Many critics and TV watchers (including myself) believe that for the past 5-10 years, TV has been in a Golden Age of sorts - and one of its defining features has been arcing storylines.
The viewer is not just invested in the plot but is drawn into a larger puzzle.
By that definition, Archer really upped its game last year in what I felt was the single best season of TV in 2014: Archer Vice. I don't fault Archer showrunner Adam Reed for deciding to revert the show to its old form because part of being a great TV producer involves knowing when to end a good thing. Still, it's going to be hard for this season of Archer to top last season.
Archer Season 6 Episode 1 was hilarious and character-rich, but we don't have much of a larger scheme.
A few threads from Archer Season 5, however, make their way here. Obviously, Lana's baby that she used Archer's semen to make is not going away. I'm open to the possibility that this plot line could work itself out but the arrival of the baby struck me as one of the clumsiest things Archer has ever done.
It's highly out of character for Lana to inseminate herself without Archer's permission and it side-rails any organic development the two could make together. At the very least, it's promising that the two currently have more of a co-parenting situation than full-on coupledom, as the back-and-forth between them is more entertaining when there's tension in the air.
This week's episode has Archer on his own, which has its advantages. A prime example is how there's no intermediary between Archer and the people around him, who are taken aback by what a boorish idiot he can be. His complaints about the lack of airplane service aboard a cargo flight was a scene that demonstrated this to hilarious results.
Archer's mission is essentially a red herring to get him interacting with a Japanese soldier who hasn't seen or heard from civilization since World War II. Adam Reed and the staff have stated that the show is an anachronistic stew that could take place anywhere between the 1960s and present day depending on how you want to interpret it.
If ever the show made no sense in terms of a timeline, it would be this week, but it's also a good opportunity to throw your suspension of disbelief away because it's a situation with a lot of humor in it. For the most part, the opportunity isn't wasted. My only complaint was I wanted a little more of this pairing, but I have a feeling he might return.
There's also a B-plot based around one effective gag: Cheryl and Pam decided to redo the office in the EXACT same way as the old office down to the blood stains on the carpet. It's a wonderfully bizarre development and fits in exactly with what Pam and Cheryl would do.
On the whole, this was a strong outing. This season will have a lot more pressure for each individual outing to be strong outside of a larger arc. Don't forget to watch Archer online here.
How do you feel about the Archer-Lana baby? What was the funniest moment this week. Do you think this season has just as much potential as Archer Vice had?