‘Resident Alien’ Episode 4 Review: The Family That Belongs Together…
In this week’s Resident Alien, Harry learns lessons about family and belonging, from Asta.
No video interviews for this week but we do have a doozy of one for next. But before I begin our breakdown of Resident Alien Episode 4, let me stress that if there’s one episode of that show to showcase to your friends to pitch this series, then I highly suggest it be this one. Yes, it is that good and is arguably the best episode amongst the first half of the season. Though before we delve right into it, let’s recap (spoilers abound).
Previously on Resident Alien, we found out a mysterious duo is looking to hide the alien conspiracy from getting out in the public eye. As someone is looking for Harry and trying to keep it a secret. Meanwhile, Max Hawthorne (Judah Prehn) is no longer alone in his quest of proving Harry is an alien, as his newfound friend at school Sahar (Gracelyn Awad Rinke) also believes in him.
On a big cliffhanger last week, Jay (Kaylayla Raine) seems like she is selling drugs, and for some reason, is triggering Asta’s memories about giving her child away with Sam years ago. Also, Harry is hiding a dead body of himself in the freezer…
Alright, let’s recap this one.
My Dinner With Alien
For episodes now we’ve seen harry become more-and-more human. It’s obvious how he’s struggling with his emotions, even dreaming about Thanos’ing all life after finally starting to fit in as an alien-human — in what’s revealed to be his first-ever dream.
This kickoff an episode focused on family, their traditions, and more importantly, their sense of togetherness. As Harry finds it strange how desperately humans seek to eat together rather than alone. Finding the practice less efficient and unnecessarily complicated.
So when Harry’s invited to Mayor Ben’s house for dinner — in a ploy to get Max and Harry to finally come to terms with each other — Harry asks Asta to join. Busy with her own obligations to her father, Dan Twelvetrees (Gary Farmer), a more than enthused, D’arcy invites herself in Asta’s stead. Leading us to a second date between Harry and D’arcy.
The result is a, “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” scenario that is one of the funniest comedic moments in the series to date. On the surface level, it’s a gathering of antagonizing people we’ve come to know, but on a deeper level, it’s Max’s attempt to sabotage Harry while Harry feels like he’s finally fitting in with the humans.
To add to the hilarious tension, we learn D’arcy and Mayor Ben were apparently very close in childhood. Perhaps, in fact, too close, much to the jealousy of his wife Kate — as it’s slowly revealed via a drunk D’arcy how she was Ben’s first… practically, everything. The dinner is all-around chaotic and by its end, despite all their antagonizing conflicts against one another, and not one but three total admitted times where Harry has confessed to trying to murder Max, the two seemingly make peace… or so Harry thinks.
There’s a basic human need to feel like you belong…
In this week’s B-Story, Asta addresses Jay about Sam’s missing prescription pad and her suspicions that Jay’s been possibly dealing drugs. Harry coldly agrees and deduces that it absolutely was her, causing Asta and Jay to part on bad terms. When Harry joins Asta to meet her tribe and threaten her grandma, we get to see some really nice Native American representation. As Asta’s family is huge and it’s all very loving, funny, and sort of uplifting. That is, until Harry sort of reveals a truth Asta really didn’t want to share: that it’s obvious how Jay is her daughter.
This explains the flashback in the last episode and raises the stakes of that relationship on the show by quite a bit. I mentioned in episodes earlier that there’s some surprisingly good character development for Asta and it very much showcases here. As it was a difficult decision for Asta to give up her daughter at a young age and the series tackles the topics of adapted and adopted families with an unprecedented finess that most series shy away from. I also really like how Asta’s own history of being adopted affected her own ideas of parenting, as though she felt guilty towards Dan, he absolutely gives her support here.
After a few funny rounds of Harry playing basketball rather terribly, we also get a nice moment between Asta and Harry. One where he reveals some big character moments about how his wife died, and so he took on a mission to Earth but now just misses home. Sadness is an alien feeling to Harry — who is himself an alien — but it’s something that’s strangely relatable. A loneliness felt when you’re missing your family that the show addresses rather well in this episode.
You shouldn’t trust your balls, they’re nuts!
But, back to the comedy and some of our other beloved side stories. I can’t stress enough that this one is filled with brilliant Alien Tudyk Harry jokes. Ones filled with strange alien mannerisms, tongue-in-cheek cringe moments, and a decent amount of inhuman philosophy.
One of my favorite lines in this one is Harry’s limited knowledge about New York; describing the city as being filled with Law and Order all while women have Sex in The City. And, if you catch the moment, there’s even a Penile Rigamortis joke thrown in there a la Family Guy, right after D’arcy and Harry lick face. I’m still bawling with laughter over that moment days later while writing this review.
I will also admit that at this point, I’m 100% sold on D’arcy as she’s easily my favorite character after Harry from this episode onward. Not because she’s the crazy fun-loving party girl with something snarky to say, but because she’s somehow pulling all of that off while making us laugh and learn a bit about the world and people around her. A really good supporting character for this series.
You don’t use your arms to signal, a truck’ll rip em right off. True story.
And while we’re at it, I’d be remiss to not shout out some Sheriff Mike love as he’s gotten crazier and crazier and the season progresses. Whether it’s cluelessly buying hot wheels or teaching kids the importance of hand signals, Mike is certifiably strange in this series, but it oddly works for such a small-town lifestyle in Colorado. We also learn just how awesome Deputy Liv is and get slightly frustrated about her desire to be acknowledged. She’s a great cop who puts clues together well, and in many ways, seems like she should be the actual sheriff in town. Her exchange with D’arcy in this episode is easily one of the series’ best sidebars, as we learn a lot about her and D’arcy in mere minus, their motivations, and their histories.
This episode ends on a very cool conflict where we see the mysterious duo eliminate anything that gets in the way of the mission. We also see the fruits of Max and Sahar’s actions, which inevitably frustrates Harry’s situation tremendously. More importantly, the ending is easily the series best ‘oh my God’ moment. As that cliffhanger really capitalizes on that, ‘Guess Who’s coming to Dinner?” theme.
Overall, this was hands down my favorite episode of the series. Filled with laugh-out-loud moments, personal conflict, and wonderful moments of wonderful character development. If you can, stop what you’re doing right now, and tell your friends to watch this episode. Just don’t spoil the ending.