Archer Wiki
Archer Wiki
Idol map

The Idol - tupua

The Idol is what drives the plot in Season 9: Danger Island. It's true nature is for the most part unknown and not revealed until the final episode. Different clues are dropped throughout the season as to what it may be: it is clearly being sought by Nazis for some reason but why? Presumably it holds some kind of power - supernatural/occult or other - and may be being sought in an attempt to increase their power by any means. The ambiguity surrounding the idol helps foster a sense of mystery.


  • The idol is mentioned for the first time by Fuchs in the jungle (s9e2).
  • It is subsequently discussed by Lanaluakalani and Fuchs in the Royal Palace; Lanaluakalani gives Fuchs a map of it's location after coming to an agreement of terms; the map is later seen by Archer and Pam in Fuchs' bungalow  (s9e3).
    • In (s9e3), the idol is referred to by Lanaluakalani as tupua, which is Maori for 'object of fear', or 'strange being.'[1]
  • It is further discussed by Pam and Archer as well as mentioned by Fuchs to Ziegler in relation to bombing the 'wild cannibals' in order to acquire it (s9e4).
  • By (s9e5), every party is involved in the hunt: Fuchs and Lanaluakalani; Archer and Pam (with Crackers as side kick) and Malory and Reynaud (with Charlotte as side chick).
  • By (s9e6), Lanaluakalani has joined with Reynaud, Malory, Charlotte and Crackers (forming the B-Team) in their quest for the idol, which is set to one side temporarily as they search for Archer and Pam (the A Team) instead. Malory questions whether there is time to get the idol before Archer dies in the quicksand. Fuchs and his band of Nazis are the C-Team.
  • By (s9e7), the A and B teams are united in preparation for their joint pursuit of the idol in the finale; the C-team is dispatched, and only a not-quite- dead Fuchs stands in their way.
  • In the finale (s9e8), the core group are assembled and manage to navigate their way through the volcano/temple to find the idol, where it is revealed to be a scientific rather than occult power (namely a carved block of glowing uranium).


The idol is a green godhead carved out of glowing uranium.  It acts as a macguffin, a plot device, which drives the plot by motivating all the characters toward it. It's true value is narrative as it provides impetus to the characters, compared to the values attributed to it by the characters themselves:

  • Lanaluakalani agrees to sell it to Fuchs in exchange for a guarantee of German assistance to liberate her island (Mitimotu) from French control.
    • When she realizes she has, in her naivety, been deceived by Fuchs she sets off looking for the idol to prevent him from getting his hands on it. 
  • Fuchs wants to buy it for "anthropological reasons", to put it in a museum in Germany. His intentions are initially vague, but as the season progresses, it becomes clear he has a hidden agenda and he was only using the princess to get what he wants. (He is the only one who really understands what the idol is).
  • Archer and Pam wish to locate and sell it so as make enough money to repair their plane, Loose Goose.
  • Malory wishes to get hold of it, purely because it is of some value. She is only interested in what she can get for it.
  • Charlotte isn't interested in it; she is along for the ride.
  • Reynaud has no interest in it; he is just the driver.
  • Crackers expects thirdsies, but what good would that be for a parrot?

Relative Value[]

The idol has a different value relative to who is looking for it:

  • To Lanaluakalani it is a 'silly native legend' and a 'mouldy old statue', but to her father it is 'sacred', with 'awesome power' and is 'legendary for a reason.' Her western values from her American education are the antithesis of her father's. She sees it as a commodity to sell to help her move back to New York.
  • To Fuchs it is an object which he clearly values for it's power and potential to help the Nazi campaign of global domination.
  • To Pam and Archer it represents a commodity which can be sold for cash to fix up 'Loose Goose' and leave the island.
  • For Malory is an opportunistic money-making scheme, just like pimping Charlotte was.

To all but Lanaluakalani's father, the idol has some instrumental or extrinsic value: it is valuable as a means to an end. To her father it has value as an end in itself, ie. intrinsic value.


  1. It has something to do with a 'secret lab' on the island - which in turn might have something to do with Krieger.
    • This was potentially foreshadowed by Pam in ep5, when she spoke of a "top secret lab" and that "the monkeys might be super intelligent".
  2. It could be a radioactive power source needed for a Nazi super-weapon.
  3. It is a genuine macguffin, meaning that it is literally nothing but a plot driver.
    • Given that the idol only appears at the end of ep 8, this was a real possibility up to that point of discovery.

The Reveal[]

The idol drives the plot for 7 episodes while the characters and audience speculate as to it's true nature, before finally being revealed to be a radioactive power source. Thus it is a combination of 2 and 3. As it had nothing to do with a secret lab, appears to have been a deliberate misdirection.


  1. Tupua(Maori Dictionary)