Archer Episode Recap – Once Bitten – Season 4, Episode 6
Synopsis: Archer is taking a dump in the desert in Turkmenistan when a Caspian cobra bites him on the ass – causing him to hallucinate, see alligators, go to a heaven way station and meet up with a cut-rate James Mason impersonator who takes him on his lacrosse recruiting trip.
Details: It’s not every show on television that can mind-meld two cultural references like the classic 1978 Warren Beatty/James Mason film “Heaven Can Wait” and the 1989 hard rock hit “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” by one-hit big-hair wonder Great White, but if there ever were a show that could pull this off, it is “Archer”.
Archer, Ray and Cyril have been sent to Turkmenistan with $100,000 to pay off Turkmen tribesmen to blow up an oil pipeline to piss off the Russians but Archer got their jeep stuck in the sand and now he has to go to the bathroom. This poses a problem as he has nothing to wipe his ass with upon completing his business. At first, he selects the map as his toilet paper of choice but Ray objects and he finally settles on using some of the cash [he takes $700 but figures he needs $1000].
While taking his dump in the desert, Archer is bitten on the ass by a deadly Caspian cobra and tries to convince gay Ray [who he refers to as “Gay-vy Crockett”] to suck the venom out of the wound because he figures he has had more experience with sucking in that area. Ray refuses, as does Cyril, who doubly informs him that aside from the possibility that his dick may fall off, the real danger lies in neuro and cardiotoxins which will cause respiratory failure and cardiac arrest and Archer should refrain from drinking alcohol. Archer promptly ignores Cyril’s advice and immediately starts chugging from his flask and begins hallucinating.
Ray and Cyril have refused to call in for an extraction, so back at ISIS headquarters, the women are arguing and complaining about various things – Malory complains about Lana’s “clomping”, Lana complains about not being sent on the mission to Turkmenistan despite the fact a black woman might stick out in a central Asian male-centric puppet state and Cheryl calls out Lana for staying at ISIS when she claims she hates it there.
As Archer’s hallucinations begin, he sees imaginary Land Rovers, Cyril and Ray turn into alligators and, as he starts to fade with more booze, he imagines himself going to heaven – or rather, a way station, where a cut-rate James Mason impersonator is awaiting him in a direct reference to the film “Heaven Can Wait”. The cut-rate James Mason takes him on a journey through his past beginning with his lacrosse recruiting trip to Johns Hopkins where it all looks like it is going to end well until he is shot in the gut by a mystery woman [reference to “The Natural”].
Cyril finally gets the jeep going but they are caught by a Turkmen warlord and his thugs, who demand payment for an anti-venom for Archer. Cyril coughs up $25,000 for the Turkmen warlord and while him and Ray split the remainder and the anti-venom is administered – but not before Archer has one last hallucination.
The cut-rate James Mason has gone further back in Archer’s history, past the lacrosse recruiting trip, all the way back to his birthday as a six-year-old where he receives a present from his real father who he surmises is Buck Henry…but as the camera pans up to show his face…the anti-venom kicks in and the hallucination disappears. The end.
The Poop and Skinny: Top three things to remember from this episode…
Archer’s real father was an alligator..no, wait…he was carrying an alligator…no…a stuffed alligator toy.
Cheryl’s imitation of an AT-AT from Star Wars as she mocks Lana’s clomping.
Turkmenistan was led by a dictator – Samarmurat Niyazov – who changed the country’s alphabet and liked to change words to reflect his pets and friends.
Archer hallucinating and seeing Cyril and Ray as alligators is a reference to the Hunter S. Thompson film, “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.
The coveted TZ Best Line of the Episode Award goes to the cut-rate James Mason, who responds to Archer’s remorse after he has been shot in the gut and his lacrosse scholarship dreams are dashed – “Bit of a moot point, really, given your SAT scores.”