Resident Alien: 1.09 Welcome Aliens
An alien walks into an alien convention...
It's a concept that is so good, it can write itself. There were moments of humour as Asta accompanied Harry to a convention in search of an abducted with a chip in their body he could steal and use to reprogram his device. Cult TV icon Terry O'Quinn always puts in a good show and I liked his alien hunter, whose unborn child was abducted by aliens thirty year ago, turning the tables on Harry after he saw his true identity. There were some interesting tidbits about other alien races too. The Greys, it seems, are jerks, who will abduct babies and traumatise the population of Earth. While we were given a running commentary on a whole variety of different species but interestingly, Harry's was not among them.
Sadly though, it wasn't an idea that fully lived up to its premise. There was the potential for some truly meta commentary, but it was all mostly flat. Like the naff costumes, the juxtaposition of a real alien among fakes ones never really went anywhere and the characters Harry and Asta encountered didn't offer much humour. The best moments of the episode occurred before the convention, where Asta discovered the octopus tentacle growing from his leg and Harry received a 'friendly' visit from Max and Sahar.
"Why do they call them men in black?
Because it's cooler than calling them people in clothes."
I adore Gracelyn Awad Rinke's performance and in her one brief scene, she absolutely stole the show. Every line had the perfect mix of attitude and comic timing; she really needs a more prominent roles moving forward. Likewise for Judah Prehn, who's role as Harry's adversary Max has kind of fizzled out as of late. Having formed a truce with Harry, Max found a new opponent in Lisa Castle, using his stealth web cam to capture footage of the psychotic government agent stealing the alien technology from his bedroom. Honestly, these kids have more wit, charisma and intuition than most of the adults in the show!
Talking of which, I'm finding Max's father, the mayor, a real bore now. Perhaps that's the point (see candle making) but there's little of interest in his scenes. Surprisingly, I actually enjoyed a scene with the sheriff as he finally admitted that Liv was right. Admitting he needed her through (a very impressive) karaoke rendition of The Wind Beneath My Wings was superb. It will still take a lot more for me to like him though.
Poor D'Arcy struggled this week. First, her heroics on the ice last week went largely unnoticed, then Asta lied to her in order to protect Harry and then she discovered the real Harry dead in the freezer in the cabin. Will she get pulled into Harry's secret? Will she die? The thing that I like most about Resident Alien is that I don't know what to expect next. Will the show go for hilarity or darkness? Will humanity be wiped out? Probably not, given that the show was recently picked up for a second season.
After the dramatic events of last week, Welcome Aliens definitely felt like a stumble. The humour didn't always hit the mark and the focus on characters such as the mayor and his family wasn't that engaging. I'm hoping that Resident Alien will come back strong in its finale, preferably with plenty of laughs.