Once I figure out how many war movie references there were in tonight's episode (and I would appreciate your help with this), I'll offer up a review, after the jump.....
Like I expressed last week, I was quite excited that tonight's episode would by Whodehouse-centric, since even though he isn't a substantial character, he most certainly is my favorite side character, one whose interactions with Archer always provide some of the biggest laughs. But given that he also has a mysterious past, and how batshit crazy Archer can get, there was so much potential that the show couldn't possibly live up to the viewers expectation.
But they probably could have done better than that. Despite the awesome scene of a younger Whodehouse taking down a bunch of enemy soldiers with just a hunting knife, most of the flashback scenes prior to this were neither that funny nor that interesting; they mostly just served as the setup to the punchlines told in the rest of the episode. And the rest of the episode was very strong. And there's nothing really wrong with this setup, but like I said: when you expect Whodehouse's past life to be awesome, and it only comparatively so-so, its a bit off-putting.
And yet....it's hard to hate an episode that expanded one character so much. Like I said above, Wodehouse was mostly just a backboard for jokes to bounce off of, and as I've said in previous posts, deepening a character tends to bring out the best jokes on this show. Also, as Whodehouse went in the episode from passively to actively funny (check out his line about having to make up elaborate lies after knocking out Archer with a gun butt). This will hopefully bring out even stronger jokes whenever he appears on screen. Adam Reed continues his quest to expand this world, and it continues to pay off in high dividends.
The other good element here was the return of the Wee Baby Seamus. While most shows who do “baby in jeopardy” humor tend to be undercut by the fact that you know the show would never actually seriously harm the baby (I'm looking at you, Raising Hope), Archer isn't one of those shows. In fact, Archer is the kind of show where we almost expect something to terrible to happen to a baby. So it makes it far funnier to see the baby imbibing copious amounts of alcohol, or playing with a straight razor, or (in perhaps the funniest gag of the night) watch Archer throw the baby up in the air in order to take out someone he mistakes for a murderer.
But beyond this – and the funny interaction between Archer and the Wee Baby Seamus, as the baby seems to enhance Archer's own inner baby – we also got some hilarious looks into what Archer's childhood was like, when Mallory took care of the Wee Baby Seamus (note: this is his official name, and I must call him this every time I directly mention him). Using a character's current predicament to reflect back on childhood trauma? Now that's some brilliant comedy.
The rest of the office, for the second week in a row, was relegated to a few (though funny) scenes, where they discussed the possibility of forming an illegal tontine. Sure it wasn't substantial, and it seems to go against Reed's attempt to expand this world, but when Archer is in the middle of a hot streak (knock on wood), who can complain?
What did everybody else think?
“Do you like that? It's a Bloody Mary.”
“The baby knows what I'm talking about.”
“So, a servant?...Way to advance.”
“See you've already bagged yours.” “Eww, creepy.”
“I'll show you my stones, sir.”
“Nobody is getting killed over...what ever that costs in real money.”
“What? I would totally kill you for that.”
“None of my business. Consenting adults and whatnot.”
“You are going to eat so many spiderwebs.” “That's what he said.”
“I can either do baby, or I can do geezer murder mystery, but I can't do both,”
“He might have a tiny hangover.”
“Or the jimmy legs” Hey, a Seinfeld reference!
“Baby – you're pear shaped.”
“And my first favorite lamp.”
“Fish fuck in it.”
“You saw mother's...VAGINA?”
“Could his middle name be Reginald.” “No. It's a little bit gay.”
“You want me to take a baby to a murder?”
“Here's to you, ol' Choke 'n' Stroke!”
“It's like John Woo and Steve McQueen had a baby, and that baby was you, baby!”
“Don't thank me, thank the baby.”