Archer – The Complete Season Two (Blu-ray Review)

Archer is currently one of the best animated comedies on television, let alone one of the best comedies on television.  It a show that takes the format of a basic spy series, but as opposed to coming off like another forgettable spy spoof, the series is full of rapid-fire humor, with jokes that range from being incredibly witty and reference heavy to incredibly raunchy and filthy.  The stylized nature of the animation and character designs only add to the bawdiness of the humor.  Now the complete 13-episode second season of Archer is available on Blu-ray and it looks and sounds great.


From the mind of Adam Reed, who previously created more obscure animated programs for Adult Swim, including Sealab 2021 and Frisky Dingo, Archer is an FX show about Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin), the world’s most dangerous spy and the agency he works for, ISIS.  Each episode involves Archer going on some sort of special mission (sometimes hesitantly or for his own selfish reasons), while the team either assists or gets into their own shenanigans back at the offices of ISIS.

Here’s a list of the Season 2 Episodes:

Swiss Miss – Weakened by the recession, Malory institutes pay cuts in addition to seeking outside investment.  Tasked with protecting the flirtatious 16-year old daughter of a wealthy German dignitary, Anka, Archer finds the girl to be more trouble than she’s worth.

A Going Concern – Wiped out by a Ponzi scheme, Malory decides to sell ISIS to rival spy agency ODIN.

Blood Test – Archer’s favorite hooker claims that he fathered her child, “Wee Baby Seamus.”

Pipeline Fever – Malory tries to make ISIS green; Archer and Lana head to the Louisiana bayous to prevent a dangerous eco-terrorist from bombing America’s largest natural-gas pipeline.

The Double Deuce – When members of Woodhouse’s famed WWI Royal Flying Corps squadron start dying mysteriously, Archer tries to track down the killer.

Tragical History – Cyril agrees to help George Spelvin into the ISIS mainframe so Cyril can defeat the virus and be seen as a hero.

Movie Star – Hollywood actress Rona Thorne spends a week shadowing the agents at ISIS for an upcoming movie role.

Stage Two – When Malory suspects that she might have breast cancer, she undergoes a medical examination; Archer decides that he should be thoroughly checked for the disease as well.

Placebo Effect – When Archer discovers the chemotherapy drugs he’s been taking for his cancer are counterfeit (mainly consisting of sucrose and Zima), he sets out to destroy the criminals behind the scheme.

El Secuestro – When Pam is kidnapped, mistaken for Cheryl/Carol, ISIS discovers that Cheryl/Carol is really an heir to a billion-dollar empire and is being hunted by masked gunmen. Malory offers Cheryl/Carol ISIS as her personal bodyguard service, in exchange for financial compensation. Meanwhile, Archer and Ray attempt to rescue Pam while everyone weighs the dollar-worth of her life.

Jeu Monegasque – Malory and the ISIS agents travel to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix to recover another one of her sex tapes, but Archer loses all the blackmail money gambling and must enlist Ray and Lana’s help to recover it before Malory finds out.

White Nights – Archer’s search for his father’s identity takes him to Russia where he is held prisoner by Nikolai Jakov; Malory has to ask Barry Dillon to rescue him.

Double Trouble – Krieger works to finish a top-secret project, and Archer brings a mysterious former KGB agent named Katya Kasanova home to meet Malory, unaware that Barry Dillon is on his way to kill him.

Even more than the first season, Archer really nailed what it was going for this season by managing to layer in so many jokes in such a small span of time.  It works well for those who are completely new to the series and those who keep coming back for more alike.  The scripts for each episode are always very clever, managing to pull references from past episodes, without alienating its audience by not needing them to have to necessarily keep up.  This speaks well for the replay value, since there is so much to take in on repeated viewings of episodes.  It makes it more fun especially when the show doesn’t just stick to spy missions, but focuses on the banter between everyone when they’re back in the offices of ISIS.  The spy spoof stuff is fun, but the way it handles an office environment is just as hilarious, if not more so.

