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ARCHER, “Fugue and Riffs” Episode Recap

FX’s Archer made its fourth season debut with an episode that had all of the elements to be a classic but was ultimately serviceable if not somewhat underwhelming.

Sterling succumbed to a bout with amnesia because he couldn’t handle the fact that his mother was getting re-married, so it was up ISIS to find him. While working in a burger joint, Archer (now known as Bob) was attacked by a KGB hit squad but he was able to use his latent spy skills to survive. He then went on a spa getaway where Lana approached as a way to help him regain his memory. Somehow the KBG found him again, and a firefight broke out. A frustrated Lana smacked Sterling on the head with a frying pan and the blow jogged his memory just in time to get them out of the sticky situation. As it turned out, Barry was monitoring Archer’s every move from space and that was how the bad guys were able to magically find him.

While there were a lot of classic Archer moments throughout the episode, I couldn’t help but think that they were all worn-out by this point and nothing about “Fugue and Riffs” was new or refreshing. It was your typical spy tropes and clichés jam-packed into a 3o-minute package. No more, no less. I suppose the opening scene where Archer was posing as Bob Belcher from Bob’s Burgers (who’s also voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) was funny, but it would’ve been a lot funnier if FX hadn’t ruined it with the promos it aired during Justified and American Horror Story. It was just odd to me that the network would give away such a solid joke since I’d safely bet that there’s a lot of carry-over between the two audiences. I seriously doubt there are many Bob’s Burgers fans who were convinced to watch the premiere due to a 30-second promo, but who knows.

Other Odds and Ends:

  • Seeing Bob’s Burgers in a completely different animation style was kind of un-nerving.
  • I wonder if this means we’ll be getting some Archer characters in the Burgers-verse.
  • Pam’s disappointment in Archer’s death and marriage was kind of cute.
  • I’ll never be opposed to getting more Krieger. OK, never say never but he was pretty funny this time around.
  • I know Lana’s a cartoon character, but hot damn!
  • The running bit about ostriches was not as funny as the show thought it was.
  • “I think you literally broke my heart.”
  • “Oh no, capitalist spy get drop on us.”

While “Fugue and Riffs” was not the finest outing for Archer, it was still decent because an average episode’s still funnier than most things on television. Let’ just hope the show brings its A-game the rest of the season instead of resting on its laurels. What did everyone else think? Sound off in the comments section.

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Find Marcos Canales directly on Twitter @poppas2cents and remember to follow @ScreenInvasion!

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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 -