The fifth season of Archer had been bridging together its episodes with more of a continuous storyline than previous seasons, creating a cohesive overall plot. That changed this week.
Last week, “Southbound and Down” saw action down in Texas, with Krieger, Ray and Woodhouse being left behind. In “Baby Shower,” however, the entire crew is together, and none of the elements from last week have carried over. Apparently, this episode and last week’s episode haven’t been aired in their previously intended order. Considering the first few episodes all carried over into each other, it’s noticeable when one suddenly doesn’t.
That being said, “Baby Shower” was another fun episode that focused more on character relationships than the group’s cocaine supply. With Krieger handling their cocaine and making moves online to apparently set up a risk-free process, the rest of the group, thanks to Ray’s insistence, plans a baby shower for Lana. Of course, a baby shower wouldn’t be complete without Kenny Loggins singing, right? At least, that’s what Archer thinks.
So, as Archer and Pam set out to track down Kenny Loggins and ask him to sing at the baby shower, the rest of the group prepares. Malory, who should be more cautious of whom she trusts, rests assured that Krieger has their cocaine situation taken care of. Did anyone really think Krieger would pull through after his initial explanation of how his operation worked? Not that I’m upset; it made it funnier in the end, as he ran away screaming, “but you were temporarily so happy!”
Speaking of laughs, most of them in “Baby Shower” involved Kenny Loggins, from the briefcase emanating a pink light within to him repeatedly accusing Archer of working for a man named Borgnar. The show has handled celebrity cameos well before, and this was no different.
There were also more moments of Archer showing Lana he cares. This has been building all season, and I expect it to continue at least until the baby arrives. Archer does seem to be making progress with Lana.
As for Cherlene’s arc, last week she was approached by a man from a record company after performing her first live show, but this week there was no mention of anything of the sort. Again, when viewers get used to expecting continuity after a few episodes, abolishing that continuity later on hurts the overall quality of the show. However, that’s a really small detail to pick at, and I’m not even sure who’s to blame for the decision.
Either way, with “Baby Shower,” Archer season 5 delivers another solid but unspectacular installment. After six episodes, I expected there to be at least one truly standout episode. Maybe I’m asking too much, or maybe I’m just used to the first few seasons of the show. “Baby Shower” certainly gets the job done, but does little to stand out or further the plot of the season, instead acting mainly as a vehicle for character development. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m hoping for something more elaborate soon as we pass the season’s halfway point.
Carlo Sobral is a Winnipeg-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste.