Columns by Fans

Read here what fans say about "Roswell". Find out what they disliked, liked or just loved. You will be surprised about some facts the authors found out.

Some reviews will focus on the technical aspects of Roswell such as the acting, lighting, edition, camera shots like the Columns Damon Moudry (ETAmerican) wrote for Other columns talk about the characters, allowing us to know and understand the characters better. Even other articles concentrate on the alien aspects and science-fiction or plot holes and mistakes.

If you like to submit your own view about the different seasons and episodes, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Please do not post the reviews elsewhere unless you have first contacted the reviewer and obtained permission.

Season 1 | Season 2 | Season 3

Columns by Fans

Season 1

Episode Review Author
#100 Pilot Roswell Starts Off With A Bang Damon Moudry
#100 Pilot "Pilot" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#100 Pilot "Pilot" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#101 The Morning After "The Morning After" review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#102 Monsters "Monsters" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#103 Leaving Normal "Leaving Normal" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#103 Leaving Normal "Leaving Normal" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans;
#104 Missing "Missing" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#104 Missing Secrets and Lies - A Review of "Missing"

Kate Ancel
#104 Missing "Missing" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#105 258 South  "285 South" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#105 258 South  The Quest - A Review of "285 South" Kate Ancel
#105 258 South  "284 South" Review by LSS LSS
#105 258 South  "284 South" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#106 River Dog "River Dog" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#106 River Dog Answers and Questions - A Review of "River Dog" Kate Ancel
#106 River Dog "River Dog" Review by Chad Evans  
#107 Blood Brother "Blood Brother" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#107 Blood Brother Runaway Train - A Review of "Blood Brothers" Kate Ancel
#107 Blood Brother "Blood Brother" Review by LSS LSS
#107 Blood Brother "Blood Brother" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#108 Heat Wave "Heat Wave" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#108 Heat Wave Pairing up and Moving Forward - A Review of "Heat Wave" Kate Ancel
#108 Heat Wave "Heat Wave" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#109 The Balance Take A Step Back And You'll Be Surprised At What You See Damon Moudry
#109 The Balance "The Balance" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#109 The Balance Splitting Up and Stepping Back - A Review of "The Balance" Kate Ancel
#109 The Balance "The Balance" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#110 The Toyhouse "The Toyhouse " Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#110 The Toyhouse Blind Faith - A Review of "Toy House" Kate Ancel
#110 The Toyhouse "TheToyhouse" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#111 Into The Woods Father's Day - A Review of "Into the Woods" Kate Ancel
#111 Into The Woods "Into The Woods" by LSS LSS
#111 Into The Woods "Into The Woods" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#112 The Convention Alien Hunter - A Review of "UFO Convention" Kate Ancel
#112 The Convention "The Convention" Review by LSS LSS
#112 The Convention "The Convention" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#113 Blind Date Night on the Town - A Review of "Blind Date" Kate Ancel
#113 Blind Date "Blind Date" Review by LSS LSS
#113 Blind Date "Blind Date" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#114 Independance Day Family Ties - A Review of "Independence Day" Kate Ancel
#114 Independance Day "Independance Day" Review by LSS LSS
#114 Independance Day "Independance Day" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#115 Sexual Healing Unsealed With a Kiss - A Review of "Sexual Healing" Kate Ancel
#115 Sexual Healing "Sexual Healing" Review by LSS LSS
#115 Sexual Healing "Sexual Healing" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans;
#116 Crazy Just Act Normal - A Review of "Crazy" Kate Ancel
#116 Crazy "Crazy" Review by LSS LSS
#116 Crazy "Crazy" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#117 Tess, Lies and Videotape New Girl in Town - A Review of "Tess, Lies ..." Kate Ancel
#117 Tess, Lies and Videotape "Tess, Lies, ..." Review by LSS LSS
#117 Tess, Lies and Videotape "Tess, Lies and Videotape" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#118 Four Square Strange Bedfellows - A Review of "Four Square" Kate Ancel
#118 Four Square "Four Square" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#119 Max To The Max Shell Game - A Review of "Max To The Max" Kate Ancel
#119 Max To The Max "Max To The Max" Review by LSS LSS
#119 Max To The Max "Max To The Max" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans;
#120 The White Room Lab Rat - A Review of "The White Room" Kate Ancel
#120 The White Room "The White Room" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#121 Destiny A Review of "Destiny" Kate Ancel
#121 Destiny "Destiny" Review by LSS LSS
#121 Destiny "Destiny" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans

Columns by Fans

Season 2

Episode Review Author
#201 Skin and Bones "Skin and Bones" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#201 Skin and Bones "Skin and Bones" Review by Joan Joan
#201 Skin and Bones "Skin and Bones" Review by LSS LSS
#201 Skin and Bones "Skin and Bones" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#202 Ask Not! "Ask Not" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#202 Ask Not! "Ask Not" Review by Joan Joan
#202 Ask Not! "Ask Not" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#203 Surprise "Surprise" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#203 Surprise "Surprise" Review by Joan Joan
#204 Summer Of '47 Reflections Of Episode "Summer of '47" by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#204 Summer Of '47 "Summer of '47" Review by Joan Joan
#205 The End Of The World Episode Review of "End Of The World" by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#205 The End Of The World "End Of The World" Review by Joan Joan
#206 The Harvest "The Harvest" Review by Jerry D. Jerry D.
#206 The Harvest "The Harvest" Review by Joan Joan
#207 Wipe Out! "Wipe Out" Review by Joan Joan
#208 Meet The Dupes "Meet The Dupes" Review by Joan Joan
#209 Max In The City "Max In The City" Review by Joan Joan
#210 A Roswell Christmas Carol "A Roswell Christimas Carol" Review by Joan Joan
#211 To Serve & To Protect "To Serve & To Protect" Review by Joan Joan
#212 We Are Family "We Are Family" Review by Joan Joan
#213 Disturbing Behavior "Disturbing Behavior" Review by Joan Joan
#214 How The Other Half Lives "How The Other half Lives" Review by Joan Joan
#215 Viva Las Vegas "Viva Las Vegas" Review by Joan Joan
#216 Heart Of Mine "Heart Of Mine" Review by Joan Joan
#217 Cry Your Name "Cry Your Name" Review by Joan Joan
#218 It's Too Late & It's Too Bad "It's Too Late & It's Too Bad" Review by Joan; Joan
#219 Baby, It's You "Baby, It's You" Review by Joan Joan
#220 Off The Menu "Off The Menu" Review by Joan Joan
#221 The Departure "The Departure" Review by Joan Joan

Columns by Fans

Season 3

Episode Review Author
#301 Busted! "Busted" Review by Jennifer Jennifer
#301 Busted! "Busted" Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans
#302 Michael, The Guys And The Great Snapple Caper "Michael, The Guys ..." Review by Chad Evans Chad Evans

#100 Pilot - Review

Written by Damon Moudry (ETAmerican)


I want to welcome fellow Roswell fans to what I hope will be an ongoing series of fun, entertaining and hopefully educational articles about the show that is near and dear to all of our hearts. My name is The ETAmerican (Extra Terrestrial American), aka Damon Moudry, and I will be working closely with JerryD and the others at to bring you the best news, information, and analysis of Roswell's weekly episodes and its stars.

My column will focus on the technical aspects of Roswell such as the acting, lighting, editing, camera shots and other elements while JerryD will comment on the stories told each week. But that doesn't mean our seemingly different worlds won't ever cross like Max and Liz's did (but hopefully, neither of us will have to heal the other after being shot in gaudy alien theme fast food joint, but that's a whole other story). In fact, they will often overlap and it's my intent to help you become smarter viewers when you not only watch Roswell, but other films and TV programs as well.


There is a theory that states the universe started with a Big Bang: a collision of randomly moving particles and gaseous matter collided and exploded into the organized chaos we call the universe.

The true can be said of the pilot episode of Roswell.

High school student Max Evans (Jason Behr) is the strong, silent type. He has loved fellow class mate Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby) from afar since the third grade. Their worlds collide when the small bang from a pistol fired by two feuding customers strikes Liz and becomes a big bang when Max comes to her rescue and miraculously heals her with a wave of his hand. By doing this, he risks exposing his extra terrestrial origins and that of his sister, Isabel (Katherine Heigl), and long time friend Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr) in the process.

The majority of the pilot is the investigation by the town sheriff, James Valenti (William Sadler), into why Liz seemingly survived a fatal gun shot wound, and these scenes are well done and the tension never lets up. But I think the scene that really makes the biggest bang in this episode is the one that forgoes all the chaos surrounding the aliens struggle to keep their secret, and address the more human issue of "opposites attract". Roswell cleverly manipulates this particular aspect and multiplies it a hundred fold by making star-crossed lovers Liz and Max from different species... but who actually have more in common than they can possibly imagine.

