It may have been an impossible mission, but “Archer” pulled it off.
In the Season 12 finale of the FXX show on Wednesday night, the animated Spy Comedy episode closed With a heartbreaking goodbye The beloved New York actress Jessica Walter died unexpectedly in March of 80. Agent Sterling Archer (voiced by H. John Benjamin).
The series was renewed for the 13th season, which challenged the showrunners especially with the passing of the “Arrest Development” star.
“As for Jessica’s privacy, we learned that shortly before she passed, she was not returning to ‘Archer,'” executive producer Casey Willis said in a statement to The Post. “We wanted to go back and replace the unfinished episodes with Jessica and end the season with a scene that honors her.” (The network declined to specify what specific changes were made.)
Wednesday’s tearful farewell began when Mallory’s “Dear Sterling” opened the letter from her mother — she disappeared after a mission — and in a shaky voice, read it to her fellow detective agency colleagues.
“Do you remember what I told you on your first day of training? You probably don’t, but it’s always ‘know where the exits are.’ And with all the chaos and confusion of late, I thought of fixing my own departure, on my own time, on my own terms and in a way my enemies or all my lovers could never find. Decided; try not to burn yourself with it. “
The letter of retirement took a particularly poignant turn in light of Walter’s demise.
“And I know my decision may be sudden, but we don’t always choose the right moment,” it continues. “Take care of yourself, especially you, my sterling, because wherever I am, I see you. Love, mother.”
Willis told The Post that Tau’s storyline “basically did not include Malory’s retirement.”
From there, the scene of Mallory relaxing on the beach was cut, a cocktail in hand, accompanied by her husband Ron Cadillac, “And what is my lady love?”
She responded, “It’s infinitely better now,” and she looked up from behind as the sun sank over the ocean – holding her hand.
The final scene of her touching, however, offered another level of poignancy. In the opening tune of “Archer”, Ron Cadillac was voiced by Ron Liebman, Walter’s real-life husband, Who died in 2019 – and his true voice was redone for the beach scene. According to a series rep, her lines were “carefully collected” from previous episodes to help create a final tear-jerking scene with the former animation studio-Walter of the Floyd County Productions program, who described her character as “tough-on” in 2017 in an interview with The Post.
Then the beach sequence Faded to the letter of honor “Jessica Walter’s Loving Memory” reads before the closing credits fall – slowly changing waves with the sound of beach-lapping surf and the show’s usual powerful theme music.
The 13th season of eight episodes of “Archer” will premiere in 2022.