FX’s Archer season 12 has seen Lana Kane experiencing marital problems with Robert — here’s why she no longer likes her husband and what it may mean for the future. Voiced by Aisha Tyler, Lana Kane has long been the extremely capable (and more reliable) counterpart to Sterling Archer (H. Jon Benjamin). Regardless, Lana’s personal life has been a conversely more tumultuous one. In the years leading up to Archer season 12, Lana had a dysfunctional relationship with Cyril Figgis (Chris Parnell) and an equally rocky on-again/off-again dynamic with Sterling Archer himself. The latter even led to the birth of a daughter, further complicating Lana’s struggle to reconcile the disparate sides of both herself and her life.
When Archer awoke from his coma in Archer season 11, it seemed as though Lana had finally found some balance. As well as operating at her peak in the field alongside Cyril, it was revealed that Lana had gotten married to a wealthy older gentleman named Robert (Stephen Tobolowsky). The twist served as part of the new normal Archer had to navigate in season 11. After all, he was still in love with Lana at the time and his daughter now viewed Robert as more of a father than him. During the events of Archer season 12, episode 1, “Identity Crisis,” however, Lana once again found the dual aspects of her life starting to conflict. As a result, it looked increasingly like moments of great change could be on the horizon.
Late to a meeting with the CloudBeam marketing team, Lana conveyed that she’d been arguing with Robert — and not for the first time. Archer season 12, episode 2, “Lowjacked” further fleshed out the nature of their conflict, with Robert wanting to expand their family with more children and Lana hesitant. The tensions were also exacerbated by Robert becoming the organization’s CFO in the wake of The Agency finally solving their longtime name problem. Robert’s forcing of the issue by infringing upon Lana’s work – of which she’s proud and where she feels most in control – only made things worse. While the dispute was centered around the resurgence of Lana’s internal conflict, it also likely stemmed from a storytelling issue regarding the pair. Equally, it served as a sign that, like some other character and plot developments, things may soon be returning to the status quo from previous seasons.
Returning to a previous status quo was a recurring theme throughout Archer season 11, via characters backsliding into old patterns. Those themes coalesced when Sterling rebuked the team in the Archer season 11 finale, refusing to take full responsibility for their respective regressions. One of the few not to entirely revert after Archer awoke from his coma was Lana Kane. With those aforementioned themes carried over into Archer season 12, however, the dispute indicated that her doing so was simply delayed. It was almost inevitable things would go this route. After all, for all Stephen Tobolowsky’s talents in bringing Robert to life, he was largely a plot device to surprise both audiences and the titular character. Now that that initial impact has passed, with the group unlikely to permanently expand, the character has kind of run its course — with Lana’s increasing dislike of him marking the beginning of the end.
As seen when Archer season 12 retroactively explained why ODIN went missing, there’s also been very much a sense of tying up loose ends. One of the biggest has always been whether Lana and Archer would finally resolve to end up together. Her emerging issues with Robert could be a sign that this thread will also soon be circled back to, with it paving the way for a final reunion between Lana and Archer. The premiere episodes even hinted at such a development, with Lana choosing him (of all people) as a confidante for her marital problems and actually seeking his advice. Whether or not that ultimately comes to pass shall remain to be seen – and likely based on whether or not Archer season 13 is greenlit. Whatever the case, however, the writing appeared to be firmly on the wall regarding Lana and Robert’s marriage.