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"That's how you get ants!"
—Malory Archer[src]

Malory Archer was the tritagonist of the show. She was the former Chief Executive Officer of ISIS and the mother of Sterling Archer.

Malory governed her employees with harsh criticism, raw commentary and belligerent vilification and almost always with a drink in one hand.

At the end of Season 12, Malory decided that it was time to pass on the agency to Sterling and the rest of the team as she enters retirement with Ron on an undisclosed beach.

She was voiced by the late Jessica Walter.

Background

Malory's mother, Bub, is apparently still alive, and it is implied they don't get along. Both Malory and Archer call her "Bub." She apparently has a sister or a brother and it is unknown whether they get along.

As a young woman, Malory pursued an acting career before being recruited as a spy by Wild Bill Donovan of the OSS. Her first mission was to kill a German man in Tunisia, possibly Wolfgang Fischer.

Malory gave birth to Sterling while on an OSS assignment in Tangier, Morocco in Reggie's Bar, an establishment owned and operated by Woodhouse. Malory was a harsh and frequently unavailable working mother when her son was growing up. She didn't see him for 5 years during World War II and spent one Christmas in Iran for Operation Ajax. She is unsure about who fathered Sterling. One possibility is an unnamed Italian activist she describes in the episode Lo Scandalo. Other "possibles in the mix" are: Major Nikolai Jakov (head of the KGB with whom she has appeared in a sex tape), Len Trexler (head of rival organization, ODIN), and famous jazz drummer, Buddy Rich. Malory frequently voices her displeasure at being a mother. She also displays grudging affection for her son and hysterical emotional distress when she believes he is in danger.

In "Skorpio", she shows a definite tendency to micro-manage her agents. During her entire vacation, she observes Lana Kane and Sterling carrying out their mission to take out Spirodon Skorpio. She watches the entire operation unfold nearby, from the deck of the Chum Guzzler, a small boat rented by Nikolai Jakov.

Malory has recently shown an interest in returning to acting, by collaborating with Cyril Figgis on a script in which she would play the lead character, a spymaster based on her.

Malory occupies a large apartment in a fashionable co-op apartment building located in Manhattan's Upper East Side. In the second episode of season five after being charged with treason, she informs her ISIS employees that she put the apartment in her husband's name to prevent the FBI from confiscating it. She also owns a condo in South Beach Florida. Malory is voiced by the late Jessica Walter.

Personality

Malory shooting herself in "Lo Scandalo".

Tough, ruthless and the veteran of many dangerous missions, Malory will do whatever it takes to succeed. She'll sacrifice others, lie, cheat and even harm herself. She is extremely secretive, vindictive, crafty and patient - not a woman one trifles with or crosses.

Her description of her son in "Jeu Monegasque" as a "vain, selfish, lying, and quite possibly alcoholic man-whore" works equally well for her. She is politically conservative, proudly elitist, and casually but inconsistently racist (in the episode "The Limited" she calls a black conductor George, which turned out to be his real name, which she didn't know before). She also harbors prejudice towards Irish people as well as bitterness towards the Japanese and Germans for World War II.

She is also very amoral. In "Skytanic", she went to extreme lengths to fake a bomb threat in order to get a room on the rigid airship, simply because her neighbor/rival, Trudy Beekman, was bragging about her suite. After she couldn't book a reservation at restaurant "16", she faked another phony case of emergency in "Live and Let Dine"; this time she set up a threat against the life of the ambassador of Albania, but again, this too came to fruition. She is an excessive drinker bordering on alcoholism, near-constantly having a drink in hand or looking for any liquids of alcoholic content to consume.

She was absent most of Sterling's life, most notably letting Woodhouse raise him for the first five years of his life (until she decided to suddenly show up out of the woodwork, bringing with her gifts for him to buy back his love).

When she was with him, she emotionally abused him, claiming it was for his own good. Once, for his birthday, she got him a bike; when she later found the bike on the sidewalk, she took the bike, and then beat him with a ping pong paddle for his supposed negligence. Malory is also frequently dishonest and withholding towards Archer. She once went as far to donate money to a Junior ROTC team who later faked a 21 gun salute for Archer's benefit after she lied to him that his father died a hero, but the Junior ROTC went on to win a trophy later that year, so she believed that it was still a noble thing to do. She has also displayed the same attitude with her Grandchildren. As seen during her taking care of her then presumed infant grandson, Seamus McGoon, whereby she would take away the infant's toy bee right in front of him and attempt to psychologically manipulate him into only trusting her.

