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Review: ‘Archer’ Season 7 Episode 4 ‘Motherless Child’ Gets a Barry From the Past

Review: 'Archer' Season 7 Episode 4 'Motherless Child' Gets a Barry From the Past

“I swear to God I had something for this.” (Episode Summary)

After dining on rumaki at a tiki restaurant (presumably in East LA, as we doubt Archer would ever venture into the valley), everyone’s favorite secret agent-turned-private investigator had a not so coincidental run-in with his nemesis, Barry. Despite knowing for some time the ex-special agent is now a full-on robot, Archer still tried to shoot him down — twice — resulting in a worsening of his tinnitus and the annoyance of his coworkers.

You see, Barry just wanted some help finding his long lost mother. He grew up in an orphanage that later burned down, along with all the records within it, making it nearly impossible for one man to track down his own biological mother. But thanks to Pam’s trusty flyer — a recurring bit I hope continues, as it’s such a painful sight for Archer every time — Barry discovered just the crew to help him out. They just needed the slightest twisting of the arm — a.k.a. putting Mallory in a desert dungeon about to run out of oxygen — and voila. Barry found his mom. Mallory survived to throat punch a trucker. And the gang discovered The Cabinet of Dr. Krieger. Win, win…something.

LAST WEEK’S EPISODE: ‘Archer’ Season 7 Episode 3 ‘Deadly Prep’ Rubs the Lotion on the Skin

“Bloody Mary, full of vodka, pray for me now…” (Best Drinking Reference)

“I’ll give you a thousand dollars for the ride to the nearest bar.” – Mallory

Mama Archer (or should we say GrandMaMa Archer?) sure has her priorities in line. An all around nicely done to you, Mallory.

“Danger zone!” (Most Action-y Action Sequence)

*Insert .gif of Barry tea-bagging the agency’s computer system with a golden-plated rifle hoisted above his head*

But really, in an episode short on too much action, the best animation came when we discovered exactly where Mrs. Archer was; specifically, when we faded from a TV image of her would-be tomb to the real location and then down inside the sweatbox through a tube on top of the generator. Nice work, team. Kudos for always pushing the envelope.

(Best) “Phrasing!”

Cheryl: “Well, Ray, a machine is like a desert: Either it fascinates or appalls you.”
Pam: “Noyce.”
Ray: “It’s not Noyce! How could you be attracted to a homicidal maniac?”
Pam: “No, that’s a quote by Wilfrid Noyce.”
Cheryl: “What, really?”
Pam: “Yes!”
Cheryl: “The mountaineer?”
Pam: “Yes!”
Cheryl: “Well, here’s a quote from me. Barry’s about to violate the first law of robotics…on my vagina.”
Pam: “Noyce.”

“Literally the only thing about Los Angeles that doesn’t make me want to vomit.” (Best Hollywood Reference)

Barry made the point that because he used chloroform to drug and kidnap Mallory, Ron didn’t even wake up when it went down. But the cut to his morning routine of trying to make the coffee, shouting for Mallory’s help in a giant empty L.A. mansion struck me as something that may not have happened in New York. NYC runs with smaller luxury lofts, so Ron may have noticed quicker that he was alone compared to the giant monstrosities taking up so much valuable real estate in L.A. It’s a little thing, but really, it’s all we’ve got. 

“A black astronaut, Cyril. That’s like killing a unicorn!” (Best Quote)

Barry: “Hey, I’m coming to you as a man here.”

Archer: “No, you’re not. You’re coming to me as a robot mummy… Oh my God! Who’s–
“Archer, no!”
“Don’t you say it.”
“…who’s got no mummy!”

“Can’t or won’t?” (Analysis)

The first episode in Season 7 unrelated to the Veronice Deane storyline (supposedly), “Motherless Child” felt very much like a throwback to yesteryear. Sure, the plot kind of hinged on Barry recruiting them because of their new profession, but he probably would’ve come calling whether they were private investigators or secret agents, and, outside of that fact, very little about what happened was grounded in the now. Archer and Lana’s relationship and baby didn’t really come up. Few L.A. references were made. Most of the action was contained within the new office, but even Mallory’s desert-set gravesite could’ve been anywhere. 

No matter. With 13 episodes in the season, Adam Reed & Co. can dip a toe back into the past a few times, especially if it means bringing back fan favorites like Barry and operating under the very, very funny parameters of this episode. It’s always a sign an episode shined when you’re torn between favorites. Be it quotes, “Phrasing(!)s,” characters or what have you, “Archer” is at its best when it’s packing in the jokes, and “Motherless Child” was way above the quota. Which reminds me, before this wraps, I gotta give a shout-out to Gillette being labeled “the poor man’s Frank Langella.” Just…wow. 

Grade: A-

READ MORE: ‘Archer’ Creator Adam Reed on Why Season 7 Swapped The Real World for Hollywood

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