TV Review: ‘ARCHER’ – “A Warrior in Costume” (Season 9, Episode 4)


Connor Bynum // Film Critic

ARCHER: DANGER ISLAND – “A Warrior in Costume”

Season 9, Ep. 4
aired on FXX on May 16

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

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

At the start of the episode we are treated to a rather cute interaction between Archer and Pam as she attempts to surprise him with the makeshift repairs she’s made to Loosie Goosie’s wings with some bamboo and sails. Obviously, Archer isn’t thrilled. However, this gag is cut short with the arrival of Archer’s old rival, Ziegler (guest starring Flula Borg) a German fighter pilot who shot Archer out of the sky over a dozen times in WWI. This is an interesting backstory, but the series of flashbacks to the dogfights between the two of them, unfortunately, end up feeling like repetitive padding.

Ziegler has brought his gang of German pilots with him to the Island to help Fuchs search for the idol. However, little is spoken about the plan itself as most of their time is spent at the bar in Malory’s hotel. In classic Malory fashion, she sees this as an opportunity for Charlotte to make some of the money she owes the hotel and sics her on them without a moment’s hesitation. Yet, as a devoted Frenchman, Ray attempts to have the German soldiers leave the island at once before being stuffed into an oil drum.

ARCHER: Danger Island — “A Warrior in Costume” — Season 9, Episode 4 (Airs Wednesday, May 16, 10:00 p.m. e/p) Pictured (l-r): Pam Poovey (voice of Amber Nash), Crackers (voice of Lucky Yates), Sterling Archer (voice of H. Jon Benjamin). CR: FXX

The show has really taken steps this season to not always be obvious with its historical references. For what it’s worth, it can be easy to forget that the events of this season take place shortly after WWI and relations between these nations had yet to fully recover. That being said, it’s too bad that Ray has clearly had the short straw so far this entire season and I really wish the show runners would do more with the character than have him complain and be ignored.

The climactic dogfight between Archer and Pam vs. Ziegler was entertaining enough, but it could be the overuse of flying sequences in this episode that made it feel a little bland. It was an interesting story decision to see Archer seemingly remove Ziegler from the show in the same episode that introduces his character, but there’s always a possibility that he may reappear later on. As a side note, the show definitely gets bonus points for having Pam be the one who actually shoots Ziegler down before Archer obviously takes the credit.

Lastly, 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.

Grade: B-

A preview for next week’s episode:

About author

Preston Barta

Hello, there! My name is Preston Barta, and I am the features editor of Fresh Fiction and senior film critic at the Denton Record-Chronicle. My cinematic love story began where I was born: off planet on the isolated desert world of the Jakku system. It's there I passed the time scavenging for loose parts with my good friend Rey. One day I found an old film projector and a dusty reel of the 1975 film JAWS. It rocked my world so much that I left my kinfolk in the rearview (I so miss their morning cups of green milk) to pursue my dreams of writing about film. It wasn't long until I met two gents who said they would give me a lift. I can't recall their names, but one was an older man who liked to point a lot and the other was a tall, hairy fella. They got me as far as one of Jupiter's moons where we crossed paths with the U.S.S. Enterprise. Some pointy-eared bastard said I was clear to come aboard. He saw that I was clutching my beloved shark movie and invited me to the "moving pictures room" where he was screening the 1993 film JURASSIC PARK to his crew. He said my life would be much more prosperous if I were familiar with more work by the god named Steven Spielberg. From there, my love for cinema blossomed. Once we reached planet Earth, everything changed. I found the small town of Denton, TX, and was welcomed into the Barta family. They showed me the writings of local film critic Boo Allen. He became my hero and caused me to chase a degree in film and journalism. After my studies at graduate of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, I met some film critics who showed me the ropes and got me into my first press screening: 2011's THE GREEN LANTERN. Don't worry; I recovered just fine. MAD MAX: FURY ROAD was only four years away.