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"Danger Island: A Warrior in Costume" is the fourth episode of Season 9, and the ninety-seventh episode overall.



Archer keeps an eye out for a past nemesis.[1]


S09E04-Archer 1st shotdown

No, no, no!

Pam leads Archer down a dock with a blindfold over his eyes. She reveals the Loose Goose has new wings that she fashioned out of bamboo and sails. Archer becomes furious and claims that Pam ruined the plane. While Pam is crying, Archer hears the sound of a plane engine in the sky. He then has a flashback to 1937 Spain. Archer is flying a Polikarpov I-15 and is looking for an enemy aircraft. Suddenly, a Messerschmitt BF-109 flies up behind him piloted by a German, Ziegler. He proceeds to shoot Archer's plane, forcing him to to bail out while angrily shouting at Ziegler. When Archer recovers from the flashback he passes out.

S09E04-Archer angry

I'm gonna kill him.

When Archer wakes up he finds himself staring up at Ziegler himself, along with his wingman Schnell and a whole crew of Germans. He mocks Archer and reminds his crew that he shot him down five times, calling him "The Reverse Ace". Fuchs arrives and leads Ziegler away to talk to him about providing air support so that he can find the idol. Archer has another flashback of being shot down by Ziegler. When Pam asks Archer if he's okay, he that he's going to kill Ziegler.

Later at the Hotel Lotus, Malory and Charlotte are discussing why Charlotte hasn't managed to make any money by bedding customers. Just then, Ziegler and his crew walk into the bar for drinks and start partying. Capitaine Reynaud hears the commotion and enters the bar to find the Germans. Ziegler claims that they are just tourists. Reynaud tries to arrest them for invading French territory, but he ends up getting stuffed into barrel outside.

Archer is sleeping upstairs and has three more flashbacks of being shot down by Ziegler. In the last one, Archer's eye is shot out. He has a mental breakdown and decides to kill Ziegler in the bar. He finds Pam and Crackers downstairs and discusses his plans to them. Pam discourages Archer from killing Ziegler, claiming that it is "chicken shit". Archer realizes that Pam is right, but he proceeds to knock her out with his gun.

The next morning, Crackers gives a note to Ziegler, who is sleeping upstairs. After he reads the note, he looks outside to find one of the floatplanes burning at the dock and another one missing. He wakes up Schnell and they both head down to the planes. Pam wakes up and finds herself in the tail gun in one of the planes that Archer stole. He tells Pam that they are going to finally going to figure out who is the better pilot, him or Ziegler.

Another plane makes a dive attack on Archer. Ziegler pulls up in front of Archer while Schnell shoots at him with the tail gun and a dogfight ensues. Ziegler tells Archer to get ready to die. Ziegler pulls up behind Archer, unaware that he has a tail gunner. Pam shoots the plane in its fuel tank. Ziegler and Schnell scream as the plane plummets into the ocean below and explodes. Archer starts cheering, thinking he that he was the one who shot his fuel tank. After making a crash landing in the ocean, he shoots a flare gun into the air. The duo gets rescued later.


Cultural References[]

