Oct 11, 2014
Archer Nixes ISIS
The Daily Beast reports that when cartoon superspy Sterling Archer returns to FX this January, he'll no longer be working for ISIS. On Archer, ISIS stood for International Secret Intelligence Service. It was the private spy agency Archer worked for (run by his mother, Mallory Archer), and for five seasons it was a pretty great name for a TV spy agency. But, of course, real world events have sadly made it far from a perfect name now. Series creator Adam Reed explains, "There were people online saying that we should address it and say, ‘Oh, I can’t believe these guys have co-opted our name.’ That’s the way South Park would do it, coming after them and saying, ‘These assholes stole our name,’ but that’s not the way the Archer universe works, where it’s all our own creations. In our universe, [the terrorist organization ISIS] don’t exist." That makes sense. You don't really need to call out assholes for being assholes; everyone knows that they are. I like Reed's version better, that in their world, that evil simply doesn't exist. For the show, the timing is somewhat unfortunate, but also somewhat convenient. Season 5 was a departure, and the gang spent the year away from ISIS, going rogue and trying their hand (very badly) at being drug dealers. (Just watch the show. It all makes sense then!) But in the end events brought them right back to ISIS, and for fans of the series it was set to be a welcome return to the familiar setting. It's sad that's not to be, but then the events of last season also give Reed and his fellow producers an easy out thanks to the CIA's involvement in the plot. So in the first scene of the sixth season (a different first scene than fans saw at Comic-Con this summer, when ISIS was still intact), we'll see an ISIS sign being wheeled out behind Mallory as she explains to Archer on the phone that they all work for the CIA now. And that's the last we'll ever hear of ISIS. The animators have digitally erased all ISIS signage from the rest of the season, and it won't be mentioned. So Sterling Archer is now officially a CIA agent, and the nod to great, silly acronyms of the past like U.N.C.L.E., CONTROL and S.H.I.E.L.D. is no more. And FX is left with a lot of hats, T-shirts, mugs and other merchandise it can't possibly sell now. Adios, ISIS.