Archers Narrative Structure

Archer is an American animated action comedy that is broadcasted on FX network and uses deferred gratification and viewer anticipation in each episode. The show is played like you are watching the characters making some of the subtext very unclear. All 7 seasons of Archer you can find the storyline focusing more on certain characters and sometimes they go from that character’s perspective or timeline. It depends on the lack or problem identified at the beginning of each episode.

Each  season of Archer starts with a problem and some seasons start with the last problem ended which is the main reason for viewer anticipation being so high. In season 3 the last thing that happened was that Archers fiance was killed by Bionic Barry. Bionic Barry is a villian for Archer needing redemption for the murder of his wide. In the first episode of season 3 you meet a man named, Rip Riley ,who is trying to take Archer back to Isis. Rip brings Archer on a boat trip with asian pirates to a secluded pirate island. Archer in process kills the old Pirate King in an argument and becomes the king due to the pirates  code of honor.

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When watching the show Archer you get an array of different genres from action to adventure to comedy. Different adventures that you go on are more serious than others; some are just outright hilarious. The show consists of a ton of action you see this throughout the show based on Archer being an agent for Isis. The show is consistently portraying Archer being rude, obnoxious, or creating some sort of dilemma for the rest of the agents. When most people are watching a show they expect the outcome to be crazy, outrageous, or somewhat unexpected but when watching Archer you’re never really sure what’s going to happen.. all you know is that Archer always survives. When watching this kind of genre you can expect to get a good laugh out of it but the same time being on the edge of your seat.

The episode I chose to study is Episode 3 heart of archness part 3 for its enticing anticipation and character development. The episode starts off Cheryl sitting at a desk while Mrs.Archer is ragging on Cheryl while figuring a way to pay off the pirate king who she doesn’t actually know is Sterling. Cyril is trying to figure out where all the money is that he laundered in the ISIS accounts. He is also getting over the fact that he slept with Pam. Meanwhile Archer and Lana  are locked up and Riley is passed out. Ms. Archer is starting negotiations with bucky the pirate for 10 million dollars who has taken over as the  Pirate King.  After this happens Archer beats up Bucky and steals his gun which leads to Ray and Lana getting shot.Screen Shot 2016-03-01 at 4.19.52 PM They have to attend to the injured and steal a helicopter but while this is happening they are flying over Archers lacrosse game that he started with the pirates. As they are flying away Lana uses a M60 machine gun to kill the whole lacrosse team Archer had put together. All while Cyril is getting drunk during the whole process. 

The show has a small storyline it jumps around a lot as you can see with characters  and problems becoming more crazy during season 3. You also see that Sterling is still upset throughout the season with Bionic Berry for killing his fiance. He starts to become more a alcoholic and can’t handle his issues which is a big example of character development for this season. The main plot in the season is Sterling looking for Berry so he can stop him or in his terms put an end to Berry. There are different groups of bad guys throughout the season wether it be regular pirates or Space pirates.



Throughout the season you see archer and Lana have problems with each other. Sterling is sexist in almost all his comment towards woman and Lana. He also tends to pick on the fact that Ray is gay. In the series you see that almost every situation no matter how bad it really is Archer and the ISIS gang seem to get  out of every situation even if they break international laws of piracy to exotic animal charges to taking over a space station. At the end of each season you are left with a new idea for what you are inshore for the next season. Also you have a large plot twist that shows leaves you with what archer could do next. Season three is a great example of this as it kicks right off from where the second season ended.


The end of season 2 you see Archers fiance die and leads you to wonder whats going to happen next with Bionic Berry and Mr Archer.    Each season follows a subplot storyline like the death of archers fiance or in latter seasons the drug cartel they start. If you where going to say there was an overal theme it would be the amount of trouble they cause. In Latter seasons you see a change in the title of the show. This is a good indicator that the theme of the show has changes to. Archer Vice in later serise does not follow any previous story lines besides the characters.



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