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3rd Rock From the Sun: Season 04 ()

Resolving the cliffhanger ending of Season Three, Season Four of 3rd From the Sun finds the Solomon family--actually a team of aliens who've assumed human form while on a fact-finding mission on Planet Earth--desperately searching for their kidnapped colleague Harry Solomon (French Stewart), handicapped by the loss of their extraterrestrial powers at the behest of their disgruntled leader The Big Giant Head. Once this crisis is resolved, we have time enough to become acquainted with the newest member of the cast, Larisa Oleynik, cast as Alissa Strudwick, the new human girlfriend of alien scientist Tommy Solomon (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) (who is still confined to his teenaged body despite his advancing years). The off-and-on romance between group leader Dick Solomon (John Lithgow), who has taken a job as a teacher at Pendleton College, and Dick's colleague Dr. Mary Albright (Jane Curtin), undergoes more "offs" than "ons" this season. That's because Mary has been promoted to college dean, making her Dick's boss--and he doesn't like the situation one teeny tiny bit. Season Four's better episodes include "Collect Call for Dick", a broad spoof of the current Beanie Babies craze in which Dick becomes obsessed to the point of addiction over accumulating a huge collection of "Fuzzy Buddy" toys; "I Am Dick Pentameter", featuring Laurie Metcalf (Roseanne) as an airheaded eccentric who comes between Dick and Mary; "Indecent Dick", wherein Sally Solomon (Kristen Johnson) has become so comfortably in her earthly "female" form that she's willing to pose for a nudie magazine, much to the chagrin of her human beau Officer Don (Wayne Knight); and "Two Faced Dick", an all-stops-out laff riot in which Sally requests a "gender reassignment" and is allowed to exchange bodies with Dick. Also: The Solomons are threatened with being exposed as aliens when forced to file their first IRS form in "Dick and Taxes"; another near-exposure occurs in "Alien Hunter", with Kathy Bates playing the highly suspicious title character; and as the "family" comes to face to face with the Internet for the first time, Harry Solomon and his human sweetie Vicki discuss the possibility of having children, in "Y2dicK". The fourth season ends with the long-awaited arrival on earth of the Big Giant Head, who calls himself "Stone Philips" but whose human form very closely resembles that of William Shatner. Having shown up to rake the Solomons over the coals for failing to fulfill their mission, the Big Giant Head not only demotes Dick as high commander, but also manages to impregnate the hapless Vicki--who, in the process, becomes the first human on the series to tumble to the Solomons' alien status. 3rd Rock from the Sun wrapped up its fourth year on the air with two more Emmy Awards, as John Lithgow collected his third statuette and Kristen Johnson received her second. Hal Erickson, Rovi Hide synopsis

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