And this is the key to almost every romantic movie, or TV show ever made. Opposites attract is just the surface. It's what lies beneath those layers that really matters, and it is where the characters gradually form their attractions and make their emotional connections. The process of peeling away those layers to find those connections is the point of the show or movie. By the end, both characters should realize that they have the same needs and fears, even if it is not blatantly apparent to them.

This simple act of peeling away the layers was given the ultimate twist and raised to a new plateau when Max exchanged memories and emotions with Liz via a "Vulcan Mind Meld" when he let Liz see the way he felt about her through his eyes and vice versa. This speaks to the basic fear of "bearing your soul" and "don't you ever wish he/she could see how much I really care about them," and is by far the most powerful scene in the entire episode.

The intimate nature of the scene is conveyed through every single aspect and movement -- It is shot in extreme close-up; Max has to physically touch the side of Liz's face in a pseudo-loving embrace as they stare longingly into each other's eyes -- To the use of Sarah MacLaughlan's beautifully haunting tune, "Fear," in the background set to slow motion flashback images of Max walking by Liz in the halls, unaware he is looking at her.

This one scene single handedly addressed not only adolescent fears, but the ageless need to make a connection with the one person whom will love us unconditionally. It also single handedly raised the bar on other teen shows and it will be a hard act to follow.

If it weren't for the Big Bang, none of us would be here. And if it wasn't for that small bang which nearly killed Liz Parker, Max Evans would not have been compelled to save her, and the resulting chaos in Roswell would be non-existent. But thanks to executive producers Jason Katmis ("My So-Called Life") and David Nutter ("X-Files"), and there understanding of universal struggles, the well orchestrated chaos which has resulted will be felt for many eons to come as other shows try and follow in their successful wake. However, we may have to wait until the next Big Bang to see if the competition has risen to the challenge. Anybody see my universe creation kit again?

Damon Moudry is a represented screenwriter who is skilled in dramatic story development and various technical aspects of the film making process. Please send comments, concerns or complaints to

#100 Pilot - Review

Written by Jerry D.

I had the pleasure of watching the series premiere of Roswell, a very compelling new show that blends science fiction, modern high school life, and the timeless theme of risking everything for the person that you love. This show is set in the town of Roswell, New Mexico, which has gained considerable notoriety as the site of a supposed alien spacecraft crash in 1947. The crash was supposed to have been covered up by the United States government, which put out the story that a weather balloon had crashed on that day.

The episode opened in a restaurant called the Crashdown Café that serves the tourists that flock to Roswell like pilgrims flock to Mecca to attend the annual Roswell Crash Site festival. In it, we meet best friends Liz Parker and Maria De Luca, who attend the local high school and work part time as waitresses at the restaurant. We also meet Max and Isabel Evans, who, along with their friend Michael Guerin, share a secret which, up until now, only they knew. The first thing we notice that is different about Max and Michael is that they consume bottles of Tabasco sauce as part of their diet. As we watch Liz and Maria talk, we can see that Max harbors strong feelings for Liz, but Liz is unaware of these feelings, despite Maria’s wise observation of this fact to Liz. Suddenly, a fight breaks out between two patrons of the restaurant, and shots ring out, hitting Liz, seemingly fatally. Max rushes over and through the use of some type of mysterious power that he possesses, he heals Liz’s wound, much to the chagrin of his friend, Michael. He then throws ketchup over where the wound was to cover up the blood, and he and Michael very quickly depart the premises, leaving an empty bottle of Tabasco sauce at the scene. It is at that point that we learn the true identity of Max , Michael and Isabel. It turns out that they are descendents of survivors of an alien space ship that had, indeed, crashed in New Mexico in 1947. We learn that they were born from incubation pods years after the crash, and that they are now living with local people who had adopted them knowing nothing about their origins. Max, by saving the life of Liz, has put his own life at great risk, by exposing his carefully guarded secret to outsiders.

We then meet other people that will play a role in the show. There’s Kyle Valenti, Liz’s boyfriend, whose father is the sheriff of the town, and who begins to suspect that something is amiss when Kyle spies a strange hand print on Liz’s stomach, a hand print that the sheriff had seen once before on a dead body. The sheriff, it seems, is haunted by the ridicule that his father endured for believing that aliens did indeed exist, and when his investigation of the shooting at the diner turns up inconsistencies, he is determined to find out what really happened, and in doing so clear his father’s name. We also meet Alex, Maria and Liz’s best friend, and the scenario is set for Liz to confront Max and learn the truth about how he was able to save her.

In the meantime, Maria, who realized that Liz, had, in fact, been shot during the altercation at the restaurant, confronts Liz, and Liz is forced to tell her the truth. This prompts Max, his sister, and their friend to consider leaving Roswell in place of a safe haven, but they soon conclude that running away will just draw further suspicion to them, so they decide to stay and take measures to draw suspicion away from them. We then joined Max and Michael on the road as they inform Isabel of what had happened. Isabel reacts angrily to this revelation, as she told Max that he had been the one who always admonished her and Michael not to use their powers. Max then commented that Isabel uses her powers all the time, but she said she uses her powers for “recreational” purposes. She then proceeds to play a CD without a CD player, and melts the cheese on the taco that she is eating, which I found to be a highly comical moment in the show. Max, Michael, and Isabel then get pulled over by Sheriff Valenti, who routinely harasses young people, and his suspicions are aroused when he sees an empty bottle of Tabasco sauce in their car, tying them to being in the diner at the time of the shooting. Isabel seems very nervous about the sheriff and is afraid of him. His suspicions aroused, the sheriff steals Liz’s dress and turns it over to the government authorities, who greet his suspicions with great skepticism, but this sets the tone for future trouble from this obsessed sheriff, who later attempts to arrest Max until Liz and her friends foil his nefarious plans.

Max, as it turns out, has loved Liz from afar all his life, and when she asks him why he risked everything to save her, he simply states "because it was you”. By this simple, but wonderfully evocative statement, Max summarizes the love that he has for Liz in a beautiful way. Later, Max uses his powers to let Liz see herself through his eyes and to feel what he is feeling about her, and in doing so, Liz realizes that in Max’s eyes, she is beautiful. By “connecting” with Max in this special way, she starts seeing him in a different light, and she begins to fall in love with him. At the end, though, Max tells Liz that although he wants them to be together, he feels that he can’t take that risk, as he feels that being in a relationship with her will put her in too much danger. These scenes touched my heart like no other scenes that I’ve seen on a television show in a very long time, and established the romantic mood for the series itself.

Overall, I found this series premiere to be a really wonderful show, and it seems to promise great things to come, as we become further drawn into the lives and stories of the characters in Roswell.

#100 Pilot - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

Let's start where it all began: September 18, 1999, at the Crashdown Cafe. (The date comes from the Liz's opening line. She gives a journal entry of September 24 and that "five days ago, I died." But as we will see, that date may change.)


I watched this episode three times before pulling any kind of information off of it for my project. I wanted to just sit down and enjoy the shows beginning. I thought it was a good idea that I go lightly on the first episode. I'm told that it was actually filmed twice before it was aired on TV and that Jason Katims spent an entire year on the script.

The first thing I noticed was that the show's atmosphere with lighting was well planned out. Light streaming through windows add to it's sci-fi edge. Lights were also used to give a kind of freaky feeling to some scenes. The ones that stand out to me in particular are those in the band room where Max first reveals to Liz that he is an alien.

Of all the characters, I was most surprised with Brendan Fehr's performance as Michael. From the transcripts I had read and the conversations I have had with fans, I expected more hostility from him. He comes from a broken home with a father who only has him around for the monthly check. Later, I learn he doesn't regularly attend school. I expected someone who was angry and impulsive and didn't think things through before acting on them. Two out of three isn't bad. He came off to me as bit too calm. I'm sure this changes as time goes on (I was only up to "285 South" at the time I wrote this but Fehr 's future performance doesn't disappoint.) This isn't to say his performance is bad. This is after all, the very first episode.

Even though I was already aware of it, I could tell Max was indeed the leader. He was already exhibiting the calm quality of a strong leader. This became obvious to me when Max said the line that he didn't want the secret to continue and then his willingness to surrender himself to keep the other two safe.

I feel it's interesting to note here that at the show's beginning, it's Max who is hesitant to begin a relationship with Liz and she is the one who wants to. Liz tells Max that she doesn't care about the consequences and wants to try. As time goes on, she continues to try to convince Max to change his mind. With the end of season one, these roles reverse and it is Max who wants the relationship and Liz who hesitates.

I love William Sadler's portrayal of Sheriff Valenti as a cold lawman. Being familiar with his past roles as the bad guy like his part in Die Hard 2, it was easy for me to accept him as adversarial. And because Kyle is his son, it adds even more suspense to him because anything his son learns, Valenti himself may learn.

