Welcome back, residents of Patience! This week’s episode of Resident Alien, “Radio Harry,” focuses on “found family,” the importance of human connection and environmental preservation. The show conveys these themes through an Indigenous lens, notably Asta’s family. We see the verbal damage D’Arcy’s parents inflict on her, further driving home that we can choose our family and cut ties with toxic blood relatives.
“Radio Harry” boasts Resident Alien‘s signature cheeky humor, but this outing tips the scales toward heart and poignancy. It propels the narrative forward while developing well-established characters like Mike, finally providing a backstory for our enigmatic sheriff.
This episode thoughtfully explores humanity’s innate goodness and our inherent connection with nature while lovingly displaying much-needed Native representation. It’s beautiful.
Ready to dig deep into “Radio Harry”? Let’s get to it.
We open with a man talking to his therapist about recovering from an alien abduction. However, the good doc isn’t so trustworthy after all, and he calls General McCallister’s people to take the man into their custody.
At McCallister’s facility, we see rows of cells crowded with anyone associated with extraterrestrials. Even Dr. Ethan Stone (Michael Cassidy) is there! McCallister (Linda Hamilton) and Lisa Casper (Mandell Maughan) observe their abducted civilians via camera.
Meanwhile, Harry (Alan Tudyk) crashes Max (Judah Prehn) and Sahar’s (Gracelyn Awad Rinke) pancake party at Joe’s Diner. Harry demands they return his alien tech ball for science (not). Sahar asserts her conviction that Harry plans to create a bomb with that tech ball, not radio his people on Earth’s behalf.
As usual, Sahar owns Harry because she’s a boss.
Next, everyone in town’s at the local baseball game, wherein D’Arcy (Alice Wetterlund) kicks ass and takes names. She also flirts with a cute player on the opposing team, Elliot (Justin Rain). Asta (Sara Tomko) and Liv (Elizabeth Bowen) watch while Jay (Kaylayla Raine) snuggles with her new beau. Sahar and Max call Asta over and voice their concerns regarding Harry. Is he constructing a radio to persuade his people to leave Earth alone, or is it a bomb to decimate humanity?
Asta accompanies Harry to his cabin and observes while he adds the finishing touches to his radio. She believes he might be lying to her. Even Harry, who occasionally fails to pick up on social cues, catches Asta’s silent drift. Asta informs him that she and her dad will join Harry on a trek to the mountains, where he’ll signal his people.
Harry spends time on the Ute reservation with Asta, chatting with her cousin Kayla (Sarah Podemski) and meeting Drew (Tommy Pico), another family member returning home.
Much to the latter’s dismay, Kate (Meredith Garretson) brings Ben (Levi Fiehler) delectable tacos from Jessup. She persuades him to hit up a restaurant with her in Jessup for date night to prove the rival town’s not that bad. There’s a significant chance the mayor might be amiable, too.
Later, Kayla and Drew surprise Asta, Harry and Dan (Gary Farmer) on their radio trip. Asta surreptitiously tries to get Kayla and Drew out of the way so Harry can do his thing. However, Drew misinterprets this as Asta wanting to plow our resident alien in the woods. I like this Drew kid.
Through his time with Asta, Dan, Kayla and Drew, Harry learns about the sanctity of nature and how most humans take it for granted. Is it enough to sway Harry toward Team Human?
D’Arcy flirts with Elliot at the bar. Liv, ever the matchmaker, pushes D’Arcy to go out on a date with him. Get it, girl!
Ben and Kate visit an upscale restaurant in Jessup. Mayor Mitch (David Lewis) joins them, so Ben seizes the opportunity to call him out on his incendiary dig at Patience in his tourism commercial. When Mitch belittles Kate, Kate proceeds to bury the Jessup mayor verbally because she’s the Queen of Comebacks.
Harry struggles to sleep due to the onslaught of mosquitoes. On a related note, check out this live footage of me incessantly swatting at mosquitoes with all the fervor of someone who despises mosquitoes.
Our resident alien catches a glimpse of what appears to be the spirit of a bison. Harry even pets it.
Later, Asta watches while Harry activates the radio device. We see a light beam shoot into the heavens, exciting Asta at the prospect of a saved Earth. However, Harry discloses he asked his people to hold off on the destruction for 50 years after Asta’s “long gone.”
They need to protect Earth for as long as it can survive! Thus, Asta breaks the device, wholly unsatisfied with Harry’s work. She asks Harry to find another way.
Then, everyone’s called to the reservation, where Asta’s cousin goes into labor. Asta wishes to deliver the baby herself, but her family urges her to let the “doctor,” a.k.a. Harry, do his job. It’s okay, folks! Harry spent a weekend falling down a YouTube rabbit hole regarding baby delivery — he’s got this!
D’Arcy and Liv meet with the former’s parents for dinner. Liv catches Mike on a date, but not with Judy. Still, it’s nice to see him enjoying himself.
After Harry successfully delivers the child, Asta and her family celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. It’s a beautifully touching scene.
Mike’s date asks him why he moved to Patience, putting our sheriff on edge. Mike divulges his best friend died due to his actions as a cop; thus, he migrated to Patience with his chronically ill father. Our sheriff tosses money on the table for his meal and storms out on his date.
D’Arcy’s parents pressure her to pursue a new career path and test the dating waters in a new locale. She tunes out her parents while they rant about her future. Of course, to her, it feels like they’re not proud of her. D’Arcy whips the tablecloth off the table, spilling its contents all over the place. Then, she flips the double bird before departing the restaurant.
D’Arcy spots Elliot sitting in Joe’s Diner with a single rose. Already feeling raw from dinner with her parents, D’Arcy decides to stand him up.
Harry sits with Asta outside and congratulates her on the delivery. Asta reveals she might want more children despite feeling like she screwed things up with Jay.
Later, Asta knocks on Jimmy’s (Ben Cotton) door, and the pair embrace while Asta weeps. Uh oh. Girl, no. You’re in danger! Don’t go back to that abusive asshole!
Liv sits in her car with a dress she thought she misplaced, even though Mike picked it up from the dry cleaners. We hear her listening to a podcast about alien abduction and how that can attribute to memory loss. Will Liv piece together the memories Harry erased from her mind, thereby rediscovering who he is?
McCallister invites Ethan over for dinner in her compound. She demands Ethan show her his true colors — he’s the alien, after all! Despite Ethan’s assertions regarding his humanity, McCallister stabs his hand, hoping he’d utilize the moment of pain to transform into his extraterrestrial self. No dice.
Lisa informs McCallister about an alien signal emitting from a new location. I’m assuming this is Harry’s radio. Sure enough, Harry receives a return signal on his device with a phone number in his language. It’s a New York number. Could that be where McCallister is?
“Radio Harry” blesses us with excellent performances across the board, notably from Tudyk, Tomko and Wetterlund. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine a show about an alien would delve into the depths of human nuance with such empathy and joy.
While Resident Alien doesn’t flinch from illustrating the darker parts of humanity, it still paints a hopeful picture, showing us that we humans aren’t all that bad. There might be hope for us yet.
It looks like Harry’s heading to the Big Apple, a.k.a. the home of the Lennie Briscoe! I’m expecting all the Law & Order gags and references. Don’t let me down, RA Powers That Be!
Resident Alien airs Wednesdays at 9 pm on your Syfy affiliate.