This week on Roswell, New Mexico, Isobel uses her powers to help Rosa and Arturo reconnect. Alex and Michael’s investigation into the aftermath of the 1947 crash brings them to the Long ranch, where they run into a young relative of Wyatt’s, Forest, who shares the Long family’s legends about that time period. Kyle helps Liz acquire new equipment from the hospital, then wonders if he made the right decision. Cam confronts Jesse about her sister, Charlie, and he’s surprisingly open with her. This may not be as helpful as it you’d think.
I have a theory of my own about Jesse’s new state of mind.
But before I share it, Isobel needs to work a miracle.
Back in 1947, Tripp has tracked Nora and the seriously wounded alien woman, Louise, to the house they took shelter in at the end of epsiode 3. Tripp knocks on the door and the same man, Roy Bronson, answers. Before Tripp and Bronson, can say much, a young neighbor boy, Walt, joins them. Tripp noticed that Roy has blood on his clothes and arm. Walt explains that earlier that night, Roy had to kill a coyote to protect the ranch.
Tripp: “It’s a hard lesson, kid, but one must hold paramount the things you choose to fight for. My father taught me that.”
After that speech, we should have guessed what family he was from right away.
Seemingly convinced that Nora and Louise aren’t there, Tripp leaves them in peace.
Roy, who is the Long ranch foreman, moves the aliens to the barn and stashes the truck out of sight. With food and medical treatment, Louise’s condition has already improved. Roy explains what’s going on to the women, noting that even though they don’t understand the language he speaks, he feels like they’re still getting his message.
He can only let them stay one night, since the 1940s Long family wasn’t any better than the current one. In 1947 the ranch was suffering due to a drought and Roy was about to get fired. Harboring fugitives would only make things worse.
Roy mentions that the Longs are religious folk, but they are blaming him for the poor crop rather than blaming God for the drought. He makes sure that Nora understands that they have to leave in the morning, then says he’ll be back to change Louise’s bandages before they go. Nora notices bags of grain next to the stalls.
In the morning, the grain crops have grown tall and green in the fields. Walt suggests that it was Nora and Louise’s way of saying thank you. He thinks Roy should let Nora and Louise stay on the ranch as a thank you for the “miracle”.
In the present day, Max is sort of alive and growing stronger in his pod, thanks to Michael’s invention, which used “pinball parts and a car battery to cause cutaneous perfusion”, acording to Kyle and Liz.
Basically, Kyle means that Michael got some of Max’s systems moving again, such as the circulatory and lymph systems, at least as far as they can tell on a peripheral level- cutaneous means skin.
Kyle has been observing heart surgeries and doing ultrasounds of Michael’s chest to prepare for Max’s heart transplant. He wants Liz to know what a burden staring at a half naked Michael has been. It’s all in the name of a groundbreaking achievement that will save Max and has to remain a secret forever.
Once again, after we didn’t get a flashback of Michael sleeping with a puppy last week, now we don’t get a scene of these endless ultrasounds between two of the
hottest I mean most hard working men on television? This show is just purposefully torturing fans.
And you paid way too much attention to Michael’s nipples for me to believe you’re all that straight, Kyle Valenti. How did those ultrasound sessions really end?
Liz and Kyle toast to their ironic victories. Kyle realizes that Liz has made him Cafe de Olla and has on her “ask Kyle a big favor” face. She explains that a new piece of special equipment, a personal genome machine, which she ordered before her job at the hospital ended, has arrived. It would be really helpful for her current work, so she just wants Kyle to be her lookout while she sort of borrows it for a while.
Despite his better judgement, Kyle says yes, as Rosa steals his breakfast. Liz mentions that Rosa’s doing much better lately. She doing her online addiction counseling sessions and has stopped painting graffiti in town since she started talking to Maria.
Graham Greene now owns a rival malt shop across the street from the Crashdown in the UFO Emporium. He and some cheerleaders invade the Crashdown during Liz’s shift in order to insult the food and lure customers to his own establishment. As Liz tosses him out, Isobel uses her powers to make sure he’s slightly injured and humiliated on his way out the door.