Malory has also shown to have the same mixed abusive/care for her granddaughter, Abbiejean Kane-Archer, where had made several repeated attempts to put her in a "diet" due to deeming her to be too fat for a baby and has attempted to literally starve her and only feed her ice instead of actual baby food. However unlike with Seamus, Malory is shown to show genuine affection for her and has shown repeated maternal concern, love and protectiveness she usually does not show to Sterling and has even shown she was willing to actually kill several people if something were to happen to her.

When she wasn't abusing her son, she was often neglectful to him, even leaving him at a police station on Christmas Eve. She was shown to quickly abandon her son for the sake of a lover or lavishing affection on her beloved dog, Duchess, right in front of Sterling, caring little for his feelings.

However despite this borderline abusive behavior towards her towards her son, Malory none the less cares for and loves him deeply. As seen in the numerous times where Sterling had left, disappeared, been kidnapped or ran away from home, Malory was deeply worried for his safety and had taken a noticeably haggard appearance due to not eating or sleeping properly in searching and worrying for him and would go to extreme methods such as murder, bribery and blackmail(among other methods) to see him returned to her, showing just how far she would go for her son and that her abusive behavior towards him was solely due her misguided attempts to properly "parent" and "teach" him.

With Malory herself having a stead fast belief that "negative reinforcement" as the best parenting method.

Another facet to her personality is her apparent vindictiveness and tendency to harbor grudges and vendettas. Malory harbors a number of grudges from World War II, among them hating the Irish for not helping the Allies and the Japanese for their attack on Pearl Harbor. She hates Germans (except Krieger) and disrespects the French for being invaded during the war. She even went as far as murdering the Prime Minister of Italy, with whom she was having an affair for decades, for the sole reason that he may or may not have murdered her son's biological father.

Like her son, she is homicidally protective of baby A.J.; however, Malory is constantly insisting that AJ is overweight and tries to force a diet on her.

Love Life

Because of her career as a spy, Malory is an expert in seduction and has access to social circles that include very powerful and high-profile men; and on rare occasions, women. It can be implied that Malory was very promiscuous in her youth, as she is unsure of who the father of her son is. Her sexual appetite has not subsided despite her older age and her less action-filled role as a spymaster, and her son seems to have inherited his mother's libido as he himself is a notorious womanizer. Though an unapologetic racist, she is attracted to black men, fantasizing over them in typically racist fashion. Malory is currently married to Ron Cadillac, though the marriage is greatly strained due to her demanding ways and hints of unfaithfulness. They even at one point tried an open marriage, though it was clear she didn't want him with another woman.

Malory has had sexual encounters with many people including:

Operations and Associations

Malory has been part of a number of covert operations in her lifetime; she has been associated with a number of historical figures in that world. Some of the ones mentioned thus far are:

  • Her recruitment into the OSS by "Wild Bill" Donovan.[1]
  • Operation Gladio, where she met Mascalzoni.[2]
  • Operation AJAX, where she may have had a relationship with the agent tasked with leading the operation, Kermit Roosevelt, Jr..[3] She refers to him in a telegram to Archer (sent in lieu of being present for Christmas that year) as "Uncle Kermit," a common convention for single mothers to refer to their boyfriends when talking with their children. She had also referred to Buddy Rich as "Uncle Buddy." [4]
  • Operation PBSUCCESS,[5] for which she missed Archer's sixth birthday.

Dream Personas

After the events at the end of season 7, seasons 8, 9 and 10 see Malory take the form of a dream persona:

