Skin Game | Pink Army

Skin Game				 | Pink Army
Skin Game | Pink Army

Skin Game

Skin Game” is the eleventh episode of the third season of Archer.



Sterling Archer is faced with a dilemma when his murdered fiancée, Katya Kazanova, miraculously reappears… in Algernop Krieger’s lab.[1] Archer has to combat his past traumatic experiences with an Electrolux while deciding whether or he can deal with the fact that his fiancée is now a cyborg.

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The conflict comes to a head when Barry Dylan returns to kill Sterling Archer and the rest of ISIS.




  • Starring :
    • H. Jon Benjamin as Sterling Archer
    • Judy Greer as Cheryl Tunt
    • Amber Nash as Pam Poovey
    • Chris Parnell as Cyril Figgis
    • Aisha Tyler as Lana Kane
    • Jessica Walter as Malory Archer
  • Co-Starring :
    • George Coe as Woodhouse
    • Ona Grauer as Katya Kazanova
    • Adam Reed as Ray Gillette
    • Dave Willis as Barry Dylan
    • Lucky Yates as Doctor Krieger
    • Neal Holman as (voice)
    • Ji Li as Restaurant Waiter

Cultural References[]

  • The Graduate (1967): The end of the episode, when Barry and Katya ride off on the bus, is a reference to the end of the film, when Elaine and Benjamin ride off in the bus.
  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991): The “wetsuit” in Krieger’s apartment may be a reference to the novel/movie “Silence of the Lambs”, in which the serial killer Buffalo Bill creates a suit made out of human skin from his female victims in order to look like a woman himself. This is supported by Archer’s comments about it being made of skin, as well as the fact that the suit is clearly designed for a woman. Silence of the Lambs is a frequent reference, along with The Terminator.
  • Se7en (1995): While looking for the bathroom in Krieger’s apartment, Sterling walks by a room where dozens of pine air fresheners hang from the ceiling. This is probably a reference to the movie “Se7en”, during which the serial killer John Doe ties a man to a bed for one year, representing the Deadly Sin of sloth. The man rots and the air fresheners cover the smell. This would go along with other references to Krieger being a serial killer.
  • Ghostbusters(1984): When Krieger first reveals Katya to Archer, a replica of the containment unit used by the Ghostbusters can be seen on the wall to the right of the lab table.
  • The Fifth Element (1997): Katya’s costume in Krieger’s lab is reminiscent of Milla Jovovich’s ‘thermal bandage’ costume as Leeloo (Leeloominaï Lekatariba Lamina-Tchaï Ekbat De Sebat) in the movie “The Fifth Element”. The thread here seems to be that Leeloo is a ‘perfect being’ who was assembled. Katya was perfect in Archer’s eyes before being made into a cyborg – and in Krieger’s eyes after. The theme here is transformation.
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994): After Barry assaults Brett in the elevator, he writes, “Barry was here. So was Other Barry,” in blood, in a reference to this movie.
  • Robocop (1987): Pam asks Katya for her thoughts on this 80s film, featuring a police chief turned cyborg against his will.
  • YYZ’ by Rush (1981): The quip about Krieger finally learning to “crack” YYZ is one of several ongoing jokes in the series that Krieger is a huge fan of the band, Rush.
  • Electrolux: The sentence when Mallory says “It’s that Electrolux again” refers to a brandblunder that the company Electrolux tried to sell their vacuum cleaners with: “Nothing Sucks like an Electrolux”. This alludes to Archer’s recurring robophobia (fear of robots) – or Frankenstein Complex – which stems from his hoover-aided-masturbation-induced trauma as a child.
  • Horace Greeley / “Don’t bury the lead”: Founder editor of ‘The New York Tribune’ in 1841 / the number one rule in journalism (always inform public of the crux of the message).
  • The Rat Pack (1950s-60s): Peter Lawford was a member of the ‘Rat Pack’ and died from the effects of substance abuse.
  • Newton’s Apple (1983-98 ): When Krieger explains how the photovoltaic cells used in the cyborg work, Archer compares him to Ira Flatow, who was the first host of this American educational television program produced and developed by KTCA of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, and distributed to PBS stations in the United States. Its focus was primarily scientific.
  • Sigmund Freud / Oedipus Complex: Lana refers to Archer’s mother issues directly, referencing the founding father of psychoanalysis and one of his main theses.

Running Gags and Callbacks[]

  • Gypsy Woman Gets mentioned a couple of times in relation to Katya.
  • Holy shit-zombies! – variation of “holy shitsnacks!”
  • Just like the gypsy woman said Cheryl makes another reference to the gypsy in relation to Katya being made into a cyborg.
  • Spoiler alert – to the fact that Katya is super strong.
  • Sploosh – Cheryl says in relation to Katya’s strong grip (callback to Cheryl’s choke fetish).
  • Robophobia – Archers fear of robots is alluded to / deja vu to sex with a hoover (would explain a lot).
  • Ping pong paddle – for spanking purposes.
  • Duh!
  • Bawk Bawk!
  • Gross and/or ick
  • Holding one finger up
  • Slaps – Cheryl enjoys a slap from Pam; Archer slaps Cyril multiple times.
  • Phrasing, boom! – Pam inappropriately uses this during the ceremony.
    • Brett uses it after Archer says he is coming for Barry.
  • Marco – Polo: Call and Response – Cheryl is heard shouting ‘Polo’ to Archer’s shouts of ‘Barry’ (another example of her craziness).
  • Electrolux – callback at the end of the episode (3 mentions of Archer’s robophobia).
    • When Lana says “that sucked” – unbeknownst to her, she spoke to the subtext with a vacuum cleaner pun.
  • Vibrating Insides – Barry reminds Archer of Katya’s…


  • *spoiler alert* Katya makes her first appearance since apparently ‘dying’ at end of season 2 in Double Trouble. It is revealed that Krieger drags her off of his crushed van before taking her to his home lab for conversion into a cyborg (what, no funeral?)


