Last week, Archer presented the much-anticipated Archer/Bob’s Burgers mash-up with “Fugue and Riffs.” This week, Archer presents us with a much odder combo, that of Archer and Justified. Co-written by Archer creator Adam Reed and Justified writer Chris Provenzano, starring Lucas Troy and voiced by Timothy Olymphant, “The Wind Cries Mary” does seem like another combination of shows, albeit not quite as obviously.
“The Wind Cries Mary” plays to the strengths of the show, while also focusing heavily on this week’s guest star. While it is great to see the entire ISIS team go on an adventure/vacation together as they did last week, it’s easy to miss the ISIS offices and the humor that comes out of staying there. Cheryl, Pam, Ray, Malory and Krieger all stay behind in New York, and there are some great moments. We also meet for the first time Rodney, who is the armory supervisor who won’t take crap from anyone except Malory.
Archer meanwhile heads to Vermont to meet his best friend Lucas, a former ISIS spy who switched to ODIN and has now been supposedly found dead after going undercover and selling uranium on the black market. Oh, and the majority of the ISIS team believes that Lucas was totally gay for Archer.
Archer meets Luke at a bed-and-breakfast he wants to fix up and reopen, while Cyril and Lana follow Archer. Lucas admits that he in fact does love Archer. He’s not gay; he just wants to be with Archer. This is of course awkward for Archer, even though all evidence points to the fact that maybe they should be together. Long story short, Cyril and Lana track down Luke, all while Cyril tries to fill out Lana’s peer review and kill Luke, and in his last dying breath, it is hinted that Luke might have raped Archer.
But here’s the thing: the whole “being awkward around gay people since you’re so totally straight” thing is kind of played-out. It’s not necessarily offensive, and Archer reacts the way one would expect, but it doesn’t really do anything that we haven’t seen before.
Even though this isn’t likely the beginning of some story arc where Archer questions his life and decisions, like “Heart of Archness” or the cancer arc, it is a weird way to end an episode without any future consequences. It’s also a shame that Luke dies, being that Olymphant can at times be kind of fun in comedy roles, like his mostly-forgotten appearance on The Office. He seems like he could have been a fun addition to the ISIS team, but who am I kidding? Of course this was a one-off cameo.
That’s really where most of the problems from “The Wind Cries Mary” come from—the lack of connection to anything else. Only a week ago, we got two big bombshells: that Malory is now married and that Barry is hunting Archer from space. Yet with the exception of a passing mention of Mr. Cadillac, no mention is made of these big moments. It’s great to see ISIS balanced in the ways it should be, and also to have Olymphant in a fun comedic role, but in the larger scheme of things, it all feels sort of inconsequential.