Before we get started, let me state my bias, straight out. Maria DeLuca (Heather Hemmens) is the best character on this show. No contest. If the writers disappear her again, or mistreat her too badly (that includes retconning her character to ruin her), I may riot, then stop watching.
Back to your regularly scheduled recap.
This week’s episode of Roswell, New Mexico, titled Songs About Texas, moved several giant steps closer to getting its Scooby gang together. Episode 9 was directed by Shiri Appleby, the original Liz on original Roswell, and was filled with callbacks to its predecessor.
Max, Michael, Liz and Maria accidentally end up together on a road trip to Texas to check out potential clues to an alien mystery. Relationship progress ensues. A Native American elder tells them about an alien who once lived on the reservation. These points are true of the current episode Songs about Texas, and the original series episodes 285 South and River Dog (S1 Eps 6&7).
Shiri did a great job with the episode. She gave it the feel of the original series, with fun banter interspersed with important and heartfelt conversations. It wasn’t fast-paced, but there wasn’t wasted time, either. It felt like an episode of an ensemble show, with all of the major characters getting their due, including Alex, Cam, and Maria, all of whom have been ignored for long stretches during the season. It included some of the best couples moments of the season, but also some of the best friendship moments. While it’s hard to tell if we saw the current villain, the mystery was featured and even deepened. Conditions are set for the group to research the alien mysteries as a team, even if they won’t be ready for full disclosure to all members for a while.
I’d like to think that this means Roswell the show is getting its act together and will be consistently good for the rest of the season, but they’ve been up and down too often, too recently, for me to believe it yet.
The last episode, Barely Breathing, ended with Isobel going back into her pod so she could be in stasis while Michael and Liz worked to find a cure for the organ failure she succumbed to after forcing Kyle to inject her with Liz’s serum. Episode 9, Songs About Texas, picks up 6 weeks later.
Max has set up camp in the old turquoise mine where the pods live. He’s bundled up against the cold, sitting in his lawn chair, surrounded by knee high piles of books. We find him reading Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein aloud to Isobel.
Forget about Ann Evans’ women’s magazines. If Isobel has to spend a few months in a
room with yellow wallpaper turquoise mine on a 19th century rest cure, Max is going to help her get a Masters degree in literature while she does it.
Max: “Even broken in spirit as he is, no one can feel more deeply than he does the beauties of nature. The starry sky, the sea, and every sight afforded by these wonderful regions seem still to have the power of elevating his soul from earth. Such a man has a double existence. He may suffer misery and be overwhelmed by disappointments, yet when he is retired into himself, he will be like a celestial spirit that has a halo around him, within whose circle no grief or folly ventures.”
Cut to Michael while Max is still reading, the man who is almost always outside, enjoying the beauties of nature, but who also has a secret mad scientist lab, though he’s currently working with Liz in her lab. He teleports a vial of blood across the lab into Liz’s hand, and wonders if attempt number 148 will be the antidote that works. Liz smiles, but doesn’t have an answer.
Max wipes his hand across Isobel’s pod and tells her, “We haven’t given up on you, Isobel. We never will.”
At the sheriff’s station, Cam eavesdrops while Noah tries to convince Sheriff Valenti to look into Isobel’s disappearance. Max is a favorite of Sheriff Valenti’s, so when it comes down to Max against Noah, it’s a no brainer for the sheriff to blow Noah off. Max knows this, which why he felt he could disappear Isobel without much explanation to her husband.
But Noah is also a lawyer and won’t be dismissed so easily. He knows that the disappearance of an attractive, young, affluent blonde is like candy to the press, so he threatens to alert them to Isobel’s disappearance and Max’s cover up.
At the bar, Maria tells Alex about her mom’s latest memory issues (she thinks it’s 1998 and is obsessed with the Monica Lewinsky case), then Michael arrives interrupt their party. Alex gets up to leave, but Michael stops him.
Michael: “Is this really how it ends? The sex was epic. So shouldn’t the break up involve some pyrotechnics? Scream? Break some stuff? Really make it feel over.”
Alex looks around to make sure no one can hear them.
Alex: “Sometimes the world ends with a whimper, Guerin.”
For a moment, Michael looks like he’s trying not to cry.
He sits down at the bar and makes a play to get a free drink out of Maria, but his tab has already been paid by Max, who’s sitting at a booth in the back. Michael doesn’t want his charity, but Max proposes an exchange. His car is acting up (Michael says he needs a new engine- he’s all about replacing instead of repairing these days) and he wants a ride to see a faith healer in Texas. Michael is skeptical of the faith healer (“Thoughts and prayers won’t heal [Isobel’s] liver.”), until Max shows him that she’s using the alien symbol on her flyer. Max wants to find out what her connection is to them.
Kyle examines Liz’s latest results with the alien antidote, and is impressed at how quickly she’s progressing with a steady supply of Michael’s blood to work with. He asks where the lab rats went that she’s been experimenting on for her job, and she explains that they “sacrificed” them and put them in the freezer.
Kyle: “Your casual blurring of the lines between science experiment and Satanic ritual concerns me, Liz.”
Liz and Michael are watching the effect of the latest antidote on Michael’s blood cells for 36 hours, then, if nothing goes wrong, they’ll theoretically administer it to Isobel. Kyle senses Liz’s hesitation. She’s afraid of making another mistake that will harm Isobel, and she only gets one chance to get it right.
