The Archer panel was predictably awesome. It opened with an animated intro from the super-spy himself, where he lamented that “cosplay chicks” can’t handle his “Sterling Archerness,” meaning he apparently can’t getting laid here without a costume. And his obvious costume choice? Naked Tony Stark. (I’ll let you guess where he keeps his arc reactor.)
Then Adam Reed presented the first 15-ish minutes of the season 5 opener, plus black and white storyboards showing the entire arc for the season. The first episode changes the series in a really unexpected way—I honestly thought it was a joke for a few minutes—and obviously the storyboards are constructed entirely of spoilers. To try to protect those of you who want to be surprised, all spoilers are at the very bottom of the post, after a rundown of the panel.
The panel itself was hilarious. You remember the episode of The Simpsons when Bart gets a split-second glimpse of life in the MAD Magazine office? That’s kind of what this was like. Adam Walter, Jessica Walter, H. Jon Benjamin, Judy Greer, Aisha Tyler, Amber Nash, and Lucky Yates were ostensibly being interviewed by Entertainment Weekly’s Ken Tucker, but they mostly ignored the questions to mock each other—at one point Tyler admitted that they tend to default to their characters’ behavior when they see each other.
Despite the shenanigans, important questions were answered! For instance:
Did Krieger actually make a tentacle porn? Yes, yes he did—and it will be included on the DVD.
How many of us knew what tentacle porn was before? (Asked accusatorily by Tyler) 100% of us, judging by the hands that went up.
Does Krieger have an origin story? Yes, but FX won’t air it.
Did H. Jon Benjamin ride his bike to the Con? Yes! He loves the environment, he just hates people.
Do the writers ever remind the actors that there are deep human emotions under the humor, and it should be brought out? Tyler laughed. No one else said anything.
Were there any Mallory Archer cosplayers in the audience? Yes! There were two, and Jessica Walters was ecstatic—NYCC is the first con she’s ever attended.
Were there any Hologram Brides? (Lucky Yates asked this.) Yes. And she looked great! Yates agreed, saying (as Krieger), “That’s what Daddy loves to see.”
The best audience question was, astonishingly enough, a two-parter: “What’s your favorite line from the show,” and “Is there anything you want your characters to do that you haven’t yet?” I’ve included as many of the answers as I could—the cast lost the plot a bit before everyone weighed in:
- Lucky Yates—Krieger’s Planet of the Apes rant is his favorite line, and he wants Krieger to build “a giant fucking robot.”
- Amber Nash—She wants to visit Poovey Farm again, and do all the voices for Pam’s family. She shared a voice for Pam’s father, and it was incredible.
- Judy Greer—“You’re not my supervisor!” She then screamed this into the mic at the behest of the audience.
- Aisha Tyler—Lana being pregnant is great, and she’s looking forward to all the stuff she’s going to do as a pregnant woman. Her favorite line is Cheryl screaming “You’re ZZ Top!” which apparently she and her husband yell at each other all the time.
Jessica Walters told us that her long-lost eighth cousin was at Con, and she asked if he was in the audience. He half stood up and waved, to a round of applause.
Then Jon Benjamin asked, “Is my biological father here?” A man immediately stood up and waved, and Jon continued, voice cracking: “Why’d you leave me?”
We learned that the tattoo on Pam’s back is from Byron’s “The Destruction of Sennacherib,” which Reed learned form his high school English teacher, Coach Townsend. Hearing this set Lucky and Jon off on dueling “Coach Townsend” voices, eg: “All right you little pussies, we’re gonna learn about Faulkner!” And “We’re gonna win the fuckin’ poetry slam!”
And the panel ended the only way it could, with Jon shouting “Danger Zone” to a roar of applause.
OK, so if you still want those SPOILERS for Season 5, here we go:
The ISIS office is blown up by the FBI, who then arrests all the ISIS agents. Mallory gets them out of it by agreeing to shut the office down permanently. The characters go back to the office and muse about different professions they could try, with Cheryl insisting she’s going to become America’s top country sensation and Archer reviving his dream of playing professional lacrosse. Pam is happy that she still has underground fighting to fall back on. Just as the episode reaches a point where everyone would hug goodbye, Mallory reminds them that they have one last thing to deal with: the “not-figurative-at all” ton of cocaine in the secret vault.
So they decide to become a drug cartel. Which, apparently, is what’s happening in Season 5.
I’m so excited for this season I can barely breathe.