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Vision Quest" is the fifth episode of season 6 and the sixty-seventh episode overall of Archer.



The gang get to work early in a bid to spend quality time together.


Pam, Cheryl, Krieger, Cyril, and Ray arrive bright and early at ISIS headquarters. Malory has called an enigmatic yet important 7:00 AM meeting and, although no one is eager to see what she has planned, they know better than to incur her wrath by showing up late. Lana arrives just as the gang boards the elevator and it looks like Archer will be the only one to miss out. Suddenly, he shows up and calls for Ray to hold the door. Ray, pretending to press the "door open" button, repeatedly presses the "door close" button, but Archer forces the doors back with a mop. The group begins chatting, then bickering, then shouting, all the while unaware that, through a combination of Ray and Archer's actions, the elevator has malfunctioned until it overshoots the top floor, crashes into the car lift, and stalls.

The situation seems precarious. The office is empty (save for Milton), involving that most employees don't work at ISIS anymore due to the office had to be shut down and spent an entire year selling cocaine, the elevator's phone is dead, and no one can get a signal on their mobiles because Krieger installed an RF Jammer on the roof of the car in a misguided attempt to encourage people to be more social. To pass the time and prepare for a potential long stay, the group decides to ration all the available food. Archer insults Cyril's sweater vest, Cyril insults Archer's proclivities, Cheryl identifies everyone's vice, and Pam downs her alcohol, the latter action results in Pam having to urinate.

The group debates jumping to try and dislodge the car. When that goes nowhere, Ray decides to have a smoke. He sticks his head through the gap in the open doors and the top of the doorway and finds that Milton has returned with toast. Pam pees much to everyone's disgust. Ray finds that his phone has a signal when stuck through the hole, but calling 911 proves fruitless. He instead tries Malory, but Archer has rerouted his cell to the elevator's phone for one of his voicemail pranks. At their breaking point, everyone turns on each other.

Meanwhile, Malory finally arrives. She uses her manual override key to reset the elevator, and, when the car arrives, is aghast to find the ISIS team pounced upon each other with Cheryl having Krieger in a headlock, Pam choking Ray from behind, Lana throttling Archer, and Cyril masturbating in the corner. It's revealed that the important 7:00 AM meeting was a team-building exercise. Lana takes this to mean that Malory set up the elevator to break, but she clarifies that they were all meant to watch Vision Quest (1985) together.


Cultural References[]

  • Title Explained- this is a reference to the film "Vision Quest" (1985), detailing the story of a high school wrestler.
  • Maximum Overdrive - Ray again tries to blame the doors of the elevator becoming sentient as the reason why he can't hold them open as in this movie.
  • Archer assumes that Ray can hack into computer systems like R2D2 from Star Wars, because he has bionic legs.
  • "Omar" is a reference to Omar Little from The Wire.
  • Cyril is fascinated by elevators and knows a lot about them, like that Elisha Otis invented their safety brakes as opposed to the elevator itself (which is often popularly misattributed to him). He also knows that Otis died during a diphtheria outbreak in 1861.
  • Archer says "It puts..." when giving instructions to Cyril, akin to the way Buffalo Bill says, "It puts the lotion on its skin..." in The Silence of the Lambs. This is a way to dehumanize Cyril.
  • Pam having linguini with clam sauce for breakfast is a reference to an episode of The Golden Girls, when Sophia did the same thing.
  • Repeated jokes about Soviet Russia lead to Pam asking "serious shit, did Red Dawn happen and no one told me about it?" This is a reference to the 1984 movie in which the U.S.S.R. invades the U.S. in a sneak attack, and a group of Colorado teenagers fight back using guerrilla warfare.
  • When insulting Cyril of his wanting to masturbate, Lana calls him "Stroker Ace" in reference to the film which stars Burt Reynolds as the title character.
  • "In Soviet Russia" is a reference to the 1980s comedy stylings of Russian emigre Yakov Smirnoff who often did comparisons of Cold War Russia with its deprivation, oppression and food lines to his new home of America.
  • In the final scene, the word "touchable" is scrawled across the wall of the elevator reminiscent to a scene from the film “The Untouchables”.