I think I'm going to like Maria. She provides good comic relief as the nosey friend who freaks at the truth. I couldn't help but laugh as she ran from Liz screaming after learning that Max is an alien. (And her hair improves too!) Maria maintains her humor until season three when she starts to take life much more seriously. That's not to say her role reverses completely, she is just growing up.

My first impression of Isabel was nothing grand. For "Pilot", there wasn't an incredible amount of character build up for her but I did see the "I'm better then you are" attitude that she gave off. Later episodes break this down some and I wonder how much of this cold shoulder the creators chip away from her in later episodes. I'll be watching for that.

I sort of felt sorry for Kyle. He didn't strike me as an enemy type but that is the label stuck on him when at the end of the episode, it became clear he was going to be in Max's way. I also thought it was bad on Liz's part that she only showed him affection when trying to convince him to meet her at the Crashdown festival. But as one girl once told me "When all else fails, use those feminine wiles!" Kyle goes through a lot of changes by the time season two rolls around and takes over some of the humor that Maria's character used to do after she becomes more serious in season three.

As I said at the beginning of this rambling, the date of the action in this episode begins on September 19. Liz's journal entry is dated September 24, 1999 where she says "Five days ago, I died." The year comes from the air date of 10/6/1999. However, at the end of the episode, Liz's gives another entry date of September 23. This would mean that the episode began on September 18. I wonder which date we go by here. The next episode's date will clear this up. Thanks go out to Ashley for pointing out my math error. I had originally said things began on the 18th. (See? Even the nitpickers can be nitpicked!)

I've seen a lot of discussion about the orientation of the silver handprint. So let's take this one step at a time.

When Max heals Liz after she is shot, he asks her to look at him and places his LEFT hand over the wound. Max's fingertips are pointing to the left side of the screen to Liz's right side. His thumb is pointing to the right side of the screen, Liz's left side.

When Liz looked at the print in the mirror is when it gets different. To test my theory, I paused the vcr on the mirror shot, turned my back to the TV and looked at the screen with a mirror to see her stomach as Max saw her. The print now shows that it was made with Max's RIGHT hand. The fingertips point to Liz's left side and the thumb is pointing down.

When Liz shows Max the hand print the first time, the print still shows that it was made with Max's right hand but the fingertips are now pointing to Liz's RIGHT side. While the orientation is correct, the hand is not. Max used his LEFT hand not his right.

The handprint Kyle sees is also for a right hand. I think we can simply chalk this up to a makeup error.

Whenever we see someone who's been shot being healed on TV or in a movie, there is always one critical element left out: the bullet! Since Liz did not have any blood on her back, it's safe to say that the bullet did not exit her body. So my first thought after he healed her was "Great, he healed the wound but she still has a piece of lead in her body." When Max explained that his power is manipulation of molecular structure, I felt that he also must have dissolved the bullet. Sure enough, in "Balance", Maria says that Max dissolved the bullet when he healed her. That answers that.

The cheek cells Liz looks at under her microscope are used more then once. They will appear again in "Four Square" during Isabel's dream about her and Michael and it's also used in the picture of Max's blood cells in "The White Room." They are also the basis for the Gandarium's appearance in the "Hybrid Chronicles" in season two. I'll talk more about them in the episodes they appear.

Great Lines this episode. "Up north?" -Liz asking what Max means when he points up to answer her question of where he's from.

When Isabel is listening to a cd held at her ear, is she the only one who can hear it or can everyone else? Apparently, everyone can because Max asks her to stop. She plays cd's at the party at the beginning of "Ask not" and Lonnie exhibits the same power in "Max in the City." That's pretty cool but the tech junkie in me asks how's she's doing that since the cd isn't spinning. If she's passing some form of energy through the cd to play it, unless the energy itself is spinning, all she would hear is the music on the sector of the cd the energy is passing directly through. But I'm willing to let the excuse "It's magic!" explain it.

Max tells Isabel and Michael that "Liz won't tell anyone. She's different." Max's trust is a little misplaced because, after all, she DID tell Maria and Maria didn't take it what I would describe as, to quote Michael, "Great." She also tells Alex in "Blood Brother." Some secret keeper Liz is.

For those with a trained eye for detail, if you look, you can see the waistbands of the spandex shorts the two child actors are wearing during the flashback Max shows Liz where the Evans found them in the desert. And what happened to the saran wrap coverings we see the gang covered in as they emerge from the pods in "Four Square"? Did they peel them off? The kids look pretty clean and dry to me.

Did anyone notice that during the flashback Max showed Liz of him walking down the hall that he bumps into Kyle? Nice foreshadowing there.

The episode never answers this but who turned Liz's bookbag into Sheriff Valenti?

In this episode, Liz says Max is 16. I'm noting this for reference purposes.

There is a term in Phil Farrand's Nitpickdom called "cabbagehead." In a TV episode, to explain something to us the audience, a writer will give one character the dialogue to ask for an explanation of something. In this episode, Liz gets the part of the cabbagehead when asking Max what powers he has. Max tells her he can manipulate molecular structures and Liz asks what that means. So, Liz the scientist doesn't know what it means to manipulate a molecular structure? But that's ok. Someone has to explain these things to us. (A professed scientist tells me that Liz's asking for clarification is quite normal and he would have done the same.)

The bust that Max "manipulates" reminds me of paintings I've seen of early astrologers like Da Vinci and Galileo. I wonder if that was the intent.

As a Trekkie, it was cool to see Commander Riker make an appearance. However, I thought it was weird that the creators dubbed in sounds that everyone was still cheering at him when they appeared to be standing quietly (with the exception of the reaction shot from Larry and Nancy screaming "Number One!!"). Usually when a guest speaks, people quiet down so they can hear him. It's also obvious Frakes had a lot more to say in his speech but it ended up on the editor's chopping block.

One of the things I was tickled pink about in this episode was a music selection. The music played during the scenes where Liz's plan unfolds are taken from the Brandon Lee movie "The Crow." I love that music track!

The rubber aliens that burn in the "crash" later turn up in the UFO Center when it debuts in "Monsters." It's also painful to watch. Not because the dummies get set on fire, but because it's pretty obvious that someone is throwing the aliens into the fire! Makes you wonder what those in Roswell REALLY think about aliens, doesn't it? No wonder Michael, Max, and Isabel look worried as they watch from behind the fence. (I'm just kidding.)

Overall, this was a great start to the series. I'm eager to jump back into the show and see what happens. Remember, all feedback is welcome!

#101 The Morning After - Review

Written by Jerry D.

Tonight’s episode continued the story of the characters of Roswell, and allowed us more of a glimpse into their lives. The show opened with Liz writing in her diary, musing on what Max Evans had meant when he said to her, “I’ll see you in school.” In a sweetly innocent way that reflected the feelings that she had for Max, she wondered if what he said was just his way of being polite, or that he meant that “he won’t be able to breathe until he meets me again.” I thought it was comically, but touchingly, amusing that while she was up at night unable to sleep because of her feelings for Max, Max was, in fact, sound asleep.

Michael sneaks into Max’s room, unable to sleep, and it is obvious that he has a burning desire to learn about his origins, a desire not shared as strongly by Isabel and Max. We got a real glimpse tonight of the hellish life that Michael has, and why he has such a strong desire to learn the truth about his origins. I thought that Michael showed a vulnerable side tonight that was not evident in the series premiere. Michael wants to break into the Sheriff’s office to take whatever evidence that exists on others of their type, but Max and Liz are not very enthused about this plan, and Isabel makes the statement that she likes her life, and doesn’t want to have to leave it.

In the meantime, Liz and Maria are discussing the revelation that aliens (which they comically refer to as Czechoslovakians at Liz’s request) do, in fact, exist, and it is obvious that Maria has great fears about this discovery. I thought that Liz’s statement that “The thing you have to factor in about Czechoslovakians is that they have incredibly soulful eyes” was really sweet. I find the innocent love that she has for Max to be incredibly endearing.

Back in school, a new substitute teacher, Kathleen Topolski, seems to have an unusual interest in Michael’s whereabouts, which draws Liz’s suspicions. Kyle and Liz meet in the hallway, and it is quite evident that whatever feelings that she had for him are over, but that Kyle still has feelings for her. Liz then purposely bumps into Ms. Topolski, and she sees that she has a file on Michael, so Liz goes to Michael’s house to warn him, something that really reflects on just how sweet and kind a character Liz is.

Liz tells her suspicions about the substitute teacher to Max, but Max is skeptical, and he says that they have to go on with life as it was before, and that they all have to be careful. I was very touched by Liz’s concern for Max and his friends. Max then sees Ms. Topolski talking to a police officer, so he sends Liz a note to meet him in the eraser room. Once Maria learns about the note, she warns Liz that the eraser room is a place that will “take her innocence,” which I found to be really funny!

Back at the sheriff’s office, Government agents come to take all the evidence that the sheriff has on alien activity, despite denying finding anything suspicious about Liz’s waitress uniform, which the sheriff had given them as evidence. The sheriff, already tipped off by the presence of an FBI agent in his office the day before, had hidden a mysterious key that had been in the alien file that he has and Michel seeks.

