Last we saw Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), his fiancée was murdered just before their wedding. And if you assumed he’d just be onto the next one, jumping into bed within the first few minutes of the new season…well, you wouldn’t be wrong. But his motivations would be much different than normal. Archer is grieving for the woman he actually did love– perhaps the only one other than Lana (Aisha Tyler), and let’s face it, he still can’t admit that; he has run away to a tropical island, working as a bartender out of his fancy suits and into a puka shell necklace and Hawaiian shirt. And the emotional and psychological implications create a much darker subtext than usual.
Ever have a debate with a friend over who has the better suited voice for commercials and cartoons: H. Jon Benjamin or Patrick Warburton? Well, in the season three premiere of Archer, “Heart of Archness, Part 1,” you’ll have ample time to consider, as Warburton guest stars as an ex-ISIS agent who has a history with Jessica Walter’s Malory (oh, don’t they all!?) and was hired to bring her son home safely. And though he finds Archer pretty easily, it is a series of escapades from plane to sea, all the while being chased by ISIS agents themselves, to actually get him back at his home base.
But Archer doesn’t want to go at all and won’t head back without a fight. Even when the two uber-alike men finally begin working together to take down the pirates who have kidnapped them, one very important moment may result in him deciding to trade in his suits and instead take on a pirate ship permanently.
“Heart of Archness, Part 1” feels much more like another episode in season two than it does a brand new start. In a way that is the utmost compliment because it drops audiences back into the action so seamlessly you almost instantaneously forget you had months in between the episodes. But on the other hand, Archer fires best when ISIS is working as a team, however reluctantly that may be, and this time around Archer himself is isolated while his mother shrieks and shrills at her employees to just fall in line for once and put their business aside for a personal mission. It’s not necessarily indicative of where the rest of the season will go and makes us almost as anxious as Malory to just get him home to resume misadventures as normal. The fun of Archer is watching him indulge in excess, opulence, and high-octane spy hijinks, but he is so reluctant to take part, even when situation calls for it this time around that we cant help but also miss some of his usual spunk.
Archer will air new episodes on FX on September 15th, 22nd, and 29th at 10:30pm before going back on hiatus until January 2012.
Want more Archer news and previews? Follow LA TV Insider Examiner on Twitter!