Archer Wiki
Archer Wiki

"A Going Concern" is the second episode of the second season and the twelfth episode overall of Archer. It originally aired on February 3, 2011.



Broke after having been wiped out in a Ponzi scheme, Malory decides to sell ISIS to rival spy agency ODIN, whose chief happens to be in love with her. Not surprisingly, the ISIS staff try to stop the sale and the romance.


While on the phone about what sounds like some sort of business deal, Malory is approached by Archer who slaps a small glass tube on her desk containing a small microchip. Archer explains when he complained of headaches to Dr. Krieger, Krieger knocked him out with some sort of tranquilizer and drilled into his head hypothesizing that it's a "satellite-linked mind-control chip." Confused by the Russian markings, Malory and Archer argue over the meaning; Archer accusing her "boyfriend" Nikolai Jakov of planting it and demands the truth. Malory dismisses him in order to return to her "fairly huge deal." When Archer prods too much she blurts out that she is selling ISIS, to which Archer is speechless.

Malory explains that her bank account was wiped clean by a Ponzi scheme leaving her penniless. Cheryl, who was eavesdropping at the time, darts off to tell Pam (who is smoking pot) and Cyril (who explains that it is, in fact, possible to sell ISIS). When the trio ponders who, Archer is heard screaming "ODIN!" Director Len Trexler then appears after Malory tells Archer he made her a very "attractive" offer.

At an unknown restaurant, top ODIN agent Barry Dylan is schmoozing Lana Kane into accepting Malory's position as "Regional Director for the Americas" on the sole condition she sleeps with him. Back in the break room, the team brainstorms ideas of how to save ISIS. Malory and Trexler enter; the former screaming at them to get back to work and the latter announcing he can't wait to have everyone join ODIN family; more specifically for Archer to welcome Trexler into his family which causes Archer to vomit. The team realizes Trexler is only buying ISIS in the hopes of marrying Malory. Cyril suggests they try to make Trexler "fall out of love" to which Dr. Krieger agrees is possible with a "deep-cycle marine battery...or LSD." Cheryl gasps and realizes that the "breath strips" Krieger gave her during their relationship were just LSD. Krieger states that emotions don't come from the heart but is interrupted by Archer's epiphany: "the brain!"...or LSD.

Archer runs off to snoop in his mother's desk which is rigged with 12 pounds of C-4. Archer calls Ray who quickly says "blue and yellow." Archer asks if Ray could look at it for more than half a second as Ray retorts he was the one who wired it. Archer snips the wires saying he could have begun with that only to have Ray reveal he didn't actually wire the desk. Archer angrily punches the drawer, activating what is implied a giant vibrator. He reluctantly turns it off all the while being taunted by Ray i.e. like how there's no sink in the room. Archer now traumatized states that "there isn't enough liquor and therapy in the world to undo that" to which Ray replies, "Yeah, you should'be borrowed these" while standing at the door holding giant rubber gloves. Archer throws a vase at him prompting Lana to give warning not to break anything in her new office. After leaving because her foil swan is leaking Sweet-N-Sour, Barry enters motioning to the guard team in the lobby is there to stop anyone trying to disrupt the sale. Archer angrily swats Barry's foil swan on the ground as Barry mentally notes that that's how you get ants.

Dr. Krieger is shown testing the mind control chip on a rabbit which is dubbed "Rabbert Klein" by Archer. Krieger is certain that the chip will work but is unsure whether it will kill the host. Lana approaches Barry polishing his gun and excitedly tells of her many ideas, but Barry quickly reminds her of their deal much to Lana's chagrin.

The team is seen hatching their plan (crude schematic and weird figurines included). Cyril is assigned to help Krieger with surgery because he's "good at math" which is irrelevant but "can't hurt." Ray is to lure and trap Lana in the mainframe though he wants the job of luring Barry away. Sterling counters that he's the wrong bait because Barry was engaged at one point to which Ray admits he was married once for two years; albeit to a lesbian he met at a "pray away the gay bible group." Instead, Cheryl is to lure Barry away and Pam is to trick the guards into taking the LSD breath strips after which Krieger accidentally touches a strip while warning them to be careful.

Plan underway, Cheryl hands Barry a note from Lana asking to meet in the mainframe. Barry, passing the guards, warns them of Archer's possible attempt to throw the deal. Pam then offers them the breath strips saying one of them reeks of bad breath. Lana is showing her new nameplate to a crying Ray who will miss her and tells her that Barry is in the mainframe indicating it's "now or never" if she wants the job. Lana show's second thoughts asking if Ray would hate her for it to which he quickly responds with a no, but also to "do reverse cowgirl because that carpet is seriously heinous."

