This week’s installment of Roswell, New Mexico, episode 5 of the season, titled Don’t Speak, features some major revelations, the death of a minor character, and Isobel running around the desert in her little black nightgown and knee-high tube socks, without shoes.
I really need to start a regular Isobel fashion watch section. Her clothing just keeps getting more fun, though I don’t know how they can top this week.
For now, let’s move on to the recap, and discuss fashion and all of the other exciting events of the week as they arise. The writers have outdone themselves with giving us juicy, juicy tidbits to chew on.
The episode begins with Isobel, lying on the ground, somewhere out in the desert, under an old-fashioned windmill, wearing what amounts to a mid-thigh length black slip, which is her nightgown, and nothing else, not even shoes. The sun is up and pounding down on her.
Near where Isobel awakens, the symbol that appears in the title card, with three circles and a triangle in the center, is carved into the desert floor. Isobel doesn’t seem to notice it. I’m willing to bet she doesn’t know what it means, but it’s a signal to their people.
Michael and Max are at the junkyard, where Michael is repairing Max’s jeep and Max is talking Michael out of turning himself in for murders he didn’t commit. Max’s solution to the problem is an epic road trip to escape the whole thing. Max reasons that once Michael turns himself in, everyone will follow his history straight to Max and Isobel. They’d all go down together, so there’s no point in Michael putting them all in danger. They can leave town and start over somewhere else, or stay in Roswell and come up with a solution.
Noah pulls up with coffee and breakfast for everyone, assuming Isobel is there, since she didn’t come home the night before. He’s upset at the blank looks on Michael and Max’s faces, because Isobel is always with them when she doesn’t come home. Where else could she be? Max and Michael make up a story to cover for her, which temporarily appeases Noah. (Goat yoga? Really?)
As soon as Noah leaves, with Max and Michael’s promises to call him as soon as they hear from Isobel, they head out to look for her. Max calls the station, and Cam tells him that her car was picked up, with the keys still inside, just off one of the highways. Michael says that when he took her home last night, Noah wasn’t home yet, so he figured she’d go back to sleep.
Liz, who is dressed in a suit and looking very grown up and gorgeous, finds Kyle at the hospital going through a box of his dad’s old stuff. This is the box of stuff that his mom didn’t want him to see, but didn’t want to throw out either. So far, he’s discovered that his dad was an alcoholic who did a couple of stints in rehab in the 80s (called that one) and who had multiple affairs. Jim Valenti was also obsessed with aliens, which we already knew.
Kyle has found a key on a leather key ring with the symbol of a sun spiral embossed on it, a drawing of a rose, a flask, a post it, a magazine, and other items. He’s been up all night, and feels like everything he knew about his dad was a lie.
Liz recognizes that the rose was drawn by Rosa. Kyle becomes more sure that Rosa and Jim had an affair. He puts the box away, and asks if they could wait until tomorrow to revisit it. Liz agrees.
But as soon as he leaves the office, she pulls the box out and finds the post it, which is attached to a small voice recorder. According to the note, the recorder contains audio from the Roswell Police Department tip line on June 8, 2008, from 8 PM to 12 AM. That’s the night that Rosa died.
Liz listens to the messages while she waits for her interview, then puts it aside. During the interview, she’s very excited about the work of the study. They are working on vessel regrowth using stem cells. The doctor stays very quiet while Liz talks about her interest in the work, which makes me think there’s something fishy about the story.
On her way out of the interview, Liz listens to more of the messages from the evening of Rosa’s death. Most are silly, such as a the wife whose husband thinks he’s a cabbage, and her husband, who calls in to say that he’s become a cabbage. Maybe someone was practicing mind control?
Then Liz hits the jackpot: “I’m at the turqoise mines, working on my documentary, and people are floating in the middle of the desert. Three of them. Teenagers.”
Dispatcher: “Floating? In the air?”
Caller: “You know, nevermind, I gotta go.”
Grant Green, loudmouth alien podcaster, is shouting his way through another episode from his booth in the diner, when Liz arrives. She tries to get him to tell her the truth about what happened, and to show her the video. He wants to know who sent her, and he’s afraid to talk. He gathers up his stuff, all the while looking around to see who might be watching them.
