If “Resident Alien” keeps bringing Sarah Podemski back as a regular recurring, she needs to have some kind of name credit. Podemski plays Kayla, one of Sara Tommy’s cousins (or not); regardless, they’re both Native and interested in historical and cultural preservation, which is why Podemski’s important to Meredith Garretson’s new subplot. She and husband Levi Fiehler are at odds over the new resort, and he’s putting his foot down in a macho display, impressing no one.
Podemski figures in late in the episode, after the action moves to Alice Wetterlund’s skiing qualifier. She’s been getting antsy since last episode, taking too many painkillers, and being crappy to new boyfriend Justin Rain. She’s running low on painkillers and wants Alan Tudyk to give her injections at the race. Tudyk doesn’t want to help her, but she threatens not to give him churros, so he agrees.
But before Tudyk can juice Wetterlund before a competition, he and Sara Tomko have to go track down her mother, whose address appears in a first act deus ex machina for that very back-burnered subplot.
Then Elizabeth Bowen’s trying to get Corey Reynolds to stay in small mountain town Colorado and not move back to Washington D.C., even though he hasn’t asked dad Alvin Sanders for permission.
The main plot is Wetterlund’s competition, with Tomko’s parenting arc the main subplot. It ties into Tudyk’s newly revealed backstory subplot, which the episode otherwise ignores—intentionally, Tudyk’s not interested in it, not when he still doesn’t know the identity of the invading aliens. Garretson’s continuing problems with Fiehler (who’s more amusing when he’s unsympathetic, which I’d forgotten) and Reynolds’s moving plans pack the rest of the episode. It’s very full. There are at least two subplots the show’s ignoring this episode.
There’s also a big-name guest star in the opening titles. If you miss the credit, it’s a fantastic surprise; the scene’s set up on at least two layers, to be a surprise, so foreshadowing with the credit’s too bad. But even if you see the credit and are waiting for someone to arrive… it’s still awesome.
Some great acting from Tudyk, Reynolds, and Tomko. Gary Farmer’s got a devastating moment or two. Wetterlund does okay; it’s not an easy part this episode because she’s being self-destructive. Garretson’s better when Fiehler’s being a twerp too.
It’s not what I was expecting—“Alien” introduced a bombshell at the end of the last episode, didn’t do anything with it, and dropped another one here. They’ve got three episodes left, which might be enough to resolve some things, but they’ll have to get moving.
Thank goodness they’ve got the third season renewal already.