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Mole Hunt

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"Mole Hunt" is the pilot episode of Archer. It was the first episode produced for the show and originally aired as a sneak preview on September 17, 2009, but officially aired billed as the second episode on January 14, 2010 after the episode "Training Day" which aired the same day.

Plot Edit

Sterling Archer, an egocentric, rude, and often tasteless agent from the spy organization ISIS, partakes in a torture training exercise, but causes it to be terminated after mocking fellow agent Crenshaw's fake-torture tactics. After a less than glowing review by Archer's mother, Malory, Crenshaw expresses his disdain for Archer's levity in the workplace, as well as the apparent nepotism that allows Archer to even remain at ISIS. Archer responds by holding his foot up to Crenshaw's face, having been tied up for the exercise. Crenshaw uses the jumper cables intended for the torture training to electrocute Archer's foot. Archer complains, but only to Malory's delight.

The following day, Archer wakes up in his apartment to a rude message from his dry cleaner. A woman is in bed with him, naked and sporting a ping pong paddle-shaped red mark on her posterior. Archer's awakening is made all the ruder by finding a pug at the foot of his bed, causing him to kick out his "companion" before breakfast is even served.

On the terrace, Archer is berating his manservant,Woodhouse, for allowing a dog in his apartment. Woodhouse explains that Archer insisted an exception be made due to the pug's alleged musical talent (Of course, Archer was drunk at the time.)Archer retorts that he's always insistent, but never to be trusted. He also warns Woodhouse that if he finds a single dog hair upon his return from work, he will rub sand in his "dead, little eyes", after Woodhouse goes out and purchases sand for him, adding that the sand should be 'coarse'.

As Archer enters what appears to be a dry cleaning store, the owner, who had phoned him earlier, further demands that Archer take his suits and settle his account with them. Archer responds that his shirt now reeks of curry, and insists the owner purchase a dress-shield. Archer then approaches a set of washing machines that automatically open up to reveal a secret elevator that takes him to ISIS headquarters, situated above the cleaners.

While trying to get members of the organization to smell his dry cleaning due to its strangely -like odor, he comes across Lana Kane, his co-worker/ex-girlfriend, who harbors no pleasant memories of their time together. After that uncomfortable encounter, Archer is then confronted by Cyril, who brings up some discrepancies in Archer's expense reports. Archer exclaims that Cyril is making a serious accusation (which happens to be correct, but he no doubt felt that Cyril needn't know that.) Archer then expresses his anger towards Cyril for the fact that he's dating Lana now and leaves in a huff. Dumbfounded, Cyril then realizes that Archer set him up for a "classic misdirection."

Outside Malory's office, Archer spots her secretary Cheryl crying. Apparently, Archer was supposed to take her out on a date, but stood her up. One half-assed apology later, he enters Malory's office. Unfortunately, Archer barges in on his mother in the middle of a phone sex session with someone. Eager to distract from her proclivities, she mentions Archer's dubious reports regarding his ISIS-run expense account. She then warns him that if everything isn't cleared up by Monday, he will be effectively terminated from ISIS.

After an unsuccessful attempt at breaching the mainframe vault door with his gun (resulting in the first of many gunshot wounds for poor Brett), Archer has a run-in with Crenshaw. Archer uses his keen wit to divert attention from what he was doing... by knocking Crenshaw's food on the floor, warning him of ants. Rethinking his tactics, Archer decides to convince Pam to let him access the mainframe. He enters her office just as she's disciplining Dr. Algernop Krieger for committing... unsavory actions against the food in the employee lounge, which prompts Archer to dub him the "Pita Predator". Archer then offers her donuts in exchange for access to the mainframe, but Pam has no desire to help him out, reminiscing about the couple counseling she conducted for him and Lana, which resulted in Archer bludgeoning her with her beloved dolphin puppet. Another half-assed apology later, Archer tells Pam that he is conducting a mole hunt, which peaks her interest as a notorious gossip. However, a crack about her and Hungry Hungry Hippos causes Pam to slam the door in Archer's face, strongly indicating her refusal to help. Noticing Lana walking by, Archer decides to use his donuts as a peace offering. However, Lana knocks the donuts from his hands and continues on her way, heedless of Archer's warning about ants.