He tells her that there is no video and nothing is an accident. People who talk about this end up dead. Then he leaves.
Grant runs the alien museum in town, so Liz goes there. As she’s looking at the outside of the closed museum, she runs into Noah, who confesses to being a space and alien nerd. He tells her that Grant has everything stored out on the edge of town, near the Long’s Farm, while the remodeling is being done. She can get a peek at it there.
Noah still hasn’t found Isobel. Liz promises to tell her to call him.
Kyle takes a drive outside of town to the old hunting cabin that his dad and Jesse Manes used to share. Technically, his dad owned it, though it wasn’t listed with the property to be dispersed at Jim’s death. Kyle discovers why when he finds Alex there. He must have had the house automatically pass to Alex, and he left the key for him with a letter. Alex doesn’t know why Jim would leave him the cabin.
Kyle explains that he found a key that looks like it should fit something at the cabin, and asks if Alex minds if he looks around and tries a few locks. Alex give him permission to search all he wants.
Max and Michael park at the old windmill, which is where Isobel’s car was picked up, but she must have wandered off. In high school, Isobel used to blackouts and wake up in strange places. Michael grabs his gun from the glove compartment of his truck, just in case Isobel is in troble. Max figures that Isobel is more likely to be the trouble.
That sets off an argument. Michael doesn’t think they know what sets off the blackouts, but Max thinks it’s trauma. He says that the last blackout was in high school, when she thought he was going to abandon her. Now she thinks that Michael is going to turn himself in and Max is going to end up with Liz, so she’s triggered again.
Michael wonders if it’s the talk about Rosa’s death that’s triggering her. He thinks they should tell Isobel the truth about how Rosa died. Max refuses.
Michael tells Max to call her. Max uses telepathy to find Isobel, and heads straight for her. They run through the desert scrub until they get to where Isobel is lying in a field of flowers, because of course she is. They probably grew there so she’d have a soft place to lie. She’s shaky and upset that she’s blacked out again, just like before.
Kyle becomes nostalgic over some of the old childhood possessions he finds. He remembers what a good team he and Alex were as little kids, when their dads got them together. Alex reminds him that their friendship ended when Kyle got older and was embarassed about Alex being gay. He bullied Alex so that no one would think that he was gay, too. Kyle tries to apologize, but Alex says he’s been through worse since then.
Kyle tries to open a drawer on a heavy coffee table, and discovers a hidden trap door underneath. They open the hatch, and climb down the ladder into a room that’s like a bomb shelter, but decorated like a bedroom. Alex notices a moon and sun stencil cut of one of the bedside lampshades, so that it throws light on the wall in that shape in a certain spot.
Alex asks Kyle what he’s really looking for. Kyle explains that he and Liz are looking into Rosa’s death. They think it’s possible that Jim Valenti was having an affair with Rosa.
Alex doesn’t think that’s possible. He sees Jim as a good guy who took care of all the kids. He explains to Kyle that Jim left him the house instead of Kyle because Kyle didn’t need it. He was loved and successful. But Alex’s mother was gone and his father is a homophobic, abusive d*ck. Jim Valenti saw it, so he left Alex the house to give him someplace to go. He wouldn’t take advantage of a desperate teenager. “He would help them.”
They dig a little deeper, and in a cupboard they find IV bags that are used for detoxing. Kyle wonders if Jim was doing rehab with Rosa. Alex finds a small, locked trunk.
Liz finds Grant Green’s storage barn of alien memorabilia and does a little breaking and entering. Within minutes, she’s facing Grant and a gun. He wants to know who sent her. She convinces him that she’s on her own and interested in the truth about aliens.
Grant was a peyote documentarian before he was an alien podcaster. The night he saw the aliens in the desert, he was tripping out of his mind. Liz figures out that “they” left him alone because no one would believe him anyway. Grant wants to know which “they”? Liz tells him to tell her.
Grant tells her that a couple of men approached him a few months later. He gave them a copy of the tape he’d recorded, but kept the original. They threatened his life if he didn’t turn over the tape. They didn’t know he had the original.
