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The Papal Chase

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The Papal Chase
Papal Chase Still
Episode no. Season 4
Episode 11
Written by Adam Reed
Eric Sims
Production code XAR04011
Original air date March 28, 2013
Episode guide
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"The Papal Chase" is the eleventh episode of the fourth season of Archer.


Archer must rescue the Pope from an assassination plot using Woodhouse as a decoy. Operation Bad Habit is a go.[1]


  • Title Explained: The title of this episode is a reference to the film and novel "The Paper Chase."
  • "Operation Bad Habit" is a callback to a scene in "Frisky Dingo" (another Adam Reed show) where the characters plan to attempt a kidnapping dressed as nuns.
  • Archer gives a shout-out to Lucy, the Daughter of the Devil, wherein H. Jon Benjamin voices the Devil as well as one of the priests.
  • Archer's disguise is a reference to the classic comic character Father Guido Sarducci, Which Pam lady parodies as Father Guido Sar-Douchebag
  • Cyril acts like he has a phobia of priests and nuns stemming from a past trauma he's uncomfortable discussing. He tells Cheryl he is faking so he won't have to go on any more missions with Archer, but was shown reacting fearfully to Lana in a nun outfit during a flashback to an S&M scene.
  • This marks Pam's first mission as a field agent.
  • The entire episode is a nod to the Robert Ludlum book "The road to gandolfo"
  • On the plane, and later in a cafe in Rome, Woodhouse is shown scratching, which is used as an indication that he is withdrawing from Heroin. Actually, Heroin causes users to itch while using, not while withdrawing. This misconception is also seen in the episode Blood Test.
  • Cypher is an X-Men whose special ability is easily understanding languages.
  • We can now add the Camorra to Archer's list of enemies, and the legendary incompetence of ISIS has spread further.
  • Archer reveals that Dicky Woodhouse is dead and he not only did not allow Woodhouse to attend his funeral, he has not even told him about it.
  • While on the trunk of the Swiss Guards' car, Archer says "Who am I William Safire?" Safire was an American author and speechwriter who wrote a New York Times Magazine column called On Language
  • Payne Stewart was a golfer known for his flamboyant clothing.
  • Lana calls Woodhouse "Junky Brewster", a reference to the TV show Punky Brewster.
  • When Pam asks the Pope "Can I squeeze in a confession?" he says, in Italian "Oho, ora dov'e il tuo Martin Luther?"  which translates to "Oh, where is your Martin Luther now?"  Pam then responds, "Fine, I'll buy a damn indulgence!"  Martin Luther is the founder of Protestantism, and scandals over the selling of indulgences set the stage for the Protestant Reformation.
  • Archer lands on the hood of a Guardia Svizzera cruiser in a pose evoking "The Creation of Adam," by Michelangelo, although his left knee is raised instead of the right. Presumably, this alteration is to cover his junk for censors.
  • When Archer sees the pope sleeping, he mentions how he likes to spook Woodhouse by sitting by his bed wearing night-vision goggles. This prank was mentioned in the How to Archer book.
  • The use of 934, 934TX, and 934TXS (harken back and/or flash forwardl)

-    Skytanic, Season 1, Episode 7:  The bomb's model number is 934TXS which is confusing when Archer, who does not know the NATO phonetic alphabet, says to Ray it’s “like INXS.”

-    The Rock, Season 1, Episode 8:  The “code cloner” displays 934TXS when unlocked.

-    Blood Test, Season 2, Episode 3:  The lockbox, which stores a glass bottle of Archer’s blood, has the code of 934TXS when Archer decodes it inside the bank vault.

-    Double Trouble, Season 2, Episode 13:  When Barry’s Bionic cybernetic information is displayed, under Fuel Capacity the screen displays 934TXS ENCRYTED.

-    Live and Let Dine, Season 4, Episode 7:  Rodney uses the 934TX Telephonic Isolator Unit to find out 16's exclusive phone number for reservations.  Again, at the very end of the episode for a brief moment, 934-TXS is call number on Barry & Katya’s helicopter.

-    The Papal Chase, Season 4, Episode 11:  The imposter “Swiss Guard's” vehicle plate number is 934TXS.

-   The Holdout, Season 6, Episode 1:  When Pam does the retinal scan, the secret door unlocks and the code reads 934TXS.

-   Three to Tango, Season 6, Episode 2:  The license plate on the limo Archer is chauffeuring for Lana and Conway reads 934TXS; it can be seen when he screeches to a halt in the parking garage. Additionally, when Slater drives Lana and Archer to the airport the front license plate read 934TXS, but the back plate is different.

-    Edie’s Wedding, Season 6, Episode 4:  Pam and Archer board flight number 934.



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