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"Archer Dreamland: No Good Deed" is the season premiere of Season 8, and the eighty-sixth episode overall.



Archer tries to find out who killed his partner but accidentally gets in bed with Mother, a notorious L.A. crime boss.[2]


It's been three months since the events of Deadly Velvet, and it's revealed that Archer has survived his bullet wounds, but is in a coma. Even worse, it's revealed Woodhouse died some time ago, and the rest of the group hold a funeral for him. Malory Archer and Lana Kane come by to the hospital to check on Archer, with Malory wondering what he's dreaming of.

No Good Deed-10

Archer at Woodhouse's murder scene.

It cuts to Archer's dream, where he is a detective in a 1940's world and is horrified to see the corpse of his partner Woodhouse on the streets. Two other detectives, Detective Sergeant Poovey, and Detective Lieutenant Figgis tell him that it might have been his heroin dealer that offed him due to Woodhouse not paying his debt, and tell Archer that he should forget about this. Archer, however, refuses to and decides to investigate Woodhouse's death. Archer goes to see Krieger, who tells him that Woodhouse paid in advance for his heroin, but can't say how he died. Before Archer can press further, he's taken into the Dreamland Nightclub to meet Mother by her henchman Zerk. Reading his dossier, Mother reveals that Archer was a World War II veteran with impeccable skills, but never left the rank of private due to his inability to listen to his superiors. She wants to hire him in order to spy on her rival Len Trexler at the harbor to see what's going on, and while Archer initially refuses as he knew after Trexler has people killed, his goon 'Dutch' Dylan has a history of dissolving the bodies in barrels of acid, he changes his mind after seeing singer Lana Kane.

No Good Deed-54

Archer and Poovey rescue the Chinese prostitutes.

Later that night, Archer drives to the harbor to see Trexler's men take captured Chinese Prostitutes into a truck, only to caught by Poovey, even though the latter had no idea that her boss was doing this. Deciding to rescue the Chinese women from becoming prostitutes, Archer forces Poovey to help him, but their cover is blown when the latter crashes through the roof of the truck. Archer knocks out the goons, but it causes Dutch to grow suspicious about the back and stops the truck. Despite that, Archer, with his faced covered, pulls Dutch and his men out of the truck, and instead of killing him, Archer intentionally runs over Dutch's ankles. After, Archer tells Poovey to take the Chinese women away from Trexler, and find them a better place to work at, even blackmailing him by threatening to spill out how the latter shot three people.

No Good Deed-60

Charlotte Vandertunt.

Instead of going back to Dreamland, Archer heads back to his office, only to find the place in shambles and the last folder Woodhouse left him gone from the safe. Then, Mother calls him, and after berating him for ruining the stakeout mission, she tells him that he officially owes her. Afterwards, millionaire Charlotte Vandertunt appears, asking Archer to kill her, which he responds by saying "ok" and pointing a gun to her.


Cultural References[]

  • 1 Corinthians 15:55 / Requiem Mass: Parts from both of these are spoken at Woodhouse's funeral.
  • Pacific Electric: A red trolley car #717 with the name Mass Electric on its side passes in front of the Dreamland Club. It has an identical coloring and design to the "Hollywood" cars of the old mass transit system, nicknamed the Red Car system which operated in Los Angeles between 1901 and 1961. The #717 Trolley may also be a reference to the birthday of Disneyland Park which opened on July 17, 1955. 717 is also the number of one of the two recreated Pacific Electric Trolleys which currently operate Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure.
  • 2nd Armored Division: According to Mother's recital of Archer's service record as "Normandy, Omaha Beach, by way of North Africa and Sicily, and after Normandy through France and Belgium all the way to Berlin", Archer could only have been a soldier in the 2nd Armored Division since that is the only US Army division to follow that path AND enter Berlin.
  • Port of Long Beach: Mother sends Archer to Pier 9 in Long Beach which is approximately 22 miles south of Downtown L.A. However, in the real world the port has never had a Pier 9 as all piers are labeled with an alphabetic system. However, prior to 1993, there was a Pier 1 & 2 which were renamed Pier D.
  • Fever (1956): When Archer sees Lana Kane for the first time, she is singing a jazz rendition of the Little Willie John song.
  • Zippo: Archer lights Lana's cigarette with a black Zippo lighter which became popular in the United States military, especially during World War II.
  • Pabst Blue Ribbon: When Lana requests a "bottle of PBR" Archer initially thinks she means the American lager beer, however, she actually meant Pierre Beauvais Rouge champagne.
  • The Big Sleep (1946): Archer is being paid $25 a day plus expenses which matches the amount Philip Marlowe charges General Sternwood for his services.
  • The Beverly Hills Hotel / Polo Lounge: Archer mentions having dinner at the Polo Lounge which is located inside the Beverly Hills Hotel. In the 1940s the lounge was the premier dining spot in Los Angeles for many celebrities.
  • Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933): Archer references this Mervyn LeRoy musical when fuming about Lana tricking him into buying expensive champagne for her.
  • Granville Sharp: Archer sarcastically compares Poovey to the English campaigner for the abolition of the slave trade.
  • Egg foo young: When Dutch says "what in Christ foo young could they possibly be celebrating" he is referencing this omelet dish found in Chinese cuisine.
  • Chinese calendar: One of Dutch's underlings mentions this ancient traditional calendar.
  • Deuce and a half. Dutch transports his illicit cargo in a war surplus GMC CCKW truck still in its wartime olive drab paint scheme. After the war, the army sold thousands of these trucks to the civilian market. It had a cargo capacity of 2 1/2 tons, hence the nickname “Deuce and a half”.
  • Cool Hand Luke: Mallory’s description of Archer’s resumé and war record is identical in nature to the scene of Lucas Jackson’s arrival to the prison and the dressing down he is given by the Warden. Specifically the detail that he came out of the war just as he went in “a buck private”.

