Resident Alien: 1.10 Heroes of Patience
"I can't kill everyone on Earth with an empty stomach."
It was never a case of if Harry would active the device that would wipe out eight billion humans, more a how would humanity get out of their predicament once he did. In the season one finale of Resident Alien, the answer was what we all expected. Harry's five months on Earth had made him more human than he would ever have cared to admit.
Heroes of Patience was a solidly entertaining episode that raised the stakes significantly while still maintaining the humour. The countdown to Harry activating the device saw him battling with his emerging humanity. From talking to the animated corpse of the real Harry, to embracing the joys of springtime, to deciding he needed pizza before completing his mission, Alan Tudyk perfectly captured the battle raging within; his offbeat observations from his time of Earth have always provided the biggest laughs and that continued here. Interestingly, the reveal that the real Harry killed Sam only heightened the murder mystery element running through the show, while helping to sympathise with his alien doppelganger. Yes, Harry was murdered in his own home, but as the voiceover notes, it was karma.
Of course, Harry did activate the device, once Asta had broken his heart and told him they weren't friends, It took a while for Asta to realise what was happening; D'Arcy discovering the real Harry's body in the freezer revealed the truth of what her Harry had done in the worst possible way. If Alan Tudyk is the humorous heart of the show, Sara Tomko's Asta is its very human soul and she did great work battling with the betrayal. As for D'Arcy, I really felt for her this episode. With discovering Harry was in fact alive and then no one believing her claim of the body in the freezer (Harry had cunningly removed it, before testing out the alien device to erase it later on), she was truly alone. Asta was hiding Harry's secret and a drunken attempt to kiss old flame Ben backfired spectacularly. Alice Wetterlund manages to make D'Arcy likeable despite her destructive qualities and you really felt her despair over the course of the finale. At least she got a chance to bond with Asta's daughter Jay in an amusing take down of Jay's dad Jimmy.
Outside of Harry's mission, Heroes of Patience also spent time fleshing out the rest of the cast. For the second episode in a row, Sheriff Mike wasn't completely irritating. He's not funny, but I like his newfound respect and bond with Deputy Liv over the course of the episode. Similarly, I have found Ben and Kate a rather bland couple, but their violent, passionate attack on Lisa and David was spectacular. I would really have liked to have seen Lisa get her comeuppance, preferably at the hands of David who found himself almost killed by her. And poor Ethan, who found himself captured by General Eleanor Wright (the always terrific Linda Hamilton) after the military captured the wrong town doctor suspected of being an alien. There are some intriguing narrayive threads lined up for season two.
I am also convinced that Gracelyn Awad Rinke is Resident Alien's secret weapon. She stole every scene she was in as Sahar and I really hope she has a bigger role to play in season two.
But the core of the show has always been Harry's relationship with Asta and Mike and that came to a head in the final act, as they rushed to stop him killing everyone on Earth. Harry saving them from their military captors and revealing his true alien self was a lovely moment; it was the moment Asta hugged Harry and revealed they were still friends that finally turned away from his mission. Unfortunately, his departure from Earth offered a fresh surprise in the stowaway onboard, making for a humours cliff-hanger to the season.
Heroes of Patience was a fun, dramatic finale that allowed Alan Tudyk some final moments of witty observations before going full badass on the military and saving Earth to save his friend. Coupled with some enjoyable character development elsewhere, this could have served as a solid end to the show (the fates of Ethan and Mike aside). But I am glad the show is coming back for more. It's not the funniest show on television and the supporting cast aren't always as strong as the lead, but it is very entertaining. We need more Harry in our lives - and those wonderful title sequences. They always start the show with a laugh and I'm ready for more observations from Harry Vanderspeigle.