While he’s there, Graham hangs a missing poster up for Hank Gibbons, Wyatt’s best friend, who was killed by Noah at the end of season 1. That’s a second missing person that Sheriff Valenti isn’t worried about, while she continues to try to solve Noah’s murder, which appears to be an open and shut case of death by freak lightning strike. What’s going on with her? She’s ignoring other disappearances/alien abductions and crimes committed by Noah in order to investigate his death. And she continues to question Max’s absence, but doesn’t seem to have actually tried to find him.
Liz notices Isobel’s stealthy help with Graham and sits down to thank her. Isobel has been hanging around the diner a lot, suggesting new items for the menu and observing Arturo. She’s noticed he’s a regular churchgoer and devout believer, so she wonders if she can use her mind powers to help Arturo believe that Rosa has been resurrected. With the right build up, he can avoid having a heart attack when he sees Rosa for the first time.
Kyle surprises his mom at the police station, where she’s still obsessing over Noah’s murder. Michelle tells Kyle that she knows it was more than a freak accident, the same way he knew in his heart that there was more to his father’s death than just cancer. Kyle tries to convince her that he was wrong about his dad, but the look on his face makes it clear he’s lying.
Michael and Alex meet at the Long farm. They haven’t seen each other in a while, because Michael’s been holed up in either the lab or the library. Now that he’s ready for company, Isobel is busy and Maria isn’t speaking to him (and Max is still mostly dead/ also not telepathically speaking to him). He’s realized he doesn’t have many friends.
Has he forgotten how much time he usually spends telling people to go away? Who is this person who thought he had a wide circle of friends?
Alex tells Michael that he texted with Maria, who said she’ll keep the aliens’ secrets, but right now she needs some time with her mom, away from Michael and the others. Alex wonders if Mimi was abducted by aliens. Michael hates the idea of something so cliche happening in Roswell, which makes me wonder where he’s been living all of his life. He’s only reluctantly willing to consider an alien connection to Mimi’s disappearance. He wants to keep an open mind and learn as much as he can about true alien history in the region.
Michael shows Alex the 1948 picture from the Roswell newspaper of Nora with Roy Bronson and tells him that the Long farm had record breaking crops while the rest of the region was in a drought. The day after the photo ran in the paper the entire farm was destroyed in a fire that was supposedly started by a lightning strike during a freak storm. Nora was captured the same night. Michael is sure that it wasn’t an accident.
Michael was working on ranches while Alex was overseas in the military and he learned that successful ranching requires taking copious notes. He wants to find out if the Longs have any record of Nora.
Wyatt confronts them with a crossbow and accuses them of tresspassing. The terms of his probation don’t allow him to use firearms. Alex keeps talking to distract Wyatt while Michael uses his power to release the horses that Wyatt has confined in a trailer.
Kyle finds Steph in the operating room observation room watching heart surgery. He joins her and explains that he’s learning about heart transplants because of a friend. As they continue talking he tells her about his rivalry with Max Evans, in broad, vague terms. She thinks it sounds like a YA novel. He says it would fill up a whole series.
About 10 books. I guess this show would be the sequel, companion series.
Kyle is called out to check on a patient. He and Steph flirt-fight as he leaves.
Cam finds Jesse hanging out at the town airport, drinking beer, cleaning his gun and watching planes take off. His doctor told him the keeping his hands busy would help him regain his dexterity. He’d already heard that she’s back in town, through the grapevine, not because he cared, obviously. But he tests her reflexes anyway by pretending to point his gun at her.
Cam says that Charlie isn’t in the prison where she was supposed to be and they have no record of her. The postcard Cam received from her sister isn’t in Charlie’s handwriting.
It’s almost like someone wanted to get Cam out of town for a while.
Jesse says that Charlie has been released from prison, but she’s still in trouble. He reminds Cam that she was the one who turned Charlie in to the authorities and had her sent to prison. Cam explains that when they were kids, Charlie meant everything to her. When they grew up, Cam threw herself into the military and patriotism. When she found out that Charlie had stolen classified documents, she turned Charlie in, thinking she was doing the right thing. Then the military imprisoned her sister. Cam didn’t realize what prison would do to Charlie.
Jesse explains that Charlie wanted Cam to turn her in because she knew in prison she’d be safe from the people who were after her, mostly likely a private security firm. He says that he met Charlie once. She was working on the genetic weapon that he was planning to use in season 1, which could target people or aliens based on their DNA. Charlie didn’t intend for it to be used as a weapon.