Liz meets Max in the eraser room, and I found the disappointment that was written all over her face that Max was meeting her there simply to spy on Ms. Topolski to be very endearing and innocently sweet. I liked the discussions that she and Max had, and the affection between them is obvious to see. These characters, especially Liz, are a real delight to watch. Max and Liz overhear Ms. Topolski say to a security officer that she is going to Michael’s house to try and talk with him.

Liz and Max head to Michael’s house to warn him, and Kyle follows them, and he mistakenly believes that Liz and Max are having some type of amorous encounter in Max’s car, so he runs up to the car, and in the scuffle, Ms. Topolski sees Liz. Max then asks Liz to have lunch with him sometime.

Michael breaks into the sheriff’s office, eventually aided by Max and Isabel, and they narrowly escape with the mysterious key which Michael finds. Michael sees flashes of a spaceship when he holds the key, but no one else does.

Ms. Topolski reveals to Liz that she is, in fact, the new guidance counselor, and that Michael is in danger of being expelled. The show ends with Liz writing in her diary once more, musing on the topics of secrets, and how they can affect various people.

Overall, I found this show to be a good one which allowed us to understand the characters of Roswell a little better, and I look forward to the next show.

#101 The Morning After - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

While everyone was preparing to sit down for the second installment of the "Hybrid Chronicles" in season two, I was here watching the second episode "Morning After."

Actually, I think a better name for this episode could have been "Secrets." The episode has everyone involved dealing with a secret. The kids and the aliens deal with the secret of the truth. Topolsky deals with the secret of who she really is and her job to learn the Roswell alien's secret. Alex is faced with a secret Maria and Liz won't talk to him about and Valenti deals with the secret the FBI keeps from him and the key he keeps secret from them. It's not even the morning after. It's three days later! Oh well. I don't write them. I just critique them.

The second episode did something I was looking for in the first episode: more in-depth to Michael. In this episode, we learn where he lives and get a chance to learn who his foster dad is. However, instead of being defensive and trying to hide it, Michael admits how his life is quite openly. And even though it's early in the series, his lack of emotion when asking Max if he had ever thought about what life in Roswell is like for him was unconvincing. Most people in Michael's situation do not casually ask a question like that of others.

Out of all the aliens, Isabel is the one who seems most comfortable and resistant to change. Max comes off as being in the middle, happy about where he is but also willing to learn more if it comes to him. Michael is the other extreme in that he does not want to stay and wants to learn anything about his alien heritage. Kind of a nice triangle that unfolds in this episode. I also took notice of Michael commenting on Isabel's outfit in their home and how Isabel quickly went to button her shirt. Despite that later episodes indicate they are nothing more then good friends, I think this is an indication that Michael does notice Isabel more then he lets on. However, the creators never expound upon this and I’m quite glad that they didn’t.

I am not expecting too much from Alex this early on but I like what the creators have done with him in this episode. Colin Hanks plays the comic victim quite well. I especially enjoyed the bit he did with his arms only to have all the girls walk away from him and him asking "What? So now I'm a freak?" I look forward to a lot of fun from him.

Maria was something else all together. After being a source of humor in "Pilot", she suddenly becomes someone to worry about. After telling Liz that Michael freaks her out and her saying that they must tell Alex, I wondered if Liz had done the right thing in telling her the truth. Of course, when we come to "Monsters", Maria trounces this by keeping their secret from Valenti. It's obvious that the unknown is Maria's greatest enemy. But as we shall see, she is the person that adapts very quickly to the aliens and accepts them into her circle of friends.

Of all the people in the cast, Liz is someone that I am having trouble connecting to. No offense to anyone, but she strikes me as immature. Instead of talking to Kyle about things when he confronts her, she blows him off to follow Topolsky and then never gets back to him as she says she will. Because of the way she treated him, I don't blame Kyle for following her in his car or the annoyed stare he gives her to close out the episode. As I said in my review of "Pilot", I feel bad for him being stuck with the label of "bad guy" while taking the abuse Liz gives him. Maybe she should bear half of that label herself. It appears she really has hurt Kyle’s feelings. Kyle does get over it but it takes him almost two seasons to do it.

I also think she's got to be one of the worst liars on the planet. I first thought this about her in "Pilot" when telling Maria that Max gave her some "breathing techniques" in the Crashdown after the shooting (and even Maria didn't fall for THAT one). In this episode, she tells Topolsky it's interesting that she has a photographic memory and has never met anyone with it. Instead of giving an inquisitive look, Topolsky pays it no mind. Me, I'd have at least given her a weird look. And when Kyle comes up to them in Max's jeep at Michael's house, she's so badly flustered that Max has to help out with their "bowling" excuse. Now put yourself in Kyle's shoes and ask if his mean glare at the end of the episode is justified. I'd say it is. Liz’s character improves by leaps and bounds as the show goes on. It’s a good thing too because for me, it was very hard to connect to her on any level with the way she was early on in the show.

Liz's opening journal date is September 27, 1999, which is the Monday after the Crashdown festival. The time and date in Liz's telescope is the same. So kudos on continuity there. With this information, I think it's safe to regard Liz's closing date of September 23 at the end of "Pilot" as simply wrong.

After waking Max up, Michael says that the picture of the dead body taken in 1959 proves there was an alien around when they crashed. Well, that's a rather large leap of faith. The official date of the incident in Roswell, New Mexico is July 3, 1947 (the crash allegedly occurred on the evening of July 2, 1947 according to the official accounts in museums) and the show remains true to this. There is a twelve year difference between those dates. There could have been another alien present at that time (and of course, we find out there was) I just thought it wishful thinking on Michael's part to believe they are one and the same. I thought Max might say "Michael, that was twelve years after. We don't know that."

After her introduction, Topolsky takes attendance. She learns that Michael isn't present and asks Max if he knows Michael's whereabouts. After Max tells her that Michael is not a fan of geometry, Topolsky starts class and forgets to finish taking roll. No wonder Liz is suspicious.

Valenti tells Agent Hart he has no jurisdiction and to take his folding chair and leave (How about that? The FBI gave the guy his own chair! Must be nice to take your desk chair with you no matter where you go! ) However, Valenti is dead wrong. The FBI has jurisdiction ANYWHERE in the U.S. Though they must obey some rules of identification of themselves, if they want to come into your police station, they can! I’m not sure that Valenti really can order an FBI agent to do anything. The real FBI doesn't work like that. They do things the way Agent Smith did. They come in with a warrant, get what they want, and leave.

Also, it's odd that the FBI is the group investigating aliens. This usually falls to a special branch of the Air Force though the FBI will assist if asked.

Maria asks Liz what kind of substitute teacher takes attendance. All of my substitute teachers in school and college took attendance. Maybe it would have been better for Maria to ask what kind of substitute teacher only takes HALF of the attendance.

In a very stereotypical statement, Michael's father Hank is watching professional wrestling on TV. It's the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling in fact. There's no mistaking the voice of announcer Tony Schiavone. The stereotype is that wrestling fans are "trailer park trash." As a wrestling fan myself, I raised an eyebrow at this but I'm quite used to it.

The sheriff was paranoid enough to remove the key from his alien murder file but why didn't he go a step further and make copies of the entire file or even a copy of the key itself just in case?

Great Line this episode: "No, they all seem to be on a diet." - Michael to Max when asked if the police bought his story of selling candy for charity while checking out the station.

There are two obvious voice edits in this episode. The first takes place shortly after the great line above. Michaels says the line "The point is this, that file has got to be in Valenti's office." The words heard on screen that I have italicized are NOT spoken by Michael. Because Michael is not facing the camera, it's hard to see what he really said but the voice is clearly not his. The second overdub takes place at the end of the episode with Liz's closing words. The line "And sometimes, secrets make you feel like you do belong." These words are not spoken by Liz unless she decided to use a very deep voice when she recorded them. The reason my tape has these voice edits is because there are two versions of "Pilot" and "Morning After." There are my copies, which did not air, and copies that were actually broadcast. On my copies, there are noticeable voice edits.

After Michael "says" his overdubbed line above, there is a reaction shot of Max rubbing his forehead. Look behind Max to the window on his left. A face pops up and peers in the window from outside! Aaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Michael turns down pizza saying his father is cooking. Not to be picky but Hank doesn't strike me as someone who cooks. Well, maybe he can boil beer.

Although it was necessary to show how Michael jumps the gun, I thought it weird that Liz didn't first go to Max about Topolsky. Again, just a necessary plot point.

