When members of Woodhouse's old WWI unit die mysteriously, Archer discovers his valet's connection to the family.
Archer's first Friday off in "like, forever" is disrupted by both the wee baby Seamus, and Woodhouse's uncharacteristic and insubordinate emotional display at the death of his former Royal Flying Corps (RFC) comrade, Sir Augustus Stilton. Following Woodhouse's conjectures, Archer realizes that the members of the 'Double Deuce,' Woodhouse's squadron, are not dying of natural causes.
Despite Archer's slight interest, Woodhouse describes his service in the First World War, as a batman to Capt. Reginald Thistleton, a popular and genial RFC officer who was shot down in the 'Bloody April' of 1917. Before his demise, Capt. Thistleton came up with the idea of a tontine for the members of the Double Deuce, which was still extant and worth about 1 million dollars.
Woodhouse reveals that he is one of the three surviving members of the tontine, besides Lt. Scripes and Cpl. 'Stinky' Bishop, who then arrives at Archer's apartment. Somewhat intrigued by the mystery, but more interested in the potential postmortem worth of his valet, Archer agrees to involve himself in what he calls a 'geezer murder mystery' only if the wee baby Seamus is sent to Malory's tender care.
While Malory applies her time-tested parenting techniques to the wee baby Seamus, revealing much of Archer's psychology along the way, Pam, Cheryl, and Cyril develop their own ISIS tontine, based on the idea that virtually every job at ISIS is either dangerous, asbestos-ridden, or Cheryl's.
Woodhouse describes Reggie Thistleton's death in No-man's-land, and his subsequent beserker rampage in the German trenches, where he took fifty German scalps and won the Victoria Cross (VC). Following his discharge, Woodhouse "spent God knows how many years in the Orient" until he settled down in Tangiers, where he won a bar in a dice game. He encountered a very pregnant Malory for the first time and helped give birth to Archer. His gift of a sterling silver baby rattle to Malory resulted in her naming her son "Sterling". Subsequent flashbacks reveal more about the complicated emotional landscape of Archer's youth.
Meanwhile, Scripes arrives at Archer's apartment and has to shoot Bishop. Once things settle, he claims he had forgotten about the tontine and had no intention of murderong Woodhouse or 'Stinky.' The deaths of the other Double Deuces are explained away as natural causes, a fall, an autoerotic asphyxiation, and the remaining three toast to their old squadron.
As Scripes shows Woodhouse Reggie's old pistol, Archer enters and believing Scripes is going to kill Woodhouse, kicks Scripes off the balcony to his death. 'Stinky' knocks Archer out in the ensuing argument and, Woodhouse explains he'll cover their tracks with a story that Archer slipped and knocked himself out while chasing a 'terrified Asian prostitute.'
- Starring :
- Co-Starring :
- "Alas, poor Reggie!" When Woodhouse says these words and lifts the citrus fruit, he is exactly mimicking Hamlet raising the skull of Yorick. ["Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio/a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy."]
- As Woodhouse begins to describe his relationship with Reggie, a pilot whom Woodhouse is batman to, Archer comments, "Ew, gross...Didn't Oscar Wilde get hard labor for that?", referring to Oscar Wilde's imprisonment on charges of sodomy.
- While Cheryl/Carol is spraying aerosol disinfectant in the office (to kill all the baby germs), Pam quips "Knock it off, Union Carbide." Union Carbide is an aerosol company that has had several major disasters in the U.S. and India (Bhopal Disaster, December 2-3, 1984).
- When Malory tells Archer he should only give babies liquor when they have the croup, Archer calls her "Mr. Spock," evidently confusing the character from Star Trek with noted pediatrician and author Dr. Benjamin Spock.
- Woodhouse describes Reggie as "in the words of Henley, 'bloodied, but unbowed." This is a quote from the poem Invictus by British poet William Ernest Henley.
- When offered a canteen of water, Reggie responds "Oh, I never drink the stuff. Fish fuck in it." This is a famous rationale coined by the comedian, actor, and proud drunk, W.C. Fields.
- Legends of the Fall - It is revealed that Woodhouse was discharged from the RFC for collecting large numbers of enemy scalps. This is a nod to the film in which Brad Pitt's character, Tristan Ludlow, goes on a scalping spree and is subsequently discharged for it. Woodhouse then embarks on a similar, opium-fueled travel montage as Tristan - replete with the same long hair as Pitt.
- Woodhouse claims to have "won a bar in a dice game" in Tangiers, Morocco, bearing a strong resemblance to Rick's Café Américain in Casablanca, Morocco, in the film Casablanca.
Running Gags / Callbacks
- Phrasing - "I'm coming for you sir!"
- "Are you hourly?" - Reggie
- Cheryl's opinion of babies has changed wildly from wanting to be impregnated by Conway Stern in "Diversity Hire" to hating them.
