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'Resident Alien' showrunner breaks down biggest moments from game-changing Season 2 finale
Milk bras are as stylish as they are practical.
Before we get into the more serious aspects of Resident Alien's Season 2 finale, let's talk about Harry's milk bra. After breaking his child out of the government black site in last week's episode, Harry (Alan Tudyk) has come to fully accept his role as a new father, which means keeping the ravenous toddler fed with a steady stream of cow juice.
**SPOILER WARNING! THIS INTERVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR RESIDENT ALIEN SEASON 2, EPISODE 16, "I BELIEVE IN ALIENS"**
"Well, it's practical. It makes sense," creator, showrunner, and executive producer Chris Sheridan declares with a hearty chuckle over Zoom when SYFY WIRE broaches the all-important milk bra subject. "If you're going to parent an alien baby and you're not lactating, you can at least give the baby the experience of presenting milk in a way that the baby would naturally want to suckle on it. It seemed like a very natural thing for Harry to put on a milk bra and feed his baby that way."
The baby (eventually christened "Bridget" by its adoring father) ends up leaving Earth in an escape pod set up by The Greys as a courtesy to Harry's people. Doctor Vanderspeigle was also meant to be on board, but decides to stay behind and try to put a stop to the upcoming invasion of alien/human hybrids. In essence, our main character has come to embrace his burgeoning humanity in a way we've never seen before.
"Harry splits away from his people at the end of Season 2, which is a big thing going into Season 3," Sheridan teases. But he does that thing that parents who really love their kids do, which is no matter how much he loves his kid, he knows he's got to let his kid go away in order to protect it. So that's a big move for him, that he's willing to go to that extent to save his baby. I would say that baby is too cute to not have back on the show again. I think it's safe to say that that baby will probably come back in Season 3."
Parental love was one of the major themes explored this season, especially with regards to the relationship between Asta (Sara Tomko) and Jay (Kaylayla Raine). When Sheridan pitched Tomko the idea of Asta forgetting Jay's birthday in Episode 10, "she was like, ‘You motherf—er. How could you do that to her?'" the showrunner recalls.
"That messiness was great, but looking at the end of Season 2, it was clear that this needs to move to the next level." But first, Asta needed "to learn her lesson through meeting her mother and having that not go well," the showrunner adds, referring to the the emotional gut punch delivered by Mary Ellen Taylor's complete apathy in Episode 13. "Asta has to take ownership and control over the situation as opposed to just being reactive to whatever Jay wants."
Asta takes that control at the end of Episode 14 when she confesses her undying affection and support for the child she gave up all those years ago. "It's such a strong move from Asta that she finally controls a situation and sells her truth to Jay," Sheridan explains. "And then Jay is able to come back to her at the end and they have this really, really sweet moment where Jay asks her to help find a dress. I just absolutely love that the scene where they're buying the dress together. I think it's a really heartwarming moment."
The Season 2 finale slightly breaks away from the format of previous episodes with the inclusion of on-camera testimonials from people (including Dark Horse founder/CEO and Resident Alien executive producer, Mike Richardson), who have actually glimpsed UFOs in real life. According to Sheridan, the original plan was just to feature a faux interview with Deputy Liv Baker (Elizabeth Bowen). "But then I thought it would be cool and break the fourth wall a little bit by having actual people who've had actual experiences get interviewed and show those interviews as part of the same documentary, which I thought might ground Liv’s [story] and make it feel even more real."
One of Sheridan's biggest goals on the show is to take the recollections of UFO experiencers "and try to explore that as accurately as possible" — be it in terms of a spaceship design or the unprocessed trauma reported by alleged abductees. "For the people that believe this stuff, and I do, there are people who have been abducted their whole lives and maybe don't even remember it until later in life," the showrunner says. "They're hypnotized and these images come back to them."
This factors heavily into the jaw-dropping twist that Ben Hawthorne (Levi Fiehler) has been abducted by The Greys — something that's been happening on a regular basis since the mayor was a child, Sheridan confirms. "Ben may not remember being abducted, but he knows he has this feeling of doom and this feeling of doom and fear his whole life. It manifests itself in different ways: he sometimes can’t stand up to his wife or speak his truth to her. He’s sometimes weak with people in town, but it all stems from the same thing, which is that since he was a kid, he's been taken out in his bed and has not been able to be protected by his parents or anybody. So it's a real thing people deal with."
As if to rub a little more dirt into the wound, we're also made aware that Kate (Meredith Garretson) was pregnant after all. Just like in the case of Peter Bach and is wife, the unborn child was ripped straight out of her womb in the middle of the night. While Sheridan considered holding onto this reveal for the third season, he ultimately decided against it, not wanting audiences to think the pregnancy subplot had been some sort of narrative shortcut.
"It felt like very much of a cheat that we said that they're pregnant, and we got some story off of it, and then, oh — you're not pregnant," he says. "I knew all along that they actually were pregnant, but I thought it was important within the same season to also tell the audience, 'Oh, no, this wasn't a story cheat. This was actually part of the story where they thought that it was a mistake when, in fact, it wasn't because The Greys actually have their baby.’ Plus, it's just a great ending and it's terrifying ... Season 3 will be watching and waiting to see how this is manifesting in Ben and Kate, even though they can't they don't remember what happened. But it will manifest in different ways in their lives."
And then, of course, we have D'Arcy (Alice Wetterlund) learning Harry's big secret, which she's surprisingly cool with. "I knew pretty early on that the next person that would know would be D’Arcy because I just felt like that would help the dynamic shift," Sheridan concludes. "I love how it ended up playing out where D’Arcy finds out. But it's not even that big a thing because the most important thing is she realizes, ‘Oh, that's why Asta’s been lying to me and I understand why she would lie about that. So I don't feel bad about that anymore.’ She's so relieved to now know Asta’s secret that she just [brushes off] the alien thing. It was a very funny dynamic to play, especially to see Harry's reaction to that. Alan played that so brilliantly, being called a dinosaur and being offended ... Now that D’Arcy knows, it just shifts everything going into Season 3. It's a great new energy."
The first two seasons of Resident Alien are now available to stream the SYFY app and Peacock.