Archer Dreamland Review: Sleepers Wake

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Me: Did Adam Reed deliver another solid episode in Archer Season 8 Episode 5?
Me: Yes he did, other Robin. Yes he did.

With fantastic storytelling, great character moments and a really fun cameo, Adam Reed continues to craft a fascinating world in Dreamland.

Archer in the Shadows Season 8 Episode 5

The storytelling in Archer Season 8 is absolutely stellar. It is so incredibly intricate and precise. Somehow, in five episodes, Archer has managed to keep a number of stories moving, piquing interest and dropping reminders at the perfect times.

The overarching plot of Woodhouse's death is never really far from Archer's mind, so much so that he continues to mention it every now and then. However, he finds himself hopelessly mired in a ridiculous, messy rivalry.

I'm sure that the rivalry between Trexler and Mother/Malory will turn out to be related to Woodhouse's death somehow. In the meantime, though, it manages to be silly and convoluted enough to be both fascinating and hilarious.

Also, MAN these guys know how to elevate a joke. The Nazi robot farm was funny enough, but the punchline, my goodness.

Are you kidding? Dreamland has a whole goddamn Nazi robot farm in the basement. In THIS economy!

Dutch Dylan/Barry

I have to say, I think I like Dutch Dylan more than I like Barry. I'm not sure what it is about him. He seems to have an even more flippant yet pleasant demented nature than his real-world counterpart.

He is FUN. His lackadaisical commentary (about where fists should and shouldn't go) during his brutal takedown of the biker gang in the bar made for a gloriously fun scene.

It's not certain if he had the "other-Dutch" persona before Krieger worked his magic, but given that he was already a sadistic prick, it's not surprising how quickly he devolved into madness.

Cyril is Angry - Archer Season 8 Episode 5

Speaking of madness, I'm not sure how far Cyril is from the edge. He had a lot of angry moments, and seems to be getting more and more unhinged as we go along.

This episode was a brilliant showcase for Chris Parnell; I don't think I've ever heard that kind of anger and desperation from Cyril before. Parnell's delivery of Figgis' insults and threats was just phenomenal.

Cyril/Figgis: As the Lord our God Himself is my witness, upon the conclusion of my current business, I shall return to this place, and visit upon you an apocalypse of such terror and destruction that you will rue, RUE, the very fact of your miserable birth!!
Coroner: (munches on hot dog) I'll be here!

Aisha Tyler's also doing an amazing job as Dreamland Lana. This version of the character has a smoother, sultrier, easier tone to her, and Tyler's selling it for all it's worth.

Lana's interest in one Seamus Archer's shenanigans was a surprising twist. What's her angle? Is she In it for the money, or does she have some other agenda?

Sterling/Seamus Archer continues to be fascinating. I will forever be amazed by the character he's created for himself in his mind.

I mean, this is Archer. Playboy horndog extraordinaire. The fact that his own dream version of himself continues to have difficulties in the bedroom is absolutely fascinating. He's a psychologist's dream patient.

Lana and Archer Have a Moment Season 8 Episode 5

I was SO stoked to see another episode of his war flashbacks. Every time we get a glimpse, I just can't wait to learn more about the origins of these memories.

The continuing plays with Pam/Poovey's gender ambiguity is one of my favorite things about this series. I've talked about this before, but I sincerely love how recognizeable the character is regardless of what gender is ascribed.

I refuse to speculate about whether or not Poovey is male or female, because I think the beauty of the writing of this character work lies in the ambiguity.

Other fun notes:

Callbacks/Cameos:

  • TRINETTE! What fun it was to hear Maggie Wheeler on Archer again. The mother of the wee baby Seamus makes an appearance as the random hooker Archer takes to the drop-off point.

Running Jokes (and favorite quote):

  • The joke rim shot and Ray's protests will NEVER have diminishing returns.

Archer: How much of that did you hear?
Lana: Depends. What's your angle, Seamus?
Archer: (chuckles) Well, probably about 30 degrees.
[background rim shot]
Ray: (in background) Diminishing returns, Cliff!

References: There were so many this time!

  • I Walked with a Zombie - 1943 horror film directed by Jacques Tourneur
  • Cuy - roasted guinea pig, well known Peruvian dish
  • Spectacled Bear - native to the Andes mountains in South America
  • Salmon P. Chase - indeed the face on the U.S. $10,000 bill. He introduced the U.S.' first paper currency.
  • Carolyn Keene - the pseudonym used by the authors who wrote Nancy Drew stories. (These were my life as a kid.)
  • Johann Schmidt - the Marvel villain known as The Red Skull, major antagonist to Captain America. 

So what did you think? Are you enjoying the storytelling? What do you think Lana's angle is here?  Drop a comment, let me know!

Also remember you can always watch Archer online.

Archer Dreamland: Sleepers Wake Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 5.0 / 5.0 (20 Votes)
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Archer Season 8 Episode 5 Quotes

Cyril/Figgis: As the Lord our God Himself is my witness, upon the conclusion of my current business, I shall return to this place, and visit upon you an apocalypse of such terror and destruction that you will rue, RUE, the very fact of your miserable birth!!
Coroner: (munches on hot dog) I'll be here!

Are you kidding? Dreamland has a whole goddamn Nazi robot farm in the basement. In THIS economy!

Dutch Dylan/Barry