Resident Alien: 1.02 Homesick
"All beings in the universe are different. My people, for instance, are brilliant. Humans, on the other hand, are so dumb that they think the leading cause of death is heart disease. It's not. It's almond milk."
Resident Alien's second episode opens with a very dumb human doing what so many dumb humans have done; taking a selfie on the edge of a very perilous cliff and then accidentally plummeting to his death. Only, there's more to this than Alan Tudyk's droll satire on human stupidity. The man falls, not to his death, but landing mid air on top of what we presume to be Harry's missing craft.
The series lives and dies by its central premise; the ability of Alan Tudyk's alien Harry's observations of human life. The second episode really embraces this concept, digging deeper into what makes humans tick. Through the people he interacts with, Harry experiences a whole host of human emotions; grief, anxiety loneliness and fear. While the pilot had a lot of scene setting to do, this week's episode gets straight down to business and it's all the funnier for it.
Homesick mines the concept of Harry's first day on the job as a local doctor, learning his trade through the Internet, from the awkward (a pelvic exam) to the sensitive (he almost gets away with helping a woman with a potential cancer diagnosis). Tudyk's charm carries through the sometimes crude humour and excels on the more OTT moments, not least his attempts to murder eight year old Max.
Some of the best moments of the episode concerning Max and Harry's 'conflict.' Judah Prehn is an absolute delight, particularly when he overcomes his fear and faces off against Harry. The stitches scene certainlt elicited the most laughs.
The trouble with Resident Alien so far is that the rest of the cast aren't as memorable, outside of Sara Tomko as Ava. The pilot introduced a strong dynamic between the two that felt largely sidelined this episode in favour or Ava's personal exploration of grief. Fortunately, Tomko carried the sub plot, as she said goodbye to the Doctor that had supported her her whole life.
I liked the performances from the rest of the cast, though I still think the characters need more development to make them really engaging. Corey Reynolds' sheriff is still very annoyingly antagonistic, though there was a great incident with a bowling ball that I am sure was satisfying to many viewers.
Resident Alien has charm, humour, a unravelling mystery and a quirky central performance from Tudyk but I'm not convinced the show will go beyond enjoyable fare. But not all shows need to herald the golden age of television. As long as it manages the laughs, this could be a really fun show.