Turns out, Episode 106 of Resident Alien (titled Sexy Beast), wasn’t filled with the finest moments for our alien-turned-doctor Harry Vanderspiegle. His work towards understanding humanity while plotting its demise took several odd roads as the episode moved forward – and I’m hard-pressed to think of one of those roads that was a positive one.
Oh, I did enjoy his repeated drugging of his wife as he attempted to find the last piece to his spaceship puzzle, but even that had an underhanded, she’s disposable kind of vibe. But given what else went on, I suppose that was a small bit of silliness. I do enjoy Alan Tudyk’s facial expressions as he plays out Harry. Just the right amount of herky-jerky subtleties to make it work so well.
Harry, it turned out, not only “mickeyed” his wife multiple times, but also has left D’Arcy feeling less than herself, even to the point of making a bad sexual decision with the new doctor in town.
That’s right, Harry’s replacement has arrived and he seems a little too perfect to believe – looks, talent, brains, sex appeal – all of which Harry doesn’t quite measure up to. And, that brings out Harry’s jealous side (oh, that developing humanity is so delightful). And so begins a series of strange adventures for Harry, who dislocates the new guy’s shoulder at the 59 to try to impress people, then doesn’t really understand why they are’t chanting his name.
It actually gets worse. “The General” makes her first appearance and we get a little flash of delight as it’s the wonderful Linda Hamilton. Turns out, Hamilton’s character had a close encounter as a young girl and has been looking for evidence ever since. And, a sighting and radar lock on Harry’s crashing ship is what sent Hamilton into stealth mode and her two operatives into the field.
When the smoke clears, and the readings are done, our two operatives literally bump into a cloaked ship in a quarry of some kind of New Mexico. And not only do they have Harry’s ship, but they’ve set a trap for him that he walks right into at that very same quarry.
I am delighted by this new development and wonder just what Hamilton wants with her new alien captive – or will be be her captive? He’s pretty powerful physically and we actually didn’t see the “capture” as much as the trap simply being sprung.
I have to note that I am very impressed with the way show runner Chris Sheridan and the writing crew walk that fine line between comedy and drama so well. Yes, Resident Alien is a comedy, but there’s plenty of drama and even a little darkness mixed in as well.
The scene where Asta and the girls are bowling and baby-daddy Jimmy is at the lanes with a young woman. Asta figures out that Jimmy is the guy behind the missing prescription pad and the moniker, “The Pharmacist” that his customers at the high school have bestowed on him.
He’s a loser, no question, and as Jimmy escorts his young lovely to the door, Asta, in an emotional moment, tells her what’s to come from Jimmy and that it “isn’t okay.” Sara Tomko noted that this role is pretty easy for her to slide into and in this scene we see such an earnest compassion for the welfare of another woman. I really felt the tug of the heart there and how her experience with Jimmy informs here life today. It was very well done.
There’s a lot of those kinds of emotional and dramatic moments within Resident Alien and I thought episode 106 did a good job of delivering them over and under the moments of comedy.
We’ve also got some interesting movement in the sheriff-deputy relationship. Sheriff Mike Thompson and Deputy Liv Baker come to a fun mutual work relationship moment at last as our deputy, desperate for approval and gratitude, demonstrates her deductive powers multiple times. And it’s something the sheriff seems to be recognizing at last. Liv Baker’s emotional scene in the closet when the sheriff compliments her, was also very well done and you really felt good for her.
The scene where Thompson is interrogating a high schooler was a lot of fun. Corey Reynolds just jumped all over the place, playing good cop, bad cop, concerned cop, empathetic cop and all the cop interrogator tropes there are. It was to no avail, but I thought it was a lot of fun to watch and enjoy his over-the-top delivery. I just sat back, rewound it, and watched it a couple of times. Beautiful.
So we’ve got a new doctor in town, Harry’s apparently been captured by “The General,” the missing prescription pad and doctor’s poisoning case have reached a critical juncture, so I would expect some serious fun in these next four episodes. How Harry reacts to “The General” and whatever she has planned should be interesting. And for heaven’s sake, someone check on Harry’s wife, who’s probably still unconscious at the cabin. And would it be too much to have D’Arcy catch a break? I don’t see her with the new doctor, but I feel a little like she’s spiraling a bit.
Resident Alien has really hit its stride and I can’t help but think that this show has more to give, more story to tell, and a fun little comedy-drama melding formula that works.
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