Besides one to two songs too many—seriously, “Resident Alien,” but your composer to work—the show’s entirely back on track after last episode. There are some considerable plot developments, but everything’s through a character development lens. The show does continue to adjust plot trajectories, however, as sheriff’s deputy Elizabeth Bowen takes it on herself to figure out what’s going on with the (now dead) hit men come to town.
Her boss, Corey Reynolds, and the neighboring town’s detective, Nicola Correia-Damude, are also on the case, but they’re a little too busy making eyes at each other. Early in the episode, Bowen puts her foot down about her work not being recognized, which changes the dynamic from how last episode left things. It also helps making Correia-Damude and Reynolds’s flirting likable. Reynolds is occasionally played entirely for a boob, and while he’s great at it, it doesn’t seem to endear him to Correia-Damude. This episode works at making him endearing to her and vice versa.
So it’s up to Bowen to actually get to the bottom of things, bringing in Sara Tomko to help. Tomko’s got extra time on her hands because she’s not hanging out with Alan Tudyk since discovering he tried to mind wipe her memory of killing a bad guy to save Tudyk. Tomko’s got a fantastic arc this episode, involving an old friend who knows nothing about her secrets, Bowen, an old friend who knows some of the secrets but not the alien one, Alice Wetterlund, and the dad who knows it all, Gary Farmer. It’s lovely, with some great work from Tomko and Farmer.
Wetterlund then also gets her own character development arc. As she makes life changes for her (offscreen) boyfriend, it turns out she might not have gotten the skiing bug entirely out of her system.
Meanwhile, Tudyk’s got a combination comedy and character development arc with kid Judah Prehn. Prehn and best friend Gracelyn Awad Rinke have a big secret: Rinke’s fostering the alien baby, now in human form, played by Kesler Talbot. Tudyk’s looking for the baby and enlists Prehn’s aid. It’s a funny arc, which also ties into Prehn’s parents, Levi Fiedler and Meredith Garretson, and their arc.
Not a lot for Rinke to do this episode, but fantastic when she gets material. Also outstanding are Diana Bang and Jenna Lamia, who both get a spotlight scene.
The script’s credited to Zach Cannon, his first writing credit on the show. It’s a really good script. Nice direction from Warren P. Sonoda. Some great Tudyk scenes, too, obviously. The episode’s exceptionally well-balanced.
Just got two or three too many bland country pop songs in it.
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