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Smart monkey

Smart Monkey

Several Classic 'Archer' techniques and trademarks are employed in the fifth episode of Season 9.


Not so much alluded to in this episode as directly pointed out in the first two scenes, with both Crackers and Pam mentioning the narrative device.  Archer prefers them not to as the omens aren't good (plus, having self-aware characters is risky: it's better to draw attention away from the narrative device).

Opening scene:

  • Archer shoots out the radio / Crackers mentions that being unnecessary.
  • Pam looks at the map and states they need to land in Dead Man's Cove / Crackers says "did somebody have dibs on foreshadowing lagoon?"

Next scene:

  • Crackers: "Just want to reiterate: "it was a pretty bad idea to shoot out the radio".
  • Pam: "Talk about foreshadowing!"
  • Archer: "Yeah - or don't"

Later on in a scene which mirrors the opening scene:

Malory looks at the map and asks Reynaud where the 'treasure' is.  He says it's near Dead Man's Cove and Charlotte says "did somebody have dibs on harbinger harbor."  (this is also a callback, which reinforces the foreshadowing).

  • Whilst drawing attention to it, and away from it, it is possible that another foreshadowing occurs under the radar (without being mentioned at all):  Pam refers to the howler monkeys as potentially "super intelligent", and that they could have escaped from a "top secret lab."  (It remains to be seen if this is foreshadowing or a red herring - it turns out the was misdirection / a red herring). 


  • "Did somebody have dibs on harbinger harbor"/ Did somebody have dibs on foreshadowing lagoon?"
  • Fuchs asks Malory if there is any treasure on the island like the book by Robert Louis Stevenson - Charlotte replies "What?! Weir of Hermiston?" / Malory asks Reynaud "what if there is treasure on the island?" / Reynaud says "I think it is a good story.  It's no 'Weir of Hermiston".  
    • This pairing are ironic references to his more obscure book, not his most well-known, acts to deflect away from obvious parallels with Treasure Island.
  • Lana calls Charlotte "the crazy coconut lady" to Fuchs / Fuchs calls Charlotte the same to the soldiers he is patrolling with.


  • Crackers mentioning that Archer shooting out the radio is unnecessary draws our attention to, and then away, from the fact that this act leads to them having no ability to contact the outside world when they get trapped in the quicksand. An implausible and pointless act, which carries the plot on nonetheless.
  • Crackers points out that Howler monkeys are only found in Central and South America, which is actually where macaws like him originate.
  • Fuchs generalizes the same fact, saying that howler monkeys are not indigenous to the Pacific. (This is technically a callback to Crackers' mention).  

Crackers' usage of this technique is both an application and subversion: he refers to the fact howler monkeys aren't native, but he doesn't point out that macaws like him aren't native either.  His appearance on the island is just as inexplicable as theirs - he appears to have 'befriended' Archer somewhere/time before Archer fought in the Spanish Civil War.


Charlotte sticks her tongue out at Malory / Howler monkey sticks it's tongue out at Pam and Archer.

Revelatory Dialogue[]

Pam gets to know where she stands with Archer (besides quicksand).  

  • Given that she is a dream persona, this is more likely Archer coming to terms with his relationship with Pam, revealing more about him than Pam as such. (see Dream Themes).

Adjacent Episodes[]

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Author: Communications of the Highest Kind (talk)