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"The Orpheus Gambit" is the premiere episode of the eleventh season of Archer, being the one-hundred and eleventh episode overall.



Archer is back in the spy game and his first mission is to guard a priceless statue. His second mission, to tell Lana his true feelings. His third mission, to get blind drunk.


A covert mission being carried out by Lana and Cyril is interrupted when Lana's phone alerts the armed guards of their position. They get into a highspeed motorcycle chase-shootout where Ray, Pam, and Krieger help them escape. Lana's phone rings again while she is in Krieger's van, upon answering she learns that Archer has awoken from his three-year coma. She announces it to everyone else in the van, much to their shock and amazement.

Three months later, Archer wakes up in his bed to find his apartment is a disaster, with liquor bottles and "Welcome Home" decorations strewn about all over the place. By force of habit, he calls out for Woodhouse, only to realize he is no longer alive. Archer calls Woodhouse "selfish" for being dead. Malory calls his cellphone and tells him she expects to see him at work that day, and that she has hired a new valet for him. When the valet arrives, Archer berates him for being at his apartment two minutes late.

Upon arriving at ISIS Headquarters, Archer is dismayed when nobody greets him, he is surprised to find Cheryl behaving normally. When he joins the meeting and doesn't see Lana, Archer interrupts the presentation, stating he feels like she is avoiding him. Malory tells Cyril to proceed with the mission briefing, while Archer makes fun of him and attempts to smack him with his cane. This causes Cyril to stop as the arm of his jacket rips due to his increased muscle mass. Cyril continues briefing them on their next mission, which consists of guarding the statue known as Weeping Orpheus from being stolen by the art thief known as "Peregrine". Ray compliments Cyril's briefing and fist bumps him, to which Archer rebuts: "You guys are friends now?" This elicits a disgusted look from both of them.

Archer then tries to get Cyril, Pam, and Ray to buy him welcome-back-to-work brunch, they dodge the suggestion. Cheryl tells them to take him somewhere else so "new better Cheryl" can get some work done. Pam assures Archer they will hang out soon. Frustrated, Archer tells everybody that he will be in his office if they need him. Malory overhears Archer and lets him know he doesn't have an office anymore, forcing him to hang out in the breakroom by himself, "like a pervert". Ray tells Archer that Krieger wants to see him and Archer comments that Cyril is a fridge hog with his protien shakes. Archer sits in Krieger's lab with a device on his head to scan his brain, that scan is used to create Archer's Tactical Cane.

At the art gallery, Malory and Cyril brief the team on the mission with agent Bruchstein. Archer disregards Cyril's orders and goes to tell Lana how he feels, only to find out that she's married now. Robert is understanding and friendly with Archer, he leaves so Archer and Lana can finish their conversation. After Archer berates Lana and makes fun of Robert, he begins viewing the artwork. An old woman looking at the same painting asks Archer what he thinks, to which he replies, "It kind of looks like that thing where you've been away for a long time and when you come back, no one really cares and people have moved on, you're all alone and nobody understands you."

The old lady gets finally gets offended and leaves after Acher suggests the painting might just be a woman with "big cans". Next we see Robert and Archer having a brief conversation about art, fortunes, and his relationship with Lana. Archer proceeds to make fun of Robert again, causing him to leave, realizing Archer may need more time to adjust. Archer's brain waves are "all over the place" as he struggles to use his cane to stay on his feet, lamenting Lana using his hospital bed as a "singles bar". With Ray being frustrated at Cyril's fridge hogging, and Lana being upset with Archer's attitude, they all end up gossiping with each other and completely out of position. Malory criticizes them for being so sloppy.

Ray comments that the mishap was all Archer's fault, to which Lana replies how great their team dynamic was, prior to his return. Upon suggesting they roll it back to "coma o'clock", Lana notices Archer is standing close enough to hear everything they're saying. When Archer asks if they were really happier without him, they make an unsuccessful attempt to console him. Archer silently walks away to seek solace in the liquor Pam has in her flask. She comforts him and assures him everything will work out, even though the circumstances are different. Archer apologizes and accepts the fact that he will take on a supporting role in the mission. Cyril then tells Archer: "Like Orpheus, you too have visited the land of the dead". Archer tells Cyril he murdered the subtext of that conversation.

