At the end of part two, Sterling’s rescue party, if you can even call it that as he was reigning over pirate island most of the time he was there, had been captured and tossed into the same cell as Sterling, Rip, and Noah. This week the trio plus Lana and Ray remained in the cell, annoying each other before coming up with an escape plan. But these are the kinds of scenes that showcase the type of snappy banter and out of left field references the show is known for. It also had all the earmarks of a classic Sterling Archer adventure: a fight with Lana, selfish reasons for not wanting to do something that would help others, and the wounding of known characters. During their incarceration, it was only a matter of time before Sterling’s big secret came out about his former status on the island as a pirate king. Sterling was lucky to only get a few knocks from Lana for making her go all the way out there to come and get him while he was supposedly being tortured and held captive.
Back at the ISIS offices, Mallory tries to negotiate a ransom deal with one of the pirates via Lana’s confiscated sat-phone. Only a ransom would be a bit impossible to give out as sometime during Cyril’s blackout-drunk escapades with Pam he shifted ISIS’s funds into accounts he can’t possibly remember the passwords for. This also resulted in another shot of Pam naked on a desk–something I really didn’t ever need to see now or back in part two as well.
This final part of the trilogy was easily the strongest episode of the three. In fact, with the exception of the ISIS shenanigans, if just the parts of the series that took place on the island or involved the rescue mission were the main part of Heart of Archness–the entire story would have been better off for it. The scenes involving Sterling going corrupt with power, facing off with Rip Riley, and later butting heads with Lana as they made their escape off of the island had the strongest writing and best pacing compared to the ISIS scenes. Make no mistake, the ISIS employees are certainly funny but as I’ve said before in these reviews, they’re at their best when they’re facing off against Sterling. The show’s name is worth being shared with that of the lead character because without Archer either causing problems or trying to fix them–not even sharp dialog can make the show worth tuning into every week. So it’s going to be a relief to resume business as usual when the show comes back to continue their third season next year.
*The repeating joke in attempting to use English idioms even though they get lost in translation when Mallory was on the phone with the pirate. Great call-back to the scene with Sterling using Noah’s translation skills ineffectively in a prior episode.
*Cheryl/Carol’s imitation of the way Mallory Archer answers her phone.
*All the flashbacks to the various times Mallory has helped Sterling out of a situation. Everything from a childhood development specialist’s office to his apparently brief time at boot camp.Nobody delivers the line ‘before this _____ burns to the ground with as much upper-class sneer as Jessica Walter.
*The face-off between Sterling and one of the pirates down in the dungeon. The pirate tried to make Sterling second-guess the amount of bullets left in the gun and it wound up being a classic Sterling Archer moment as he wasn’t thrown off in the least since he counted the rounds left in the firearm.
*Sterling attempting to coach ‘his’ lacrosse team during their big play-off game. And then the players decide to turn their weaponry on Sterling and co.’s escape chopper. Every bit of dialog and Lana’s full-on freak out as she fired back was probably the most entertaining sequence of the entire episode.