Kyle: “Liz, you can’t leave her in that pod forever! We don’t put people in eggs, no matter how much she sucks… It took me a long time to learn that most times, when I call time of death for a patient, it’s not because I killed them. It’s because I couldn’t save them. There’s a difference.”
Maria interrupts their conversation, so Kyle makes up a cover story and leaves. Her mother is getting worse, and there’s a non-traditional treatment option she wants to look into. They arrive at the faith healer’s tent not long after Michael and Max.
Michael and Maria say hello by way of their insult laden banter, which includes her telling him that she doesn’t, “usually go for the guy whose only friend is his parole officer.” What does Michael get out of that statement? “Usually,” he says while nodding his head in understanding that he will be the exception. They wander off together to get lemonade.
Cam pulls over Alex on a deserted roadside. Alex flashes his Air Force ID, and we learn that cops don’t give tickets to combat vets, he served with an elite unit, and was recommended for two medals. All 3 of his brothers also have medals. Jenna explains that she’s supposed to be reporting strange sightings, etc to Jesse, but she doesn’t think he’s the right Manes for her current information.
Inside the tent, Arizona, the faith healer, picks an elderly man with a bad leg. She puts her palm on his forehead for a minute, it glows with light, and when she’s done, he can walk normally again.
Michael and Max aren’t fooled into thinking that Arizona is an alien, but Max does believe that there could be other aliens in the world. Max wants Michael to stand in line for a private consultation and have Arizona attempt to fix his broken hand, giving them a chance to get close to her.
When Alex and Cam get to the bunker, she shows him an autopsy photo of a young woman with a handprint on her right shoulder. Cam says that Jesse gave her the file six weeks ago for a teenage prostitute who died in 2011. She was found in a shallow grave near Cowboy Ruckus. The medical examiner, Jane Holden, left the prominent handprint off of the autopsy report. “In ten years she’s done 14 autopsies for Roswell PD. All homeless people, addicts and illegal immigrants… The first of 14? Rosa Ortecho.”
Alex notes that most of the murders were people who wouldn’t be missed, but Rosa is another story. He asks why Cam brought the conspiracy to him. She says that Jesse is blackmailing her and “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” She thinks they could get real close. Alex gives her a dark smile.
Michael and Maria sit in front of Arizona and show her Michael’s damaged left hand. Arizona tells them that to heal the injuries, he’ll have to,”reopen the wound in your mind. All the pain you’ve hidden there.” Then she tells him it will cost $8,000, money that he doesn’t have, and most people don’t have just sitting around. Michael calls her out for not saving people when she can. She guesses that he’s a mechanic from the grease on his pants and asks if he works for free?
Max and Liz agree that Arizona probably isn’t real, and the best they can hope for is that she’s a faith healer. Max calls Liz on thinking too scientifically about religion. “I think the whole point of God is to believe without evidence.”
Michael and Maria rejoin them. Michael is angry that Arizona turned out to be a fraud. Maria still wants to believe there could be some truth to her work. Michael uses his power to untie the flaps of a tent so they can see Arizona paying off the actor who played the man with the limp. Maria decides to head for a bar, since she’s lost another hope for helping her mother. She may have been being naive, as Michael said, but it was born of desperation.
Michael follows Maria, while Max and Liz jump to the head of Arizona’s line to question her. She’s wearing a pressure activated light attached to her palm. When Max gets angry, because of course Max gets angry, it goes haywire and shocks her. She won’t tell them anything useful, and feels it’s her right to appropriate or steal anything from anyone, as a persecuted indigenous woman. As Max and Liz leave the tent, Arizona’s older companion watches them leave.
Maria finds a bar named the Mineshaft Tavern. Michael’s telekinesis helped him come into some cash via the con artist faith healer who left her takings in plain sight, so he buys the first round. Max doesn’t want to drink and have fun while Isobel is in
her pod rehab.
Maria has had enough. Her mother is going to lose all of her memories before she’s 50, the faith healer is a fraud, Max is moping and she’s been stuck with Michael all day. It’s time she took matters into her own hands. She walks toward the stage.
It’s time for a callback to original Maria.
Michael encourages Liz to follow her, because he’s sure she needs a girlfriend to lift her spirits, but Maria gets up on the stage and tells the crowd to join her in a song.
Liz: “Maria DeLuca is her own savior. Every d–n time.”
Michael looks impressed, and like he’s never really seen Maria before. Liz gets him out on the dance floor after Max refuses her. Maria works the crowd, and gets Max up and singing along with her. Liz enjoys seeing her two friends being happy.
Somebody called Kyle to the bunker, and he’s scandalized at the latest events. He’s almost perfect, but he does have a traditionalist streak.
Kyle: “So you overthrow your father, sent him to Africa, and brought a girl into the clubhouse?”
Cam threatens to break half the bones in his body for calling a 28 year old woman a “girl”.
They explain to Kyle that they want his help investigating Jane Holden, who works at his hospital and signed off on 14 murders, starting with Rosa. Kyle is shocked when he hears that there have been 14 deaths, and looks sick, like maybe this is the alien news that will finally make his head explode.
He tries one more time to get rid of Cam, as much for her safety as to help keep the aliens’ secret. The more she knows, the more danger she’s in. Cam isn’t having it. They get the Max and Isobel connections out in the open. Cam brought this to Alex now because of Noah’s accusations against Max. Kyle tells them that Isobel isn’t missing.
