Archer—Season 5

8.5 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Love the cast, love the look

Don't necessarily like the story arc this season, sidelines members of the cast


Archer goes druggy!

I.S.I.S. has a problem:  the intel and espionage they’ve been doing has not been entirely legal.  Now, Archer Sterling, his mother, and the team find themselves without an office and broke….but with tons of cocaine!  With plans to become dealers to make their fortune, I.S.I.S. is about to find out that drug dealing isn’t as easy as it seems.  After deal after deal go wrongs, I.S.I.S. finds itself caught in the middle of a civil war in Central America and as forces move in escape might not be possible.

Archer—Season 5 went by the title Archer Vice (or Archer:  Vice) and played off the idea of Miami Vice.  The series aired on FX form January 13, 2014 to April 21, 2014 and received a Primetime Emmy nomination for “Archer Vice:  The Rules of Attraction”.


What I learned from Pam: You can have as much cocaine as you want and it makes you thin

I love Archer.  The show’s style and comic timing is genius and the storylines are surprisingly rich and layered.  As the series has progressed, characters have develop and changed (or revel in the fact that they are unchanged), and as a whole the series is maintaining its quality.

I don’t know that I love the whole general shift in storyline this season, but the writing still works.  The show often runs into the rut factor however and some of the jokes are reused a bit too often.  The show often references this, but I still contend that referencing writing crutches doesn’t make it necessarily better or clever.  Archer by far is one of the best shows at doing it in a clever way so I can forgive it.


Kenny Loggins! He’s no Messina…

The reason the whole series works is the comic timing of the voice actors involved.  Each character has his or her moments, and Archer by himself wouldn’t work.  I still have to say that Pam Poovey is a favorite of mine and this season is very heavy on the Pam (a bit too heavy at the end, but I still like it).  I do feel that some of the other characters get a bit sidelined this season as the main thrust appears to be Archer, Pam, and Cheryl (or Cherlene).  It is something that can be fixed in the coming season, and I hope the plots are bit more balanced.

This season does feature a big change for the show.  With the rise of the terrorist organization known as I.S.I.S., the writers decided that Season 5 would be the last season where the organization is called I.S.I.S.  I don’t know if that was the original intent and the reason that the organization was deconstructed, but it can work out to the writers advantages in Archer—Season 6.  I don’t know if they can tie it into the storyline without being crass to those being hurt by the real I.S.I.S. but of the series on-air now, I think Archer is the only one who could possibly pull it off.

Archer—Season 5 Complete Episode Guide:


“White Elephant”

5.1       White Elephant Airdate:  01/13/14

When the FBI raids I.S.I.S., Archer and the crew learns that I.S.I.S. was never sanctioned by the government.  With no base, no jobs, and no future, Archer and the crew must find new work.


“Archer Vice:  A Kiss While Dying”

5.2       Archer Vice:  A Kiss While Dying Airdate:  01/20/14

I.S.I.S. has decided to become a drug cartel to regain their fortune and out to sell a ton of cocaine…but find their deal going south when they run into Rudy and Charles as the buyers.  Pam becomes addicted when her body is used for a cocaine cast and Cheryl works to become a country music star.


“Archer Vice:  A Debt of Honor”

5.3       Archer Vice:  A Debt of Honor Airdate:  01/27/14

Pam is out to turn a profit by using the counterfeit money to buy amphetamines…which she unfortunately buys from the Yakuza who want their money.  When Ron is shot in the standoff, Pam, Cheryl, and Cyril must get him to the hospital while Archer deals with Mr. Moto.


“Archer Vice:  House Call”

5.4       Archer Vice:  House Call Airdate:  02/03/14

Woodhouse invites Agent Holly into Cheryl’s home leaving Archer and the others scrambling to hide the cocaine while Pam deals with orders to kick the habit.


“Archer Vice:  Southbound and Down”

5.5       Archer Vice:  Southbound and Down Airdate:  02/24/14

Cheryl is now Cherlene and scheduled to appear on Travis County Limits in Texas…leading Archer to get to live his Smokey and the Bandit dreams.  Krieger restores Gillette’s legs…but remains in control of them.  When Pam lets out that the bus is hauling cocaine, Archer must battle bikers.


“Archer Vice:  Baby Shower”

5.6       Archer Vice:  Baby Shower Airdate:  03/03/14

Malory learns that Krieger is selling the cocaine online…and decides to use the technique to make some money.  Archer and Pam set out to recruit Kenny Loggins when they realize that Lana hasn’t had a baby shower yet.


“Archer Vice:  Smugglers’ Blues”

5.7       Archer Vice:  Smugglers’ Blues Airdate:  03/10/14

Archer heads to South America with Cyril and Gillette intent on unloading the cocaine on the Columbian drug dealer “the Godmother”.


“Archer Vice: The Rules of Extraction”

5.8       Archer Vice:  The Rules of Extraction Airdate:  03/17/14

Archer, Gillette, and Cyril find themselves prisoners in Columbia, but an accident leaves them fighting for survival in the rainforest.  Lana decides Malory needs a spa day to keep her from worrying about Archer.


“Archer Vice: On the Carpet”

5.9       Archer Vice:  On the Carpet Airdate:  03/24/14

Archer, Cyril, and Gillette have made it back to the U.S. but find themselves tied to gun smugglers.  Malory learns that Archer has gotten ahold of guns and decides to get involved in weapons smuggling.


“Palace Intrigue—Part I”

5.10     Archer Vice:  Palace Intrigue—Part I Airdate:  03/31/14

Malory is leading the charge to take the guns to the Central America country of San Marcos where Gustavo Calderon is ruling the country…and Calderon is a big fan of Cherlene.  Archer accidentally sleeps with Gustavo’s wife Juliana, and Krieger learns that Gustavo might be experimenting with cloning.


“Palace Intrigue—Part II”

5.11     Archer Vice:  Palace Intrigue—Part II Airdate:  04/07/14

Archer tries to keep his affair with Juliana secret as Krieger spends time with his clones.  As the San Marcos begins to fall to rebels, I.S.I.S. must try to find a way to escape.



5.12     Archer Vice:  Filibuster Airdate:  04/14/14

Cyril has taken over the country and imprisoned Archer.  Krieger finds the clones are up to a dangerous plot.  Archer, Cherlene, and Gustavo make their escape, Archer is about discover the source of the political unrest in San Marcos.



5.13     Archer Vice:  Arrival/Departure Airdate:  04/21/14

I.S.I.S. learns that the C.I.A. have been using them to meet their budget, but as the nerve gas bomb prepares to launch, I.S.I.S. must find a way to stop it.  As time ticks down, Lana finds she’s in labor.

Preceded By:

Archer—Season 4 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Followed By:

Archer—Season 6 Review and Complete Episode Guide

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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