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"Bloody Ferlin" is the ninth episode of the third season of Archer.



Archer must help Ray save his younger brother Randy from a crooked sheriff in the backwoods of West Virginia.


S03E08-In armory

Isn't that the stuff of miracles.

A security alert is at ISIS, and Archer and Lana go out to see what caused it. In the ISIS armory, they find to their surprise, Ray in there, standing on a ladder. Ray admits he lied about being crippled, and only got the wheelchair because the hospitals make you leave in one. He also reveals that his younger brother Randy is having trouble back home in the south with a corrupt sheriff (who use to pick on Ray), and needs weapons to go and help him.

In the Office of Malory Archer, Cyril and Lana meet with Malory about the break-in. Lana makes up an excuse that the cause is under investigation and hustles Cyril out to explain what really happened.

S03E09-Cheryl married

It'll better if she thinks...

Archer volunteers to go with him, both due to the situation's similarity to the plot of a Burt Reynolds film and because he, as predicted by Lana, sees it as an opportunity to drink moonshine and have sex with country women. They bring Cheryl with them so she can act as Ray's wife, which Cheryl believes she really is. Randy believes Ray is an interior decorator.


Just wanted to show off my pretty, new bride.

Archer, Cheryl and Ray arrive in Ferlin, West Virginia where Sheriff E.Z. Ponder cuts them off the road. He menacingly warns Ray that he'd better not be there to help Randy and buys their story that Ray's visit is for the family to meet Cheryl. In the bathroom at ISIS Headquarters, Lana explains the situation to Cyril and he grudgingly agrees to lie about the break-in to help Ray.

S03E09-Group with guns

Man's gotta have a code.

They meet Randy and his wife Janelle, whom Archer immediately schemes to sleep with due to her beauty. While Archer eats some hot pie made by Janelle, Randy explains that Ponder is threatening to take over his cannabis growing business and arrest him. At ISIS HQ, Lana involves Dr. Krieger in misleading Malory as to the break-in and Archer's whereabouts. Randy then shows them his pot growing operation and Ray has an uncomfortable moment avoiding the truth about his sexuality.


This was just an extremely unlikely mishap with the barbed wire.

Randy asks Janelle to show Archer the defensive perimeter while distracting Ray with a chicken dinner, which Cheryl tries to prepare. Randy checks up on Janelle and Archer and catches them half naked. Feinting outrage, he sends Janelle in the house and then surprises Archer with his scheme - that Archer sleep with Janelle and he'll have sex with Cheryl. All Archer has to do is keep Ray busy so Randy can enact his half of the plan.

S03E09-Malory-Krieger mainframe

This all has to come out.

Ray approaches so Randy feints outrage. He asks Ray to have a long talk with Archer about the sanctity of marriage while he heads for Cheryl, with Janelle's blessing. In the ISIS Mainframe, Krieger rips the innards out of one of the computers and lies to Malory that the "intruders" uploaded a virus. Lana got Krieger to buy-in to the ruse by getting Pam to agree to fight in one of Krieger's bum shock fights.


The important thing is you came back.

Archer tells Ray the truth which sets Ray off. Malory tries to call Archer but gets one of his voicemail pranks. Janelle leads Archer to the barn but they hear Ray catching Randy mid-coitus with Cheryl. Shots are fired and both brothers receive arm wounds. Randy rebukes Ray for leaving home and for being an interior decorator. Archer reveals Ray is a spy which settles the grudge between the brothers, as Randy believed Ray never visited because he was ashamed of him. Ray's sexuality is never revealed.

S03E09-Cheryl branding

Cheryl slaps hot iron on Janelle's wound.

A loud explosion (caused by a police car hitting one of the land mines in Randy's yard) is followed by Ponder and his men demanding Randy's surrender. A firefight ensues which ends when Ponder learns that Ray believed Randy's lie, that Ponder plans to murder Randy and take the pot farm. Ray confronts Randy and learns the truth, that Ponder intends to act within the law. At ISIS HQ, Pam blabs what really happened with the break-in and that Ray isn't paralyzed.


Give me a call.

