[Spoilers from Archer through Season 7]
Roughly a week ago, FX announced that Archer was renewed for another three seasons. One of the executives over at FX explained that the reason for it being renewed is because of the sheer unpredictable nature of the show. In just the past few seasons, Archer has gone from spies to drug dealers to spies again to private investigators. Adam Reed even said that instead of drug dealers in Season 5, Season 6 was supposed to be a prison scenario, but was scrapped due to the popularity of Orange is the New Black. Then you can add to it running jokes like whether or not "Phrasing" will be used by the characters or Krieger's history and true identity.
This season was interesting not only because of the change of scenery, but other outlying factors. Season 7 lasted only 10 episodes as opposed to the usual 13 and this may in part be due to the loss of a cast member. George Coe passed on July 18, 2015 and with his death came the loss of Woodhouse's voice. The show has not taken the time to remove the character from the show; however, Adam Reed had said in interviews prior to Mr. Coe's passing that Woodhouse would be a focus of Season 7. This unexpected loss most likely contributed to the missing three episodes and late March premiere (the show usually starts airing in late January). Lost but never forgotten, I expect Archer to actually have a sobering moment when he learns of Woodhouse's passing in the coming seasons.
That brings me to my next point: Where do we go from here? This is where the Season 7 spoilers start.
Two Possibilities For What Happened to Archer
This scene has been teased since the first episode of the season and we've finally been given the rundown of how it got to this. However, this sets up an interesting situation for the show to take on: Do we keep the main character dead or do we retcon the entire situation? With that in mind, I have two proposed solutions:
Archer Is Permanently Dead
While the scenario is quite difficult to imagine, we cannot rule out the idea that Archer died. That being said, it wouldn't be too difficult to circumvent this idea. We know that Krieger has built several cyborgs of not only himself, but other members of the team formerly known as ISIS. There's nothing stopping Krieger from building another cyborg, having it relearn the important memories involving Archer's recent past, and having it pass off as the real deal for the next three or more seasons. It's a cheap retcon that opens the door to plenty of jokes and takes the heat off the assorted running jokes about Krieger.
I personally don't believe this and I obviously have some bias in that I love Sterling Archer's character growth over the past seven years. However, I also have confidence in Adam Reed and his team to build something interesting from this scenario should they choose to follow it.
Krieger Saves The Day?
So we know that Krieger has made cyborgs of each of his colleagues. We also know that these cyborgs, being partially human, can bleed just like anyone else. What we don't know is how many cyborgs Krieger has actually made. Krieger's lab has a row of cyborgs, one for each person, but he also made at least two of himself. Now, having recently sat down to watch the season finale once again, I'd like to dissect the pieces that don't add up:
- Archer purposefully gave Veronica Dean a gun.
It's not even the fact that he gave her a murder weapon so much as the way he went about doing it. She makes the cheap joke about being "happy to see her" and Archer reveals he does in fact have a gun. He then proceeds to awkwardly place it on the table in an almost too obvious manner. Obviously the gun would have Veronica's fingerprints on it after she most likely uses it; however, Archer also knows she's smart enough to not need an elaborate show made out of putting the gun on the table. I don't have any explanation for why he would've done this.
- Archer knocked over everything on the deck before falling in the pool.
Much like the previous issue, this action is completely out of character for Archer. He has no reason to make a big show out of the scene other than to make it even more obvious that a murder happened which seems unnecessary. His body in the pool and the gun with Veronica's fingerprints on it should be enough to convince the police (assuming they do some real investigation) that she did it. I guess in some way it could have just been an attempt to screw over the other guy who does end up tripping on the table after he too is shot. Again I don't really have an explanation for how either of these actions fit into a larger plan.
- Archer's cyborg stressed concerns with the complexity of an unknown plan.
Archer enjoys making unnecessarily elaborate plans and this seems to be another one of this ingenious ideas. Before the plan is set in motion, Archer's cyborg confirms that the complexity of the plan is necessary without actually revealing any details about said plan. Archer isn't exactly the kind of person who would put himself in a position where he could die as simply as several shots to the stomach, so it would make sense if he were to, say, have a second cyborg at the ready for after he gets shot by Veronica. This, of course, seems extremely elaborate for a plan that could've just involved him sending in two cyborgs and cutting himself out of the situation entirely.
- Archer's cyborg stumbled out of the bushes after the police arrived.
I understand that he went to get a towel to stem the flow of the bleeding and soak up some of the blood, but he still could have just waited on the stairs. Instead, he stumbles off to a get a towel and just . . . hides in the bushes? No, it would make more sense for Archer to hobble off, get a towel, and meet up with a second cyborg. This one he would either shoot (which is unlikely) or give him a few fake blood packs to make it appear as though he were shot and make his escape to who knows where. Then, in true Archer fashion, he convinces the cyborg to profess his love for Lana knowing full well that the machine will be unable to process such a request. But again, this is far more complicated than it needed to be simply because Archer didn't need to get harmed if he could just send in two cyborgs. That leaves SOME room for error, but at least he wouldn't have had more lead in his body than he already did.
There's a reason for all of these subtle holes and the reason is not that the writers are lazy. They've joked about having large webs for continuity purposes which is necessary for any decent storyteller. The only conclusion I can come to is that there were two cyborgs and Archer switched with a second cyborg after he was "gutshot." This would play into the running joke with some seasons of Archer starting with some sort of situation where Archer has run away from home.
So that's my working theory on the direction of Archer for the next few seasons. If you have any suggestions of your own, feel free to express them in the comments below!
Source: Comic Book