Isobel guzzles down some nail polish remover. They talk about why she’s blacking out, going over Max’s theory that it’s the fear of losing someone she loves. Isobel thinks it’s that she exhausted herself by using her powers so much, trying to get Liz to leave town. She had no idea it was going to be so much harder this time.
Wait for it.
Isobel’s and Michael’s eyes go wide as they realize the giant mistake she just made, but they try not to look at each other or react otherwise. Maybe if they don’t, Max won’t catch it.
Oops, too late.
He focuses on the word “harder”, and its connotation that she’s done this before, but it worked the last time. He puts the pieces together very quickly, and figures out that after high school and Rosa’s death, Isobel made Liz leave town and forget him. But he wants her to say it out loud and confirm it.
Kyle’s key unlocks the locker at the foot of the bed. Inside, they find baby things and a photo of a man holding a baby girl. The man’s head isn’t in the photo, but Kyle recognizes Jim’s hands. The baby has an R and a rose on her pink blanket. It’s Rosa.
It’s Kyle’s turn to put the pieces together. Jim didn’t have an affair with Rosa. He had an affair with her mother. Rosa was his child. That’s why he tried to help her get clean and was devastated when she died.
Grant tells Liz that he’s always known, in his core, that aliens exist. He’d try to deny it, but he could never get away from it completely. Then he shows Liz the recording of Rosa, Katie Long and the third girl floating out of the mine.
Liz doesn’t understand why he hasn’t said anything, if he’s had this the whole time. He says that it’s because he’s not stupid. Everyone who’s talked about the Roswell crash or aliens has ended up dead. Liz points out that he talks constantly. He says that he doesn’t talk about anything real. Then Liz understands. He floods the airwaves with fake theories, so that if anyone gets close to the truth, it’s lost in the chatter. Someone pays him to spread fake alien theories.
Before he can answer, Wyatt Long yells that all Grant had to do was “not talk.” Then he starts shooting out panes of glass so that Liz can count his bullets like she’s in the old west. When he’s shot 6 times, she figures he has to pause to reload, and makes a run for it.
Max, Isobel and Michael have it out over Liz. Isobel and Michael feel no remorse over what they did. They were sure he had a crush that was going to blow their cover, so they did what they thought was best for the family. But Max has suffered every day for ten years because the love of his life picked up and left him without even saying goodbye. The only thing that gave him any comfort was his relationship with them.
Now he discovers that she left because they betrayed him and forced her to leave. Isobel should have known that Liz was more than a crush, because she can read minds.
Michael tries to calm things down by saying that the first mindwarp is ancient history. Max shoves him up against the truck and shouts that it’s not. It’s still happening. He orders Isobel to find Liz so that he can talk to her. Isobel whimpers that she doesn’t know where Liz is, but Max knows that she should still have a connection with Liz from the drive-in.
Sure enough, Isobel easily finds Liz once she tries. She tells Max where Liz is, and that she’s in trouble. Michael gives Max the gun. Max drives off and leaves the other two standing out in the desert.
I guess Michael can call someone for a ride, since he has his phone. I really wanted Isobel to lay down and pass out in the back of the truck, and just stay that way through the shootout to come.
Sure enough, after shooting his six bullets, Wyatt stops to reload, very slowly and noisily. Good thing he always carries the same gun.
While Wyatt is reloading, Liz plugs in a noisy museum exhibit to distract him. Then she sneaks up behind him and uses an alien sculpture as a bat to hit him. They fight, which ends with Wyatt knocking Liz out.
He drags her outside and closes her up in a wooden crate, one of many amongst Grant’s stored possessions. As he’s pouring gas over the area, he demands to know who else Liz has told about the aliens.
Liz tries to convince him to let her out, promising to tell him everything, but he lights the fire instead, and walks toward his truck. The adrenaline rush from the danger gives Liz the strength to kick the end of the crate out. She runs away from the fire and into Max, who holds onto her and covers her mouth with her hand so that she doesn’t scream and let Wyatt know she’s escaped. As soon as she realizes it’s Max, Liz throws herself into his arms and holds on tight.