Jesse: “I believed that I had a use for her pathogen at one time. But my fight is over now.”
Jesse gives Cam information on the private security firm that’s hunting Charlie and tells her to be careful. As she’s leaving, he tells her he’s sorry she and Max didn’t work out. She asks why he didn’t capture and imprison Max.
Jesse: “I don’t know. I guess I feel like there’s a story unfolding in Roswell. Has been for more than 50 years. Can’t blame me for wanting to see how it ends.”
He reassembles his gun as he speaks.
I do not for a minute believe he is the toothless old lion he’s pretending to be. He directed that entire conversation and now Cam is going exactly where he wanted to send her.
Isobel hangs out at the diner and helps Arturo with the Crashdown’s social media presence. He wants to improve business so that Liz will stop worrying about him and pursue her own dreams.
Isobel uses her powers to look inside Arturo’s mind and see what he dreams about. He wants forgiveness for the mistakes he thinks he made with Rosa. He remembers an argument between them that got out of hand. She got in trouble with the field hockey team and told him she was stealing her drugs from her mother. He said Rosa was beyond help and she broke the front window of the diner.
Isobel goes to visit Rosa at Max’s house to suggest that they work together to prepare Arturo accept that Rosa’s return is a miracle and that he’s worthy of it. When Rosa sees Isobel, she remembers being murdered by Noah in Isobel’s body and throws a pitcher full of milkshake at the alien. Isobel bats the pitcher away, but she realizes she has more work to do for Rosa to fully accept her. Rosa acknowledges that Noah victimized them both and agrees to work with Isobel.
As they clean up the spilled Cherry Chili Blast milkshake, Rosa tells Isobel that she can’t remember the secret ingredient for her dad’s famous shake, which is one of her coping mechanisms when things get hard. Rosa explains that she has uncontrollable mood swings where she’ll be happy one minute then the next she’ll be thrown into a pit of darkness with voices telling her she’s worthless. Despite their arguments, her dad was the person who helped her through them by encouraging her needs for art, music and prayer.
The scene changes to Isobel sharing her memory of the scene with Arturo, so he’ll know how much Rosa loved him and how much he helped her. Then she asks him for a Cherry Chili Blast milkshake.
Kyle and Liz sneak into the office of the Dean of Surgery to borrow his keys. The Dean and his daughter, Steph, come in while Liz and Kyle are there, so they hide in the closet. When Steph opens up the closet to get her dad’s hat, Liz thinks quick and makes out with Kyle. Steph doesn’t turn them in and Liz finds the keys. Liz thinks it’s all good, but Kyle is beginning to feel used.
Back in 1948, Roy puts some Duke Ellington on a record player set up in the barn. He and Louise dance. Nora tells Walt about her usual dance partner, a boy about Walt’s size who has curly hair. She says she loves him and misses him, but it’s not safe for him to live with them yet. Then Walt stands on a bench so he can be Nora’s dance partner instead of Michael.
Alex and Michael check out the barn in the present day. Alex notices that the barn smells like rain, which is the distinctive smell of Michael or maybe all of the aliens? Alex isn’t completely clear about that. Though the old barn burned, the new barn was built with salvaged lumber.
One board has height markings for Roy, Walt, Nora and Louise scratched into it. Alex is incredulous when Michael doesn’t recognize what it is, forgetting what Michael’s childhood was like. They recognize that Louise must have been Max and Isobel’s mother.
They’re interrupted by another member of the Long family, who Michael met while he was researching aliens at the library. Forest was researching Nazi spies. According to Long family legend, Roy Bronson was harboring Nazi spies, not aliens.
Once Liz has the machine she came for, she finds Kyle in the operating theater, watching another surgery. They discuss how upset he is that she kissed him without thinking about his feelings and how much he’s constantly risking for her. They both admit that he puts her first while she puts Max first.
She tries to make it better by saying she loves Kyle like family, which in Liz’s mind is somehow different and better than loving him like a brother?
I don’t get it. I have brothers and other male family- it’s not that different. None of them will ever be a boyfriend.
Then Liz tries to reel Kyle back in by saying they can keep using the stolen machine for other purposes after they’ve brought Max back. Their studies will be supergreat because they’ll have no oversight.
They’d also have no funding and no way to get published without drawing unwanted attention, so they aren’t much good to him.