Running Gags / Callbacks[]

  • Archer's Tinnitus - Archer fires his gun when the gang are stuck fighting on an elevator, causing everyone to make the famous "mawp" noise.
  • Lana's large hands 
  • You're not my supervisor! - subverted with "You're not my coal-mine supervisor".
  • Ability to read minds - Cheryl
  • Multiple names - Cheryl
  • Phrasing - Archer attempts to bring it back into regular usage.
  • Archer's time of being lost at sea during "Heart of Archness: Part I" is mentioned in this episode.
  • Popeye's Laundromat is revealed to have been closed down following the events of "White Elephant", and the other ISIS employees did not return to work following the agency's re-establishment.
  • Ray pressing the close button on the elevator while claiming it is similar to Maximum Overdrive is a repeat of what he did in "Edie's Wedding".
  • The theory of Krieger being one of the clones from San Marcos rather than the original Krieger is mentioned again.
  • Pam mentions that everyone in the group has seen her naked. This goes along with the fact that she has had sex with most of her co-workers.
  • Archer mentions that everyone in the group has seen Lana naked.
    • Archer and Cyril have both had sexual relationships with Lana.
    • Pam had sex with Lana in "Dial M for Mother".
    • Ray bivouacked with Lana and Archer in "The Archer Sanction". All three were naked to conserve body heat.
    • Cheryl observed Lana's cervix dilation as she gave birth in "Arrivals/Departures".
    • Cheryl clarifies that Krieger hasn't seen it "in person", hinting that he may have seen it via the spy cameras in Tunt Manor that he monitored in "Pocket Listing".
  • Elisha Otis - the elevator guy is mentioned again.
  • When Ray says "my suit pants", Archer says, "You can just say pants." This is similar to the way he corrects people who say "New York City" in "Bloody Ferlin" and "Edie's Wedding".
  • Yakov Smirnoff is also referenced in "Nellis".
  • This last exchange is a reference to Cheryl's non-housebroken pet Babou:
Lana: Trapping us in here like-like Like
Ray: Piss-covered-
Cheryl: Ocelots!
Lana: This was the team building exercise!


  • This is a bottle episode, taking place almost entirely in the elevator.
  • The TV plot synopsis for the episode is listed (at least on AT&T U-verse and Hulu) as, "The entire gang wants to spend some quality time with one another, so they all decide to get to work earlier than they normally would." This is wildly inaccurate from what actually happens in the episode.
  • Ray reveals he is colorblind though it may not be true as he was a bomb defusal specialist and has lied about being paralyzed.
  • Pam chugs a Red Beer.
  • Lana reveals that Archer VICE took place over the course of a year, though this is seemingly incongruous with her pregnancy as she was visibly pregnant when the season began. It's possible she was speaking hyperbolically.
  • Cheryl is revealed to have claustrophobia.
  • This is the first episode in Season 6 where A.J. doesn't make an appearance.



Archer: "Lana..."
Lana: "What?"
Ray: "You..."
Cyril: "Should be doing this."
Lana: "You know..."
Cheryl: "Oh, my God! We work in a coal mine?" 
Archer: "Carol, shut up."
Cheryl: "You're not my coal mine supervisor!" 


Lana: "And why do you know so much about elevators?"
Cyril: "I don't know. It's a hobby. I guess I've just always been fascinated by them."
Archer: "I honestly have no response to that."


Archer: "Cyril what is that? Is that a bagel?"
Cyril: "No. Get off. Geez it's just napkins." 
Ray: "Guys get the napkins!"
Lana: "Ok let's just take it down a-"
Carol: "Shut up we're all gonna starve!"


Lana: "Yeah. Hey, and over here too, because if it gets on these boots, I will not be responsible for my actions."
Archer: "Right? Isn't it just so liberating?"


Cheryl: "Hey, what's Milton doing?"
Ray: "What do you-- he's making toast!"
Cheryl: "I wanna see!"
Ray: "Well, too bad, I'm in the hole!"
Cheryl: "Stop torturing me!"
Archer: "Stop torturing ME!"

Gallery of Images[]

There are 2 screenshots and images from "Vision Quest" on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.