Trivia

  • Kathleen Cohen served as the model for Malory.
  • She had a beloved Afghan hound named Duchess, though she denies this is the reason why Sterling's codename is "Duchess". She is seen naked, spooning the dog, in a framed photo, which is a parody of a famous photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. However, she does not have a photo with both her and Sterling Archer in it - "Placebo Effect", largely due to her near-total absence in her son's upbringing.
  • She is allergic to zucchini.
  • It has been frequently displayed in the series that Malory is homophobic.
    • Malory holds an open dislike for ISIS operative Ray Gillette, for reasons yet to be explained. Her animosity may stem from Ray's homosexuality, often referring to him as "Ms. Gillette" and "Missy" and goes as far as refusing to negotiate a ransom for his release from Malaysian pirates, while planning to pay for everybody else.
    • Her apparent homophobia also makes her act unreasonable and make illogical decisions, as shown as she pulled Sterling out of one boarding school due to someone working there being gay.
  • She's anti-immigration, despite the fact that she's helped illegal Mexican immigrants who paid her get into the States in "Coyote Lovely".
  • One of her dominant traits is absolute selfishness, and she describes any policy that even remotely benefits other people as "socialist", although she still supports "socialist tax credits" that benefit her.
  • There's continuity error in "Dial M for Mother". In a flashback, a Malory who appears as old and wrinkly as she currently is is shown standing next to a prepubescent Sterling. This error was corrected in later episodes in which a young character model of Malory was properly used in flashbacks.
  • She is the only member of I.S.I.S. to regularly carry a revolver. In a flashback, she tells Lana Kane, "This is a .44 Magnum." It is equipped with both optical and laser sights, and does not need to be cocked after every round (Dial M for Mother) in the context of the show, which is a defining trait of a double-action revolver. It is most likely a Colt Anaconda, a .44 magnum, double-action revolver.
  • She has $2,302,725 in her ISIS 401(k). (The Largest amount of anyone at ISIS) - "Jeu Monégasque"
  • She is currently writing her memoirs, Secrets and Silk: The Malory Archer Story
  • Malory believes in behavior modification through punishment, largely contributing to Sterling's difficult childhood and her mistreatment of I.S.I.S. staff.
  • She has slept with Pam Poovey by way of a threesome while under the influence of "Green Russians".
  • In "The Double Deuce" it is revealed through a flashback that Woodhouse requested Malory make Archer's middle name "Reginald" in honor of his later commanding officer, who he was very close to. Malory rejected this, stating that it was "a little too gay". This seems to be a false excuse, as she went on to make his middle name "Malory", clearly undeterred by how some would regard it as effeminate. However, given Malory's extremely narcissistic nature and inherent lack of maternal instinct, it's likely that she considers the chance to name a child after herself to be of the highest priority, outweighing any potential implications of her son being teased. This theory is supported by her insistence that Lana change A.J.'s name to "Malory" as well.
  • Has a fixation on muscular black men, as is seen with her infatuation with Conway Stern (Diversity Hire), and her rewriting of the Disavowed script into a love story between her and a "coal-black" spy named Cassius (Movie Star).
  • Her racist attitudes, which she often displays but always denies, do not prevent her from truly liking and admiring Lana, whom she often calls "Dear". It also seems that her objection to Archer marrying Lana stems from her disdain for the idea of Archer marrying someone in her line of work, rather than Lana's ethnicity.
    • Interestingly, in "Double Trouble" after discovering Katya was not a double agent as she suspected, she makes no objections to Archer marrying an espionage agent. Similarly, she makes no such objections upon Katya's resurrection and second attempt to marry archer in "Skin Game".
  • Malory adores her bi-racial granddaughter, but her self-awareness is so limited that she doesn't realize she has insulted Lana by offering to pay her five thousand dollars if the child has a Christening ceremony in a white church.
  • She despises fat people and frequently insults Pam and Bilbo for their weight. Whenever she babysits for Abbiejean, she starves the baby in the belief that it will prevent her from becoming fat later in life.
    • She retains this belief throughout the span of the show, constantly making snide remarks about how AJ is a natural glutton, often to Lana herself.
  • Jessica Walter also played Lucille Bluth in Arrested Development. Lucille was the drunk matriarch of the family sort of like Malory Archer and her business. Malory's relationship with Len Trexler could be a possible reference to her on Arrested Development, for on the show, her husband George Bluth was portrayed by Jeffrey Tambor and he voices Len Trexler.
  • Malory's marriage to Ron Cadillac is a nod to Jennifer Walter's real-life marriage to Ron Leibman, who provides Ron's voice.
  • Malory is likely inspired by Female M from the series of James Bond movies GoldenEye to Skyfall, and the stern, pseudo-maternal relationship that she and James Bond shared. The title of the episode "Dial M for Mother" could be a pun for this, although it could also refer to the Alfred Hitchcock movie Dial M for Murder.
  • It is hinted to that Malory has been evading taxes for quite sometime to that point in White Elephant.
  • In White Elephant, it is hinted that Malory is friends with, or has incriminating evidence on someone with very high authority in the United States, possibly the President.
  • Malory appears to have an extremely strong metabolism possibly caused by her excessive drinking, as she is hit in the neck with a Tranquilizer in "House Call" and is not knocked out by it. She again displayed her above average resistance and metabolisim during "Liquid Lunch" where she again resisted and seemed immune to Krieger's mind control drugs.
  • She insists that Abbiejean be encouraged to refer to her exclusively as "Grandmother Archer".
  • Sterling mentions that he has a cousin named Brian, meaning Malory may have a brother or a sister.
  • She does not appear to be on good terms with her mother Bub.
  • In the Season 5 finale, Lana gives birth to Malory's granddaughter, Abbiejean Kane-Archer. Malory is very vocal in her disapproval of Lana's chosen name for her granddaughter, and attempted on multiple occasions to coax Lana into legally changing Abbiejean's name to Malory (just as she gave Sterling her own name as his middle name). Lana eventually acquiesces to Malory's efforts, though only after being bribed with $10,000, agreeing to give Abbiejean her grandmother's name as a middle name, like her father.
  • Malory spent a Christmas in Iran for Operation Ajax, a real covert military operation headed by The C.I.A., and British S.I.S. to replace Iran's elected prime minister, Mohammed Mosaddegh (who wanted to nationalize Iranian oil) and replace him with General Fazlollah Zahedi.
  • In "The Double Date", Malory and Robert are shown to have a great deal of chemistry, much to the annoyance of Lana. This is likely due to their age, wealth, and similar upbringing.
  • It is revealed in "Photo Op" that she considers herself the most important person at I.S.I.S. (with the possible exception of Archer). Malory feels so strongly about this, that she admits to believing it would be worth it if Pam, Cyril, Krieger, and Cheryl (and quite likely Lana) all died if meant she could survive.
  • In the Season 12 finale, she retires from the agency and reunites with Ron on a beach, and "passes the torch" to Archer.