He warns Cam again that she’ll regret getting involved with this case. Cam threatens to go to the sheriff or Master Sgt Manes if they don’t cooperate. In other words, she’ll go to their parents. Cam isn’t walking away from a serial killer case. Kyle says that he’s been where Cam is, and Alex should just tell her the truth. Alex drops the bomb that this isn’t any old serial killer. It’s an alien serial killer.
I don’t think Alex himself actually believes in aliens yet.
Maria and Michael get some fresh air with a couple of blankets and a cigarette outside the bar. It turns into a walk.
Max and Liz decide that they are in no condition to drive back to Roswell, so they head across the street to get rooms at a hotel.
Cam is sitting down, all bravado gone, trying to absorb the fact that Max is an alien, possibly an alien murderer. She just didn’t see that one coming, though she had considered that he might be a wizard murderer.
Kyle: “Max isn’t any kind of murderer. I mean, probably. I don’t know.”
Kyle nails Max’s moral ambiguity.
Alex: “No, he’s not. My dad is a bigot with no moral compass. Nothing he says about anyone should be taken as truth.”
Alex hates his father so much that he’s blinded by it. What will he do when he discovers that his father wasn’t always wrong? Will he be able to maintain his balanced outlook or will he swing to the other side?
Kyle: “Is everyone in this town in love with Max Evans?”
Alex: “Angsty nerd isn’t really my type, even if he is tall.”
Kyle: “Is your type angry cowboy?”
Alex just looks at Kyle.
Kyle; “That’s why you shut down Project Shepherd. So your dad would stop digging into your boyfriend.”
Alex insists that he shut down Project Shepherd because it was an unauthorized mission that was wasting resources. He wanted no part of its hateful agenda, he’s at the end of his military career, and he didn’t ask for its legacy. He doubts Kyle did either.
Kyle tells Alex that he respects Alex’s choices. Then Kyle gets a text confirming that there’s no Dr Holden at the hospital and never was. Project Shepherd uses that name when they need to cover up the cause of death.
Alex goes to the computer banks and fires them up. “Project Shepherd began as a cover up to keep America from learning about aliens and descending into fear and chaos. But if there is a killer preying on vulnerable people, then maybe fear is justified. As of tomorrow morning at 0800 hours, Project Shepherd is back on for one more operation. But this time, I’m in charge.”
Alex, and Tyler Blackburn, really shine in these Project Shepherd scenes. He seems so much more at home being in command of a secret op than he does as a civilian negotiating an on and off relationship with his boyfriend. I have a feeling there’s backstory about his military career we need to see to fully understand him. Heck, maybe he’s still in the Air Force and was sent to infiltrate Project Shepherd and investigate whether the military should fund it again.
At the Silver Saddle Motel, the clerk tells Max and Liz that they only have one room left, the jalapeno room. When he checks again, the Alamo room has become available. They get to choose between spicy hot dreams and dreams of mass carnage.
Liz takes the hot peppers and Max remembers the Alamo, but neither can sleep. Young the Giant explain the situation.
I want you to want me
Why don’t we rely on chemistry
Why don’t we collide the spaces that divide us
They both get up and go outside, sitting on swings to talk. Max feels that his healing gift is a heavy burden. He remembers every person he’s seen die and hasn’t saved. Part of him wonders if he should become a faith healer and use his gift, even if it would mean exposing he’s an alien. Liz mentions the Shakespeare quote they talked about after the prom, showing she remembers that moment of connection, too.
Max thanks Liz for helping Isobel even though they don’t deserve her help. Liz stops him and says that he was a kid in an impossible circumstance with no one to turn to. She might have done the same thing for Rosa, so how can she hate him? Max reminds her that he let her believe a lie for ten years, but she’s simply not angry at him for that.
She explains that she’s the real problem, because she doesn’t trust people or believe they are inherently good. She thought that he was an exception, that he is inherently good, so when he lied to her, she was devastated. She was angry at herself for “letting that happen.” Max tells her that it’s not her fault that he let her down. But Liz still believes he’s good, even after everything.
Sooooo, nothing Max has done is actually a big deal, because we’re all just moral relativists here, and if you get hurt by someone it’s your own fault for opening yourself up to that hurt? It’s not their fault that you got attached to them, loved them or trusted them, even when they were manipulating you into that very result?
Poor Liz has bought into the abuse canon 100% and lost any self-respect she started the season with. She’s now ready to accept the blame for all of Max’s actions and everything that goes wrong in their relationship.
This is worse than I thought it would be. They’ve turned her into a mindless bot. A Stepford Liz. She occasionally pops out something Liz-like, such as the Henry IV quote, so no one will suspect. I thought she’d at least retain her intelligence when she got together with Max, but acquiring a boyfriend to keep her safe and warm at night must have become more important.
Liz seems to see 2 only ways to be- either trust unquestioningly (without evidence, and believing everyone else is good, so you must be the one who’s wrong), or don’t trust at all (which makes you one of those angry women that everyone hates, it goes without saying).
She doesn’t seem to understand there’s a middle ground. She has trust issues in that she’s terrified of being alone and is afraid she’ll be abandoned if she asks to be treated like a fully equal adult in her relationships, who’s capable of critical thinking and making her own decisions.
