the one who rocked his world. At first, Sterling refused to believe it, but before he knew it he was involved in a workplace tryst as they relived their special night on the floor of the elevator AND in a bathroom stall. Apparently, he could not get enough because they hooked up a few more times, but unfortunately their last fling had deadly consequences.

As it turned out, Nikolai Jakov planned on defecting from the KGB after Bionic Barry seized control of the organization. Since Jakov had invaluable information on the KGB, Malory and ISIS were determined to keep him safe. Barry was not going to let him get away so easily, so he traveled to New York to track him down. Since Jakov was supposed to be held under lock and key, the ISIS agents took turns guarding the safe house, and Archer was assigned first watch, but he could not resist sleeping with Pam again so he left him unattended. Barry “bumped into” Cheryl and was able to trick her into taking him to the safe house. Once there, Barry planned to kill Jakov (via gas and a fork in a microwave) as a way to get back at Sterling since the former head of the KGB could be Archer’s father. Lana and rest of ISIS realized that Barry was up to something, and they rushed to the safe house but were too late.

Let me first praise the episode for pairing up Archer and Pam because I did not see that one coming at all, so their hook-up was a nice little surprise and the source of all of the funny moments. Pam’s become the breakout character of the show due to the outlandish things she says and does, and I’m always happy when she’s given more to do even if that includes Archer. Honestly, I shouldn’t have been surprised that the show tossed Sterling and Pam together because the thought’s so insane that it’s perfect. I enjoyed how casually Pam approached the whole ordeal, and I totally bought it when Sterling could not get her out from under his skin, but it never felt mean-spirited or mocking. While I enjoyed seeing Archer and Pam play off one another during this episode, I also hope that the show doesn’t run this idea into the ground. It would be hard to see anything serious develop between these two, but an occasional romp would be welcomed.

Unfortunately, all of of the Archer/Pam goodness was weighed down by the whole Jakov vs. Barry B-plot. Now, I’ll applaud Archer for bringing back some of its serialized plot points, which is something most comedies don’t even bother with, but this story was an odd match for everything else that was going on. For some reason the idea of Barry choking out Cheryl, torturing Jakov and tormenting Sterling drained the episode of all of its fun and was too dark for my liking. Sure, Archer’s not supposed to be a light-hearted, family friendly type of show, and its edginess is part of its charm, but this went a little too far in that direction. It also didn’t help that most of the Jakov/Barry moments were not that funny to begin with.

Lines of the Night:

  • “Cyril and Lana bailed. Trifflin’ bitches.”
  • Archer: “What did I just put inside me?”
    Pam: “Green Russians. It’s absinthe and milk.”
  • “Woo, I’m Pacman Jones!”
  • “That’s a 150 gallons of Pam’s hot, dirty, ball-slappin’…”
  • “I promise myself I don’t cry. Promise broken.”
  • “C’mon, you make me sound like some kind of chuppacabra but for dicks.”
  • “Quiet game!”
  • “Well, I wouldn’t say amazing. What? C’mon, you were pushing rope.”

While I could have done with out all of the Barry and Jakov elements, the Archer and Pam liaison picked up most of the slack. It’s just too bad that “Crossing Over” didn’t pack in the usual amount of laughs and relied too much on a serious tone that felt out of place, but at least Archer‘s watering the seeds it planted a few seasons ago, so it wasn’t a complete bust.

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The Author

Marcos Canales

Marcos Canales

Marcos is a recently converted television junkie whose gateway show was CHUCK, and has added shows like CASTLE, LEVERAGE, GLEE (don't judge), COMMUNITY, and THE VAMPIRE DIARIES to his must-watch list. While he does not have formal ties to the entertainment industry, he's been blogging about TV, movies, and pop culture since 2008. Visit his website - https://www.smallscreenhappenings.com