Resident Alien (2021) s02e08 – Alien Dinner Party

Well. Here I thought this episode was the season finale. It’s not. It’s the end of “Resident Alien: Season Two: Part One.” Another eight episodes are coming later. Things make a little more sense (though they may have introduced more in this episode than they can resolve in another eight). The episode ends on a big cliffhanger, with all sorts of future connotations, after an episode where everything’s got different connotations for the future. Starting with the first scene, which introduces another alien species on Earth, seemingly protecting aliens from Linda Hamilton’s evil general.

Though maybe not, based on some of the later revelations in the episode.

Some developments are even more impressive with the episode not being the finale. They got a lot done in eight episodes, giving numerous cast members full arcs. Much of the episode involves Levi Fiehler and Meredith Garretson getting annoyed with one another at Alan Tudyk’s impromptu surprise birthday party. Tudyk and Sara Tomko are just back from a trip to New York, with an (unbeknownst to them) hatching alien egg in tow.

Garretson’s freaking out about a possible pregnancy, with Alice Wetterlund her only confidant. Unfortunately, Wetterlund’s keeping some secrets from Garretson about her and Fiehler. It’s a very complicated, very volatile situation, even without an alien baby due any minute. Plus, Gracelyn Awad Rinke has just discovered Judah Prehn probably got the town doctor kidnapped by Hamilton and wants to rush and tell Tomko. Only it’s not safe to go outside.

Deputy Elizabeth Bowen also gets an arc about her alien encounter memories, which she gets to share with her newly introduced (to the show) husband, Trevor Carroll. No doubt, it’s set up for a “Season Two: Part Two” subplot, but when you think it’s the finale, it just seems like some nice character development for Bowen. Sheriff Corey Reynolds gets something similar, finally working through his grieving over a dead partner. Though Reynolds is mostly around for the one-liners. He’s hilarious and seemingly the only guest who’s fully aware Fiehler’s got ulterior motives for throwing the bash, which doesn’t even end up being important because there’s so much other stuff.

And not just with Fiehler and Garretson.

It’s a very, very full episode—Tudyk’s got an entire alien baby care arc, and then Tomko has a small but significant one with daughter Kaylayla Raine.

Claudia Yarmy’s direction is solid; she gives the actors enough time and space, taking advantage of the background to keep other plots moving, and the jokes coming. Reynolds has a few times he’s just behind the main action telling jokes. I’m not sure the show’s ever brought the whole cast together before—there are ten adults plus two kids. And Diana Bang has a great, short bit as Rinke and Prehn’s babysitter.

Show creator Chris Sheridan gets the script credit. He does well with so much going on in a short present action (a few hours at most).

I had fully prepared myself for “Resident Alien” to lose its renewal chicken. The acting’s way too good in a way too peculiar show. But knowing it’s just on a mid-season hiatus? I can just appreciate its considerable successes (Tomko’s particularly great this episode) and eagerly await its return.

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