'Archer' Review: "Baby Shower"

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Archer’ season 5 adds a bit more ‘Vice’ in its latest episode “Baby Shower,” as Archer attempts to secure Kenny Loggins for Lana's baby shower, while Krieger comes up with a suspicious new means to sell the group's cocaine.

Previous ‘Archer’ installment “Southbound and Down” saw the group encountering obstacles in an attempt to road trip to Texas for Cherlene's first singing gig, forcing Pam to come to grips with her cocaine habit, so does “Baby Shower” keep the changes rolling? Is ‘Archer’ season 5 headed right into the danger zone?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Archer’ season 5 episode 6, “Baby Shower!”

An irritated Lana breaks up Cherlene’s latest recording session with the group, pointing out that recording at the “golden hour” only applies to film, before bringing up to Malory that their financial situation is weighing on her. Taking the idea to heart, Malory orders the team to find ways to bring in money, for which Krieger claims to have set up a foolproof online method to sell and ship their cocaine store.

Over breakfast, Ray poses that Lana’s recent mood might have something to do with the fact that no one has thrown her a baby shower, something even Malory finds egregious. Archer takes charge, but quickly hands the decorating tasks off to Woodhouse, borrowing Pam for a special mission: recruiting an in-town Kenny Loggins to play Lana’s shower.

Feeling nostalgic for his spy days, Archer takes Pam to Madison Square Garden to con their way in backstage, but the security guard points out that Kenny would most likely be found at the Tuntmore hotel, not at the venue itself. Upon arrival at the Tuntmore, Archer plots to look up Kenny’s room number, until Pam simply points out the singer himself in the lobby. Archer introduces himself, but a disinterested Kenny simply signs Archer’s suit and begins to walk away. When Archer grabs the singer’s arm, Kenny’s bodyguard Ricky quickly puts Archer down with a tazer.

While Malory attempts to keep Lana from walking in on Woodhouse setting up the baby shower, Archer and Pam bribe a hotel maid for disguises to get up to Kenny’s room. Once they arrive to the suite however, Ricky immediately recognizes and attacks Pam, while Archer slips inside to deliver room service. Kenny quickly sees through the ruse, however, taking a defensive stance, and assuming that Archer is a hired gun for a man named “Borgnar,” looking to reclaim a suitcase emanating an eerie purple light.

Pam continues to fight Ricky as Archer chases Kenny to a dangerous balcony pool area, assuring the singer he doesn’t work for anyone else. Pam and Ricky’s fight spills out onto the balcony, knocking Kenny into the pool and accidentally shattering its glass wall. Archer leaps into action to save Kenny from falling, explaining how he’d only wanted the singer to play a baby shower.

Kenny begins a “Danger Zone” duet with Cherlene, as Lana is welcomed into her party and showered with gifts. Malory explains that Krieger’s delivery service freed up their finances for all the gifts, before Krieger accidentally reveals he’d purchased the cocaine himself to give Malory the impression of success. Archer reluctantly gives up his own baby crib as a gift for Lana, but draws her attention to the main event, Kenny Loggins singing “Danger Zone.” Only half-aware of the reference, Lana lets slip to an irritated Archer she has no idea who Kenny Loggins actually is, or that Archer’s reference came from a song.

OUR REVIEW:

Something has been seeming vaguely amiss about 'Archer''s fifth season, the self-styled turn into 'Vice,' and it isn't simply that ISIS has collapsed. Tonight's "Baby Shower" is the second episode in as many weeks to air out of order, produced as the ninth episode of the season, but airing as the sixth. It seems increasingly bizarre that almost halfway through the season, the team has yet to make a single successful venture in their new line of work, instead keeping things less on the serialized side, and leaning more on past references.

Naturally, the appearance of Kenny Loggins hearkens back to one of the series most memorable gags, and neatly ties into the actual Cherlene album, but it's a bit early in the season for congratulatory pats on the back to the series' history. And of course, Loggins' heightened version of himself unfolds as we've seen similar celebrity cameos in the past, adding in an excess of ego and a hint of Faustian bargains for am amusing A-story, though as a buildup to an acoustic "Danger Zone" performance, it isn't exactly 'Archer''s most inspired of missions.

"Baby Shower" also delivers a few more moments of the requisite earnestness that has been simmering all season -- particularly between Archer and Lana, though the season to date hasn't done very much with the idea thus far, likely waiting until the final hours (and Lana's impending delivery) for richer developments. We're given to understand that next week will see the team actually leaving New York for the delayed "Smuggler's Blues" that had originally been included with advance screeeners as the fifth episode, though for now it seems 'Vice' remains in something of a holding pattern. Amusing yes, with ample wordplay and a soul-mongering Kenny Loggins' cameo, but increasingly stale.

Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of spy-spoofing ‘Archer’ action? What was your favorite gag from “Baby Shower?” Tell us if you’re on board for ‘Vice,’ and join us next week for all-new ‘Archer’ recap of “Smuggler's Blues” on FX!

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