This episode begins a trend in the series that I find extremely unsatisfying and yet funny at the same time. In the eraser room, Max tells Liz that Topolsky has sixth and seventh periods off so they may have a long wait to observe her in her office. So, are we to believe that the two waited in the eraser room for two hours and missed their sixth and seventh period classes? Won't the teachers mark them absent (Not if they take attendance the way Topolsky does they won’t!!). Throughout the rest of the series and even in season two, school takes a backseat to everything including the drive to Texas in "285 South", Max and Tess going to New York in "Max in the City" and many, many other times. I’ll go over them all as I come to them. In season three, school disappears completely and doesn’t figure into the story that much at all. It must have been something that just got in the way.

Michael is a good example of this odd trend. He appears to show up to school only when it suits him. Unless the school's administration is run by a bunch of idiots, this and the rest of the cast's absences are all very unrealistic. Plus, if social services learned he wasn't going to school, they would be giving Hank a little visit. It's hard to ignore this even for the sake of story.

I must add this bit to protect myself. In 1999, a law was passed in New Mexico that says after the age of 16, a person is not required to attend school any longer. This never comes up in the show and the creators go to lengths to portray Michael as a delinquent so I don't believe it's relavant. I also must mention that social services in the U.S. is extremely overburdened so whenever you read me making a comment about Michael's truancy, take it with a grain of salt and say to yourself "In a perfect world, Michael would be in big trouble."

The eraser room must be a happenin' place. Not only does it have a reputation of an "innocence taker" it has an air vent that's only purpose is to spy in on a teacher's room (with the panel in place, it's just a hole with some wire over it) and it's also got a TV! If it had a Coke machine, no one would ever go to class. And isn't it convenient that it locks from the inside?

When Michael first grabs the key from Valenti's thermos, he gets an odd flashback. He sees the vision Max gave Liz at the Crashdown where the Evans picked up Isabel and Max in the desert followed by Max's bump into Kyle at the end of the one where Max sees Liz in the hallway at school. Now what does that have to do with the key? After learning what the key goes to in "285 South", the answer is...NOTHING! I guess the creators didn't have time to create an appropriate flashback. (This is due to there being two versions of this episode, this one and an actual episode that aired. The episode that is broadcast shows the vision of the dome.)

Topolsky tells Liz that Michael is in danger of being expelled. Well, DUUUUUH. The administration is just now getting around to deciding that? In all fairness, maybe Michael was a straight A student who never missed a day before the series began but I doubt it.

One of the most discussed things about the show is how the characters discuss their secret in some of the most open and public places. This episodes starts that trend with Maria talking to Liz after she gets Max's message to meet her in the eraser room. She says, outloud, "So he touched you and you saw into his soul." Now THERE'S an attention getting statement around a large group of teenage girls if I have ever heard one. But despite the odd timing for a conversation of that type (not to mention that they are openly talking about Liz meeting another guy in the infamous eraser room), no one seems to notice. That's just amazing!

I would think that Liz, being the one Maria describes as "top of the class" should have been the one to point out that Czechoslovakia hasn't existed for ten years but she was probably just humoring Maria. But then again, maybe she IS that smart because she is the ONLY one in the geometry class to point out Topolsky had incorrectly stated the sum of the angles on a triangle is 360 instead of 180. The rest of the class just sits there and doesn't notice. Yikes!

#102 Monsters - Review

Written by Jerry D.

The third episode of Roswell continued the pattern of allowing us to get to know the characters better, this time focusing on Isabel and Maria. The show opened up with Maria driving down the road and coming upon Isabel, whose jeep has broken down. It is very evident that both these characters feel very uneasy around each other, and Maria’s discomfort is increased exponentially when Isabel uses her powers to enhance Maria’s car air conditioner and stereo system. This makes Maria so nervous that she crashes into the back of Sheriff Valenti’s car. We see once again that Sheriff Valenti makes Isabel very nervous, for obvious reasons.

Back at school, Ms. Topolski informs everyone in a class lecture on Career Week that they will be individually interviewed to see where their vocational strengths lie. Liz and Maria then talk, and Maria indicates her discomfort with Isabel. Ms. Topolski starts interviewing students, and only Liz seems to have a tangible goal in life: to be a molecular biologist. In her interview, Isabel flippantly says that she wants to be a supermodel. When Max is interviewed, however, he doesn’t articulate any specific goal for his future, but indicates that he is introverted and tends to hide from the world, like the boy shown hiding behind a tree in a picture that Ms. Topolski is using to indicate personality traits. Ms. Topolski, when writing notes about her findings on each student, indicates that Max has secrets. Ms. Topolski tries to encourage Max to come out of his shell, saying that she too, had hidden from the world for a long time, and that she started to open herself up to what the world had to offer by starting a conversation with someone she liked. Following her example, Max proceeds to shyly start up a conversation with Liz, but he loses courage, and ends up talking to her about the situation with Isabel and Maria. Liz tells Max that it looked like he wanted to say something else to her, but he demurs, retreating back into his shell. Still, though, the wealth of feeling between these two characters simply resonates in any scene they are in together.

Max, Michael, and Isabel talk about Liz, Maria, and the mysterious key that Michael took from Sheriff Valenti’s office which could hold the answer to their past, and Michael once again indicates that he wants to pursue investigating the true story of their origins. Isabel thinks that Maria is on the verge of cracking and revealing their secret.

Ms. Topolski asks Liz about her ambition to be a scientist, and Liz indicates that she likes to be in complete control of her life, and that you have to have a plan for everything. Back at the restaurant, Maria confides to Liz that she lives in constant fear of Isabel, who is also at the restaurant to keep an eye on Maria. Sheriff Valenti walks in to order a soda, and Maria nervously asks him if there’s anything else she can tell him today. This arouses his suspicions, and he tells Maria that he’s here to protect her from anything. Isabel, already afraid of the sheriff, looks alarmed by Maria’s actions.

Max visits the diner, and notes Maria’s nervousness. Max then goes to the UFO Center across the street from the diner to return $10.00 to a lady that Maria had accidentally shortchanged, and he asks the tour guide “What happened in 1959?” This piques the interest of the tour guide, who tells Max to return the next day.

Back at home, Max and Isabel discuss whether they want to find out their past, and Max says that he feels that by always being so cautious, they’re not moving forward. Isabel asks Max if it’s the key Michael found or Liz that is making him think that, and Max replies that he’s not sure. Isabel then says she is going to invade Maria’s dreams to find out what she is thinking, and proceeds to do so. In Maria’s dream, Isabel’s worse fears are realized as she sees that Maria perceives them to be grotesque aliens, and that she seems to be on the verge of telling the sheriff the truth about them.

Back at school, Ms. Topolski tries to delve into Max’s personality, telling him it’s hard to figure out your future until you can figure out your past. Max then goes back to the UFO Center and talks to the tour guide, who turns out to be as obsessed with discovering aliens as Sheriff Valenti. The tour guide tells Max that he has an extensive archive of UFO sightings in a room in the center, and he offers Max a job. In a comically ironic scene, he tells Max that some day, he feels that he will be face to face with an alien.

Meanwhile, back at the diner, Sheriff Valenti presses Maria for more information, and tells her to come to his office the next day, and this scene is witnessed by Isabel. Max tells Liz in their science lab that Maria seems like she’s about to crack and reveal their secret to the sheriff, and that he’s worried. The affection between Liz and Max is palpable as Liz sweetly tells Max that she’ll make sure that everything will be fine. The loving chemistry between these two characters is truly something wonderful to behold.

Ms. Topolski gives everyone their vocational evaluation, and she tells Isabel that her profile indicates that she puts family first, craves security and stability, and leans towards care giving fields. This news breaks down the apathetic flippant wall that Isabel uses as self protection, and we get to see Isabel's vulnerability, and Ms. Topolski tells Isabel that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be normal.

Liz then talks to Maria, and she tries to convince her not to reveal Max, Isabel, and Michael’s secret, but Maria chafes at this attempt, and indicates her misgivings, and she tells Liz that she has to do what she feels is right.

Liz talks to Michael and Max and indicates her apprehension about what Maria might say, and apologizes to Max, who comforts her by telling her that it was only natural that she had confided in Maria. Liz then asks Max why he had confided in her, and he replies that it was only natural for him to do that as well. This seems to represent a breakthrough for Max, as he is learning to open himself up to the world through Liz.

Sheriff Valenti questions Maria in his office, and she seems about to crack, but she doesn’t reveal her secret to him, influenced, undoubtedly, by witnessing Isabel kissing her mother goodbye as they both picked up their cars from the repair shop. Maria then sees Isabel once again broken down on the road, and she once again gives her a ride, and a truce is seemingly reached. The episode ends in school, where Liz and Maria and Max and Isabel walk off with each other in a sweetly protective and affectionate way.

Overall, I think this show did an excellent job in allowing us to get to know some of the other main characters of the show better, and I look forward to seeing further developments along these lines.

#102 Monsters - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

From here, we move on to "Monsters."

This episode focuses on Maria and Isabel. Everyone else takes a backseat to them.