Quotes

  • "Well then you better nut up" - The Rock
  • "Come on, Lurch! Let's see what's in that belly of yours!" - Double Indecency
  • "Cause I swallowed just about enough that I can take from you!" - The Rock
  • "Well, people in Hell want ice water." - A Going Concern
  • "Now it's all Sterling this and ribbons that!"- Response to Archer's positive breast cancer diagnosis. - Stage Two
  • "If I cared what you did on a weekend I'd put a shotgun in my mouth and pull the trigger with my toes." - Stage Two
  • "Do you want ants? Because THAT'S how you get ants." - Mole Hunt
  • "My god! What shade is this, crackwhore red?!" - The Rock
  • "Who is it? what do you want? Because all you're gonna get are holes! Not my holes I mean holes in you!" - Dial M For Mother
  • "Immigrants! That's how they do, you know. Just drive around listening to raps and shooting all the jobs." - Training Day
  • "Both of you, imagine shutting up!" - Diversity Hire
  • "And I don't want another one of your sullen whores using my medicine cabinet like a... a Pez dispenser!" - Killing Utne
  • "Now, then. We want this to look like a classic hooker/murder/suicide. Cyril, take Sterling's gun and pump a round into this prostitute." - Killing Utne
  • "Oh, but I will. And I'll get to see Trudy Beekman try to explain this little barbecue to the co-op board!" - Killing Utne
  • "Oh, shut up! I bet you're barren!" - Job Offer
  • "Yes, Pam, get me some poison, because I am already dead inside." - Job Offer
  • "And are you going to loom over me all day, like some sort of… henge?" - Job Offer
  • "Yes, I was a single mother. And it's a big dangerous world out there…are you idiots still here?" - Training Day
  • "Do you mind? I'm trying to parent! (Fires gun five times) That was for Pearl Harbor!" - Drift Problem
  • "And I think I just had a flashback so...these antihistamines are inSANE!" - Training Day
  • "Keep her out of the medicine cabinet. One more dead body in here and that bitch Trudy Beekman will have me right back in front of the co-op board!" - Killing Utne
  • "But if I did want a grandchild, I'd just scrape all your previous mishaps into a big pile and knit a onesie for it." - Skorpio
  • "Now remember I want the entire data system on those new servers or I will just make it rain pink slips!" - Skorpio
  • "Oh, like you'd recognize a vegetable that wasn't wrapped in a Monte Cristo sandwich. (Pam- What's that supposed to mean?)...That is Pam, isn't it?" - Training Day
  • "Pfft! Security Deposit! What was it? A pair of flip flops?" - Skorpio
  • "Oh, congratulations! You beat up a nazi, a nerd, and queen of the robots."
  • "Oh you don't look like a whore... An idiot Maybe...or both...yes A whordiot!"
  • "Sterling Malory Archer"
  • "Where's the other one...Greasing up in the bathroom?" - In response to Rays description of the room having "no view but it's got two queens" - Jeu Monegasque
  • "Busted! And now all the candy is Mother's. Cos, Crybaby hit on seventeen again! (burps)" - Jeu Monégasque

Appearances

Appearances for Malory Archer


Gallery of Images

There are 153 images of Malory Archer on this Wiki, visit the Malory Archer gallery to view all the images and screenshots.

Here is a sample of images from the gallery:

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