Archer: "Skin Game"

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Archer: "Skin Game." Season 3, #11 (8 March 2012), #34 in running total of episodes. Chris Provenzano and Adam Reed, writers, Reed also credited as creator. Ona Grauer guest stars voicing Katya Kazanova.[1] Animation, 22 minutes.

See for Katya Kazanova, cyborg super-spy and femme fatale.

In the final episode of season 2, "Double Trouble" (#13 in season, 23 total, 21 April 2011), [2] cyborgized Barry Dylan crashes the wedding of Archer and KGB/ISIS agent Katya Kazanova (her allegiances are complicated), and tries to murder Archer. "As Barry strangles Archer to death," Archer's mother and ISIS boss, "Malory [Archer] reveals that she was not quite out of ammo" from the preceding gunplay "and shoots at Barry — to no effect on Barry's cyborg body. Katya grabs the lace from her wedding dress, garrotes Barry with it, then selflessly leaps off of Archer's balcony, slamming herself & Barry onto the roof of Krieger's van. Unfortunately, saving Archer cost Katya her life - and to add insult to mortal injury, Barry was unaffected by the fall." [3]

In "Skin Game," we learn that Dr. Krieger had stolen Katya's corpse and reconstructed her as a cyborg, but cutting some cost corners by buying parts from the KGB. Krieger present cyborg Katya to Archer — apparently the same woman but with eyes that become red, Terminator style, rather than her former green — and Archer again proposes marriage, to which she again agrees. Barry Dylan's KGB status allows him to find out about Katya, and he again crashes the wedding, "but this time, Katya is more than a match for Barry, and a fight between the two ensues. To depower them both, the lights are turned off. Utilizing [... night-vision] goggles, Archer eventually finds Barry & Katya — in flagrante delicto. Initially stunned, then angry, Archer eventually (if begrudgingly) concedes for Katya's happiness. Katya then leaves with an exceedingly smug Barry. However, after Lana mentions how happy Katya looked, we see Katya on the bus with Barry showing clearly" — especially for viewers who know the end of THE GRADUATE (1967) — "that she is not so happy, and is having doubts or regrets about her decision."[4] As with Barry, Katya goes on to be a regular character in the series, including as a seductress aimed at Archer in "Reignition Sequence," which concludes with her not succeeding in seducing Archer away from his again-beloved Lana Kana, but leaving where Lana can find it, her "robo-gina" (Season 6, #10, running number 72, 12 March 2015 [script by Adam Reed]; see below). [5]

Katya is of interest for highly self-conscious comic use of the cyborg "fatal woman," in the tradition of Robot Maria in Fritz Lang's METROPOLIS, but making the cyborg ambiguously sympathetic and putting her in comparison and contrast — and sexual relationship — with Barry, her soon-insane cyborg counterpart, as well as with Lana Kane and Archer (although not [yet?] sexual with Lana Kane).

For transgressing the boundaries among mechanical, cybernetic, and organic (and probably good taste) note Katya's detachable — vibrating — cyborg vagina. Note also Archer's sex with Katya juxtaposed to what he sees as equally awesome sex with the very earthy, fleshy, fleshly, and anti-romantic Pam.

RDE, Initial Compiler, 22/VI/17, 13 July 2017