This episode of RESIDENT ALIEN has a lot going for it. Perhaps most importantly to me, it finally relegated Harry’s (the real Harry, not the alien impersonating him as he tries to find the device he will use to exterminate humanity) wife to the backburner. Her character has always seemed forced into the show for little purpose, and this episode both gives her a point to being in it and wisely cuts her screen time.
The show uses the freed up time wisely, focusing on two subplots. First, we pick up on the cliffhanger from last week. The shadowy government crew headed by Linda Hamilton had Harry in their sights as he went to retrieve his ship. The start of this episode picks up where the last episode ended. I continue to like the government agents, even as they become less mysterious. This episode made them look almost too dumb for plot reasons, but that minor quibble aside, they have been great additions to the cast.
The show also moves the prescription pad theft storyline forward in a big way. In the process, Deputy Liv’s frustrations with the Sheriff continue to grow. The pair is interesting, because Liv is a likeable character because she’s so awkwardly earnest and nice (Like Ted Lasso) while the Sheriff is a likeable character because can be such a self centered fool. This plot thus far hasn’t really been tied to the main storyline, but the characters are so good I don’t mind the diversion.
This episode also humorously used two oft abused storytelling techniques. As always, Harry reacts to situations by thinking to himself. Harry’s internal monologues are always funny, which is a pleasant surprise because I usually don’t like this storytelling technique. This episode’s self dialogue was even funnier than usual. The writers rely on another trick that I usually disdain – the dream sequence. I tend to think dream sequences are lazy storytelling, but in this case, the writers set up why the sequence was happening, and it was both helpful for Harry’s character development and added humor to the episode.
This week’s episode boasts some of the show’s strongest special effects. The open sequence is gorgeous, we get the best view yet of Harry’s ship, and Harry’s alien form gets a lot of screen time. The episode also had drug use and more cursing than usual, so some parental discretion is advised.
After a couple of episodes that forced Harry’s wife upon us, I feel RESIDENT ALIEN has found its footing again. This episode makes real plot progress while loading up on the dark humor that makes the show so much fun to watch. If you’ve missed a few episodes, this is a great time to pick up the show again. The episode ends on another major cliffhanger, and I’m looking forward to the next episode.
Random potential trivia: My wife assures me that she recognized the voice of Alan Tudyk’s FIREFLY co-star Nathan Fillion in an uncredited role. I won’t spoil it for you, but here’s a hint so you know what to look for – it’s about halfway through the episode and ties back to the trippy opening sequence. If Nathan Fillion is reading this and wants to confirm or deny this, feel free to @ me.
The seventh episode of RESIDENT ALIEN premieres today. Check back next week for my thoughts on the next episode of the series.
Are you a fan of Alan Tudyk? Have you been watching this show? Feel free to chat with me on Twitter or leave a comment below!