Kyle tells her she’s unrealistically bargaining with fate, the way families do when their loved ones are dying. He’s not going to get sucked in this time. He’ll help her fix Max, but then he’s taking a break from her and the aliens.
Alex teases Michael over hanging out at the library and making friends with a Long. It’s like he doesn’t even know who Michael is. Michael responds that it’s not like they’re getting beers together, just as Forest brings out a 6 pack to share.
Does Alex actually think Michael is dumb because he didn’t like the structure and classism of school? And is he seriously ready to judge every member of a family by the reputation of the others? Should we consider him a typical Manes Man then?
Forest tells them that during the war there was a Nazi internment camp in Roswell. Nazi prisoners built half of the city. That’s why there are so many iron crosses in town. Supposedly a couple of female prisoners escaped and hid out on the Long farm. When he was a kid, Forest and Kate would search the property for Nazi artifacts.
Forest shows Michael and Alex an old metal lunchbox that holds his finds. Most of the artifacts are bullet casings that match those used by the Air Force in 1948. Forest says the Nazi spies were building a bomb in the barn. The newspapers may have said the barn caught fire when it was struck by lightning, but Forest is sure that story was told to cover up the explosion caused by the destruction of the alien weapon. He shows Michael a slip of paper covered in math calculations.
Kyle brings his mom birthday flowers and dinner at the station. She’s still stuck on Noah’s death and asks Kyle about acetone poisoning, since she found traces of the substance on Noah’s coffee cup. Her theory is that Max and Isobel murdered Noah, then left him in the desert. Kyle tries to talk her down, insisting that Noah was struck by lightning and it was an Act of God. They move on to her gifts.
Michelle tries to act like she’s letting Kyle convince her to drop her investogation, but this is a serious obsession for her. Is she being haunted by Noah or driven to pursue this case for some other reason? Did she see something she can’t explain?
Alex joins Michael by the fire pit at his trailer that evening. Michael has figured out that Nora and Louise were building a ship with room for three pods, so that they could escape from Earth. He’s happy, finally knowing that his mom didn’t abandon him on purpose and that she planned to retrieve him. The math on Forest’s slip of paper fills in gaps in his own equations that he’s been puzzling over for years.
Alex did a search through the Shepherd Project files for mentions of the Long farm. He found one, with the names redacted. But one phrase stood out: “Diligence is what main men do.” The transcriptionist heard the word “main”, but Alex recognizes it as one of his family’s sayings- Manes men. Alex’s great uncle Eugene Manes III would have also gone by Tripp, short for triple. Alex discovered that Eugene methodically hunted Michael’s mother for a year.
In 1948, Tripp and a large squad of soldiers approach the barn at night. Walt hears them coming. Nora hides him and tells him not to come out. Roy and Louise tell each other, “I love you.”
Tripp opens the door and calls Roy a traitor, then shoots him. He takes Nora prisoner, then lights the barn on fire. She tells him there are still people inside and he says their deaths will be her fault. He shoots down a light inside the barn to start the fire.
Michael and Alex assume there would have been a large explosion due to the ship’s fuel source. Everyone who was on the farm and not in the barn was killed and the farm was burned to the ground. The year before, Tripp had promised that he would finish the job the next time and that’s what he did.
Except we never see what happened to Louise. And we know that if she lived, she could have healed Walt and Roy. It’s odd that Tripp didn’t drag Louise out, too, since he knew there were two alien women and she was standing in front of him when he opened the barn door.
Could Louise have been the alien woman who stayed with the Native American faith healers? Could Nora have made a deal with Tripp to trade her life in exchange for the others’ freedom?
Alex apologizes to Michael, but Michael doesn’t blame him. Alex still feels terrible. Alex gives Michael the piece of the alien ship that he inherited from Jim Valenti. He tells Michael that he’s had it for months, but he’s been too afraid of losing Michael to give it to him.
Kyle tries to apologize to Steph for his unprofessional behavior in the closet, but she’s still not impressed with him.
Arturo is cleaning the diner at the end of the night when Rosa walks in. He doesn’t believe what he’s seeing, so Isobel, who stands out of sight, enters his mind and tells him that both he and Rosa deserve this miracle and second chance. He and Rosa hug each other for all they’re worth. Then Liz comes in and says she knew Rosa was back, but didn’t know how to tell him. He says, “Perhaps when God grants you a miracle, you don’t question it. You give thanks.” They all hug. Liz silently thanks Isobel.
