Just two episodes into the 5th season, FX’s Archer still got me locked in. The spy animation comedy did the normal run with forever favorite one-liners and crazy longing for Super Agents Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin; Bob’s Burgers) and Lana Kane (Aisha Tyler; Talk Soup, Ghost Whisperer) to just have sex already but also revealed an otherwise special location plot. It wasn’t until the very end of the premiere episode (“White Elephant”) where Archer is envisioning the only viable direction to go is to “Go Vice” thus revealing where in the world the ISIS
crew Sterling has haphazardly landed; a place that is very dear to me and the inspiration of this blog: Laos!
I am not saying that Laos will cover the rest of the season or if Archer will be in Laos for more than an episode but it got me all fan-girl over the mention of the motherland. What I am most excited to see is how Laos will be portrayed geographically, culturally, and linguistically. I can only hope the designers for Season 5 did the Land Of A Million Elephants some justice so here are some things I noticed from the Archer premiere about Laos:
1) Lao Leader
Instead of Whore Island, it’s just Laos (Landlocked). It looks as though Archer is leading a band of brown men again much like in Season 3’s piracy vacation on Pangu Island. With Chi (Chi Duong, yeah, I know) and what looks like Laotians by his side, Archer is leading one group of brown people to blow up another group of brown people. Where else in history have I seen this?
2) Lao People
It will be interesting to see why Archer is leading one pack against another. Mainly, I’m interested in seeing how physically similar the characters resemble any family members of mine. (The kids’ Lao Grandpa, ahem) It’s not a deal breaker for me if I can’t recognize anybody I know used as a visual model.
The last time we saw Chi was in 4.9 (“The Honeymooners”) playing the oh so stereotypical manicurist for Archer in the Tuntmore Towers Hotel, where he joined Lana as pretend-newlyweds (we all wish!) to stake out the North Koreans. In the premiere vision, we now see Chi as Archer’s Asian sidekick.
4) Lao Language
I’m not exactly sure what Chi was saying because it did not resonate as any part of the Laotian language to me. I’m no linguist but trust me when I say I understood not a damn thing. Sure, it could be another one of the four specific dialects in Laos but I’m still not so sure. Wait, the visual model/designer is Vietnamese, not Laotian. Ruh-roh.
5) Lao Landscape
Lao looks legit, I guess. It reminds me of Predator more than rice fields and mud roads. Okay, I had never been over to Laos so I don’t have much to say other than “Look! A tiger!” Here’s to hoping the landlocked country’s lush floodplains and high atop mountains make a cameo.
6) Lao History Lesson
If you are a huge U.S. history buff then you may know that the Lao Secret War was a horrific moment in the small country’s history and a shame on the United State’s. It would be neat if the show led into a history lesson of how damaging the Vietnamese invasion was to the neutral country of Laos. Oh, wai– you didn’t? Well, now you know.
Watch Archer on Mondays, 10 pm on FX