'Resident Alien' 1.04 Review: Birds of a Feather

As Harry gets closer to being exposed by Max, his pint-sized nemesis, he continues to discover the essential — and relatable — qualities of his human counterparts.

Asta (Sara Tomko) introduces Harry (Alan Tudyk) to her grandmother Ruth (Edna Alice Manitowabi) during a house call.
(Image: © Syfy)

What to Watch Verdict

'Birds of a Feather' continues to refine the show's balance between fish-out-of-water hijinks and more substantive explorations of human feeling.


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    👽 Darcy's ability to alternately blow up a scene or sharpen its emotional weight continues to be a real gift to this show.

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    👽 The more that we learn about Asta also provides this great platform to expose feelings Harry is discovering about his human form.


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    👽 It will be interesting to see how much D'Arcy's disclosures disrupt the relationship between Ben and Kate Hawthorne, since D'Arcy clearly has no lingering feelings for him.

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

At the end of Resident Alien episode 3, Harry (Alan Tudyk) successfully acquired the body of his human counterpart and stored him in a meat locker in his basement. This week, he discovers that he’s evidently dreaming like a human now, after an opening sequence where he imagines becoming Patience’s favorite son, known and loved everywhere like Norm on Cheers (set to the classic sitcom’s title theme, no less). But he’s startled awake when the dream ends with his lost doomsday device exploding and killing the town’s human population. The question remains, are his feelings changing about his mission — to actually accomplish what happens in his dream?

The next day, Mayor Hawthorne (Levi Fiehler) invites him to dinner in order to try and create a friendlier environment for Max (Judah Prehn) to see Harry, who continues to have a tough time with the fact that, well, he’s an alien who’s trying to kill him. Harry invites D’Arcy (Alice Wetterlund) to accompany him to dinner, while Ben and Kate (Meredith Garretson) break the news to Max, with predictable results. But Max’s schoolmate Sahar (Gracelyn Awad Rinke) argues that it’s a good opportunity to get him out of his cabin so someone can do some snooping around. While Max acts unexpectedly kind to Harry during dinner, Sahar takes his keys and rides her bike to a hardware store to duplicate his keys. “What is this little shitbag up to?” Harry asks. In the meantime, Harry’s attempts to make small talk — including disclosing that he is from New York — causes havoc when Kate announces they’re moving there after Max graduates from high school, and D’Arcy and Ben’s childhood (and additionally, teenage) romance comes as a surprise to Kate.

Sahar gets delayed at the hardware store, forcing Max to stall until she gets back by showing off his model of the solar system much to Kate’s increasing dismay as she learns more unwanted details about Ben and D’Arcy’s past relationship. Sahar successfully returns in time to replace his keys at the end of the night, but Harry gets a surprise when D’Arcy asks for a kiss at the end of the night, prompting an unexpected physiological reaction from his human body (“it’s rigor mortis!” he shrieks). The next day, Asta’s (Sara Tomko) father Dan (Gary Farmer) requests a house call for his mother, and Harry and Asta ride out to administer a shot, inadvertently crossing paths with Lisa (Mandell Maughan) and her partner (Alex Barima), whose mission is to apprehend Harry — though they don’t recognize him — and deliver him to their superiors.

After dismissing Deputy Sherriff Baker’s (Elizabeth Bowen) theories about some of the evidence recovered from their search of the lake, Sherriff Thompson (Corey Reynolds) runs into Max and Sahar out on the road to Harry’s cabin. Liv drowns her insecurities at D’Arcy’s bar, where D’Arcy reassures her that she’s a good cop and a good person, no matter how belittling Mike’s behavior may be. Meanwhile, when Harry arrives with Asta and Dan at the reservation, he realizes that their family’s warmth and kindness is symptomatic of a sense of inclusion, and belonging, that even affects him. Still, he interrupts the good vibes by confessing that Jay (Kaylayla Raine) is Asta’s daughter, prompting a conversation between Asta and her sister Kayla (Sarah Podemski) about how badly she might have screwed up by keeping that fact a secret, and how to handle the situation forward since Jay works with her at the hospital. While she makes up with Dan, who also had no idea, Harry discovers the pleasures of half-court basketball.

While recovering afterwards, Harry apologizes to Asta for revealing her secret, which she was gratified to discover brought her closer to dan and the rest of her family (even if she hasn’t figured out what to do next with Jay). But when Harry returns home, he finds Max and Sahar passed out in his basement after touching the tellurium-powered device he built. As he figures out what to do next, a guest unexpectedly arrives at his doorstep: his wife. Harry may soon have to reckon with relationships with other humans he didn’t even know he had, even as he starts to understand more fully the sense of connection that sustained this foreign species long before he arrived on their planet.

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.