The Green Glow is the seventh episode of the science fiction comedy television series Resident Alien.
Official episode synopsis: Fearing he's facing failure, Harry enlists an unlikely ally to help find his ship.
Billions of years in the past, a meteorite is shown impacting the Earth, seeding the first life in the oceans. Harry Vanderspeigle reflects that humans believe that the universe is huge when it's actually tiny and that he understands why humans are mistaken about the universe: they've never been there, even though it has come to them.
In the present, Vanderspeigle finds himself where he was before, with the military's guns locked onto him and a car inches from his feet. The car's doors open and reveal... Isabelle, who explains that she got suspicious after being knocked out and discovered the sleeping pills he was drugging her with. She then faked being knocked out a second time in order to tail him and discover what he was doing. She asks him what he's doing out in the middle of the night alone and he thinks to himself that the problem is that they're not alone. He plays it off as a domestic squabble, saying that he needs "space." Aggravated, Isabelle leaves. Watching, the military lieutenant David Logan says that it's just some marriage squabble. "Shoot him anyway," orders Lisa Casper to the hidden sniper, but Logan orders him to stand down, telling Casper that there is something so wrong with her.
Vanderspeigle returns home, knowing that the government forces have found his ship. He asks Isabelle what she's making for dinner but for her it's the last straw and she declares that she's leaving. He think that he needs her to make him food, but she jets, telling him that she can't live like this anymore and she doesn't even know who he is. She asks if he ever loved her. "Once," he replies and she thanks him for being honest, then takes off. At the Patience medical office, Asta Twelvetrees asks Dr. Ethan Stone if he's looked at Max Hawthorne's file. She says that she finds it odd, given that Max has never shown anything like teraphobia before and she thinks it's extreme for Vanderspeigle to suggest sending him away. He tells her that he was sent away as a child to a special school to play lacrosse and turned out fine. Twelvetrees grumbles to herself that it was no help at all. Elsewhere in the clinic, Sheriff Mike Thompson and Deputy Liv Baker are busy interrogating the nurse Ellen about Jay, asking if she ever noticed anything unusual about her behavior. Ellen agrees that Jay was a little shifty and quiet, but when Twelvetrees shows up, she changes her story, telling Twelvetrees that they suspect Jay of stealing the prescription pads but that she told them she was nice and would never do that. Twelvetrees tells them that Jay didn't steal the pads and leaves. They tail her outside, saying that somebody at the clinic must have done it, but Twelvetrees continues to simply insist it wasn't her. She makes to leave and Ben Hawthorne shows up. He compliments the sheriff on "his theory" about Sam Hodges's insulin injection being the murder method, annoying Deputy Baker, the one who actually came up with the theory.
Back at the cabin, Vanderspeigle laments that if the government has his spaceship, they could have his device too. He wonders how humans deal with failure and comes up with an idea: medication. He gets blitzed on booze and pills and has a nightmare in which he is confronted by the animated corpse of the human Harry Vanderspeigle. He asks what he's doing there and the human Vanderspeigle comments that he thought he'd cook up one of the steaks he hid his body under. He continues that he heard him having sex with his wife, telling him that he's a loser who completely failed his mission. He says it makes him more than just a loser - it makes him human. The alien Vanderspeigle shouts at him not to call him that, but he comes at him with a knife. Waking up, the alien Vanderspeigle reaches for the bottle of pills, only for the corpse to come at him with the knife again. "Still dreaming," he informs him, and then he wakes up for real. At the Hawthorne household, Max's parents Ben and Kate show him a video of the institute in Georgia. He asks why they hate him and they tell him that they love him and they don't use that word in their family. They tell him it's a "special place" and that their decision is final, leading him to wonder why Vanderspeigle didn't get in touch with them. Devastated, he goes to his room and slams the door.
Vanderspeigle reflects that if he's stuck as a human now, he's going to have to get a job. He has a fantasy in which he tries out various jobs including newspaper deliveryman and tattoo artist, only to fail them all miserably. Max finds him daydreaming at a cafe and pleads with him, saying that they had a truce, asking if he talked to his parents. He replies that he did talk to them and told them that he could rot, that he's not good at truces. He says he has a lot of being human to do and Max replies that if that's the case, he shouldn't have a bunch of alien stuff in his truck. Meanwhile, D'Arcy Bloom and Twelvetrees are playing pool. Bloom tells Twelvetrees that she should have just told Thompson that she thinks that Jimmy stole the pad, but Twelvetrees replies that she doesn't have any proof. Bloom then gets a call from Judy, who tells her that Vanderspeigle has been at the bowling alley for hours and she can't get him to leave. He was there applying for a job, but her boss told him he was overqualified, given the has a PhD from Stanford. The two head over and find Vanderspeigle playing an old-fashioned space arcade game and shouting "Die, inferior species." They suggest he might want to go home to his wife, but he replies that his wife left him, he lost his job and his life is horrible. They ask if they can do anything, but he tells them that he already tried booze and pills and it didn't make him feel any better. "Jesus, Harry, you're a doctor!" comments Twelvetrees and Bloom agrees that he can't use booze and pills to feel better. "Yeah," says Twelvetrees and Bloom shouts at Judy to "Get the pot!"