  • Dick's Hatband:[2] An idiom generally used to describe something as absurd, perverse or peculiar.  (Or 'out of order / out of spirits).[3]  
    • The expression 'tighter than Dick's hatband' doesn't necessarily refer to a thing's tightness, and is an odd expression with no clear referents (Dick's or hatbands): this is a possible source of Archer's annoyance at Pam's use of the expression.  Equally, taken as a whole, Danger Island could be "queerer than Dick's hatband."
  • Bombing of Guernica (1937)Ziegler mentions the Condor Legion’s notorious attack on the Basque town during the Spanish Civil War, which became a symbol of the ruthlessness of the Luftwaffe, as well as the subject of one of Pablo Picasso’s most famous paintings.
  • Star Wars[4] (direct)Red Three (indirect):
    • Rojo Tres - Archer doesn't respond to this Spanish call sign because he thinks he is flying under the call sign 'Red Three' (the English translation), which happens to be the call sign of Luke Skywalker's best friendBiggs Darklighter.  (The ultimate anachronism!).
    • Red Three - The name given to the Swiss branch of The Red Orchestra - the name given to the anti-Nazi Soviet espionage network during World War II.[5] Whilst Archer's fantasy involves him being a pilot, and not a spy, he is fantasizing about fighting against the Nazis alongside the Communists in the Spanish Civil War.
  • Finch College: The famous college and 'finishing school' closed its doors in 1976.
  • It's A Long Way To Tipperary (1912):[6] the British music hall number, written by Jack Judge (and co-credited to Henry James "Harry" Williams) is sung in the Hotel Lotus by the Luftwaffe and other soldiers who are on leave in Mitimotu.  
    • Das Boot (1981): Potentially a reference to this scene ( Video Ref ) , where U-boat men sing the song.
    • It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966): Potentially a reference to the scene in this Halloween special where Snoopy, pretending he’s a WWI fighter ace, dances to the song being played by Schroeder on his toy piano ( Video Ref ).
  • Battle of France (1940): Reynaud alludes to the invasion of France by the Nazis when he says "these German soldiers have invaded French territoire."  Being set in 1938, this has yet to happen.
  • Camping: Archer (anachronistically) references the modern gaming term by yelling “Oh, so now we’re just camping?!” after Ziegler shoots him down right after takeoff from his base.
  • Kringle: The state pastry of Wisconsin is a Nordic variety of pretzel.
  • Babylonian Law / The Bible: 'an eye for an eye' or the law of retaliation. Archer is bent on revenge, literally.
  • Dr Strangelove (1964)Fuchs' uncontrollable gesture of raising his fist and reaffirming the omnipotence of Germany (in this case, how puns in other languages are inferior to puns in German), bears an increasing relation to Peter Sellers' eponymous mad scientist.  
  • Amphetamine: Fuchs is seen injecting the drug between his toes; amphetamine (and methamphetamine) were used extensively by both the Allied and Axis forces for their stimulant and performance-enhancing effects.  Hitler was administered methamphetamine by his physician Theodor Morell (amongst many, many other things).[7]

Running Gags[]

  • Eat A Dick - Ziegler can
  • Big Dumb ox / Dumb Idiot - Archer refers to Pam as both.
  • Pout - Archer checks to make sure Pam is, as he can't see her due to her being on his 6.
  • Shut Up, Bird - Crackers can.
  • Talking bird - Charlotte continues to be baffled, and Ziegler is astonished.
  • German Schlong Puns -  Lanaluankalani gets this slightly wrong as a wiener schnitzel is a flattened, breaded and fried piece of meat, as opposed to a wiener which is a sausage or hotdog.
  • Off The Mark - or wrong end of the stick or whatever.
  • Punny names - always on the lookout for them.
  • Eunuchs - Fuchs repeats the belief that Lana's guards are castrato.
  • Polylingual Swearing - some Spanish is thrown in with German.
  • Goddamned / Goddammit! - plenty of those thrown in.
  • Coconut butter - unholy uses for.
  • Fair fight - When Archer plots his revenge on Ziegler, Pam suggests a surprise gun attack isn't exactly a fair fight.
  • "Who taught you how to...": During the dogfight, Ziegler shouts, "Who taught you how to shoot, your husband?" In "El Secuestro" (s2e10), when Pam is getting beaten by the kidnappers, who had intended to capture Cheryl but she tricked them into grabbing Pam, she responds, "Who taught you how to hit, your husband?"


