It's easier to understand Alex now.
That was after meeting his Uncle Danny, the man who raised him, on Almost Paradise Season 1 Episode 7.
Now we know why Alex is so distrustful of everyone.
Danny, portrayed by the always reliable Richard Kind, was a piece of work, no doubt about it.
No wonder Alex's hypertension monitor went off as soon as Danny appeared in his gift shop.
Even though he showed up without any warning, Danny made himself right at home in Alex's apartment.
He certainly knew how to push Alex's buttons, mentioning his frequent visits with Evelyn, the daughter that Alex has rarely been able to see because of his past as an undercover DEA agent.
So Alex had every reason to be suspicious of Danny's arrival, especially considering their history.
Danny did the right thing when he took in his young nephew, Alex, who had nowhere else to go.
But then Danny turned Alex into his junior partner in crime, using Alex in many of his cons.
Danny thought that Alex should be thanking him for giving him the skills to thrive as an undercover agent. After all, Alex has been playing characters most of his life.
But Alex blamed Danny for his inability to trust people.
So the two have issues, which is what made this episode work well.
Alex couldn't believe that Danny just showed up to visit his favorite nephew.
And he was right. That became evident when Ernesto and Kai got assigned to find a grifter passing counterfeit bills at the local resorts.
This proved to be a valuable lesson for Kai, who was grousing about the assignments she and Ernesto received from Ike.
There are more to some assignments than originally appears to be the case. That same dictum would apply to Alex, as well, during this episode.
Once they came to visit him at the gift shop, Alex thought he had figured out what Danny was up to, especially once he found the hidden compartment stuffed with bills in Danny's golf bag.
It didn't help that Danny didn't even come up with a believable lie to explain the stash.
It was easy to see why Danny had enjoyed a long run as a grifter. He was a likable rogue.
And with the wealthy Yee family gathering at the Paradise Resort, Danny had his pick of available marks.
Still, it didn't make sense that Danny, based in the Eastern United States, would have known about wealthy Asians gathering on a Philippine island.
It couldn't have accounted for his arrival there, and Alex should have realized it. The Yees that Danny befriended were merely convenient victims of opportunity.
So Alex proceeded to interfere with Danny's crooked round of golf, rigged golfballs, and all.
Where did Alex learn to play golf that well? Undercover DEA assignments couldn't have allowed much time for him on the links.
Maybe he should become the resort's golf pro instead and hustle matches on the side. It would have to pay better than the gift shop.
Then we could get rid of the tired "Alex is always broke" storyline.
Alex is always broke because he spends too much time on his hobby, solving crimes for free for the Mactan police, instead of his job of selling overpriced souvenirs.
No one expected Jessica Fletcher to sit at her typewriter writing for a half-hour each episode. The same principle applies here. Move on.
It took Alex winning the round for Danny to finally admit that he was on the run from a contract hitter.
It sounded like another Danny lie until Alex, again steaming, spied a hitman he recognized questioning staff members. Yeah, that's likely to have happened.
That would have been an eminently sensible time to loop in Kai and Ernesto, who have already proven themselves to be amenable to Alex's extralegal shenanigans (there's no other word for it).
But no. Instead, he stashed Danny in a housekeeping closet and allowed himself to be taken in, at which point he finally confided in Kai and Ernesto, during which he had his weekly light-bulb moment and set up a convoluted entrapment scheme.
From then on was the obligatory reeling in of the assassin, who was incredibly patient as Alex and Danny worked through their family drama.
Was anybody surprised by how that showdown worked out?
Danny had to be "killed" so that he could live. Alex exchanged the hitman and solving his recent kills for immunity for Danny's passing counterfeit bills.
What was most frustrating was that it was never clear when Alex, and especially Danny, were speaking the truth to each other or just weaving a story as circumstances demanded.
Yes, they both love each other. But it's complicated.
Welcome to being part of a family.
Based on their dynamic, stealing Alex's wallet on the way out of town was totally on point for Danny.
How did Danny expect to disappear, being the only white man hanging out with the Yee family in Singapore? He won't be staying "dead" and out of sight for long, will he?
Still, the episode did help to explain some of what made Alex so damaged.
To revisit Alex's transition to Cebu, watch Almost Paradise online.
How did you enjoy Danny?
What's more annoying, Alex's whining about money or Kai's whining about respect?
Shouldn't Ernesto tell them both off?
Dale McGarrigle is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.