The episode starts with Ray, Pam and Cheryl watching Hollywood Scene as they announce Oscar winner Rona Thorne was to have a role as a burned CIA agent in her upcoming movie, Disavowed. As both Ray and Pam chastise Cheryl for not being a fan of Rona (or for thinking River's Rage wasn't good) they are shocked to see Rona show up at ISIS. Malory then invites Rona into her office and tells Lana that Rona Thorne will shadow her to research her upcoming role, which Lana is against until Archer offers to take her place. Lana accepts her assignment to spite Archer.
Lana tells Rona that as soon as a mission starts, Rona's training will be cancelled but, Lana quickly warms to Rona as the star starts brown-nosing Lana. At the firing range Archer comments that Rona's too stiff when firing, and gives a demonstration by shooting a smiley-face on one of the targets without even looking at it. Archer tries to make the moves on Rona until Lana fires her gun near his ear giving him tinnitus and temporarily deafening him, causing him to leave the room.
Meanwhile Pam reveals to Cheryl and Ray that she stole Rona's diary. They then hatch a plan to break into Rona's apartment and return the journal.
In an attempt to impress Rona and annoy Lana, Archer asks Bilbo for a local mission and finds out that the Soviet Premier is scheduled to be assassinated as he enters the U.N. When Lana learns of this mission, she commandeers it from Archer, since he never qualified to be a counter-sniper (a cut-away scene shows Archer passed-out naked in his bed with two naked women, a sniper rifle on the floor, and the alarm clock going off). The next scene shows Lana and Rona on a rooftop, with Lana scanning the area for potential threats. Archer has taken refuge in a nearby building to spy on Lana and Rona (who are also bugged) with a telescope, and is equipped with an army of Krieger Bots disguised as snipers. Archer controls the robots remotely, making them seem like actual snipers, and Lana systematically takes them out, with Rona acting as a spotter. In her spotter's scope, Rona sees people in her penthouse. which turns out to be Ray, Pam, and Cheryl being confronted by the police as they were trying to return Rona's journal. Rona attempts to wrestle Lana's sniper rifle away from her to deal with the intruders and in the short struggle, Rona stabs Lana in a neck with a syringe full of Tetradoxyn. Lana, now paralyzed, listens to Rona explain that she is actually a Russian sleeper agent, and was activated to kill the Soviet Premier. Archer hears this through the bug and rushes to save Lana, only to get poisoned as well. Rona reveals that her parents are also sleeper agents, and Rona's reward for killing the Soviet Premier will be her being able to direct Russian movies. After weighing her potential career as a Soviet film director against her current fame and stardom, Rona decides to kill the Soviet Premier. Archer and Lana can only watch, helplessly, as Rona carries out the assassination. Rona escapes, and the episode concludes with Archer and Lana paralyzed and stuck on the roof, with Archer's head in Lana's lap.
The third sub-plot has Malory Archer and Cyril Figgis collaborate on a rewrite of the Disavowed script. This rewrite was designed to give Malory a role in the film, which features an affair between Malory's character as head of the agency and a black field agent whom she describes as being "as coal-black and thick-muscled as a field hand." Discussing this with what they believe are studio executives, they are green-lit instead for a sequel to Mandingo with a proposed title of Mandingo 2: The Enslavening. Unbeknownst to them, the studio executive they are talking to is actually Jakov's Assistant, using a machine to disguise his voice.
Malory Archer reveals that she was once a minor actress (or at least was auditioning for roles in commercials). This leads into the story of how she met "Wild Bill" Donovan and was recruited into the OSS.
- When asking Bilbo about the mission, the map in the background is inconsistent with the fact that the Soviet Union exists in the episode. This is likely intentional as Archer often incorporates several different time periods into its universe.
- "Wild Bill" Donovan was a historical figure who founded the OSS, the predecessor to the CIA.
- When recounting her acting ambitions and introduction to espionage in the OSS to Cheryl and Pam, Malory says the phrase "three weeks later I was in Tunisia, killing a man." This refers to a line by Lana in Pipeline Fever, recounting how she and Malory met: "three weeks later I was in Tunisia, killing a different man." Much like the trivia mix-up that occurs in Season 3, the production codes of these two episodes implies that the two recounts should have been in the other order - making Lana's remark a callback to Malory's. However Cheryl and Pam's response implies that Malory has told this story frequently, and so Lana would certainly be familiar with it.
- The book that Rona recommends for Lana, "Unleashing the Me", by Reinhart Schmolle, is a spoof on the book "The Power of Now", by Eckhart Tolle
- "Field hand" is an archaic term for (often black) field workers, derived from a term originally applied to field slaves. Malory's regular use of this term (for instance in Pipeline Fever) is an example of her casual racial insensitivity.
- Early on in the episode, Ray, Pam, and Cheryl are discussing Rona Thorne's movies. When Rona suddenly approaches them and Pam is talking to Rona, another Pam can be seen working in the background at her desk. She is wearing the same outfit and has the same hairstyle, (albeit with no necklace and a collared shirt).
- Mandingo was a notable blaxploitation film in which a slave owner's wife has a disastrous affair with one of their slaves, a "field hand," among other things.
- Malory initially names the black CIA agent character Cassius. This is one of many examples of a multilayer reference in Archer. The character of Mede, the enslaved target of lust in Mandingo, was a bare-knuckle boxer, and played by Ken Norton, who was himself a boxer who fought and famously broke the jaw of Muhammad Ali. Ali's birth name was Cassius Clay, and when he converted to Islam, changing his name, many white commentators refused to acknowledge this, continuing to refer to him as Cassius. It was an example of the racial and cultural insensitivity of the time, although in some notable instances it was not overtly intended as such.
- In his criticism of Malory's script, Cyril references, in addition to Mandingo, the term "jungle fever." (He refers to the love affair angle as "granny gets jungle fever.") Jungle fever was a Spike Lee film about interracial relationships which gave rise to this term as an expression of uncontrollable lust for a black person by someone who is white and sees the possibility as "exotic."
Main Cast Edit
- H. Jon Benjamin as Sterling Archer
- Judy Greer as Cheryl Tunt
- Amber Nash as Pam Poovey
- Chris Parnell as Cyril Figgis
- Aisha Tyler as Lana Kane
- Jessica Walter as Malory Archer
Guest Cast Edit
Gallery of ImagesEdit
There are 17 screenshots and images from "Movie Star" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.
- ↑ "Archer: Showatch Related Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
- ↑ "'Archer' Season 2 Preview". Screen Rant. Retrieved February 5, 2011.