“Resident Alien” returns with a lot of laughs but even more heart. There are some really, really good laughs, too, like when Alan Tudyk plays impromptu marriage counselor to Levi Fiehler and Meredith Garretson. Despite the outrageous events of last episode—an alien baby hatching, eating mammals, mind-melding with Tudyk, escaping after a bad guy shoots at it, then Sara Tomko shoots the bad guy to save Tudyk, which Alice Wetterlund witnesses without context—things are back to normal for most of the town the next day.
Only not Tomko, who’s plagued with guilt over killing the bad guy. Even with Wetterlund consoling her—Tudyk does as well, but he’s a murderous alien—Tomko can’t get over it, and it gives her an entirely new arc for the show, something borne of the show and not her backstory. There’s a backstory-related subplot, but it’s a lovely move—plenty of character development potential to go around, in fact.
In addition to Tomko, Wetterlund’s getting serious about dating, Garretson’s pregnant, Tudyk’s the town doctor again; “Resident Alien”’s primed for this season’s second half. The main plot seems like it’s going to be the murder investigation. Tudyk and Wetterlund dump the body somewhere they know they can get away with it—the motel where town ditz Jenna Lamia (who’s fantastic this episode) works. Except it’s close to the county line and Fiehler doesn’t want another murder on the town’s books, so he tries to sabotage Corey Reynolds.
Some great moments for Reynolds this episode, as usual, including when he meets the neighboring town’s detective, played by Nicola Correia-Damude. Meanwhile, Elizabeth Bowen’s still building her alien truther subplot, which may tie-in to all the other alien stuff, including Alex Barima and Linda Hamilton teaming up despite her trying to kill him all last season.
Tudyk’s plot this episode involves a newfound fear of death, but it’s the C plot after the investigation and Tomko’s guilt. It’s a nicely busy episode, punctuated with some very funny moments. Lamia keeps the bit going longer than she’s ever done before and it works out surprisingly well.
So then, standout performances would be her, Tomko, obviously, Tudyk, Reynolds. It’s a nice return, which will probably play entirely different when binged, but right now it feels like “Resident Alien”’s kicking off the next part of the arc and doing a good job of it.
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