Questions about the identity of Sterling Archer's real father lead him into a perilous trap... and an explosive confrontation with Malory. Meanwhile, Lana confronts Cyril about him cheating on her and gets revenge.
Archer is kidnapped and implanted with a mind control chip which malfunctions and causes him to try and kill Malory. Meanwhile, Lana tries to teach Cyril a lesson after cheating on her with several women (including Cheryl) while Pam attempts to have sex with one of the co-workers.
- Starring :
- Co-Starring :
- Dial M For Murder (1954): this episode derives its name from this Alfred Hitchcock classic.
- The Manchurian Candidate (1962): the main plotline is lifted from this film with Archer as the protagonist being "brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy."
- Schindler's List (1993): Pam compares her role accounting for Lana's fake office shagathon with 'that little Gandhi dude' - Oskar Schindler’s bookkeeper Itzhak Stern in "Schindler’s List". Lana objects citing 'inappropriate analogy' which is, ironically, the point: the analogy only extends to the keeping of accounts, not what was being accounted for. This role was played by Sir Ben Kingsley as was:
- Stanley Kubrick (1928-1999): two of the director's films are referenced in this season finale:
- Full Metal Jacket (1987): Cyril acts out another iconic scene, this time of Private Pile, after being pushed to snapping point by Lana's office exploits: whilst loading his rifle he can be heard muttering the line word for word: "7...6...2... millimeter...full...metal...jacket..."
- The Shining (1980): in the final act, Archer hacks away at the door with a cleaver in homage to the iconic scene where Jack Nicolson does the same only with an ax.
- 'Greenmantle' by John Buchan: The book Malory is reading is one inspiration Adam Reed noted for the character of Archer.
- The Graduate (1967): in reference to a famous scene, Cyril thinks about the time Malory seduced him.
- When Lana agrees to have sex with Pam, she says she is going to pretend Pam is Alex Karras. Karras was a defensive tackle for the Detroit Lions in the 1960s and '70s but is probably best remembered as the father on the sitcom Webster or as Mongo in the movie Blazing Saddles.
- President John F. Kennedy (1917-1963): The flashback of Archer's fathers (fake) funeral is a reference to the funeral of US President John F. Kennedy. Young Archer's salute pose mirrors that of JFK Jr's in the famous photograph of him saluting his father's casket. Young Archer's outfit and JFK Jr's are identical. Malory's fake nickname for Archer's father is John Fitzgerald Archer. J FK's full name was John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
- Steuben glasses: the glasses of which Archer breaks one and Malory break the other are an expensive brand of handcrafted glass from New York.
- Nice things - like carpets, wallpaper and functional sons, can't be had because someone else will inevitably ruin them. In this case, Malory berates Archer for bleeding on her new linen after she shoots him 6 times in the chest.
- Sploosh! - first and second use by Pam.
- Voicemail Prank - debuts.
- Sterling. Malory. Archer
- Choke Sex leads to Choke Bot
- 934 TXS - the code on the Soviet microchip.
Archer / Frisky Dingo
- "Baffling" - said by Archer to Malory / used repeatedly by one of the D&D geeks (think gazebo).
- Hostile work environment - said by Boris to Jakov / one of the Xtacles raises the same complaint.
- Krieger was last seen in The Rock (s1e8).
- Mannfred & Uta were last seen in Killing Utne (s1e4).
- Nikolai Jakov was last seen in Skorpio (s1e6).
- Trinette Magoon was last seen in Training Day (s1e2).
- When Trinette is seen in the park she says the baby's dad knows Krav Maga. She is implying that the baby is Archer's, setting up a story arc in Season 2.
- Uta wears a t-shirt from the Excelsior, the airship in Skytanic.
- Archer's gunshot scars from Lana shooting him in the foot twice (first time in Skorpio; second time, in subsequent episode, Skytanic) can be seen as he is being held prisoner.
- This "Chekhov's gun" principle, which is in use throughout the first season, is here lampshaded. See Archer's gun and Conway's knife in Diversity Hire (s1e3), and the Speargun which appears in Training Day (s1e2) and is discharged in Diversity Hire (s1e3).
- The office worker with the red bow-tie is reading the same magazine as Cyril was reading in the Odin parking garage (Paris) in Job Offer (s1e9). With the headline reading "Entre le zenit," the satellite depicted foreshadows the one used by the Soviets for mind control. Perhaps Cyril brought it back with him to the office.
