In this episode, Archer gets a new spy car for his birthday which gets stolen, fearing Malory’s rage, he confronts the yakuza, a Japanese mob who specialize in stealing drift cars, only to find out that Malory took it to teach him a lesson.
First off, I kind of like the episode mainly because Archer actually got what he deserved and the Yakuza. Just because it’s your birthday doesn’t mean you can act like a spoiled brat. Archer acted like everyone from his butler, Woodhouse, to his coworkers at ISIS (who hate him more or less) should be kissing his butt. I’m pretty sure if you ever went to work, the last thing anyone would care about is you getting older, but his coworkers actually did give him an awesome car. Now I love the car. It had all sorts of cool gadgets and luxuries, and the animators even spell checked themselves when they introduced the drinking bar. They told the audience that the drinks there were actually cider and that you should never drink and drive, which Archer finds out later on (the cider part, not the drinking and driving thing). The police chase demonstrating the car’s features was awesome and it makes you think that this car will make more appearances, but due to what I think is budget cuts, it gets stolen and never returned to Archer, so what does the writers do? Flawlessly, written it into Archer’s and Malory’s characters. Archer is irresponsible and Malory knows this so she steals the car (and we never stop to think if it’s out of character), knowing that he left the thing unlocked and as pointed out later on by Lana, never discussed responsibility. See, if your going to have a character that is as rotten as Archer, you have to give him a good reason for why that is, and the culprit here is Malory. She doesn’t seem to understand that teaching your kids about responsibility even if you decide to take their things is more effective than scarring them with ping pong rackets and drive by shootings. Archer never became more responsible as result, but more drastic in trying to do dangerous stuff to avoid getting scolded at. I like how they deconstructed the tough love notion that a lot of parents have. The tough love Malory gave him hasn’t grown him up, but rather made him a man child.
I like how awesome the Yakuza were in this episode. From what we seen in the episode, they were pretty good drift racers, run shady operations effectively, adhere to the Japanese culture without being stereotypical, and had good voice acting. It really says something when they put down Archer who had up to this point taken down Russian KGB agents, terrorists, and many other threats. It kind of boosts their threat level. I also like the increasing character developments in this episode. Pam is regular drift racer and is darn good at it. And apparently, she knows a little Japanese. Cheryl also learned how to drive from her dead father, which is a heart warming thing to see, considering how messed up that family is implied to be. Great episode. Eight out of ten.