Two months after Archer faked us out with a so-called “series finale,” it’s back with a three-part finale event. Are Sterling Archer’s spying days really done for good, though?
The event picks up where we left off, with the UN declaring all private spy agencies illegal — including Archer’s. While Zara calls around looking for a new job, Lana is convinced this will all blow over: “Do you know how much dirt private spy agencies have on those UN dorks?” She has a new mission for them: tracking down a secret Chinese bunker-busting bomb that was recently stolen and put up for sale. The sale is set to happen in Rio… and right in the middle of Carnival, naturally. So it looks like the agency’s work isn’t over just yet.
Archer and Pam stake out the warehouse where the bomb is set to be sold — and they get distracted when they spot a crate of very rare whiskey. The buyers aren’t showing up, so Archer decides to fire off his gun, setting off a firefight where the bomb sellers all shoot each other to death. Easy enough! Back at the office, Lana tasks Cyril, Cheryl and Krieger with cleaning up the place so they can get their security deposit back. Oh, and Barry, too, with his consciousness stuck inside a refrigerator. They stumble upon an old set of keys, which leads to a secret lab with a secret high-tech gadget that even Krieger doesn’t understand.
Archer and company escape the warehouse with the secret bomb in tow, blending in with the Carnival crowd by donning skimpy, glittery outfits. (Archer doesn’t seem to mind.) When they meet up with their connection, though, Archer can’t believe who it is. It’s Slater! He claims he’s still in the CIA as his minions haul away the bomb in a helicopter, but Zara quickly discovers the CIA booted him out, so Archer grabs a jetpack and zips after them, losing his skimpy Speedo in the process. He beats up Slater’s henchmen (while fully nude, mind you), and the helicopter crashes, beheading Rio’s famous Christ the Redeemer statue in the process. Archer and Slater escape unharmed… that is, until Archer’s former flame Katya, now a cyborg, emerges from the wreckage and shoots Archer in the chest. Well, hello to you, too.
Archer wakes up chained to a wall in a KGB black site, and Slater takes great pleasure in attaching electrified clamps to his nipples and turning up the juice. Katya feels bad for him, though, and lets him in on her plan: They’re going to use the bunker-busting bomb to restart the Cold War. It’s good news for secret agents, and maybe it’ll give Archer a purpose? He needs to communicate with his spy agency crew, but he can only find one option: a fax machine. Just when Lana and the rest of the team figure out Slater and Katya’s plan, their fax machine starts pinging with a message from Archer: “Ha ha, I’m alive! You dorks!”
Archer commandeers a snowmobile and escapes, reuniting with Lana and the others. They go undercover at a high-roller casino while Pam goes back to the KGB black site and gets entangled in a long (and kinda romantic?) fistfight with a Russian enforcer. Archer is still intrigued by the idea of restarting the Cold War, and Katya left him a note asking him to help her kill Slater so they can run their new operation together. Lana refuses to believe this: “Deep down, I know you’d never do it.” Archer shoots back: “Deep down, you’ve always thought too highly of me.” Archer then disappears, and Lana fears he’s gone to the dark side — but just when she and the other agents are pinned down by gunfire, Archer rushes in to rescue them. He chose them over Katya! But Katya isn’t happy: She smashes their car to bits and makes off with a Russian engineer who can help them use the bomb to destroy a vital dam and trigger an international incident.
Archer and Lana pose as UN inspectors to get inside the dam, but Slater and Katya beat them to it, and they get caught in a hail of bullets. They need a cyborg to beat a cyborg, so Krieger agrees to give Barry his body back — except he’s tiny this time. Katya just swats him away while making quick work of the others, but she pauses when she learns the dam explosion will threaten a village of locals who live underneath it. Slater has no sympathy, though, so he immobilizes Katya and runs off to blow up the dam, sending water cascading down in a torrent. Archer then catches up to him, and after a fight, Slater ends up dangling by one hand over certain death. He offers to tell Archer who his dad is if he helps him — but Archer lets him fall to his death anyway: “Turns out I don’t need to know.” Oh, and Barry and Katya merge consciousnesses into one body, which makes things kind of awkward.
So they saved the day, right? Well, the UN votes to outlaw private spy agencies anyway. But! Cyril discovered the locals were mining crypto and got them a cut, so they’re all millionaires! Well, not really, since crypto crashes while he’s talking, but it’s something! Lana congratulates them on another mission accomplished. They gave up a lot to live this life, she says, and they have a lot of scars to prove it: “I’m proud of these scars. I’m proud of us. And I know Malory would be, too.” (Aw!) They all have a group hug, but Archer is gone already. He’s having sex with Katya… even though Barry’s consciousness is in her body now, too.
We jump ahead to three months later, when a man representing the CIA and MI6 comes to Lana’s office looking for Archer. He’s been doing off-the-books spy work, and they don’t want him freelancing. Lana says she hasn’t seen him… but after the guy leaves, she goes to another room where Archer is playing with their daughter A.J. So it looks like Lana will be trying to track down Archer to get the big reward money, and he looks forward to their cat-and-mouse antics. He does add, though: “I’m really gonna miss hearing what you think about stuff.” She gives him a head-start, and he runs into Pam in the elevator, inviting her to come along with him to Tangier. What’s there, she asks? “Not a f–king clue,” he tells her. Pam’s reply: “Perfect.”
So how did that ending sit with you, Archer fans? Give it a grade in our poll, and then report down to the comments for a full debriefing.