Archer has to pull double-duty by babysitting both his infant son and a Pakistani asset who turns out to be a double agent of something or other (honestly, is anyone keeping track of these details?) on Archer Season 6 Episode 6.
The episode boasts comedian Kumail Nanjiani (also a Pakistani) playing a version of his comic persona that's present in his stand-up routine and his acting gigs. He has a distinct comic voice and it carries over here well.
And then we have Baby AJ who finally has a useful thing to do in the plot as he/she's (the baby's not transgender, I just can't remember, I blame Baby AJ for this fact) responsible for triggering a new fight-or-flight response in Archer now that he's a parent.
I might be in the minority here, but I still have issues with Baby AJ's presence and my beef goes back to the origin story: This is a baby that Lana had using Archer's genetic material (I spent a long time there trying to find a classier synonym for semen) without his permission. This is a pretty bizarre thing for anyone to do who isn't a psychotic stalker and that's pretty far away from what Lana is.
I can buy the presence of AJ as a way to get Lana and Archer bickering like a couple without actually making them a couple which would deprive the audience of entertaining bickering. This route would have worked better if Archer and Lana were an actual couple and had recently broken up.
It's been teased that Archer sees a romantic pairing with Lana as a romantic endgame, and perhaps the show is supposed to get the eventually (or possibly subvert those expectations) in a kind of ultimate episode endgame, but if some artificially created baby was what was all that build-up was for, it's pretty disappointing.
Let's move on to non Baby AJ-related topics:
Until the episode's final minute, this seemed like a pretty standard episode of Archer by all accounts. Let's run down the check list. Did the gang do something crazier than the last time we saw them? Check. They were playing strip poker in the office on a weekend. Was a large chunk of the dialogue devoted to Archer being an a-hole? Check. Was there a shootout scene? Check. Did Pam go King Kong on us? Well, technically, that only happens about once a season.
Although it seems like the purpose of episode-by-episode reviewing like this is to scrutinize the season and determine whether the show is going up or downhill, I don't buy into that concept. This is especially the case when virtually every episode has been written by the same person.
Last season was a bold experiment and for some viewers (including me), it paid off tremendously, but now we're back in the old groove of Archer and unless something drastic has happened to Adam Reed's brain chemistry, the writing is likely going to be as steady and as good (or rather, as brilliant) as it has always been. Episodes that work spectacularly, fail miserably, or fall somewhere in the middle are liable to pop up in equal measure to whatever worked before.
Make no mistake, I'm completely on board for the ride. Adam Reed is doing exactly what he's supposed to be doing. He's still coming up with fresh ideas that when an episode doesn't hit with me, it's an acceptable cost of watching a show that actually takes creative risks on a weekly basis.
This week's ending, however, was one of the few that really surprised me. It wasn't just a good twist, but something that reframed the entire episode into build-up towards a punch line that would either make or break the show. In other words, if you did not like that final reveal, you would have walked away feeling like the entire 29 minutes that preceded were cheapened. Fortunately, that wasn't the case here.
What did you think of the episode? Is Baby AJ as problematic as I'm making him out to be? What happened to the Wee Baby Seamus? The answers to these mysteries and more can be found when you watch Archer online here at TV Fanatic.