Max the woobie is humbled by Liz’s loving generosity. Both can sleep, now that they’ve shared their true feelings and Liz has surrendered her autonomy. 😖😱😨😡
Kyle offers to listen to Alex if he ever needs someone to talk to about the alien stuff, as long as he wants to talk like a person instead of a soldier. Alex, who looks shellshocked now that he’s had a minute, starts talking, beginning with revealing that Jesse had the alien trio listed as threats. Alex didn’t want to believe it, but Cam’s news changes things.
Kyle admits that the trio have done some things he finds unforgivable, but they’re also people he’s known all of his life. He looks at Michael’s Red Level Terrorist Threat poster. He knows that Michael isn’t like that, even if some things about him are sketchy. Kyle suggests that Alex have an honest conversation with Michael, especially if he really cares about him.
Alex: “I can’t go in blind.”
Kyle: “I’m talking about a conversation, Manes, not a war.”
But that’s one of Alex’s issues. His life has led him to feel like everything is a war (PTSD), and he has to be prepared to fight to win. It’s the only way to be sure he’ll survive. Alex has trust issues in that he’s sure he’ll be attacked at any moment, in every interaction. Alex is afraid of death and torture. And his father would never, ever condone getting help.
Michael and Maria are still walking in the desert, in the dark, supposedly lost, even though city lights can be seen in the distance that they could use to orient themselves. Maria tries to go in the one direction they haven’t tried, but Michael stops her. (In the morning, we’ll discover she was ten feet from a sign, which, since Michael is taller, he could probably see.)
Maria complains that Michael said he could lead the way, because he’s one with the desert, like a coyote. Michael interrupts her with a kiss. She kisses him back, fiercely, and they fall to the ground as their clothes fall off.
In the morning, Max goes back to harass the fraudulent Native American faith healer some more. He offers her all of his cash, plus his belt and his leather jacket.
The older woman, Chiana, claims that he’s asking them to reveal family secrets. Max shows her his tattoo, and tells her that the symbol also has to do with his family, and that he’s trying to save his sister’s life.
Chiana: “When I was a child, there was a woman who lived on the reservation and she could heal people with her hands.”
Max: “And she drew that symbol?”
Chiana: “It drew itself. Anywhere she went, spilled water changed course to draw it. Fire burned, just so.”
Max: “Did she say where she came from?”
Chiana: “No. She refused to leave the reservation. And all those years, she never spoke. Until the day she died. She said, ‘He has arrived, so I may leave.’ And she was gone.”
Max: “When did she die?”
Chiana: “Summer, 20 maybe 21 years ago. We always thought someone would come. You’re not what I expected. Keep the money.”
Maria wakes up in the morning still on the blanket in the desert. She and Michael smile at each other, but go back to their insult banter. She doesn’t want him to tell anyone, and he tells her he’s great at keeping sex secrets. She swears it will never happen again. He’s skeptical, but doesn’t argue. He shows her that they weren’t actually lost, and tells her that Max and Liz have already left in his truck. They have the long drive home together to look forward to.
Max and Liz visit Isobel in her pod. He tells Liz what Chiana said, and is sad that he just missed the other alien. Liz notices the set up he has in the cave, and asks if he’s been sleeping there. He says no. Not since it got too cold at night, anyway. Liz leaves the cave, reminded of how important the antidote is to Max and that she’s someone who doubts herself constantly now.
Max chases her and assures her that she won’t make a mistake because he trusts her and could never hate her.
I don’t think that’s how science works, guys. Although, Max heals things with his hands, so maybe his emotions will totally affect Liz’s ability to science for the rest of her life. Maybe it’s part of the soulmate imprinting process. She can never be successful at anything again, or even feel successful, unless she has his complete approval in every way possible.
That sounds about right, on this show.
Liz goes into her standard rant that Max loves her too much and doesn’t really know her, because it’s been ten years and she’s different now. Given that she’s been home for months now, and all Max does is watch her, he’s had time to get to know the updated Liz, so he takes over the list of her flaws. Then he goes into the psychology behind her faults. She looks at him like she’s never seen him before.
She finally grabs him and kisses him for all she’s worth. They kiss through an entire commercial break.
An awesome cover of the Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris by Natalie Taylor played over their kiss, so it gets to be their song.
Now that Max doesn’t have to stalk Liz anymore, Noah has taken over the job. He was hiding behind nearby bushes and watched the whole thing. While they’re talking, he sneaks past them, into the turquoise mine, and finds the pods. He gets a serious look on his face, but doesn’t react otherwise, or go closer to the pods to look at Isobel inside her pod. If I had to guess, I’d say he’s seen pods before.
Liz stops in at the lab, and finds Kyle there, looking through the microscope. He reports that it’s been 36 hours, and the cells are still stable, so they can try the cure on Isobel. But he’s not sure they should let Isobel out yet. He suggests that she sit down while he tells her about the 13 new murders.
The camera jumps straight to Noah, suggesting that he has something to do with the murders. He’s driving back from the mine and calls Cam to let her know he’s seen Isobel and they can call off the missing person search. She’s in rehab, just like the others said. He’ll bring the sheriff some apology doughnuts later.
Is he planning on saying something to the sheriff while he’s there?
Before Cam has time to process Noah’s call, Kyle brings her the file on his father’s death. Jane Holden signed off on Jim Valenti’s death certificate, which means that he didn’t die of a brain tumor. Whatever happened was covered up by Jesse Manes.
