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H. Jon Benjamin Talks Archer and Previews the Season 6 Finale “Drastic Voyage: Part II” 


Warning: Spoilers Ahead

The team has just embarked on one of their most dangerous — and maybe craziest – missions ever. It’s possible this will actually get them all killed and for the first time, Lana seems to genuinely be worried for her life. She’s got Abbiejean to think about and if both she and Archer die on this mission, either her parents or Malory (rue the day!) will have to raise to raise their daughter. But is Archer taking any of this seriously? What do you think?

Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta / FX
Photo Credit: Frank Micelotta / FX

TV Goodness participated in a press call earlier this week with series star H. Jon Benjamin. He talked Archer’s (both the show and the character) evolution and teased the season 6 finale and beyond.

With all the things that Archer’s done, all the places he’s been, is there anything that he hasn’t done or anyplace he hasn’t been to yet that you would like to see them do in future episodes?

H. Jon Benjamin: “Now he’s going inside the human body and I wouldn’t have thought of that one. He’s been in space and in the ocean. I’m trying to think, back to the womb? I don’t know where else he could go, he’d have to reverse time maybe. Time travel? That’s the only dimension he hasn’t covered yet.”

It’s not common for Archer to venture into really pure science fiction. Could you tell us a little bit about what inspired that move and how much fun it was maybe, or not, to work on this episode?

H. Jon: “Well no, it’s great. [We’ve] ventured into this territory before with the Sealab finale and when they go to space. A lot of some of that stuff comes from allusions to shows and scenarios from fiction that [Adam]’s liked. Animation allows you to do that.

For Archer, it seems to work and he certainly has a science fiction bent. So whenever he can let that creep in, he does. Certainly not in the first four seasons, but I think now that Archer is getting on in years, it’s like he’s letting that loose a little bit. I think it’s fun. I always like it.”

Over the years, do you like the fact that Archer has gotten more out there and bizarre? Or do you wish it would go back to being more of a regular spy show?

H. Jon: “This season, it sort of did go back to a little bit more of the way it used to be until the finale. But Adam Reed is always trying to push the stories. For sure I think there’s been little elements that have gotten weirder, a little weirder, and more surreal. I think that’s good.”

Photo Credit: AJ
Photo Credit: FX

Archer’s a dad now. In last week’s episode there was some suggestion that maybe he should be considering the risks he takes with his own mortality. Should he rein it in? Do you think Archer is thinking about that? Does he have the depth to think about that? Will that affect him?

H Jon: “Yes. I think it’s evident in the show that it’s a consideration for him now. I can only speak from experience — I didn’t care about my kid until he was like nine, so he’s got time. That’s maybe not so good to say. But he can’t read, he’s twelve, so he’ll never read this. [Laughs.]

I think there’s always— especially considering the way he had his child, he is slowly improving from the last child he had. Progress is slow, but life is pretty short. Archer, I think he’s got to pick up the pace as far as self-examining and figuring out how to get his life on track. But I’m not sure that will ever happen in the show. Like I said, he’s got some time to while his daughter’s still a baby. Maybe try and speed up some actualization.”

If they were real people, could you see yourself being best friends with any of the characters on the show?

H. Jon: “Oh man, that’s rough. Maybe. I can’t see myself hanging out with Archer, although I have hung with people like him in my past. But at this point I couldn’t keep up and wouldn’t want to. And I’m not going to hang out with Krieger. I’ll go with a safe bet and say I’ll hang out with Cyril, although it wouldn’t be that much fun. I could see a movie with him, maybe grab a glass of wine.”

I feel like if you hung out with Krieger you might not live.

H. Jon: “I don’t think anybody would hang out with Krieger, right? You’d just be, like immediately call the cops. And be like, I met a guy who’s just going to kill people.”

Photo Credit: FX
Photo Credit: FX

Can you give us any little clues or hints about what to expect in the finale? It’s clearly inspired by the movie Fantastic Voyage and that movie takes some little twists, including a traitor being on board in the original film. I know you can’t reveal that, but can you help?

H. Jon: “I’m going to toe the line and say, ‘I can’t say what’s going to happen.’ But mainly because I have no recollection. But let’s go with, I can’t say.”

The biggest impact of any single character on the show this season, I think would have been made by the one that hasn’t been mentioned at all so far, and that’s Abbiejean.  I was just wondering what your thoughts were on how she affected Archer personally.

H. Jon: “Yes, I think the underlying plot element in this story, or certainly the underlying emotional element in the story is Abbiejean’s existence. And how it affects Archer’s relationship with Lana, which I think is the principal relationship in his life, and the one I think he needs to keep going. They did a really good job with it because it’s complicated for Archer to change so radically, even when you have a kid.

A lot of people think that change is easy, just by the sake of having a kid, but in actuality it’s not. Like I said before earlier to somebody, he’s making progress. Hopefully it will catch up, but she’s going to be a mess.

I think if I were to tack on a real life trajectory for Abbiejean, she’ll be a mess. Lana is, compared to Archer, is pretty stable. She’s probably the most stable character in the whole show. And I don’t think she’s anything like Malory, so that’s good.”

Edited for space and content.

The season 6 finale of Archer airs Thursday, April 2nd at 10/9c on FX.

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