Resident Alien delivers once again on its unique "Fargo-meets-The X-Files" brand of science fiction with Episode 9, "Welcome Aliens," as Harry's (Alan Tudyk) relationships with the very humans he's targeting become more complicated just as he becomes increasingly committed to wiping them out.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers ahead for Resident Alien Season 1, Episode 9, "Welcome Aliens."**
At this point in the series, one would think Harry would feel more doubt about his mission; he's enjoyed experiences that his race doesn't have, in ways that should make him want to give humanity a reprieve from total extinction. Instead, Harry remains doggedly committed to following orders — whether out of blind pride or blanket disdain for the human race — despite how often he relies on his targets to help get him closer to his goal.
We see this early on in the episode when Harry continues to lie to a sympathetic Asta (Sara Tomko) after he wakes up in his cabin following his leg being amputated in last week's "End of the World As We Know It." (In one of the episode's funnier moments, a grossed-out Asta is accused of "leg-shaming" Harry when he flicks his new tentacle-like leg that's growing in place of the one she hacked off.) Asta reveals she stayed with Harry all night and took care of his wounds, and all Harry cares about is getting his device full of world-ending napalm. In a tense beat, an annoyed Asta playfully taunts him with the device — oblivious to its true purpose. Thankfully for her and the rest of the world's population, "the green glow" is broken and is missing a key component. To find it, Harry once again turns to his child enemy, Max (Judah Prehn), for help.
Max brings along his friend Sahar (Gracelyn Awad Rinke), much to Harry's chagrin, and these two kids prove they are more solution-oriented than the alien capable of interstellar travel. Harry seems to frequently struggle with figuring out what to do when he hits a wall, and it is often human beings and their "puny minds" (Harry's words) that help him find a way around it. These two children point Harry in the direction of a UFO fan convention and away from the "men in black" (or "people in clothes," as Sahar quips) that have Harry's ship.
At the UFO con, with Asta in tow, we get a very X-Files-y comedic beat in which Harry spills the tea on a variety of stereotypical alien species, including "the grays" (they're "a**holes," according to Harry), before Asta takes up the mic at the panel. Instead of piling on with a nightmarish close encounter story, Asta shares her more hopeful tale of the first time she saw a UFO: Harry's ship. Its occupant, unbeknownst to her, is the harbinger of humanity's pending doom, but Asta recalls that her initial response wasn't one of fear. Rather, she felt safe, and, moreover, that she wasn't alone. It gave her the strength to leave her abusive partner.
However, "alone" is exactly what alien tracker Peter Bach (Lost's Terry O'Quinn) feels. He is a speaker at the con and another human whose help Harry needs. Well, actually, he just needs the alien tech implanted in Peter, who is the older version of the husband we meet in the episode's riveting (and terrifying) opening scene: Peter's pregnant wife goes into labor aboard a city bus while it is in the middle of alien abduction, only for the aliens to take their child.
Later, when a violent Harry comes to remove Peter's chip, Peter chillingly confesses that he tracks aliens for the sole purpose of hopefully one day reuniting with his abducted newborn child. Harry's response is equally chilling: "They're not coming back for you. They already got what they wanted."
Sheriff Mike (Corey Reynolds) and Liv (Elizabeth Bowen) also get what they both want this week: their friendship back. Mike continues to be the show's MVP and beating heart, as he rekindles his friendship with Liv with a charming (and funny) karaoke duet of "Wind Beneath My Wings."
"Welcome Aliens" gives each of the show's key relationships small but significant turning points, especially with Asta and D'Arcy (Alice Wetterlund). The former is approached by a con attendee with a warning: That the alien she saw may not be as friendly as she perceived — he could be "the Christopher Columbus of the sky." Meanwhile, D'Arcy suspects Asta, her best friend, is hiding the truth about what happened to her and Harry down in the glacier. Her fears are proven correct in the episode's final stinger when she discovers the real Harry's corpse-sicle.
By the end of Season 1's penultimate episode, Harry's true identity is getting harder and harder for him to hide, as the walls close in. This time, there may be no humans left that he can turn to for help.
The final episode of Resident Alien Season 1 premieres next Wednesday, March 31, on SYFY at 10 p.m. ET.