- "I was married! For two years. Yeah, I mean, she was a lesbian, but still. We met in a "Pray Away the Gay" Bible group. That was a pretty weird time for me..."
- —Ray Gillette[src]
Childhood and Early Life
Ray grew up in the small town of Ferlin in the backwoods of West Virginia. He has one brother, Randy Gillette, a marijuana farmer. His father was extremely conservative and as a consequence Ray was forced to hide his homosexuality from everyone around him. He kept a number of diaries where he described his homosexual thoughts and feelings, specifically in a Miss Piggy diary that was later destroyed by his father. As a young boy, his father took him on a hunting trip where Ray killed a bear with a bow. His father then forced him to take a bite out of the bear's heart and slapped Ray repeatedly until he complied.
At several points in the show, it is implied that Ray went to Marshall University, which is located in Huntington, West Virginia. He often says "Up Herd," and "Down Herd," which are phrases used by the Marshall University cheerleading squad. In Smugglers' Blues, Ray mentions that the Phi Mu sorority was pronounced "Phi Moo," an inside joke about the reputation of Phi Mu at Marshall University for being overweight.
At some point, while In a “Pray Away the Gay” bible group, he met a lesbian woman and the two ended up getting married. The marriage lasted 2 years. He describes it as “a pretty weird time” for him.
Ray is one of the more optimistic and genuinely good-natured agents at ISIS, though he has a history of acerbic and sarcastic behavior as well. He's particularly friendly toward Lana Kane and regularly goes out of his way to help his friends. He takes offense when the other agents don't consider their friends' feelings before taking action. Unlike Sterling Archer, he is not nearly as selfish, such as voluntarily going to rescue Pam Poovey after her kidnapping, as well as picking up the jobs of others when they're unable to. Like most of ISIS, he finds Sterling annoying, takes pleasure in tormenting him, such as the time he found Malory Archer's vibrator hidden in her desk and doesn't value Archer's life nearly as much as anyone else's, like when he never bothered to tell Archer how to disarm the explosives on Malory's desk. He has no problem with lying to his friends and coworkers, such as when he lied to them for months about being paralyzed and felt no guilt when found out.
After being paralyzed by Sterling for real however, Ray has shown genuine anger and hostility towards him, going so far as to prevent backup being sent when Sterling was nearly gunned down by KGB agents. He grew far more cynical and depressed, and was often seen drinking heavily even at work. His inability to go on missions angered him and hurt his pride.
After being paralyzed by Archer more than once, he grew depressed, hostile, and more negative. He especially despised Archer for his cavalier attitude and refusal to take responsibilty for injuring him. When Dr. Algernop Krieger gave him bionic legs, he initially opposed it on a moral level, believing that it was something only God should do. However, after the operation he was much more positive and happy for being able to walk again. His constant tendency to get paralyzed is a continual theme and has damaged his emotional stability heavily. He has developed a fear of eventually becoming a complete cyborg as his legs, feet, and right hand are now bionic.
Ray is not without his vices, casually spending ISIS funding renting a Malaysian slave boy. He is also prone to dishing out frequent snide remarks towards his co-workers. In "Blood Test" it is very strongly implied that he sexually takes advantage of Cyril Figgis after he was knocked out by Malory.
Prior to his employment at ISIS, Ray had a very interesting and diverse array of life experiences. Details of this life include:
- Cheer-leading at Marshall University, demonstrated by deftly lifting Lana while attempting to escape the pirate fortress' dungeon in "Heart of Archness: Part III". Also further demonstrated when he said "1-2-3, Go Herd!" after Dr. Krieger gives him the use of his legs again in "Southbound and Down" and when Archer lifts him after he pretends to have lost the use of his legs again in "The Rules of Extraction" .
- Competing in the Olympics in a giant slalom skiing competition, taking the bronze.
- Being married for 2 years to a lesbian he met at a "pray away the gay" camp. (Admitting, "it was a pretty weird time for [him].")
- Being a disgraced former minister who is still capable of performing marriages for straight couples (the irony is not lost on him) and he has been known to wear a clerical shirt and collar underneath his clothes.
Seasons 1-4: Career at ISIS
Ray has an antagonistic relationship with Malory since she sometimes uses offensive or homophobic language, always referring to Ray as "she" or "Ms". Ray claims that he could write a book about the secrets he knows about ISIS. He has skills in electrical engineering and communications. He is often contacted by field agents to walk them through bomb defusals. When called to the ISIS control room Ray often wears his crisis vest, similar to the ones worn by NASA scientists.