With the guard team in utter disarray, Archer lures Trexler away to "give his blessing." Ray then traps Lana and a nude Barry in the mainframe asking Lana to not hate him. In Krieger's lab, Archer warns Trexler that Malory is only making the deal in order to not be broke. Trexler doesn't care however and claims he loves Malory for who she is, so Cyril tranquilizes him and a very high and shirtless Dr. Krieger is ready to do surgery. Meanwhile, Lana withdraws her decision to have sex with a still nude Barry.

With Trexler chipped and eyes held open with a head strap, a slide show is presented showing Malory's face. The slideshow then starts the "Modified Ludovico," splicing Malory's face with images of the devil, atomic bombing, and overall negative imagery. With the chip activated Archer convinces him to not marry Malory. Trexler now only wants Rabbert Klein and the lettuce it eats. He then leaves with a nude and black-eyed Barry.

The team celebrates keeping ISIS. Archer (somewhat) attempts to offer his mother coffee since she's still broke. Malory knows Archer tampered with her business deal, although he vehemently denies it, because "certain items" in her desk were not where they should've been. Instead, she leased out three floors to help with her money problem and even sold the cleaners to Popeye, a (former) loan-sharking pimp of Archer's favorite prostitute.


Cultural References[]

  • "Drill, baby, drill" : When Archer is telling Malory about finding Nikolai Jakov's mind-control chip in his brain, he uses a phrase popularized by Alaska governor and one-time Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin as a response to questions about running mate John McCain's support for increased domestic extraction of fossil fuels over the expansion of renewable energy sources.
  • Robert Klein Archer uses a wordplay of this American stand-up comedian, singer, and actor who used to kick his leg as part of his standup routine, to derive the name "Rabbert Klein" for the rabbit.
  • Noam Chomsky: In the lunchroom, when Archer says his 'plan is to outsource a plan', Cheryl can be heard saying "Thanks Noam Chomsky". It is a nod to Chomsky's critique of outsourcing as a negative factor in globalization, built into the economy to keep wages and working conditions down and productivity and profitability high.
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971): Len Trexler being forced to watch the Modified Ludovico with his eyes being forcibly held open with clips is a direct reference to a nearly identical scene form the Stanley Kubrick film where main character Alex is similarly subjected to the Ludovico technique with his eyes held open with clips as a form of mind control.
  • The Goonies (1985): In Krieger's lab there is a storage bin labeled "Pinchers of Peril" which is a nod to the Richard Donner film which featured an invention of the same name that was created by the character Data which he used to save himself from falling into a pit full of spikes.
  • Of Mice and Men (1937): Archer refers to Len Trexler as "Lennie" when he says "Can we give Lennie the rabbit?", which is a reference to the mentally disabled character of the same name who loves to tend and pet rabbits in John Steinbeck's classic novel.

Jamaican Culture[]

  • Rastafari Movement: Rasta Pam says "that's totally not irie" when finding out that ISIS is up for sale. Irie means 'peaceful vibrations' in the Rastafarian dialect. Translates as "not cool".  She later says 'big ups', a term meaning 'thanks' or 'respect'.
  • Ackee and Saltfish: Referenced by Rasta Pam, is a traditional Jamaican dish.
  • Cool Runnings (1993): Pam, whilst overseeing the trippin' guards, says "Pamela's Cool Runnings, man!" referencing the 1990s film about the famous Jamaican bobsleigh team.  
  • Bob Marley: Following the above exchange, Archer says "give it a rest...wait, I had something for that..." (implying he had a punny or witty name to berate her with) to which Rasta Pam retorts, stoned, "Blob Marley". This is a reference to her weight via a callback to Archer calling her the 'amorphous Rasta blob' after allocating her a red, gold and green hacky sack in the tactical briefing in her office. Blob / bob (sleigh) = Blob Marley (Bob Marley).  Marley was perhaps the greatest populariser of Rastafari.
  • Hacky Sack: The knitted balls used for throwing around and juggling, popular in the '80s and 90s amongst stoners, are here referenced in rasta colors, the colors of the Ethiopian flag: red, gold and green.


