Everyone′s favorite cartoon super-spy, Sterling Archer, was killed off last night in the Season 7 finale of ″Archer″ on the FX channel. The series spoofed a wide range of cultural icons, films, etc., changing with the times. The biggest change happened when the spy agency, International Secret Intelligence Service, or I.S.I.S., got shut down by the government. This happened due to the rise of the actual terrorist group, ISIS. The action cartoon series went through several changes, first with a Miami Vice theme as the gang tried to score in the drug dealing business. This final season the series shifted to Los Angeles where they tried their hand as private eyes.

″Archer″ had a great set of characters! At the top of the food was Malory Archer, former CIA/OSS agent who played a dispassionate and domineering mother to her only child, Sterling Archer, while drinking alcohol continuously. Sterling was not much better when it came to drinking constantly, while dealing with mother issues, years of neglect, being taunted in endless boarding schools and, of course, bad guys. He was also something of a lady′s man, going through women like James Bond. His ′steady′ love interest was fellow secret agent, Lana Kane, with whom Sterling fathered a baby girl with after Lana finally ended her relationship with the company accountant, Cyril Figgis, an outright wimp.

Other characters included the gay cyborg, Ray Gillette, human resource manager Pam Poovey, who could out arm wrestle or drink any man around, Malory′s crazy, snuff-fetish secretary, Cheryl Tunt and the agency′s scientist, Dr. Algernop Krieger. Krieger is one of several clones produced by Nazi scientists and is always up to no good, including having a relationship with an anime hologram he created. There were other assorted recurring characters, like Archer′s English butler, Woodhouse, an aging heroin addict, KGB Major Jakov who may or not be Sterling′s father, and Barry, a rival agent from a rival spy agency ODIN, who later became a Russian cyborg bent on killing Archer. He did kill Archer′s wife, Katya, a Russian defector but she later returned also as a cyborg.

But Barry did not kill Archer, even though he did make one last appearance in Season 7. Sterling was killed by aging film actress, Veronica Deane, whom Sterling was working for as her bodyguard and he slept with her. Deane was initially the subject of the first ′case′ the budding private eyes had when they arrived in Los Angeles. A woman pretending to be Deane hired them to steal a data disk that allegedly had a sex video on it, but actually contained other incriminating information as we later learn. Archer and company do steal the disk and turn it over to the phony Deane only to then be hired by the real Deane to get it back.

In the final story arc, the gang is hired by Deane′s ex-husband who is producing a film starring Deane. A number of accidents are occurring that could cause the film to shutdown. Archer saves Deane′s life from a runaway forklift, so she rewards him with sex. Meanwhile, Figgis examines the books and discovers that there is so much insurance on the film that it would make more money if production is stopped. They suspect that the producer is behind the fraud scheme, but he turns up dead. Lana becomes a prime suspect and Archer is torn between protecting Deane, who was the actual murderess and saving Lana.

While the police question everyone except Archer and Deane, Deane is planning to skip the country and Archer visits Dr. Krieger′s laboratory where he has a room with robot replicas of the whole agency. Archer activates his replica and together they prompt Deane into revealing her plans and admit guilt. But, she shoots Archer and he falls into her swimming pool, a la ″Sunset Boulevard″, and dies. At first, we are led to believe that she shot the replica instead. After the police arrive and arrest Deane, Archer gets on one knee and begins to propose marriage to Lana. But, ′Turing′s Law′ causes the replica′s brain to fry and ten we discover that it was the real Archer who had been killed.

So is the end of Sterling Archer? You never know with Dr. Krieger around. He rebuilt Ray Gillette after almost dying in a mission, giving Gillette a bionic arm and two bionic legs. So it is possible that Archer will be back, either in cyborg form or perhaps even cloned. But I′m guessing that the TV series is finished. The show′s creator, Adam Reed, may have had a falling out with the folks at FX after another, new series was canceled before beginning production. Season 7 of ″Archer″ was originally announced to have 13 episodes and only 10 were made. Many original fans were unhappy after ISIS was disbanded and the direction of the series changed. But, still, its a funny show and worth catching reruns of.