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Things You Forgot Happened In The Pilot Episode Of FX's Archer

FX's animated spy comedy Archer has lived a thousand lives since first debuting in 2009. The long-running series, which was created by Adam Reed, started out as a workplace comedy parodying spy movies and the entire world of espionage. It followed the exploits of dangerous spy Sterling Archer (voiced by H. Jon Benjamin) and the rest of the dysfunctional staff of the International Secret Intelligence Service. This was shortened to ISIS until season 6, when the show did away with the name in light of real world events.

After experimenting with the show's characters leaving espionage behind and embarking on a life of crime in season 5, the series continued to play around with its overarching narrative and style beginning with season 7, when the setting moved from New York to Los Angeles and the team found themselves running a private detective agency. But after Archer was shot and found floating in a pool, he fell into a coma for the series' next three seasons, and the show became an anthology. It took on different genres, jumped through time periods, and featured the voice cast playing different versions of their original characters. Season 8 took its cues from noir, season 9 was an adventure show, and season 10 was set in space. It wasn't until season 11 that the show returned to its spy roots.

Obviously a lot has happened since Archer premiered, so if you're struggling to remember the early days, here are five things you forgot happened in the first episode of Archer, titled "Mole Hunt (Aka Pilot)."

We learned how Archer got his code name

One of the funniest things about Archer's life as a spy is that his code name is the very soft, dainty, and feminine "Duchess." The name doesn't quite match up with the narcissistic and arrogant man, who is obsessed with sex, drinking, and looking good. But the show reveals the origin of the code name early on in the first episode.

Archer's mother Malory (voiced by Jessica Walter) claims it was randomly chosen and assigned by a computer, but it's quickly revealed that Duchess was also the name of Malory's beloved dog who died tragically after eating chocolate. Malory says she loved the dog very much and even has a creepy photograph of the two of them together in which she's naked and cuddling with the dog. While it's likely just a funny code name, if you squint really hard to read between the lines, you can also see it as Malory also caring deeply about her son. Maybe.

The spy agency originally had a receptionist

The pilot of Archer successfully introduces viewers to nearly all of the show's main characters, with Ray Gillette, who is voiced by creator Adam Reed, being the only regular character who doesn't appear (he debuts in the fifth episode). However, there's someone else who appears in the pilot whom many fans likely won't remember at all: the spy agency's receptionist.

In the episode, when Archer first arrives at the office, which is accessed via a secret elevator inside a dry cleaners-slash-laundromat, he greets the unnamed receptionist (voiced by Maggie Wheeler) by seemingly making a lewd joke. She then threatens to call human resources. This is one of the few times the receptionist character appears on the show. She is only credited with three appearances: she also appears in the second episode of season 1, titled "Training Day," and the eighth episode of the same season, which is titled "The Rock."

It featured the first reference to ants

Archer employs a number of running gags, and one of the most popular involves Archer and Malory voicing their frustration at spilled food or drink in the office by yelling something along the lines of, "Do you want ants? Because that's how you get ants!" This actually pops up in the very first episode of the series, when Archer purposefully spills someone's drink outside of the door to the office mainframe and references not wanting to get ants.

This gag also appears again later in the episode, when, just a few minutes after its introduction, Lana (voiced by Aisha Tyler) purposefully knocks a box of donuts out of Archer's hands and he says, "Oh, is that what you want? Because that's how you get ants!" The joke is then referenced a third time by Malory in a callback at the end of the episode. It's a ridiculous but quite funny running joke. (And they're not wrong—that is how you get ants.)

Lana had broken up with Archer and was dating Cyril

Archer and Lana, one of the best (and probably the most professional) spies at ISIS, have an on-again/off-again relationship that provides plenty of laughs throughout the series, but their relationship also leads to some emotional moments too, like when the couple become parents to a baby girl in season 5. But in the pilot, it's revealed that six months prior to the beginning of the show, Lana had broken up with Archer because of his odd relationship with his mother.

At the start of the series, Lana has been dating Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell), the buttoned-up ISIS accountant who is often the butt of Archer's jokes, for three months. However, Lana doesn't trust Cyril—she won't even let him stay in her apartment alone while she goes to check out the break-in at the ISIS headquarters. This doesn't bode well for them, and it's clear that Archer and Lana still have a ton of chemistry, hinting at what is to come.

There was a Russian mole in ISIS

The timeline of Archer has always been a bit vague. It appears at the beginning of the series to have a Cold War-aesthetic despite the presence of some current technology, like cell phones. But playing into the Cold War of it all is the accidental discovery that a Russian mole has infiltrated ISIS. He is found out after Archer fabricates a story about a mole to cover his own outrageous spending of company money for personal use.

When Archer breaks into the office after hours to attempt to clear his name in the office's accounts, Crenshaw (voiced by Shelly Desai), also known as Kremenski, is there and reveals he is the real KGB spy. He is also the first character to speak on-screen in the series, and then the first to die. Malory is shocked to discover that there is a Russian spy in ISIS since the episode also reveals she is carrying on an affair with Nikolai Jakov (voiced by Peter Newman), the head of the KGB.