blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Resident Alien (2019) s02e15 – Best of Enemies

There’s only one more episode this season, so I guess some of the subplot resolutions make more sense now. For some reason, I thought there were two more episodes. This episode does Capricorn for the first time, and it’s rather disappointing. One of the season’s subplots turns out to just be busywork for a couple of the supporting cast members.

Besides that failed scene, which comes right at the end, so it stands out, the episode’s successful. There’s nice character development for both Alan Tudyk and Sara Tomko. Tudyk’s got an unexpected partner while Tomko’s got an unwanted house guest; Alice Wetterlund detoxed at Tomko’s and has been hanging out with Gary Farmer all week. That Capricorn—Farmer, Tomko, Wetterlund—it’s all good.

The episode opens with another flashback, this time to New York City almost thirty years before, which sets up part of Tudyk’s adventure for the episode. He’s got an action episode, which “Alien” doesn’t often do, and he spends most of the episode in his alien form (or at least a significant portion of it), something else “Alien” hasn’t done for a while. It’s a special effects extravaganza, ably directed by Robert Duncan McNeill. I was happy to see McNeill’s name on the director credit, but it’s going to be hard to forget the bungled Capricorn going forward. It’s the first time I remember “Alien” getting tedious, other than when they do too much country rock for the montages.

Corey Reynolds and Elizabeth Bowen both get a little to do—at least one fantastic one-liner from Reynolds—but they’re mostly just treading water; Bowen’s worried because special guest star Terry O’Quinn disappeared, Reynolds is preoccupied with a potential romantic partner and mayor Levi Fiehler’s stress-induced insomnia. Fiehler’s upset because wife Meredith Garretson is lawyering against his resort plans, leading to various people talking about his childhood sleepwalking.

That childhood sleepwalking is almost indistinguishable from the alien abduction flashback details, which seems like the show’s making a big swing regarding Fiehler.

Or not, apparently. It’s just some filler; give the town supporting cast something to do while Wetterlund’s hiding out with Tomko and Farmer. Tomko’s ready for Wetterlund to go, Farmer wants to keep playing PS4 with her. Tudyk going on a dangerous adventure upends things.

There’s good acting from Tudyk, Tomko, Farmer, O’Quinn. Wetterlund doesn’t get much to do, mainly playing for laughs, including teaming up with Jenna Lamia for a scene or two.

Big things happen, nothing will ever be the same, and it’s no wonder the show got renewed for another season, based on the foreshadowing. As long as they can keep the saccharine out, it’ll be just fine.

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