Quick Take: Archer, “Lo Scandalo"
“I could eat! I mean, not necessarily spaghetti and meatballs, but, you know, not necessarily not spaghetti and meatballs.” – Archer
Review: Archer, “Lo Scandalo”
(S0305) Some of the best episodes of Archer, at least in my opinion, are when Mallory uses ISIS as her own personal task force for irrelevant or otherwise illegal whims. Even though her deception often comes at the expense of immense collateral damage, Archer and Lana either find out too late, or realize they have as much riding on Mallory’s successful subterfuges as she does.
When they show up at her apartment to find the Italian Prime Minister handcuffed to a chair in a skin-coloured gimp suit with five shots in his chest and an orifice plugged for pleasure, disgust and distress take over the scene. Archer calls Krieger to clean up the mess, but he declares the whole ordeal a party and invites Ray, Cheryl/Carol, Pam, and Cyril, who learn that Mallory’s prejudicial hate also extends to the Irish, among other unnwanted things.
The historical and cultural nuance in Archer never ceases to amaze me; topics broached already include a nod to Salvador Dali and his pet ocelot Babou, recurring allusions to Krieger being a Hitler-clone like in The Boys from Brazil, and now, Operation: Gladio, NATO’s stay-behind mission to suppress communism in Italy following WWII.
As we’ve learned over the course of the past two and a half seasons, Mallory’s overseas affairs were numerous, having travelled across Europe while eventually conceiving and giving birth to her son while running up a roster of potential fathers. Though she’s already crossed off Nikolai, head of the KGB, and Len Drexler, head of ODIN, possible candidates still include drummer, Buddy Rich, and a mysterious, blue-eyed, wavy-haired man gunned down by Italian fascists.
Even though Mallory seems to convince everyone of her innocence – including an Irish detective following up a conveniently anonymous tip – Lana comes to her own, contrary conclusion, while the lingering mysteries are filled in thanks to the magic of editing. Apparently, the guy most likely to be Archer’s dad is dead thanks to the Italian Prime Minister, and when the sex got weird, Mallory finally got revenge. It definitely explains Archer’s craving for Italian food around carnage.