'Resident Alien' 1.05 Review: Love Language

Harry's life gets more complicated when his human alter ego's wife Isabelle shows up, and his nemesis Max proposes a truce.

Max (Judah Prehn) and Sahar (Gracelyn Awad Rinke) propose a truce to allay suspicion of Harry (Alan Tudyk) and keep Max from being sent away.
(Image: © Syfy)

What to Watch Verdict

The show continues to mine its premise in ways both fantastical and mundane, but always to great effect.


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    👽 Harry gets what might be the biggest laugh yet for the show when reacting to Asta's ex during one of his inner monologues.

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    👽 The show's tender, thoughtful handling of Asta and her estranged daughter Jay offers an affecting counterpoint to Harry's fish-out-of-water comedy.


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

    Five years earlier than the “current” events on Resident Alien, the real Harry Vanderspiegle (Alan Tudyk) met his real wife Isabelle (Elvy Yost), an artist he sweeps off her feet by outbidding everyone at a gallery showing for her painting. But her arrival now at his cabin outside Patience presents a few challenges, one immediate — what to do with the bodies of Max (Judah Prehn) and Sahar (Gracelyn Awad Rinke) after discovering them in his basement — and one that’s multitiered and slightly longer-term: how does he reconcile this with the identity he created for his colleagues and acquaintances, and what must he do not to alert Isabelle that he is not actually her husband?

    Harry successfully returns both Max and Sahar home without alerting suspicion; despite Max’s insistence they found evidence that Harry is an alien, the shock that Sahar got when she touched his device in the basement seems to have erased her memory, eliminating her ability to confirm what they saw. But when Harry returns home from his task, Isabelle is there and wants to talk about the divorce papers that his human alter ego evidently refused to sign. He obliges her but despite his protests, she sleeps over, introducing him to the pleasures of cuddling. Nevertheless, he hightails it out of the house in the morning after Isabelle turns off his alarm, and his revelation that he’s working as the local physician comes as a surprise to Isabelle, who points out that he has a thriving practice back in New York that he is neglecting.

    Meanwhile, Sherriff Thompson (Corey Reynolds) eats breakfast with his father, quite possibly the only person who leaves him off-balance. Harry promptly runs into D’Arcy (Alice Wetterlund) when he arrives in town, and she somewhat conveniently shuts down their fledgling relationship — but not before he steals her coffee. The late doctor Sam Hodges’ widow Abigail (Deborah Finkel) delivers a box of patient files to Harry, while Jay (Kaylayla Raine) invites Asta (Sara Tomko) to dinner to thank her for getting her home safe after the house party in “Secrets.” While Asta seeks advice from Harry on how to handle the situation with Jay, who wants to be respectful of the girl and avoid a painful confrontation that might ensue if Jay learned she is her mother, Isabelle shows up to get answers about her husband’s possible philandering after discovering Sahar’s scarf in Harry’s basement.

    After storming out of Harry’s office, Isabelle finds her way to D’Arcy’s bar, where the two women bond over the frustrating qualities that alternately attract and repel them to men. Mayor Hawthorne (Levi Fiedler), his wife Kate (Meredith Garretson) and Max show up to confess Max’s theft of Harry’s keys, and Harry uses it as an opportunity to suggest they send Max to a school in Georgia where he can’t make trouble any longer. Across town, Sherriff Thompson frets over their stalled murder investigation as Deputy Baker (Elizabeth Bowen) tries to reassure him. Thompson clearly seeks more excitement than Patience offers, and the lack of momentum on the case — even after finding a severed foot — leaves him frustrated.

    While picking up Sam’s files, Jay finds one that indicates she’s Asta’s daughter. She confronts Asta but storms out before they can achieve resolution, or even really talk. Harry finds Asta on a bench outside and attempts to comfort her, but their conversation gets interrupted when Asta’s abusive ex-boyfriend Jimmy (Ben Cotton) shows up to talk. Asta and Jimmy argue over how to handle the news that Jay knows who they are, and may contact Jimmy, but Dan (Gary Farmer) reassures her that he’s there to help, come what may. By the end of the day, Isabelle’s drunken carousing with D’Arcy seems to change her mood, so when Harry gets home she’s fixed dinner for them, trying to make amends after her earlier scene. Unfortunately, D’Arcy feels similarly optimistic about her chances with Harry after talking to Isabelle, so she drives out to give things another shot. Instead she finds the two of them dancing in their living room (“what a waste of deodorant!” she complains). Isabelle sings “Nature Boy,” the song that she and Harry fell in love to, and he succumbs to her charms.

    While a rift grows between Max and his parents, Isabelle seduces Harry, a new experience for him but confirmation for Isabelle that they’re not getting the divorce that was cooking before he, well, went off to Colorado and was replaced by an alien doppelganger. The following morning, Max and Sahar approach Harry at the diner and offer a truce: Max will stop telling everyone he’s an alien if Harry will stop trying to kill him. Perhaps unsurprisingly, they quickly  find themselves getting along; and though Jay isn’t ready to mend fences yet with Asta, she’s slowly warming to the idea of a bigger family, especially after Dan comps her breakfast. As Harry begins to process these new aspects of his life — not just a wife, but two people who know his secret and agree not to spoil it — his transformation into a human is going more than skin deep.

    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.