He assisted the ISIS field agents on their trip to Switzerland to help protect Anka Schlotz.
He assisted Archer in his plan to prevent ODIN from purchasing ISIS. When they were laying out a plan to do so with dolls and a map of the building, he was the "little pink sailor".
When Pam was kidnapped, he assisted in the control room with tracking the phone call. When it was apparent that nobody would rescue her, he volunteered, which spurred Archer and Lana to volunteer. Malory decided to send Ray and Archer on the mission.
On a mission to Monaco, the ISIS team was tasked with obtaining a data disc that was valuable to Malory. Ray accompanied and assisted in the mission. When things went bad, he disguised himself as Malory to expedite the mission, wearing a wig and one of her Chanel suits. He ended up driving a Formula 1 car in pursuit of Benoit. When a helicopter started firing on the ISIS drivers, Ray's car "mysteriously" lost engine power (Claiming the car was "Running out of carburettor"), which kept him out of harm's way.
Malory sent Ray on a mission that brought him near the Russian border, despite Archer's volunteering to go on the mission. He was about to parachute off the C-130 when Archer knocked him unconscious so he could take the mission. Ray remained unconscious for an hour and sustained a heavy injury to his eye. After Archer returned with Katya Kazanova, he accompanied Malory, Lana and Doctor Krieger on their mission to eliminate Archer and Katya because they appeared to have double-crossed the agency.
After Katya's death, Malory sent Ray and Lana on a mission to retrieve Archer from Pangu Island. In order to ensure they could complete the important mission, she lent them the ISIS Black Titanium Credit Card. With an unlimited budget, Ray took advantage of the situation, buying extravagant items, such as travel by private jet, purchasing a yacht and even "renting" a teenage servant boy.
While Lana piloted the yacht, she got annoyed by Ray and jarred the yacht, causing a make-up applicator to get lodged in his eye. Although this was the second injury to the same eye, he was not blinded, unlike Rip Riley, who did suffer partial blindness on this mission.
In the episode Bloody Ferlin, it is revealed that Ray had faked being handicapped for six months, telling Lana and Archer "I never said I was paralyzed, you just assumed I was!". This was foreshadowed in The Limited when he said "Yeah, but yeah, other than that, fine." and in "Drift Problem", where he said "Ow... I think." after Archer dropped him in the surprise of seeing his birthday car.
During the season three finale, Ray accompanies Archer and company to a space shuttle to help thwart an apparent mutiny. After they are double-crossed by their employer on the mission and escape, Archer causes the space shuttle to crash land on earth, injuring everyone but himself. In the final scene, Ray leaves the room using his wheelchair, revealing he was genuinely paralyzed by the crash. Archer is confused by Ray's anger, insisting that he "already had the chair".
In the opening of Season 4, Ray follows the rest of the group to a resort in hopes of restoring Archer's suppressed memories, while at the same time expressing heavy disdain over his paralyzed state. Later in the episode, he receives radio contact requesting aid to backup Archer after he and Lana are ambushed by KGB agents attempting to hunt down Archer. Ray spitefully hides the request from Malory and the others, denying to send Archer any backup.
In Legs, after hitting the breaking point of frustration with Sterling and some coercion by Krieger, Ray decides to undergo an operation to restore his ability to walk by having his lower body replaced with bionic prosthetics. Despite Pam's "sub-par" assistance in the operation and Sterling's many failed attempts to stop the process out of his fear of cyborgs, the operation is a success, allowing Ray to walk once more. However in the fourth season finale Sea Tunt: Part II the CPU controlling his legs gets fried by a defibrillator thanks to Archer, and he is once again wheelchair bound.
Season 5: Vice
Ray's paralysis causes him to go through depression for the first few episodes of season five. He is shown drinking heavily, crying, and sitting in soiled underwear in the episodes, a shell of his former self. However, in House Call, a typically oblivious Krieger tells Cyril "Remind me to reboot the CPU in Ray's legs", revealing that his legs could have been fixed at any time. In Southbound and Down, when Krieger repairs Ray's bionic legs, Ray exclaims "About damn time!", which causes Krieger to push a button which disables Ray's legs once more, forcing Ray to begrudgingly thank him and have his legs turned back on. Krieger also later demonstrates the ability to control Ray's legs remotely, forcing him to involuntarily do a Nazi march.
