In the super-spy genre, it's generally a given that realism or moral equivalence (the idea in literature that good people get good luck and vice versa) are thrown out the window.
James Bond and his contemporaries are generally jerks who only get the "good guy" status in the story because their foe fits such a clear-cut definition of evil. Likewise, these spies are always immune to the barrage of bullets and death traps because script demands mandate that they live to see another day (or in box-office terms, a sequel).
In the exaggerated farcical world of Archer, the early Barry episodes had a pretty satisfactory solution in that Archer does stupid things and Barry bears the brunt of the consequences in some sort of cruel karmic joke. As a way to keep the joke from getting old, the show smartly transformed Barry (who was always a competent spy) from Archer's butt monkey to his worst enemy.
And so we find ourself with the vengeful cyborg version of Barry in Archer Season 6 Episode 4 as he is now one of the most fully-formed characters of the show with great comic tics. Who knew one could get so much comic mileage out schizophrenia?
Barry is there to crash the wedding of Pam's sister (played by Allison Tolman) which leads to not just a Barry episode but a Pam episode, as well, and one that fills out her backstory.
For many fans, the idea of a Pam origin story will seem like Christmas came early because Pam has become an ensemble dark horse and one of the more popular members of the gang in-universe. This episode reminds me, however, that Pam has evolved quite a bit since Archer Season 1 when she was a sad sack who had to beg Lana to have sex with her. Unlike Barry, however, the flanderization of Pam into a cartoon version of Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids" was never really explained.
In that sense, this episode works really well in that it splits the difference between early Pam and latter-day Pam: She's still the uninhibited freewheeler around Archer but her emotional fragility in the face of her bullying sister helps flesh out the portrait of early-season Pam quite well.
"Edie's Wedding" is also another example of the budding friendship between Archer and Pam. On the one hand, I'm glad to see that Archer has been able to open up to Pam, but I'm also disappointed that Archer hasn't opened up to the other members of the gang. I really think an Archer-Krieger bonding episode would be great and, while I know an Archer-Ray friendship would just be impossible, I feel like there's a lot of Archer-Cyrill slasher fan fiction that's just ready to be unleashed with just the right amount of inspiration.
Humor-wise, the episode does a lot with some of the running jokes including Archer continuing to think he's the world's greatest super-spy and Archer's distractive/autistic tendencies coming to the surface when he starts pontificating on grain elevators before a life-or-death situation.
The B-plot is another Baby A.J. dilemma which means the show is batting just one for four so far in B-plots that don't use the baby A.J. as a crutch. While there were funny moments, including Lana's conversation with Krieger (who I'm officially giving "Most underutilized character" honors), I'm not sold that those funny moments wouldn't happen whatever the B-plot is. The question is whether the baby really adds anything to the equation.
Lastly, let's use this space to recap the long-term developments: Cyril might be back in Lana's picture, Ron might be back in Mallory's picture (assuming she wasn't making that up to save face) and, most joyously, Barry might be back in Archer's picture.
What did you think of the episode? Which version of Pam do you prefer? Do you think there's a such thing as too much of A.J.? Do you hope we see Barry again? Remember you can watch Archer online here at TV Fanatic.