Episode Review (Spoilers – Skip to the next page if you haven’t seen it)
The show starts out as all alien-based shows or films seem to do, with Tudyk’s alien character (Captain Hah Re) crash landing while delivering a device to Earth. The reason for the delivery or what the device does is not specified.
The show does jump around timeline-wise, starting with the Sheriff approaching Hah Re months after landing, while already having taken on a human form. For the structure of the review, we’ll go chronologically as the events happened.
After Hah Re lands, he finds an isolated cabin owned by Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle, a doctor from out of town who comes up to his cabin for a few weeks out of the year. Vanderspeigle is awoken by the arrival of Hah Re at his cabin, and startled, attacks the alien. This prompts the alien to kill the doctor and throw him into the iced over lake outside the home.
This is where the alien begins watching Law and Order so he can learn to speak English. This pays off later in a joke I won’t ruin.
After taking the doctor’s identity he begins searching for his device and pieces of his crashed ship while apparently enjoying fishing. This is where the episode starts with Sherrif “Big Black” comes calling. The town doctor is dead and the Sherrif needs Dr. Harry Vanderspeigle, who is now the alien in human form, to come down and figure out why the doctor was presumably murdered.
Not wanting to bring attention to himself, Harry opts to go with him and once there, deduces the doctor killed himself. This is where he meets most of the main cast as well, but it’s also here where we really find out more about Tomko’s Asta Twelvetrees character.
The rest of the episode mostly follows Asta and Harry bonding over the autopsy of her boss, getting drunk, and then a domestic violence dispute with Asta’s extremely violent ex-husband. These scenes can’t be done justice through words, they have to be watched.
Eventually, we find out that the doctor, despite many in the town claiming murder, did in fact slit his own throat. Only, instead of it being suicide as such a maneuver would imply, it was because he was choking, and needed to give himself a tracheotomy in order to breathe. He’s unable to do it in time and dies, thus they believe it was suicide. Except it wasn’t, it was in fact murder, because the good doctor was poisoned. That’s why he was choking.
Or so the alien who murdered the other doctor seems to believe.
This sets up the possibility that someone we meet in the first episode is the murderer. The Mayor convinces Harry to take up the job as the town doctor, all while alien-Harry reveals to the audience why he came to Earth in the first place.