It’s a good day in Roswell to find your inner warrior Goddess, but a bad day for avoiding the alien zombie ghost of Max Evans or feeling nostalgic about family ties or the past in general. The best move for the whole gang is to move forward in their endeavors, even if moving forward also includes a little bit of moving backwards.
This week: after spending the day with her mother, Isobel makes a decision about her alien baby; Michael makes an attempt to get back into Maria’s good graces; Maria searches for her missing mother; Jesse Manes comes out of his medically induced coma with his sense of superiority intact; Liz tries a new experiment, which she hopes will help Max; and Rosa tries to cope with the racism and anger the rest of the town has been brewing for 11 years over the death of the 2 white girls in the car she was supposedly driving.
We begin this week in the Old West, on the property of an abandoned Indian Boarding School which Alex has commandeered for the Pod Squad to refurbish as their new secret lab. They bring in Noah’s remains and their equipment, then spend a long time cleaning out 40 years of dust.
Rosa, who is still stashed away in Max’s house, continues to research the years she missed and to ask Liz about the time surrounding her death. Liz buys her a new cell phone, with the tracking app turned on. But Liz lies to Rosa about the events surrounding her death, painting a beautiful picture of a town in mourning after losing 3 beloved members.
This was the opposite of what happened, as we know, and people are still angry about the way Rosa and the other 2 girls supposedly died. Liz could have lied about it if they’d left town, but she won’t be able to shelter Rosa for long in Roswell.
This episode is narrated by Rosa, who still has some spirit left in her. The daughter of the longtime sheriff and a woman who left town for greener pastures, Rosa is an astute observer and judge of character, who has no illusions about the type of people she’s surrounded by in Roswell. Liz could have saved Rosa a little time and heartbreak had she been honest upfront about everything that Rosa has missed and how people have changed.
Alas, that’s not to be, because what’s a CW show without unnecessary secrets? Instead, Liz leaves for her lab and Rosa leaves the house soon after, for a day of painting graffiti around town, visiting her own grave, sneaking a peek at her father outside the Crashdown and watching Michael beat up Wyatt Long for being a racist about Rosa and Mimi DeLuca.
In her drug-filled high school years, Rosa somehow missed that the Longs are all racists who were only being nice to her when they wanted drugs. There’s an extra twist of the knife to finding out that many in the town think she killed Katie and Jasmine because she was driving while intoxicated.
To top off Rosa’s very bad day, Max’s ghost is still following her around complaining that it hurts to be dead, so he wants out of the pod instead of being brought back to life. I realize that he was never sick in his life before, so he doesn’t understand that pain happens, but seriously? Someone needs to tell him to try self-massage, yoga or meditation.
Learn to deal with it, the way all of us chronic pain patients do. Judging from the look on his face, I think he’s just constipated and having gas pains. It’ll pass, dude. Your family needs you, so tough it out. Stop being a man-baby and say some affirmations. Start with, “I will no longer be a man-baby.”
Maria and Michael bond over their lost mothers. Michael has trouble concentrating on his nanotech lab work because he keeps remembering his mother in her cell. Maria hangs missing posters all over town and asks Michael to show her poster to his customers. Michael finds that he can relate to Maria’s feelings about her mother, now that he knows he had a mother once, too.
Once the new lab is cleaned up and ready to go, Liz sets up a timed alien blood experiment that she’s hoping will help cure Max. But she figures out that Rosa is the mad new graffiti artist in town and catches her in the act, the better to lecture Rosa about ingratitude and irresponsibility. Older sister Liz is not a great listener or much fun.
Liz takes the spray paint from Rosa and is caught holding it when the police arrive, as Rosa, the more experienced delinquent, melts into the shadows. Liz is arrested and thrown into a cell with Michael, who was arrested for fighting with Wyatt. Since Michael was her phone call, Isobel and Maria are busy and Max is currently dead, Liz is stuck in the cell for now.
Both Rosa and Papa Ortecho count as illegal aliens at the moment, so it’s not wise to send them into a police station.
Michael tries to educate Liz as to how the real world works, but I don’t think he gets through to her. He also suggests that the Sheriff take Mimi DeLuca’s disappearance seriously, but Mimi is beneath her notice.
A nurse brings Kyle some late test results from Rosa’s bloodwork. They show a protein that’s never before been seen in the human body. The rest of the staff assume it’s an error, including Steph, the chatty daughter of hospital administrators who stops by to help Kyle make the writers’ political point of the week: the US needs a better health care system, kids.
Anyone who watched the original series knows that the extra protein is probably a side effect from being healed by an alien, and there will probably be more side effects.
The current Sheriff Valenti releases Liz, but wants to talk about the death of Noah Bracken. She has some science questions about the facts and is also concerned about Max’s disappearance.
