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"Deadly Prep" is the third episode of Season 7, being the seventy-eighth episode overall. It first aired on April 14, 2016.



A business opportunity arises at a prep school reunion.


Archer, Lana, and Malory take Abbiejean to an illustrious prep school in hopes of jump-starting her life down the right path. However, between the low admission rate and the bigoted attitudes of the board, the odds already seemed stacked against it. That is until Archer runs into an unwelcome blast from the past, Richard Stratton IV, AKA "Ivy", a nickname based on his generational suffix "IV".

Archer becomes visibly unnerved after laying eyes on Ivy, who refers to him as "Swirling Archer." Ivy introduces himself to Malory and Lana and Abbiejean, being the board of the preschool. Ivy asks Archer to meet with him later, under the pretext of helping A.J. get into Country Day. Lana pressures Archer to meet Ivy, wanting their daughter to be successful in life. Archer meets Ivy, and in that meeting, recalls that he lettered for three years in lacrosse, and not all four years.

Archer explains he did not because Ivy and his best friend Trent Whitney ganged up on Archer in his freshman year, attacked him, and dunked him in a toilet full of Whitney's urine. After being punched in the nose by Whitney, Archer passed out and aspirated urine and water into his lungs, resulting in being hospitalized for 5 weeks with pneumonia. Ivy moves the conversation forward and tells Archer that he is dying with stage 4 cancer he wants to stage a break-in in which Archer kills him and he will pay $100,000 and leave a letter of recommendation for Archer's daughter.

Meanwhile back at the Figgis Agency, Archer informs Cyril of the mission, leaving out obviously important details, forcing Cyril to ask Lana and Ray to tail Archer, to which Lana replies she has to make hamentashen, and Ray refuses, on the assumption Lana gets a pass because she has a vagina. Cheryl and Pam enter, inquiring about the aforementioned vagina pass and its benefits, while Cyril prepares to tail Archer.

That night, Archer breaks into what he thinks is Ivy's home where he is surprised to find Whitney, his other prep school bully. Whitney has been embezzling from their hedge fund Stratton-Whitney, as well as sleeping with Ivy's wife for five years. Whitney offers to pay double what Ivy is paying Archer, who starts over the price, at which point Cyril walks in, catching Archer red-handed in his lie. Before long, Whitney is killed by Ivy, who is a trained sniper from a distance outside the house. Lana is later arrested by Diedrich, and her valuables confiscated (which includes "a crudely drawn vagina pass").


Longwater evidence.

Cyril and Archer hide in the kitchen.  Archer tells Cyril to get the money out of the floor safe while Archer draws Ivy's fire and races to the car. Cyril finds the money, along with files and disks entitled 'Longwater', but leaves them behind, afraid of Archer leaving him. As Cyril escapes, the house is destroyed in an explosion caused when one of Ivy's bullets ignites the leaking gas caused by a previous bullet. A high-speed chase ensues, in which Archer gets the upper hand against Ivy, intending to turn him over to the police for his crimes. Unfortunately, Ivy's car careens off the cliff and he is killed in the crash, whereas Archer survives, jumping out at the last second.

Drawing on his own experiences of the elitism he faced, Archer explains to Lana (who is behind bars for the hamentashen incident) that despite being intelligent enough, Abbiejean doesn't need to go to private school, plus the drawbacks of dropping and picking her up, which he doesn't want to do. He leaves and refuses to put money on Lana's canteen account.


Cultural References[]

  • Fletch (1985): Richard "Ivy" Stratton's plan for Archer is very similar to Alan Stanwyk's plan for Fletch, substituting Stratton's partner for Stanwyk's wife.
  • The Ballad of Paladin: Archer sings this song to himself while assembling his Walther to go kill Ivy.
  • Grizzly Bear and Jethro Tull: Archer calls Ray "Jethro Dull" when asked if he's about to hunt some grizzly bears, referencing the two rock bands.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): Cyril's revenge fantasy involves a naked Archer in a basement pit, which impeccably resembles the basket scene from the movie.
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946): Archer makes fun of Whitney attempting to lie about not having money in his house by quoting George Bailey's stammering line "It's in Tom's house... and Bill's house."
  • Octoroon: When Ivy suggests that Abbiejean is a mulatto bastard, Archer says that technically Abbiejean is an Octoroon bastard.
  • Project Gemini & Space Shuttle: Abbiejean is seen playing with models of both a Gemini capsule and Space Shuttle.
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (2015): When Archer is invited into Ivy's office, the sentence "Mr. Stratton will see you now." is spoken by a blonde woman. This is a nod to "Mr. Grey will see you now"  and the detail that Mr. Grey only hires blonde women for employees.