Randy is arrested and he hopes for probation are dashed. Ponder heavily implies to Ray that he's be open to a tryst if Ray ever returns. Archer bemoans that everyone has or will get sex in Ferlin except for him.


Cultural References[]

  • Gundam: Sterling comments "For all we know, they're building a Gundam suit with bazookas for hands", referring to the apparent burglars raiding the ISIS armory. This implies he has a more advanced knowledge of Japanese culture than previously let on, as the Gundam franchise is both the most popular and earliest franchise that led to the explosion of similar media featuring mecha suits. However, in A Debt Of Honor, Sterling does not list Gundam as a component of his knowledge of Japanese culture. This may simply be an oversight.
  • White Lightning (1973): Archer spots that the entire story is very similar to that of the Burt Reynolds movie White Lightning, the seminal "hicksploitation" movie that kicked off the spate of Southern moonshiners/truckers being chased by crooked or incompetent cops that inspired everything from The Dukes of Hazzard to Smokey and the Bandit and Cannonball Run. Reynolds directed and starred in the movie. White Lightning is about a moonshiner who is trying to bring down the crooked cop that murdered his brother. (It's probably the influence of these movies on Archer that prevents him from ever considering that the cop might be on the side of law and order.)
    • The mech in particular that Sterling mentions actually exists: in the movie Mobile Suit Gundam 00: A Wakening of the Trailblazer (2010), alien lifeforms called Extraterrestrial Livingmetal Shapeshifters (ELS) assimilate multiple GNX-803T GN-XIV [pronounced "Jynx Four"] mobile suits - some armed with dual bazookas - throughout the movie. During the final battle, independent ELS merge to create their own, albeit crude, versions of the GN-XIV, opting to not form hands and incorporating the weapons into the arms. As the GN-X series were designed to be the first mass-produced Gundam knockoffs of the Gundam 00 universe, the ELS literally build "Gundam suits with bazookas for hands."
  • The Bible: Genesis 38:8 says, "Then Judah said to Onan, 'Sleep with your brother's wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to raise up offspring for your brother.'"[1] It is not about wife swapping, so much as taking the place of a dead brother to bear children with his widow. Onan refused, knowing that the children would be regarded as his brother's, rather than his own[2], so God killed Onan[3].
  • Kenny Rogers' Roasters: A chain of chicken based restaurants founded by country musician Kenny Rogers and former Kentucky governor John Y. Brown, Jr..
    • Cheryl thinks a rooster is a hen, then when Ray corrects her and says it's a rooster, she thinks it's a Kenny Rogers Roosters; Ray has to correct her again. 
  • Ginseng: "Diggin' seng" which Randy sarcastically offers as a possible career path for high school dropouts, refers to the illegal harvest and sale of protected species of wild ginseng.
  • Bum Fights: To get Dr. Kreiger to break into the mainframe, Lana persuades Pam to participate in Kreiger's "Bum Shock Fights". This is a reference to the early 2000s series 'Bum Fights' which features amateur videos of high school fights, and other exploits involving several homeless people in a similar style to the popular show 'Jackass'.
  • The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976): Randy's direction to "slap iron" to any wounds received in the shootout is a reference to this Clint Eastwood film.
  • Capezio: Sheriff E.Z. Ponder used to tease Ray for wearing capezios in high school; the trade name of Capezio Ballet Makers Inc. is a manufacturer of dance shoes, apparel, and accessories.
  • Dan Rather: Archer calls a chicken's rooster "Dan Lather" after this journalist and since Cheryl shaved the rooster with shaving cream.
  • Barbra Streisand: Ray's handgun has the word "Barbra" engraved on it. The singer and actress is a gay icon; she started her career at The Lion, a gay nightclub in Greenwich Village and has long been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

Running Gags / Callbacks[]


