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Recap: Pizza saves humanity in Resident Alien's Season 1 finale, 'Heroes of Patience'
Resident Alien wraps up its truly great first season with an excellent finale, one that has Alan Tudyk's Harry (finally!) learning the value of human life with a little help from, um, delicious pizza.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Resident Alien Season 1, Episode 10, "Heroes of Patience."**
"Heroes of Patience," written by showrunner Chris Sheridan, wastes no time putting Harry's fully operational device in play as Harry seemingly does almost everything he can to delay using it. After spending the entire season struggling to overcome the obstacles getting in the way of his mission, he now finds excuses to purposefully delay completing that mission. (And audiences finally find out who poisoned Dr. Sam Hodges' insulin: It was *clutches pearls* the real Harry Vanderspeigle moments before Alien Harry killed him.)
With pizza's help — "I can't kill everyone on Earth with an empty stomach" — Harry has another conversation with "Dead Harry." Here, he learns something that is both critical and detrimental to his mission's success: Harry has become "infected" with humanity. He is more like his target than he realizes, which he discovers the hard way when a test drive of his weapon on Dead Harry's decaying, frozen body scorches Alien Harry's hand. The weapon's energy is supposed to only affect humans, not his alien kind. This work-related injury makes Harry wonder if the talking dead guy is right. (Resident Alien has spent much of its first season getting significant milage from using dramatic irony, so it is fitting that it takes a chat with the dead to give Harry a new appreciation for human life.)
It's also fitting that Harry gets help evading capture from his former enemy-turned-slightly-tolerable frenemy, Max (Judah Prehn). Sahar (Gracelyn Awad Rinke) and Max team up once again, with the former continuing to emerge as an MVP among the supporting cast as she outwits Lisa (Mandell Maughan) and David (Alex Barima) in their effort to capture Harry.
The bad guys do eventually catch up, though, and corner Max and Sahar at Max's house. Just when it looks like Lisa is willing to kill one of these kids, Mayor Ben (Levi Fiehler) and his wife, Kate (Meredith Garretson), team up to deliver one of the episode's more disturbing and comical moments: The husband and wife pummel Lisa and David in bloody slow-mo. Defending their family with R-rated results finally brings the troubled couple closer together, just as Asta and Harry's friendship threatens to be torn apart when she uncovers that Alien Harry killed the real Dr. Vanderspeigle.
However, it looks like Asta (Sara Tomko) might die before confronting Harry with that knowledge when Harry, in his true alien form, crashes his truck into the hangar housing his ship. His plan is to literally finish where he started: Fly his alien craft and drop the device on Earth from a safe distance. Before he can do that, Asta has her E.T. moment with Harry to appeal to his, well, whatever his species calls a heart.
After Harry saves Max and Asta, she implores him not to kill the world. He says he can take her with him and they can kill humanity together — but, ultimately, Harry's affection for his only friend and his newfound appreciation for his own bourgeoning humanity helps him change his mind. With 80 seconds to spare, Harry and his ship flee Earth and he detonates the device in space. Harry's burning desire to complete his season-long mission of annihilation is replaced by a love for the very species he's spent the past nine episodes hating.
Minus Max, who is revealed to be a stowaway on Harry's return trip to his homeworld.
Resident Alien ends by turning the town of Patience's would-be destroyer into its reluctant savior, just as winter gives way to spring. Assuming Harry returns to Earth to drop off Max in the greenlit Season 2, Harry’s secret will be harder to maintain with more people than ever knowing the truth about his extraterrestrial origins. Asta sparks a dialogue with her estranged daughter, Jay (Kaylayla Raine), but her mom's friendship with an alien — one who was this close to killing Jay and everyone else — seems poised to widen the already significant rift between mother and child.
Then there's the looming problem of Lisa and Linda Hamilton's General McCallister, who are a threat worse than the Men in Black (a group McCallister has on speed dial). The two mysterious operatives are not done with Harry or the town of Patience, especially when they discover that the man they think is an alien, Dr. Ethan Rose (Michael Cassidy), is just a stupidly handsome but all too human doctor.
Resident Alien ends its first season in a more complicated place than it started, to the point where — should Harry come back — he may regret sparing all of humankind in exchange for a few slices of pepperoni and one much-needed soul.
Season 2 can't get into our eyeballs fast enough.