After FX’s Archer went ahead and rebooted itself again for its seventh season, Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnel) established The Figgis Detective Agency, with the crew of former spies once known as ISIS now working as detectives-in-training. Recently, as Cyril tried to exert his authority (it is his name on the wall, after all), by telling long-time boss Malory Archer (Jessica Walters) that he was the one in charge, she replied by patting him on the face while telling him simply “when I’m not around.” Such is the case when working with Malory, the ice-cold matriarch who, after a life hardened by a career in espionage, has maintained herself as the perpetual, controlling leader. So, the next time you need to remind everyone who’s boss, let Malory’s stern voice of authority be your guide.
“Don’t stand here gaping at me go… thwart something!”
Whether she’s in charge of spies, drug dealers, CIA operatives, or private detectives, Malory has always had to put up with a lot of office drama. Personal relationships, rivalries, and back-stabbings happen regularly, so she’s often forced to lay the smack down and remind everyone that there’s a job to do. Like when on board The Excelsior, a rigid air ship (re: a blimp), with her son, Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin), and Lana (Aisha Tyler) who are tasked with trying locate an explosive. As the bickering between the two escalates, Malory gets fed-up with their talk about bombs, bombings, and vulvas, and gives a simple command to get everyone back on track. When it comes to being the boss, often the best approach is the direct one.
“Both of you, imagine shutting up!”
Sometimes the high-level of workplace drama makes getting through something as simple as the morning announcements a struggle. In order to stop the incessant bickering, Malory cuts right through the back-and-forth by using everyone’s words against themselves. It’s a harsh technique that not only shows that you’re listening, but reminds everyone that you don’t care what they’re talking about.
“So when I asked for cucumber slices which one of you idiots sent up zucchini?”
Malory is never one to let a serious oversight like this go, even as she tries to not let anything get the best of her. When it’s revealed that the cucumbers she requested were replaced with zucchinis, causing an allergic reaction, Malory maintains her unflinching, steely authority, despite Cheryl (Judy Greer) and Pam (Amber Nash) doing their best to take advantage of the situation. If you’re gonna be in control, you’re gonna have to learn to focus through distractions.
“And do you plan to loom over me all day, like some sort of… henge?”
It’s inevitable that you’re going to get emotional from time to time, and even Malory shows her softer side when she, while blackout drunk, sends out a world-wide burn notice on her son, Archer, putting his life in danger. Regardless, Malory doesn’t use these rare moments of vulnerability to seem like she’s getting weak. Instead, she takes full advantage, and uses it to remind everyone of her authority. Don’t be afraid to maintain your control, even if you’re having a moment. Especially if you’re having a moment.
“Don’t be sh*tty, can’t we just enjoy the moment?”
Being in control isn’t always about taking a hard line with everyone, and even Malory is capable of letting down her guard just enough to share a real, tender moment with Archer, even if that moment comes just after she’s riddled him with bullets. Either way, it’s the though that counts, right? Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed a little humanity now and then.
“If I cared about what you do on the weekend I’d stick a shotgun in my mouth and pull the trigger with my toes.”
There are plenty of people in the world who find small-talk to be both irritating and unnecessary. Malory is not only one of these people, but she has absolutely no qualms about shutting down anyone who tries to engage in a little banter with her. Again, it’s the little details that really ram the point home here, not to mention her unmistakably scathing tone. While few Malory Archer quotes can (or should) be thrown around casually, this is one you definitely need to handle with care.
“Well, people in hell want ice water.”
Given that Malory is savvy enough to listen to the complaints of her son, yet cold-hearted enough to flat-out reject them without so much as blinking, it’s perhaps most impressive that she can boil both these sentiments down to seven little words, all while reminding everyone that she’s absolutely in control. If you take only one quote away from this today, make sure it’s this one.