He accompanies Archer and Cyril on the trip to Colombia to sell cocaine to "La Madrina". At the start of The Rules of Extraction he is apparently paralysed again in a truck crash, much to Archer's annoyance because Ray "always gets paralyzed". Archer has to carry Ray for the rest of the episode. Eventually, Ray reveals he was faking the paralysis to annoy Archer and get him to admit he has not been taking the cocaine business seriously. Cyril is outraged at the deception, but Archer finds it funny. Ray then flies their stolen plane to the rendezvous with Slater in On the Carpet.
Season 6: ISIS 2.0
Following the re-establishment of the ISIS agency under contract of the CIA, Ray is once again a field agent, although his analysis job appears to have been eliminated due to lack of necessity. In Pocket Listing, during a botched mission at the Tuntmore Mansion, Ray comes face to face with an enormous and aggressive carnivorous plant. Though he survives the encounter, Ray's right arm below his elbow is devoured, just before he manages to furiously stab the creature to death. Back at headquarters, he is ridiculed for his lack of an arm by the other staff members.
In Achub Y Morfilod, he is given a new cybernetic arm by his co-workers (except Lana and Archer). At the end of the episode it is revealed that he was given a black arm by his colleagues who, in the midst of surgery, accidentally place a discolored arm on him while they're chatting about an old movie. Ray is visually distraught by his new arm, which his co-workers are quick to attribute to racism, though Ray dispels this by declaring his problem is the fact the arm is bionic. Regardless of this, Ray begins wearing a glove over his bionic hand. His new arm causes him to be subjected to more ridicule in Drastic Voyage: Part I and more jokes about his hand's resemblance to the one lost by Conway Stern are made by Archer and Cyril. Ray and Cyril are chosen as the pilots of the miniature submarine and quickly stop Archer from trying to pilot the vessel and possibly ruin the mission. In Drastic Voyage: Part II, he is once again crippled, but caused it himself when attempting to talk to Lana just as the ship was about to take a sudden surge in speed. In the season 7 premiere though, it was revealed Ray was once again feigning his paralysis.
Season 7: Figgis Agency
After the events at the end of season 7, seasons 8, 9 and 10 see Ray take the form of a dream persona:
- Season 8 - Ray (Dreamland)
- The trumpet player and band leader for the Dreamland House Band.
- Season 9 - Capitaine Reynaud (Danger Island)
- The local gendarme on the fictional island of Mitimotu.
- Notably, he speaks French, or English with a camp French accent.
- Season 10 - Ray MVS (1999)
- In early episodes, Ray was referred to by his last name Gillette by Malory and Sterling Archer. Later they switched to call him Ray.
- Ray's full name is Raymond Q. Gillette, as stated in White Elephant. The pronunciation of his last name comes off as inconsistent however. His brother Randy and those from his hometown in West Virginia pronounce it "GILL-IT", but Ray and those close to him pronounce it "Jill-ETTE". This is almost certainly intentional on Ray's part, to distance himself from his hometown history. This may be a reference to the BBC comedy "Keeping Up Appearances", in which the main character changes the pronunciation of her last name from Bucket to Bouquet.
- Ray's character design is visually modeled on Lucky Yates, who is the voice actor for Dr. Algernop Krieger .
- He has $205,188 in his ISIS 401(k) account. However, when he was informed that his 401k is gone, he says that he had "almost two hundred grand."
- Ray and Pam are similiar in that they both grew up in rural towns, both are LGBT+, both have blonde hair and both seem to have a bad relationship with their siblings.
- Ray is good friends with Lana Kane. When Lana offers the ISIS employees the chance to have sex on Cyril Figgis’s desk in exchange for money, Ray lines up, stating that no one is gay enough to turn down sex with her. When it appears that Lana will be promoted to head of the agency, she reassures Ray that she will definitely keep him on board. At a baby shower for Seamus, Lana gets drunk and tries to convince Ray to "pump a baby" into her.
- Ray was originally a field operative. After his alleged crippling, Ray was removed from the active field agent roster, being replaced by Cyril Figgis. Despite his objections to this, he did not reveal his paralyzed state was fake at the time, until he was discovered on a ladder inside the ISIS armory, afterwards returning to the active field-agent roster. At the end of season 3, Ray was genuinely paralyzed following the space shuttle crash, forcing a (temporary) shift to a desk job.
