Archer and Lana are called over to Malory's apartment on what was supposed to be an off night for the ISIS crew. There, they are shocked to discover what appears to be a dead body, some foreplay, and a few random gunshots. As they put together the pieces of the mystery, they soon discover that there's more to this story than meets the eye.
The episode begins with a visibly shaken Malory, as she sits in a chair with a gun in her hand and a wound in her left arm, who is soon joined by Sterling and Lana. Opposite of Malory is a dead man, revealed to be the prime minister of Italy Savio Mascalzoni, in a zentai suit, poised atop a rubber phallus, bound to a seatless chair, with five bullet wounds in his chest. Upon being questioned by Sterling and Lana, Malory insists that she wasn't responsible, though the former isn't fully convinced.
Fearing scandal and prosecution for murdering a politician, Malory insists that Sterling and Lana chop up the body and dispose of it. Disgusted, Sterling instead opts to call Krieger to do so. Shortly thereafter, Krieger adorned and equipped with body disposal implements, arrives with the other ISIS members, who'd been invited on the pretense that they would be attending a surprise party. Sterling, being reminded of Italian food, goes to the kitchen to prepare spaghetti and meatballs.
While Krieger begins his operation, an NYPD detective appears at Malory's front door with accusations that the Italian prime minister had been murdered in Malory's apartment. This prompts the ISIS team to quickly stage a dinner party as a distraction while Krieger finishes attending to the corpse.
Having found the house clean, the detective is about to be escorted out by Malory but stops to check the bathroom. Malory contemplates murdering the officer, but stops as Krieger emerges, awash in foul odors. The officer, repulsed by the smell, hastily examines the bathroom to find nobody, apologizes to Malory and leaves. Later, as the members of ISIS leave Malory's apartment, Krieger gives each a parcel containing one of Mazcalzoni's body parts, under the instructions that they are to "disseminate" the corpse about New York's trash bins (strategically in the shape of a smiley face on a map).
As Lana and Sterling leave, they ruminate on the events of the night. Lana argues to Sterling, who is now fully convinced of his mother's innocence, that the magazine in Malory's gun contains the same number of bullets as the number of shots fired in the apartment, a total of nine. During Lana's monologue, a flashback reveals Malory to be Mascalzoni's sex partner, in which she helps him engage in a number of fetishes. For several years, she uses this sexual partnership with Mascalzoni as a ruse in which she bides her time to murder the latter. When questioned as to her motive, she states that she is getting revenge for the murder of a man who may have been Sterling's father. She then shoots a nearby wall, three times, shoots herself in the arm, and shoots Mascalzoni five times in the chest. Immediately after everyone leaves Malory walks up to a full-length mirror, disrobes and says "honey you still got it bow chika wow wow uh huh huh".
- Starring :
- Calpurnia was the name of the Finches' housekeeper in To Kill a Mockingbird and has hands as "wide as a bed slat". Cheryl picks this name and role for Lana's cover in this episode. Calpurnia was also the name of the third and last wife of the Roman emperor Julius Caesar.
- When Lana says that Operation Gladio was "starring Allen Dulles", she's referring to the then director of the CIA.
- Krieger's plan to dispose of Mascalzoni's body is reminiscent of the death of Romulus, the legendary founder of Rome. In this particular version of the story, Romulus is murdered by the Senate, his body is dismembered, and the senators each hide a body part under their robes to be disposed of later in various locations. The parallel is made more apparent by the fact that Mascalzoni is the Italian Prime Minister.
- Malory's Irish concierge and his sick son are clear references to Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim, two characters in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
- The name Savio Mascalzone is a reference to Silvio Berlusconi who was the Prime Minister of Italy until 2011: a lot of scandals regarding Berlusconi's promiscuous and perverted sexual behavior rose to public attention, especially in Italy, eventually leading to his legal persecution and his dismission from the charge. The word "Mascalzone" is also Italian for scoundrel.
- Apparently, both Malory and the Mascalzoni had some involvement in the early stages of Operation Gladio. In this operation covert agencies recruited right-wing elements to combat leftist groups, sometimes violently, to prevent Communist takeover of western countries or leftist groups collaborating with a Soviet invasion.
- When Lana tells Archer about the magazine capacity of the gun, Archer says "Thanks, Rain Man." This is a reference to Raymond Babbitt, from the movie "Rain Man". Raymond had autism, but he also had amazing recall and was skilled at mathematics. He could remember very specific details.
- This episode is one of the few in which we see the interior of Malory's luxury apartment in great detail. Throughout the series, the more you see the inside, the more that it bears a striking resemblance to the interior of George and Lucille Bluth's apartment in the FOX TV series Arrested Development.