That adds Jim Valenti to the list of people whose brains have likely been scrambled by aliens. He was out of his mind for months before he died. In order to get Jesse to leave him alone, Kyle gave Jesse the notebook Jim kept during the final months of his life.
Potential alien brain scramble subjects: Jim Valenti, Rosa Orecho, Mrs Ortecho, Mimi DeLuca (all confirmed to have dementia or to have heard voices and had visions). Mrs Manes is also MIA.
Wild theory: If Rosa is alive, maybe Noah and/or Wyatt are keeping her in Wyatt’s pod, waiting until the gang are capable of healing her.
Alex visits Michael at the junkyard. Before he can say much, Michael finds Maria’s necklace in his boot and Alex chickens out. He starts to leave, but decides to man up. Michael gets impatient with him and asks him what he wants to say.
Alex is tired of not saying what he wants to say. So, what he wants to say is that he loved Michael, for a long time, and he thinks Michael loved him. Michael is overwhelmed, and says, “Yeah.” Now that it’s over, Alex is willing to admit his feelings.
Alex goes on, marveling that they connected so intensely, even though they didn’t talk much and didn’t know each other that well. Michael agrees that something “cosmic” happened. Alex says that he wants to talk and get to know each other. He wants to try being friends.
Michael laughs a wry laugh.
Alex: “I want to know who you are, Guerin.”
(Lyric from Iris, reminding us that they are the imprinted soulmates, like Max and Liz, and that hussy Maria will never mean the same thing to Michael.)
Michael: “Do you want to know who I am? Or do you want to know what I am?”
Someone has already let Michael know that Alex is hunting for an alien murderer. Suddenly Alex is interested in getting to know Michael better, now that he’s an alien who’s a murder suspect. But Michael is bound by the soulmate imprint, so he’ll take Alex back, again and again, no matter how much abuse Alex dishes out.
Liz goes back to the cave, where Max is reading out loud to Isobel from his own novel. She tells Max that she’s created the cure, and has brought it with her. Then she tells him that there’s another, more dangerous alien in Roswell. But the good news is that they can question the murderous 4th alien about their home planet!
This Week in Roswellian Misogyny
The shots of Isobel in the
egg pod are beautiful, but disturbing. While Alex and Kyle are taking over the legacy of their forefathers that will make them “men”, Isobel has been infantilised to the point of being an embryo. The only thing worse than that is to erase her existence.
Isobel the “witch” had to be locked away because she couldn’t control her power, of course. Women can never be trusted with power. Isobel had to be rebooted in the hope that she’d be reborn as a more acceptable version of herself, while Max and Michael engage in violent acts on a regular basis, and it’s accepted that they need to work off their “trauma” and “emotions” that way.
Maria definitely knows about Alex and Michael. That break up conversation happened right in front of her. But, Maria has always been the girl who quietly observes everyone so closely that she has a reputation as a psychic. Alex was one of her best friends. Like Max, I’m sure she figured it out in high school, but respected Alex’s wishes and didn’t say anything.
Whether or not Maria is truly a psychic, she’s already told us that her race and her different outlook on life have “othered” her in Roswell in a way that the aliens think they’ve felt, but they actually haven’t. Their otherness is all internal. Maria gets it both internally and externally, sometimes in the form of racial prejudice. I wonder how tired she gets of listening to white boys moan about their problems to her as the bartender at the bar.
Maria notices everything. She’s undoubtedly noticed strange things happening in Roswell, even if she’s not sure what causing them. It wouldn’t surprise me if she’s figured out that aliens are real and who they are. Michael was openly drinking nail polish remover at the bar in one episode, Isobel mindwarped one of her regulars in another, and Maria had a front row seat for the changes that her friendship with Isobel caused in Rosa.
And Cam is at the mercy of the Manes Men; her only choice is which one will hold her and her sister hostage. Kyle and Alex don’t bother to ask what Jesse has on Charlie, and Alex, the super hacker, doesn’t offer to help, after he boasted last week that he can bypass anyone’s cybersecurity.
Alex and Kyle are upfront about the fact that Cam is someone they can use, and that’s the only reason they’re tolerating her presence in the clubhouse. Better to assure her silence and continued cooperation with blackmail material, just like their fathers taught them.
Cam also thought Max was a wizard, while Maria believed in the faith healer. In a world where aliens with superpowers are real, believing in faith healers and wizards doesn’t seem naive to me. What is Max, if not a faith healer, and what is Michael, if not a wizard?
Liz’s selective amnesia came back after Max spent 6 weeks in the turquoise mine sitting quietly in time out. Now all she sees is the devoted brother and poetic, romantic soul. She’s forgotten the devious, violent liar who hurt her family, not just when he was a scared 17 year old, but for the next 10 years, even when he was a cop who’s favored by the sheriff.
If the show wanted me to forget about what Max is really like, they shouldn’t have skipped those 6 weeks. It was jarring to me to have Liz suddenly act as though Max only made a couple of minor mistakes when he was a teenager.
And for her to kiss him while he’s listing her faults is some kind of masochism. I know it’s practically a rom-com trope, but most rom-com tropes are highly misogynist. Yes, he proved that he sees more of her than an idealized image, but his speech felt like he has his points ready for when they’re together and he uses her faults to gaslight her into accepting the blame for everything, that he’s always right, and she should do what she’s told. The three alien siblings are already in a power struggle, so it’s not farfetched to predict that Max will try to exert heavy-handed control over Liz before long.