The voice cast is fantastic.  H. Jon Benjamin has made himself an animated voice to be reckoned with, given the number of shows he can be found on lately.  I have been a fan of his since back in the days of Dr. Katz and especially Home Movies (one of my favorite shows ever), and it’s great to see his abrasive yet witty persona work so well in this environment.  The supporting cast members are all great as well.  They include Aisha Tyler as Lana, the top female spy and Archer’s ex; Jessica Walter as Malory Archer, Sterling’s mother and the head of ISIS; Chris Parnell as Cyrill, the flawed comptroller of ISIS; Judy Greer as Cheryl/Carol, as Malory’s incompetent secretary; and Amber Nash as Pam, ISIS’s Human Resources Director and the most disgusting person in the office.  All of the characters, among others, do well to flesh out the world of the show.

I grew even fonder of Archer in its second season and it has made me very excited to see this momentum carry over into season three.  During the fall audiences even got what was essentially an Archer TV movie divided into three episodes.  All of what makes the show great was there, so I am looking forward to seeing more in the future, but I am also quite happy to have the second season readily available to watch.  Yuuuup, I think it’s that good.



I am so glad Archer is an animated TV show that takes advantage of high definition, because it looks great on Blu-ray.  The set is brought onto the format with a 1080p AVC encode that does well to show off how crisp the simple yet detailed animation style can look.  Archer has a very specific design for its characters and environments that involves a thickly outlined way of highlighting the animated portions of each scene, which is eye-catching and very good looking in this format.  Seeing the 60s-style atmosphere mixed with the action sequences, all in wonderfully bright colors makes this definitely a solid looking Blu-ray transfer.


This is an area that benefits just as well as the visuals.  Given that the show features a heavy amount of dialogue at such a rapid level, it is great to be able to hear it with such clarity.  Adding to this is the great mixing of other sound aspects of the series, including the fitting score that suggests both James Bond and Mad Men of all things, given its 60s style.  The action sequences all effectively work as well, given all the gunfire and explosions.  The disc features a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, which has been very well handled to deliver a superb audio experience while watching the show.

Special Features: 

It is unfortunate that there is not more here.  I would have loved to hear commentaries with Adam Reed and the cast.  Those could have been hilarious.  There are some very funny extras here, but nothing in the way of insight for the series, beyond the Comic-Con footage.

Features Include:

Archersaurus – Self-Extinction:  What if Archer morphed into a Velociraptor?

Ask Archer:  Archer answers some fan mail.

Semper FI:  An amusing shout out.

L’espion Mal Fait:  What if Archer was disfigured enough to look like an animated version of H. Jon Benjamin?

ISIS Infiltrates Comic-Con:  A portion of the recorded Comic-Con panel for Archer, featuring Adam Reed and the cast.

Final Thoughts: 

Despite the lack of more awesome special features, I did laugh at what I got there, as well as with this entire second season.  I am a big fan of the series, obviously, and it is because it is such a joy to watch.  The humor is definitely in the mature realm (as is some of the animation), but it does a great job of balancing the more risqué and raunchy with very sharp and witty.  The animation looks really good, especially on Blu-ray, with a great audio track to match.  It is a strong series that is consistently hilarious and benefits from multiple viewings, given how fast and furious the jokes come at you.  Archer does his job…mainly for himself, but at least he allows you to watch.

Order Your Copy Here:


Writer/Reviewer, Film Lover, Podcaster, Gamer, Comic Reader, Disc Golfer & a Lefty. There are too many films, TV, books, etc. for me to list as favorites, but I can assure that the amount film knowledge within my noggin is ridiculous, though I am always open to learning more. You can follow me on Twitter @AaronsPS4, see what else I am up to at TheCodeIsZeek.com & check out my podcast, Out Now with Aaron and Abe, on iTunes.

5 Responses to “Archer – The Complete Season Two (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I will tell you what. Before reading this I had no interest or really knowledge about this show, but after reading this stellar review I’m gonna give this a watch after catching up on all the Big Bang Theories. Grand job, review and recap Aaron! You sold me!

  2. Sean Ferguson

    Nice review Aaron! Your scores are very similar to my review for this so we are in total agreement on how awesome this show is. I knew this second season was going to be better than the first just after watching the first episode. “Thanks a lot Bitch and Sundance!”

  3. Brian White

    Wait. Did I miss something? Where’s Sean’s review?

  4. Sean Ferguson

    No you didn’t miss it. I reviewed it on my site while Aaron covered it for WSB. Aaron nailed it and we’re in sync on this one, but if you want to read my review it’s here:


  5. Brian White

    Well that makes sense now as to why you didn’t jump all over this when I offered it on the chat line.