"Mole Hunt" is the first episode of Archer. It premiered on September 17, 2009.
Wishing to hack the ISIS mainframe to hide an issue with his expense account, Archer inadvertently spreads a rumor there is a mole in ISIS. There actually is a mole, Crenshaw, and on hearing this he plans to flee using Archer's expense account.
Sterling Archer, an egocentric, rude, and often tasteless agent from the spy organization ISIS, partakes in a torture training exercise but causes it to be terminated after mocking fellow agent Crenshaw's fake-torture tactics. After a less than glowing review by Archer's mother, Malory, Crenshaw expresses his disdain for Archer's levity in the workplace, as well as the apparent nepotism that allows Archer to even remain at ISIS. Archer responds by holding his foot up to Crenshaw's face, having been tied up for the exercise. Crenshaw uses the jumper cables intended for the torture training to electrocute Archer's foot. Archer complains, but only to Malory's delight.
The following day, Archer wakes up in his apartment to a rude message from his dry cleaner. A woman is in bed with him, naked and sporting a ping pong paddle-shaped red mark on her posterior. Archer's awakening is made all the ruder by finding a pug at the foot of his bed, causing him to kick out his "companion" before breakfast is even served.
On the terrace, Archer is berating his manservant, Woodhouse, for allowing a dog in his apartment. Woodhouse explains that Archer insisted an exception be made due to the pug's alleged musical talent (of course, Archer was drunk at the time.) Archer retorts that he's always insistent, but never to be trusted. He also warns Woodhouse that if he finds a single dog hair upon his return from work, he will rub sand in his "dead, little eyes", after Woodhouse purchases sand for him, adding that the sand should be 'coarse'.
As Archer enters what appears to be a dry cleaning store, the owner, who phoned him earlier, further demands that Archer takes his suits and settle his account with them. Archer responds that his shirt now reeks of curry, and insists the owner purchase a dress-shield. Archer then approaches a set of washing machines that automatically open up to reveal a secret elevator that takes him to ISIS headquarters, situated above the cleaners.
While trying to get members of the organization to smell his dry cleaning due to its strange odor, it's shown that the majority of coworkers hold contempt for him (many flipping the bird behind his back). He comes across Lana Kane, his co-worker/ex-girlfriend, who harbors no pleasant memories of their time together. (Flashback to them in bed about to have sex when Malory calls. Despite Lana's protest, Archer claims he can "do both"). After the uncomfortable encounter, Archer is then confronted by Cyril, who brings up some discrepancies in Archer's expense reports. Archer exclaims that Cyril is making a serious accusation (which happens to be correct, but he no doubt felt that Cyril needn't know that.) Archer then expresses his anger towards Cyril for the fact that he's dating Lana now, expressing that since Pam, the head of HR, knows then everyone knows because of her "big mouth" and leaves in a huff. Dumbfounded, Cyril then realizes that Archer set him up for a "classic misdirection."
Outside Malory's office, Archer spots her secretary Cheryl crying. Apparently, Archer was supposed to take her out on a date but stood her up. One half-assed apology later, he enters Malory's office. Unfortunately, Archer barges in on his mother in the middle of a phone sex session with someone. Eager to distract from her proclivities, she mentions Archer's dubious reports regarding his ISIS-run expense account, angered by the fact Archer uses ISIS money to "jet off to whore-island ." She then warns him that if everything isn't cleared up by Monday, he will be effectively terminated from ISIS.
After an unsuccessful attempt at breaching the mainframe vault door with his gun (resulting in the first of many gunshot wounds for poor Brett), Archer has a run-in with Crenshaw. Archer uses his keen wit to divert attention from what he was doing... by knocking Crenshaw's drink on the floor, warning him of ants. Rethinking his tactics, Archer decides to convince Pam to let him access the mainframe. He enters her office just as she's disciplining Dr. Algernop Krieger for committing... unsavory actions against the food in the employee lounge, which prompts Archer to dub him the "Pita Predator." Archer then offers her donuts in exchange for access to the mainframe, but Pam has no desire to help him out, reminiscing about the couple counseling she conducted for him and Lana, which resulted in Archer bludgeoning her with her beloved dolphin puppet. Another half-assed apology later, Archer tells Pam that he is conducting a mole hunt, which piques her interest as a notorious gossip. However, a crack about her and Hungry Hungry Hippos causes Pam to slam the door in Archer's face, strongly indicating her refusal to help. Noticing Lana walking by, Archer decides to use his donuts as a peace offering. However, Lana knocks the donuts from his hands and continues on her way, dismissing Archer's warning about ants.
