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"Archer Dreamland: Berenice" is the second episode of Season 8, and the eighty-seventh episode overall.



A mysterious woman hires Archer to fake her death, but he’s unable to rise to the occasion.[2]


The episode picks up immediately where the previous left off with Charlotte Vandertunt clarifying that she wants to hire private investigator Sterling Archer to help her fake her death in exchange for $10,000 and sex. Archer is up for the latter, but things don't go quite as planned; Archer blames the pain in his ear at which point Charlotte and he head to a diner for pie... and codeine. Once there, she explains that she finds life with her family stifling and insufferable, but Archer is dubious about helping her and questions whether she's thought her whole plan out, at which point Charlotte giddily produces "Berenice," the corpse of a woman who was accidentally killed at the hands of a drunken abortionist after Charlotte's brother impregnated her. The two head to The Chesley, Charlotte's hotel, in order to dress Berenice in her clothes.

Meanwhile, mobster Len Trexler is furious over the events at the docks while Dutch Dylan is distraught over having had his legs amputated. Trexler remedies the situation by getting Dylan in contact with a guy (Krieger) who will solve the problem. He then chews out Figgis and Poovey, and demands Figgis find the missing Chinese women within the week. At the hotel, Archer and Charlotte sneak Berenice into Charlotte's room. They start to argue over her makeup until tensions escalate and they have sex. Charlotte questions why Archer's office was ransacked and raises the point that the robber knew Archer wouldn't be at the location.

The next day, the duo stop by Dreamland so Archer can question Mother. Figgis and Poovey are there for the same reason, but she is opaque. Archer gleans nothing from her, but he does see Lana Kane once again. Unfortunately, he once again strikes out with her; the situation is made all the more embarrassing when Charlotte, in a bid to sabotage his efforts, loudly proclaims that she and Archer just had sex. They head out for the coast to drive the car over a cliff and fake Charlotte's death, but are interrupted when Archer is struck by a car. In his dazed state, he flashes back to his time in WWII and sees Charlotte as a French nun tending to his wounds before shooting at the enemy. Archer recovers, but they are again interrupted when Detective Figgis and Poovey find them in a compromising state.


Cultural References[]

  • Weekend At Bernie's (1989): Archer names the dead maid Berenice, in reference to the film's titular character Bernie Lomax. The name “Berenice” is also a reference to the titular character in Edgar Allan Poe’s story “Berenice.” In the story, the narrator obsessed over his decaying cousin’s teeth; in this episode, they need Berenice because of her dental record.
  • Spanish–American War: Charlotte Vandertunt says her father, the publishing magnate, started the 1898 conflict between the United States and Spain (which many in the real world believe was instigated by William Randolph Hearst's use of yellow journalism to call for the war), thus reinforcing the Vandertunt's as a parody of Hearst
  • Chinatown: Poovey suggests that the Chinese women might be in Chinatown, a central Los Angeles neighborhood that has become the commercial center for Chinese businesses.
  • Schnorrer: Len Trexler calls Detective Figgis a schnorrer, a Yiddish term to describe a freeloader who finds creative and escalating methods to gain undeserved money and favors from others, all the while feeling it's the minimum they are owed.
  • What's a girl like you...? :[3]  Krieger asks Charlotte "what's a society dame like you doing in a place like this?" in a take on this trope.
  • The Simpsons: Trexler and Poovey channel Farmer Homer / Homer and his peanuts, when they define economics. Trexler: "I do not want the money! That is why I exchanged the money for goods and/or services, which is the core concept of Economics. " Poovey: "Isn't it sugar? Or like, scarcity... of sugar?"

Running Gags[]

  • Jumping Right In: Archer begins this episode with:
"So what are we doing?  Are we just - jumping right into this?  Or...?"
[This opener sets up a running gag for all subsequent Dreamland episodes.  For analysis, see Jumping Into Dreamland].
  • Ba-Dum Tshh: When someone makes a joke in Dreamland off camera you hear a drum roll followed by Ray yelling "Stop it".
  • Da Man: Detective Poovey continues to be portrayed exclusively as a man, appearing with her face covered with pieces of toilet paper, commonly used by men to stop the bleeding from shaving cuts.
  • Smells Like Glue: Taking Codeine has become Charlotte's version of Cheryl's glue-sniffing problem.
  • Core concept: Pam mistakes the core concept of economics ("goods and services") for sugar, or scarcity of sugar; sugar is a good, which can be plentiful or scarce.


