Eight episodes for a season is a little short by Archer standards, let alone traditional television. However, there’s a lot to be said for leaving the audience wanting more. The hilarious and action-packed climax didn’t leave too many loose threads dangling, so the final episode feels very much like a wrap-up. Just as we were getting comfortable with these new iterations of the Archer, we’ve reached the end of the journey, in a fiery showdown in the bowels of an ancient temple.
Every character has some truly memorable lines, and if David Cross could somehow become a regular cast member, that would be great. Archer’s dreamworld of Danger Island is a definite reflection of how he feels about the characters in real life. Without reading too much into what’s between the lines, it might not be a far stretch to say that Archer is gaining a bit of self-awareness as he plays out these fantasies. The bar on Archer’s relativistic morals is definitely low. He’ll obviously never be an angel, though he’s always viewed himself as the hero even if that clearly is not the case. In his own mind at least, he’s prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice with a joke and a smile on his face.
While many fans were hoping for a teaser into what’s happening in the hospital room we assume Archer to be laid up in, Adam Reed pulled a fast one and did fans one better. Perhaps buoyed by the thrill of re-invention and anthologized renditions of the Archer-verse, it looks like Sterling Archer isn’t quite ready to come back to reality. The last few minutes of Danger Island shifts gears to an entirely different milieu. Archer has left the Pacific Rim for the cold abyss of space. A hulking space-ship crawls across the screen, followed by a sequence of sterile, steel-grey interiors, space suits, and computers.
Fans of the Alien franchise will appreciate the nods, but it’s highly unlikely that Reed will confine himself to one set of references. If Archer has truly blasted off into space for its 10th season, there’s no shortage of pop-culture fodder for Reed’s writing cannons. It’s rumored that the 10th season might be the final voyage of the Archer crew, but just as every great season comes to an end, so too do great shows. The characters of Archer have proven to be highly adaptable, and if the next season is indeed the last, it will still be as timeless as all the rest.