Archer then seeks help from Cyril, who is chopping vegetables at his desk. When asked why, Cyril mentions that he always makes Lana stir fry for dinner on Fridays, which Archer accidentally christens "Stir Fryday." Archer tries to explain his mole hunt story, but Cyril reveals he had already heard it from Pam, mere minutes after Archer told her. Cyril decides to run this by Malory, but Archer protests, vainly casting suspicion that she is, in fact, the mole. Cyril obviously doesn't buy it and tells Archer that the only way Archer could access the mainframe was to break in. Although not an actual suggestion, Archer nevertheless takes it to heart.
At an unknown restaurant, Archer runs this idea by Cheryl, whom he asks to disable the ISIS security systems. Her discomfort aside, Cheryl states that as a secretary, she lacks the necessary clearance to do so. Frustrated, Archer leaves her at the restaurant, along with the bill, after he asks her for cab fare.
Without any outside options, Archer is forced to manually break into the ISIS mainframe. Archer uses a grappling hook gun to zip line over to the "inexplicably unprotected" access door on the roof of the ISIS office building. Shortly afterward, Archer rips one of his slightly darker black turtlenecks on a duffel bag. Though Archer initially thinks that this will be an extremely difficult task, he discovers that actual security is appallingly terrible, using Cyril's pre-recorded voice to unlock the steel door and easily guesses the password ("Guest") to hack his account on the first try.
Meanwhile, Crenshaw is seen using the elevator, gun in hand, setting off the silent alarm. While Cyril and Lana are at Lana's apartment about to have dinner, Lana receives a phone call that a break-in has occurred at ISIS. They drive in Cyril's car to ISIS headquarters with Lana constantly complaining about her relationship with Archer resulting in Cyril slamming on the brakes in front of ISIS screaming "IT'S FINE!" Cyril then receives a call asking for his name followed by a taunt "you mean Faggis?"
While Archer is trying to transfer all of his excess expenses from his account to Crenshaw's, Crenshaw enters the room and holds a gun up to Archer's head. He reveals that he is actually a Russian spy named Kremenski, and after Archer told Pam about the fake mole hunt, he realized his cover was jeopardized since everyone Pam told (i.e. everyone) will be looking for an actual mole. Kremenski plans on stealing $50,000 from Archer's account and fleeing from the country. Just then, Lana arrives and pulls a gun on Kremenski. She and Archer begin to argue and the mole is able to escape. Kremenski is stopped outside the ISIS building by Cyril and Malory, the latter of which asks him what is going on, and before he can answer, Archer and Lana exit the building and warn Malory that Kremenski is the mole. Kremenski grabs Malory and threatens to kill her with a Luger P08 Pistol, Sterling, in a daring act of heroism grabs Lana and declares that they are now in a "Mexican Standoff." Kremenski states that he doesn't care if Sterling shoots Lana, and asks Archer how he would feel if he had to go on without "Mommy Dearest," Lana promptly shouts that Archer has an erection; Crenshaw releases Malory in disgust and Archer shoots him four times, last of which is in the head (effectively removing him from any future plot lines). Once Kremenski is dead, Malory hits Sterling with her purse five times (with him saying "What's in there, buckles?"), angered that he was seemingly aroused by the idea of his mother being dead.
Back at the ISIS office, Cyril confirms that Kremenski withdrew a large sum of money from Archer's account, which leads him to believe that Kremenski was entirely responsible for the discrepancies that Archer was in fact responsible for. Archer remains tight-lipped about Cyril's hypothesis, save a passive-aggressive remark. Malory appears to be confused, remarking that she would know if there was a mole in her organization. Archer and Lana become equally bewildered, asking Malory how she would know. It's revealed that the person Malory was having phone sex with was Nikolai Jakov, the head of the KGB.
In an effort to distract her subordinates, Malory finds the donuts that Lana knocked on the floor, warning them about ants.
- Starring :
- Co-Starring :
- Rolling Stone: The picture of Malory with her dog Duchess is a visual reference to the famous 1981 Rolling Stone cover featuring John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
- Jenga: When Crenshaw asks Archer if he thinks torture simulation is a game Archer responds, "No, I think Jenga's a game..."
