Archer: Auflösung
May 25, 2017 12:05 PM - Season 8, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Archer visits Dreamland and receives a big break that leads him to Woodhouse's killer. [Season finale] [Warning: depiction of violence to robo-dogs]

A.V. Club: Archer: Dreamland ends on a bloody, heartbroken nightmare
So, what are we doing? Are we just jumping right into this? Because tonight’s Archer is one of the strangest, darkest things this show has ever done, and I’m honestly at a bit of a loss as to how to approach it. The first half of “Auflösung”—German for “resolution”—is pretty normal Archer fare: everybody takes turns threatening and sniping at each other, and there’s plenty of jokes about rope, gags, and absent toast. Even when robotic murderer Dutch Dylan smashes down the wall of the Dreamland club, we’re not that far off from a standard “Barry beats the rest of the cast up” episode, a series staple since all the way back in season 2. It’s not until [SPOILER CLIPPED OUT] that the rules that underpin the series start to aggressively, rapidly shift.
(I cut out the bit that would spoil this episode, it's intact in the review.)

Den of Geek: Archer: Dreamland concludes in bloody, surprisingly emotional fashion -- "Archer: Dreamland’s finale, “Auflösung” isn’t the funniest episode of Archer this season. It is, however, the coolest."

Vulture: Archer Season-Finale Recap: Die Roboterhunde --
Even on a show as willing to veer into oddity as Archer, even in a season as darkly committed to the grotesque and bizarre as Dreamland, you must admit: None of us expected this ending ....
(Again, stopping before the spoiler of the ending, FWIW.)
posted by filthy light thief (11 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Man, that was hardcore. I'm still thinking it over, myself.
posted by mordax at 12:35 PM on May 25, 2017

Well, it wasn't the best season of Archer but it sure was different.
posted by Pendragon at 2:13 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

Apart from being right that █████████ was a red herring, I got nuthin'. This has been an odd season of Archer to digest, and I say that as a viewer who liked the divisive Season 5: Archer Vice.
posted by Doktor Zed at 5:04 PM on May 25, 2017

I thought that this was an allright season, nothing special. Got to riff off on some new/different themes/tropes but wasn't able to get a payoff on a lot of them.

The sudden, not-happy, ambiguous ending was homage-y, though and I was fine with that. Heroic tragedy and stoic acceptance and all that. And only 8 episodes. Wonder if next season will be a different dream or if Archer awakens.

What tropes are available for the next season though? In dreamland there are more options, especially if they're willing to get really anachronistic. I could see a Stainless Steel Rat crossover yes, that Harry Harrison who wrote Make Room! Make Room! which resulted in Soylent Green.

If he wakes - real world shit is just so bonkers that fiction has a hard time competing. We laughed at the self-importance and ignorance and childishness and pettiness shown by the characters of this show over the last 8 years and now...?

All I got for that is maybe a Jack Bauer parody where Archer is constantly "Wait, what? No. Fuck no, I'm not going to do that. What are you, a sadist and stupid?"


At first I thought the Barry carjack might have ended up being a shoutout to Clancy Brown's Kurgan in Highlander. Nope, just a brief jazz riff trill on Archer/Trixie.

Cheryl snarked something about chewing cabbage twice at Malory. Totally Archer thing to know and I (and Archer) expect that Cheryl does too, if she hasn't forgotten about it.

Archer has no idea when Woodhouse was born (or was too much of a discontinuity), but Dreamland takes place in 1947 (headstone).

A tiny bit ambiguous, but the Chinese ladies gender Pam as a "policeman" although linguistic limitations might have proscribed knowing/extrapolating policewoman.

I can't read Chinese - anyone able to translate the Chinese portion? I tried using the camera with the google translate app but the script is definitely not simplified chinese and also plane-shifted - I recognize the style, but can't place the region. Some of it looks pretty Canton/Guangdong but the fluidity of the bottom parts of some characters look like other-region/shorthand/lazy/less-educated.
posted by porpoise at 7:39 PM on May 25, 2017

I'd assumed, perhaps naively, that the Chinese was their signatures porpoise.
posted by Carillon at 10:26 PM on May 25, 2017 [1 favorite]

I gotta say, when this episode ended, my first reaction was "Is that it? WTF did I just watch?" Maybe it's going to have to sink-in for awhile, but I'll admit my current feeling is they wrote themselves into a corner and could only blow it all up at the end.

This season ended-up making me hope they go back to their origins next season.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:53 AM on May 27, 2017

Was anyone else really sad when Poovey gets her letter?
posted by corb at 7:15 AM on May 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

Corb, we were all sad. I mean, we're not monsters.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 9:54 PM on May 27, 2017 [5 favorites]

An interesting experiment of a season, but it didn't really hang together and honestly that level of bleak isn't what I want from Archer.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 8:12 PM on May 28, 2017 [3 favorites]

I just finally finished it, and I'm glad to read these responses. The reviews I read were going on about how this was the season that finally got things right after it not working for years. Which is just weird.

I liked it OK, and appreciate the effort, but this was the weakest season by far.
posted by bongo_x at 9:00 PM on June 11, 2017

Small notice: Archer has first aid triangle bandage tied in the manner to support a broken forearm, as opposed to a broken clavicle/etc.
posted by porpoise at 2:00 AM on November 11, 2017

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