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Once Bitten

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Once Bitten
407 05
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 6
Written by Adam Reed
Production code XAR04007
Original air date February 21, 2013
Episode guide
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Viscous CouplingLive and Let Dine

"Once Bitten" is the sixth episode of the fourth season of Archer.


Archer gets bitten in a special place by a Caspian cobra.[1]

After taking a snake bite to the taint in Turkmenistan, Sterling is taken on a hallucinatory journey with his spirit guide, suave English actor James Mason.

Sterlings real father

Sterling's real father giving him a stuffed gator

Through the spirit journey, Sterling pieces together forgotten memories of his past, culminating in an event on his sixth birthday where he met his real father. Unfortunately, he receives the antivenom, procured by Cyril from a Turkmen Leader, just in time before he can see his father's face.


  • The title of the episode is probably a reference to the early 20th Century English proverb "once bitten, twice shy," which has been used in many other media as well including an album by the band "The Snakes."
  • Cyril appears to be wearing the same hat he wore in "El Contador." The rest of his outfit seems to be more practical now, however.
  • Archer's exclamation "The lambs are screaming!" is a reference to the same line in The Silence of the Lambs.
  • Lana's clomping is compared to that of an AT-AT from The Empire Strikes Back by Pam and Cheryl.
  • Cheryl/Carol pantomimes the ED-209 robot from 1987's "Robocop" during her impression of Lana's "clomping" footsteps.
  • Lana's sarcastic "uh huh" response to Malory's lies is a callback to the NYPD detective's identical response (including tone) to her stories in "Lo Scandalo."
  • Archer's hallucination in which he sees alligators all over the road and Ray and Cyril as alligator people is a reference to similar hallucinations in "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
  • When Ray tells the story of killing a bear while bowhunting and eating its heart at the age of ten, Archer calls him "Gay-vy Crockett." This is a reference to the legend (and subsequent line in songs) of Davy Crockett killing a bear at the age of three.
  • James Mason played Mr. Jordan, a character nearly identical to the one in this episode, in Heaven Can Wait. Archer shows up wearing the same outfit (and with the same instrument) as Warren Beatty's character Joe Pendleton in that movie.
  • The scene where Archer is shot in the gut, ending his lacrosse career, is a reference to a similar scene in "The Natural."
  • According to this episode, Archer was supposed to get an athletic scholarship to Johns Hopkins University before he was shot. James Mason suggests that he would have lost the scholarship anyway due to his SAT scores, another example of Archer's poor academic performance. His lacrosse stick bears the name "St. Joshua Prep," giving us one of the schools he attended and has a lightning bolt carved in the shaft (a reference to the bat in The Natural). The school is probably fictional. Archer states that he was kicked out of Episcopal prep school, twice, as proof that he would not be allowed into heaven. St. Joshua may have been one of them.
  • After witnessing the gutshot scene, Archer complains to James Mason "What frickin' movie is this?! What's next, Mr. Gower slaps me deaf?!" referring to the scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" wherein George is slapped in his ear. This is also a reference to the similarity between this episode and the movie.
  • Seeing the fur hats of the Turkmen, Archer exclaims "Hey, check it out, Fred and Barney, we're at the water buffalo lodge!" a reference to the lodge of which Barney and Fred of "The Flintstones" are members, where they wear similar hats.
  • The leader of Turkmenistan after independence, Saparmurat Niyazov, was indeed well known for his changes to their language and naming various things after his family, etc.
  • After receiving the antivenom from Cyril, Archer wakes up with the syringe still in his chest. This scene is a reference to the "Pulp Fiction" , where Mia Wallace woke up in the same way after a drug overdose coma.
  • After awaking from his hallucination, Archer calls Cyril Buck Henry, a reference to the actor who played the guardian angel in Heaven Can Wait. Cyril was shown in the role at the beginning of the hallucination, before being hit in the face with Archer's tooter.
  • Archer mocks James Mason's accent and calls him a "cut-rate James Mason." This is a bit of in-joke ribbing at the fact that it was Peter Serafinowicz, and not James Mason (who is dead), voicing the character. Also it follows the line of Archer's criticism of the quality of his visionary experience.
  • Archer continues the theme of referring to vast knowledge of television trivia by comparing their situation to that of The Rat Patrol
  • Coincidentally, Archer mentions that the The Rat Patrol would harass Field Marshal Erwin Rommel, a man whom James Mason once portrayed in the film The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel.

Gallery of ImagesEdit

There are 19 screenshots and images from "Once Bitten" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.

Here is a sample of four images from the gallery:


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