- Puttin' on the Ritz: Archer says the dog Abelard's barking sounds like the famous song written by Irving Berlin.
- The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-1968): The entrance to ISIS being through the Four-Five-Six Laundry is a reference to the popular 1960's American TV program, where the "Agent's Entrance" was through a dressing room in Del Floria's Tailor Shop, which was also a dry-cleaning shop.
- Indira Gandhi: Archer states that his shirt smells like the former prime minister of India's thong.
- Keebler Elves: Archer mentioning that his brain is like a tree and Lana is the little cookie elves.
- Brian's Song (1971): Archer suggests that he helped a guy with cancer, as in the movie about a football player stricken with terminal cancer and his friendship with his teammate.
- Johnny Bench: Archer makes a quip to Malory about the former catcher for the Cincinnati Reds famous for having big hands when he says "Johnny Bench called" after catching her masturbating during phone-sex with Nikolai Jakov.
- Hungry Hungry Hippo: When offering Pam donuts, Archer tells her he'll dump them on the floor, and she can pretend that they're marbles and she's the classic board game.
- Mission: Impossible (1996): The manner in which Archer lists off the security measures that guard the ISIS mainframe is reminiscent to the way Ethan Hunt describes the security system guarding the IMF Mainframe in the American spy film.
- Wedding Crashers (2005): While Archer is at lunch with Cheryl/Carol the flashbacks include him repeatedly telling her "just the tip" is a possible reference to monolog on dating given by the Jeremy Grey character in the American comedy film.
- Manatee [gag]: A reference to the cutaway gag, renamed the manatee gag by the creators of South Park in Cartoon Wars, who do not respect the comedic style of Family Guy and their use of gags..
The following running gags are set up for the rest of the show:
- Ping pong paddle - The very first running gag to be set up in the show. (Shown twice, making it a call back).
- Woodhouse Abuse - Archer threatens Woodhouse with rubbing sand in his eyes.
- Network Insecurity - The password for the ISIS mainframe computer is "Guest."
- Slightly Darker Black Turtleneck - Archer dresses in a black turtleneck to break into ISIS headquarters. Also referred to as a "Tactleneck."
- Bullet Magnet Brett - while trying to gain access to the room containing the mainframe, Archer fires his gun at the locked door causing several bullets to ricochet around the office, one of which strikes an off-screen co-worker (later indicated to be Brett Bunsen in Diversity Hire) in an undisclosed part of his body.
- Ants! - Archer and Malory both warn "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants!". (Mentioned twice by Archer and the third time by Malory making it a running gag in the episode).
- What do you have in there? Buckles? - Malory often hits people with her purse, to which her victims respond by asking why her bag is so heavy.
- Wow, That's... Actually Better - Archer demonstrates a knack for coming up with clever/punny names, in this case, "Stir-Friday," and graciously gives away the rights to it ("It's all yours").
- Shut up! - used four times in the first episode alone, the use of 'shut up!' is played with throughout all following seasons.
- Can't or won't?... Either - used when issuing an ultimatum, often by Malory. The subtext varies but often implies "you are capable, so why won't you?" (Mentioned twice, making it a call back).
- Whore Island - a mythical place, mentioned in a later episode.
- Had something for this - Said throughout the series when a character tries to remember something but can't.
- Bawk bawk - the sound tin foil birds make.
- What the hell is wrong with you people? (Mentioned twice, making it a call back).
- You people becomes a catchphrase.
- Nothing. You on the other hand (Mentioned twice, making it a call back).
Archer / Frisky Dingo
- Gasp you should - Archer to Pam and Krieger / Stan says "Yes, you'd better gasp collectively"
- Ants - quite possibly related to the radioactive ants in season 1.
- For more on callbacks and running gags used in this episode, see Analysis of Techniques.
- Archer's age discrepancy: During the scene when Malory Archer brings up the map in her office of where Sterling Archer has been spending his expense account, his profile reads that he is 36 years old. However, in the scene when Lana Kane confronts Archer about why she dumped him, she states he has been dragging around a "35-year-old" umbilical cord.
- Dr. Krieger is seen in Pam's office but does not speak.
