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Photo: James Dittinger/SYFY

Television

‘Resident Alien’ episode 3 review: ‘Secrets’

The authorities are close to finding the body of the real Dr. Vanderspeigle.

When we last left Resident Alien, Harry continues to terrorize the mayor’s son since he is the only one to see his true form. The good doctor also makes some progress in finding his destructive device that has some cool anti-gravity properties but it seems as though someone may have beaten him to the punch. Elsewhere, Asta finally comes to terms with the death of Harry’s predecessor and is ready to move on.

The series effectively uses our Vanderspeigle as a device to explore various human emotions and feelings and how to process them. On the previous episode, he exhibits compassion in comforting Asta during her loss. Here, he wrestles with stress and fear. Harry spreads himself too thin with working at the clinic, locating his device, and now, finding his real counterpart. He never retrieved the original Harry’s body from out of the lake after he killed him. After a fisherman finds a foot, Sheriff Thompson is hell bent on finding the rest of him.

The mounting pressure takes its toll on Harry and he suffers from bouts of insomnia. It’s odd so far that no one in Patience gives him more than a weird look for his weird behavior. While frazzled, his peculiar behavior ratchets up significantly but still no one calls him out on it. “Secrets” does a good job of conveying this tenseness throughout.

The humor is a bit mixed in this episode of Resident Alien. The Max/Harry relationship still doesn’t resonate and it resorts to a puerile back and forth exchange on Max’s way to school. That’s not to say all the low brow comedy doesn’t hit since there are some of the funniest bits all season. The mere sound effects of Harry avoiding Max’s mom at his home is hilarious and he finds a creative way to obtain a tissue sample on the found foot to lead the authorities off his track.

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Photo: James Dittinger/SYFY

We also explore some of the characters a bit more. Max’s story is to generate sympathy seeing his school life and the bullying he endures. At least he gains a valuable ally in uncovering Harry’s alien origins. The dive into Asta is more effective and provides many of the emotional beats. There’s a tear-jerking reveal regarding her link to Jay, the teen volunteer at the clinic. It is totally unexpected and makes Asta so much more compelling.  

“Secrets” also ties in to some of the overarching stories. There is progress in the murder investigation with regards to a possible motive. Then, we revisit the pair that discovered Harry’s device and they may not have scrupulous intentions. However, these breadcrumbs aren’t so obvious, especially for the murder, and they might not be leading you where you should be going if you’re not paying attention.

One shortcoming early on in Resident Alien, is they don’t capitalize on the cliffhanger endings. There’s no progress with the murder in the premiere until now and there’s only a brief scene involving these dark figures looking into Harry’s crash. The burn regarding these plot points may be a bit too slow and the momentum from previous episodes is lost.  

Though the overarching stories experience pacing issues, “Secrets” captures the stress and fear Harry is feeling and benefits from the emotional beats provided by Asta.

New episodes of Resident Alien air Wednesday nights on Syfy.

resident alien 1.1
Resident Alien E 3: 'Secrets'
Though the overarching stories experience pacing issues, “Secrets” captures the stress and fear Harry is feeling and benefits from the emotional beats provided by Asta.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Some of the best comedic scenes this season.
Moving flashback of Asta and Jay.
The burn for the overarching stories is a bit too slow.
7
Good

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