Or maybe he’ll be a completely different person with her. The character writing is so incredibly inconsistent on this show that even Claudia Black couldn’t make Ann Evans into a coherent character, as the character changed personalities across several scenes within the same episode.
For season 2, this show needs new writers and Carina needs a female co-showrunner with more experience in general, and specifically with experience writing character-based science fiction. Carina has good ideas, but she’s not able to put them all together into a smoothly flowing show that makes sense. There are too many sudden changes in character and plot direction that aren’t earned in the writing.
Noah Is An Alien, Episode 9 Version. Wyatt, Too.
This episode gave us more evidence that Noah is an alien. He snooped on Liz and Max and watched them kiss, then found Isobel in a gelatinous egg in a cave, and barely batted an eyelash. He seemed relieved instead. My money is on Noah being the alien who can put himself inside the mind of another alien, especially Wyatt and Isobel.
Chiana told Max that the alien she knew as a child said,”He has arrived, so I may leave.” Then the alien appeared to die. If the alien was a shapeshifter who was hiding out from Project Shepherd, it would make sense for it to fake its death before leaving the reservation. It said that it could leave, not die, which could mean that it didn’t need to keep itself safe and in hiding, waiting to start its real work, anymore. With the kids hatching out of the pods, it went to Roswell to begin protecting them.
If the alien from the reservation is Noah, that means he has the power to heal with his hands, and also probably to kill with them, like Max. The way Chiana described the elements (fire, earth, water) following the alien to draw Max’s symbol suggests a powerful telekinetic. The alien could have faked her death using telepathic influence.
That would mean that he/she has all of the powers shared between Max, Michael and Isobel, and is more powerful in each area. Michael is the only one who comes close, because he practices his powers frequently. Max and Isobel rarely use their powers and have little control. Max is clearly powerful, and I suspect that Isobel is suppressing a lot. Part of the protector alien’s job may be to tutor the younger aliens in the use of their powers.
Previously, Noah has been connected to at least two incidents involving Wyatt, the Ortechos and Max. He sent Liz to Grant Green’s UFO storage barn on the edge of town, then Wyatt showed up and started shooting. Max arrived soon after. When Wyatt and his bros were beating up Arturo outside the Crashdown, Noah pulled up in front of the diner and waylaid Max, giving Wyatt time to get in a serious beating.
Noah also convinced Max to drop the charges against Wyatt after the Grant Green shooting by sharing a rumor with his brother-in-law. Since Max isn’t the brightest or most diligent cop, he never checked out the veracity of the rumors. Or maybe Noah used a little psychic push to make Max trust him.
This is a stretch, but Noah also showed Isobel the film The Land Before Time, in which the main characters hatch out of eggs. At the time, we were told that it’s one of her favorite movies. Was it a hint that he knows where she came from? Is it a hint about what happened to their planet?
I don’t think the similarities between the names Noah and Nasedo are a coincidence. Nasedo was also a shapeshifter. Sometimes, it could be we’re seeing Noah, shifted to look like Isobel or Wyatt. Shifting into someone may cause them to pass out for the duration of the shift, as if Noah’s borrowing their body. When he gives the body back, it might come with any changes he’s made to it- injuries, tattoos- which would explain why Wyatt is the one with the gunshot injuries.
But it’s still just as likely that he can take over someone’s mind or influence them to whatever degree he desires. Noah might have been using telepathy to slowly affect Liz’s mind for the last 6 weeks, then have influenced her to kiss Max.
It could be that he was out of the loop all season, and following Isabel’s lead, so he thought Liz was an enemy. When he discovered that Liz was working to help save Isobel, he did an about face and cemented her relationship with Max, to ensure that she’ll follow through with finding an antidote.
I currently think that Wyatt is equal in powers to the trio, from a 4th pod that was separated from the others, and he hatched at the same time. He may or may not know he’s an alien or that he has powers. Noah knew where Wyatt’s pod was, and watched over him, but, while he could feel the other three existed and had hatched, he didn’t figure out who they were for a while. And he didn’t know where their pods were until he saw Isobel in this episode. The trio’s pods were hidden by a different alien, who died soon after.
In the Bible, God charges Noah with rescuing breeding pairs while their planet dies. Is that what Noah is doing? He protects Isobel and Wyatt in particular, but Max and Isobel have the psychic connection. The alien symbol has a triangle at the center and is connected to three circles. Is Isobel the center, with three males to breed with to perpetuate the species? A breeding cluster, instead of a breeding pair?
I don’t think that Noah committed all 14 murders or that they were necessarily committed by the same alien. He is overzealous in protecting his 4, and killed Rosa, Kate and Jasmine because of Isobel. He may have committed other murders to protect the 3 boys because they weren’t careful and did something stupid with their powers in front of someone. One of the bodies has to be the potential kidnapper/rapist Max killed in the desert. He also has the power to scramble brains, and has used it liberally on the mothers of the town, plus Jim Valenti.
Michael (& Alex & Alien Hunting)
How has Max never fixed Michael’s hand? Sure, he’d have to study some anatomy, maybe practice his powers, and figure out the procedure, but traditional medicine would have to rebreak and reset all of those bones. Max might have to do the same thing, but he probably wouldn’t have to do worse. I don’t blame Max for letting people die on the job, but not helping friends and family who can’t afford medical care is inexcusable.
