Well, it’s that time of year again. Another season of Archer is about to come to a close. It seems like only a few weeks ago when season seven opened with what appeared to be Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin) floating face-down in a pool. While there’ve been a few developments over the season that could explain this (looking at you here, Krieger), we still giddily await the outcome of the how Archer does during his first year as a Private Investigator at the Figgis Detective Agency.
No matter what career Archer may have had, be it secret agent, coke dealer, rogue CIA operative, or now as a PI, Archer’s always tried to sweet-talk his way out of (or into) the best situation. So, the next time you’re looking to get the best deal, remember these finer points of negotiation.
“Let’s all share in the milk of human kindness.”
This may be an abrupt start, but let’s face it: Things aren’t always going to go your way, and Archer being tied down to a table can be looked at as a metaphor for a lot of situations you could find yourself in. Namely, ones where you clearly don’t have the upper hand, and the first thing you’ll want to remember in a moment like this is not to panic. Instead, take a page from Archer’s book, where he calmly attempts to proposes an idea that helping him out as basic good-natured endeavor that he would benefit from. It doesn’t work here, but that might have less to do with his efforts and more to do with the fact that his proposition is a little too NSFW.
“Lying is like, 95 percent of what I do.”
On the surface, this would seem like a terrible line to pull out when you’re negotiating with someone. By admitting to lying, you’re giving away all your tricks, pulling back the curtain, and showing all your cards! Or so you might think. Instead, it could just look like you’ve let down your guard a little, that you’re just trying to level with someone, and want to cut right to the chase before moving along. Of course, once you’ve earned that kind of trust, you’re free to take advantage of the situation and set up the best possible deal for yourself in the meantime. Like Archer says, all it takes to get good at it is a lot of practice.
“There’s enough room in the world for science and miracles.”
When you’re making a deal, it’s inevitable that you’re going to have to make some compromises. It’s the same with Archer when he’s on a vessel that’s been shrunk down to the size of a bacterium (thanks, ‘Jill Nye’) and injected into the body of Dr. Kovacs to prevent his certain death. As they begin to plot their course through his veins, rather than take the time to understand the science behind what anything that’s being talked about actually means, Archer arbitrarily decides to talk about hyperspace, misunderstand the science, and arbitrarily declare a compromise. Which, for him, means he gets to live in a world where Star Wars jargon and actual science are interchangeable and useful in a dispute. It might sound silly, but honestly who wouldn’t want a deal like that?
“Can I offer you a drink? How about this expensive prostitute?”
It’s one of those moments that’s happened to all of us (but it probably happens to Archer much, much more), you’re out, you’ve had a few drinks, and you’re trying to close a deal… and then you end up sticking your foot in your mouth. A situation like that could make things quite awkward for everyone involved. Unless, of course, you’re Sterling Archer, who tries to show his generous side as a way of getting out of such a situation and restoring goodwill. It might not work (it’s not 100 percent clear that it works here), but if something like this comes up, it could be your best bet to keep the deal alive and to keep everyone smiling.
“I’m getting my turtleneck. I’m not defusing a bomb in this!”
A big part of deal-making, in general, is in how you present yourself. You’ve got to appear cool and collected at all times, be it for defusing a bomb or a casual meeting over lunch. Just remember: When you go to grab the turtleneck, make sure it’s the right shade of black.
“I happen to have perfect situational awareness, Lana. Which cannot be taught, by the way. Like a poet’s… mind for… to make the perfect words.”
If you really want to try and get the best deal, you’re going to need quite the silver tongue to guide you through the negotiating process. And there’s some truth to what Archer says here, believe it or not, that it’s not always something you can learn to be good at. Although in Archer’s case, it’s not the gift of eloquent speech, but of situational awareness that is his grandest asset — although this scene proves he’s not always on top of that, either.
“You better call Kenny Loggins. ‘Cause you’re in the danger zone.”
You knew it was leading up to this. Out of Archer’s many, many catchphrases and repeatable jokes, none are more ubiquitous than his impassioned declarations of when someone — usually Lana (Aisha Tyler) — is in the danger zone. It may not help with getting the best deal, but sometimes you’ve got to sweet-talk yourself a little now and then so that you can crush it in the boardroom.