Resident Alien Season 3 Episode 2 Review: The Upper Hand



If you wondered how well change would fare for our favorite earth-bound alien, by the end of Resident Alien Season 3 Episode 2, it’s clear there was nothing to fear.


Cast members change, and storylines evolve, but Harry Vanderspeigel remains the same. His inner reflections often betray his actions, much to our enjoyment.


The other Patience residents are also in self-discovery mode, which has given new life to the series, which is now in its third season. That’s not always an easy accomplishment, but Chris Sheridan does it with ease.


How Does More People Knowing Harry’s Secret Impact the Story?


Early in the series, Harry spent a good portion of his time learning to live as a human (dun dun!). The rest of his time was devoted to dispelling any creeping notions of humanity while keeping his origins a secret.


Thankfully, Harry continues to push back against his mental human evolution as doing so results in some of the show’s funnier moments.


If Resident Alien Season 1 had his identity relatively contained to Asta and Max, now, he’s got unexpected help in his endeavors coming from all directions.


It opens up entirely new avenues of storytelling, and it allows Harry to play with his emerging emotions, which just wasn’t possible when he was working so hard to remain in the shadows.


It was inevitable that D’Arcy would find out who he really was, but we couldn’t have predicted how easy it was for her to get on board with an alien friendship. She trusts Asta fully, and if Asta trusts Harry, so does D’Arcy. She’s also eager to get involved in saving the world.


Granted, part of that is so she can keep an eye on Asta’s heart, a treasure too great for her to lose. If that means sticking by Harry’s side, she will work like glue.


Harry and D’Arcy working together went off without a hitch. They’re really a lot alike, both exploring new facets of themselves they never knew existed. It was helpful for her to get a feel for him and how he operates, even if they landed in a well-placed trap.

D’Arcy: You gotta do something. You’re an alien. I just watched you climb a wall. Don’t you have any other special powers? Even ET could levitate toys and shit.
Harry: He is so special! ET could fly a bicycle! ET had a flashlight for a finger! Do you know what it is like to be constantly compared to that waddling sex doll?


Of course, the General also knows about Harry, although I’m still not sure why she’s a part of the story. She’s one of the few characters who has actual alien experience, but she still feels shoehorned into the conversation.


The smidgeon of Harry in his own version of Severance could have brought her more fully into the picture, but it seems like that was a one-off just for our entertainment. Linda Hamilton needs more to do here, so let’s hope she’s got more than one scene an episode in her future.


Of course, Dan also knows about Harry, and nothing that happens in Patience surprises him in the least, making him an excellent ally and adding another layer of protection to Asta as she steps up her part in stopping Earth’s destruction.

Joseph: You have no idea what you’re dealing with.
Dan: Oh, no. You’re an alien? You think I give a shit? You can’t swing a dead cat in this town without hittin’ an alien.


Joseph’s Place in the Scheme of Things


Enver Gjokaj’s Joseph Rainier is not shoehorned in at all, and his inclusion brings something special to Resident Alien — an actual enemy that gives the gang somewhere to focus their energy. And my goodness, Has Gjokaj aged incredibly well or what? A little Patience eye candy never hurt anyone.


Of course, Joseph isn’t your classic foe. He’s not even a full alien, and Harry reminds himself of it often, to his great joy. He acts like he’s got it all going on, but he’s got a lot to learn. He could start by watching TV.

What’s the alien word for screw-up? Or is it just Joseph?

Asta


Asta’s reveal about Harry’s personal life and overlord please my GenX heart. Robin Williams would be so happy to know that Mork’s story fooled a human-alien hybrid.


Harry’s very human love of pizza got him and D’Arcy into quite a pickle. If he could have enjoyed the pizza without pepper flakes, they’d have been just fine. But, as he says, humans are so stupid. Surely, that’s the side that keeps getting him into these predicaments, right? (Likely wrong.)

Oh no! The pizza’s outside the trap!

Harry


Joesph’s trap was rigged with a plain old electrical plug, which showed he wasn’t as brilliant as he’d like us to think. But it allowed Max to save the day, and the kid needed a break.


Who is Max Without Sahar?


Gracelyn Awad Rinke, who plays Sahar, had to leave the show due to a scheduling conflict. From what I understand, she’ll return, but in the meantime, who is Max without her?


The kid is struggling. He’s made new friends, and they’ve managed to make his relatively dumb ass look smart. Without Sahar, Max Hawthorne seems more childlike. Sahar gave him confidence that his alien tracker taser just doesn’t provide.


Still, he managed to save the day, and the look of relief on his face when Harry offered up another alien for his two friends (so uninteresting that recalling their names seems worthless) spoke volumes.


His parents need to get it together. Harry cannot raise the kid himself, but that’s how it feels.


Ben, Kate, and the Yellowstone Connection


Ben and Kate have a little SurrealEstate-type issue with their home. Not only are aliens frequently abducting them from their place of comfort and safety, but there are literal bodies buried in the basement.


As memories begin flooding their minds, it’s no wonder Kate wanted out of there. As it turns out, the idea of selling with Judy leading the charge was more frightening than aliens and spirits.


Pulling back on the idea of a sale, the couple decided a getaway to Paris Yellowstone might do the trick. But is that where their abduction story really began?


It can’t be a coincidence that we saw the little girl and her snow globe in the opening scene. But it could merely point to Ben’s repressed memory of seeing the snow globe during his time on the ship.


I understand that Earth is at stake and Harry is still learning to have feelings, but watching him interrogate a terrified, albeit hypnotized Ben was super unpleasant. Not many things make me bristle, but Levi Fiehler nailed that emotionally. It was gutwrenching.


Harry has to circle back and remove that alien tracker in Ben’s foot, though. Let’s see his heart grow a few sizes to expand beyond his love for Asta. He’s learned enough to know that what he witnessed while Ben was under was incredibly painful, and he should do what he can to help.


Maybe the only connection to Yellowstone is that once there, his memories will come flooding back. Whatever it is, it is brimming with possibility.


Mike’s Relationship Woes


Mike’s relationship woes don’t pertain much to the overall story arc this season, but it does fit in with the theme of testing your boundaries and growing beyond them.

Is it too much to ask for to find an independent woman who only does what I want?

Mike


Everyone is in a much different place than they were when the show began and even through Resident Alien Season 2. If they keep challenging themselves and learning from their mistakes, this show will continue to evolve.


Tossing Torres to the curb to sleep with Judy is going backward for Mike, but as they consistently deliver some of the best Resident Alien quotes, I won’t lose sleep over his stupidity!


Drop any theories, favorite moments, or other comments down below. I see you!!

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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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