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Zara Khan thinks she's a real knockout, but Archer wants to prove he is just as stunning. Pam and Ray sit back and keep score.[1]


Episode starts off with Archer upset at Zara for throwing him off of the bike in the previous episode, followed by Zara defending her plan while Archer, starting to seem like the old man in the crew, gets angry at her for not explaining her plan to him before they did it. After a little more bickering between Archer, Zara, Pam, and Ray--this time about getting tranquilized at the end of the previous episode--the camera zooms out to reveal that all of them are hung upside down with their hands handcuffed together, 2 or 3 feet above an underground lake with the tide rising.

When we return from the intro, Archer, Zara, Ray, and Pam are still hanging upside down when Archer sneaks his shoe off and we discover that he had Kreiger install a phone in it when Archer first started working for the agency. Kreiger immediately answers the phone and after a little dialog between the two, Kreiger tells Archer that they are in Greece. Archer responds to this news by demanding Kreiger send a rescue team to them, and then Archer drops his shoe into the still rising water. Following this Pavle, who tranquilized them all in the previous episode, comes in and informs the gang that they are there because Vanguard did notice their work, but only needed one new member and whichever one lasted the longest in the rising ocean would get the job. After Pavle leaves, Zara swings out of her chains and onto the nearby dock and exclaims that she had just completed step 3 of her 12, or 14 if Vanguard has guard dogs, step plan. She then frees Pam and Ray but leaves Archer hanging, literally, as Archer still does not trust her and has told her that he has his own plan. As Zara, Pam, and Ray are walking out of the cave there is a locked door and when Zara sees it she uses a lock picking device to get out, step 4 of her plan, confirming to Ray and Pam that she does, in fact, have a plan and thus cementing their trust further.

Following a sea turtle bringing Archer his shoe-phone back, we cut to Kreiger walking into Lana's office, where Cyril and Cheryl are already sitting, and exclaiming that he has some good news and some bad news. Kreiger tells Lana the good news first; that "[his] shoe-phone works[2]", and then the bad news; that the Archer, Ray, Pam, and Zara are compromised in Greece. As a response to this they go to the airport to get a quick flight to Greece as Lana has sold the companies plane.

We now cut back to Archer, alone, hanging upside down but now bent over at the waist as the water has been rising quickly. While he is talking to himself Pavle walks in, pulls Archer closer to the dock, and asks where the others are. Archer quickly grabs him by the neck and drowns him, even tough Archer claims he was just trying to get his keys. Archer then frees himself and walks through the cave exit door to find Zara, Pam, and Ray standing in what looks to be a locker room. Ray and Pam seem happy and Ray confesses to Archer that he now fully trusts Zara's plan, they are on step 8 now. After a little more bickering Zara knocks another guard down and breaks a tube light to use as a knife and begins to stick the sharp edge of the broken light up the guards nose exclaiming "Tell me where your boss is, or I will give you a bright idea.[2]". The guard responds that Vanguard doesn't have a boss/leader and Archer mocks her and her plan for this. Zara continues to delve into the Vanguard's hierarchy with the knocked down guard, only to find out they are non-hierarchical, and thus the group has to take out all 61 of their members. At this point Archer and Zara decide to make it a competition on who takes out the most Vanguard members.

As Archer and Zara run off to start taking out guards, we cut back to Lana, Cheryl, Cyril, and Kreiger on a plane. Cheryl is kicking the back of Cyril's seat and complaining about the size of the seats. She also says that the reason she wouldn't order the crew a private plane was because she thought it would be funny to fly commercial. While this is going on, Lana is talking to herself about her failing plan to convert the business back into a respected and efficient one and how nothing seems to be working the way she envisioned it. At the same time Kreiger is sulking about having to throw out his bioweapons at the airport trashcan, and then loudly exclaims that they should have been thrown in a terrorist's trash can, as a result of this he is bound and gaged with duct tape.

We now cut back to Archer and Zara quickly taking out guards in Greece, with Pam and Ray following behind, Pam says they are a good team and after a little more bickering between Archer and Zara they walk into the Vanguards lunchroom with a bunch of guards eating in it. Pam is upset as they have to pay for their own lunch at the team's office.

Back on the plane Cheryl is starting to go crazy, yelling at the flight attendant while Cyril is complimenting the chef on his chicken dish. While this is going on Lana is making it apparent that she is in a rush and asks the flight attendant to speed up the flight. She then begins to talk to herself again on why she wanted to step up and fill Mallory's chair and we find out that one of her main reasons was so she didn't have to go in the field all the time, but she is now realizing this isn't really helping because she ends up in the field all the time anyway. We then quickly cut back to Cheryl as she yells she is going to buy the plane they are on and crash it into the ground where "all the other poor people live."[2], she then exclaims "The sky is for the rich, you fսcking bugs!"[2]. She is then bound and gaged in the same way Kreiger was earlier.

We then cut straight into the lunchroom fight where Archer and Zara are making quick work of the guards, and Pam and Ray are tallying up their totals. One guard rushes to the alarm but Pam stops him. Archer asks her to let him go as if she knocks him out, him and Zara might tie. Pam lets him go and he hits the alarm, bringing in more guards, these new guards with guns. The gang runs out of the room.

