Archer wraps up its sixth season on Thursday night with the second part of its “Drastic Voyage” extravaganza. It’s been a very good season for Archer, which made the transition from ISIS to the CIA with lots of good laughs at the expense of the CIA. (You don’t think the writers are foolish enough to taunt ISIS, do you?) And the season finale sets up the potential to send the series off in yet another new direction.
You’ll recall that last week, the entire Archer team (minus grandmother Malory and baby AJ) were miniaturized and sent into the body of scientist Zoltan Kovacs to laser out a blood clot. The mission is overseen by two guest stars: the CIA agent voiced by Gary Cole, and a scientist voiced by Carrie Brownstein.
This week, the team finds itself in trouble, because for reasons too ridiculously complex to go into, our heroes have to travel up from Dr. Kovacs’s foot to his brain before arriving at the clot. These two season-ending episodes comprise an extended parody of the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage as well as Sealab 2021, a previous project from the Archer creators.
Thursday’s episode, without giving away plot points, is packed with jokes about Tang, Olympic athlete Jesse Owens, and Archer’s super-cool “laser backpack.” Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) also ridicules Brownstein’s lab-coated scientist for speaking a phrase in Latin, which Archer refers to as “Spanish bragging.”
Overall, Archer has done a fine job this season of exploring the anxiety of new parenthood and deepening the identity crisis the Archer team has undergone over the past few years. Big questions arise: Are they truly committed government agents, and if so, how much does capitalist greed figure into that? (And how many cartoons come close to that kind of thinking?) Who will be AJ’s legal guardian should both Archer and Aisha Tyler’s Lana die — his mother, or her parents? And, perhaps most profoundly, Archer muses whether there is “enough room in the world for science and miracles.”
In short, no one can say Archer doesn’t tackle the hard ones. Insert your own Pam’s-dirty-joke retort here.
Archer airs Thursdays at 10 p.m. on FX.