Thursday Comedy Roundup: ‘Archer’ 4.11

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Archer, Season 4, Episode 11: “The Papal Chase”
Story by Eric Sims
Teleplay by Adam Reed
Airs Thursdays at 10pm ET on FX

With the world’s attention turned towards the Vatican with the recent shakeups in the Papacy, “The Papal Chase” is an oddly relevant episode of Archer, or, at least, as relevant as any episode of Archer can be. The plot concerns a cardinal staging a hit on the Pope, and hiring ISIS to protect him (because of their reputation for incompetence) in order to establish an alibi. However, with Archer, the how is always significantly more interesting than the why.

Woodhouse has been largely absent from the season’s proceedings and his presence here tonight highlights what a shame that is.  His heroin addiction seems only to have intensified during his absence, allowing Lana the wonderful line “is there some amount you can shoot up to get right for the mission without getting all… Trainspotty?” Making good on last week’s promise to put Pam in the field is what really makes the episode sing, that she is wearing a nun’s habit and keeps getting stuck with Woodhouse’s needles only adds to the comedy.

It’s a nice, light episode leading into the two-part season finale. It culminates in another car chase, a trope you would think has worn out its welcome, but the show manages to find new ways to maintain interest. This week it’s a ridiculous predecessor to the Smart car and an innovative use of road flares. Throw in an extended discussion about halberds and Archer dressed as SNL’s Father Guido Sarducci and you have a wonderfully entertaining episode of Archer.

Justin Wier

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