I thought Maria cleared Michael’s bar tab in exchange for the sign repair in episode 8? Did he rack up another big bar tab in the 6 weeks in between? Does he ever pay for a drink at the time that he drinks it? That’s probably a sure sign that Maria has always been in love with Michael and has always known about him and Alex. She didn’t sleep with him until after she saw Alex break up with him.
And then Michael tried to make Alex jealous by pulling a cheap stunt with her necklace. He’d been dressed for hours and would have noticed the large pendant in his boot earlier. Not only did Michael immediately betray his promise to Maria that he wouldn’t tell anyone they’d slept together, he did it so he could use her to get to Alex.
I suspect we’re going to get more flashbacks of what happened between Alex and Michael after Jesse mutilated Michael’s hand, and why he never got medical treatment of any kind for it. They reminded us about Michael’s hand too many times tonight to just let it drop. Jesse is a big traumatic barrier between Alex and Michael, and not just because of what he did to Michael’s hand.
But, no matter how much Alex supposedly cares about Michael, he’s treated him badly since the beginning, kept the relationship at the level of booty calls, and broke up with Michael brutally and publically. Even when he found out that Michael might be an alien, he didn’t want to talk to him. He didn’t decide he wanted to get to know Michael as a person until he found out that there is an alien serial killer out there.
As I’ve said repeatedly, I just can’t get behind Malex when Alex treats Michael so badly.
Everything they’re showing us about Alex points to a potential to turn to the dark side. He says he’s restarting Project Shepherd because he’s realized that his father might be right about aliens. In the books, both Kyle Valenti and his father, the sheriff, are evil, alien haters. I still think that they may be headed in that direction with Alex.
Then they could continue to have Michael and Alex be attracted to each other, with a Dating Catwoman vibe (even though they’re enemies on the surface, they flirt and may even have occasional hate sex), until near the end of the series when Alex sees the light and finally starts his real relationship with Michael.
Alex is living with the results of too much trauma, between growing up with his father and serving in the military, and it’s consuming him. He needs an enemy to direct his pain, anger and fear at, or else he directs too much of it inside at himself or outward at people he cares about. But he’s not terribly self-aware at that level, and thought driving his father out of town and getting revenge would cure his pain. He’s been obsessed with the thought of revenge for many years, and can’t just put it aside, so his “revenge” against Jesse only helped him feel better for a very short time.
Now Kyle and Cam have given him a new crusade, to fight evil aliens, like the Manes Men before him, but the right way, unlike his dad. He can do better than his dad, because he has an inside path to the aliens, and will use modern technology. He can feed his dark thoughts into it, and become the Batman of alien hunters.
In this version, Alex and Michael would be Arch-Enemies or nemeses, with Michael as the actual good guy who’s been wrongly accused and needs to prove his innocence and Alex as the rival who’s turned away from him and become his opposite, who shows the protagonist what he could have been if he’d made the wrong choices. In an arch-enemy storyline, if Michael had chosen to hold grudges and let his anger take over, he could have been Alex, someone who’s lost, bitter and wasted his chance at love. The seeds for each character to evolve in that direction are already in place.
In this storyline, both Michael and Alex would think they were the good guy who are doing the right thing, and the fight would be personal for both of them. Both would have complex reasons for feeling personally betrayed. Alex would feel betrayed that Michael never shared his secrets during all of that sex with no talking. Michael would feel betrayed that Alex can’t accept who he is and thinks he’s capable of cold-blooded murder.
Julie Plec loves a (friends/lovers/siblings) to archenemies storyline, so there’s actually a good chance they’ll go in this direction. Someone has to turn out to be the Katherine/Klaus/S1Damon type. The good news for Alex fans is that this character usually turns out to be one of the most popular, exciting characters on a Julie Plec show.
There has been strong foreshadowing that Alex is also Jim Valenti’s son*, which would give Alex the same reason to hunt killer aliens that Kyle has: they killed his sister Rosa and probably killed his father, Jim. He’d still be an adopted Manes Man, so he’d also have reason to carry on that legacy, as well as the Valenti legacy.
Imprinting and Soulmates?
Or Michael might forgive Alex, and they’ll have another go-round at a relationship. That would leave Maria, who has done absolutely nothing wrong and deserves some happiness, swinging in the wind. She didn’t even kiss Michael until she saw Alex break up with him. Maria needs Michael but isn’t unhealthy about it. She’s proven she cares about him and has been seen in public with him. But she isn’t pressuring him.
Alex has been a jerk who wanted sex but no conversation for more than 10 years, kept their relationship a secret even from Michael’s siblings, then broke up with him publicly. Now he’s back with an agenda and suddenly wants to pursue more. No one with self-respect would take him back.
But Max and Liz’s trajectory doesn’t make much sense, either, so chances are Alex and Michael’s won’t. Chances are, all 4 are cosmic soulmates who have to forgive and love each other no matter what horrible things they do. 😡 Rosa was probably Isobel’s imprinted soulmate and that’s the secret that freaked Rosa out so much.
Imprinting sucks in the long run, y’all. Read the first three Twilight books. It was not fun, much of the time, for the werewolves. Even when your soulmate scratches half your face off, they’re still your soulmate, and you’re chemically bound to forgive and adore them.
