Move over, Sterling Archer – Ray Gillette is the most interesting character on FX’s Archer by a mile. The “crippled gay hillbilly spy” voiced by series creator and general genius Adam Reed steals almost every scene he’s in and keeps finding ways to get more and more fantastic every season. Here are five reasons we think Ray is positively amazing (say that in your Rona Thorne voice for best effect):
1. He’s the closest thing the show has to a normal person
One of the reasons that Archer works is that while the main characters are a complete dumpster fire (morally speaking), they’re counter-balanced by some semblance of normalcy. That normalcy is usually provided by Ray, who is actually described in FX’s summary of the show as the “gay voice of reason.” He’s the one person who seems to have any sort of common sense or morality left at times. He’s also probably the only person you’d honestly trust with anything. Maybe.
2. But he’s just as messed up as everyone else
Ray being reasonably normal hasn’t stopped him from being as hilarious as everyone else on Archer. While he’s a generally good guy even he will do things that are ridiculous from time to time – which in turn makes them funnier because it’s Ray. Whether it’s not really comforting Malory Archer or using her black card to get himself a yacht and a man-servant, Ray still helps to put the “fun” in dysfunction.
3. He hasn’t let being handicapped stop him from being badass
Ray is the one main character to have suffered severe injuries from Archer‘s spy shenanigans. He’s been crippled and healed and crippled again. He lost a hand to a carnivorous plant. Despite the fact that he’s voiced by the creator of the show – who also happens to write all the scripts – poor Ray just gets thrashed all the time. But aside from the occasional crying spell he’s never let that stop him from picking up his pistols and kicking a little ass, or giving his colleagues a little lip. Why couldn’t you do that, Brett?!
4. His anti-bromance with Archer
Some shows have bromances; Archer has the exact opposite. The relationship between Ray and Sterling Archer is a thing of antagonistic beauty. Ray’s calm demeanor and deadpan delivery (really, we could listen to Adam Reed reciting the phone book) is a perfect contrast to Archer’s constant state of aggressive yelling. And the fact that Ray is so calm only pushes Archer’s buttons more.
These two have had so many perfect exchanges over the years, as have Ray and Malory. In fact, if Archer ever does end there should immediately be a spin-off where Archer and Ray are somehow forced to get an apartment together, just so we can continue to watch the witty repartee.
5. He’s a freaking cyborg
Seriously. Thanks to all the aforementioned injuries, Ray now has a pair of bionic legs and a robot hand. He doesn’t always remember to use them but that’s pretty cool. Although given how much the show seems to like to mutilate Ray we’re wondering how long it takes until the GIF above becomes reality. Or Ray ends up becoming one of those heads in a jar like on Futurama.
And just in case all of that hasn’t convinced you that Ray Gillette is one of the most fabulous TV characters ever, we leave you with this:
Archer returns to FX in 2017; all current seasons are available now on demand.