[Warning: The below contains spoilers for the Season 2 finale of Resident Alien, “I Believe in Aliens.” If you don’t want to be spoiled, stay away from the Patience Clinic’s gossipy nurse, Ellen. She’s the worst! ]
Once again, Resident Alien hit it out the park with its second-season finale, as Harry (Alan Tudyk) made a poignant choice regarding the alien-hybrid baby (officially named Bridget, as a bridge between humanity and whatever Harry’s race is), as well as the sweetest move possible for Asta (Sara Tomko) after D’Arcy (Alice Wetterlund) linked him to Sam Hodge’s murder. But before that, Harry finally came face-to-face with Joseph (Enver Gjokaj) of the Greys, Liv (Elizabeth Bowen) went public with her childhood UFO sightings and a sleep-walking issue with the Hawthornes proved to be far more horrifying than either of them could have imagined.
Oh, and Harry teamed with his worst enemy, who snuck him into an Area 51-ish locale we need to know more about. Thankfully, showrunner and creator Chris Sheridan was patient enough to endure all of our questions, including our curiosity about the folks who appeared throughout the hour to discuss their own run-ins with beings from another planet.
Big finale! First of all, I was really concerned about where the D’Arcy discovery was heading, because when two friends fight, sometimes things are said that can’t be unsaid and I didn’t want them to venture into that space.
Chris Sheridan: Yes. Well, Harry put a stop to that before that could happen.
Which is such a lovely move on his part. In fact, that’s probably the most humane thing he’s ever done.
That’s exactly right. I’m glad you noticed that. That was a huge thing for us, talking about in the room. Someone had asked me if D’Arcy would ever find out and I knew already that I was gonna have her find out this year, but I didn’t wanna give it up. So what I said was—and this was accurate—that Asta would never tell her because it would put her in jeopardy and Asta would never put her friend in jeopardy. And that is true. She doesn’t tell her and she can’t tell her. No matter what D’Arcy says to her, she can’t tell her. But Harry sees how this is tearing up their friendship and can’t allow it to happen. So he reveals himself to save Asta.
Love that. And of course, D’Arcy coming through as usual, just immediately goes to, “Oh, well, this makes total sense.”
That was our first thought in coming up with this! That she was not like, “Holy s**t! I can’t believe you’re an alien,” but like, “Oh yeah, I don’t even care about that anymore and as long as me and Asta are OK. That’s all I care about.”
And of course, she would think that Harry is a dinosaur.
[Laughs] And Harry’s all offended!
You also had me concerned that Harry might actually kill McAllister (Linda Hamilton) during the raid on Joseph’s facility. You know, it’s a season finale, it’s been a good run for her.
Sure. Um, but now obviously we need her more than ever. She’s the only one on Earth that really has the power to [save us], according to Goliath, who had been through it and realized too late that he needed her help. So it’s the humanity of Harry sort of coming through that allows him to understand why he might need even an enemy to work with in order to save the planet.
And then what was the thinking behind sending Bridget away? Because really, you can’t beat cute baby alien.
This is true. The main thought behind it was that the baby carries a lot of space in Harry’s world and I wanted to make sure Harry had space to do the things he needs to do without worrying about Bridget. But also, it seemed like the appropriate emotional move from him to be totally in love with this baby, but send it away in order to protect it. Sometimes that’s a thing you need to do as a parent, which is to not do the selfish thing for yourself, but do the selfless thing for your child. So it seemed like the right move. But the baby’s too cute for us not to see it again. So in Season 3, I think we can expect to maybe see a little more alien baby.
OK good. Now, you are taking things into a place that is very tricky, which is the idea of alien abductees, lost time and the trauma they believe they have endured. Bringing Ben (Levi Fiehler) and Kate (Meredith Garretson) into this adds another layer of poignancy, because that reveal reminded us that they have gone through what they thought was the loss of a baby.
That was sort of designed that way. I think I’d even forgotten to tell anyone I wanted to do that…that I was trying to figure out where to reveal that the Grays took their baby. I was gonna maybe save it until Season 3 as like a new story but it’s such a good reveal. And the reason I ultimately wanted to do it now is that it buttoned up that storyline.
We had them think that they were pregnant and go through to see what it did to them from a story standpoint, only to find out “Oh, we’re not.” And that would feel like a cheat to the audience if we just created something that was fake to sort of create story and then have it just go away conveniently. Some TV shows do that, but it is not what we were doing. I always knew I wanted to do this and I thought it was important to reveal that in this season, so that the audience didn’t feel like it was cheap storytelling. So they would see that there was a reason why we did it the way we did it.
There is something so haunting about it all. Like how terrifying, that their baby is up there!
Absolutely terrifying. And there are absolutely people who believe they’ve been through this situation. That’s the insidious thing about this. I mean, what I want everyone to sort of realize whether it’s now, whether it’s next season, is that Ben’s been abducted since he was a kid, right? There’s a reason we played Ben the first two seasons as this person who’s afraid and sort of not strong. There’s a reason for it. Since he’s been a kid, he has been completely helpless and has been taken…he doesn’t overtly remember it, but subconsciously knows that he feels unsafe. And that manifests in a certain way.