The two proceed to get completely wasted on the pot, using a bowling pin as a bong. They then eat noodles, telling Vanderspeigle that he's finally doing depression right, that once you embrace that you have nothing, you have nothing left to lose. Twelvetrees starts to reflect on something her adoptive father Dan once said, only to realize she can't remember. As they continue talking, Vanderspeigle wanders away and heads over to an octopus in a large fishtank. "Hello, cousin, we have been waiting for you," the octopus tells him telepathically. The octopus asks why he looks human and he explains that he had to blend in. He tells the octopus that he has good news and bad news - the bad news being that he crashed and failed his mission, but the good news being that his friends didn't order the octopus. As they continue, Bloom and Twelvetrees watch, thinking correctly that he's never been high before and worrying that he perhaps has a wife in every town he visits and that Bloom could have been his "Patience wife." The octopus realizes that Vanderspeigle is wasted and chides him for getting high, asking him how he could be smoking bowls when his brother has been swimming around for six years with a plastic six-pack wrapped around his ass. He tells him that he already knows the answer and Vadnerspeigle realizes that he can use Max's powers. He jets and the octopus shouts after him, telling him to break him out, then realizes he should have opened with that. As Vanderspeigle leaves, Twelvetrees and Bloom approach the eel in the tank next to the octopus. "This is Asta. She's single and she likes to read very terrible beach books."
Vanderspeigle breaks back into Max's room, asking how he knew there was "alien stuff" in his truck with it being under a tarp. Max tells him that he can see the "green glow" and Vanderspeigle realizes that the same power that allows Max to see through his reconstruction allows him to also see the power emitted from alien artifacts as a green glow, something that he can't even do himself. He asks Max to help him find his device, but Max tells him he's not doing anything for him unless he gets him out of going to the school in Georgia. "Oh, right, okay. I'll help you get out of going to that dumb school in Georgia," he agrees, asking also if he can get his mother to put popcorn on the shopping list. Max shouts at him to get out and he does, but not before telling Max he peed on his bed. In the sheriff's office, Sheriff Thompson reflects on the possibility of getting on Dateline with Cletus for solving the murder, once again completing disregarding Deputy Baker. They receive a visit from Twelvetrees, who tells them that it was Jimmy who stole the pad. At the clinic, Vanderspeigle tells Ben and Kate Hawthorne that he made a mistake and misdiagnosed their son. Ben is thrilled that they don't have to send Max away, but Kate is very upset, saying that he drove a wedge into their marriage and asking how he could make such a mistake. Dr. Stone stands up for him, saying that even doctors can make mistakes and Vanderspeigle says that it was nobody's fault, but Kate tells him that it was his fault.
The scene flashes back to two weeks before in New Mexico, where Lisa Casper, David Logan and General McCallister are standing before Harry Vanderspeigle's spaceship. Casper points out the door, saying that they can see it and asks they shouldn't just get a crowbar and point it open. Logan replies that they've never seen this type of material before and Casper suggests that they use dynamite, leading Logan to indicate her to McCallister and say that this is the sort of thing he was talking about. He asks for more time and McCallister agrees to it, telling him to not make her regret it. Back in the present, Max finds Vanderspeigle reading a copy of Dracula and enjoying the idea of a man consuming another man's blood. He tells Vanderspeigle that he'll help him, that his parents are no longer planning to send him away. Vanderspeigle tests his ability with a piece of his spaceship and realizes that he can only see the green glow currently using his naked eye. He tells him that he'll build something to help assist his vision and when Max asks what his device does, he lies that it's a type of radio. At the sheriff's station, Sheriff Thompson interrogates Jimmy, but doesn't get very far. Baker does better by pointing out that Jimmy isn't the one who murdered Hodges, while still getting him to admit that he stole the prescription pad. She says that the pharmacist isn't the murderer and was just looking to make some money. Jimmy says that the pharmacist was just some dude who works at the high school and they press him to tell who that is. At the school, Vanderspeigle and Max are sneaking into the science lab to get some parts for Vanderspeigle to construct a telescope. They evade Sheriff Thompson and Deputy Baker and get the parts they need. Meanwhile, Thompson and Baker confront the janitor, Richard Ferguson, who immediately bolts. Thompson chases after him wildly, but it's Baker who manages to stop him, figuring out where he's heading and waylaying him with a push-broom. She starts to read him his Miranda rights, only for Thompson to get annoyed at her for using a contraction.
