'Archer' Review: "Viscous Coupling"

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Archer’ season 4 becomes a fool for love with its fifth episode of the year “Viscous Coupling,” as Sterling attempts to manipulate Katya (Ona Grauer) and the space-stuck Barry against one another, while delaying his imminent return to Earth .

Last week’s ‘Archer’ episode “Midnight Ron” saw Sterling paired with his stepfather Ron Cadillac (Ron Leibman), as they drove back from Canada together and encountered numerous complications along the way, so how does “Viscous Coupling” stay together?  Is ‘Archer’ season 4 blasting off toward its most classic season yet?

Read on for your in-depth recap of everything you need to know about ‘Archer’ season 4 episode 5, “Viscous Coupling!”

Pam urges Cheryl to stop wasting time around the office as they prepare to leave on their dates, while Archer seems to be the only one around the office without somewhere to be on Valentine’s day. Not only does Krieger have a tentacle porn date with his holographic bride, but Malory too has plans with Ron, and even Lana and Cyril are busy. Getting busy, that is. In his office. Eww.

As Archer continues sulking in his lonely tinnitus, accusing both Lana and Cyril of solely trying to get back at him, he and Lana share an elevator downstairs. Archer muses about the idea of getting back together with Lana, given how much recent events have matured him, but the moment Lana even entertains the idea Archer is interrupted by a phone call. Spurred by the call, Archer completely disregards Lana and rushes off, as we see that a heartbroken and lingerie-clad Katya was on the other end!

Stealing a man on the street’s flowers and candy with a drive-by, Archer races over to Katya’s apartment and rings her doorbell. Disappointed to learn that his cyborg one-time bride hadn’t intended on any romance, Archer feigns ignorance about the whereabouts of Barry, who left Katya for “business” months earlier. Reluctantly, Archer reveals that they left Barry up in space after their last encounter, and accepts Katya’s request to help Barry return home to her.

Telling Pam the he’ll help Barry return home in order to have Katya leave the cyborg for him, Archer and Pam also recruit Cheryl for the caper, despite her random and bizarre belief they’re all in “Opposite World.” Archer tasks Krieger with helping Barry repair his spaceship over video chat, luring the scientist with the prospect of Barry fighting the newly-cyborg-enhanced Ray through the streets of Manhattan. Archer knocks out Ray and Cyril in their respective bathroom stalls, while Cheryl manages to lure Malory and Lana into the vault with her opposite-speak.

Thought the bearded and disheveled Barry seems confused by Krieger’s offer at first, the pair quickly get to work on repairing the ship, since Barry murdered all the other scientists on the space station.  While Lana and Malory try to find their way out of the vault through the vents, Archer returns to Katya’s apartment and informs her of Barry’s imminent return, making up a story about Barry being involved with another woman along the way.

Vowing to get proof, Archer races back to ISIS and gives Krieger a hastily-written script to get Barry to speak, next dragging Pam out of an attempt to make an unconscious Ray and Cyril do tentacle porn in the bathroom. Archer has Pam stitch together the bits of Barry’s dialogue to make it appear he and Archer had a conversation about Barry’s cheating, as Malory and Lana escape from the vault and chase after Cheryl

Archer races back to Katya, and plays her the hastily-recorded and doctored tape, infuriating her with the reveal of Barry’s infidelity. As Katya sulks in his arms, Archer realizes he left Krieger still helping Barry, and rushes back to ISIS, only to find Barry successfully on his way back to Earth. Archer calls Katya to warn her, but finds the number disconnected, and Katya gone from her apartment.

As Barry rockets back to Earth, Katya reveals over the phone that Archer fell for their plan to get help fixing the rocket, though she’ll be setting some new ground rules for her cyborg lover after he tried to kill the innocent and hapless Archer. Barry laughs at the command, though Katya feigns call interference, and reclines in her newly-usurped position as the head of the KGB.

'Archer' episodes have become increasingly difficult to evaluate, as the series tends to weave in and out of serialization in a manner that can draw a frustrating line between comedy and action. "Viscous Coupling" in particular plants a number of seeds for the inevitable Barry/Archer showdown that was denied last season, but likely won't be touched upon for at least a few more episodes. The episode proves funny enough, particularly with the repeated tentacle gags and Cheryl's "opposite" behavior, but feels mostly like a set-up for the real action later on.

What say you? Did you get your fill of spy-spoofing ‘Archer’ action?  What was your favorite gag from “Viscous Coupling?” Join us next week for another all-new ‘Archer’ episode recap of “Once Bitten” on FX!

Filed Under: Archer, FX
Categories: TV News, TV Reviews
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