Archer then seeks help from Cyril, who is chopping vegetables at his desk. When asked why, Cyril mentions that he always makes Lana stir fry for dinner on Fridays, which Archer accidentally christens "Stir Fryday." Archer tries to explain his mole hunt story, but Cyril reveals he had already heard it from Pam, mere minutes after Archer told her. Cyril decides to run this by Malory, but Archer protests, vainly casting suspicion that she is, in fact, the mole. Cyril obviously doesn't buy it, and tells Archer that the only way Archer could access the mainframe was to break in. Although not an actual suggestion, Archer nevertheless takes it to heart.

At an unknown restaurant, Archer runs this idea by Cheryl, whom he asks to disable the ISIS security systems. Her discomfort aside, Cheryl states that as a secretary, she lacks the necessary clearance to do so. Frustrated, Archer leaves her at the restaurant, along with the bill, after he asks her for cab fare.

Without any outside options, Archer is forced to manually break into the ISIS mainframe. Archer uses a grappling hook gun to zipline over to the "inexplicably unprotected" access door on the roof of the ISIS office building. Shortly afterwards, Archer rips one of his slightly darker black turtlenecks on a duffel bag. Though he initially thinks that this will be an extremely difficult task, he discovers that actual security is appallingly terrible and he easily figures out the password to hack his account after the first try.

While Cyril and Lana are at Lana's apartment about to have dinner, Lana receives a phone call that a break in has occurred at ISIS. They drive in Cyril's car to ISIS headquarters.

While Archer is trying to transfer all of his excess expenses from his account to Crenshaw's, the agent enters the room and holds a gun up to Archer's head. He reveals that he is actually a Russian spy named Kremenski, and after Archer told Pam about the fake mole hunt, he realized his cover was jeopardized, as everyone Pam told (i.e. everyone) will be looking for an actual mole. So he plans on stealing $50,000 from Archer's account and fleeing from the country. Just then, however, Archer's ex-girlfriend—Agent Lana—arrives and pulls a gun on Crenshaw. She and Archer begin to argue and the mole is able to escape. Crenshaw is stopped outside the ISIS building by Cyril and Malory, the latter of which asks him what is going on, and before he can answer, Archer and Lana exit the building and warn Malory that Crenshaw is the mole. Crenshaw grabs Malory and threatens to kill her with a Luger P08 Pistol, Sterling, in a daring act of heroism grabs Lana and declares that they are now in a "Mexican Standoff." Crenshaw states that he doesn't care if Sterling shoots Lana, and asks Archer how he would feel if he had to go on without "Mommy Dearest," Lana exclaims that Archer got an erection from Crenshaw's taunts. Crenshaw releases Malory in disgust and Archer shoots him four times, last of which is in the head (effectively removing him from any future plot lines).

Back at the ISIS office, Cyril confirms that Crenshaw withdrew a large sum of money from Archer's account, which leads him to believe that Crenshaw was entirely responsible for the discrepancies that Archer was in fact responsible for. Archer remains tight-lipped about Cyril's hypothesis, save a passive-aggressive remark. Malory appears to be confused, remarking that she would know if there was a mole in her organization. Archer and Lana become equally bewildered, asking Malory how she would know.

In a flashback, we see that the person Malory was having phone sex with was Nikolai Jakov, the head of the KGB.

In an effort to distract her subordinates, Malory finds the donuts that Lana knocked on the floor, warning her about ants.

Main CastEdit

Guest StarsEdit

Cultural ReferencesEdit

  • Rolling Stone: The picture of Malory's dog Duchess is a reference to the John Lennon and Yoko Ono's Rolling Stone cover picture.
  • Puttin' on the Ritz: Archer says the dog Abelard's barking sounds like the famous song written by Irving Berlin.
  • Indira Gandhi: Archer states that his shirt smells like the former prime minister of India's thong.
  • Keebler Elves: Archer mentioning that his brain is like a tree and Lana is the little cookie elves.
  • Brian's Song (1971): A movie about a football player stricken with terminal cancer and his friendship with his teammate.
  • Johnny Bench: A former catcher for the Cincinnati Reds famous for having big hands.
  • Hungry Hungry Hippo: When offering Pam donuts, Archer tells her he'll dump them on the floor, and she can pretend that they're marbles and she's the classic board game.

