DISCLAIMER: This recap of Resident Alien episode “Birds of a Feather” is rife with spoilers. You’ve been warned. Proceed at your own peril.
Welcome back, humans! Resident Alien continued to be the gift that keeps on giving with “Birds of a Feather.” This time, we saw a softer side of Sears. Sure, this show is mostly known as a comedy, but this episode was laden with surprisingly poignant moments. Notably with Asta’s storyline. Harry traveled to the Ute Reservation with Asta and Dan to help Asta’s grandmother. While there, he learned all about the power of community. Perhaps humanity isn’t all that bad. Of course, this epiphany came about after he nonchalantly spilled Asta’s secret to her family. Hey, he’s an alien. He’s still learning. Resident Alien brought the heart and the humor this week.
Ready to delve into “Birds of a Feather”? Let’s get to it.
Now, we open with Alien Harry joyfully socializing with the locals of Patience, Colorado. We hear the Cheers theme song playing. He’s eating at the diner. Tossing a football with a child. He’s even high-fiving passersby on the sidewalk. We see Alien Harry waltzing up his porch steps to kiss his alien wife on the cheek. They’re gazing lovingly at their alien baby. A boisterous mailman delivers a package to Alien Harry. It contains the elusive device meant to wipe out humanity. And … it does just that. We see people vanishing on the streets.
Then, Harry (Alan Tudyk) wakes up. Apparently, he can now sleep and dream. New developments! He wanders outside to find Sheriff Mike (Corey Reynolds) and Deputy Liv (Elizabeth Bowen) are still conducting their investigation on his front yard. Well, more like front beach. He still has the real Harry Vanderspeigle’s corpse in his freezer. He just needs some alone time without the prying eyes of the law so he can bury said corpse. Is that too much to ask? Harry awkwardly makes a joke about Mike’s balls to alleviate a tense moment. He’s human-ing!
Later, Mayor Ben (Levi Fiehler) interrupts Harry’s lunch to invite the latter to dinner that evening. Perhaps seeing Harry in the comfort of his own home will quell Max’s fears. You know, since the young boy is aware of Harry’s extraterrestrial secret. Harry doesn’t want to accept, but the human is insistent. After Ben departs, Harry meanders over to Asta (Sara Tomko) and D’Arcy’s (Alice Wetterlund) table at the diner. He asks Asta if she can accompany him to the Hawthornes’ house. Asta declines, but D’Arcy is available. Anything for Harry.
Next, Asta finds Jay (Kaylayla Raine) at the office. She’s nursing a coffee. Jay apologizes for the previous night. Asta subtly grills the teen regarding the prescription pills she found at the house party. The ones that were prescribed on Sam’s notepad after his demise. Harry waltzes in and exacerbates an already precarious situation by telling Jay that Asta may be accusing her of stealing drugs. Jay storms out. Human cues are not Harry’s bag.
Meanwhile, Ben and Kate (Meredith Garretson) sit down with Max (Judah Prehn) to break the news: Harry’s coming to dinner! Initially, Max is under the impression that his parents are getting divorced, hence the cookies that are present. However, the truth is much grimmer. He hurriedly dashes up the stairs to his room and uses a walkie-talkie to contact Sahar (Gracelyn Awad Rinke). Max emphatically reveals that he might be a dead boy walking. But Sahar urges him to seize this opportunity to search Harry’s cabin. While Max keeps the alien occupied, Sahar will swipe Harry’s keys and do some snooping.
Later, Harry and D’Arcy arrive at the Hawthornes’ residence for dinner. Max feigns interest in Harry. In fact, if one didn’t know the truth, they’d assume that he liked Harry. Max peeks outside to find Sahar grabbing Harry’s keys from his pickup. Success! Dinner ensues, followed by alcohol-fueled awkwardness. Kate learns that D’Arcy was actually quite close to her husband back in the day. They dated on and off throughout their formative years. Harry is bewildered by Max’s behavior. When asked where he’s from, Harry reveals that he was born in New York City. A city known for its law and order. I was waiting for another Law & Order reference and I’m not disappointed.
Then, Sahar is at a convenience store with a mission — make a copy of Harry’s house key. She falls in line behind Mike and Liv. She snags a box of tampons. Sahar fibs to Liv about being ashamed of her period, which is apparently why she’s acting strangely. She leaves the store with a copy. As she’s speeding down the street on her bike, we see her hijab cascading behind her like a superhero cape.
Now, Max is attempting to distract the adults so that Harry doesn’t leave. He wants to ensure that Sahar is able to return Harry’s original house key without getting caught. Max reads aloud a school book report for everyone’s hearing pleasure. Kate really wants D’Arcy to get to stepping. Finally, Max sees that Sahar executed her mission to perfection. After an awkward and torturous evening, Harry and D’Arcy take their leave.
