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Photo: James Dittinger/SYFY

Television

‘Resident Alien’ episode 4 review: ‘Birds of a Feather’

Harry doesn’t want to feel alone.

Last week on Resident Alien, Harry became familiar with the feelings of stress and fear as the local authorities search the lake for a dead body that happens to be the real Dr. Vanderspeigel. It’s a race to retrieve the corpse and one that Harry luckily wins. Elsewhere, Max finds a new friend to help reveal Harry’s secret to the town and Asta finds a possible motive behind the murder of her friend, Dr. Sam Hodges, while hitting up a high school rager.

Harry is settling right in in Patience as we open with an amusing Cheers theme accompanied montage of our resident alien greeted by the town in his natural form. You realize it’s all a dream when he obtains his doomsday device in the mail and it goes off evaporating all humans. Despite the mislead, the opening does play with Harry’s longing for companionship and sense of belonging.

In order to clear the air with Max, his parents invite Harry over for dinner so the two can become more familiar with each other. During the meal Sahar steals and makes a copy of Harry’s house keys so they can snoop around his home next time he’s away. There’s some great character work here as we receive a better introduction to Max’s new friend. She’s bright, plucky, and filled with attitude. Deputy Sheriff Baker can attest to the latter during their interaction in the store.

In addition, Alice Wetterlund’s D’arcy brings the drunken hot mess as Harry’s date. She spends the evening reminiscing of her and the Mayor’s romantic history creating one of the most excruciatingly awkward but comical dinners. The bartender also serves as someone that Harry can connect to on a more intimate level when they share a just as awkward first kiss resulting in the alien’s first erection.

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Photo: James Dittinger/SYFY

Though not dinner related, we also explore Sheriff Deputy Baker a bit and her situation. Already a warm and amiable character, Liv becomes more sympathetic when we see her struggles to be heard and respected by her boss. Her brief scene in the bar with D’arcy gives so much insight into her character and we see her more than Sheriff Thompson’s sidekick.

The other place Harry witnesses close human bonding is out on the reservation where he helps treat Asta’s grandmother. He is taken back by the kind and inviting welcoming he receives and the overall family dynamic. He does ruin the good vibes though when he reveals Asta’s secret about Jay.

One part of Vanderspeigel I don’t like at times is his overly eccentric behavior. For all the time he’s been spending with humans, you would think that he would make adjustments to fit in better. His social awkwardness is too over the top – not in the good Sheriff Thompson way – that it can bring things to an abrupt halt.

I’m sure that’s the intended purpose like with the Jay reveal but it can disrupt the natural flow of the scene. How does he not get beat down over all his inappropriateness.? It’s odd that when around others he’s so weird but in his inner monologues he comes off as a normal person. At least as normal as someone who wants to kill all mankind can be.

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Photo by: James Dittinger/SYFY

Usually, I’ve enjoyed the emotional beats with Asta but in this episode of Resident Alien, I felt the scenes with her father following the news about her daughter are overdramatic and don’t carry as much weight. During her reconciliation with the good doctor, we’re treated to our first tidbit on Harry’s life pre-Earth. In just a few lines we see how lost he felt after losing a loved one and the desperation he encountered that he takes up his mission.

Harry can’t rest on his laurels because there are so many people out to get him. Max and Sahar make some discoveries in his home. Also, he has a very close meeting with the government officials after him. It all builds to a shocking cliffhanger that creates more anticipation for next week’s episode.

“Birds of a Feather” can be a bit overdramatic and highlights how Harry can get in the way of show at times. Though, it does some great character work with other residents of Patience and ends with the main character in a wild predicament.

New episodes of Resident Alien air Wednesday nights on Syfy.

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Resident Alien E 4: 'Birds of a Feather'
“Birds of a Feather” can be a bit overdramatic and highlights how Harry can get in the way of show at times. Though, it does some great character work with other residents of Patience and ends with the main character in a wild predicament.
Reader Rating1 Vote
7.7
Sahar and Sheriff Deputy Liv receive moments of good character development.
The wild cliffhanger that Harry finds himself in.
Harry's inappropriateness can disrupt the flow of scenes.
Asta's storyline is over dramatic.
7
Good

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