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Archer – Who knew Ray was a redneck?

This week we learned the history of one Ray Gillette. Oh, and found out he's not paralyzed. Good times.

- Season 3, Episode 9 - "Bloody Ferlin"

Yep. Ray Gillette — ISIS’s openly gay, sharply dressed, snappy ex-preacher — came from a holler in West Virginia. And he’s got a brother Randy who’s a drug “farmer” in an open marriage that refuses to get a real job.

Even in the land of Archer, betcha didn’t see that coming.

I’m not convinced anyone on this show had a normal upbringing. Archer’s mom needs to go on The Maury Show and find out who his daddy is. Cheryl/Carol comes from a bank’s worth of money and has a pet ocelot. And Pam apparently did a lot of fighting when she wasn’t on the family dairy farm. I don’t know what I expected Ray’s history to be, but this wasn’t it.

Not to say that’s a bad thing. Far from it. “Bloody Ferlin” ended up being typical Archer, with Archer making a Burt Reynolds reference and ogling Randy’s pretty wife, while Ray reminded us that being homosexual in the South is still kind of awkward, instead claiming to be married to Cheryl/Carol, whose latest mark of idiocy was shaving a rooster in the false belief that Kenny Rogers might cook the thing. Between the redneck jokes and the brotherly arguing, this was a pretty good time in a place I wouldn’t ever want to visit.

We also found out that Ray isn’t paralyzed. He’s just been rolling with everyone else’s assumption that he was. (Bet Krieger’s a little annoyed he installed that handicapped ramp in his van now.) I’m of two minds on this: being handicapped, I thought it was cool the show had a disabled character. On the other hand, I like Ray so much that I’m glad he’s not trapped in a wheelchair. I just hope Malory doesn’t land him back in one now that she knows he’s fine.

The Archer writers were slyly reminding me of all sorts of other things this week, too. Was the episode’s title a shoutout to another FX show, Justified, which had an episode last season entitled “Bloody Harlan”? Was the gay sheriff hitting on Ray a reminder of a little-seen film called Happy, Texas where William H. Macy‘s gay sheriff hit on Jeremy Northam? I have no idea, but it wouldn’t surprise me. These writers are a wily bunch.

You’ve got to hand it to Adam Reed. Not only is he the co-creator of the funniest, most outrageous series on television (animated or otherwise), but he also voices the show’s best supporting character. Is there anything that this guy can’t do?

And one last thing: kudos to Adam and everyone at Archer on being renewed for a fourth season today. I look forward to it. (Now can we possibly get that long-awaited return of Conway Stern episode? Pretty please? I’m not above begging.)


“You drank too much!” — Ray
“That’s a thing?” — Archer
“Hopes, dreams” — the label on one of the boxes in Krieger’s labs, next to “Guns”

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Photo Credit: FX

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4 Responses to “Archer – Who knew Ray was a redneck?”

February 24, 2012 at 11:25 AM

I hate the way West Virginia always gets trashed when the state is used on tv.

February 24, 2012 at 1:52 PM

I hadn’t noticed, but in this case, I’m pretty sure they probably weren’t calling out WV specifically. I think they just needed *a* Southern state to make the redneck jokes.

February 24, 2012 at 2:01 PM

… and West Virginia is always the one they pick. I even heard them use West Virginia in the promo. Trust me, being a WV resident, I tend to notice this. “NCIS”, as much as I like it, has done it several times as well. Just some easy, convenient stereotyping for cheap laughs.

And, pray tell, what’s a “holler”???

February 24, 2012 at 8:37 PM

If it makes you feel any better, my mind immediately jumps to Arkansas. ;-)