Running GagsEdit

  • Network Insecurity - The Password for the ISIS mainframe computer is "Guest"
  • Slightly Darker Black Turtleneck - Archer dresses in a black turtleneck to break into ISIS headquarters.
  • Bullet Magnet Brett - Archer, while trying to gain access to the room containing the mainframe, fires his gun at the locked door causing several bullets to ricochet around the office, one of which strikes an offscrean co-worker ( later indicated to be Brett Bunsen in Diversity Hire ) in a undisclosed part of his body.
  • Woodhouse Punishment - Archer threatens Woodhouse with rubbing sand in is eyes.
  • Ants! - Archer and Malory both warn "that's how you get ants!"


  • It is suggested that "Johnny Bench Called" is meant to imply that Johnny Bench wants his mitt back. Adam Reed confirms this.
  • Archer's description of the ISIS mainframe security system is likely a nod to Mission: Impossible in which Tom Cruise's character describes the CIA security system in an extremely similar way.
  • When Archer is walking through ISIS asking people to smell his shirt, he enters the control room and says "Hey you geeks wanna smell something?" He is told to get out by someone who appears to be supervising two Bilbos
  • This episode marks the fist indication of Lana's interest in interracial porn.
  • Dr. Krieger is seen in Pam's office but does not speak.

First AppearancesEdit

Characters ( In order of appearance ) Edit




Crenshaw: "Sterling Archer, codename: Duchess. Known from Berlin to Bangkok as the world's most dangerous spy. So for us, this is... how you say? A good get. But not so good for you, Mr. Archer, because you have information I want. And is maybe old cliche, but... ( Sparks jumper cables together ) we have ways of making you talk."
Archer: "What, your little go-kart battery?"
Crenshaw: "Golf cart!"
Archer: "Whatever. And would you pick an accent and stick with it?"
Malory: "What is the point of these simulation exercises--"
Archer: "Crenshaw's arousal?"
Malory: "--if you don't take them seriously?"
Archer: "And speaking of lame, my codename--"
Malory: "Was chosen at random by the ISIS computer."
Archer: "'Random?' It was your dog's name!"
Malory: (Cradling a photo of her and her dog)"Oh, Duchess. I loved her so much..."
Archer: "That it was creepy and pathetic?"
Archer: "Hey, Lana, what does this smell like to you?"
Lana: "Uh, like the dysfunctional asshole I broke up with six months ago?"
Pam: "Because when your co-workers put food in the refrigerator, that's a bond of trust. And if you violate that trust, or the food, there's --"
Archer: "Pam! How's my favorite section head?"
Pam: "I am dealing with the break room problem!"
Archer: "Oh, you caught the... wait, I had something for this. 'Pita Predator!'"
Pam: "Ya know what--?"
Archer: "Sorry yeah, let's just call it what it is: 'Food Rapist.'"
Archer: "Sooo, let's just put all my expenses into... some pathetic idiot's account, by the name of... oh! Crenshaw! "
Crenshaw: (Suddenly appears and pulls a gun on Archer) "Ohhh... Now that's not very nice."
Archer: "How -- hey! Just talking about you, and about how this isn't what it looks like."
Crenshaw: "Lot of that going around."
Archer: "Yeah, it's an epidemic."
Crenshaw: "For example, my real name is Kremensky."
Archer: "Is -- that sounds -- is that Jewish?"
Crenshaw: "It's Russian."
Archer: "Oh... Russian-Jewish?"
Crenshaw: "I'm the Mole, idiot!"
Archer: "Crenshaw's the mole. And his name's not Crenshaw, it's Kremensky. Definitely Russian, possibly a Jew."
Lana: "You want to see crazy?"
Archer: "No I've seen that movie, and, spoiler alert, it ends with a closet full of my suits on fire."
Lana: "I wish you'd been wearing one!"
Archer: "Who would want to wear an on-fire suit?"
Lana: "Cosplay enthusiasts!"


Episode Transcript - Mole Hunt

Gallery of ImagesEdit

There are 32 screenshots and images from "Mole Hunt" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.

External links Edit


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