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Photo: James Dittiger/SYFY

Television

‘Resident Alien’ season 2 episode 4 review: A severe lack of trust

On tonight’s Resident Alien, Asta questions if Harry really is building a radio to contact his people.

Previously on Resident Alien, Harry seduced the cousin of the mayor’s wife in order to gain access to her lab and take a part he needed for an interstellar communicator. While he busies himself creating a radio, his past actions have more than a few worried that he’s not being totally honest with what he is building.

Sahar is the first to express her reservations about Harry and believes he has renewed his efforts to destroy the planet by making a bomb. She takes her concerns to Asta, who then keeps a closer eye on her extraterrestrial friend. Some of the better parts of Resident Alien has been watching the main character not only become more empathetic to humanity but also how his friendship with Asta influences and guides his perspective.

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That’s why it’s disappointing to see where the two are now. Lost is the endearing platonic relationship they shared which is replaced by a stereotypical old married couple dynamic. Harry is obviously an idiot and has a warped view on making things right but Asta’s reactions come off as annoying and naggy. Sure, there are large stakes involved including the existence of mankind but you don’t feel the charm between them right now. Rather than feeling the love Harry has for his friend, he has to say it. Ever since their showdown with the bathtub and toaster things haven’t felt off.

It is interesting to see the one place Harry enjoys in is the reservation with Asta’s family. He finds comfort in the community and believes it is a more positive example of what humans can be. He even connects with a fellow lost spirit in one of the black sheep cousins when they share a sense that they belong somewhere else. After spending the episode building the bonds of family and history, Resident Alien makes the odd choice of having Asta turning to her ex-husband after an argument with Harry. It seems more to manufacture drama than anything else.

resident alien 2.4.2
Photo: James Dittiger/SYFY

Another aspect that makes the series enjoyable is the assortment of residence in Patience. Having been introduced to many of them already, this second season is exploring their personal sides more including the mayor and his wife, Sheriff Mike Thompson, and D’Arcy.

The problem is that the story goes out of its way into these separate character dives and it feels forced. If it occurred naturally within the main narrative I wouldn’t mind, but this way makes those parts seem as a different show entirely. Also, they aren’t entirely original from the mayor’s marital problems to D’Arcy’s parents wanting her to grow up. Though, Alice Wetterlund’s performance does keep things somewhat engaging on how much of a hot mess D’Arcy is and how her self sabotage prevents her from being happy. In addition, it’s a nice slow burn looking into the sheriff’s tragic past.

There are intriguing developments that are introduced in “Radio Harry.” Despite our resident alien’s mind wiping techniques, Deputy Liv is beginning to question her own memories. If anyone has the skills to find out the truth, it’s her. Then, we also catch up with General McCallister and the missing Doctor Stone. The scenes further develop how cruel the general can be but also how personally obsessed she is in finding alien life to almost an Ahab-esque degree. The suspenseful cat-and-mouse game begins now that she’s getting closer to Harry.

The interesting developments of the main alien narrative are unable to compensate for a deteriorating relationship between Harry and Asta and forced subplots into the other characters’ personal sides.

New episodes of Resident Alien air Wednesday nights on Syfy.

resident alien 2.4.1
Resident Alien S 2 E 4 Review: 'Radio Harry'
The interesting developments of the main alien narrative are unable to compensate for a deteriorating relationship between Harry and Asta and forced subplots into the other characters’ personal sides.
Reader Rating0 Votes
0
Alice Wetterlund's performance as D'arcy makes up for the weak writing for her character.
Reveals regarding Deputy Liv and General McCallister keep things interesting.
The once endearing relationship between Harry and Asta has morphed into a annoyingly stereotypical old married couple.
The character deep dive subplots seem forced and aren't always original.
6
Average

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