'Resident Alien' 1.03 Review: Secrets

In 'Secrets,' Harry begins to succumb to some of the anxieties of pretending to be human, while hiding his alien identity more fiercely than ever.

Harry Vanderspiegle (Alan Tudyk) menaces Max Hawthorne (Judah Prehn), the only person in town who can see his true form.
(Image: © Syfy)

What to Watch Verdict

Diving more deeply into the lives of Asta and D'Arcy, the show begins to expand its dramatic circle to encompass more of the townspeople.


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    👽 Watching Harry (Alan Tudyk) call a little kid "dickhead" is a great moment of pettiness.

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    👽 Sara Tomko continues to be the heart of this show, processing a troubled history we don't yet fully know.


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    👽 Sheriff Thompson is threatening to become one-note, though his announcement that a serial killer is on the loose is hilariously misguided.

This post contains spoilers for Resident Alien.
Check out our last review here. 

At the end of the last Resident Alien episode, “Homecoming,” a pair of snowmobilers made the unsettling discovery of a frozen corpse (and two unlucky birds) hovering in the air over Harry’s invisible spaceship. As “Secrets,” opens, Harry (Alan Tudyk) rationalizes his “one mistake:” killing the real Harry Vanderspiegle and throwing his body into the frozen lake behind his cabin. (One might argue that losing his ship, and the doomsday device he was ordered to deploy against Earth, were additional screw-ups, but far be it for us to kick a cranky, displaced alien when he’s down.) But before he can find his human counterpart’s body, a local fisherman recovers a foot — although it’s too early to know who it belongs to.

After a restless night of googling medical procedures in lieu of sleep, Harry sets out early to search for lost pieces of his ship. Before he can recover one, D’Arcy (Alice Wetterlund) and a companion stage a controlled explosion of the snow bluffs above him, not realizing he’s down there, much less covering up all of his digging. As Harry laments this setback, Kate Hawthorne (Meredith Garretson), Ben’s wife, shows up at the door of his cabin seeking answers about her son; he’s surprised to learn that she thinks their son (and Harry’s pint-sized nemesis) Max (Judah Prehn) is lying about his real identity and the fact that he stole into Max’s room and tried to kill him. After sending her away, Harry hunts down Max to antagonize him (watching an adult alien bicker with a kid after calling him “dickhead” is pretty funny) and then head into the office to see clients as town doctor.

Unfortunately for him, Deputy Sherriff Liv Baker (Elizabeth Bowen) asks him to come to town hall because a body was recovered in the lake. The townspeople gather to get a look at the body — actually only a foot, which D’Arcy is inexplicably eager to touch — and Sherriff Thompson (Corey Reynolds) exacerbates panic by suggesting that the doctor’s death, which set in motion Harry’s involvement in the town, evidences the presence of a serial killer. Harry realizes he needs to intervene before they send that foot off for DNA testing, exposing him as a fake, and possibly, an alien, so he absconds with it to compare to his own. Ramping up his determination that there’s a serial killer on the loose, Sherriff Thompson asks Harry to get a tissue sample off of the foot, so Harry decides that he will circumcise his next patient — a baby — and give the skin as the sample.

Meanwhile, Max is feeling alienated at school for advocating his “Harry is an alien” theories, but connects with a Muslim classmate, Sahar (Gracelyn Awad Rinke) who gets bullied by other kids. Then during lunch, his mom, also a teacher, tries to sit with him, but she embarrasses him in front of the school and he runs her off. As he sulks, Sarah returns the favor in the lunchroom by sitting with him, telling Max she believes his theory about Harry.

Thompson later leads a party by Harry’s cabin to search the lake for the rest of the body. D’Arcy picks up Asta (Sara Tomko) from the doctor’s office and they set up a tailgate party to watch the authorities drag the lake. Although both of them were able to get out of Patience, the town somehow drew them back, reuniting all of the people they went to school with, and rekindling all of the memories (good and bad) that prompted them to leave in the first place. As Harry waits for the results from the Sherriff’s search, he remembers the four-month period before he began to acclimate himself to the ways of humans, frightening a local cowboy named Roy (Brent Stait) and “fearlessly making bold fashion choices” like wearing his hat. But while the search party is still combing the lake, the human Harry’s body washes up on shore, with only alien Harry and a police dog there to see it. He successfully drags the body inside his cabin without anyone seeing him, but Asta and D’Arcy show up to use his bathroom.

After their “date” in the previous episode, D’Arcy still harbors feelings for Harry, but Asta shuffles her out so they can go to a party being thrown by one of D’Arcy’s exes. Unfortunately, they quickly realize they’ve gone to a high school party where they are by far the oldest guests, and they find Jay (Kaylayla Raine), a student who works at the doctor’s office. They give Jay a ride home, and Asta remembers when she gave up her own daughter for adoption — and it’s Jay. When she gets home to her father Dan’s (Gary Farmer) house, she breaks down worrying that giving up her daughter for adoption was a mistake; Dan tells her that their bond cannot be broken and it will bring them back together again. The next morning, she and Harry run into each other at the diner, where Max and Sahar are monitoring him, threatening to expose his secret.  

Meanwhile in New Mexico, Roy tells an embellished version of his alien encounter to Lisa (Mandell Maughan) and her partner (Alex Barima). Afterward, they follow Roy to the parking lot and Lisa kills him. As her partner insists that was not part of their orders, she replies, “it looks like I have different orders than you do.” We don’t yet know who these two are, friend or foe, but the show’s narrative complexity continues to deepen as we learn more about these people, the small town where the show is set, and the rippling effect that Harry’s arrival has on Earth.

Todd Gilchrist

Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based film critic and entertainment journalist with more than 20 years’ experience for dozens of print and online outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly and Fangoria. An obsessive soundtrack collector, sneaker aficionado and member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, Todd currently lives in Silverlake, California with his amazing wife Julie, two cats Beatrix and Biscuit, and several thousand books, vinyl records and Blu-rays.