Archer Season 8 Episode 7 “Gramercy Helberd!” Review

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Fueled by the fading fumes of his foray into the adventures of Dex and Codeine, Archer’s pill-popping, sleep-deprived Dreamland take a nightmarish turn in Gramercy Halberd! during what proves to be an iconic episode of the season drawing to a finish with the mystery of Woodhouse’s death finally coming to light. Starting with a great getaway scene, Archer narrowly bails Trexler out of certain death as Cyril bails with the money and Lana thinks quick on her feet to get the rest of the gang out of trouble. Although I really missed Ray this season, it was good to see Archer behind the wheel of a chase scene, as well as witnessing the return of one of his signature moves to kick-start a series of brutal, jarring, and scintillating events that end with a vital realization from our main character during a quasi-epiphany/mental breakdown over his repeated poor decisions and bad behaviors this season.

During a finale that plays out like a cinematic noir de force, this key moment of self-awareness quite casually FINALLY solves the prevailing mystery of the entire series (with the last line of the episode, no less!). After the temporary dismissing of the absolute terror of an artist formerly known as Barry; from the backseat of a speeding convertible and clad in nothing but his tighty whities, with a hint of honesty and a bit of regret, Trexler sorrily explains an all too simple solution to the mystery at the heartbeat of what has made Archer tick for the past seven episodes (besides the Dex and Codeine). In a classic Whodunit series like Dreamland, well, who else could have done it but Mother? The constant heartbeat behind most of the mystery of Archer’s misery since his time in short pants. An astute sleuth had to be stunned to see Sterling so startled.

The direction finally looks clear with one episode remaining, yet the dust has hardly settled with so many webs left untangled and only less than half an hour to wrap this whole mystery up. Dreamland has nonetheless remained far more interesting than any season of Archer in recent memory and remains evidence that Adam Reed has found a heady concoction through his combination of comedic surrealism entrenched in a sense of strange verisimilitude.  If only every season of Archer was as perfect as this mystery filled noir known as Dreamland!

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Score
Archer Season 8 Episode 7 "Gramercy Helberd!"
The Bottom Line
Adam Reed stamps a climactic finish on his hot streak to solve the prevailing mystery during the noir nightmare delusions of surrealism and reality projected in Dreamland by suave sleuth Sterling Archer.