With every season of Archer, the ISIS team leaves the confines of the office and goes on a trip together, intentional or not, that ends up being one of the funniest episodes of the season. In the first season, the group went on an airship planned to blow up in “Skytanic” and in “Swiss Miss,” they went to a winter resort. This year’s outing in “The Limited” takes them on a high-speed train to return a Nova Scotian freedom fighter, Bilko, to Canada and stands up against those other great episodes.
Of course it couldn’t be as easy as just putting the terrorist on a train to the Great North. Archer shows up to the train drunk, Malory is the most demanding and worst train passenger you could imagine and Cheryl, whose family is in the train business, attaches an extra two sleeping cars, a dining car and a skating car just for her. Oh, and she decides to bring her pet ocelot Babboo along as well.
ISIS is keeping an eye on Bilko because they believe that his comrades are going to try to break him out. Cyril is put on assignment to keep an eye on Bilko, who Cyril almost immediately loses. The entire episode is boosted by H. John Benjamin’s performance as Archer. He doesn’t seem to understand the danger they are in since the bad guys here are Canadian, so it can’t be that bad, right? Archer doesn’t seem to care when two groups of Mounties get on the train, one real, the other the terrorists in disguise, and he ends up in between them in a stand-off. Even when he gets shot in the arm, he doesn’t realize the danger. But that’s mostly because Archer’s mind is in other places, mainly trying to find Babboo.
I’ll admit, one of my favorite things ever in Archer is watching Archer with an ocelot. When they first met, the childlike wonder was one of the funniest things the show had ever done, and thankfully Archer has brought back Cheryl’s pet to make Archer even more ocelot-crazy.
When Archer gets on the train, you immediately know that he is going to end up on top of the train fighting someone. He even foreshadows it at the very beginning. But when he ends up atop the train, it is even better than expected as Archer immediately realizes how terrible fighting up there actually is. He is immediately struck by stinging winds, having to duck bridges and after dealing with all these obstacles, and narrating them, he has to fight Bilko. Their fight doesn’t last long though, since they are interrupted by both groups of Mounties and Babboo. In the end, the real Mounties arrest the fake ones and also put Archer and Babboo into custody, giving them a hilarious final scene in the back of the Mounties’ car. I’ll say, if they decide to just have an episode of just Archer and the ocelot interacting for a half-hour, it’ll be one of the greatest decisions ever.
After three seasons, Archer has really nailed down the combination of action and comedy and figuring out the perfect balance of both. Since the beginning of this season proper, we’ve had a fight with and alongside Burt Reynolds, an escape from a manhunt in a jungle and an adventure on a train. Archer is really going all-out this season, and it could easily end up being the best season so far.