Back on the plane, it has already landed and Lana is getting impatient. When the trucks leave the plane without unloading the passengers, Lana flips and begins to yell at the flight attendant. She gets bound and gaged like Kreiger and Cheryl, leaving just Cyril unbound as he reads the on-flight magazine.

Cutting back to the other team, Archer and Zara are hiding behind a counter in the kitchen with 3 guards with guns looking for them. The guards are taken out quickly, and after a fight between Archer and Zara to take out the last guard, a man with a beard and a pistol walks in and states that he is the leader of Vanguard.

We then cut to them getting tied up by the Vanguard boss who says he's the leader because Vanguard wouldn't be able to organize everything without one. After reassuring Zara that he is the leader, Zara shoots him with her shoe-gun. The leader's death initiates a 5 minute countdown until the base self destructs. At this point Ray, Zara, Pam, and Archer start to scoot their way out of the base while tied to the chairs. While escaping, Zara and Archer are still in competition for most kills, and due to one guard helping his buddy out Archer, is able to match Zara's kill of the Vanguard leader. Tying them each at 31.

We then cut to Lana, Cyril, Kreiger, and Cheryl riding a boat to the island, but before they get to the island, the base explodes, and for a second they think Archer and Zara's gang all died. After Archer and his team round the corner they get freed from their chairs and Zara informs Lana and Archer that she made up the competition to get Archer focused on the mission. Lana then offers her a job and Zara agrees as long as she gets to make what Archer makes, plus a dollar. The team leaves as Archer stands back, and the episode ends with Archer's classic line, but with a new spin; "Zara...Zara...Zaraaaaaaa".


Cultural References[]

  • The episodes name, "30 for 30" is derived from the real life docuseries, 30 for 30, a series about Reggie Miller and his role as "The Garden's Greatest Villain"[3]
  • Immediately following the opening, Archer knocks into Ray to which Ray responds with "Easy, Lillian Leitzel." Lillian Leitzel was a German Acrobat who died due to an accident during a live performance.
  • Negligee is see through clothing for women that comes from France.
  • After Zara kills the Vanguard leader, Ray says "Zara, I'm gonna tell you what I told the dry cleaner who got yuzu off my yukata...". A yuzu is a citrus fruit in the Rutaceae family in Eastern Asia. A yukata is a Japanese bathrobe.
  • Lana yells at the flight attendant: "What are we at Baklava International Airport?[2]" Baklava is not a place, but rather a popular Greek desert.
  • Kreiger says its good news that the gang is trapped in Greece because it is "Olive Season". Olive season in Greece runs from October to January thus giving us a time frame for this episode.
  • After Archer meets back up with the rest of the team, Ray says to Archer "Well call me Saul of Tarsus". Archer replies to this "Why, are you blinding magicians now?". Saul of Tarsus is a character in the Bible and the reference is to Saul, later renamed Paul, being blinded due to his evil deeds and then regaining his sight after God sent Ananias to him so Saul would be: "Filled with the Holy Spirit" [4].
  • Ray on Zara and Archer: "Yeah, they're a regular Farrell and Balanchine." Pam responds: "Yeah, including the awkward age gap." Suzanne Farrell was a famous Ballerina in the mid-1900s and for a time danced exclusively in George Balanchine's works. The age gap between the two was 41 years which is why Pam's next line was "Yeah, including the awkward age gap."
  • After archer kills Pavle, he looks through the glass hole in the cave's door and exclaims "Vanguard leader, come out to play!" a reference to The Warriors.
  • When Archer's shoe-phone dies mid call Kreiger says he could fit a bigger battery in a kitten heel, a short heel, usually used on women's shoes.

Running Gags / Callbacks[]

  • Running Gag: A sea turtle returns Archer's shoe-phone
  • Cheryl says she enjoyed the plane because of the amount of "Bondage" on it.
  • Running Gag: The episode ends with Archer yelling his signature "Lana...Lana...Lanaaaaaa" scream but instead of screaming "Lana" he screams "Zara".
  • Running Gag: Ray forgot he had bionic limbs until after he escaped from the exploding building, a common occurrence.


  • When Ray refers to his "yukata" this is a possible call back to Rays outfit in Archer 1999.
  • Lana informs Kreiger, Cyril, and Cheryl that she did not sell "their" plane, but rather she just sold "Robert's plane" this is a call back to Lana's ex-husband from previous seasons.
  • While in the Airport, Kreiger asks Cyril if "they still allow biological weapons on planes[2]". After Cyril responds with "NO", Kreiger takes green vials out of his bag. These vials are similar to the vials he took back from San Marcos in the Archer: Vice finale.
  • Archer references when he crashed a space shuttle in Space Race: Part II and paralyzed Ray.
  • Kreiger says to Cyril that he can bring the team back [to life] as he thought they died in the explosion of Vanguards base. This implies that Kreiger has finally finished his cloning device, which has been teased throughout the show.
  • Ray breaks the 4th wall by saying "and miss out on all that good TV" after contemplating sitting in the exploding lair and dying.
  • Continuity Error: After the alarm is pushed, but before the gang runs out of the lunchroom, either Archer or Zara is at 29 "kills" and the other is at 24--if Pam and Ray's counting is correct. In the scene immediately following this, which displays the same 3 guards who chased them out of the lunchroom, Archer takes out 2 guards and Zara 1. This means that their score is either 31 to 25, or 30 to 26, but both claim they are tied at 30 and this number is accepted by both.