It’s up to Kyle to fill Rosa in on the parts of the last 11 years that Liz left out. Stunned at how badly things went in her absence, Rosa visits her old bedroom above the Crashdown, looking for comfort and familiarity. She finds that her things are gone, contrary to what Liz told her. She reaches up into a super secret ceiling hiding spot in the closet and pulls out an old bottle of tequila.
She hasn’t quite been erased, but this is a dangerous find.
Alex and Kyle wake Jesse Manes from his coma. He wakes up swinging, threatening them with all sorts of trouble before he even takes a breath. The three men debate which of them is willing to do worse things to the other side.
Jesse seems to think that being gay and being a doctor will somehow stop Alex and Kyle from becoming ruthless if he keeps pushing them. He forgets what families they come from.
Later, Flint fills Jesse in on all of the alien news that he’s missed, including the theft of Noah’s corpse and the destruction of Caulfield prison, which has been successfully covered up. Flint wants to tell the world what really went on there, but Jesse is from the Cold War pro secrets and lies pre-internet generation, so he won’t listen to any ridiculous talk about revealing a version of the truth. He has something better in mind.
Isobel is dealing with her pregnancy news by taking fight classes, the better to knock the baby out of her, and looking up its current developmental stage. Baby Evans-Bracken is the size of a lentil. Her mother, Ann, surprises her by suggesting an all day “Woman as Warrior” class, which will provide strength training for the mind, body and spirit. Isobel turns her down, until Ann shows how hurt she is. With Max gone, both women could use some bonding time.
The class takes place in the desert just outside of the Wild Pony and is lead by Maria DeLuca, Psychic Reader, Spirit Leader, Social Media Revitalizer and All Around Goddess. I knew I liked Ann Evans. One man accidentally signed up thinking it was a pilates class, but Maria assures him he’ll find his inner goddess, too.
The class includes scream therapy and facing fears. Isobel is afraid of the Lentil. Bert, the pilates guy, is afraid of werewolves, which is an inside joke about some of the cast members’ previous shows and probably foreshadowing about aliens. They do some exercises to find new perspectives, then the class participants throw their fears into the fire, (after writing them down on pieces of paper).
Isobel hesitates to throw her symbolic baby in the fire. As she’s debating what to do, Maria tries to talk her through it and makes a psychic connection. She encourages Isobel to say, “I choose to set myself free.” That strikes a chord with Isobel and she burns the paper.
Once he’s been released from jail, Michael stops by Alex’s house to ask a few more questions about his mother. Alex is in uniform and Michael says that he can’t get used to it, which is a way to point out the currently insurmountable gulf between them. Both need to deal with their family histories before they can be whole, but Alex needs to fight his war from inside the enemy, while Michael is an outsider.
Alex says that Michael’s mother’s name was Nora Truman and she wasn’t brought to Caulfield until 10/14/1948, more than a year after the crash. She was the last alien admitted to the prison. Alex offers to help Michael investigate Nora, but Michael refuses. He tells Alex that he likes Maria and wants to work on his relationship with her for now.
Liz comes home and finds Rosa waiting. She yells at Rosa for ruining her timed experiment.
Rosa: “Then why don’t you go back to your lab and save your boyfriend? The one that let everybody think that I’m a murderer, who lit me on fire, who watched when people threw bricks at our house and didn’t come clean. You remember him? The guy that you chose to love?”
The guy who got Liz killed and barely prevented their father’s murder in addition to Rosa. He found a way to save all three, but all three have basically been killed because of the aliens. There’s no getting around the fact that Max chose Isobel over Liz and her family and he let them suffer for 10 years. He desecrated bodies. He would have let Mr Ortecho be murdered eventually if Liz hadn’t come home. He’s not a good guy, not a hero, any more than Liz is.
There are many heroes in this story, but Max and Liz aren’t included in the list.
Liz reminds Rosa of a car accident they were in with their mother when they were kids, when their mother was driving drunk. Rosa was so upset with their mother at the time that Liz could never believe that she would have driven while intoxicated with Kate and Jasmine in the car with her. It was a line Rosa would never cross.
Rosa agrees. But Max started a race war in the town because he put Rosa in the driver’s seat instead of one of the white girls. Everyone in town knows who she is and hates her because the aliens blamed her for a crime she didn’t commit.
Liz can’t leave town right now, but she offers to help Rosa leave if that’s what she wants. Rosa walks away. She is very alone in the world.
Maria finds Michael, his truck and his airstream trailer parked in the Wild Pony parking lot. He heard she’s been sleeping there, keeping watch for her mom. He’s decided to help out by watching the parking lot.
Michael: “If anything bad happened to you, I would really hate it.”
Maria: “Last time I checked, you were a bad thing that happened to me.”
Michael: “That’s fair.”
Liz told Maria that Michael got arrested fighting Wyatt and defending Maria. She’s not impressed and tells him she doesn’t need a hero.
Michael: “That’s good, because I’m not one.”
As long as we’re all on the same page. Michael told Liz that he needed to blow off steam and Wyatt gave him an excuse. Liz is messed up for twisting that into something more than what it was.