The only way it would be interesting is if they explored what it’s like to have your chemically bound soulmate turn evil or reject you, yet you still have to deal with them on some level. Novels and fanfiction have covered this concept extensively, especially with vampires and werewolves, but, as far as I know, it hasn’t been done on TV. (Correct me if I’m wrong. I’d be interested to check out a good soulmates show!) The original Roswell had the Royal Four, who were supposed to reenact the roles they’d played in their previous lives, but I didn’t get the impression that their were bound soulmates involved.
Of the shows I’ve seen, Shadowhunters came closest with the Parabatai and the Valentine/Luke pairing, but that’s more of a sibling military relationship, which isn’t expected to stay close for life.
* Foreshadowing That Alex is Jim Valenti’s Son:
Jim treated Alex like a son and left him the cabin and alien artefact.
Alex has dark hair and eyes, like the Valentis, while Jesse has blonde hair and blue eyes. Mrs Manes could have darker coloring that explains Alex, or it could be a clue. We won’t know until we meet more of the Manes family. Where are Alex’s mysterious older brothers, anyway? No one ever even mentions their names.
Mrs Manes is in exile for unknown reasons. Perhaps because she had an affair with Jim Valenti? Mrs Ortecho, who is confirmed to have had an affair with Jim, is also missing.
Kyle and Alex feel they were raised as brothers, to the point of feeling a brotherly, Cain and Abel-style rivalry over (their father), Jim.
Jesse found something out about Alex when Alex was in middle school that made him turn on his son. Alex assumed it was that he was gay, but, while homophobic, Jesse doesn’t seem overly fussed about it, in the way that he is about aliens.
Jesse and Jim had a huge falling out, then Jesse covered up the real reason for Jim’s death.
In Ep 8, Jesse told Alex that he told Kyle about Project Shepherd, but not Alex, because Kyle isn’t his son, so he was under no obligation to protect Kyle. Alex pointed out that Jesse has gone out of his way to not protect Alex, by abusing him as a kid then sending him to war.
I think that Jesse has complicated love-hate feelings for Alex, since he raised Alex, then found out he was the son of his rival and friend. He has strong feelings of possessiveness toward Alex, and he doesn’t want the Valenti’s to get their hands on him, but he can never forgive Alex for being someone else’s biological son.
But Jesse also knew that Kyle and Alex were the 2 smartest kids in their generation, and had pegged them as the ones he’d hand Project Shepherd down to, so he’s orchestrated and monitored much of what’s happened so far. He knows that Kyle and Alex won’t be able to let the investigation go, once they’ve examined the evidence on their own, and think they’re working independently. Papa Manes is no fool, and not as evil as people think.
Science vs the Supernatural
Kyle: “Your casual blurring of the lines between science experiment and Satanic ritual concerns me, Liz.”
On first viewing, I thought this was the kind of funny throwaway line that Michael Trevino delivers so well. But Kyle is the current moral compass of the show, so when he says something like this, we need to pay attention. In this case, he’s foreshadowing the rest of the episode, at the very least, and reminding us of what came before.
Liz used her science for a personal vendetta, in anger, and accidentally created a lethal weapon. In other words, she used her power for evil and inadvertently became a bad/Satanic witch. Later in the episode, Max lists her flaws, and she finally agrees to be with him. Once she knows he can see the bad science/magic in her, and, as a man, help control it, she succumbs to his pull on her.
In an alternate, but I think complementary, interpretation, by getting so caught up with the aliens, Liz is losing herself. In Kyle’s metaphor, she’s science, and the aliens are supernatural ritual, since they don’t understand their powers at all, and are written more like vampires or werewolves, the Julie Plec specialties, than aliens.
In accepting the aliens’ friendship and Max’s love, Liz is denying her curiosity and accepting whatever Max tells her. She doesn’t help investigate the faith healer, for example. She serves only as Max’s love interest in that story, even though she’s a much better investigator.
There is an unspoken cultishness that comes with closeness to the aliens, particularly Max and Isobel, but even Michael when he’s feeling protective, which can get frightening. That mental blurring Kyle referred to is typical of both cults and Isobel’s mindwarping, followed by Max’s gaslighting and Michael’s blame shifting.
Kyle Valenti, Roswell’s MVP
Kyle has become this show’s MVP and stealth weapon. Between being a doctor, the child of two sheriffs and close family friends with people in the military and the restaurant business, he knows everyone in town and can hook you up with whatever you need. He’s smart, and knows it, but he’s also a modest team player who frequently acts as negotiator, moderator and go between.
He’s moral compass of the group, the role Alex frequently had in the original series. He often gives someone the nudge in the right direction that they need to do the right thing when they have a difficult decision to make. He’s able to put his personal feelings aside and do what’s best for others, even if it means he loses Liz as a potential girlfriend or admitting that he was a jerk in high school.
He is frequently the hero that the show wants us to believe Max is. While Max is off pouting or having a temper tantrum, Kyle is usually helping Liz research, investigate and problem-solve or he’s in Isobel’s hospital room trying to make things better for her even though she killed his sister. Max makes an occasional grand gesture, then wanders off to self-destruct. Kyle keeps working and helping, through thick and thin, through insult and murdered sisters, until the job is done, and he generally didn’t even have to be asked to do it.
Images courtesy of The CW.