It could have been Harry’s visit to the reservation and the community he experienced along with delivering a baby, but this week’s Resident Alien, continues to explore loved ones. Whether they are connected by blood or people we’ve found along the way in this journey called life, those closes to us influence our choices and help instill a feeling of acceptance and belonging.
Various emotions are stirred up in our lead character when the real Dr. Vanderspeigle’s teenage daughter, Liza, pays good ol’ dad a visit. If you can’t tell by her dyed hair and nose piercing, she’s a free spirit and rebel. Though Harry spends much of the time keeping up appearances towards one of the few people that can out him, he also learns some more important lessons.
Tudyk comes in with an entertaining yet awkward comedic performance in Harry’s attempts to reconnect with his daughter. It’s well intentioned but sometimes either a little too late, such as tea parties and doing nails, or too overbearing including the proper way to use a condom. It’s a conventional progression beginning with hostility and ending with an endearing reconciliation.
Being a parent is difficult but the real Vanderspeigle set a low bar so merely being there is enough for Harry win over Liza. The story is short and sweet in contrast to Harry’s ex-wife arc in the first season of Resident Alien and they left on even better terms so it’s not unthinkable that Liza might come back to Patience for a visit.
More importantly, Harry reevaluates his life and what he is searching for after his daughter’s visit. He struggles with contacting the phone number he received. Seeing how Liza’s visit raised his spirits, he too wants to seek out “family,” or someone like him. That’s part of the reason why he sprung the octopus from the sushi restaurant. He is cautious since it may be a trap, but he fears that he’s become too human and he might be rejected.
However, the chance to speak with someone who can relate to his alien side far outweighs the dangers of contacting the number. Harry does plenty of questionable things on the show but it’s difficult not to sympathize with his loneliness and isolation.
This week’s Resident Alien does a better job interweaving the other characters’ personal stories into the main narrative. The dive into the sheriff’s tragic past ties into the missing memory into the Vanderspeigle murder investigation. We gain more insight into how he became so guarded and how Cletus came into his life. The dog might be a great companion but is also a painful reminder of the past. At least Sheriff Mike stops being hard headed and seeks help but it only warps his memories even more.
Elsewhere, things finally come to a boil between BFFs. All of the tension and jealousy building up inside Asta because of D’arcy’s closeness to Jay comes out. The drama unfolds over a chili pepper eating contest during the Family Day festival. Friends fight but the true test is being able to make up. The argument only further solidifies how close the two are, maybe even sisterly, with D’arcy’s sacrifice to help an Asta in need. Plus, tides to could be changing with Jay cheering her biological mom on during the competition.
In the longer overarching plot, the episode of Resident Alien develops the intrigue moving forward. It will be curious to see what happens when Harry heads to New York hoping to find one of his people. We already know it’s a trap set by General McCallister and what will that do to his level of trust. Also, Lieutenant Logan is still out there doing sketchy hacking things and what is he planning, especially now he has his hands on some alien tech.
In “Family Day,” Harry’s unexpected visitor brings out a softer, more relatable side of the lead as he wrestles with the universal anxiety of loneliness and isolation. In addition, the side stories of the other characters reinforce the themes surrounding the bonds with loved ones.
New episodes of Resident Alien air Wednesday nights on Syfy.
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