Next, D’Arcy asks Harry if he’s going to kiss her. Harry knows he’ll be a smooching pro — he’s seen it all on TV. So, he puckers up. Well, more like proceeds to lick D’Arcy’s face. It’s wonderfully weird and laugh-out-loud funny. She’s into it. But the whole scenario gives his penis rigor mortis.
Later, Sheriff Mike and Deputy Liv are examining what they recovered from dredging the lake. Liv procures a doorknob from the pile of assorted items. She believes it could be categorized as evidence. However, Mike dismisses her. Doorknobs are always at the bottom of lakes. Right?
Meanwhile, Harry is en route to the Ute Reservation with Asta and Dan (Gary Farmer). Harry is going to administer a shot to Asta’s grandmother. Harry is enjoying the silence on the open road until he realizes he has to pee. Dan pulls over at a gas station. That’s when we spot Lisa Casper (Mandell Maughan) and her partner (Alex Barima). They’re hanging out in an RV doing covert stuff. Lisa’s partner is still irked that she needlessly slaughtered the cowboy from New Mexico. But sometimes there’s collateral damage. Lisa reminds him that their objective is to capture the alien and report them to the General. We see Harry in the background while she’s talking. Her partner even encounters Harry in the restroom with nary a clue as to what’s in front of him. An alien, that’s what.
Then, Dan, Asta and Harry arrive on the reservation. We see Kayla (Sarah Podemski) is present with her baby. Harry is taken aback to see so many people laughing and enjoying each other’s company. He starts to mull over what it truly means to have companionship. However, he has a grandmother to take care of first.
Next, Max and Sahar are riding their bikes down the road. Mike pulls them over, sheriff style. He proceeds to interrogate the children. Why are they so far out of town? Why didn’t they utilize proper hand signals? He orders them to keep their hands on their respective handlebars. It’s equal parts adorable and hilarious. Mike lets them go without a ticket. Not even a warning.
Later, we see Liv popping in for a drink at the local pub. D’Arcy is on shift. Liv is down in the dumps because Mike doesn’t respect her. Both women encourage each other to stand tall and proud. D’Arcy making it to the Olympics in skiing put Patience on the map. Liv is the best and sweetest deputy there is. Women lifting up women. You love to see it.
Meanwhile, Harry is giving a shot for Grandma Ruth’s (Edna Alice Manitowabi) back pain. For the second time that day, Harry begins word vomiting without thinking. He reveals that Jay is Asta’s daughter. Harry had a hunch after observing the pair together. Asta, overwhelmed by Harry’s unexpected outburst, flees the scene. Kayla follows her out. We see the duo sitting outside. Kayla is straightforward with Asta: yes, the revelation will probably hurt people. However, Asta did what she thought was best at the time. She was only 16 when she had Jay, after all. It’s a touching scene that deftly handles a sensitive subject.
Now, Harry decides to shoot some hoops with Asta’s family. As it turns out, he knows his way around a hoop. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know the rules of basketball. Puny humans! You make them up as you go along! Asta approaches Dan. He wonders why she hid Jay from him for 17 years. Asta reveals that she didn’t want to burden anyone, especially since Asta was a child herself. “Are we okay?” she asks him. “Even when we’re not okay, we’re okay,” Dan replies. They embrace. Someone is cutting onions and it’s not me.
Next, Max and Sahar sneak into Harry’s cabin. They wander down to the basement. Sahar spots the levitating green apple that’s situated above the mini tellurium disc. She tries to touch it. Both her and Max fly backward with an immense amount of force. They’re knocked unconscious. Harry decides to take a break from all that hoop shooting. He lays in the grass and stares at the sparkling night sky. He misses his home. Asta joins him. Harry apologizes for revealing Asta’s secret to her family. It’s a big move for him. He divulges that he used to have a wife, but she passed away before he left home. It’s the first time we hear about his past.
Later, Harry arrives at his house to find a pair of bikes in the entryway. Then, he sees Max and Sahar in his basement. He’s dismayed to learn that they’re still alive. Harry proceeds to shove them both into separate duffle bags. He’s preparing to presumably dispose of them when he encounters a strange woman by the front door. She claims to be his wife. Methinks she’s the spouse of the real Harry Vanderpseigle. Uh oh.
“Birds of a Feather” is a beautiful love letter to family and community. The show is doing an excellent job of incorporating human-like nuances into Harry’s character. Little by little, he’s starting to acclimate to his surroundings and, well, become one of them. Naturally, this will provide fodder for internal conflict when Harry inevitably finds his device. Can he really decimate the planet after befriending some humans? I dug Harry’s scene with D’Arcy, not to mention the awkward dinner party with the Hawthornes. Asta’s storyline continues to be a profoundly touching one. The grace with which they handle her plot is not lost on me.
Do you think Harry will go through with his plan? Will Lisa track down Harry at some point? What will he do with Max and Sahar? Join me next week as I recap Resident Alien, here on Geek Girl Authority.
Resident Alien airs Wednesdays at 10 pm on your Syfy affiliate.