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SYFY WIRE Resident Alien

'Resident Alien' showrunner explains how 'Fargo' influenced the hit SYFY series

What does Resident Alien have in common with the Coen brothers' dark comedy from 1996?

By Josh Weiss
Resident Alien showrunner Chris Sheridan talks about fan theories during Season 2

What does SYFY's Resident Alien have in common with the Coen brothers' Fargo ... beyond the rather gruesome motif of dismembered feet? While fielding fan theories from Resident Alien After-Show co-hosts, Jackie Jennings and Juan Cadavid, showrunner/executive producer Chris Sheridan explained how the 1996 dark comedy influenced the show, particularly when it came to human Harry's shady dealings with the Galvin/Powell Group that culminated in the death of Patience doctor, Sam Hodges.

"What I always wanted for the character of the original Harry Vanderspeigle is not so simply in that he was some evil guy and then the alien took over his body," Sheridan said. "I always like the thought — and it's sort of a trope that I love from Fargo and A Simple Plan — where it's a good person who makes one bad decision because they need a little bit of money or something like that and they get hooked in with the wrong people. Then that small decision just snowballs and then they're under it and they can't get out from under it. The bigger it gets, the more trapped they are and then the more bad things they're forced to do."

The showrunner went on to add that Harry (played as a human and as an alien by Alan Tudyk) only murdered Sam because he "was sort of pushed into a corner" and not because "he's someone who has bloodlust or [is] a serial killer or anything like that."

He concluded that the OG Harry was truly a good person at heart:

"We got the sense from Isabelle [played by Elvy], his wife in the first season, that there was real love there and they had a real relationship. I feel like he was just a guy in the wrong place at the wrong time who made one bad decision that turned into being pushed into a corner where the only way out — and the only way to protect his family — is to do something really horrible ... It's very little black and white. Making bad decisions is a very gray area. There's always a reason people do it."

The first half (eight episodes) of Resident Alien Season 2 is now streaming on the SYFY app and Peacock. Be sure to check back in with SYFY WIRE every week for more bonus content that takes us behind the show's sophomore outing!

New episodes of Resident Alien Season 2 are set to land this summer on SYFY.