We have been seeing him in the promos, but it is time to officially meet Harry Vanderspeigle (Alan Tudyk). He is a doctor with very impressive credentials. Each year, he comes to his cabin in Patience, Colorado to relax and do some fishing. But this year, someone or something happens to disturb his getaway.
Harry’s “fishing” time gets interrupted by Deputy Liv Baker (Elizabeth Bowen) and Sheriff Mike Thompson (Corey Reynolds), who are calling him to shore. When Harry looks over his shoulder, it becomes clear why he has been staying out at the remote cabin; he is, in fact, an alien. The Sheriff tells him that they need his help since he is a doctor, because there has been a murder and they want Harry to look at the body, which happens to be the body of the only doctor in town. Without being able to find an excuse not to go, Harry reluctantly follows them into town.
The long drive into town is the perfect time for a flashback. See, four months ago, while flying in the skies of Earth, Harry’s ship was hit by lightning and crashed. With being stranded and having to blend in, he breaks into a cabin and kills the man inside after he hits him, then throwing the body into the frozen water. Re-entering the cabin, the alien changes form, now becoming Harry Vanderspeigle, taking over his identity. So how does one learn English and how to be human? Well, by watching Law & Order over and over, of course, in-between searching for his ship and lost cargo.
At the clinic in town, Harry meets Mayor Ben Hawthorne (Levi Fiehler), who takes him to the body. Entering the room, he walks straight up to a woman lying back in a chair, “I say from the smell she’s been dead at least six hours,” then pokes the side of her face. Imagine the surprise when she wakes up, jumping out of the chair, upset. Ben then points, directing him to the body on the ground under a sheet while introducing the sleeping woman as Asta (Sara Tomko), the nurse.
When they uncover the body of Dr. Sam Hodges, there is a scalpel sticking up out of his neck. “This is awesome.” Harry explains that it is like Law & Order trying to decipher how he died as he stands back up, saying that it was fun. Mentioning the wounds and blood’s angle, it looks like Sam murdered himself then leaves the room. The Mayor chases after him trying to get him to stay. With a smile on his face, Harry asks if there are other dead bodies. But all the Mayor wants is for him to do an autopsy. Excitedly, as Harry confirms that it is a “cut into the body remove the organs autopsy,” he agrees. When the Mayor leaves, Harry watches a mother and her son walk down the sidewalk. As the young boy sees him, he screams and runs away in terror. In an unexpected turn of events, it appears Max (Judah Prehn) can see Harry’s true alien form.
“Humans have a term for this, bad luck, and raw deal, and this is some bullshit.”
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Not trusting Harry, Asta tells him she is helping with the autopsy. After some banter about the idea, they get ready to begin. Asta points out a valid fact that makes Harry think that there is a chance that Sam, in fact, may not have killed himself, finishing with, “I am smarter than a lizard.” It is time to play the oddly upbeat song with the removal of the organs taking place, including smelling and bouncing an organ like it is a yo-yo. When they are done, Asta thanks him for his help, confusing Harry, and invites him to go to The 59, a bar across the street, to get a drink. Harry turns her down, saying he has work to do. She calls him a weirdo and leaves. During Harry’s inner monologue, he figures out that he has to go now to prove that he fits in and is one of them, a human. But first, he wants to cut open Sam’s head and squish his brain in his hands. Yeah, that sounds about the right time for Sam’s wife to walk through the doors looking for her husband, who she thinks is alive.
At The 59, Asta opens up a bit to Harry and then asks for his help to pick up the rest of her things from her ex’s place. D’arcy (Alice Wetterlund), the bartender, comes over and sees how Asta is doing, and the three do a shot with local whiskey. It’s time to do more shots and dance to “Starships” by Nicki Minaj. This is one of my favorite parts of this episode; we get to see human and alien Harry get drunk, probably for the first time, and awkwardly dance. At the end of the night, he feels like he fits in but then remembers Max, the boy who can see him. That is when drunk on whiskey Harry, gets the brilliant idea to break into Max’s room and kill him.
Harry climbs through Max’s window and then puts his hand over his mouth, telling him that he will not hurt him, just kill him. Max bites his hand and screams. His parents rush in to see if he is okay. Surprise, the Mayor is Max’s dad. As his mom carries him out of the room, Harry partially comes out from under the bed and gives Max the middle finger.
The next day, hungover, Harry goes out looking for what he lost during the crash and comes across a sign over a miner tunnel. The date on it is January 17, 1884, with the inscription “59 Died To Save One.”
In town, the Deputy and Sheriff are in their patrol vehicle when Deputy Liv turns on the music. That turns into them both beatboxing and singing “Amazing Grace.” Yes, more of this, please! They abruptly stop when Harry gets there, accusing him of taking Sam’s body. Harry casually takes them to the alley behind the clinic where Sam’s feet are sticking out of a pile of snow. He put him there to keep the body cold after the autopsy.
Asta and Harry are at her ex’s, Jimmy, house and pack up her stuff when he shows up threatening Harry, revealing that he has a gun on him. Asta tells Harry to leave and that it is alright. Telling himself that he doesn’t want to get involved lasts for a few seconds before he turns around to go back because he knows she is in trouble and wants to help her — a very human moment for Harry. He walks in to find Asta on the ground and Jimmy yelling at her, having hit her. Harry breaks through the wall, grabbing Jimmy and pulling him to the front porch and choking him. Asta stops him, and they leave, but not before she gets a few good kicks in.
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They drive to a spot in the woods with a magnificent view of the mountains and have a heart to heart. “Sometimes just feeling human is alien to me.” You have no idea how right you are, Asta. She then tells Harry that she was pregnant when she was 16 and gave the baby up for adoption.
Later at the funeral for Sam, Harry asks the Mayor why people are calling him, thinking that he is the new town doctor. The Mayor tells him that he is the replacement and that every Tuesday, he will be there to see Harry for therapy before walking off.
Asta thanks Harry for coming to the funeral, saying that he is a breath of fresh air. He looks to Asta like he just thought of something and runs to the casket opening it in front of everyone getting close to the body searching for something – maybe not the time, Harry. Asta pulls him away, and he tells her that he knows how Sam died. Sam needed air and tried to give himself a tractotomy to breathe but couldn’t do it in time. Now we know that the doctor was poisoned and someone in the town of Patience, Colorado is a killer. Kung Kung!
We cannot wait to see what Harry does next. Stay tuned for next week’s episode of Resident Alien on SYFY at 10 p.m. ET.