  • The title is a reference "Bloody Harlan", a reference to a nickname for Harlan County, Kentucky, where attempts to unionize the coal mines in the 1930s led to intense violence and much bloodshed.
  • Archer is wearing a cap with the Poovey Farms cow logo on it.
  • A Red Beer poster is prominently featured in Randy and Janelle's house.
  • When Ray says "I never said I was paralyzed, y'all just assumed I was!", he actually did say he was paralyzed in The Limited. When Archer asks if everyone is okay after Kenny Bilko shot at them, Ray responds "Yeah, paralyzed, but other than that, fine, yeah."
  • Archer is not surprised that Ray is not a fan of the Old Testament, most probably because of passages such as Leviticus 20:13 which advocate putting two men who lie with each other to death. These types of verses are frequently cited by religious groups who are against homosexuality. In "Archer Vice: Filibuster" Ray says that his church "didn't really do the New Testament," which means that Ray probably grew to resent the Old Testament after it being the only part of the Bible he could preach about.
  • When Ray says he's going to beat his brother like a rented mule, Archer says that that sounds like something from the Bible. Numbers 22:21-32 contains a passage about Balak beating a donkey three times (a mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse) only to have God chastise him for it, by speaking through the donkey's mouth.
  • The 'E.Z. Ponder' character may be a compound reference based on real-life sheriff E.Y. Ponder, best known for his involvement in the f murder in Madison County NC, and the saying "easy pardner" common in cowboy movies.



Lana: "The alarm company called us because the motion sensors were going off."
Ray: "Dukes."
Lana: "Yeah, the rest of us got new key codes Monday, but you were... where was it?
Ray: "Physical therapy."
Lana: "For your 'limp, useless legs.'"
Archer: "Well, it's obviously working, you're on a--Wait a minute! How the hell are you walking around on ladders?!"
Lana: "Because he's not paralyzed!"
Ray: "And is that not the stuff of miracles?"


Ray: "Anyway, he (E.Z.) wants Randy's dope farm for himself or he's gonna kill him, so I gotta go down there and stop him."
Archer: "Count me in."
Lana: "What? Why?"
Archer: "Well, for one thing, it's eerily similar to the plot of 'White Lightning', and this is Ray's brother, Lana. What's more important than family?"
Lana: "Mmm, getting hammered on moonshine and trying to bang skanky trailer chicks?"
Archer: "Um, 'trying?'"


Cyril: "So not only is Ray not paralyzed, but his brother is a drug dealer--"
Lana: ""Farmer."
Cyril: "And he and Archer are in West Virginia doinnnng...what the heck are they doing?"
Pam: (peeking up from behind a stall) "Fighting a war on the war on drugs?"
Lana: "Goddammit!"
Pam: "What? You should've looked under the stalls."
Lana: "I did! Wait, I did."
Pam: "Yeah, I usually put my feet up on the grab bars."


Ray: "Well, there she is. The old homestead."
Cheryl: "Jesus, what's my dowry? Tetanus?"


Archer: "Ray, to be honest, I'm kind of having second thoughts about this whole thing."
Cheryl: "Uh, get in line."
Janelle: "Randy Gillette, where are your manners? Get these folks a map of that damn mine field so they can come inside. I got some nice, hot pie for them."
Archer: "Okay, now I'm having third thoughts."
Ray: "Oh, please don't."
Archer: "It would be rude not to eat her pie, which I assume is not only hot, but also moist. Although, hopefully not flaky."


Randy: "Do you wanna have sex with my wife?"
Archer: "No, I-I swear, this was just an extremely unlikely mishap with the barbed wire."
Randy: "'Cause we would be amenable to that. Well? Why d'you look so nonplussed?"
Archer: "Because I wasn't sure if you knew what amenable actually meant until you followed it up with nonplussed."


Randy: "Well, don't just sit there, shoot!"
Archer: "Ugh. I can't. I feel sick. What's happening? Do I have cancer again?"
Ray: "You drank too much!"
Archer: "That's a thing?"


Pam: "Here's the files you had me pull."
(Pam accidentally shocks Malory.)
Malory: "OW! What the hell is on your hands?"
Pam: "My bum-zappers. For the shock-fights? That I'm doing for Krieger, which is why he broke the server, to help Lana cover up that Ray and Mr. Archer are killing cops for a drug dealer, and also Ray's been faking that he's paralyzed?"
Pam: "Or, are we not telling you that?"

Gallery of Images[]

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