  • The Russian word “mudak” literally translates as “asshole”.
  • Archer’s recurring robophobia (fear of robots) or Frankenstein Complex – is a running gag which stems from his hoover-assisted onanistic misadventures as a child, which understandably traumatised him for life.
  • Katya’s skin is not original – Krieger attempts to mask “hobo” under a cough
  • When Katya says “spasibo for nothing” she is saying ‘thanks’ in Russian [Спасибо/spasibo]
  • The game ‘Marco Polo’ is alluded to along with Cheryl’s increasing mental decline.
  • Katya refers to her heart as her “C Drive”, which means she runs on a Windows Operating system.
  • Krieger regards Katya as his “greatest accomplishment to date”, and gets repeated erections (x3) because he is so “happy” ie. aroused at his scientific prowess and/or Katya’s physical appearance.
  • When Archer says “beset on all sides by idiots” this may be a subtle reference to Pulp Fiction, where Jules delivers his famous speech in which he is “beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish, and the tyranny of evil men”
  • Cheryl recalls her time in a mental institute, stating the staff would tell the residents that “crisis” and “opportunity” are the same in Chinese. However, this isn’t true, as “crisis” translates to 危機 (wéijī) and “opportunity” translates to 機會 (jīhuì).
  • For a discussion of issues raised in this episode about Archer’s relationship with his mother, see Insights: Archer’s Relationship With Malory
  • For a discussion of the theme of Frankenstein and his monster as it applies to Krieger and Katya, see Insights: Frankenstein Complex.


  • After her “fight” with Barry, Katya’s clothes are seen to be torn – notably the sleeve of her right arm (19m10s). Then for a period when Barry appears, her right sleeve is restored, (19m26s-49s) only to return to their shredded state (19.59s onwards).


  • Krieger’s Apartment Lab


Archer: “Ugh! What is that? I’ve never smelled that smell in America.” Krieger: “I live in a… transitional neighborhood.” Archer: “As the crack dealers moved to nicer ones?”


Archer: “I hate surprises. I mean, except surprise fellatio … That, I like. The non-‘Midnight Cowboy’ kind.”


Krieger: “Don’t be nervous, I’m not going to rape you.” Archer: [Upon seeing Krieger’s “wetsuit”]”JESUS CHRIST! But you were gonna fillet me like a perch?!” Krieger: “What? No, that’s a wetsuit!” Archer: “Of human flesh?” Krieger: “Neoprene. I’m a certified diver.” Archer: “Why is it skin-colored?” Krieger: “Well, it’s not if you’re black.” Archer: “What is it with serial killers and skin?” Krieger: “I’m not a… serial killer.” Archer: “Wait, why’d you emphasize ‘serial’? Krieger: “I did whaaaat? Are we doing-? Did I mention I have a surprise for you?”


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Archer: “Is.. Is she alive!?” Krieger: “Yeah man, flick her titty


Woodhouse: “I took the liberty of poaching you an egg.” Katya: “Is not much of a liberty considering that you are going to polish my vagina.” Woodhouse: “No. No, it isn’t.”


Lana: “I think if you’re looking for insight into why Archer is… Archer, you need to jump in a time machine and have a threesome with Oedipus and Sigmund Freud.” Katya: “Hey, spasibo for nothing.” Lana: “Well, I don’t really have a roadmap for my ex finding your robo-gina in the sink.”




Cyril: “You were gonna marry her before.” Archer: “Before she wasn’t a cyborg.” Cyril: “She’s still kind, and smart, and insanely hot.” Archer: “Hmm, yeah. And even though it’s detachable, that vagina is, like, mind-shattering.” Cyril: “Oh, yeah? What, does it vibrate, or-” [Archer slaps Cyril] “Ow! Ow! Damn it! You-you started it!” Archer: “That’s my fiancée you’re talking about!” Cyril: “Really?” Archer: “I can look past our differences, Cyril, I’m a much bigger man than you think. Plus, it’ll drive mother crazy. Plus, yes, it vibrates.”


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Archer: [After hearing Malory break things in her office] “And it’s a win-win. Plus, it vibrates.”


Archer: “Ray, don’t you have, like, a priest outfit or…?” Ray: “No, I wore it to Fetish Night at The Snug, and it’s covered in-” Archer: “Okay! Ugh!” Ray: “-Red wine, ass!”


Barry: “Is anybody gonna ask how and why I knew to show up here?” Archer: “Is…? Okay, I’ll bite.” Barry: “By tracking the satellite signal from Katya’s internal hard drive which Doctor Dipshit over there bought from the KGB.” Archer: “What-? KRIEGER!” Krieger: “Yeah, but… the savings.” Barry: “Like, eighty bucks you saved.”


Archer :(Calls out in the dark) “Barry!” Cheryl: “Polo!” Archer: “Shut up!”


There are 14 screenshots and images from “Skin Game” on this Wiki, visit the category page for a complete gallery.


Episodes (in broadcast order)Season 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5Season 6Season 7Season 8Season 9Season 10Season 11

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