Running Gags[]

  • Phrasing: Lana uses this for the first time ever.
  • Suppressing Fire: Cyril once again proves his ineptitude with firearms as he fires wildly at Ivy and misses him completely all the while yelling his most famous catchphrase.
  • Shitty Weave: As was revealed in "The Figgis Agency", Lana has, in fact, started using hair extensions since the gang relocated to California. When she's arrested and taken to jail at the end of the episode, she's finally seen without them.
  • Smells Like Glue: Cheryl Tunt is seen sniffing White-Out instead of the rubber cement she usually favors.
  • Carhop: Archer once again jumps from one car to another while both are speeding down the road.


  • Both the official prerelease synopsis and the broadcast television synopsis for this episode (both seen in the section above) vary quite significantly from what actually occurs.
    • Also of note, the broadcast television synopsis has a typo. It lists "peaks" when the homophone "piques" is the proper word to use.
  • Archer remembering that he killed a lot of people while battling with cancer is a callback to the Season 2 episode "Placebo Effect" when he went on a rampage, which he filmed and titled Terms of En-Rampagement.
  • It is revealed that Malory confiscated Archer's phone after the assumed voicemail hoax incident in the previous episode, "The Handoff".
  • Archer says to Whitney that he believes Whitney and Ivy will die in a "bizarre murder-suicide." Later, Ivy shoots Whitney in the head, launches into a chase with Archer, and then attempts to kill both himself and Sterling by driving off a cliff, with Archer jumping out at the last second, proving Sterling's prediction entirely correct.
  • Whitney’s car that Archer and Cyril escape in is a 1972 DeTomaso Pantera .
  • Homicide Detective #2 (nicknamed Rim Shot), seen in the opening scene of "The Figgis Agency", makes another appearance as the officer that arrests Lana.
  • This episode takes place at least two years after "Archer Vice: Arrival/Departure" since it was stated that Abbiejean was two years old.


Ivy: "Have you killed people before?"
Archer: "Yeah, literally scores of them. I, actually used to be the world's greatest secret agent."
Ivy: "Oh, before becoming an unlicensed private investigator."
Archer: "After a brief stint as a drug dealer."


Ray: "Since when do you get a free pass around here just for having a vagina?"
Pam: "Yeah, Cyril."
Cheryl: "And also what is it good for?"
Cyril: "What is what good for?"
Pam: "The free pass for having a vag."
Krieger: "Duh."
Cheryl: "I assume we can expect discounts at local businesses and theme parks."
Cyril: "Oh for the love of..."


Whitney: "Dude, check this out. What if I paid you 500, and you kill Ivy?"
Archer: "Mmm, no, I think just the three. Ivy's a cuckold, betrayed by his wife and friend. You're a cuckolding thief and between us, clearly an alcoholic."
Cyril: "He's an alcoholic."
Archer: "He didn't know he was gonna die tonight, Cyril. For him, it's just Tuesday."


Cyril: "Because I don't have a mobile carrier."
Archer: "Why not?"
Cyril: "I've been comparison shopping for the best rate plan."
Archer: "For three months?! There are literally two companies! What the hell can you possibly be comparing?"
Cyril: "Their respective rate plans!"


Cyril: "I also find it interesting that you, Sterling Archer, man without fear, are running away from your bully."
Archer: "Because Cyril Figgis, man without sense, wasted all the ammunition!"

Episode Teaser[]

Gallery of Images[]

There are 25 screenshots and images from "Deadly Prep" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.

External links[]

Reference List[]

  1. Archer Season 7 Ratings on