'Archer' Season 11 Episode 7 Review: AJ's abduction sends everyone on a rampage and Lana is scarier than ever
Spoilers for 'Archer' Season 11 Episode 7 'Caught Napping'
His name may be on the show's title card, but every once in a while it's nice to have an episode that does not revolve entirely around Sterling Archer (H Jon Benjamin). That's not to say the episode's events weren't of pivotal importance to Archer, it's his daughter who was kidnapped after all. However, he's not the only one who cares about AJ. When she's kidnapped from her boarding school in Switzerland, it's not just Archer who's mad. Everyone is on a rampage, though none more so than AJ's mother, Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler), so much so that for once it falls on Archer to be the level headed, rational one in a crisis.
This is the first real mission of the season that feels like everyone has a part to play. There's no B-plot. There are a number of threads running through the episode that all meet up together to rescue AJ from the woman who kidnapped her — Peregrine (Jamie Lee Curtis). It's a fast-paced, high-energy, high-stakes episode and part of the reason is that this is the one mission that everyone tackles completely seriously, especially Archer himself. There's still humor to spare, though, as the show reminds us that Archer's entire spy organization (still unnamed) does its best work by having chaotic events work out in their favor.
Even Robert (Stephen Tobolowsky) gets his time to shine. Last episode, we got to see more of his conservative, skeevy, uncomfortable side, but this episode rounds him out to be about as human as everyone else on Archer's team. Even Archer admits, without hesitation, that he could stand to learn a thing or two from Robert and his relationship with Lana. While Robert makes a clear mistake in not telling Lana about AJ's kidnapping, he manages to avoid her wrath and calms her down just long enough to avoid her shooting him in the foot, though he's got bulletproof shoes, just in case.
The episode is a wild and hilarious tumble through Switzerland, leading to an excellent high-speed sleigh chase. Peregrine, who bears enough hatred to become nemesis material, is quickly dispatched by Lana and pumped with enough bullets to leave no doubt as to whether or not she'll be returning. Peregrine is about as dead as it gets, and then some. The ending of the episode is uncharacteristically, but welcomingly, sweet. AJ's the one person Archer's not yet met since waking up from his coma, and this is the first time she's really old enough to be able to interact with him.
It's a touching moment and one that was much needed. Despite Archer's continuing suspicions that Lana just stopped caring for him, the fact that she brought their daughter to see him during their coma obviously means the world to Archer, a heartwarming moment for a deeply cynical and selfish man. Doubtless, the next episode will see the group return to as much bickering as they can fit into a mission before it all collapses on them, but for once it's great to see the gang come together for a clear victory in the feel-good episode of the season.
The next episode of 'Archer' airs on October 28 at 10 pm ET on FXX.