At ISIS headquarters, Slater outlines the latest CIA mission for the agents: incapacitate the Durhani royal guards, sedate the royal family with a fast-acting tranquilizer gun, and allow Slater to scan their phones and electronics, so America can monitor their communications. The royals are house-hunting for a New York residence, so the operation is conducted at Tunt Manor where the gang takes up their positions: Dr. Algernop Krieger monitors the cameras, Lana Kane and Pam Poovey pose as maids, Sterling Archer is the butler, Cyril Figgis is a valet, and Ray Gillette is in camouflague in the conservatory.
Because of her familiarity with the property and its history, Cheryl Tunt is able to convincingly offer rich, often grim, details to the innocent Crown Prince Fawad Fawaz and his overbearing mother Queen Yasmin. (Photo Ref) Despite this, flaws and infighting immediately come to the forefront. Lana finds Slater's plan both unethical and unnecessarily complicated, Archer pines for the beautiful queen, Slater starts repeatedly tranquillising Krieger for his perceived annoyance, and Cyril hopes to drive a wedge between Archer and Lana by exposing Archer's philandering. In the formal dining room, Archer becomes convinced that he must have sex with the queen. Cyril's strategy to win Lana back by revealing Archer's plan backfires when she instead decides to make Archer jealous by seducing the prince.Ray successfully dispatches with the guards by lacing them with a powerful chemical laxative, but Slater's contrived plan quickly goes off the rail: Lana entices the prince to the bedroom, a giant venus flytrap in the conservatory attacks Ray, Archer sedates the Prince and Slater, and he and Lana start making out. The Queen comes across the scene, screams for the guards, and gets tranqed by Archer. Everyone, except for Lana and Sterling who are making love in the bathroom, escapes out a secret passage before the guards arrive and the royals wake up. Apperently the danger made it so much hotter.
The mission is a colossal failure; although Slater and the CIA weren't implicated, the Durhani ambassador is furious and Ray has lost his hand to the carnivorous plant. On the plus side, Lana and Archer are back together.
Callbacks and Running GagsEdit
- Archer, once again, does not read the mission dossier in this episode.
- Krieger repeats the last line from The Planet of the Apes, which is the third time he has done so in the series.
- Malory calling Slater "Mr. Slater" is similar to what she does in "Three to Tango".
- Krieger's bathroom cameras are still installed in Cheryl's mansion, although the GILF cam does not seem to be up.
- Krieger's repeated shooting with the tranquillizer gun becomes a running gag in the episode.
- A computer monitor in Krieger’s surveillance room displays the letters YYZ, a callback to his failure to master the Rush song of that name on drums. ( Photo Ref )
- Ray has face paint similar to that he was painting onto Cyril during "Sea Tunt: Part I."
- Archer declaring that the tranquillizer gun goes off "for like, no reason" is similar to what he says about Krieger's weaponry modifications in "Training Day."
- A former ISIS employee can be seen during an exterior shot of the Tunt Manor, appearing homeless, pushing a shopping cart full of cans and being questioned by a cop.
- Belgian Congo- Cheryl wistfully refers to her Grandmama making a sinister joke to their servants about "cutting off their hands if they spill even a single drop" of turtle soup, as "we used to do in the Belgian Congo". This implies that her family (great-grandmother at least) was present during the colonial devastation and atrocities wrought by King Leopold II, King of the Belgians, in the region then privately-owned and controlled by Belgium and known as the Congo Free State. It is known for it's brutal exploitation of the central African people and territory. The death toll of the Congo Free State is estimated to be around 13 million. See below for further detail:
- King Leopold's Ghost (1998) by Adam Hochschild - the following quote is from the wiki page:
- "Murder was common—tribes resisting enslavement were wiped out; administration officials expected to receive back a severed human hand for every bullet issued. Rape and sexual slavery were rampant. Workers failing to secure assigned quotas of rubber were routinely mutilated or tortured. Administration officials so completely dehumanized local peoples that at least one decorated his flower garden with a border of severed human heads." That is a lot of hands.
- Al Jazeera: the Qatari state-funded broadcast news channel is here referenced due to the satire on middle eastern royalty and their oil-wealth.
