'Archer' Review: "Palace Intrigue, Part 2"

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Archer’ season 5 adds a bit more ‘Vice’ in its latest episode “Palace Intrigue, Part 2,” as Archer and the gang desperately attempt to flee the mansion of Gustavo Calderon (Fred Armisen), before the man's wife Juliana ('The Walking Dead''s Lauren Cohan) can reveal their affair..

Previous ‘Archer’ installment “Palace Intrigue, Part 1” saw Archer and the gang arrive to the palace of the San Marcos dictator, before Archer found himself in hot water with the man's wife Juliana, so does “Palace Intrigue, Part 2” 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 11, “Palace Intrigue, Part 2!”

Shelling from the rebels largely stops, but when Calderon’s man lets slip that the dictator was the one to buy all copies of Cherlene’s album, she screams. Meanwhile, Archer emerges from a closet with Juliana, but before she can reveal her actions to her husband, Archer shoots Cyril in the chest for a diversion. Cyril revives moments later, having worn Kevlar under his shirt, as Lana convinces a reluctant Malory they should leave the country for their own safety.

Elsewhere in the mansion, Krieger spends time with his three clones, though none of them seem to have a clear idea of their origins. Meanwhile, Cyril looks through Calderon’s cache of vehicles for a getaway car Malory won’t give him trouble for, settling on something offscreen. Calderon attempts to convince Cherlene that he isn’t a dictator, and only bought her music to spread to the citizens of his poor country to improve their morale.

Still waiting for their getaway vehicle, Lana aids Archer in stealing an expensive painting from Calderon’s mansion, pointing out how Archer invariably makes every situation about himself. Meanwhile in the main foyer, Pam loads Malory’s bags as Calderon continually asserts his love for Cherlene, offering to divorce Juliana for her, something the woman overhears. Juliana pulls a gun and reveals that she slept with Archer, for which Calderon pulls his own gun and takes aim at Archer, though Pam jumps in the path of the bullet.

Cherlene repeatedly hits Calderon with her guitar, next turning on Juliana, as Pam reveals that she’d put on Cyril’s Kevlar vest before taking the hit. Calderon breaks up the fight between Cherlene and Juliana, declaring Cherlene his official wife as he exercises his power to divorce Juliana. The Kriegers watch over security footage as they assemble a nuclear weapon, before Calderon’s men enter and reveals that rebels have breached the compound.

The men surrender to the presence of a tank, until Cyril reveals himself as the driver and assumes command of the rescue. Archer goes to mock him, though Pam ends up stealing the moment with her own joke, and Archer chases her out of the room

OUR REVIEW:

It’s hard to say what exactly has felt so amiss from the current season of ‘Archer,’ but we’re 11 episodes deep into the season, and even amid a lavish Central American backdrop, we haven’t any real sense of what ‘Vice’ was meant to add up to. The drug story has mostly been supplanted by a vague arms deal, while the FBI shadow on the former ISIS crew has all-but disappeared. Understandably, ‘Archer’ has always relied more on the interplay than a serialized arc, though it feels as if ‘Vice’ has fallen exceptionally far from a realm of direction.

Take the second half of “Palace Intrigue,” which presumably represents the conclusion of our time with Calderon and his wife, but has no real ending to speak of. Cyril busted down the doors in a tank, as the cast squabbled with one another about how best to leave, and an offscreen revolution continually loomed. Are we to gather that the final two episodes will take place in San Marcos, picking up with an arms deal thread, or simply that we’ve left this particular story behind? What of Krieger and his clones, and any other thread that had yet to pay off? Will Lana’s baby ever prove anything more than something the character continually reminds everyone of?

‘Archer’ isn’t going anywhere for awhile, though we know the series will return to the spy parody dropped for the sake of ‘Vice,’ and frankly, none too soon. However amusing the chemistry and dialogue remain (Lucky Yates sharing dialogue with himself will never not be worth the watch), “Palace Intrigue, Part 2” only serves to remind that ‘Vice’ lacks the execution its promise heralded.

Well, what say you? Did you get your fill of spy-spoofing ‘Archer’ action? What was your favorite gag from “Palace Intrigue, Part 2?” Tell us if you’re on board for ‘Vice,’ and join us next week for all-new ‘Archer’ recap of penultimate season 5 installment “Filibuster” on FX!

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