Pilot is the first episode of the science fiction comedy television series Resident Alien.
An alien, Harry Vanderspeigle, has been living for months in a cabin on the outskirts of the small town of Patience, Colorado, having killed and assumed the identity of the cabin's owner. Four months before, he arrived on Earth with a device and mission, his spaceship struck down during a storm. He now spends his days desperate searching for the device in Patience's bleak winter landscape. One spring day, he is summoned into the town to investigate the murder of the town's doctor, Sam Hodges, as he is now apparently the only doctor in town. Reluctant, he nevertheless agrees to come. Upon arrival, he makes a cursory inspection and quickly declares the supposed "murder" to be a suicide, saying that Hodges killed himself. Satisfied that he has completed his work, he makes to leave. Outside, he encounters Max Hawthorne, a young boy who screams and flees immediately upon seeing him to his mother's car. He realizes to his chagrin that Max is one of the one people in a million who can see through his human disguise.
Before he can consider this any further or make any other move to leave, he is confronted by Asta Twelvetrees, who demands that he stay and do a proper autopsy, saying that Hodges never would have killed himself. The two complete the autopsy, during which Vanderspeigle assesses him as being a "weirdo." Nevertheless, she invites him to join her in the local pub. Though initially reluctant, he decides that he needs to accept the invitation in order to throw suspicion off himself. He proceeds to the pub, where he has his first-ever taste of alcohol, which he finds repulsive, but nevertheless cannot stop drinking. He meets the pub's bartender, D'Arcy Bloom, and dances the evening away, receiving a cryptic hint about the town's history in the process. He promises to pick up Twelvetrees the next morning at 10. Before returning home, he considers the matter of the young boy Max, and fueled by alcohol, decides that the only way to deal with him is to break into his home and kill him. He proceeds to the Hawthorne family home and tries to slay the boy, but Max's screams send his parents, Kate and Ben, into the room. He hides under the bed and manages to evade detection, as Max's parents do not believe their son's story, thinking he's watched too many movies. They allow him to come to their room to sleep for the evening and Vanderspeigle, frustrated, slips away back home.
That morning, Vanderspeigle awakes at 6 A.M. with a terrible hangover. He laments that humans would never drink alcohol if it affected them the same way it did humans. He then proceeds to continue searching for his device. Though he has no luck, he does find something which gives him a further clue into the town's past: an inscription at an abandoned mine-shaft with a message which reads "59 died to save one." He proceeds into town, where he is confronted by the town sheriff, Mike Thompson, who insists that he "took that doctor's body." To the sheriff's surprise, he freely admits it, saying that he of course took it. He then shows him that he buried the body in snow behind the clinic in order to keep it cold, this being his only choice, as otherwise, he would have had to cut it in half to store it in the freezer. While there, he meets Jay, a young girl who is helping at the clinic. He tells her that she has a fly on her neck and she says that it's a birthmark, confusing him by calling him a "douchebag."
He then drives Twelvetrees to her old home and she explains that she helps children like Jay to keep them away from the streets of Patience and the town's "underbelly." He helps her move out some boxes, but the two are confronted by her husband, whom she fled from four months before. He calls Vanderspeigle her "new man," but she denies the accusation and tells Vanderspeigle to leave, that she can handle things. Vanderspeigle reluctantly drives away, but then returns against his better judgment, feeling correctly that that the man, Jimmy, looks like trouble. He perches outside and overhears the two of them arguing, an argument which Jimmy quickly takes into physical territory. He then pulls Jimmy through the window, throttling him within an inch of his life, and only not killing him when Twelvetrees manages to stop him, telling him that it's not worth it. He drives her away and she asks him how to explain what he just did, pulling a man like Jimmy straight through the wall. "Yoga?" he suggests feebly, and she figures that he must have come from somewhere very different than Patience to learn skills like what he has. She tells him that she feels like sometimes she doesn't fit in, that sometimes just feeling human is alien to her, something he can relate to.
Vaderspeigle attends the funeral of Dr. Hodges. There he confronts the town mayor, Ben Hawthorne, asking why it is that everyone is ringing him, thinking that he's the new town doctor. Ben replies that everyone has a right to medical care, and his job to make sure they have a doctor. He says that he also had a 4 P.M. standing therapy appointment with Hodges on Tuesdays and he now wants to continue that with him. He walks away and Twelvetrees comes up to Vanderspeigle, saying that she's glad he came, that he's a breath of fresh air. Her comment sparks a brainwave in his head. To everyone's shock and surprise, he steps up to the coffin, opens it up, and examines Hodges's windpipe. He is led away by Twelvetrees, who apologizes for his strange behavior, and the shocked priest reluctantly continues the memorial. He explains to her what he has discovered: that Hodges had tried to give himself a tracheotomy. His windpipe had closed up, due to him having been poisoned. He tells her that one of the people there is the murderer.
He flashes back to four months before, narrating that his mission was simple: to drop his device on Earth and go back home. Another flashback shows Twelvetrees fleeing her husband in the cold of night. As she does, she watches a flash of light in the sky: Vanderspeigle's spaceship streaking towards Earth. She gets in the car and her husband bangs on the window, claiming that he's sorry. She drives away and stops, sobbing. She turns, and sees a deer. Staring up the sky, the Vanderspeigle alien comments that his people were taught humans' need for connection was a weakness, but he now realizes it may be their greatest strength. As he continues his search for his device, he explains that in 1884 the local mine caved in and that the miners escaped, but realized that one of them was still trapped inside. They went back into the mine, risking their own lives to save him. He narrates that perhaps there is something redeemable about the human race after all, but for them it's too late. He pulls a piece of metal from the ground with alien text which translates to read "Full Extinction Event," saying it's only a matter of time before he finds the rest of his device and he can complete his mission, and kill them all. He returns to town and the doctor's office, where Twelvetrees suits him up, telling him he has a patient in the exam room. He walks into the room and pulls back a curtain, revealing Max Hawthorne. The boy screams in terror. "Yeah, this is some bullshit," he agrees.
Cast and characters
- Alan Tudyk as Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle / Human Harry
- Sara Tomko as Asta Twelvetrees
- Corey Reynolds as Sheriff Mike Thompson
- Alice Wetterlund as D'Arcy Bloom
- Levi Fiehler as Mayor Ben Hawthorne
- Judah Prehn as Max Hawthorne
- Anthony David Moyer as Alien Harry
- Kaylayla Raine as Jay
- Deborah Finkel as Abigail Hodges
- Jan Bos as Dr. Sam Hodges
- Patrick Keating as Priest
- Jason Maybaum as Max
- The scene the alien Harry Vanderspeigle watches a man tell someone "There's no such thing as hooker-client confidentiality" originates from the episode "Bounty" of Law and Order, in which the character Lennie Briscoe states this to a reluctant witness.
- This episode is/has released/aired on USA Network In February 1, 2021.
- This episode features the song “Starship” (2012) by Nicki Minaj.
- on the Internet Movie Database
- Watch "Pilot" at Syfy official website (must disable adblocker to view)