Isobel goes to see Max in his pod to do a little waiting room bargaining of her own. “The idea of God always freaked me out. Like, apparently he made people in his own image. Which, first of all, get over yourself. And also, does that apply to us? Does every planet have its own God? Let’s say that we’re all clones of the big guy in the sky. Well then, doesn’t it stand to reason that we’re all capable of slinging light? Well, I guess by that same token, we’re all capable of tremendous wrath. We’re walking contradictions. Neverending mercurial rise and fall. Darkness and light. I guess the real miracle is choosing the light, despite the ever-present darkness. Look at us. We’re in the middle of a downright biblical desert, galaxies from where we started. I mean our very existence is a miracle. I’m capable of so much more than I was, Max. I really think that maybe I could do great things. I need you to come back, okay? I need you to be the thing that I can believe in, that doesn’t let me down. I just need this one little miracle and I promise, I won’t ever ask for anything, ever again.”
Cam calls Liz on her way out of town to say that she has a lead on her sister. When she hangs up, there’s a dead steer blocking the road ahead of her. Of course she in the middle of nowhere, where else would Jesse send her? She gets out to investigate and her car’s headlights start blinking on and off. Bright lights appear in the sky. Cam goes rigid and is abducted, just like Mimi.
Jesse puts his gun away in its special case marked with an M for Manes. In the voiceover, Isobel talks about tremendous wrath.
Isobel leaves the cave. The machine sending electricity to Max sputters, then dies. Max’s pod goes dark. He opens his eyes.
Is he back?
One thing this show gets right is the Ortecho family relationships. The reunion between Arturo and Rosa brought me to tears, just like the reunion between Liz and Rosa last season. Performing her own practical, positive miracle was a great redemption storyline for Isobel after her unwilling part in Rosa’s death, her trauma due to her abuse by Noah and the necessity of her abortion, which led to more trauma.
I love the budding closeness between Isobel and Arturo and I hope it continues. He considered Noah his friend. Maybe Isobel can pick up where that friendship left off, in a healthier way, and act as manager of the Crashdown. Arturo could use a lighter workload and more time to focus on Rosa now that she’s back. Isobel could take over administrative duties and go wild with her flair for marketing and merch. She and Rosa could eventually develop a real friendship and maybe take over the Crashdown together when Arturo can’t work anymore (he’ll never retire).
This episode was directed by Shiri Appleby, who played Liz in the original Roswell series. It was a great choice for her episode this season (she directed episode 9, Songs About Texas, the faith healer/road trip story, in season 1), and not just because it’s one of her former costar Jason Behr’s episodes.
This episode’s themes were particularly similar to many in the original series, with Isobel using her powers to mentally influence Arturo, while she’s also discovering that maybe she can depend on some of her human friends instead of just Max and Michael. Michael is going through a similar experience as he researches his background and discovers that instead of being the least connected to Earth, maybe he’s the most connected of the 3 aliens.
By bringing Jason Behr in to play a role while this series’ version of Max is mostly out of commission, the show simultaneously helps keep the idea of Max alive and continues to hint that Nathan Dean’s Max will share the regular guy/greater purpose duality that Jason Behr’s Max struggled with. Behr’s current character, Eugene Manes III/Tripp, is dually named, as were the original Roswell aliens. The second name is used in the alien files as a secret identity to hide the extent of Tripp’s actions in 1947-48.
It’s clear that we don’t know all of Tripp’s secrets yet. Did he eventually succumb to his attraction to Nora and try to help her? Was he one of the Manes men who set up the alien prison at Caulfield? Did he ever capture Louise?
Noah told Max that he was the savior. He rambled about various other things that suggested more aliens are going to show up and that they’ll have expectations of Max, Isobel and Michael when they do. My biggest frustration with the trio’s treatment of Noah is that they had someone from their home planet in front of them and they wouldn’t listen to him and ask their questions. Even if his answers were basically lies, there would be kernels of truth in them. He wouldn’t be able to help giving away details that they hadn’t known before.
Chances are they all have dual identities.