- He has two nickel-plated M1911 pistols, custom-engraved with the names Barbra and Liza, references to gay icons Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli.
- Ray is a very good artist, being able to flawlessly draw the snake that bit Archer in Once Bitten.
- Ray is a skilled aircraft pilot, often piloting planes to carry the main cast throughout season 5. It is not revealed where he got his pilot training.
- His blood type is O positive.
- He owns two cats, one of which may have FIP.
- Ray at one point owned a teacup pig, named Little Hamlet. Ray had to give the pig away upon realizing it was a regular, 200 pound pig when fully grown. Ray genuinely believed the pig was sent to a farm upstate, not realizing until Nellis that the pig was likely processed for meat.
- Ray has a recurring and open fondness for Japanese culture. His apartment is decorated in a modern Japanese style, and he traditionally eats a Bento box paired with Sake for lunch. He is also known to pack no fewer than five kimonos when on trips, which he claims is not excessive.
- He appears to use ecstasy (at raves), and is often seen smoking cigarettes, sometimes with a long cigarette holder.
- He stated that it was "assumed" by his coworkers that he was paralyzed, however, he affirmed their assumptions multiple times, such as in El Contador when he was told they would have to "pee in a cup" to which he replied "I can't even do, y'all." and also in The Limited, when asked if he was okay he replied "Paralyzed, but yeah, other than that, fine". Despite this, he spent several episodes remaining in the wheelchair outside of work.
- Ray is the fourth character in the series to become a cyborg. The bones in his legs are metal, described as a "vanadium-alloy endoskeleton" and supplemented by a battery installed in his lower back, and his right arm from the elbow down is entirely artificial.
- Ray correctly deduced that he would only require the surgically-implanted battery to regain his mobility, though Krieger insisted on the metal bones as well simply because he felt they were "awesome".
- Due to the partial nature of his prosthetics, Ray is incapable of achieving the feats of superhuman strength and mobility demonstrated by the fully-cyberized Barry and Katya.
- Ray's paralysis has become a recurring gag, as well as the fact that it is always caused by Archer in some way. Season 6's finale was the first instance of Ray's paralysis to not be Archer's fault in any way.
- Ray is currently the only main character that is not credited as part of the main cast in the opening credits, likely due to the fact he is voiced by the show's creator and head writer Adam Reed.
- In Legs, a pair of ballet slippers can be seen in Ray's trophy cabinet, suggesting that he was at one time a dancer. In Bloody Ferlin, Ray and his hometown sheriff, E.Z. Ponder, both remember young Ray being teased for wearing Capezios, a brand of dance shoes.
- Ray is probably based on King Camp Gillette, as he is "camp" and bears a resemblance to the razor magnate.
- In Vision Quest, Ray says that he is color blind. Specifically, it’s implied that he has a form of red-green color blindness, suggested by the fact that he repeatedly fails (albeit probably on purpose, in order to annoy Archer) to differentiate between the green and red buttons inside the elevator. If it is true, then he could not have obtained his piloting skills as a commercial pilot.
- It is revealed that Ray masturbates with his left hand after he loses his right hand.
- In Once Bitten, Ray admits that his "go-to" for sexual fantasies is Canadian actor Lorne Greene, specifically in his role as the widowed rancher Ben "Pa" Cartwright in the 1960s Western serial, Bonanza. Greene's older, paternal character was voted "Television's #2 Favorite Dad" in a 2007 TV Guide survey, which, together with Ray's story earlier in the same episode about his father forcing him to kill a bear and then slapping him repeatedly until he stopped crying enough to eat part of its heart, adds a typically Archer Oedipal note to the attraction.
- "She (Malory) has never liked me. But I'm gonna write a book about this place. Mm-hmm. A real smackeroonie."
- "Double Dukes!"
- "Triple Dukes!"
- "Just try to think about something else... like how there's no sink in there."
- "You guys, my car's slowing down for some unknown reason, must just be out of... carburetor!"
- "You can't tourniquet the taint!"
- "You know...!"
- "You asshole!"
- "Girl, please... nobody's that gay."
- "Oh no, it's Maximum Overdrive all over again...!"
Gallery of Images
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