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‘Archer’ Review: “Un Chien Tangerine”

Archer Season 4 Un Chien Tangerine Review Pam
FX

Archer’ season 4 goes to the dogs for its tenth episode of the year “Un Chien Tangerine,” as Archer and Lana find themselves tasked with evacuating a dog from the deserts of Morocco, while back at ISIS Pam puts in paperwork to become a field agent, surprising Malory.

Last week’s ‘Archer’ episode “The Honeymooners” saw Archer and Lana going undercover as newlyweds to stake out a terrorist selling uranium to North Korea, while Cyril and the others followed in an effort to spy on the  pair, so does “Un Chien Tangerine” screw the pooch?  Is ‘Archer’ season 4 lapping up its most classic season yet?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Archer’ season 4 episode 10, “Un Chien Tangerine!”

Lana bemoans being woken up by the morning prayers of Tangiers, Morocco, especially with Archer naked and passed out on the bed next to her. As Archer regains his faculties from the hangover, blissfully tricked into getting a single-bed room from a clerk claiming Allen Ginsberg wrote “Howl” in there, Lana recovers their GPS and drags Archer toward their target extraction.

Driving through the streets, Lana complains about the smell while Archer extolls the virtues of Morocco, and Lana notices they have a tail. Archer swerves through the streets to lose it, lamenting that he had something for the confrontation specifically translated into Arabic, before finally arriving where the GPS signal directs them. Upstairs Archer bursts through a door expecting to find Kazak, a Moroccan intelligence officer they plan to liberate from the country, but instead an enormous dog tackles Lana and growls at her gun.

To Lana’s great irritation, the pair soon realize the dog in fact is Kazak, and Lana calls New York to complain about the insulting mission to Malory, who refuses to take the call. Meanwhile, a well-dressed Pam greets Malory in her office, proposing that she’d like to become a field agent!

Back in Morocco, Archer and Lana drive the dog through the streets, doing their best to ignore the vicious farts borne of Archer feeding the dog kufta, before finding their escape boat (or hovercraft) cut off by a Moroccan police roadblock. As Archer backs away and prepares to head to the backup extraction point, Kazak vomits all over Lana, further infuriating her.

Pam shows Malory that she aced the ISIS exams, confirmed by a bloodied Cyril not to have cheated, but Malory insists it could only make her a candidate. As to whether she could handle the physical aspects, Pam shows a video of herself easily taking down Cyril, Ray and Krieger, beating them all horrifically. Presented with an answer at every turn, Malory reluctantly agrees to consider Pam’s application for real.

Driving through the desert, Lana decides that Malory’s insults have gone too far, and the agent threatens Archer to stop the car so she can leave and quit the agency. Archer drives off, leaving Lana alone in the desert, but Archer soon realizes Lana left behind her phone, gun, GPS and water. Lana soon comes to the same realization, but finds her situation worsened when the first vehicle to stop for her is another Moroccan patrol.

Speaking to Kazak, Archer begrudgingly comes to the realization that he pushed Lana too far, and couldn’t in good conscience leave her to die, especially with his conflicting feelings for her. Archer calls Malory and orders his mother to re-route the extraction chopper while he searches for Lana, finally happening upon the car that took her. The Moroccans bolt as Archer gives chase, but soon finds his plan to hop on the enemy truck thwarted when Kazak himself leaps over and attacks the Moroccans!

Archer hops over to the truck and kills the remaining soldiers, bringing the car to a halt with Lana and Kazak miraculously free from injury. Grabbing a suspicious box from Kazak’s neck, Archer reveals that they only needed the microfilm off his collar, but that he and Lana occasionally do good work together. Lana reluctantly agrees to stay with ISIS, to which Kazak barks incessantly, and closes things out with another fart.

While it seems most of ‘Archer’s fourth season aired in its proper order (“Coyote Lovely” not withstanding), it does strike a curious note to see yet another Archer/Lana pairing so soon after “The Honeymooners,” which covered similar themes of Lana being pushed to make a big decision. Sharp as the dialogue and humor are, and as always-entertaining as we find Archer paired with animals, we might have liked “Un Chien Tangerine” a bit more if it followed through on Lana’s decision to quit, rather than repairing things to status quo. At the very least, Archer appears to have shown some slight growth, while Pam’s hopeful ascension to field agent will prove the development we’re most excited to see in upcoming episodes. All in all, a much stronger outing than the previous two, which weren’t lacking accolades of their own.

What say you? Did you get your fill of spy-spoofing ‘Archer’ action?  What was your favorite gag from “Un Chien Tangerine?” Join us next week for another all-new ‘Archer’ episode recap of “The Papal Chase” on FX!

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