ISIS agent and international man of mystery, Sterling Archer.
Love him or hate him, Sterling Archer is one of the most talked about personas in entertainment television. He is the main character in the animated spy-sticom Archer, on FX. Currently in its third season, Archer explores day-to-day life of the fictitious spy agency, ISIS. Although this genre has been done before, Archer freshens it up by combining old-school style and gender roles with crisis situations and raunchy humor.
Up front and personal in the espionage is Sterling Archer, a tall and fit spy in his late 30’s. What makes Archer unlike any other lead sitcom character is his complex personality. Here is a rundown on what makes Archer who he is.
Archer is obsessed with lacrosse.
Throughout seasons 1 and 2, numerous references were made to Archer playing lacrosse, mostly by Archer himself. Various lacrosse trophies of Archers have also been shown in a few episodes. Archer began playing lacrosse at a young age during boarding school. His true talent is revealed in season 3 episode Heart of Archness II, where he trains an island of pirates to play and compete in lacrosse.
Archer is a functioning alcoholic.
In almost every episode, Archer can be seen holding an alcoholic beverage. It can be inferred that Archer learned his drinking habits from his mother, Malory Archer, who is shown drinking constantly. While Archer will drink just about anything containing alcohol, his favorite drinks are bloody mary’s and martinis. “If I stop drinking all at once, I’m afraid the cumulative hangover will literally kill me.” – Sterling Archer, Double Trouble
His middle name is “Malory” and his codename is “Duchess.”
Both of which were given to him by his mother, Malory Archer. Duchess was an Afghan hound that Malory had and died from eating chocolate. There are various pictures of Duchess hung at Malory’s apartment and office.
Archer is an animal lover.
We first learn of Archer’s enthusiasm for animals in the pilot episode Mole Hunt in which Archer makes an exception to his “no dogs allowed in apartment” rule for Abelard, his girlfriend’s pug. One night while drunk, Archer becomes fascinated with Abelard’s bark because to him it sounds like “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” In season 1 episode Honeypot, Archer wakes up in his apartment with a lemur that he has apparently stolen from the night before. In tenth episode of season 2, El Secuestro, when the ISIS crew is at Cheryl’s house, Archer learns of Cheryl’s pet ocelot, Babou, and screams, “I’ve never seen an ocelot!,” before running to play with it. Later on in season 3 we see a friendship develop between Archer and Babou. Archer has been shown with other animals in season 3, including a parrot, when he served as pirate king in the Heart of Archness episodes, and a jaguar in El Contador.
Except for alligators.
Archer hates them. Alligators are Archer’s biggest fear. Archer regularly tracks alligator attacks in the U.S., and can name recent ones from memory. In episode Pipeline Fever, Archer is bow fishing and accidentally shoots an alligator in the head.
Archer pays child support for a kid that isn’t his.
In season 2 episode Blood Test, Archer’s prostitute/girlfriend Trinette convinces Archer that he is the father of her newborn baby boy. Instead of reacting negatively, Archer insists on spending as much time as he can with “wee baby Seamus.” Archer’s time with baby Seamus is spent doing reckless activities such as drinking alcohol and getting matching tattoos. In the episode Stage Two, Trinette reveals that baby Seamus is not in fact Archer’s son. Even so, Archer insists on paying child support for the kid.
He coined the term “Tactileneck.”
Archer credits himself as the first person to recognize the benefits of wearing a turtleneck during tactile missions. This leads to the nickname “tactileneck” that Archer gives to the turtlenecks he owns in season 1 episode The Rock. Archer owns 10 black $900 turtlenecks. He describes five as “dark black” and the other five as “slightly darker black.” Archer prefers to wear his black turtlenecks while on missions, and becomes distraught if he is unable to do so. A side note: rival spy agency, ODIN, outfits field agents with turtlenecks, which angers Archer.
Archer’s childhood sucked.
Archer grew up without a father. He was often neglected by his mother who sent him off to boarding school as soon as she could. In childhood flashbacks, we often see Archer either alone, or being scolded by his mother. Archer’s selfish, immature behavior is believed to be the result of how he was treated as a child. Archer’s butler, Woodhouse, has served as his care provider and father figure his entire life.
Archer has cancer.
In season 2 episode Stage Two, Archer is diagnosed with breast cancer. The cancer eventually spreads to his lymph nodes, and he is forced to undergo chemotherapy. This whole experience humbles Archer, and is the first time we see a significant change in his behavior; he stops drinking as much, he’s nice to everybody, and he even attempts to fix relationship issues with Lana. In the following episode Placebo Effect, Archer learns that his chemo drugs are fake. This causes him to go on a self-driven rampage, killing the man in charge of soliciting the counterfeit drugs. Chemotherapy proved effective for Archer, and his cancer is currently in remission.
He is the world’s deadliest agent.
Although Archer is incompetent in most areas of his life, he is undoubtedly the world’s greatest secret agent. This is a fact referenced quite frequently in the series by many characters, and most of all, Archer himself. His accuracy with all types of weapons is outstanding, even when he’s looking away from his target. Archer’s weapon of choice is a Walther PPK, because anything else will ruin the lines of his suit. When there is no weapon available, Archer will use a random object. If that doesn’t work, Archer is trained in Krav Maga, a system of hand-to-hand combat used by the Israeli Defense Forces. Although Archer goes on missions to fulfill his own personal desires rather than benefit ISIS, he is highly successful.