- Several of Woodhouse's former squadron mates died in the past six months. These are all English cheeses, each named after their places of origin. Buxton cheese is not as well known in England as the others. Although British Lords choose an official name and sometimes use a place name, knights are given the title Sir (like Wensleydale and Stilton) and keep their family names. "Stinky" is often a word used to describe a variety of cheeses, as well. The list includes:
- The heading for an article on Woodhouse's newspaper reads "Woodrow To Testify." This is in reference to a speech given by President Woodrow Wilson on September 5, 1919. He is quoted saying, "LET ME TESTIFY TO THIS, my fellow citizens..." and goes on to mock German spies by insinuating he was in disbelief to learn that they had the better intelligence agency in Europe.
- "Bloody April" was a real historical event which occurred in 1917, beginning on April 9 with the opening of the Battle of Arras. During the next month, RFC losses were roughly three times German losses for the same period. The German fighter aircraft in the flashbacks, however, are Fokker D-VIIs, which did not enter service until spring 1918.
- Reggie's Sopwith Camel has a black rooster painted on the fuselage. This might be a reference to the implied homosexuality of Reggie and Woodhouse, as the insignia literally is a "black cock".
- It's also implied that Scripes is gay and jealous of Woodhouse's relationship with Thistleton.
- When Pam is creating a tontine for ISIS employees, the name Cody 2 can be seen on the bottom of the matchup list. This is a reference to another of Adam Reed's productions, Frisky Dingo.
- Reggie asks Woodhouse for a cigarette, and Woodhouse proceeds to try and light it by match. The first match is blown out but draws the attention of a sniper. The second attempt also is blown out but allows the sniper to tighten his aim. After successfully lighting the cigarette on the 3rd match, Reggie is shot by the sniper. This is a twist on a superstition about lighting 3 cigarettes off of 1 match. The superstition was thought to originate from soldiers during WWI, which is false, but was widely passed around as truth.
- Bishop refers to Woodhouse as a Lance Corporal but there was no such rank in the Royal Flying Corps.
- The photo of the "Double Deuce" squadron which Woodhouse looks at longingly at 2:55 can be seen on a shelf at "Reggie's Bar" at 14:00 in the flashback.
- Except for the image of Thistleton in the "Double Deuce" squadron photo, there is no rank on any uniforms of any members of 22 Squadron.
- Archer uses one of Woodhouse's pistols (seen in the Reggie's Bar flashbacks) in "Pipeline Fever".
- This is the first instance of the "are you hourly?" quip.
- As Archer leaves the office to go "save" Woodhouse, Cyril quips about Archer's "hooker baby," prompting Archer to throw a cat statue at Cyril's head, knocking him to the ground. The statue is of Maneki Neko, a Japanese figure which is thought to bring good luck to its owner.
- The tontine Woodhouse is involved in is originally for 1,200 British Pounds, it built 10% interest and is said by Woodhouse to be worth a little under $1,000,000 at the time of the episode. If solved for with the exchange rate in 1917, when the tontine is said to be started (1 British Pound equaling 4.72 US Dollar), the value in USD at the time is $5,712. Given the current value and interest rate stated by Woodhouse, this places the length of the tontine at 54 years ($981,732.57), placing the episode in the year 1971.
- Alternatively, it quite possible that the Tontine was kept in British Pounds for the duration of the investment so the exchange rate in 1917 would not be relevant. If it did indeed earn interest at 10% compounded annually then by 1985 it would be equivalent to $783.220 Pounds (assuming this statement were made far enough through the year for the interest payment to have applied). In 1985, the pound purchased from as little as $1.05 to as high as $1.40. So if this statement was made at a time during the year when the Pound was equivalent to $1.25 dollars this would also make sense (being worth $979,025). Otherwise, it may be simply that the account had fees on it which would explain it having a lower value at a later date.
- Scripes falls from a building and lands on a car, setting off its alarm. Archer then pulls out his keys and silences the alarm. This is a reference to a running gag in the aforementioned Frisky Dingo.
- Dr. Krieger does not appear.
- The shaving cream on Seamus' face disappears when he's seen playing with the razor.
- Archer: "I can do baby or I can do geezer murder-mystery but I can't do both!"
- Woodhouse: "Gave birth to you right there on that greasy bar. I cut the cord, and I've been with your family ever since."
- Archer: "The..You.."
- Archer: "YOU SAW MOTHER'S VAGINA?"
- Woodhouse: "Hmmm?"
- Archer: "Oh, my God! Oh!"
- Woodhouse: "Reggie!!!"
Gallery of Images
There are 47 screenshots and images from "The Double Deuce" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.
Sample of images from the gallery:
- "The Double Deuce" on IMDB