Placebo Effect
Series Information
Series Archer                              
Season No. 2
Episode Information
Episode No. 9
Original Air Date March 24, 2011
Written by Adam Reed
Animation Directed by Bryan Fordney
Production Code XAR02009
U.S. Viewership (Millions) 1.09 [1]
Episode Navigation
Previous Stage Two
Next El Secuestro
"Placebo Effect" is the ninth episode of the second season and the nineteenth episode overall of Archer. It originally aired on March 24, 2011.


After discovering his cancer medication is fake, Archer goes on a murderous rampage against the Irish mob with Lana in tow.


Archer is going over his breast cancer treatment and ultra-expensive chemotherapy drugs with Doctor Krieger. Krieger, disturbed by the lack of side effects related with chemo, does some tests and reveals that Archer's drug are counterfeit - consisting mainly of sucrose and (what Krieger guesses to be) Zima, with the only real thing being his medical marijuana. Angered over being tricked and the thought of other patients given fake drugs (mainly an elderly woman he befriended named Ruth), Archer goes on a rampage to kill the fake drug traffickers whilst Lana films it.

After threatening a pharmacist, Archer and Lana are led to a warehouse used by the Irish Mob where Archer kills several armed guards before capturing three members of the Mob and three Honduran janitors. Archer tortures the mobsters by shooting them in the knee with a sawed-off shotgun for information, and learns that the mastermind behind the fake drug scheme is Franny Delaney.
After shooting the mobsters, Archer finds the real chemotherapy drugs and (against Lana's advice) takes them immediately, causing him to become ill.

The next day Archer (now wearing a red bandana to cover his hair loss, wine bottle coolers on his feet because his toenails are popping off, and dragging an IV stand around) resumes his rampage, though he is vomiting constantly. In Lana's Car, Archer laments on his hair loss, and is trying to keep from vomiting, leading to him to light a marijuana blunt that causes him to have a flashback to memories of his time with Ruth in the hospital. Lana snaps him out of his flashback as they have reached their destination.

Elsewhere Krieger, feeling bad for Archer, is making Portuguese language flash cards for him. Confused, Cyril asks how Krieger, a German, knows Portuguese. Krieger tries to avoid the subject, only for Cyril to push more, causing Krieger to shout a Nazi saying before quickly leaving the room, which leads Cyril to believe Krieger is a former Nazi scientist. Cyril later finds Krieger locked in the men's bathroom, burning papers in one of the toilets. Cyril tries to question him more on his Nazi connection to which Krieger only denies any connection, causing Cyril to leave to tell Ms. Archer

Archer and Lana barge their way into a back room poker game of more Irish mobsters where Archer handcuffs one of them to the poker table and shoves a grenade in the mobster's rectum and pull the pin, to get information on Delaney's location. After they get their information, Archer and Lana are about to leave when Archer says that the grenade is only a smoke grenade. The grenade then explodes (being a frag grenade) tossing Lana and Sterling out of the room and causing them some hearing loss. An aggravated Lana takes them to the hospital to have their hearing restored where Archer learns of Ruth's death from a hospital nurse. Archer then reawakens from another marijuana-induced flashback to find that they are at Delaney's compound, and Archer takes him in the woods to kill him while Lana holds the guards at gunpoint, who is also high from the hotboxing, which leaves her car smelling like "weed and rampage."

Back at ISIS, Malory is looking through photo albums of Sterling and realizes that she and Sterling have never taken a photo together. Cyril tries to tell her about Krieger's Nazi roots only for her to brush them off, as Nazi scientists led to things such as NASA rockets and microwave ovens. She then reveals that Krieger is one of Boys from Brazil, possibly a genetic clone of Adolf Hitler, and she is responsible for his father's death when Krieger was 15.

Archer is holding Delaney at gunpoint in the woods. Delaney mocks Archer and says that Archer won't kill him as Archer has too much honor to kill an old man in a wheel chair, and further mocks Archer by revealing that he slept with Malory at a single's resort in Thailand at some point. Delaney starts to wheel himself away when Archer stops him (Asking the same question Ruth ask him), turns slowly, and fires his gun and the video pauses is rewound and replayed at this point over and over again.

Everyone is shown in Malory's office watching the video footage which Archer has turned into his own film, Terms of En-Rampagement (working title). Which he has them watch every week and has so for the past 3 months. Archer is overjoyed with his awesome movie and that his cancer is in remission.


  • Starring :

Cultural ReferencesEdit

Running GagsEdit

  • Duuuhhh! - Cheryl repeatedly uses this expression ironically, as she doesn't get the thing which is supposed to be so obvious . This is lampshaded when she says "I actually have no idea" and "I don't know why do that"


  • The events of this episode follow directly from the events in the previous episode in which Archer was diagnosed with breast cancer.