Kyle and Alex go back upstairs, and Kyle apologizes for dragging Alex into his family mess.
Alex: “How many men do you know who were a father to every kid who needed one? That’s who Jim Valenti was. And he was yours. The dad I got was a monster. Is a monster.”
Kyle: “Because he sent you off to war?”
Alex: “My father was my war. And your dad saw it when we were kids. Do you remember the summer that we built the treehouse? That’s the summer my dad found out I was gay. He knew before I did. He thought he could beat it out of me. Jim tried to intervene, but you can’t make someone stop hating someone. And my dad hated me.”
Kyle tells Alex that he’s wrong about why Jim gave him the cabin. It wasn’t because Jim thought of him as weak. Alex is the bravest person Kyle knows.
Max and Liz discover that Wyatt shot Grant in the head. Then Wyatt sees them and starts shooting. He and Max each shoot each other. Police and an ambulance quickly arrive, drawn by the fire.
Max was shot in the shoulder, and Liz crouches over him, pressing down on the wound and saying she’s sorry, in a scene that parallels the one from the pilot when Max saves her life. She picks up his head and makes him look her in the eyes at one point. But instead of a quiet alien-themed diner, in tones of blue-green, it’s an alien-themed warehouse, that’s on fire, with sirens blaring in the background. In both cases, Wyatt was nearby and had just shot one of them.
If the staging of this scene has any sort of message, it’s that things are becoming more intense and urgent. Wyatt is more dangerous, Max and Liz are more confused than ever and need to sort themselves out, and the overall mystery of who the aliens are needs to be addressed, because innocent bystanders are being killed to protect the secret.
The EMTs pull Liz off of Max so they can take him to the hospital. Not surprisingly, by the end of the commercial break, he’s checked himself out of the hospital and removed the bullet himself, at home, with a little help from a bottle of whiskey.
Liz shows up at the door just after he finishes. He has to remind her that he can’t let the hospital look at him too closely. Then he starts thinking about what just happened, and wonders why Wyatt Long, a cowardly, racist white supremacist, is not just involved, but in so deep that he’s murdering people?
Liz keeps insisting that Max let her look at his bullet wound, but he’s not in the mood to be touched by the woman who has conflicted emotions about him, but makes him set off lightning storms. He asks her why she’s there. She tells him that he was there for her when she needed him.
Isobel and Michael have made their way back to Michael’s trailer and are sitting in front of the fire pit when Noah drives up. He gets out of the car, paper bag in hand, ready to confront her. Michael hurries inside his trailer. Isobel tries to head Noah off, saying she knows this looks strange. It’s not clear what she thinks is strange. Just that she’s still in her nightgown, not that she hasn’t been home or called Noah in who knows how long?
Noah does think it’s odd that she supposedly went to goat yoga without putting on appropriate clothes. He asks if she cheating on him? Then he dumps out his bag of empty nail polsh remover bottles, which he’d found stashed all over the house. He wants to know if she’s hiding a drinking habit, since his grandfather did something similar.
Noah wants to help and support her, but he can’t keep going without knowing the truth. Isobel refuses to tell him. He hands her the bag he’s packed for her, since he assumed she wouldn’t be honest with him, tells her he needs some time apart, then leaves. Isobel stands there, stunned.
Kyle looks through the box of his father’s incriminating evidence again. He’s overwhelmed by the different picture it paints of his father, and the emotions that brings up in him. He shoves the box to the floor and follows it down, crying. He never really knew his father, and now he knows he had a sister who died before he could appreciate her. What other secrets will come to light?
Alex goes back to the underground bedroom to look over the cut out in the lampshade that he’d noticed earlier. When he turns on the lamp, the pattern shines on a certain part of the wall, which Alex uses his crutch to destroy. It’s a thin, false wall. Behind it is a small piece of the aliens’ spaceship, just like Michael has. When Alex rubs his hand over it, symbols briefly appear and move over it.
Michael comes back outside and is surprised to find that Isobel is still there, being sad. They both say they’re tired, her in a “tired of keeping up her front” kind of way, him in a “tired of keeping up with everyone else’s front and drama” kind of way.
