"Nellis" is the seventh episode of season 6 and the sixty-ninth episode overall of Archer.
The gang embarks on a rescue mission, but their assignment quickly turns into an out-of-this-world visit to the U.S. Air Force facility known as Area 51.
Archer, upset over Lana's trust exercise, has flown to a casino to drown his sorrows, but after ending up drunk, broke, and put on both the "No Fly" list and the "No Train" list, calls Cheryl and begs for a lift home on her private plane. Archer's joy quickly turns to annoyance when he finds Cheryl has brought Cyril, Pam, Ray, and Krieger along with her so that the lot of them can take a tourist trip to Branson, Missouri. Everyone's plans get sidetracked when Ray, after succumbing to peer pressure, steers the plane too close to Area 51 and the Air Force shoots them down. Ray lands safely at Nellis Air Force Base, Archer enacts a clever ruse, and, using Slater's authentication code, poses as a CIA agent transporting prisoners (the gang) with an Israeli pilot (Ray).
Meanwhile at ISIS headquarters, Malory and Lana catch up over baby AJ. The penny drops when Malory offers one hundred thousand dollars to Lana to rename Abbiejean to "Malory." Lana is outraged, but when Malory cries, Lana compromises and agrees to AJ's middle name being "Malory." The shrewd negotiator that she is, Malory accepts on the condition that the price be dropped to $22,500; she also offers $5,000 more for AJ to be Christened in a White church.
Back at Nellis, the gang hangs out in the Officer's Club while the air force readies them a new transport plane. While everyone is distracted by Archer's gripes about the lack of quality alcohol, Pam and Krieger see a pair of extra-terrestrials walk in. When the two of them scream in terror, the aliens run away before the others spot them. Pam and Krieger go running off in search of the Martians, set off an alarm, and Archer takes off to find them. He gets cornered by soldiers and, after a miscommunication, has to fight them. Pam and Krieger find the aliens who reveal the key to understanding the entire universe (leaving the two of them overwhelmed). The visitors teleport away before Archer finds Pam and Krieger, he brings the two of them back to the lounge, the group disguises themselves with air force uniforms, and they easily steal a cargo plane to escape.
Archer messes with Pam by saying that he believes in extraterrestrial life, but everyone rejoices when he gives the okay to fly to Branson (mostly so he can have the pleasure of bombing it).
Callbacks and Running GagsEdit
- Archer's inability to make a passable cocktail, demonstrated in the episodes Three to Tango" and "Sitting," is referenced again. Here, he even states "I don't even know if I can make cocktails," though in this case, he was suggesting that it was because he had a lack of quality ingredients. Later on the cargo plane, he makes a drink out of de-icing fluid and Tang.
- When Pam and Krieger start freaking out, Archer suggests someone slap them to make them get to the point, the same thing he did in Edie's Wedding.
- A poster of Rona Thorne's Disavowed can be seen in the officers lounge. This was the spy movie Rona Thorne was using ISIS to study for her role in early episode Movie Star (s2e7).
- While making drinks in the officers lounge, Archer, upon tasting O'Dublins tequila, remarks that they'll probably have to use sour mix. This is a call to season four episode 1 "Figue and Riffs" where Archer, as Bob berates a waiter for using that ingredient in a margarita.
Fictional Product PlacementEdit
- 'Mobay Beer'
- 'Red Beer'
- 'O'Dublins' Tequila
- 'Old Buncombe' Bourbon
- Sweet and Sour Mix
- Raspberry Liqueur
- Scanners (1981): When Dr. Krieger suggests that the aliens are using telepathy to communicate, Pam holds her hands to her head and says: "Holy Shit! Like in Scanners?" This is a reference to the David Cronenburg 1981 movie where some people would make others' heads explode using telepathy.
- Frisky Dingo (2006-08): Simone, Frisky Dingo's homeless prostitute/heroin addict, makes a cameo telling Archer that he doesn't have "kick pants" (a reference to Xander Crews wearing the bottom half of an Xtacles suit).
- The X-Files (1993 to present): Archer recites the line "The truth is out there," the famous catch-phrase from The X-Files, a television series about FBI agents who investigate paranormal activity, including U.F.O. sightings and alien abductions.
- The episode title refers to Nellis Air Force Base.
- When the Sky Tunt jet arrives, Archer thanks "Asmodeus, Destroyer of Men." Asmodeus is the demon of lust and is therefore responsible for twisting people's sexual desires.
- Though both facilities are part of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR), Nellis AFB and Area 51 (officially known as "Groom Lake" and "Homey Airport") are two different locations. The former is in fact within sight of many of the hotels on the Las Vegas Strip, and is accessible (albeit limited) by civilians during the course of Red Flag exercises.
- Cheryl recalls absolutely nothing about being Cherlene, the "number one country singer in America".
- This is the first episode in which we see Archer and Cheryl kiss, and see Archer show any affection towards her.
- Ray is shocked when Archer destroyed his thought of pigs who go to farms to be made into food. Archer's reference of a "magical talking spider" is also a reference to "Charlotte's Web".
- Archer mentions that he has a cousin named Brian who is in the air force. We can only assume that his cousin is from his mother's side of the family.
- Archer speaks in Yiddish twice during the altercation with "Lieutenant Colonel". First when asking Ray "Redst du Yiddish?" which means "do you speak Yiddish?" and again after the conflict is resolved saying, "shisn tsvey hozn mit eyn shos." This means, "to shoot two rabbits with one shot," or the in the English variation of the idiom, to "kill two birds with one stone."
- As proven by Cheryl's private 737 Classic, "Sky Tunt" she can be presumed to be a customer of the Boeing Business Jet program.
- Also to note, the stair car set is painted in the pattern of the livery used on the iconic stair car used by the Bluth family in "Arrested Development," a show in which Judy Greer and Jessica Walter (voices of Cheryl and Malory respectively) have both famously been involved in.
- Cheryl is also seen reading a copy of the "Tunt Mall" magazine while on board.
- The stair car itself appears to be a 2006 Dodge Ram 1500, another example of the show's ambiguous time period.
- Archer tells the personnel at Nellis that he has "Q clearance," but only Department of Energy employees would have this.
- The uniforms that the Air Force wear at Nellis are OG-107 type 1 which were in service from 1953 until 1964 when they were phased out for the type 2. The difference can be seen in the squareness of the pocket, the olive green coloration, and the hats that they wear.
- Pam: "You think that's for us?"
- Krieger: "I don't know. What sector is this?"
- Pam: "What am I, this map? Oh wait... Aw crap, this is totally nine!"
- Krieger: "Eh, could be a coincidence."
- Pam: "Yeah, like just a fire drill."
- Krieger: "Although it's probably because they found that poor kid that you clobbered."
- Pam: "You don't think I killed him do ya?"
- Krieger: "What am I, a doctor?"