Archer: Season 1, Episode 10

Dial M for Mother (18 Mar. 2010)

TV Episode  |  TV-MA  |   |  Animation, Action, Comedy
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 546 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 3 critic

Questions about the identity of Archer's real father lead him into a perilous trap... and an explosive confrontation with Malory.




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Title: Dial M for Mother (18 Mar 2010)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Mannfred (voice)
Sterling Archer (voice)
Uta (voice)
Cheryl Tunt (voice)
Pam Poovey (voice)
Peter Newman ...
Cyril Figgis (voice)
Ray Gillette (voice)
Lana Kane (voice)
Malory Archer (voice)
Trinette (voice)
Doctor Krieger (voice)


On the heels of Cyril's latest disgrace, a new ISIS policy: No Banging Co-Workers is issued by Malory and posted by Pam. "Come Monday, it will be alright..." but there will be no more Spring Break at South Padre Island! Archer is not concerned with trivialities until he sees the latest fashions from Frederick's of Latvia...and hears Nikolai Jakov address him as "son." In NY, Archer is very confused; his father was Black Jack Archer who won the Navy Cross and had a military funeral with 21-gun salute. But in Russia, Nikolai is fuming: he cannot believe Malory slept with that mudak Trexler and Gene Krupa...or was it Buddy Rich? As Nikolai calls his murderous Huns to extract some revenge, Lana hatches a plot to make money...the ball-slappy sex way! The last thing Archer needs is another hole in his head; later, the last thing Archer needs is a loud rendition of "Mulatto Butts." Take a number or take a cleaver, and watch it fly! Whether it is Ubil Mat or a just big jazzy blur, at least ... Written by LA-Lawyer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

18 March 2010 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


In flashback, at his (fake) dad's funeral, the boy Archer's suit and salute exactly copy JFK Jr's at his father's funeral. And his mother is dressed just like Jackie. See more »


In one scene, while the head of the KGB is talking on and older style phone you can also see the phone in front of him with the receiver still in its cradle. See more »


[first lines]
Malory Archer: And that's your message, my God who...
[wakes suddenly and grabs a gun]
Malory Archer: Who's there? What do you want? Because all you're going to get is holes. I, I mean holes in you, not my...
Malory Archer: Sterling?
See more »


References Schindler's List (1993) See more »


Archer Theme Song
Written by Scott Sims
Performed by Scott Sims
See more »

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User Reviews

Season 1: Fun mix of crudity, great dialogue, great timing and strong deadpan delivery with a strong voice cast
23 December 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This was one of those shows I kept hearing about but never got around to watching; the story is about a spy agency called ISIS (no, really – but they had the name first) where the main spy is a suave Bond- esque character whose mother happens to run the agency and whose ex is also one of the other main spies. While they get involved in missions around the world, with high-stakes, the majority of their time seems to be taken up with resentments, office politics, relationships, personality dysfunction, poorly aligned priorities, sexual indiscretions, and the actions of Archer himself – who is not exactly the model of professionalism.

I had heard the show was not for everyone, and I guess this is because fundamentally it is a very silly show – and if you do not understand that after watching this season, then a look at the DVD extras will convince you since it contains an alternative version of the first episode but with the Archer character replaced by a velociraptor (including all his dialogue replaced by growls), seemingly just because it was funny to do so. Like this throwaway extra, the silliness does work though because it is very well constructed silliness – something that takes work rather than spontaneous silliness that usually ends up being dumb rather than clever; and Archer is clever.

There is a lot of crudity as the base, but for me the more pleasing thing was the dialogue and its delivery. It is very smartly written and has plenty of quotable lines and dialogue that I can listen to many times over; there is also a certain controlled randomness that works too. A few times the crudity comes over a bit too heavy with low blows or easy jokes, but mostly it is brisk and very funny so it doesn't matter too much. To make the most of the writing the delivery is very good. A talented cast not only get the deadpan tone just right to help make the silliness funny rather than stupid, but their timing is also great through, with many exchanges made funnier by the delivery. Animation is stylish and yet simple, which adds well to the deadpan and genre/period feel to the show – which helps the spoof aspect work.

It may not be for everyone but I think many people would be surprised by how funny it is once they get into the spoof deadpan tone of this first season. I know for me that I was only a few episodes into the first season when it was clear that this would be a show that I'd be catching up on the rest of the seasons.

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