Isobel feels like everything she does is a cover up. She lives a lie and all she does is act. She doesn’t even feel like her marriage is real, because she doesn’t know herself, so she can’t really know or love Noah and he doesn’t know or love the real her.
Michael suggests that it’s time they told the people they love the truth about who they really are, before the secrets tear them all apart. Isobel is grateful there are no more secrets between the three of them. Michael can’t look at her. She figures out that he’s holding something back and asks what his secret is.
Michael: “I didn’t kill those girls, Isobel. You know who did. You’ve always known.”
Liz and Max hold hands and talk. She was scared for him when he got shot. But she admits that when he showed up at the fire, she knew she was safe, right down in her bones. Yet she also feels in her gut that she shouldn’t trust him. That doesn’t make any logical sense.
Just like I theorized last week, her real feelings are telling her one thing and Isobel’s ten year old mindwarp is telling her another. You’d think Max would take this opportunity to tell her the truth, but that would be too simple.
Max: “The heart isn’t logical, Liz. I mean love makes you do crazy things. It makes you do beautiful things. And terrible things. Things you’d never do.”
Liz realizes that he’s not referring to her. That he covered up Rosa’s murder because someone he loved killed all three girls. She figures out that Michael must have floated the bodies out of the cave with his mind because he had a broken hand at the time.
Max asks how Liz knew about the cave. She tells him she knows a lot more than he realizes, and shows him a copy of Rosa’s autopsy photo. It’s clear he’s never seen it before. He’s shocked to see the handprint mark on her face. “The mark. How is that possible?”
Liz goes through the facts like the scientist that she is. Max’s hand is too big to have made the mark on Rosa’s face. Michael’s hand was broken, and presumably in a cast. That leaves Isobel, the person Max loves most in the world, and would do anything to protect. Liz wants Max to confirm that she’s right, that it’s Isobel he’s protecting.
Max is still staring at the photo. Isobel probably doesn’t have powers that would leave a handprint. But he’s believed for 10 years that she was the murderer, and he covered the evidence up for her sake.
So he tells Liz, “Yes,” it was Isobel.
Is Wyatt the fourth alien???
I don’t think Isobel is the killer any more than Michael or Max were. She obviously doesn’t remember that night very well, and I don’t think Michael and Max have all the facts.
Wyatt is a small guy, with small hands. His hands and Isobel’s could easily be the same size. He’s much more likely to be the killer. The three dead girls probably stumbled onto the pods or something else he didn’t want them to see. Wyatt may also have mind control capabilities that allowed him to affect Isobel’s memory.
Michael and Max found Isobel with the bodies of three dead girls and no memory of what happened. They assumed that she killed them and blacked out, repressing her own memories. That’s why the idea that Isobel has blackouts and memory lapses was introduced in this episode.
But it was actually Wyatt who killed the girls and did something traumatic to Izzie. She may have watched the murders. But how would she have ended up in the cave with the other three? Did she follow Rosa when she saw her leave the Wild Pony?
It seems like Wyatt is supposed to be the same age as the rest of the gang, which suggests that he wasn’t responsible for the alien deaths connected to the crash and its aftermath. There must still be an adult who survived, and possibly raised Wyatt to be a killer. Is Wyatt meant to be protecting the other aliens, or their enemy, though? He could be their protector, and still get a few licks in here and there, out of resentment.
Or Wyatt could be a shapeshifter, and be any age. He could be the adult alien who survived the crash, killed Kyle’s ancestor and was captured by Jesse.
The symbol on the title card, and that was scratched into the sand in this episode, shows three circles, each with a different symbol inside, connected by spokes to a center triangle. Is Isobel the triangle/queen and the three guys are the circles? Is Max the king/triangle, and the other three have roles to play as his court? Or are they some other form of elite team, waiting to be activated?
It’s not based on much, but I have a hunch that Wyatt’s connection, as an alien, is strongest to Isobel. We know he hates Max, and he seems to be protecting her. Maybe Isobel really is his sister. When Max and Cam went out to his farm and Cam had the shooting match with him, he said something like he was honoring his sister. I knew he didn’t really care much about his sister, but so little that he’s working for her killers?