Agent Bruchstein approaches the group and berates them for allowing the Orpheus statue to be stolen. Archer and Krieger figure out that the photo of Peregrine the team got was fake, and agent Bruchstein was actually Peregrine. After Peregrine and the bartender use tear gas to end the shootout that just ensued, they get on motorcycles to escape. Archer slows them down with the turquoise sand he used to punish Woodhouse with, throwing it underneath and around the motorcycle wheels, as he shouts "go get 'em Woodhouse!"

As Cyril stops the bartender's motorcycle from riding away by grabbing the seat and anchoring himself to a large sculpture, Archer pulls out his gun and shoots the metal ceiling beams, causing them to fall down on top of the bartender. As Peregrine's motorcycle starts to get away, Archer draws his gun again, only to find out it's empty. In a last ditch effort to stop Peregrine, Archer throws his cane at the motorcycle like a javelin, it gets caught in the front wheel, causing him to crash and foiling his get away. Malory walks over to Archer and says "Welcome back. Took you long enough."


Cultural References[]

  • Back To The Future - The device Krieger puts on Archer's head is the same one Doc Brown used when meeting Marty McFly in this movie.
  • Flatliners - Krieger references this 1990 Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts movie when he asks Archer if he is looking to plumb his psyche with morally questionable "Flatliners-style" experimentation.
  • The Maltese Falcon - A peregrine is a type of falcon. This is a reference to the film 'The Maltese Falcon' which also centered around a statue.

Running Gags / Callbacks[]

  • Coma-O'Clock
  • Phrasing
  • Sploosh!
  • Mention of Cyril's sex addiction.
  • Cyril says "Jeezy-petes!" after ripping the arm of his suit jacket.
  • Suuuprressing Fiiiire! - By Archer.


  • Archer has awoken from his 3 year coma.
  • Krieger continues to have rock inspired vans.
  • The death of Woodhouse while Archer was in his coma is referenced.
  • Archer mentions dreaming of being a private eye whilst in his coma.
  • Cheryl mentions finding something unconventional deeply erotic.
  • Ray continues to wear a black glove on his right hand, marking his cybernetic replacement.


  • First appearance of the Tactical Cane.
  • The introduction of "New Better Cheryl".
  • Krieger's Van has "Screaming for Van-gence" painted on the side. It is similar to the cover of the Judas Priest album "Screaming for Vengeance" During the cold open chase The song "You Got Another Thing Coming" is playing. It is by Judas Priest & is from the album "Screaming for Vengeance" as well. Krieger is also wearing leather gloves and hat, a trend that Judas Priest made popular.
  • When Krieger is manning comms, there are several references on his monitors including the two aliens from the Nellis episode, the well prison from Silence Of The Lambs and a scene from Marathon Man.
  • Ray mocks Cyril for masturbating in his office by calling him Onan the Barbarian, a portmanteau of the Biblical character Onan, known for ejaculating on the ground, and the fictional character Conan the Barbarian, because Cyril has increased his muscle mass with the help of protein shakes.
  • In the art museum there is a glass encased dolphin on display. During an exchange of gunfire the case shatters & the dolphin falls on Pam. In earlier seasons Pam has assaulted with a dolphin hand puppet. The artwork itself could well be a reference to The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, a glass-encased shark by leading artist Damien Hirst.


First Appearances[]


Archer: "Stare into the void, the void stares into me, mostly void stuff"


Archer: "Woah! Sploosh right?"
Pam: "Ohhh"
Ray: "Yeah, we don't do that anymore."
Archer: "You don't? Uh What, Sploosh? Yo-yo-you have to Sploosh. You all Sploosh, everybody Splooshes."


Gallery of Images[]

There are 3 screenshots and images from "The Orpheus Gambit" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.