Just as Conway Stern made his almost-triumphant and now completely-handless return to Archer in this season’s second episode, “Three to Tango,” Sterling Archer and the spies formerly working for you know are about to face off with their greatest nemesis of all. This week, the former spy and current cyborg Barry Dylan returns to accomplish what seems to be the only goal in his now partially-robotic life – kill Sterling Archer. But will he ever actually complete his vengeful ambition? Obviously not, because Sterling would be dead and the show would lose a lot of its awesomeness (although if Sterling became a cyborg, he’d be practically immortal and that has legs…).
Instead, we have the supreme pleasure of watching as this already-wonderful feud takes its place among the all-time TV greats – the Ewings and the Barneses, Homer and Ned, Jerry and Newman, Hulk Hogan and the “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Inspector Gadget and Dr. Claw, and so on. Some might even argue that Sterling Archer vs. Barry Dylan is already the greatest television character rivalry of all-time, and it would be incredibly difficult to deny that. However, to those who are still on the fence or need a refresher course on why this rivalry is so heated and dangerous, let’s take a look back at Barry’s history on Archer ahead of this week’s episode, “Edie’s Wedding.”
Sterling: “Jesus, even their cards are nice. Lana, look at this… it’s embossed.”
After Sterling screwed up a mission, Barry arrived on the scene and offered Lana a job at ODIN. Like Sterling, Barry had a bit of a history with Lana, as they have been in a compromising situation or two…
Barry: “Sorry it took so long, and that I’m… accidentally inside of you.”
Lana: “Not a problem.”
Barry was engaged to be engaged to Framboise, AKA the Pelé of anal, but Sterling slept with her on his first day with ODIN. Add that to Sterling shattering Barry’s femur and shooting him in the arm, and Barry had no problem taking Sterling to Sub-Basement 3 to “put one in his ear.” Of course, Barry’s weakness was Lana, so not only did Sterling escape, but Barry took a lamp to the head in the process.
Score: Sterling 1, Barry 0
“A Going Concern”
Barry had already revealed that we was a little insane when he began talking to “Other Barry,” and this time he displayed his unnatural love of his trusty Desert Eagle handgun. He also kept up his creepy and dirty quest to have sex with Lana (again) on the false promise that she could have Malory’s job when ODIN purchased the company formerly known as you know, and that led to Sterling ruining the deal and foiling Barry’s plot.
Barry: “So don’t try to do anything stupid.”
Sterling: “I don’t have to try.”
If Barry has anything going for him, at least he understands that making a mess is how we get ants. And the carpet at Sterling’s headquarters is bad enough as it is.
Score: Sterling 2, Barry 0
Sterling: “At least I have a father, Barry!”
Barry: “Are you… implying that my mother… gave virgin birth?”
Sterling: “Actually, I don’t know what I was implying, I just said it.”
Barry agreed to rescue Sterling from the KGB, but only if – NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOPE – Lana would have sex with him. And once Barry helped him escape from torture and imminent death by bullet between the eyes, Sterling returned the favor by dropping him into a dumpster and saving his own sweet ass from the KGB. Technically, Sterling said he dropped Barry, but Barry said he was thrown, because “Archer is a lying dick-bag.”
Sterling ended up escaping with the help of Katya Kazanova, a very attractive KGB officer who wanted to defect.
Score: Sterling 3, Barry 0. Kind of a one-sided ass-kicking so far.
Barry Dylan, or Sy Berg as his passport read, was a man barely alive. But the KGB rebuilt him to turn him into the world’s first bionic man. The problem with that, for both the KGB and Sterling, was that Barry was a spy-borg with simply one item on his agenda – revenge against Sterling for dropping him from a building and causing him to lose his leg. Oh, and his fiancée, Framboise, because he was still really bitter about that when he finally caught up with Sterling.
“YEAH!!! One-for-three off the roof, bitch!”
Then came the ultimate sacrifice. Katya gave her own life to try to save Sterling, but it was a pretty dumb move, because Barry IS A CYBORG. You need to kill him with a computer virus or a giant vat of melted steel or something. So instead of Barry dying, Katya died. That was kind of sad.
Score: Sterling 3, Barry 1
To some, the worst thing about Katya’s return in cyborg form, thanks to Dr. Krieger’s “greatest accomplishment to date” (if only he could learn “YYZ”…), was that it brought an end to the bizarre affair between Sterling and Pam. To Sterling, though, the worst part was that it allowed Barry to get him back again by stealing her away with his “bone dancing.”
Thanks to “Dr. Dipshit,” Barry was able to track Katya’s hard drive forever because it was built and sold to Krieger by the KGB. Barry managed to screw not one, but two of Sterling’s weddings to Katya, which is arguably way worse than having sex with Framboise, when Barry was only “engaged to be engaged.” But then he went ahead and screwed Katya, too. So what started out as a truly one-sided feud has really developed into a tie game. (It’s worth pointing out that my game is very scientific.)
Score: Sterling 3, Barry 3
“Gooooooone to outerspaaaaaace to shoot that dickbag in his faaaaaace…”
Barry could have let bygones be bygones with Sterling once he stole Katya from him, and the love of their lives even made Barry promise that he’d stop trying to kill Sterling. But Barry and Other Barry hopped into a Soviet rocket and made their way to the international space station Horizon to finally kill Sterling, and little did his cocky cyborg brain know that he was actually helping the entire team from you know out of a huge jam.
Even while we would have loved to watch a battle between a cyborg and Space Bot, Sterling had to do the right thing and leave his feud with Barry for another time, while destroying Barry’s only mode of transportation back to Earth.
As Sterling pointed out, Barry was the one with the “vagina problem” now.
Score: Sterling 4, Barry 3
“Fugue and Riffs”
“Barry, are we losing our minds? Could be, Other Barry, could be. Because even though I can see Archer’s every freaking move, apparently it’s impossible to kill that idiot from frickin’ space.”
Barry relied on the Horizon’s remaining scientists to build him a new shuttle so he could return to Earth and kill Sterling; however, they sucked at it. So he killed them, because he’s a cyborg A-hole.
This one was basically a stalemate, but it was worth mentioning because more Bob’s Burgers crossovers would not hurt anyone.
Score: Sterling 4, Barry 3
“B-b-b-b-b-b-b-bup STOP! My penis can only get so erect.” – Dr. Krieger, responding to the idea of Barry and Ray having a robot fight in the streets of New York
After Cyril blasted Barry’s rocket to smithereens on the Horizon, that left Katya sitting home alone and wondering why her man never returned from his “work” in “London.” Because Sterling wanted nothing more than to steal Katya back from Barry, he agreed to help get him back from the Horizon to her. That meant Krieger had to help Barry build a new rocket, because Other Barry just couldn’t stand all of the “space nerds” anymore. However, Krieger wasn’t supposed to actually help him, and…
“So tell Archer I’m coming for him – phrasing, boom – and both Barrys out.”
Turns out Katya was just toying with Sterling’s heart to get him to help her and Barry, because she had been secretly running the KGB all along. That’s a classic 2-for-1 by Barry to move him into the lead.
Score: Sterling 4, Barry 5
“Live and Let Dine”
Barry: “Remind me not to piss you off.”
Katya: “Remind yourself.”
Barry: “Yes dear.”
The last time we saw Barry, Katya was dumping Lance Casteau’s smart ass out of a helicopter. Instead of trying to kill Sterling, Barry and Katya simply settled for humiliating him. Too bad that’s not nearly as effective or fun as outrageous and absurd violence.
Score: Sterling 4, Barry 6
Here’s to hoping that Barry gets back to his original plan in “Edie’s Wedding” so Sterling can once again even the score.