Drugs are a recurring theme throughout this episode (as well as the show). Attitudes towards three types of drugs and their uses are satirically contrasted: naturally-occurring, naturally-derived and man-made:

  • Cannabis: Pam is seen smoking a fat joint throughout this entire episode: other than a side reference that she was recently deported from Jamaica, there is no other explanation for this.
    • Cannabis, which is naturally-occurring, is becoming normalized and legalized for medical use all over the world and especially America.  Pam is seen constantly using it recreationally, but at the end of the episode, she offers some Lana medicinally to ease the pain of a broken hand.  A running gag in this episode is that anyone who declines her offer of a toke is a 'racist' (medical/recreational use of drugs);
  • LSD: The ergot fungus-derived hallucinogen is mentioned frequently throughout the episode. LSD is a mind-altering substance and is being nefariously used by Krieger to drug Cheryl against her knowledge: he says you can "control a heart" with it and that "emotions like love come from" it.  
    • The implication is that he is brainwashing her to love him with LSD, thus conjuring up an allusion to MK-Ultra - the CIA's covert mind-control program - which ran from the mid-'50s to the mid-'70s, and involved unwitting 'subjects' being dosed with LSD.  It also mirrors the brain-washing of Len, by Krieger, only for the purposes of making Len fall out of love with Malory and so not buy ISIS, thus highlighting Krieger's moral indifference, much like the Nazi scientists (and covert CIA operatives) his actions are based on (ethical/unethical administering of drugs);
  • Pill-bo Baggins via Bilbo Baggins leads to The Lord of the Rings: Pam refers to Cyril as 'Pill-bo Baggins' as he is seen frequently popping prescription pills (man-made) for his sex addiction throughout the entire episode.
  • For a brief commentary, see here.

Running Gags / Callbacks[]

  • Wow, That's... Actually Better - As with "Stir-Friday" before it, Archer suggests a punny name for the rabbit ("Rabbert Klein") that's better than the unspoken name Krieger came up with on his own.
  • 934TXS - Model number seen on the mind control microchip.
  • Ants - [variation on a theme: callback to ants gag and Barry's split personality; using another person's jokes]
When Archer knocks Barry's sweet-and-sour lunch leftovers on the carpet, Barry says to himself:
Other Barry:  "Barry, is that how we get ants?"
Barry:  "Yes it is Other Barry. Yes. It. Is."
  • Black/Slightly Darker Black - this is a callback to Archer's Turtleneck color preferences.
  • Dirty Carpet
  • Classic You (Malory)
  • Earballs!
  • Ew/Ick



  • Title Explained: "A Going Concern" is a stock investment term, referring to a company which has sufficient funds to continue operations - which ISIS does not.
  • Barry Dylan can be seen reading an issue of Desert Eagle Monthly.
  • Lana, Pam, and Ray are drinking Mobay Beer (fictional) to celebrate ISIS not being sold. 'MoBay' is the local name for Montego Bay, Jamaica.
  • A Going Concern was the sixth episode produced for the second season but was aired as the second episode. This was a common happening in for season 2 as 7 out of the 13 episodes produced were aired out of order from their production.


  • The microchip was placed in Archer's left temple in "Dial M for Mother". However, Archer's bandage, where the chip was removed by Krieger, is on the right temple.
  • An animation error occurs when an ODIN agent raising his submachine gun and peers into the barrel. As he raises it, the back end of the gun is cut off by the background. (See Image Reference).


First Appearances[]



Barry: "How does Regional Director of the Americas sound?"
Lana: "Barry, that's my dream job!"
Barry: "Yours for the taking... assuming you are similarly mine for the taking."
Lana: "'Taking' as in to get this job, I have to have sex with you?"
Barry: "Hey, those are your words... and also mine, yes."


Dr. Krieger: Don't touch them. Lysergic acid is absorbed right through the skin. Even the tip of your fing-(accidentally touches the LSD strip) uh-oh.
Archer: Oh, for f**k's sake, Krieger, you're about to do brain surgery!
Dr. Krieger: Yeah, so sooner's going to be better than later.


Malory:  "Sterling?! Len?! Either, and/or, both?!  Where the hell are you?! Len?!
Barry:  [walking up, naked] "Yeah, do you know where he is?"
Malory: [sarcastic] "Yes, I'm just screaming his name down the hall to celebrate that fact"
Barry:  "Is that some kind of a joke?"
Malory: [gesturing to Barry's penis] "Is that?"


(After knocking Len Trexler unconscious)

Archer: [To Cyril] O...kay, he's out. How's Krieger doing?

Cyril: Not great.

(Krieger appears under the table, under the effects of LSD)

Krieger: Yes, he is! Let's do this!


Gallery of Images[]

There are 38 screenshots and images from "A Going Concern" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.

External links[]

Reference List[]

  1. Archer Season 2 Episode 2 Ratings on