I’m a big fan of Whitley Strieber and his books, especially Communion. When he wrote that, about that thing that happened to him at his New York cabin where he was abducted, he went through hypnosis and realized that it had been happening to him his whole life. Suddenly, the fact that he’s been writing about monsters and wolves and all these crazy things in the night his whole career then made sense to him. He didn’t know why he was doing it at the time, but all these memories are stored in the subconscious and that was his way of working them out. So it’s very similar to what Ben is going through. Ben has been having these horrible situations his whole life and doesn’t remember it, but just feels at unease. Everything feels unsafe and he feels afraid about most things in life.
Which gives us such a new perspective on Ben and Kate.
You’re exactly right. Levi and Meredith are both great actors so going into Season 3, I want to be able to really lean into these things that people have experienced, where people through hypnosis are brought to those things and relive these moments. It is harrowing. And I want to do that with both of them, especially Meredith.
What about Liv with her past?
Well, at some point, I’d love to have Liv find out more of what the truth is. But so much of what Liv’s journey now is, is getting herself to a place where she can believe in herself without having the proof, you know? Having faith in herself and faith in what she believes in. So, yeah, I don’t know…it’s a hard thing trying to figure out who finds out what and when.
So there’s a a bunch of people now who know. You have the kids, you have D’Arcy, you’ve got Dan and you have Asta, of course. So that’ll carry us a while. And it’s gonna be a really nice dynamic now that D’Arcy knows. It’s gonna change up that dynamic with her and Harry.
Looking forward, you have Joseph—the other alien in town!—applying for a job as a sheriff’s deputy. What does that mean for Liv and Mike?
Oh, it’s gonna make things difficult for them. [Laughs] I mean, he’s there to keep an eye on Harry, right? Harry was supposed to leave in that pod and didn’t leave, and Joseph wants to know why. So Joseph is there to find out what Harry’s up to. What Joseph doesn’t realize right away is that Mike and Liv are up to something as well. They are on this journey to try to find out who killed the Alien Tracker, and I think they’re gonna find that there’s more obstacles than they had hoped.
And Asta and Darcy as roommates?
Yeah. That’s gonna be fun too. I think it’s a great step forward for both of them. The audience, I think, really loves their relationship. They’re just two great friends and seeing them live together is gonna be a lot of fun.
Is the resort storyline finished?
Yeah. I think for now. The resort coming or not was, for me, only interesting in how it divided our people and divided our town. I think we got what we wanted out of that. I’m open to it coming back at some point, but what drew me to that storyline was mostly how it shone a light on Ben’s sort of fear of not being liked and trying to find strength as a mayor to stand up for what he believes in. So now that the audience has a better sense of where all that came from, because of his abductions, to me, the resort thing becomes secondary.
And the interstitial interviews during the episode…
Yes. One of my favorite things in the episode.
You opened with Mike Richardson, the founder, and president of Dark Horse Comics, which actually publishes the real Resident Alien comic books. Was he acting there or does he believe he’s seen a UFO?
Every one of those interviews, except for Liv’s, were actual people [recounting] their actual experiences. The original thought for that was that I wanted Liz’s arc this season to end with her announcing publicly that she believes in aliens. She would find enough inner strength and belief in herself to say, “You know what? Dammit, I’m just gonna say it. I believe in this and I have the strength now to say it.” If you remember in Episode 214, the Alien Tracker says to her, “You know, I have a friend who’s producing this documentary. Would you wanna be interviewed for it?” And she’s like, “No, no, no, I could never do that. I could never do that.” But in this episode, she has Mike’s support and that gives her just enough sort of power to do it. And she does do it.
My original thought was just to see her in a little segment of the interview. But then I had the idea that it might be really cool and break the fourth wall a little bit if we put in actual interviews with people as part of this documentary and then finished with Liv. That way, these actual interviews would ground it and add some reality to it, making Liv’s pronouncement of her belief that much more real. Then I remembered that somewhere around the start of Season 2, Mike Richardson had written to me and said, “Hey, I don’t know if I ever told you this, but this thing happened to me when I was a kid.” And he had laid out everything that had happened to him. When I remembered that, I thought it would be a great one to start with. So I reached out to him and said, “Hey, I have this weird concept for the finale episode where we do actual interviews with real people who’ve had some kind of experience, building into the storyline of Liv…and I was wondering if you would be willing to tell your story on camera, you know, as a real person?”
I just like that it’s outside the box and breaks the fourth wall for our show a little bit. It really leans into the fact that I do believe these are real things that people are dealing with. And our show, while it has a lot of comedy, it doesn’t make light of the fact that there are truths out there that people are going through.
It really is admirable how the show never makes that a joke.
The reality is it’s absolutely terrifying. And how unfortunate it is for these people to have been chosen to have been taken or have their lives changed because they’ve seen a UFO and no one’s honest about it. And so there’s a lot of things going on out there that are real, that people are dealing with, and I frankly am thrilled with how it came out.
Now, one last quick question. What does McAllister have access to, half a mile below ground?
I will say that there is speculation that there are a couple hundred secret underground military bases across the U.S. That’s what some people believe, that they are all connected by incredibly high-speed train systems. Allegedly, there’s some cool stuff down there that nobody knows about unless you’re in the know. So we wanted to sort of lean into that a little bit. There’s alien s**t going on down there.