Running Gags[]

  • Figgis Dream Karma: Det. Poovey points out that Det. Figgis' wife cheated on him with Archer.
  • One of Two Things: Archer starts setting up the possibility of two different outcomes of a situation only to have the first and worst possible one happen before he can complete the setup. In this case getting knocked out by Zerk.
  • Ba-Dum Tshh: When someone makes a joke in Dreamland off camera you hear a rimshot followed by Ray yelling "Stop it".
  • Faux Voice Over: A scene begins with what appears to be Archer doing a film noir style voice over while traveling in his car only to have the camera pan over to a reveal that he is actually talking to a previously unseen passenger. This time it is a stray dog he picked up on the road.
  • Several callbacks to the Archer lore were made: the repetitive using of "Goddamnit", the old gypsy woman, calling each other racist, the painting in Mother's office featuring Duchess, rim shots, and so on.
  • An apparent trend of saying "I know what you mean" has started akin to the use of "Your words" and "Phrasing".
  • In this economy: when referring to the Chinese women departing the boat.


  • Reality (Non-Dream):
    • This episode takes place just under three months after the events of Deadly Velvet: Part II (s7e10).
    • The first image of this episode, Archer floating face down in a pool, is the same as the last image of the episode, Deadly Velvet: Part II (s7e10).
    • Archer is in a coma due to the gunshots and possible drowning he endured at the hands of Veronica Deane in Deadly Velvet: Part II (s7e10).
    • Woodhouse is confirmed to be dead as the gang is seen attending his funeral. Woodhouse had been missing since he was last seen in Archer Vice: On the Carpet (s5e9).
    • It is established by date of Woodhouse's death (May 9, 19xx) that the Archer Verse exists on a timeline that has not yet reached the year 2000.
  • Dream / Reality Crossover:
    • (Dream) Archer runs over Dutch Dylan with a truck breaking his legs. / (Reality) Archer has broken Barry Dylan's legs on two separate occasions by dropping him off of high buildings. The first time was in Blood Test (s2e3) (as a flashback) and the second time was in Double Trouble (s2e13).
    • (Dream) Archer mentions that if he needed a spirit animal it would be an ocelot. / (Reality) Archer has maintained an extremely one-sided friendship for Cheryl's ocelot Babou since El Secuestro (s2e10).
    • (Dream) Mother prominently displays an art deco painting of an Afghan Hound in the office of Dreamland. / (Reality) Malory has always displayed multiple photographs of her beloved Duchess (an Afghan Hound that passed away many years ago) on the walls of her apartment and office.
    • (Dream) Dutch Dylan tells Archer, “You better just kill me,” after which Detective Poovey says, “That’s what I said!” / (Reality) Pam tells her captors in El Secuestro (s2e10) “You better fucking kill me!”
    • The underling who mentions the Chinese calendar was K-Log's bodyguard in Archer Vice: Baby Shower (s5e6).
  • Dream (Non-Reality):


