Fresh on DVD: ‘ARCHER: DANGER ISLAND’ – The Complete Ninth Season gets delightfully weird

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Courtesy of FXX.

Connor Bynum // Film Critic

ARCHER: DANGER ISLAND

Creator: Adam Reed
Voice cast: H. Jon BenjaminEugene CorderoJudy GreerAmber NashChris ParnellAdam ReedAisha Tyler and Jessica Walter

When I reviewed ARCHER: DANGER ISLAND (now available on DVD) in summer of 2018, I frequently pointed out just how strange this whole season had become with each and every episode. Starting with Season 5, ARCHER has become more and more bizarre with each season acting as more of a self-contained mini series with only the loosest of connections to the series as a whole.

Here is a breakdown of each of Season 9’s eight episodes, along with links to our full reviews of each episode:

Ep. 1 – “Strange Pilot”: B-

“Being the first episode of what is essentially another reboot, nearly all of the running time of this rather short episode (barely over 18 minutes) is spent establishing the new roles/altered names our characters now possess.

[The] episode is essentially a pilot for a new series with characters we are mostly familiar with by now. There’s still no telling whether or not the change of scenery will be for the better, but as Archer pointed out: That’s the way things are now. Deal with it.”

Ep. 2 – “Disheartening Situation”: B+

“After last week’s somewhat bumpy takeoff, the second episode of DANGER ISLAND is a much-appreciated return to form for the show.

Thankfully, the change of setting hasn’t detracted from the characters still being the people we’ve loved to watch for the last nine years.”

Ep. 3 – “Different Modes Of Preparing The Fruit”: A-

“The third episode of ARCHER saw less action than the one before, but focused much more on the comedic aspect of the show, in what is easily the best episode thus far in DANGER ISLAND.

ARCHER is absolutely at its best when it focuses its attention on clever writing and sight gags. The fourth wall is broken numerous times as the characters throw subtle reminders that they are aware that they are in the past.”

Ep. 4 – “A Warrior in Costume”: B-

“The fourth episode of DANGER ISLAND took a bit of a step backwards after the previous episode. While it introduce[s] a new rival for Archer and a humors backstory between them, not much really happened in A WARRIOR IN COSTUME.

[It] was exciting to see Charlotte take control over the island from Malory by the end of the episode. Charlotte’s character has always been a bit of a nymphomaniac, so seeing her use her sexuality to control the remaining german soldiers to do her bidding felt perfectly in line with her character. While there’s no telling exactly what she will do with her new found position, there’s a good chance it will be utterly ridiculous.”

Ep. 5 – “Strange Doings in the Taboo Groves”: A

“Not only was some of the funniest dialogue of the season in this scene, but some genuinely moving emotions from both Archer and Pam after Archer finally snaps at her and blames her for everything wrong in his life. Archer has always had an incredibly interesting dynamic with Pam ever since Season 3, and it’s easy to see why they’ve been paired together so much over the years.

Topped off with the cliffhanger of running into the natives on the island, Strange Doings in The Taboo Groves is an outstanding return to form for the season.”

ARCHER: Danger Island — “Some Remarks on Cannibalism” — Season 9, Episode 6 (Airs Wednesday, May 30, 10:00 p.m. e/p) Pictured (l-r): Pam Poovey (voice of Amber Nash), Noah (voice of David Cross), Sterling Archer (voice of H. Jon Benjamin). CR: FXX

Ep. 6 – “Some Remarks on Cannibalism”: B+

“Although not quite as enjoyable as last week’s outing on DANGER ISLAND, this week’s episode of ARCHER still brought the laughs and is looking to build up to a great conclusion.

Episode 6 wrapped up nicely with Archer saving the cannibals from one of the Germans, thus securing their friendship with a big feast of what is likely to feature the German he killed. Things are really starting to move for everyone now as we look to be approaching a pretty fantastic conclusion.”

Ep. 7 – Wickedness Of Civilized and Unenlightened Peoples: B-

“While it wasn’t as comedically pleasing as episodes from recent weeks, it was still a satisfying battle-heavy episode with a few good laughs along the way.

Overall, COMPARATIVE WICKEDNESS OF CIVILIZED AND UNENLIGHTENED PEOPLES felt just as padded as its title suggests. It wasn’t necessarily an unenjoyable episode, but I’m definitely hoping that the remaining three carry a little more narrative weight as they bring DANGER ISLAND to a close.”

Ep. 8 – A Discovery: A

“After seven episodes that were mostly hit and miss, A DISCOVERY is one of the best the series has produced in years and does a fantastic job setting up the show’s tenth and final season. In a time where everyone is on a cannibal filled island in the 1930s and Krieger (Lucky Yates) is a talking bird, this is the episode where things get weird.

Combined with the show’s signature brand of self aware humor and an admittedly emotional climax, A DISCOVERY could be the episode that made it all worth the journey on Danger Island. Here’s hoping that season 10 will have a few less bumps along the way.”

Extras Grade: C+

There are only two special features to be found in this season. This is quite the shame as Season 9 is the biggest departure from the show’s initial premise, which would have been a great opportunity to hear much more of what the show runners had to say about it.

Special features listed below:

  • Inside Look: Making ARCHER
  • Crackers’ Costumed Playings

Final Grade: B

Diehard fans of the show will likely feel more obligated to see it through to the end rather than by their own desire. All of that being said, there is still quite a lot to enjoy in DANGER ISLAND.

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