Let’s Examine Sterling Archer’s Mommy Issues

As head of The International Secret Intelligence Service (if we used the actual acronym, this post would probably be flagged by the government), Malory Archer usually spends her days knocking back cocktails in her office as she sends her son, Sterling, out to risk his life as the world’s worst/greatest secret agent.

But it doesn’t take a spy to realize that these two have a lot of unresolved issues dating back to when Malory abandoned him until he was five and set up a fake funeral for his fake father.

When Sterling and Malory aren’t loathing each other’s existence, they’re loving each other way too much. They know far more about each other’s sex lives than any child and parent should.

I may not have a PhD in family psychology, but there’s a lot to analyze in the complicated mother-son dynamic of Malory and Sterling Archer and the awkward, twisted moments it creates. So how about we give it a shot?
When multitasking goes wrong

Our first sign that there was something wrong with Archer and Malory’s relationship came when we found out why he and Lana broke up in the first place. They say it’s hard for a woman to come between a man and his mother, but that shouldn’t be the case when it comes to their together time in the bedroom.
“The thought of me dead gives you an erection?!” – Malory

I’m not sure if this counts as a fetish or not (if it does, don’t tell me), but Archer needs to figure out what it is about imagining his mom’s death that gets his blood flowing.
Putting the low in Halloween

Malory wasn’t around for a lot of Archer’s childhood highlights. But when she was, she made sure they were unforgettable. Imagining he’s no older than ten years old here, Sterling learned valuable lessons about gambling and drinking all at once. #MomOfTheYear
Things you’ll never un-see

There’s so much wrong here. First, why does Malory have a vibrator in her office? Second, why are those things so damned easy to turn on?
Things you’ll never un-hear

If finding your mom’s “special little helper” wasn’t bad enough, imagine also hearing that she has a sex tape. That’s what happened to Sterling and he acted accordingly by barfing where he stood.
… It’s still voicemail

One of the strongest running gags between Sterling and Malory is that whenever she calls him she has to figure out if she’s talking to him or an extremely elaborate voicemail. You’d be surprised at just how elaborate they can get. Just when Malory showed some genuine concern, Sterling had to be him.
Sterling: … You know when I was little, I used to pretend you weren’t my mother.

Malory: Me too.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call a second- degree burn. It’s pretty hurtful to tell your parent that you wished you were never theirs. But imagine how it feels when they reverse it and hit you with more truth than you can handle.
“I bet she’s freaking out right now.” – Sterling

Well… he was half right. Malory was freaking out, but it wasn’t because she thought her son was moments away from taking his last breath.
And what about my happiness, mother?

If you had to summarize what it means to be a good parent, you could say that it’s putting the happiness of your child before your own — a concept that is foreign to Malory Archer.
BONUS VIDEO

Sterling’s mother complex is one for the record books. He’s not as bad as Oedipus and he doesn’t have the stones to commit matricide. But this video puts in perspective just how much of an influence his mother has in his life.

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