And since Noah died, aliens are abducting the potential human alien hybrids. I suspect Noah was doing more than just hanging around Roswell, helping undocumented immigrants become citizens and occasionally killing to survive. He was keeping whoever is behind the flashing lights in the sky from getting out of control.
When Noah was alive, Mimi would occasionally wander and have spells of dementia, but she’d always find her way home and come back to herself. Once Noah was gone, she disappeared for a month, physically and mentally. Now, both Charlie and Cam have also gone missing. We know Cam disappeared the same way Mimi did. Charlie is either on the run or she disappeared as well. And Maria is offscreen, without her protective necklace. Should we be worried that she’s been abducted and someone else texted with Alex as a cover?
I think Noah was acting as some sort of traffic cop, keeping the aliens from overdoing their abductions. They must be able to feed from the hybrids life force without killing them. Maybe when Noah was alive and using his own body or Isobel’s, he was sharing the life force of the people he was accused of killing with the other aliens, either helping to heal them or keeping them alive, as well.
Is Max now connected to the other aliens, the way Noah potentially was? When Michael connected Max to a continuous power source, did he also connect the aliens in the ship to the same source, so that they can finally be fully healed? Will that be a mistake?
Max seems to think so. Maybe he’s feeling their pain as well as his own. Maybe the Alighting is the final jolt of energy needed to bring them back to full strength. The one Liz will use to shock Max’s body back to life once she’s given him a new heart. Probably using lightning or the eqivalent, just like Frankenstein.
My theory is that Max is genetically engineered to be the ultimate alien weapon. Noah and Isobel are linked to him and each other somehow. I don’t think Noah can die as long as Max doesn’t die, and ultimately, Max is probably immortal in some way. Together they are Ophiucus, 13th sign of the zodiac, the intertwined snake bearer and snake.
The snake bearer, Asclepius, is both a healer and a hunter, the sun of the Greek god Apollo, who was eventually made immortal. The snake, Serpens, taught Asclepius the art of healing and is also a symbol of medicine, poisons, rebirth and immortality. At the end of season 1, Noah told Max they were Ophiucus, but Max was obsessed with his power at the time and didn’t pay attention or question what Noah meant.
My other current wild theory is that Noah is possessing Jesse Manes. Jesse is handling his esmasculation way more calmly and nonviolently than we’ve ever seen Jesse, or any Manes man other than Alex, handle anything, ever.
Noah, on the other hand, is exactly like a snake in the way he lies in wait for as long as it takes, then quickly strikes and kills his target before they even know what happened to them. He uses intelligence and strategy, only turning to violence and force when the time is right, then using them with surgical precision. Unless his hand is forced and he thinks he needs to lash out to survive, then all bets are off and he becomes a fiercely, deceptively deadly weapon, as he did the night Rosa died.
I think Noah took control of Jesse when he had that big seizure. Jesse was also unnaturally calm and forgiving with Alex in the hospital scene in the previous episode, but some of what he said could be taken two ways. The same goes for this episode. Noah’s been part of the alien fight all along, but now he’s been forced out of it. He still wants to see how it ends. Maybe he is still taking covert action. He definitely has some scores to settle. So does Jesse. They have some of the same enemies, so they could theoretically coexist and work together.
Is Noah/Jesse mind controlling the sheriff to make her keep investigating his death while ignoring Hank’s death and the abductions/disappearances? Will Sheriff Valenti finally be brought in on the aliens’ secret this season? It would be great for her to be more involved in the storylines. Even though they’re 10 years older, the Roswell, New Mexico gang could use a parental figure to talk to and to cover for them the way that the OG Roswell kids had their Sheriff Valenti. She already has the relationship with Max that the sheriff had in the original series, while Jesse plays (played?) the role that the sheriff had in the books.
What does it mean for Maria’s character that she finally discovered two big secrets last week and instead of following up this week with the ramifications to those developments, she’s not in this episode and is dismissed with a couple of lines? I thought Maria was supposed to be an important character this year, but so far she’s been little more than an ineffective foil to add a moment of tension to Michael and Alex’s relationship. Otherwise, she’s not doing much more than she was last season.
No wonder the Longs are angry all the time. They had a good thing going in 1948, with a prosperous farm. Then the Manes and the Air Force killed everyone, burned their farm, ruined their business and branded them Nazi sympathizers. That must have been tough to come back from.
Images courtesy of the CW.