Nope, this new Syfy series was not a one-hit-wonder.
Resident Alien Season 1 Episode 2 was every bit as entertaining as the premiere, and that’s not always easy to accomplish.
While Alan Tudyk was ensuring the laughs would continue, the folks behind the scenes offered a lot more for Harry to chew on than that.
With alien invasion stories of the past, aliens sometimes suffered the physical ailments of their human form, but they rarely got as connected to their earthly partners as Harry is with Resident Alien.
It’s an interesting turn of events, especially since we saw how Harry took this form during Resident Alien Season 1 Episode 1. He didn’t physically inhabit the real Harry; he morphed into his form.
After all, it’s still niggling in the back of Harry’s mind that the dead Harry is going to turn up again at some point. I’m not trying to get all scientific here, but I did want to make the distinction because so often, if I don’t do it, a reader will think I was unaware.
I’m fully aware that Harry isn’t a true human, but since he’s experiencing human emotion, he must have taken some of the DNA and wound it right into his corporeal form.
It’s an important distinction so that we never forget Harry isn’t human, but we can also play with the ideas his exploration of humanity’s frailties provides.
Because has anyone NOT thought jamming a hot dog down their gullet might cure the aching emptiness they feel inside? After a COVID ravaged year left many of us alone and searching for light, it wasn’t too difficult to imagine what led to that gaping pit Harry felt in his stomach.
Sometimes, it’s easiest to examine ourselves when we aren’t the focal point. And although Harry started to understand what was happening to him, he was still in the dark as the hour concluded despite being the smartest person on the planet.
I’ve already seen through Resident Alien Season 1 Episode 7, but Harry’s words and actions still elicited laugh-out-loud reactions. When you can laugh that hard at something you’ve already seen, you know it’s going to stand the test of time.
The premiere teased that Harry picked up a lot from Law & Order, but “Homesick” proved that it wasn’t as easy as that for Harry. He had to work very hard to make Harry’s body do what he wanted it to do.
Geez, Alan Tudyk does so much with his body and facial expressions. The quick montage of learning to walk and talk is all the funnier when Harry still fails at laughing or other emotions we take for granted.
D’arcy acts like she found a kindred spirit in Harry, and maybe she did. She’s not suave by any means, and Harry doesn’t know the difference. They match each other note for note.
Her friend, Judy, who similarly jabs at D’arcy, was the perfect candidate for Harry’s first pelvic exam.
Harry: [doing a pelvic exam] OK. I see your problem. You sat on an earring.
Judy: Oh! No.
Harry: Sorry. [back under the drape]
Judy: That’s supposed to be here.
Harry: Um, here we go [begins typing on his phone]. Let’s just get into this. Mm mm. Oh. Yes. Examining… [holds up the phone, which snaps a photo]. Oops! Ahhh.
Judy: Did you just take a picture?
Harry: It wasn’t a selfie. [spins around centers Judy in the photo] It’s my first day!
Oh, come on! If that didn’t make you laugh, then there might not be hope for you. It’s not possible to imagine how filming that scene went down. Was it in one take? How could you even attempt to act that out without breaking down in tears?
Harry wasn’t kidding when he said that his day didn’t get any better from the first patient (Max) who jumped out the window. But although he was woefully unprepared, something that must have shocked his alien intelligence to the core, everyone else found his honesty refreshing.
Well, almost everyone.
Asta: She just found a lump in her breast. This time, why don’t you try to be a little more calming?
Harry: I know what I’m doing. [moves to the patient] I see you found a lump in your breast.
Harry: I’m glad that you came in and that you’ve been so diligent with your health. As you know, self-examination along with appropriate screenings can greatly increase your odds of early detection, so I don’t want you to worry. Many women find lumps in their breasts all the time, and most of them are nothing, OK?
Harry: Good. Now let’s get a look at that tit.
Between that and telling the little girl her parents would be living on the street if she continued doing stupid things that would get her hurt, there were Resident Alien quotes galore. Enjoy at your leisure.
Asta tried to temper his, uh, enthusiasm for his newfound medical expertise, but it wasn’t an easy task to accomplish with his uncontrolled emotions.
Asta: Well, what you eat is important.
Harry: [laughs] I don’t agree with that!
Asta: Oh, no?
Harry: No. There are ten things on here that are going to kill him sooner than eating bad food does.
Patient: No, I want to hear. Sam never mentioned that. Kill me when? Look, I just turned 80. You can give it to me straight. How long do you think I have?
Harry: Do you like Christmas?
Patient: Yes, very much.
Harry: Celebrate it before June.
Still, when the guy realized he could slide into home, as the saying goes, without spending his last months watching what he ate and all of those other futile endeavors, he seemed damned happy.
There is a silver lining to laying it on the line, warts and all.
Through it all, Asta has been missing Sam something awful. We learned that Dan isn’t her father, and although he raised her well, she always felt a gaping hole in her life. It was a hole that Sam filled.
Harry’s personal experience with the gaping hole of loneliness led him to give an assist to Asta, something that threw him for a loop. He knew what she needed and offered it to her without anything in return. Harry might not even realize how thoroughly he’s embracing his humanity.
Not that he’d admit it. He has a particular disdain for us, and why shouldn’t he?
This kid is a menace. He just won’t give up. Where was that effort from the humans when we were helping them build Stonehenge? A bunch of idiots just sitting around drinking mead, making us do all the work. Lazy druids.
Historically, we’re proven his account to be accurate. Let’s expect memories like those to grow dimmer as time progresses. He never expected to run up against a nine-year-old kid like Max, that’s for sure.
Max was thrown with his visit to Harry, but he’s a smart kid. It’s got to chap Harry’s hide that Max can see through him. Try as he might to sway Max into thinking that the handsome alien, looking like a young Jerry Orbach, had fled town on a bus, he couldn’t make it stick.
It’s one fail after another for Harry against Max, but Max put his foot down. He cut off his nose to spite his face without that novocaine shot, but the kid’s got guts.
Max is forcing Harry to overlook some of what he’s learning as a human. He has to for the sake of the plot, of course. Harry’s superior intelligence should help him recognize that if his empty feeling left when he entered the bar, it wasn’t as easy as being homesick.
Harry just wanted to connect. Maybe Harry’s earthly form wanted to connect. Because he said that aliens don’t have emotions, so how could he conclude that he’s lonely for his planet?
It doesn’t matter because it means Harry will use his feud with Max to double down on destroying humanity so he can get home to his people, who, since they don’t have emotions, won’t have missed him at all.
Talk about confusing!!
I’ve never perused the Resident Alien graphic novels, so I don’t know why Harry ends up staying on earth, but it will sure as hell be entertaining finding out how and why he does.
It will also be fun watching Harry second guess what his body is telling him to feel with what his claimed superior intelligence drives him to do. Who doesn’t love a good juxtaposition?
Please, if you have not given this show a go yet, watch Resident Alien online and get in on this action. Heck, do that just to relieve it because you will not only discover something new each time you watch, but you’ll keep laughing was what you’ve already seen, too.
I was so thrilled to discover you had watched and loved the show as much as I did, so please comment as we continue Resident Alien Season 1.
What lines made you spit out your drink?? Let’s laugh together.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.