Running Gags / CallbacksEdit
- When Malory asks Archer to think of a way to sneak the body out, he replies "I shall fetch a rug", imitating Woodhouse's voice. This is a callback to "Training Day" when Archer and Cyril thought they killed a prostitute in Archer's apartment and had Woodhouse hide the body in a rug. This also references "Killing Utne," when Woodhouse uttered the same line.
- After Krieger brings Pam, Ray, Cheryl, and Cyril to the apartment to help him, Cyril remarks that every time they go to Malory's apartment, they have to help hide a body. This is a callback to "Killing Utne", where everyone had to help Malory burn the bodies of Torvald Utne and the undercover KGB agent. Despite this, it is actually the third time the ISIS "core group" had been to Malory's apartment, as the cutaway gag to Archer's "sullen whore" collapsing at the dinner table shows Cyril present for his first time, before even the events of "Killing Utne." However, Malory could be saying that the group had only been there twice before, with this being their third visit
- Title Explained: "Lo Scandalo" is Italian for "The Scandal."
- In the beginning of the episode, when Lana and Archer come through the front door, the three bullet holes that Malory left in the wall are not there.
- When Malory asks Archer "What year do you think this is?", he replies "I uh, yeah, exactly, good question". This is a fourth-wall joke referencing to the fact the time period the show is set in is left intentionally ambiguous. This is the second time this type of joke has been used, the first time was in "Blood Test."
- Malory reveals that one reason for her prejudice against the Irish is a grudge stemming from their neutrality in World War II.
- Malory reveals, in a flashback at the end of this episode, that she has a grudge against Mascalzoni because right-wing agents (apparently under his command) shot a leftist protester in the street with whom she seems to have been in love. She suggests this man, who had blue eyes, full lips, and thick black hair, may have been Archer's father.
- Malory murders Mascalzoni to music from Verdi's opera "Il Trovatore". The aria "Di tale amor che dirsi", in which Leonora sings of her love for the ill-fated troubadour, plays in the background when Malory shoots Mascalzoni.
- After shooting Mascalzoni in the flashback toward the end of the episode, Malory shouts, "Cazzo fascista!" which roughly translates from Italian as "Fascist prick!" ("Cazzo" is vulgar Italian slang for "penis.")
- There is a brief graphical glitch In which part of Malory's arm overlaps her shoulder. This happens while she is in the kitchen with Lana (disguised as a maid).
- It is well known that the creator of Archer, Adam Reed, is a fan of this series and has made frequent references to the show: Voice actors of Malory Archer and Cheryl / Carol are voiced by Jessica Walters and Judy Greer who were both actors on Arrested Development. Jeffery Tambor (George Bluth) has been hired as a voice actor on a couple of occasions, most notably as Torvald Utne. Adam Reed has asked Will Arnet to guest star multiple times to no avail. Malory's personality is exactly the same as Lucille Bluth's. Archer and Malory's Oedipus-like relationship mirrors that of Buster and Lucille Bluth. So it is not a stretch to believe that the interior design of Malory's apartment would also mirror Lucille's. In season 6 there is a scene during the season finale where we see the porch of Ron Cadillac's mansion which strongly resembles the porch of the model home from Arrested Development.
- The last few bits of Italian in the episode don't quite make sense unless you know that one of Mascalzoni's lines got changed. In the final broadcast version he says, "May have been?! You don't know?! Madon'! Sei proprio una puttana!" (Holy Mary! You really are a whore!) Malory's response of "Che tipo davvero?!" (What kind (type) indeed?!) doesn't seem to completely match Mascalzoni's final utterance. However, his line was originally to be - "Madon'! Che tipo di puttana sei?" (What kind of whore are you?), to which she replies, "What kind indeed?!", then shoots him.
- When the detective warns Krieger may have left an upper decker, he's referring to a particularly revolting and potentially destructive prank that would create a lingering and untraceable odor.
- Malory's Apartment, New York
- Archer: I have a question mother. Why does this chair have no seat? And what... is in his ass?!
- Malory: Ever since then, once a year, he'd slip away and we'd spend a romantic weekend together
- Archer: Well, you definitely nailed it! If this doesn't just scream romance...
- Lana: Archer!
- Archer: What, Lana? What's more romantic than a dildo party-slash-murder?
- Malory: And he wasn't always into that!
- Archer: You mean vice versa?
- Malory: Shut up! As he grew older, Savio's tastes became more and more... exotic. And so he started introducing all these accoutrements very gradually.
- Archer: Well, he'd have to. Thing's huge.
- Malory: So once again you're left with the class Irish man's dilemma: do I eat the potato or do I let it ferment so I can drink it later?
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