blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Resident Alien (2021) s02e07 – Escape from New York

Once again, I've failed to keep up with episodes per season on shows this year, and it turns out this episode is the penultimate one for "Resident Alien: Season Two," which makes a lot of sense. If the season were running ten episodes, it'd be a little strange to introduce so many new plot threads with three episodes to go.

Though maybe if it were running thirteen, there might be time. And with just one more, they can position the show for season three, something they really didn't get to do with season one's finale.

The episode concludes Alan Tudyk and Sara Tomko's trip to New York City (which looks more like Vancouver this episode than last time), with two big surprises. One came as even more of a surprise because I thought they were just adapting the comic arc, but they are not; they're upping the "Alien" ante. The other surprise is a phenomenal moment, with the show acknowledging it's hurrying some things and then taking the time to make things count.

After resolving Tudyk tripping on acid, Tudyk and Tomko's arc leads to some nice character bits in Central Park (or whatever it's called in Vancouver) and then is mostly action. They've got to find out what other alien's human companion Maxim Roy knows before woman-in-black Mandell Maughan kills them, plus there are some New York thugs following them, thinking Tudyk's still the human Tudyk. Lots of action.

Things back in small mountain town Colorado are slower but with similarly significant developments. Alice Wetterlund and Meredith Garretson have a girl jock character arc together; Wetterlund gets off her duff and gets back to the gym, where she runs into Garretson. Now, Garretson's unaware Wetterlund spent last episode on a bonding arc with Garretson's husband, Levi Fiehler. As Garretson muses about her marriage in this episode, Wetterlund's got some relevant information she can't share.

Luckily they can still bond over exercising.

Considering the other arc involves sheriff Corey Reynolds deciding he's made a mistake with a murder investigation and might be entirely up-ending the show (it includes him getting some detective novels, which are straight out of the comic), Wetterlund and Garretson's character arc is this episode's most ambitious, but also smallest swing; especially since Tomko doesn't end up with much to do. She's entirely support for Tudyk after a certain point.

She's got a couple terrific scenes. There's a lot of strong acting in this episode, especially Tudyk, whose absurd comedy moments are phenomenal, and Gary Farmer. Farmer gets a bonding scene with Reynolds where Farmer monologues a war story, and it's incredible. Oh, and then Diana Bang—the nurse at the town clinic who's been getting more and great material this season—has an awesome scene with Fiehler.

Good direction from Claudia Yarmy; she gives the actors time and room, never slowing down the action but never rushing anyone either.

Not knowing the season was almost over saved me worrying about it not being renewed (until now, anyway), but I really hope they get at least one more. With a bigger order too. Eight episodes—albeit an obviously Covid-19 lockdown limiting season—isn't enough, not with this cast.

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