  • Reality (Non-Dream):
    • None
  • Dream / Reality Crossover:
    • (Dream) Archer complains of his ear hurting presumably due to being hit on the side of the head by Zerk in "No Good Deed". / (Reality) Archer suffers from tinnitus since Movie Star (s2e7).
    • (Dream) Dutch Dylan had is lower legs amputated due to Archer running over them in "No Good Deed". / (Reality) Barry had his legs replaced when he was transformed into a cyborg in by the Russians in Double Trouble (s2e13)
    • (Dream) Len Trexler gives Dutch a number to call for someone who can fix is legs which turns out to be Krieger. / (Reality) Krieger has provided bionic limbs for several people including a hand for Conway Stern as seen in flashback in Three to Tango (s6e2), and legs for Ray in Legs (s4e3).
    • (Dream) Charlotte Vandertunt is the heiress to the vast Vandertunt publishing fortune. / (Reality) Cheryl is the heiress of the vast Tunt Railroad fortune as established in El Secuestro (s2e10).
    • (Dream) Pam misses the core concept of economics. / (Reality) Archer regularly misses the core concept of things.
  • Dream (Non-Reality):
    • The start of the episode takes up immediately where the previous episode left off.
    • Len Trexler is seen for the first time since A Going Concern (s2e2).
    • It is confirmed in this episode that Detective Figgis is a dirty cop and has taken at least one bribe from Len Trexler as was suspected by Archer in "No Good Deed".
    • Len Trexler tasks Figgis to find the missing Chinese women that Archer and Detective Poovey rescued in "No Good Deed", who now reside at Poovey's apartment.
    • Archer is aware of Det. Figgis being at Dreamland before entering because he sees the penis he scratched into the paint of his car the previous night in "No Good Deed".


  • Title Explained: The title refers to the made-up name given to a dead maid of Charlotte Vandertunt.
  • The woman filing Len Trexler's nails resembles Chi, the woman who was performing the same on Archer's in The Honeymooners (s4e9). Additionally, the barber cutting Trexler's hair resembles Giuseppe, the barber in Double Indecency (s7e7).
  • There’s a framed photo of a Northrop P-61 night fighter on the wall of the Woodhouse and Archer Detective Agency office.
  • The name "Berenice" is the Latinized form of Βερενικη (Berenike), the Macedonian form of the Greek name Φερενικη (Pherenike), which meant "bringing victory" from φερω (phero) "to bring" and νικη (nike) "victory". It has 2 pronunciations in English, one emphasizing the second 'e' and one which doesn't, the latter being the pronunciation adopted in the naming of the deceased maid.[4]


First Appearances[]

Characters (in order of appearance)[]


Charlotte: "You misunderstand me Mr. Archer, I want you to help me fake my death for which I am prepared to offer you $10,000."
Archer: "Oh."
Charlotte: "And my body."
Archer: "The ten grand is plenty."
Charlotte: "I'm afraid this is non-negotiable...Do your worst."
Archer: "I will."


Krieger (in German): "Hallo? Wer ist das? Wie haben Sie diesen Nummer?" (Hello? Who is this? How do you have this number?)


Charlotte: "Honestly, I don't know why you're so angry."
Archer: "Which I think is why I'm so angry."


Trexler: "Because not only did I pay a lot of money for those magical disheartening whores, I also paid you a lot of money."
Figgis: "Well yes, but that was, I mean, that was more to look the other way, so"
Trexler: "Figuratively! Not literally, while those assholes were taking my load!"


Figgis: "Move, dick!"
Archer: "Slang for detective, so not an insult!"


Charlotte (in French, in a flashback, as a nun): "Chut. Calmez-vous, vous vous mettez plus en danger." (Shh. Calm down, you are putting yourself more in danger.)

Gallery of Images[]

There are 5 screenshots and images from "Berenice" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.

Archer, P.I.[]

External links[]