At the military base, Logan stares at the ship and comes to an alarming conclusion. Showing Casper and McCallister some history books, he tells them of the ancient civilization of the Quimbaya, whom UFOlogists believe were wiped from Earth by extraterrestrials. He points out an amulet which matches the look of the ship, telling them that he thinks that the alien is there to kill everyone. Back in Patience, Max and Kate are at home and Max tries to help Kate relax with a candle he made himself. She tells him that she needs a partner who challenges her and he says that she was wrong about the whole thing with Max. She admits to this, but then things go south when he continues to point out other flaws he's noticed, such as her getting upset if people don't laugh at her jokes. As this drama plays out, Deputy Baker finds Sheriff Thompson at the diner. She tells him the paperwork's all done, but he stays quiet and she asks he's not talking to her. To her surprise and shock, he tells her that he feels she was disrespectful to him yesterday, trying to do the Miranda rights herself and that she's been disrespectful to Cletus as well. Stunned, she grabs a to-go burger that a waitress brings over for Cletus and smashes it, asking if that was disrespectful. She tells him that he doesn't respect her and never has. He tells her that his father told him that respect is earned and smashing burgers won't cut it. At this, she tells him that she quits, then grabs the burger, saying that it's not right to waste food and leaves. Vanderspeigle sets up the telescope and directs Max to start looking. He does so and it's not long before he spots the green glow on the glacier. Vanderspeigle gets up, saying that he's going, and Max tells him that he can't, that it's too dangerous. Vanderspeigle goes anyway and Max shouts after him, pleading with him not to go. He is spotted by Twelvetrees and Bloom, who ask what he was doing with Vanderspeigle. Max refuses to say, but when they ask where he's going, he tells them that it's the glacier. When they ask why, he shouts for them to talk his lawyer and runs off. "Does he have a lawyer?" Bloom wonders.
Vanderspeigle makes for the mountain, reflecting that he's very close to completing his mission. He seeks out and discovers his device and a powerful green energy activates, causing Max's fragment of the spaceship to sizzle with power and the spaceship itself to glow with a powerful green energy, which Logan realizes is tethered. Staring at a map on a computer, he shouts that he knows where the alien is. Back at the glacier, Twelvetrees and Bloom come racing up on snowmobiles. They warn Vanderspeigle not to move, that he could be on a snowdrift. He tells them that he's okay and that they can go, but the ice shatters, swallowing them all up.
Cast and characters
- Alan Tudyk as Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle
- 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
- Keith Abruthnot as Alien Harry Double
- Rocky Anderson as Sniper
- Jennifer Rose Garcia as Waitress
- Nathan Fillion as voice of Octopus (uncredited)
"Are you high? You're baked. Look, my brother's been swimming around for six years with a plastic six-pack contained wrapped around his ass, and you're here smoking bowls? Just so long as you're having a good time."
- Octopus to Harry Vanderspeigle
"Respect is not an entitlement. You can't get it just by standing there asking for it. You earn it through your actions, Deputy, and quite frankly, I can tell you right now, punching burgers, that shit there ain't gonna cut it."
"Okay, well, how about this for an action? I quit. Does that cut it? I'll eat this tonight because it’s not right to waste food!"
- Sheriff Mike Thompson and Ex-Deputy Liv Baker
- Nathan Fillion, who portrayed Captain Malcolm Reynolds on Firefly, which also starred Resident Alien star Alan Tudyk as Hoban Washburne, voices an octopus who communicates with the alien Harry Vanderspeigle telepathically in this installment. Though Fillion is uncredited for the role, his participation was later acknowledged officially in an article posted on Syfy's website. Showrunner Chris Sheridan revealed that he had initially planned to have Tudyk voice the role, and Tudyk suggested trying to get Fillion, which Sheridan found to be an "amazing idea." He reached out to Fillion, who was happy to agree to the role, and recorded it at home and "ad-libbed some really funny things."
- on the Internet Movie Database
- Syfy Wire: Here's How That Mini-Firefly Reunion Came to be In Syfy's Resident Alien by Josh Weiss. March 23, 2021.