This is a nice look into Isabel. This episode shows me two things about her; the first thing is how desperate she is to maintain a normal life. Of all the aliens on the show, if they were given the choice of living on Earth or going home, I think Isabel would be the first to say she would stay. At least, at this point in the series. The other thing that stands out about Isabel is she is willing to use her powers to further her own gains and doesn't feel any regrets about doing so. It sort of brings a vindictiveness to her personality and it's something she enjoys to the fullest. She's also the one who will be the most resistant to change unless the proof she must adapt is dropped directly in front of her. Topolsky says she is best suited to the role of "caregiver" on her computer read out. Isabel stares at the print out and soaks up a truth that she is reluctant to admit and then casually dismisses it. As the show goes forward, we see that Topolsky's profile of her is right on the money.

When I first learned about Isabel's ability to dreamwalk, I thought "Cool." When I first watched the episode, I thought "Cool." But after a second and third viewing, I became worried. Isabel described the use of her powers to Max in "Pilot" as using them "recreationally." The ability to enter someone's mind in this manner can be considered the ultimate invasion of privacy and Isabel shows very little remorse for it. The phrase "with great power comes great responsibility" comes to mind. Granted, no one expects a teenager to have a full grasp of the consequences of their actions but when Max warned her against it reminding her that their mother was traumatized by Isabel's actions, Isabel just shrugged it off. When we later learn that Isabel in her former life as Vilondra was the one to betray the Royals, her having this power and her reaction to using it just makes it all the more easier to believe. After all, her actions do more to frighten Maria then anything else. Isabel's lucky Maria decided to keep their secret anyway.

The creators didn't waste any time exploring the uncertainty that Maria exhibited last episode. It was interesting that the only contact Maria had with the aliens was through Isabel. There wasn't any exploring of how she felt towards Max (other then to envision him as a green alien.) It was a nice clue as to how she felt about Michael when seeing him in a tuxedo. Apparently, he doesn’t "freak her out" as much as he says she does. I thought it was funny that Topolsky wrote "feelings of insecurity" down about Maria in her notes. Indeed!

The sheriff confuses me a bit. He knows that he makes the kids nervous so instead of inviting Maria to come to the station to give her insurance information and questioning her then, he makes it a point to come back two more times before finally making the invitation. True, the kids know he is suspicious about them but he continues to make the statement he is watching them by repeatedly being around them. I think he is hoping to do so and make them slip up. And targeting Maria was a good choice. However, when questioning her in his office, he actually talks Maria out of confessing in effect, getting the opposite of what he wanted. If I was the sheriff, after this blunder, I'd back off some and try a more subtle approach.

Max is given a chance to try to open up to Liz a little more. I'm wondering if Liz is the kind of person who won't let things go once her curiosity is aroused. It's hard to tell at times with his cool exterior if Max is totally comfortable with Liz though he is trying. With this and later episodes, I can't help but laugh at the awkwardness that Max and Liz have when they say hello to each other. It reminds me of the awkward "Hi...Hi" that Kevin and Winnie would greet each other with on "The Wonder Years."

There is also a nice hidden touch that was very cool when I realized what I was looking at. During Max's first interview with Topolsky where he describes himself as the kid behind the tree, look behind Topolsky. On the wall is a sign that says "LEARNING ZONE." A glare of light blots out the word "LEARNING" and Topolsky's head blocks out the E in "ZONE." What's left? Zon. The phonetic spelling of Max's alien name, Zan. Nice little touch.

I am guessing it's just Alex being Alex but I have to wonder if the cute new guidance counselor was making him nervous.

Glad the creators remembered to stick Michael in there. There is little advancement of him here though he does further Isabel's desire not to change by making her angry that he is still pursuing his theory on the key.

As the show opens with Topolsky's "discover who you are" film, I found myself asking just how large the school was in Roswell. Liz and Max seem to have almost all their classes together. Then again, this could be a group thing Topolsky arranged.

If you want to keep your work schedule from being confusing, don't ask Liz to make the schedule. I'm not quite sure what she was trying to accomplish with her wheel of color. It seemed needlessly complex.

The above scene shows that the Cafe has at least seven employees. With later episodes showing that the Cafe is quite busy, that seems like a really low number. Almost like it's the only restaurant in town (Hmm.) In fact, in ‘Heatwave", we’ll learn there is a Mexican restaurant (well, kind of. See my review of "Heatwave" for more on that) and another Mexican place called Senor Chow’s in "Crazy." I’ll get into them more with the reviews of those episodes.

Great lines this episode: "Queen Amidala!" -Maria to Liz when Liz asks "Who is here?"

With all the stress Maria was under in this episode, don't you think her Cyprus seed oil would have come in VERY handy? There's no trace of it in the episode.

This episode gives us a good look at the front of the Cafe. Between now and "Pilot", the doors and walls to the front of the store go from being metal and glass, to wood. In "Pilot", the doors were all glass with metal bracing. This episode shows that the doors are now mostly wood. With less glass, the Crashdown has now become quite dark. The register also moves from being behind the bar to the front just to the left of the door as you walk in. A postcard rack is now placed in front of the register. "Pilot" also showed us a very large jukebox. With this episode, the jukebox is gone. In fact, the jukebox disappears entirely from the show period. There is almost always music playing during scenes filmed when the Café is open for business. Without the jukebox, it makes you wonder where the music always comes from. And finally, a few more trinkets and paintings are added to the walls.

Watching the scene where the sheriff comes in to the Café makes me wonder if Majandra Delfino has ever waitressed in real life. When the Sheriff comes in and orders a coke, Maria grabs a cup and starts to fill it up. Two things here. She doesn't ask the sheriff what size drink he wants. It's not unusual for a restaurant to only have one size of drink to offer but I usually get asked "What size sir?" when I don't specify. She also doesn't put any ice into the cup. She just starts filling it with soda. Anyone who has worked fast food will tell you that you first put ice into a glass before filling it up because soda machines don't always dispense cold liquid. This also has an added effect. If the glass is filled with ice, you can’t put as much soda in it which saves the store on the soda’s concentrate (and in turn, allows them to sell more beverages.) Granted, this IS Maria we are talking about here but I couldn't help but mention it.

The tour guide of the UFO Center isn't named in this episode's dialogue. We won’t learn his name until "The Convention."

During his tour, the UFO Center Guide says that the date of the Roswell crash is "July 4, 1947." Documents at said things began on July 3, 1947. A reference book I read on alien sightings also said July 3, 1947. The Roswell UFO Center also has displays in the building and on their website saying things began on July 3, 1947. The actual crash was late in the evening on July 2. What is to be believed here? I can’t believe that Milton of all people would make a mistake like that.

As Max wonders about their origins with Isabel, she makes an odd statement that they cannot risk exposing themselves. She then goes double standard and decides to dreamwalk Maria. Talk about a swinging pendulum.

I'm having a little trouble interpreting Isabel's powers. I know that she can heat things and has the ability to dreamwalk and she can play a CD without a CD player. However, the things she does in Maria's car are a bit mystifying. The first thing she does is enhance Maria's air conditioner. Maria says it's on "full." The main reason an air conditioner doesn't blow cold air is because the freon in them has been used up. The second most common reason is that the belt that turns the fan that blows air into the car is loose and not turning the fan to make enough air flow. Isabel puts her hand on the vent and it begins blowing hard enough to make her hair move. How did she do that? Did she tighten the belt or replicate more freon in the engine? Regardless, when she pulls her hand away, the airflow stops. Of course, it might be cooler in the car if Maria and Isabel would roll up the windows but I digress.

Isabel also touches the car's radio and improves the audio output of it. A radio's sound quality is dependent upon the quality of the components used in it. If it diminishes over time, it's because one or more of those components are malfunctioning (it's usually dirt on the eye of the laser reader in a CD player or the quality of the wires that carry the sound to the car's speakers or even the speakers themselves.) Isabel puts her hand on the radio and it's sound output is enhanced! The funny thing is that when Maria freaks and Isabel pulls her hand away, the sound quality stays pretty much the same. If Isabel was no longer using her power to make the radio sound better, it should have lost it's enhancement. (I immediately see a problem with nitpicking the alien's powers. While it's difficult or impossible to explain how they work, it still doesn't stop you from asking "How'd they do that?" It is just something you have to accept for the story to work.)

This episode establishes that Max is a softmore in high school with the statement that he has "two years" to decide about college made by Topolsky.

The science teacher makes an odd statement. "If no man is an island, then no molecule can exist in a vacuum." Oh yeah?? Even in the vacuum of space there exists molecules of all kinds. Comets are composed of ice which is the solid form of water. Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, is found literally floating in space in the form of gas. Not to mention the millions of particles of dust and other debris.

I don't normally comment on costuming but what the heck is Maria wearing in Valenti's office? It almost looks like a school uniform. Maria must feel icky about it too because at the very end of the episode, she's the only one to do an outfit change. Max, Liz, Michael, and even Isabel are all wearing the same outfits from scenes earlier. Maria changes from the school uniform type outfit to a dark blue jumpsuit.

