‘Archer’ Review: “Coyote Lovely”
‘Archer’ season 4 hops the border for its eighth episode of the year “Coyote Lovely,” as Archer falls for a beautiful smuggler of illegal immigrants (Carla Jimenez), while the ISIS team tries desperately to track his movements and prevent the notorious criminal from striking again.
Last week’s ‘Archer’ episode “Live and Let Dine” saw the ISIS staff go undercover at the exclusive restaurant of “Bastard Chef” Lance Casteau (Anthony Bourdain) in order to stop a threat to the Albanian ambassador, but quickly found the situation wasn’t at all what they expected, so how does “Coyote Lovely” translate? Is ‘Archer’ season 4 bordering on its most classic season yet?
Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Archer’ season 4 episode 8, “Coyote Lovely!”
Flashing forward a bit, Malory asks a beat-up Lana and Cyril to tell her what happened when the pair set up a covert roadblock for Mexican border patrol "coyote" and smuggler Moreno. The pair remember that while Sterling whined about his boredom from sniper distance, Cyril and Lana flagged down the approaching truck while pretending to be man and wife. Infuriated by Lana’s suggestion he has a personality disorder, Archer lets Lana and Cyril sweat a moment before taking out the truck’s engine. Once the driver and passenger get out, Archer is shocked to see that Moreno is actually a beautiful woman.
Archer runs to the scene, attempting to dissuade Cyril and Lana from arresting the woman in hopes of scoring a date, while his fellow agents grow increasingly exasperated. Cyril throws a punch at Archer, for which Sterling beats him repeatedly, accidentally knocking out Lana in the process. Cyril draws his gun, but Archer observes that he’s wearing Kevlar, and shoots him until he passes out from the pain.
As Archer drives through Texas with Moreno, and the entire cache of foreigners piled in a station wagon, Malory frantically tasks ISIS worker Bilbo with finding Archer via satellite, inadvertently giving Bilbo a heart attack in the process. In the car, Moreno chides Archer’s lack of a plan, as they pass and catch the attention of two border patrol agents (including ‘Justified’s Nick Searcy). One of the Mexicans fires at the pursuing car until it flips, and Archer gets out to investigate. Just as Moreno finally falls for his charms however, the surviving agents shoot Archer twice in the back, running out of bullets in the process.
Moreno handcuffs the two agents together, and -- knowing she can’t leave them -- has them pile in the car as well, while Archer attempts to drink off the pain of his bullet wounds. Back at ISIS, Malory gives up and calls Sterling, but mistakes his claims of gunshot treatment at a veterinary clinic as another one of his elaborate voicemails. Doubting his abilities and continually drinking, the doctor ('Sons of Anarchy's Dayton Callie) urges Archer to seek further help with a med-evac chopper.
As Archer’s condition worsens, Moreno refuses to risk driving to a hospital, and has the border patrol call in a chopper while she and her fellow immigrants make an escape. Kissing Archer goodbye, Moreno leaves a note and departs with her people. Later, as Archer gets treated for real in the chopper and laughs at his total immunity from the border patrol agents, the agents realize that Archer had Moreno’s identity wrong. The true immigrant smuggler is that of Mercedes Moreno’s mother Maria Moreno, who knew of Archer’s weaknesses and purposefully sent her daughter to distract him.
As Archer wonders who would have orchestrated such an inside job, we see Malory reclining on a stack of pesos in her office, wondering how best to re-do the carpet, as Krieger rolls by the door carting the body of Bilbo.
Curiously, "Coyote Lovely" takes place somewhat out of order given that we see ISIS worker Bilbo die during the episode, though the event was referenced back in "Once Bitten." Neither episode seemed to add very much to the over-arching plot of the season, so we'd be curious to know what preceded the change of an otherwise-solid episode. It certainly seems like "Coyote Lovely" sets up a return for Moreno and a possible love interest going forward, but otherwise unfolds as a fairly standard 'Archer,' full of the usual callbacks and writing gags. Worth noting is the presence of two prominent FX stars in Dayton Callie and Nick Searcy, each of whom do an admirable job so here's hoping for more in the future. Plenty of recognizable voices in the 'Sons of Anarchy' cast, after all. All in all, a solid if perplexing episode.
What say you? Did you get your fill of spy-spoofing ‘Archer’ action? What was your favorite gag from “Coyote Lovely?” Join us next week for another all-new ‘Archer’ episode recap of “The Honeymooners” on FX!