  • Reality (Non-Dream):
    • Woodhouse's date of birth & partial date of death is shown on his headstone during his funeral.
      • He was born on June 28th, 1894. The "4" is obscured for the most part, but one can tell by the shape of what can be seen of the number that it is a "4".
      • He died on May 9th in the late 1900s.
    • The headstone also reveals that Woodhouse had been awarded the following military decorations:
    • No cause is given for Woodhouse's death as well as no information on where he had been the time he was missing.
    • Archer missed Woodhouse's funeral due to him being in a coma, which he has been in for almost 3 months.
  • Dream (Non-Reality):
    • In Archer's coma-induced dream all of his family, friends, and acquaintances, including himself have taken on dream personas:
      • Archer dreams of himself as a veteran of World War II who has become a licensed private detective who with his partner Woodhouse, are co-owners of the Woodhouse and Archer Detective Agency in Los Angeles.
      • Woodhouse, who is no longer Archer's valet, had become Archer's drug-addicted partner in a detective agency before he is murdered by an unknown person.
      • Cyril Figgis has become a crooked Homicide Detective for the Los Angeles Police Department.
      • Pam Poovey also has become an L.A Police Detective who is Detective Figgis' subordinate. She appears to be a "Bud White" enforcer type of officer doing the muscle jobs for Figgis. As women were not detectives in the 1940's she has taken on the appearance of a man. She dresses all in men's clothing such as a 40's style men's jacket and suit pants with a vest, necktie, men's dress shoes and a fedora hat which covers her short "man style" hair cut. It is unclear whether or not everyone thinks of her solely as a man as she has only been addressed as Poovey or Detective Poovey so far.
      • Malory Archer is no longer Archer's actual mother but has become an L.A. crime boss going by the mononym Mother. She is also the owner and operator of a nightclub called "Dreamland".
      • Lana Kane has taken on the role of a lounge singer who works for Mother in the Dreamland nightclub.
      • Ray Gillette has become the trumpet player in Dreamland's house jazz band.
      • Algernop Krieger has become a bartender at Dreamland and a street level drug dealer. Woodhouse was his best customer until his death.
      • Len Trexler, the head of ODIN has become the "biggest" mobster in Los Angeles, a position Mother has designs for.
      • Barry Dylan has become "Dutch" Dylan, a mob enforcer working for Len Trexler. He is also no longer a cyborg.
      • Cheryl Tunt has become Charlotte Vandertunt, the heiress to the vast Vandertunt publishing fortune.
    • The Woodhouse and Archer detective agency is housed in a third floor office above a drugstore located directly across the street from the Dreamland nightclub.
    • According to Archer's service record read by Mother Archer was a very highly decorated soldier receiving awards similar to that received by the real American WWII soldier, Audie Murphy (minus the Medal of Honor). Archer's awards include:
    • Archer is shown to carry a .45 caliber Colt M1911A1 pistol which was the standard sidearm of the United States Armed Forces during World War II.
  • Fictional Product Placement:
    • Old Buncombe: When Mother offers Archer a drink he asks for this brand of Bourbon.
    • Pierre Beauvoir Rouge: Lana orders this champagne for which Archer is stuck paying $26 for, which would roughly be equivalent to $300 today.


  • Except for the Victoria Cross (VC), it is extremely unlikely Woodhouse would have been awarded any of the other medals. As a lance corporal (a rank that didn't exist in the Royal Flying Corps but is equivalent to Air Mechanic First Class), he wouldn't be eligible for any of the other medals as they were awarded to officers only. The Distinguished Service Cross (DSC) became an award in the British Armed Forces in 1993. Given the timeline described by him in "The Double Deuce" (discharge from the RFC after being awarded the VC, schooner sailor, bar owner, Archer's servant) it is a head-scratcher as to when he would have served to win the other medals.


  • Los Angeles, California (Reality & Dream)
  • Long Beach, California (Dream)
    • Pier 9

First Appearances[]

Characters (in order of appearance)[]


Voice Over: "O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? For man that is born of woman hath but a short time to live and is full of misery; He cometh up and is cut down like a flower; he fleeth as it were a shadow; In the midst of life we are in death, in the midst of death we are in life."


Multiple: "I know what you meant."


Lana: "At least he doesn't know that Woodhouse died, that would break his heart. "
Malory: "Mmm Hmm, although, there's no telling what he knows, or what he's thinking about. Well, dreaming about."


Malory: "Speak any German?"
Archer: "You know, don't shoot, I surrender, Hitler's the tops, stuff like that."


Archer: "How much for the champagne?"
Krieger: "Twenty-six dollars."
Archer: "What, I'm not paying twenty-six bucks for a bottle of frustration."
Zerk: "Growllll..."
Archer: "Your lucky my ear hurts... there."
Krieger: "Plus tip."
Archer: "How about the tip of my cock?"
(Off camera: A rimshot followed by Ray yelling "Stop it")
Krieger: "So in that scenario would I take your penis in my hand, my mouth..."
Archer: "Asshole...Wait, no, I mean, not...God, dammit!"

Gallery of Images[]

There are 67 screenshots and images from "No Good Deed" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.

Archer, P.I.[]

External links[]