Because of the costume change above, I wonder about the time of this show's ending. Valenti first asks Maria to come to his office at 9am the next day when coming into the Cafe to order "breakfast." Most restaurants stop serving breakfast at 11:30am before changing over to lunch and dinner menus. There are some that serve breakfast 24 hours a day so it's possible Valenti invites Maria to his office at any time of the day. Unless it's on a weekend, Maria should be in school for breakfast. So if it wasn't a weekend, that means Valenti called her in on a school day. Why didn't he wait until after school? Plus, the cast are all still wearing the same clothes from their earlier discussion about Max hiding behind trees when they meet Maria and Isabel at the episode's end. It looks like they all wore the same clothes from the day before and sat in the school lobby, missing classes, while waiting for Maria and Isabel to come back to school. Which may have been a while because after picking up Isabel on the side of the road, Maria must have first gone home to change clothes before coming to school. Unless she changed in the car (Intriguing imagery but unlikely.)

There is no date mentioned in this episode but it seems likely given the date of "Morning After" of September 27 that this episode takes place the same week. So it is possible that Valenti did invite Maria to his office on a weekend morning. If that’s the case, why did Maria and Isabel go back to school after Maria’s meeting with the Sheriff? Do they go to school on the weekends in Roswell?

Valenti tells Maria that it's a "City regulation" to get her insurance information for the accident. While that is possible, requiring proof of insurance in an accident is a state or federal law depending on where you live. As a lawman, Valenti should know this. Also, this is the kind of information gathered at the scene of the accident. Why didn’t the sheriff get it then or did he purposely delay doing so just so he could come in and make Maria uncomfortable?

#103 Leaving Normal - Review

Written by Jerry D.

This episode of Roswell was one of the most moving and touching episodes of a television show that I have ever had the pleasure of viewing. I can’t remember when I was ever so profoundly affected by a television show, and even Dawson’s Creek in its heyday couldn’t come close to imparting the emotion and sentiment that this wonderful episode of Roswell conveyed.

The show starts out at the restaurant, with Liz telling Maria that her grandmother, the “basis for her existence,” was coming for a visit, to both their obvious delights. There is an orthodontist’s convention in town, and a few of the customers want to look at Liz’s “wonderful overbite.” Liz then looks over and sees Max, much to her obvious joy, as he is there to see her. Max tells Liz that he’ll have an “Alien Blast,” and she replies “me too,” an endearing “Freudian slip” which speaks volumes about the deep affection she has for Max. Unfortunately, their conversation is observed by four thug like friends of Kyle, who jump Max outside and beat him up, warning him to stay away from Liz.

We next see Michael and Max talking, and Michael is enraged about what happened to Max, and he wants to get back at the guys that beat Max up, but Max says that they have to go back into their shells, and that he has to stay away from Liz.

Back at school, Liz waits for Max, but he brushes her off, and she looks hurt. Kyle then meets up with Liz and talks about their date that evening, which will consist of watching some videos. Michael exacts revenge on Kyle and the guys that beat Max up in varied ways.

Liz’s grandmother shows up at the diner, much to Liz’s joy. It’s obvious that Liz and her grandmother have a very special relationship. Liz tells her grandmother about Kyle and Max. Maria shows up, and it’s obvious that she has a great deal of love and affection for Liz’s grandmother as well.

Max is now working at the Alien Research Center, and Isabel confronts him there about what happened to him, and he reiterates that they have to be careful, and that he’s staying away from Liz. We then see Kyle and Liz on the way back from the video store, and they come upon an ambulance taking Liz’s grandmother away, and we learn that she has had a stroke. Liz calls Max, and tells him, on his answering machine, what has happened to her grandmother. Max then comes to the hospital, to Liz’s obvious joy and Kyle’s obvious chagrin. Kyle follows Max out to his car and warns him to stay away from Liz. Kyle tells his father about his resentment of Max.

Back at school, Liz talks to Max, but he rebuffs her. Michael “fixes” Kyle’s locker so he can’t open it, but Max tells him to stop, and that Michael was putting them all in danger, and Michael angrily replies that Max put them all in danger by saving Liz. Max is outraged at this, and he pushes Michael and replies that he would do it again. We next see Maria talking to Liz, and she comforts her in an incredibly touching and moving way, having Liz put her head on her lap, and stroking her hair. This was one of the tenderest displays of affection between two friends that I’ve ever seen, and it was the first of many scenes on this show that moved me to tears. Liz tells Maria that she senses that there’s something wrong between her and Max. Maria tells Liz that she will work alone at the diner that evening, and to not worry about anything.

At the diner, Maria is faced with a chaotic situation, and Maria sees Isabel and asks her to help her wait tables, and Isabel haughtily refuses. Back at the hospital, Liz’s grandmother’s condition worsens, and her prognosis looks grim. Maria comforts Liz, and tells her she loves her. We next see Max and Isabel at home, and Isabel, in a change of heart, has decided to help out Maria and Liz and fill in as a waitress after all. Isabel tells Max that he shouldn’t keep Liz away from someone she really needs, namely him. At the diner, Isabel makes a great waitress, mixing sass, attitude, and the use of her powers to help Maria keep things under control.

Liz goes to see Max, and tells him that she had called him because she was following her heart, and that he was the one that she wanted to talk to. She then asks Max if there is anything he can do for her grandmother, and he replies that he’s not God.

Kyle finds out that his friends beat up Max, and he tells Liz that he had nothing to do with it, but Liz, angered at the fact that he must have obviously had said something about Max to his friends to compel such a savage act, breaks up with him. Max then comes to see Liz in the hospital room with her grandmother, he tells her that he can’t stop what’s going to happen, but that maybe he could help her say goodbye. Max then channel’s Liz’s grandmother’s spirit to allow Liz to talk to her one final time. Liz, in an incredibly moving scene, tells her grandmother how much she means to her, and that she always made her feel special, and that she doesn’t know what she’ll do without her. Liz’s grandmother tells her that she’ll do just fine, and she tells Liz to follow her heart wherever it takes her, and Liz replies that she will. Liz’s grandmother then dies.

In the final scene, Max takes Liz home, and they say goodbye, and Max’s gently wipes Liz’s tears away. Then, following her grandmother’s final words of advice, Liz follows her heart, and goes back and embraces Max in an incredibly moving scene that once again moved me to tears.

Overall, I found this show to be wonderfully compelling, and I look forward to the continuing story of these strikingly engaging characters.

#103 Leaving Normal - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

Step outside for a moment as we review "Leaving Normal."

This is the first heart wretcher of season one. Everyone gets a chance to expand on their characters even Michael which is a welcomed sight. (I was on quite a Michael kick in season one.)

Even though I was a little hard on Liz in previous reviews, she does show improvement in this episode. She maintains a certain composure in every scene like she's trying to keep from being too sad for the benefit of those around her. A nice touch if that is what it is.

I'm hoping that at some point, Max will decide what he really wants because on more then one occasion in this episode, he changes his mind. One minute he says he doesn't want to be with Liz, the next he goes to her. I know that this type of indecision lasts for many episodes but I doubt anyone will disagree with me when I say it's just about maddening to watch. In fact, he doesn’t get his act together and make up his mind until "Sexual Healing." I hope that down the road Max uses the same passion as he did when he told Michael that he would heal Liz again if he had to.

I enjoyed watching the tension between Michael and Max. In fact, I liked that Michael was actually getting into action. However, he only got three of the four guys who attacked Max. I was wanting to see him defy Max to finish his revenge but I guess he decided to submit to Max's judgement. Later, we won't see Michael back down so quickly.

The scene with the sheriff and Kyle discussing Liz, if you ask me, is a turning moment in the character of Sheriff Valenti. The fact that he sat down to talk to his son immediately said to me that he wasn't such a bad guy after all. Even if he still is a threat to the Royals. I do wonder though if there is some tension between him and Kyle with the way Kyle kept drilling him about if he remembered his mother "when things were good."

We don't get to learn much about Liz's father other then his horrible taste in music but I wonder if there is a bit of tension between Liz and her mom. It seemed to me that Mrs. Parker was acting like she and her daughter were not that close. Maybe I'm reading too much into it but that's the feeling I was left with after watching that first scene at the Cafe. I’m told that the writers originally wanted to give Liz a sister who died of a drug overdose and that this is the source of frustration between them. Her mother was just being overprotective of her remaining child. I really wouldn’t have minded if they had added that because with this and episodes like "Sexual Healing" we see Liz and her mom at odds of a level that just doesn’t seem natural.

Isabel's role as the caregiver has begun to surface. However, she didn't completely throw herself into it. She still had the mind to snap and roll her eyes at a few things. Good stuff.