Michael says that he likes it when Maria is happy and singing or laughing. He doesn’t want her to hate him. She tells him that’s up to him. “Then don’t make me hate you, Guerin.”
Maria DeLuca, the one and only mentally healthy person on this show who understands how to have a healthy relationship. Thank goodness she didn’t say she could never hate him or some other drivel.
She says she’ll allow him to guard the parking lot on a casual, non-exclusive basis.
I think the parking lot might be a metaphor.
He takes off his hat and says, “I’m sorry.” Then he gives her the Vlamis puppy dog eyes that no human or alien can resist. She tells him he can’t hook up with any Lindsays, anywhere, ever.
Apparently the non-exclusive part applies to cars, not humanoid partners.
He turns up the wattage on the stare and says, “Deal.” Sure that he’s won her over, he leans in for the kiss.
She pulls away and makes him work for it. After a little more staring and a caress, the making out commences.
Liz Frankenstein is unduly upset in her lab. Her experiment is ruined but, as far as I know, Isobel continues to make more blood and Noah’s body parts continue to be available to plunder. She can do the test again tomorrow. Liz and Max really are meant for each other.
Alex and Flint run into each other outside of Jesse’s room. As they watch Jesse sleep, Alex asks why Flint wanted to be like their dad. Flint asks why Alex thinks he chose to be like Jesse.
Jesse has a seizure and falls out of bed. Alex stands and stares, unmoved, while Flint runs to find a doctor.
Next mystery- who killed Jesse (if he dies) and does anyone care? My guess: the Lentil took over Isobel’s body long enough to poison him.
Isobel stole some of the alien poison from the lab earlier and takes a drop of it now in the hopes that it will cause her body to abort the baby. Logic is not Isobel’s strong suit.
Rosa sits on the roof of the Crashdown, tequila bottle nearby. She drifts off to sleep and dreams of Max in his pod in the cave. She yells at him to let her go. He complains about his man pain. She tells him to wait until he’s been in there 10 years or has felt any sort of real pain at all.
He has the actual nerve to say she should be grateful that he saved her life. Wow, so heroic, dude. You ruined her life and she didn’t ask you for anything. Own your choices.
He promises to haunt her until she pulls him out of the pod. Rosa refuses to hurt Liz that way and already knows how to shut up unwanted voices in her head. She wakes up and starts drinking the tequila.
I desperately hope Rosa shows up at Maria’s house and tells her everything soon. Rosa is the truth teller this group has needed and Maria deserves. And then I want to watch the giant fight Michael and Maria have before they add up all of the clues that amount to Mimi being abducted by aliens and Maria being at least part alien.
Then they can rebuild Noah and ask him the questions they should have asked the first time. They are the worst interrogators in the history of interrogation.
Michael Guerin’s words of wisdom: “Life [stinks], Ortecho. Everybody dies, nothing’s fair and the oceans are full of garbage.”
Kids, be Michael and Maria, not Max and Liz. Well, be Maria, always, and let’s hope that her trust in Michael isn’t misplaced. In the long run, it probably is, even though she’s much healthier for Michael than Alex is.
Maria has better things to do than heal Michael Guerin so that Alex can keep him. I hope that’s not what this is ultimately about.
Was Liz Always the Big Bad?
Rosa is really trying to find herself all over town and in the things she’s asking Liz for, like her sketch pad. She’d just become sober before she died and was planning to leave town to start a new life. Now her old life is gone and so is her anchor, her bio dad Sheriff Valenti. She’s trying to use art as an outlet for stress and anxiety, but Liz, who has always thrown herself into science and men, doesn’t understand what Rosa is asking for.
Liz badly wants Rosa to be okay, so that she can focus on fixing Max. She’s not listening to Rosa or leaving her space to express what she needs to heal. It makes me wonder if Rosa was always expected to somehow cope alone so that Liz could be the one to shine and get taken care of. Did the family always focus on the bright little girl who was Papa Ortecho’s bio child instead of the daughter who wasn’t genetically his?
Rosa asks if Liz put a tracking device on her and Liz unashamedly says yes. Way to take cues from the Gestapo, Liz. Rosa replies that she’s been sneaking around town without getting caught her whole life. This was dramatically illustrated last season when Liz went on the hunt for Rosa’s hidden treasures and secrets, which were all still hidden 10 years later. Liz needed Maria’s help to make any progress at all, proving how little she really knew her sister.
We’re seeing that play out again. Now Liz knows Rosa’s spots, but she still doesn’t know Rosa and she isn’t even trying. She’s singlemindedly burying her emotions in a new science project while pushing Rosa to remain preserved in amber. With Max pushing from the other side, Rosa feels like she has no choice but to choose a preservative, like tequila, to hold herself together long enough for Liz to get him out of her head. Then she can begin to build her new life.
Images courtesy of the CW.