“What is this? Spain?” - Spain has been portrayed as a pretty racist country in the international spotlight. They’ve jeered not only black footballers, but black F1 Drivers and their national men’s basketball team for the 2008 Summer Olympics took a photograph where they pulled their eyes to mock Asians.
“What is this? Spain? I mean, the 30s?” - When Pam says that “ritzy joints like this have keep their reservation numbers on the ‘qt’”, she is using some slang that was very popular in that era. Especially the use of 'qt’ which means quiet or in today’s vernacular “the down-low”.
[Ref: “H. L. Mencken, in The American Language, 1921, comments on the American fondness for abbreviations. like OK, PDQ, COD, as well QT. He suggests they helped non-English speaking immigrants to communicate.”]
“What is this? Spain in the 30s?” - During Spain’s 1930’s Depression, much of their wine exports dwindled because the fields were not being used. Spain suffered a huge wine shortage because of the depression and the lack of wine production.
Thanks, Sam L, I really couldn’t find more anything more specific on it, so your info is super helpful! Thanks for the submissions! :3
Now onto the second part of my in-depth look at Archer’s fourth season. This part will contain the best and worst moments, episodes lines and the overall grade and my final thoughts of the season.
So let’s kick this off.
This was a tough call ‘Legs’ and the finale 'Sea Tunt: Part II’ were very much in the running in particular the latter. But in the end i had to give it to 'Live and Let Dine’. The episode featuring 'Anthony Bourdain’ as the messed up chef. The reason for me choosing this was it has all the usual traits that make an 'Archer’ episode - the self-contained plot in the kitchen and the consistent stream of jokes and the thing that put it over the edge for me was the running jokes through the episode as well as the the ridiculous lengths 'Malory’ goes through to get a table at the restaurant. Plus let’s not forget the flawless parody of a reality chef program.
Winner: LIVE AND LET DINE
Episode Grade: A+
This was an easier choice to make than the previous one but still wasn’t easy. I was mulling over giving it to the least consequential episode so not necessarily the one with the lowest grade. That would have been 'Un Chien Tangerine’ a decent episode but ultimately a nothing one that is just a filler. But in the end i did go for the lowest one i graded. 'Fugue and Riffs’ i would have picked the other but the fact that it was such a wasted opportunity with the 'Bob’ crossover it tipped it over. I was very much looking forward it and i felt disappointed in the end.
Winner: FUGUE AND RIFFS
Episode Grade: B-
Now onto what is probably the most difficult decision of the lot. This, this took a lot of thought. 'Brett’ getting shot, the many put downs of Chef Casteau’, 'Cheryl’ giving the guy in charge of the guns a “Handy J”. Last season may have been better but it doesn’t mean it isn’t as difficult pin-pointing my favourite moment. In the end after much thought i went for 'Krieger’ coked up experimenting on the guns.
Those sweet 7 seconds of crazy sum up 'Archer’, messed up, hilarious and outrageous. It may also be my favourite moment of 'Archer’ in general.
Winner: KRIEGER MODDING GUNS
Episode: SEA TUNT: PART II
Episode Grade: A+
I think it’s pretty obvious what i consider to be the weakest aspect. The poorly done Bob/Archer crossover - if you can call it that. If it’s billed as a crossover i expect some sort of story involving both, not 3 minutes of an inside joke. The most irritating thing being the completely wasted potential of this. If they bring this back i hope they do something properly with it.
Winner: BOB/ARCHER CROSSOVER WASTED POTENTIAL
Episode: FUGUE AND RIFFS
Episode Grade: B-
BEST GUEST CHARACTER
This was really between 'Chef Casteau’ (Anthony Bourdain’) and 'Captain Murphy’ ('John Hamm’). Cheryl’s brother 'Cecil' ('Eugene Mirman’) and his wife 'Tiffy’ (Kristen Schaal’) were close but ultimately weren’t as memorable as the first two. In the end iv'e gone for 'Captain Murphy’, 'John Hamm’ does an amazing job as the slightly unhinged, lonely sea captain of a sea lab. His deliveries of “Oh god, just like the gypsy wome said” and “i just filled this machine” when 'Murphy’ gets squashed by a vending machine are perfect.
Winner: CAPTAIN MURPHY ('John Hamm’)
Episode: SEA TUNT: PART II /SEA TUNT PART II
Episode Grade: A/A+
WEAKEST GUEST CHARACTER
This was tough in that all the guest characters were good it certainly wasn’t going to be 'Chef Casteau’ or 'Captain Murphy’. So it was between 'Cecil’, 'Tiffy’ and 'Moreno’ ('Carla Jimenez’) - i don’t count the 'Belchers’ since they weren’t in long enough (half the episode is what i consider enough). So i went with 'Moreno’ from the excellent 'Coyote Lovely’. Despite being an excellent episode she does very little and doesn’t provide any jokes. It’s worth counting i don’t count her as a bad character she’s just ok.
Winner: MORENO ('Carla Jimenez’)
Episode: COYOTE LOVELY
Episode Grade: A
BEST MAIN CHARACTER
The difficulty here is remembering all my favourite moments and judging them against each other. Some have far more screen time and are more likely to have a dud moment and others that have very little screen time have less chance of that happening. But after some thought i narrowed it down to 'Pam’, 'Cheryl’ and 'Krieger’. But we all know who i’m going to pick, 'Cheryl’. She doesn’t have my favourite line but she has the most consistently hilarious lines. “uh there’s moose in this?!”, “ok, i’ll do it but i’m not going to spit in your face”, “Shut Up John Williams!!”
Winner: CHERYL TUNT ('Judy Greer’)
WEAKEST MAIN CHARACTER
I originally had this as worst but considering that the shows characters are rarely boring i changed it to weakest. Given that the above belongs to 'Cheryl’ and i had 'Krieger’ and 'Pam’ as contenders those don’t go into this. So who do i have left? 'Archer’, 'Malory’, 'Ray’, 'Barry’ and 'Cyril’. There was also 'Ron’ but that would be rather unfair. So in the end i punted for 'Cyril’ i enjoy his constant whining being berated by 'Archer’ is always great. But there were times that i felt he was underused, and i was hoping for more crazy paranoia in 'The Honeymooners’ but he was still great in it anyway “Suppressing fire!!”. But it had to be someone and 'Cyril’ it is.
Winner: CYRIL FIGGIS ('Chris Parnell’)
Now iv'e come to the end of my overall feelings of Archer’s fourth. Starting out surprisingly mediocre, the show didn’t begin to get back into its groove until roughly the 5th or 6th episode.
There wasn’t really a bad episode here, the opener was disappointing thanks to an underused plot point. 'Leg’s was the first sign the shows writers clearly still knew what they were doing. But the defining moment came in 'Live and Let Dine’ and continued to be strong up until the finale which ended the series in spectacular fashion. It wasn’t on par with season 2 or 3 but it was still an impressive season.
'Cheryl’ was the stand-out with 'Krieger’ and 'Pam’ not too far behind the pace either. 'Krieger’ delivered what was probably my favourite 'Archer’ moment ever - his coked up gun mods. 'Archer’ has plenty of quips and his put downs on 'Lana’, 'Cyril’ and 'ray’ are still there. I also really liked 'Ron’ a guy who didn’t exist before the season premier making it all the more funny. There was a slight lack of 'Barry’ and the Bob’s Burgers characters were underused the only real problems with the season.
Am i disappointed? not really while it would have been nice to have an almost immaculate season like the last two it was still mostly stellar. A few hiccups and poor use of a major guest star can’t prevent it being a quality season.