It was announced on March 29, 2011 that Archer was renewed for 16 more episodes. FX had originally intended the first three episodes of Season 3 to air in the fall of 2011 as a "Special Assignment" three-part event, with a further 13 episodes (a normal sized season for most FX shows) to air at the beginning of 2012. Series creator Adam Reed later clarified the situation. He explained that while FX had intended the second set of episodes to be 13 episodes, he had believed that he was only going to be producing a further 10 episodes (with the first three episodes completing the standard order of 13 episodes). While he attempted to produce the full 16 episodes after he realized his error, it soon became clear that it would be impossible to produce three additional episodes. The order was eventually reduced to 13 episodes.
Malory hires an adventurer named Rip Riley (voiced by Patrick Warburton) to find Archer, who has been missing since Katya sacrificed herself to save Archer on their wedding day. Rip finds him on a tropical island, but Archer has no interest in leaving.
Archer deals with the trials and tribulations of being Pirate King while ISIS remains semi-committed to his rescue.
Archer and his fellow prisoners attempt to escape the Pirate Fortress, as Malory hardballs the negotiation for their ransom.
Archer is shocked to learn that his mother is dating Archerʼs idol/hero/man-crush, Burt Reynolds.
Cyril is promoted to field agent, while Malory institutes a strict drug-testing policy. Neither of which sit well with the staff of ISIS.
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police enlist the help of ISIS to transport a captured Canadian terrorist. On a train.
Archerʼs surprise birthday present – a high-tech, souped-up spy car – leads to all sorts of other surprises. None of which are good.
Malory turns to Archer and Lana for help when she finds herself in a compromising situation with the Italian prime minister.
Archer must help Gillette save his younger brother from a crooked sheriff in the backwoods of West Virginia.
Archer's sexcapades compromise his effectiveness as an agent—yet again—and this time it's really serious.
Archer's dead fiancée, Katya, miraculously reappears—in Krieger's lab.
In Part 1 of the Season 3 finale, Archer and his ISIS colleagues boldly go to the final frontier to prevent a catastrophe aboard the International Space Station.
Conclusion of the Season 3 finale: Archer and his ISIS colleagues voyage to the final frontier to prevent a catastrophe aboard the International Space Station. They come to wish they hadn't.