The last episode of RESIDENT ALIEN was hampered by the addition of a new annoying character – Harry’s wife (the real Harry, not the alien who took his form and has been attempting to fit in among the humans). She seemed jammed in out of context solely to create some unnecessary plot points. This episode introduces another annoying character, and in doing so, returns to form.
Since the pilot, Harry has been standing in as the town doctor. In this episode, the replacement finally arrives. He comes off as incredibly cheesy, but since the writers are doing it on purpose, it works. Everybody loves him because he’s so perfect (annoyingly perfect), which enrages Harry. Unlike the forced love triangle in the prior episode, the new doctor slides into the plot organically and builds upon the foundation the show has laid so far. While Harry’s mission is to kill all the humans, he has grown to want to be accepted by them. Harry’s jealousy delivers some of the episode’s best laughs. Alan Tudyk’s portrayal of an alien masquerading in a human body has consistently been the best part of this show. In this episode, he again foregoes the physical comedy (sorry, no basketball game) and relies on awkward dialogue delivery and facial tics.
About that town doctor. Harry got dragged into town to help solve the doctor’s death. That plot thread languished, but this episode smartly picks it up and makes real progress. In the process we get to see some hilarious police work from the Sheriff, and some growth for Deputy Liv. While I appreciated this story being moved forward, the plot I was most happy to see touched on is the mysterious couple hunting Harry. We finally are given the background to their characters.
Finally, in an inspired casting choice, this episode features a welcome appearance by Linda Hamilton, a science fiction icon thanks to her role in the Terminator series. Her character is tough, but she also brings some humor to the role.
After the shaky introduction of Harry’s wife, I had my fingers crossed that RESIDENT ALIEN would rebound. Thankfully, this episode was a vast improvement. It moved the interesting plotlines forward and avoided the pitfalls of the last episode. While it was a bit of a slow burn, the end sets up a potential game changing direction for the series.
The sixth episode of RESIDENT ALIEN premieres today. Check back next week for my thoughts on the next episode of the series.
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