I keep coming back to the handprint that Max would have left behind on Wyatt after they fought outside of the diner. Max and Michael must not have realized that action would leave a mark. But Wyatt is an alien, so it didn’t phase him.
I’m sure Isobel’s little slip gown works out great when she’s in bed with her husband. Out in the desert, with bare feet and exposed skin in the middle of the day, it’s not going to take long for her to be in a dangerous situation. Between the cacti, the ants, and all of the other biting, prickly, thorned and stinging residents of the ground, her feet will be a mess before long. Then the sunburn on her face, arms and shoulders will kick in, along with dehydration if the day is very warm. Hopefully they didn’t leave Lily Cowles to suffer too long, while they did take after take. My feet are prickling just looking at her. People die every year from not taking the desert seriously enough.
All that being said, the tube socks, night-gown, blanket combo has to be my favorite Isobel outfit yet. It’s very New Mexico. People tend to be so quirky and laid back here, she would barely get noticed if she went to the store in that outfit.
I totally agree with Max. An epic road trip will solve almost every problem.
Isobel loves to play the helpless game to try to manipulate Michael and Max. I love that they see right through it. I’m not so sure that Noah does. He does understand a lot about Isobel. He often knows what she needs or can predict her moods and reactions. But he’s been feeling shut out since the series began, and, while she’s made a few attempts to spend more time with him, she has to think about it, and remind herself to do it. Her natural inclination is to spend all of her time with Max and Michael, especially when she’s troubled. Where does her husband fit in her life if she’s already got two platonic husbands?
Just how often does Isobel stay over at Max or Michael’s, and why doesn’t she call her husband to let him know where she is? The three aliens are even more codependent than I thought, if Isobel isn’t even bothering to let Noah know when she’s with her brothers, because she’s there so much. Noah shouldn’t have to go looking for his wife in the morning to figure out whose couch she’s sleeping on.
Is the study Liz interviewed for using alien stem cells in its research? She said these results were science fiction a few years ago. Maybe they’re they still science fiction.
It’s not clear whether Michael tells Max to telepathically call Isobel because he doesn’t have the same connection with the other two, or if he’s just not as good at it, since he didn’t live with them while growing up. Or if he just wanted Max to call Isobel this time, because he didn’t want to face her emotions yet.
While Kyle figures out that Rosa was Jim Valenti’s daughter, Alex just sits quietly and doesn’t really even look at him. Alex, whose father is blonde, while he has dark eyes and hair. Whose father found something out about him that made him hate him. Whose father had a big falling out with Jim Valenti in their later years. Who was left an entire house by Jim Valenti.
Odds that Alex is Jim’s son? 95% Odds that Alex already knows? 60% Odds that Alex and Rosa knew they were siblings? 50-50
That would make Alex a candidate for being Ophiucus. He and Rosa could have felt like they were each other’s real family, and have met at the cabin, with Jim’s blessing. Maybe Alex was also helping with Rosa’s rehab.
How many siblings will Kyle eventually discover? And will we ever meet Liz’s mother and Jim Valenti? We need some flashbacks of these two people. I figure that Jim was a father to all of the needy teenagers in town because there was a good chance that he was their biological father.
Funny how Jesse Manes shared his alien knowledge with Jim Valenti’s son, and Jim Valenti shared it with Jesse’s son. Jim might have hoped that Kyle and Alex would work together.
Michael with his piece of alien tech, then Alex finding the one Jim hid, then Alex holding it while it reveals alien symbols.
Isobel wakes up next to lines scratched into the sand in the pattern that’s shown in the title sequence every week. I don’t think it’s been mentioned otherwise. The symbol is shown on the ground at roughly the same angle it’s shown from in space, even though it looks like its orientation shouldn’t matter. It’s conceivable that the pattern has been on the ground for a long time, and is an alien SOS. Or Isobel could have just made it, as an alien call for an uber. None of the three aliens mention it.
Images courtesy of The CW.