  • Reality (Non-Dream):
  • Dream / Reality Crossover:
    • (Dream) Archer's dream nemesis Ziegler resembles... / (Reality) ...Barry
    • (Dream) First person P.O.V of Archer blinking after blacking out - Pam says to him "Snap out of it Bub" / (Reality) First person P.O.V of Alan Shapiro blinking after being knocked out - Pam says to him "How ya doin' Bub?" in Bel Panto: Part I (s7e5).
    • (Dream)  Pam says "Bocata de mierda" which is Spanish for... /  (Reality)  ... holy "Shitsnacks"
    • (Dream)  Charlotte mentions bear claws again /  (Reality) Bear claws are an office favorite.
    • (Dream)  Pam is making kringle to cheer up Archer / (Reality) Kringle is the state-pastry of Wisconsin, Pam's home state.
    • (DreamMalory drinks cocktails first thing in the morning /  (Reality) So does Archer's real mother.
    • (Dream) Pam quips "Who taught you how to shoot, your husband?" / (Reality)  Pam says "Who taught you how to punch, your husband?" in El Secuestro (s2e10).
    • (Dream) Pam says she "wound up the wings tighter than Dick’s hatband" / (Reality)   Pam (while using Archer’s toilet) says “I’m bound up tighter than Dick’s hatband in here!” in Crossing Over (s3e10).
    • (Dream) Archer calls Pam a 'big dumb idiot' / (Reality)   Archer calls Rip the same in the plane fight in Heart of Archness: Part I (s3e1).
  • Dream (Non-Reality):
    • Malory, as madam, has successfully broken Charlotte in.
    • Charlotte decides to take over the business of selling her body.
    • Lanaluakalani and Fuchs are still lovers.
    • Fuchs mentions eunuchs again, an allusion to emasculated males and politically ineffectual people.
    • Fuchs mentions the idol, and how much easier it will be to get it after bombing the cannibals.
    • Capitaine Reynaud (representing France) has been shown to be ineffectual against the German invasion of Mitimotu. (An allusion to the Battle of France and French surrender to the Nazis).
    • Crackers continues to be the wise cracking sidekick.
    • Crackers was in Spain too; he wears a flying hat and goggles in the flashback, and a chef hat in the kitchen.


  • The aircraft in the episode include the following:
    • Polikarpov I-15: Archer's plane in the flashbacks to Spain. A Soviet fighter that was supplied by Stalin along with Soviet pilots, but also used by mercenaries recruited by the Republican Air Force, including Americans in the Yankee Squadron. There are also a few British fighters bought by the Republican Air Force, the Hawker Fury, parked on Archer's airfield.
    • Messerschmitt Bf 109: Ziegler’s plane in Spain. One of the most advanced fighters of its time, it allowed German pilots to dominate the air. The version animated is a Bf 109G, which can be distinguished by the bulges housing the ammunition for the fuselage machine guns, but that variant did not appear until 1943. Ziegler should be flying a B model in Spain. It is correctly painted in the insignia of the Nationalist Air Force. He also has an angry cartoon brick painted on his plane, because Ziegler means brickmaker in German.
    • Junkers Ju 87: The floatplanes Archer and Ziegler dogfight in are fictional versions of the Stuka dive bomber. In reality, there was never a floatplane model of the Stuka, so this is a case of Archer’s dream reality creating something not historically accurate, probably because of the iconic status of the Stuka as representing Nazi Germany in his mind. The Stukas are missing the swastika that was painted on the tail, which is also historically incorrect.
  • Ziegler is wearing a Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross[8] on his neck. However, that medal had not been created prior to the outbreak of World War II (the first one was awarded in September 1939), so this is another example of Archer creating his dream reality.
  • Archer laments being shot down by the German ace, blaming his poor performance on the disparity between his "tired Russian bi-plane" (see above) and a "brand new 109" (see above). When he plots his revenge on Ziegler, Pam suggests a surprise gun attack isn't exactly a fair fight. This plays on the ambiguity between the legal concept of retribution and the literal concept of retaliation.
  • Archer refers to Ziegler as the devil "Teufel" in German when he hears him over the speaker on his German plane. Teufel is also the name of a loudspeaker company in Germany founded in 1980.


For dialog translations, fictional product placement, and interpretations, see:



Pam: "Roho tres, responding?  Roho tres? God-- Archer?!"
Archer: "What?"
Pam: "You're Roho tres"
Archer: "I thought I was Red Thr--...oh"
Crackers: "Jesus Christ..."
Archer: "Shut up, bird!"
Pam: "No!  You shut up!  And keep an eye out for that son of a bitch Ziegler"


Archer: I'm gonna hide in the pantry and then I'm gonna bust out and shoot his eye out, and then his dick off, and then... his brains!" 
Pam and Crackers: "What!"
Pam: "Yeah, you don't wanna do that"
Archer: "Yes I do Pam! An eye for an eye!  That's right from the goddamned Bible!"
Pam: "Yeah but, come on, that was a fair fight"
Archer: "It wasn't fair! I was in a bi-plane - he was in a brand new goddamned 109!"
Crackers: "Still though..."
Pam: "Yeah but you don't wanna kill him like this, it's... chicken shit."


Ziegler: "Who taught you how to shoot?  Your husband?"

Gallery of Images[]

There are 29 screenshots and images from "A Warrior In Costume" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.

External links[]