|I keep misidentifying Out There as Over There, that Gulf War show that starred Sticky Fingaz from Onyx. What I really need to do before writing is... cram! Duh duh duh, duh duh duh. Let the boys be boys!|
"Ultra Wankershim," the penultimate webisode of Bravest Warriors' first season and one of the series' strangest installments, marks the return of the enigmatic Emotion Lord (series showrunner Breehn Burns), a cross between a Jedi and a Time Lord. This older and nutty incarnation of Warriors leader Chris travels back to his past to witness the Dawning of Wankershim (also voiced by Burns), the moment in Martian history when Wankershim, the holographic elf from the Warriors' Holo-John who has evolved from hologram to actual lifeform, becomes so large and infinite in size that he absorbs all of humanity and the universe into his "Wankerbeing."
"Gas Powered Stick," and Beth making out with a darkened stranger who appears to be Danny, Chris and Beth's fellow Warrior. Chris also inadvertently receives hints about a grim future for Beth when his older self starts to weep while staring at Beth. To keep himself from ruining space-time, the Emotion Lord makes himself vanish and departs with a phrase he's been repeatedly saying during his latest visit: "It's always been Wankershim."
I knew at some point in Archer's current fourth season that the show would revisit the titular spy's curiosity about the identity of his dad, whose absence from his son's life was one of many reasons why Archer's such a screwed-up man-child. I just never expected the arc to resurface in "Once Bitten," while Archer's poisoned from a snake bite in the middle of a mission in fictional Turkmenistan and hallucinating sketchy and rudimentary flashbacks to his boyhood, with James Mason's Mr. Jordan character from Heaven Can Wait (special guest star Peter Serafinowicz) as his spirit guide. (In a couple of other Heaven Can Wait shout-outs, Archer is clad in Warren Beatty's football sweats from the film, and he finds himself playing Beatty's sax, which Archer clobbers Buck Henry's officious angel character in the head with. You can tell how young some Archer recappers are by their inability to notice the Heaven Can Wait references.)
Several critics have found the plotting of "Once Bitten" to be flat and underwhelming (I'm not as underwhelmed by it), but even when the storyline may be sort of underwhelming, the dialogue on Archer is always golden:
* Malory: "Look, I don't want to sound racist, but..." Lana: "But you're gonna power through it."
* Archer to an injured Ray: "Are you shitting me? Bionic legs, and you lifted with your back?"
* Everyone's hatred of Lana, the agency's voice of reason, and her "self-righteous clomping" in "Once Bitten" seems to be building towards either a future office mutiny against Malory led by Lana, who questions Malory's actions in this episode, or the Truckasaurus-handed spy's departure from ISIS (and switch to ODIN?). Insane but sometimes lucid Cheryl/Carol's mini-monologue to Lana about the latter's self-loathing is so terrific (and is responsible for one of many excellently animated expressions from Lana this season) that I've included it word-for-word: "Please, if you really cared, you'd resign, but there's no way you ever will because you're just counting the days until, her face bloated and yellow from liver failure, she calls you to her deathbed and, in a croaky whisper, explains that Mr. Archer is totally incompetent and that you, the long-suffering Lana Kane, are the only one qualified to run ISIS, and you weep shameful tears because you know this terrible place is the only true love you will ever know... What? Oh my God, was I talking?"
* Cyril to the Turks, whom he thinks want revenge for the camel he accidentally ran over with Archer's Jeep (in, as usual on this show, extremely gory fashion): "No, I had the right-of-way!"