In last week’s disappointing episode, “Drift Problem,” Archer experienced its first bump in an otherwise great third season. But Archer more than makes up for that with “Lo Scandalo,” an episode that showcases both the great storytelling and humor that the show offers, while also throwing in some hints into the Archer mythology.
After receiving a call from Malory, Archer and Lana arrive at her apartment to find a man in a zentai suit, which covers the entire body, strapped down to a chair and shot five times. To make matters worse, the man turns out to be the prime minister of Italy. Oh, and for comedic effect, the PM also has what Archer calls a “rubber eggplant” stuck up his ass. Even though Malory is holding a recently fired gun, she swears her innocence, saying that men rushed into her apartment, shot the prime minister and grazed her as well. According to her, what started as a night of weird sex became an assassination. Or as Archer so eloquently puts it, “What’s more romantic than a dildo party/murder?”
When ideas of how to get rid of the body all fail, they realize they need to call someone to dispose of it. Who better for them to call than Krieger, who takes delight in the idea? But while this murder was going to stay between the four of them, Krieger has decided to bring the entire ISIS gang along. Krieger works on the body while the rest of the group goes to the kitchen, where Archer has started to make some spaghetti and meatballs since all this talk of the dead PM has given him a hankering for some Italian food. It seems like everything might work out, until the doorbell rings and a police investigator comes in to inspect an anonymous tip that the prime minister should be dead somewhere in Malory’s apartment. The ISIS team pretends to be a fancy dinner party, with Lana taking on the maid role and Cheryl doing her high-society/incredibly annoying laugh. The cop leaves the apartment, satisfied that the tip was false and Krieger gives all the dinner party guests a package of dead PM to drop off around the city so as not to raise suspicions.
But then the episode gets very good. Lana gets into full mystery mode as she figures out that Malory did actually kill the PM, shot herself, called the police to show her innocence just in case and invited them all over to do her dirty work for her. While Lana and Archer don’t want to think of why she would go to such lengths, we see that Malory believes that the PM may have led an operation that led to the death of a man who could have possibly been Archer’s father. If the description she gives out is accurate, he does sound like a dead ringer for him, pun not intended.
Throughout season three, it does seem like Adam Reed has put more emphasis on the relationship between Archer and Malory. Every few episodes, we get a deeper understanding of their relationship and with the first lead we’ve had in a while as to who is Archer’s father, I would like to see the show follow this storyline a bit closer. Malory has said before she believes that his father is Major Nikolai Jakov, Len Trexler or Buddy Rich, but it’s not like she’s never been wrong before. I personally still have my fingers crossed for Burt Reynolds.
I love it when Reed decides to show us deeper looks at who these characters are and what they are able to accomplish. Having Malory as the focus of “Lo Scandalo” is a welcome choice and does show the character’s determination to defend those she loves, even while at the same time she is using those same people to carry dead body parts out of her apartment.
“Lo Scandalo” is pretty much a perfect combination of a murder mystery and a sitcom staple, the bottle episode, where all the show’s characters stay in one place throughout the episode. “Lo Scandalo” focused more on story than actual comedy than most Archer episodes, but that’s not to the show’s detriment. I also say this in spite of the fact that we have Krieger taking cell phone pictures with a dead corpse and too many dildo references to count. But every once in a while, it is nice to have the focus be story rather than how hard the episode can make us laugh.