- The "Greek" reference is actually multiple jokes in one. The first joke is that "Greek" is a slang term for anal sex used in newspaper classifieds. The second layer is that Peter Abelard was a French philosopher who wrote many essays on the Greeks. It is commonly accepted by historians that Greeks had no concept of homo or heterosexuality and that anal sex was celebrated in some Greek cultures. Thus it makes sense that Abelard understood the joke.
- When Archer is walking through ISIS asking people to smell his shirt, he enters the control room and says "Hey you geeks wanna smell something?" He is told to get out by someone who appears to be supervising two Bilbos.
- This episode marks the first indication of Lana's interest in interracial porn.
- In the scene where Cyril confronts Archer about his operations account Archer asks "you all know about Cyril and Lana right?" And Cyril says "Archer" but in the subtitles Cyril says "Fuck Archer" Slipping by FXs standards and practices department.
- When Archer walks into the office for the first time, 3 of the office workers (drones) flip him the bird.
- Kremenski is an example of a Chekhov's gunman - after appearing in the opening scene, his true significance is revealed later in the episode.
- New York City, New York
Characters ( In order of appearance )
- Sterling Archer
- Malory Archer
- Lana Kane
- Cyril Figgis
- Pam Poovey
- Cheryl Gimple
- Dr. Algernop Krieger ( Non-Speaking )
- Nikolai Jakov
- Crenshaw: "Sterling Archer, codename: Duchess. Known from Berlin to Bangkok as the world's most dangerous spy. So for us, this is... how you say? A good get. But not so good for you, Mr. Archer, because you have information I want. And is maybe old cliche, but... ( Sparks jumper cables together ) we have ways of making you talk."
- Archer: "What, your little go-kart battery?"
- Crenshaw: "Golf cart."
- Archer: "Whatever. And would you pick an accent and stick with it?"
- Malory: "What is the point of these simulation exercises--"
- Archer: "Crenshaw's arousal?"
- Malory: "--if you don't take them seriously?"
- Malory: "Exercise terminated."
- Archer: "Alright, that's lunch, then..."
- Archer: "And speaking of lame, my codename--"
- Malory: "Was chosen at random by the ISIS computer."
- Archer: Random?! It was your dog's name!"
- Malory : (Cradling a photo of her and her dog in an...intimate moment) "Oh, Duchess. I loved her so much..."
- Archer: "That it was creepy and pathetic?"
- Crenshaw: "What if l were real KGB?
- Archer: "I assume you'd be trying to suck a promotion out of some Russian guy's cock!"
- Archer: "Hey, Lana, what does this smell like to you?"
- Lana: "Uh, like the dysfunctional asshole I broke up with six months ago?"
- Pam: "Because when your co-workers put food in the refrigerator, that's a bond of trust. And if you violate that trust, or the food, there's --"
- Archer: "There's my favorite section head."
- Pam: "I am dealing with the break room problem!"
- Archer: "Oh, you caught the... wait, I had something for this. 'Pita Predator!'"
- Pam: "Ya know what--?"
- Archer: "Sorry yeah, let's just call it what it is: 'Food Rapist.'"
- Archer: "Sooo, let's just put all my expenses into... some pathetic idiot's account, by the name of... oh! Crenshaw!"
- Crenshaw : (Suddenly appears and pulls a gun on Archer) "Ohhh... Now that's not very nice."
- Archer: "How -- hey! Just talking about you, and about how this isn't what it looks like."
- Crenshaw: "Lot of that going around."
- Archer: "Yeah, it's an epidemic."
- Crenshaw: "For example, my real name is Kremensky."
- Archer: "Is -- that sounds -- is that Jewish?"
- Crenshaw: "It's Russian."
- Archer: "Oh... Russian-Jewish?"
- Crenshaw: "I'm the Mole, idiot!"
- Archer: "Crenshaw's the mole. And his name's not Crenshaw, it's Kremenski. Definitely Russian, possibly a Jew. I don't know. Thoughts?"
- Lana: "Yeah,shut up"
- Lana: "You little, you sack of shit, I dumped you because you're dragging around a 35 year old umbilical cord!!"
- Archer: "See?! All you talk about is baby shit! Because you're baby-crazy!"
- Lana: "You want to see crazy?!"
- Archer: "No! I've seen that movie, and spoiler alert, it ends with a closetful of my suits on fire!"
- Lana: "I wish you'd been wearing one!"
- Archer: "Who would want to wear an on-fire suit?!"
- Lana: "Cosplay enthusiasts!"
Script / Transcript
Gallery of Images
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