- Little Shop of Horrors(1986): the man-eating plant resembles the one in this classic film.
- Pam tells Archer that Cheryl is her first best friend, so that implies that although the two of them have a hate/love relationship, they are still extremely close.
- When Lana walks down the stairs to lure the Prince, Pam exclaims "Damn, Gina!" which is a catchphrase used by the title character in Martin.
- Archer and Lana have sex. This is what gives rise to their reignited relationship in the next episode.
- The tranquilizer gun that Slater uses looks like the same gun that Archer uses in "Three to Tango."
- Also around 6 minutes, the orientation of Ray's face paint flips horizontally while wondering if The Queen, Fawad Fawaz's mother, enjoys anal sex and mentioning that their situation is eerily similar to his "fanfic."
- Cheryl's alias, "Miss Escrow," could be a nod to the name of the real estate lady in the eighties Hanna-Barbera series Foofur. An escrow is a contractual arrangement for money-handling in which a third party handles the money for two firms or persons in a business deal: Cheryl is not a 3rd party in this potential deal, so this could be an ironic take on that.
- The conservatory in Cheryl's mansion contains a rare Corpse Plant.
- Archer sarcastically makes reference to the famous riddle scene in The Hobbit where Bilbo Baggins takes possession of the One Ring from Gollum.
- When Archer is criticizing Slater's plan for being too crazy, he says it had everything "except a sign for free bird seed." This is a reference to how Wile E. Coyote often employs a "Free Bird Seed" sign in his complicated plans to catch Road Runner in the Looney Tunes cartoons.
- The number plate on Krieger's van is 'VIT K' - whilst an obvious reference to his initial, it is also a reference to the lesser-known vitamin K which aids coagulation of the blood, and possibly to ketamine, which shares this name as a slang term.
- The book "The Heart of Darkness" (whose title is the inspiration for season 3's The Heart of Archness I-III) is set in the Congo River around 1890, during the Belgian colonisation, private-ownership and control by King Leopold II of the Congo Free State in 1885-1908.
- This episode hints that Cheryl's pathological mental state and troubled behaviour could be a consequence of her being a descendant of a sinister and immoral colonial family. For a discussion of this, see Pocket Listing Insights: Satire of Imperialism.
- Ray: "Can someone explain to me why the CIA are spying on American allies?"
- Cyril: "Well Ray, there were these things called dinosaurs, and when they died they turned into oil, somehow, and that's what your car uses for food."
- Archer: "Thanks Al..."
- Cyril: "Al?"
- Archer: "Jazeera!"
- Archer: "Look, for all we know, Slater wants all that stuff to protect the royal family."
- Cyril: "From what?"
- Archer: "Kabals!"
- Ray: sniggers
- Cyril: 'What?"
- Archer: "Yes, sinister cabals, I bet the royal palace is lousy with them. So instead of trying to undermine the mission - don't undermine it!"
[This whole scene is a satire on the CIA trying to protect anyone other than the US Administration, with Archer missing the 'core concept' of a cabal, which is by definition a group.]
- Slater: "Ok chinstrap, let me see what we've got on the other cameras"
- Krieger: "Bathroom 1, Bathroom 2, Bathroom 3, Bathroom 4, Bathroom 5, Bathroom..."
- Slater: "Are all the cameras in bathrooms"
- Krieger: "Nooo, just my favs. Bathroom 6, Bathroom 7, Bathr-uh" [shot with tranquillizer dart by Slater]
Cheryl: "Bring us to the formal dining room which seats 80, with plenty of room for servants to skulk around...[sinister music starts up]...ladling turtle soup into sterling silver bowls, their sullen eyes downcast as Grandmama makes a joke about chopping off their hands if they spill even a single drop like we used to do in the Belgian Congo...hmm...[snaps out of wistful moment]...and how about that chandelier huh?! But I wouldn't want to dust it!"
- Archer: "Where's Lana?"
- Krieger: "I'm not even 100% sure where I am right now so..." [gets tranq'd by Archer]
- Archer: [to tranquilliser gun] "You are hands down my new favourite thing"
Gallery of ImagesEdit
There are 9 screenshots and images from "Pocket Listing" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.
- "Pocket Listing" on IMDB