- Title Explained: The title of this episode is a reference to the Hitchcock film Dial M for Murder.
- The title is also shared with an episode of "The Critic", one of the first shows Archer voice actor H. Jon Benjamin appeared on.
- The beginning sequence of a rainy night closing in on a building may be a reference to the opening sequence of the show Aqua Teen Hunger Force, and Dr. Weird's laboratory.
- In the background as Pam is putting up the ISIS "Fraternization Policy", numerous other bulletins can be seen, including "Want to Carpool to Chemo on Thurs? Contact Jane in Payroll", "Free Kitten: I'm Kitty-Litter-ate! [a picture of a kitten] I'll take your breathe away (but not in the middle of the night) Call Eric", "WWJD about the dirty dishes in the break room!" and "Krieger Improv: The Science of Funny". As with other written items in the Archerverse, such as Pam’s ISIS newsletter in “Diversity Hire” and the newspaper clippings in “The Double Deuce”, the ISIS Fraternization Policy is partially written in English and Latin.
- Lana tells the men to deliberately make their lies about having sex with her as nasty as possible. Brett claims Lana gave him a "Jane Hathaway", which is a sex act where a women orgasms on a man's chest.
- Uta luring in Archer with the line, "Help, my baby is choking!" is reminiscent of a scene from the second season opener of FX's Sons of Anarchy, where Gemma Teller is lured to a van in the same manner.
- Archer's ringtone, "Mulatto Butts" can be downloaded from Krieger's easter-egg-hunt website AlgerSoft after logging in, or from this direct link.
- Archer states that his handgun is a "Chekhov". This is most likely a reference to the dramatic principle Chekhovs Gun as the firearm does indeed come into play before the end of the episode.
- New York City, New York
- (Pam puts a notice up on the bulletin board.)
- Cyril: "'All interoffice fraternization of an intimate nature is hereby prohibited, to include, but not limited to: trysts, assignations...' What's this even mean?"
- Pam: "It means no more banging co-workers."
- Cyril: "Oh, so it doesn't affect you." (laughs)
- Pam: "MEH HEH! Oh, wait." (staples Cyril)
- Brett: "No."
- Pam: "Yes."
- Brett: "No."
- Pam: "Have sex with me."
- Brett: "No."
- Pam: "Please?"
- Brett: "No."
- Pam: "Awww, come on..."
- Brett: "Pam..."
- Pam: (using her dolphin puppet) "Nobody would ever know."
- Brett: "Yeah, I'd know."
- Lana: "Okay, we got the french chick and Carol and... anybody else, Rambone?"
- Cyril: "No."
- (Jane walks in the room.)
- Jane: "Hi, Cyril."(giggles then erupts into a coughing fit.)
- Lana: "Scatterbrain Jane?! Really?!
- Cyril: "Well, see, she had just been diagnosed with breast cancer--"
- Lana: "Oh, right! I forgot, your dick's full of radiation and mastectomy coupons."
- Pam: (Getting dressed)"Well, that was a huge waste of time."
- Lana: "I said don't take your clothes off."
- Pam: "Well..."
- Lana: "Begged, even."
- Pam: "WELL..."
- Pam: "Now serving number two!"
- Brett: (Holds up number)"I'm number two! That's me!"
- (Bumps into Cyril)
- Brett: "Move, dude!"
- Cyril: "Animals! You're all ANIMALS!"
- Ray: "Animals, lying in wait at the watering hole, taut buttocks all aquiver. Aching to pounce on the supple, brown flesh of your woman."
- Cyril: "Shut up!"
- Ray: "They are gonna mess her up."
- Cyril: "Why are you even here?"
- Ray: "Hello." (Holds up number)
- Cyril: "But you're gay!"
- Ray: "Girl, please. Nobody's that gay."
- Malory: "Filthy coat! Can't tell what's cow's blood and what's yours."
- Archer: "The wet blood, mother, is mine!"
- Malory: "And it's ruining my brand-new linens!"
- Archer: "Sorry!"
- Malory: "This is why I can't have nice things."
- Archer: "Why, because you shoot them?"
Gallery of Images
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- "Dial M for Mother" on IMDB