Spies: They are the elite few who fight wars that don’t make it onto live coverage and protect their country from the shadows. They are powerful professionals masterful of all manner of weapons, disguise, seduction, and the killing arts. They are the very definition of cold and calculating. Unfortunately for one, little clandestine firm, spies also come with plenty of problems.
Archer is an office comedy like no other. While most other series may revel in the mundane and quirky of paperwork and office parties, Archer focuses on the various squabbles between spies that could very likely put their own country in peril. Its eclectic cast is comprised of some of the most depraved and problematic scoundrels ever to put unto ink, though some are a little less irritating than others.
8 Cheryl Tunt
By far the least moral of the group is Cheryl/Carol. The heiress to the Tunt fortune has been deranged for presumably her entire life. Either because of a cold family life, privilege, or a deep-seated mental condition, Cheryl feels next to no remorse for human life. She’s infamous for abusing her own caretakers ever since she was little, going as far as to stab them for fun, and even burned down a few buildings.
To be fair, today, she does occasionally help her friends and has done a fair share of begrudging work. However, as Malory’s secretary and an unwanted tagalong for several missions, Cheryl often tries to act as the drug-addled, wild card of the group who can always be trusted to make things worse if not outright abuse and control a situation with an iron fist.
7 Malory Archer
The drunken director of the spy agency, Malory Archer, is constantly switching between being the main character and the main antagonist of several storylines. A long-time government agent, Mallory has seemingly done every unthinkable thing for the U.S. as well as a few, less than forgivable things for herself. It’s even hinted that she staged the event that had Krieger’s presumed father killed by Dobermans when she found him years ago.
She’s crass towards nearly every type of person that doesn’t look like her, often shaming people of different races and political views and for being fat. The main targets of many of her rants are her own employees who she tries to manipulate and micromanage from the sidelines and especially her own son, Sterling Archer, who she’s tried to purposefully neglect and punish as her version of mothering.
6 Algernop Krieger
Krieger gets some points for often wanting to help his friends and for being a lowkey romantic. As a doctor and scientist, Krieger has giddily explored the various realms of experimentation all in an effort to expand his knowledge. Unfortunately, a lot of this also comes at the expense of his own friends and a few other, unwitting victims.
Often hinted at being the clone of Adolf Hitler, Krieger often has his own agenda in every arc and is constantly trying to trick and manipulate the rest of his friends to being his test subjects. And, unfortunately again, he seems to enjoy it when things go awry, people get hurt, or if things get really weird, often finding perverse pleasure in distortions of the human flesh.
5 Sterling Archer
Sterling Archer has a few redeeming qualities given that he is a hopeless romantic raised more by an age of gilded, heroic television than his own, abusive mother. He genuinely wants to save the world when it’s on the line, can mostly be trusted to help his friends, and is reliable when it comes to anything to do with Lana Kane’s life. However, the other aspects of his life tend to blur those qualities.
Much like his mother, Archer is often drunk and abusive. If he’s not berating his own colleagues, he’s trying to ruin the life of his butler or anyone who just happens to cross him wrong. He has a long history of debauchery that’s led him to treat women like objects and to take company resources with an assumed impunity. In Season 11, it’s even implied that Archer is the source of the entire group’s toxicity if he doesn’t at least provoke it. More of a workplace hazard than an asset, it’s amazing that Archer himself isn’t being targeted by the agency.
4 Pamela Poovy
Second only to Archer when it comes to wild, debaucherous behavior is Pamela Poovy. Far from the ideal Human Resources representative, Pam has become a drunken, slobbery beast within the group. She often tries to get in as many fights as she can, freely joins in whenever the gang is insulting someone, and has begun an eclectic nightlife filled with drag races and bare-knuckle brawls.
When the group tried their hand in the drug trade, Pam became an obstacle within her own right as she consumed any cocaine that she could get her hands on like water. Despite this, Pam is also the ideal friend in the series. She’s always offering emotional support to her colleagues, is often the first person in the fray when someone gets hurt, and seems to be the only person who can see eye to eye with Archer.
3 Ray Gillette
Ray is one of the group’s top agents and, unlike Archer, actually likes to treat his job with sensitivity, professionalism, and tact. He often works hard on missions and easily shows concern when things go awry. Like Pam, Ray is also an emotional support beam, often being the person that Lana confides in whenever she has trouble. However, Ray does have his sins.
He pretended to be paralyzed for a season to get out of fieldwork but still be paid heavily. When Archer paralyzed him for real, Ray became more critical with him and often hesitates to come to his aid when Archer is in danger. It’s also implied that Ray often uses the agency’s funding to rent out a Malaysian slave boy, teasing at a much more perverse side of him.
2 Lana Kane
Lana gets major points for being the voice of reason of the group and, given her talent and professionalism, the very reason why the group gets anything done. Though she’s always critical, Lana often puts the needs of the world and the group above herself and does her best to keep casualties to a minimum. She can always be trusted to save everyone’s lives in a pinch while still keeping the mission in mind.
Her main vice seems to be a slight anger issue. If she ever gets enraged by the group, an arrogant bystander, or everything that is Archer, she’s always quick to dish out a punishing hand and a few harsh words. Her relationship with Archer has also often muddled her judgment, leading her to make much more rash decisions than she typically does.
1 Cyril Figgis
While Cyril has become more corrupted and depraved as the series has gone on, those changes wouldn’t be as apparent or meaningful if they didn’t happen to anyone else. Cyril Figgis, for all intents and purposes, is the innocent of the organization. He’s always trying to think about the moral, ethical, and legal implications of an action and is quick to help his friends, though arguably to a dependent degree.
As the series went on, he grew to become a competent agent, going as far as to become the agency’s #1 during Archer’s absence. This legacy is gilded by the fact that he always tries to limit casualties and tries to take every situation with some sensitivity. Though his vices have certainly grown over the years, Cyril has rarely thrown a fist or even a mean word when not provoked.