Episode information for Aliens in America, Season 1, on The CW. This page contains *new spoilers* and links to show recaps on this site.
Aliens in America Cast:
- Scott Patterson as Gary Tolchuck
- Dan Byrd as Justin Tolchuck
- Lindsey Shaw as Claire Tolchuck
- Amy Pietz as Franny Tolchuck
- Adhir Kalyan as Raja
Justin Tolchuck is a social outcast. His parents decide to get him an exchange student. Expecting a Nordic teen to boost Justin’s popularity, they instead get Raja from Pakistan. Franny is uncomfortable, but once she learns that Raja’s parents are dead, he’s an instant and welcome addition to the family.
Raja unknowingly has the entire school thinking he and Justin are gay. Claire breaks up with her boyfriend, whom Gary befriends and assists to win her back. Justin realizes avoiding Raja is making him unhappy.
Franny insist Raja join Justin’s Rocket Club – which does not exist. It was just a way for Justin to escape his mom. Raja decides to build a rocket anyway, but is arrested as a terrorist when he tries to buy the parts. Claire discovers cheerleading tryouts are difficult.
Raja convinces the popular girl she’s smart. She drops her cool friends and does a project with Raja and Justin. Justin tries to kiss her, which snaps her out of her phase. Claire discovers popularity to be fickle. Gary gets a makeover.
Gary is ashamed to tell the family he’s been fired from his job, so he tries to get everyone to cut costs. Raja gets a job at a convenience store, also the one where the cool kids hang out. Raja refuses to sell alcohol to minors.
Justin is crushed and out for revenge when Raja’s idea for the junior-class homecoming float is chosen over his own; Franny tries on Claire’s sexy homecoming dress and Gary finds her irresistible in it, but when he learns the revealing dress belongs to Claire, he forbids his daughter to wear it.
Broken Hearts & Cigarettes is the subtitle. Raja is stressed over midterms and begins smoking – which is more common in Pakistan. Gary and Franny both struggled to quit and forbid smoking in their home. But, without telling each other, each sneak out to smoke with Raja in the garage. Jeffrey dumps Claire. Justin tries to help but embarrasses her – she, in turn, does the same. Justin disowns Claire.
Justin and Raja share mascot duties as Musky, the Fish. Claire forced Justin into it, and Raja takes over to help. The crowd loves Raja for his gravity-defying movies. Raja gets too enthusiastic and confronts a spectator. Justin wants to make his mom proud, and faces his fears. Gary is still unemployed and realized he’s not needed at home. He stumbles into a relationship with a surrogate family who love having him around.
Justin and Raja are asked to participate in the annual Junior Prank – this year, flooding the teachers’ lounge. They are busted after accidentally flooding the football field instead. They whole school is mad at them. Gary tries to make up for losing his job by getting maximum return on his alpacas – he asks Claire to take care of them. Franny tries to earn money for the family by selling their possessions on Craig’s List.
Raja mentions that the Tolchuck’s trip to the mega-store every Sunday is a substitute for church. Franny is horrified that Raja thinks them spiritually bankrupt and they resume going to church – much to Gary’s displeasure. Claire asks for birth control pills for Christmas – Franny insists she join the church chastity group instead, and be Mary in the play. But Claire and the boy who play Joseph are very attracted to each other. Justin thinks God is answering his prayers, so prays to have sex with a girl in his class. He and a friend have a rift when it becomes apparent they are praying for the same thing.
Justin becomes the target of a big school bully, Trey. He is surprised that he can play on Trey’s emotions by making up a story that his mom, Franny, is in a coma. Raja gets mad at Justin for his lie, but then plays along with Trey is threatening to beat him up. Fran accidentally bumps a parked car and leaves a note. Gary, finding out, wants to take the note back but accidentally crashes into the same car – this time with real damage.
Medora High is conducting career aptitude tests. Raja is told he should be a doctor; Justin has no aptitude for anything defined. Franny and Gary put pressure on Justin to choose a career that he seeks refuge at his friend Dooley’s house. Dooley has a stay-at-home-dad, which Justin decides should be his career. Gary decides to take Justin on a "manly" hunting trip. Unfortunately, Raja has an accident with the crossbow that is embarrassing for Gary. Franny & Claire’s relationship turns combative and leads to a confrontation in a nightclub.
Franny’s community theater group puts on a production of "Rent." Justin won’t audition, but she gets him to join the stage crew to pacify Franny’s need for mother/son time. Justin meets lead actress Zoe and decides to audition for male lead. He lands the part – and he and the cute Zoe become inseparable. However, their friendship is damaged when she hears Justin told his friends they had sex. Claire joins the teen hotline but is unable to help anyone. Raja feels bad for her and calls in with a fake name to tell Claire his troubles.
Raja goes missing – Claire and Franny go to the home of a Muslim family who are going to host a German exchange student. They share experiences of living with people opposite to themselves. Raja feels he is a burden for Tolchucks and Medora.
Justin’s fortune cookie tells him he is a good judge of character. A girl named Mindy Weinglau asks Raja to sign her pro-petition petition, he agrees (and is the only one). Justin says Mindy is overbearing, needy and compulsive. Mindy, overwhelmed by Raja’s gesture and that he partnered with her for a ‘Meals on Wheels’ activity, thinks she and Raja are falling in love.
Justin thinks he is pre-occupied with sex when his drawings of naked women are found by Franny. Franny crusades against smutty books, but goes too far after Claire tricks her to ban Pride and Prejudice to avoid a book report. Raja deals with his sexual urges and Gary remembers his own teen years.
1.17 "Wake at the Lake"
Air Date: May 11, 2008
[Screencaps & Discussion]
Raja raises awareness for Students Against Drunk Driving with an annual skit. He plans a mock funeral for a classmate who "died" in an alcohol-related accident. Raja selects Justin to be the pretend victim, which goes against school tradition of choosing the most popular kid.
1.18 "Raja at 16"
Air Date: May 18, 2008
[Screencaps & Discussion]
The weather gets warmer… and so do the hearts at Medora High School. Justin gets fed up with all the couples making out. Donna comes into play – the only girl in school who has a crush on Justin. Raja and Sadika date. Claire may be dating the German exchange student.
Although 22 episodes of Aliens in America were ordered, only 18 were completed prior to the WGA strike. The strike is over, but those remaining episodes will not be produced.
Sources: tv.com, the cw, the futon critic, tv guide