  • On a door in Krieger's office, there is a danger sign “SCBA is required”.
  • Zima, which Krieger guessed was in Archer's IV bag actually stopped US production in 2008–though it is still produced in Japan. Also, the time period the series is actually set in is unclear.
  • The x-ray image of Archer's tumor from Stage Two (previous episode) is clearly reused, showing it unchanged and calling into question the nature of his surgery. Normally a tumor would be excised, and a biopsy would be run along with blood work. Which are used to determine if the removal was successful in putting the patient into remission. Thus this may be a continuity error.
  • Archer's weaponry in this episode is as follows:
    • Two Walther PPKs. One kept in an ankle holster, one kept in on a sliding holster on his forearm (A reference to the film Taxi Driver.) Neither are used.
    • A Colt M1911A1, tucked down the front of his pants. Used to kill Delany.
    • A sawn-off shotgun, kept in a shoulder holster under his left arm. Used to kill three unnamed henchmen. 
    • A Walther WA2000 Sniper rifle, attached to shoulder holster with a hook under his right arm. Used to kill three Irish Mob guards.
    • A Mk 2 Fragmentation Grenade. Used to threaten and kill a high ranking member of the Irish Mob
    • Two knives. A stiletto kept in a scabbard on his back. only used to threaten the Pharmacist. And a small push dagger concealed in his belt buckle, Unused. 
  • This episode parodies the third season premiere of Magnum, P.I., wherein Magnum kills Ivan, a ruthless murderer given political immunity from his crimes. Cyril even suggests Archer call his movie Magnum, Pee-Yew.
  • The scene with the Irish Mob and Honduran Janitors is a direct reference to the game show Family Feud, including the team names displaying in all caps, the "Fast Money" round, chance to steal, and Lana being in an "isolation booth". In contrast, a wrong answer on the game show resulted in a "strike", whereas Archer shot them in the kneecap with a shotgun.
  • Slattery's Meat Market looks very much like Satriale's Pork Store, as featured in The Sopranos.
  • The scarf Archer wears when he loses his hair is a similar to the one worn by Steven Van Zandt, both a cast member on The Soprano's and member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.
  • Delaney refers to Malory performing a trick with beads, which he describes as "just like an SSP Racer". This refers to a line of toys from Kenner dating to the early 1970s. An SSP Racer was powered by a plastic pull cord that was vigorously pulled out from a toy racer car with a characteristic "Zing" buzz.
  • Both Delaney & Malory mispronounced Phuket as "Fu-kett", the correct pronunciation is "Poo-ket".
  • Krieger's origins begin to be established:
    • During Malory's flashback about how she acquired Krieger on his 15th birthday, the man standing next to the car that Malory is in looks like Gregory Peck, who was the villain in the movie Boys from Brazil.
    • Krieger, in attempting to lie to Cyril, awkwardly asserts there are "a lot of Portuguese" in Rhode Island. This is actually somewhat true as Portuguese is the third most common language in Rhode Island after English and Spanish.
    • The Portuguese written on the card Dr. Krieger makes up for Archer says, good morning, I have breast cancer.
    • On the papers burnt by Krieger in the toilet is written "Streng Geheim", which is German for "Top Secret".



(Thanks to, MirrorForce, and Matt for the transcripts and translations.)

Krieger: "So there's your breast-cancer tumor, and the portacath through which you take

cyclophosphamate intravenously."

Archer: "Sim." (Yeah.)
Krieger: "And you're taking tetraphenol… orally, right?"
Archer: "E também portuguese, em CD-Rom." (And also Portuguese, on CD-ROM.)
Krieger: "Ah, boa sorte!" (Ah, good luck!)
Archer: "Obrigado." (Thanks.)


Krieger: "Two weeks of chemo with no hair loss, and you're not experiencing any nausea?"
Archer: "Nao, gracas al 'doobie' medicinao." (No, thanks to this medicinal doobie.)


Archer: "And why couldn't it be the Brazilian mob? Estou aprendendo portuguese, Lana." (I am learning Portuguese, Lana.)


Archer: "And I'm pretty sure — and guys, feel free to correct me — that "beaner" is a pejorative term for a Mexican. Esta correto ou nao?" (Is that correct or no?)


Cyril: "Warum hast Du Umzug nach Brasilien?" (Why did you move to Brazil?)
Krieger: "Weiter den Kampf der mein Führer! Scheiße!" (To continue the fight of my Leader! Shit…)


Malory: "Do you like powered orange breakfast drink?"
Cyril: "No, not really..."
Malory: "How about microwave ovens, Neil Armstrong, hook and loop fasteners?"
'Cyril: '"OK, you lost me."
Malory: "None of those things would've been possible without the Nazi scientists we brought back after World War II."
Cyril: "The Nazis invented Neil Armstrong?"
Malory: "Rockets! Which put him on the moon! After the war ended we were snatching up kraut scientists like hot cakes. You don't believe me? Walk into NASA sometime and yell "Heil Hitler!" - whoop - they all jump straight up!" 
Cyril: "But... "
Malory: "Cyril: I know all about Dr Kriger' I also know that nobody likes a tattle-tale."
Krieger: "Yeah Cyril!"
And if there's one thing I've learned in all my years as a spymaster it's that you keep your friends close..."
Krieger: "YEAH! Cyril
Malory: "...and possibly genetic clones of Adolf Hitler closer."
Krieger: "Yeah Cy- wait, what?"
Cyril: "Yeah, what?"

Gallery of ImagesEdit

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External LinksEdit

Reference ListEdit

  1. Archer Season 2 Episode 9 Ratings on