Liz's opening journal entry date is October 19, 1999. A look at the calendar shows that was a Tuesday. Since her grandma was supposed to come on Friday but arrived a day early, events for this episode appears to have begun on Wednesday, October 13. That's at the beginning of the episode when Liz tells Maria her grandma will arrive on Friday. Her grandma then shows up a day early. She has her stroke that night and there is a one day period in the hospital as one school day shows. Liz says her good-byes on Saturday night (since the Crashdown is swamped and Saturday is traditionally a very busy night for restaurants, this seems to make sense.)

"Monsters" shows that the Crashdown has at least seven employees. Liz says that one is ill and another is having a baby (I didn't see a pregnant one at that meeting but she could have been at home making the total eight but let's say there's seven.) With Liz gone, that leaves only four employees! Two cooks and two waitresses. That is NOT even close to being enough. Liz's dad needs to hire some people fast!

Maybe she's just burnt out but Agnus sure wasn't being much of a team player with Maria. And why wasn't she wearing one of those kooky alien outfits Maria and Liz wear? Did they run out of bouncy headbands? I guess Isabel is lucky that the one she got to wear fit her perfectly (Actually, I think that Maria has been planning that one for some time and had the uniform made months ago. ) By the way, this is the last time Agnus appears in the show. She probably quit.

When Max comes to visit, he comes to visit. Max comes in for his Alien-blast during the dinner rush when the episode begins. He stays until the Cafe closes.

Has no one suggested to Max that you don't walk down a dark alley at night? Nope, apparently not.

As Maria walks up to Liz as she waits for Max to leave gym class, there is one bell that rings. Then more students come out of the classroom Maria walked out of. That first bell must mean class is over. However, thirteen seconds later, a second bell rings. Usually that means the next class has started. Man, you’ve got to hussel in this school. And since Liz was standing in the hall before that first bell rang, does that mean Liz left class early? Hey, if you can miss sixth and seventh period hanging out in the eraser room, why not?

Michael bumps into one of Kyle's friends and puts his hand on his chest to give him a case of the itchies. This sort of thing only happens on TV. In real life, Michael's hand would have been slapped away.

Just what time is it when Liz's grandma arrives? As Liz and grandma head into the back room of the Café, you can see the timeclock to the left of the door. It either is missing it's hour hand or it is 4:20 because the hour hand is behind the minute hand (you can only see the minute hand and the second hand.) But is it A.M. or P.M.? If it's A.M., then everyone in the Parker family is a major early bird. But if it's P.M., why is the Café closed? It's almost dinner time!

Isabel told Max that seventeen people told her about his face. So why does she react like she did when Max showed her his cuts? It's not like she wasn't prepared for it.

As Liz's parents tell her a story about her grandma, there is an announcement of "Code Blue, ICU. Room 104." Code Blue is medical slang that means a patient's heart has stopped. But when grandma's heart monitor flatlines (her heart stops beating) at the end of the episode, there is no announcement. These things are usually instantaneous.

Great Line this episode: "No way!" -Max when he sees Isabel in her Crashdown uniform.

This last one is going to be touchy so I ask no one take anything personally. When Liz asks Max if he can do anything for her grandma, Max responds with this line: "Something was happening to you that wasn't supposed to. It was before your time. I'm not...God."

Ok. In the Christmas episode, Max says he does not believe in God (not a nice thing to say during a Christmas special but moving on.) So if that is true, I will accept the argument that while he might not believe in God, he understands the function of such a being. I have no problem with that part.

The part I do have a problem with is Max is saying that Liz's shooting wasn't supposed to happen and she would have died before she was supposed to. Now how did Max know that? How does he know that paramedics wouldn't have arrived in time and saved Liz's life? The point is that he doesn't. And for someone who doesn't believe in a God to suddenly start comparing themselves to one is contrary to the actions of the atheists I have met in my lifetime. They don't compare themselves to something they don't believe in. I think that all of Max's dialogue here was someone trying to be overdramatic and really shouldn't have been done. I think it would have been better for Max to just admit that healing Liz's grandma may be beyond his power but that he could try. How about "Liz, I...healed you because you had a bullet inside you. Your beyond my power." Then have the exact same scene in the hospital where he again says he doesn't know if he can but that maybe he can let her say goodbye.

I'm not trying to start a war with this because it's just a given that anytime you add religion into a story, there will be questions. As Jason Behr has said in interviews, no one would expect someone not of this planet to accept our religious views. I'm just a little surprised that things like this make it into TV shows. I bring this up because there are video games made in Japan that never or just barely make it into U.S. markets because they have religious overtones in them. A Playstation game called Xenogears had quite a fight getting into the U.S. because in it's storyline, religion and "God" are portrayed as fake and engineered to keep the population in check ("God" is in fact a super intelligent biomechanical weapon.) Konami's CastleVania games, with only one exception, have their graphics edited to remove religious symbolism from them before coming to the U.S. Max's comments remind me of these things and raised a flag.

Overall, this was an excellent episode. Because I didn't find a lot to point out inconsistency wise, it's clear a lot of care was put into this episode. Kudos to the creators.

#104 Missing - Review

Written by Jerry D.

This episode continued the process of allowing us to know and understand the characters better, and to illustrate how they interact with one another. This show also served as a precursor for things to come, and foreshadowed future trouble from certain characters.

The show opened with Liz walking home with a great deal of fear and trepidation, as she reflects how her perception of the world has changed due to her recent experiences. Liz then finds her journal missing, which causes her a great deal of concern, because, as she relates to Maria in the next scene, she had recounted the full story of how Max had saved her and who and what he really was in her journal.

The next scene switches to Michael, who has had a dream about the vision he saw, and he sketches what he saw, with a pencil that he sharpens in his own hand. Michael then goes to see Max, and shows him his sketch, and Max is unimpressed, and suggests that they talk about it in the morning.

Back at school, Liz and Maria discuss what could have happened to the journal, and they both suspect Alex, who had been studying with Liz the day before. Liz then tries to tell Max about her missing journal, but Michael interrupts her in a rather cold manner and brushes her off, to Max’s great dismay. We next find a worried Liz sitting alone in a classroom. This draws the attention of Ms. Topolski, who unsuccessfully tries to get Liz to confide in her. Maria then talks to Alex, and relays her suspicions that he took Liz’s journal. This hurts and angers Alex, and he storms off, and walks right into the “web” of the dissembling Ms. Topolski, who guilefully gets him to tell her about Liz’s missing journal. It turns out that the ingratiating Ms. Topolski is really a government agent, and she makes a phone call to one of her operatives to relay that she has made an interesting discovery, and to request assistance.

We next see Michael make an appearance in his art class, and he obsessively sketches his “vision” to great detail. Kyle then coldly confronts Liz about their breakup, under the ever watchful eye of Ms. Topolski.

We next find Max at his job at the UFO Center, and his boss refers him, as a “true believer,” to a book about the alien landing that he thinks Max will find interesting. Liz then comes to see Max, and nervously tells him about her missing journal, and that it includes information about him and his identity. Liz asks a clearly concerned Max to give her one day to find the journal, and asks him not to tell anyone.

Back at home, Liz searches frantically for her journal, and has a confrontation with her mother about not wanting to talk to Alex, and I sensed, as I did last week, an air of tension between Liz and her mother.

We then find Isabel, Michael and Max at the Crashdown Café, where Isabel is trying to dissuade Michael from pursuing his “vision,” saying that he is placing them all in danger. Kyle then confronts Max and tells him that he’s “on to him.” Max then goes to see Liz, and he tells her that he thinks Kyle stole Liz’s journal, and has a vision of Kyle being in Liz’s room when he picks up a CD that Kyle had returned to Liz.

Michael completes the picture of his vision in art class, and his art teacher reveals that it’s a picture of a geodesic dome, which was a “futuristic” house used by scientists to conduct their studies. Liz confronts Kyle, who neither confirms or denies that he took her journal, but he tells her that he “knows she has secrets,” especially about Max Evans, and his anger seems to bode trouble for the future.

Ms. Topolski meets with her fellow agents and says that Liz’s journal shows potential proof of real alien contact, and dispatches agents to Kyle’s house as a starting point to find it. Liz and Max then unsuccessfully search Kyle’s house for Liz’s journal, “tailed” by a shadowy figure who watches their every move. Max then tells Isabel and Michael about Liz’s missing journal, and the information it contained, and warns Michael not to blame Liz, or do anything rash.

Michael then goes to see a worried Liz, and he reveals that he was the one who stole her journal, and to Liz’s great relief, he tells her that he now realizes she can be trusted, and he returns her journal to her, asking her not to tell Max what had happened. I felt that this represented a real breakthrough for Michael’s character, as he finally learns to start to break down the walls of distrust and suspicion, and place some faith in someone outside his immediate circle.

Liz then goes to see Max, and she tells him a “good friend” had returned her journal, and she explains that she wrote what she did because Max had “touched” her in a special way, and that she had to write it down. Max asks to see what Liz wrote in her journal, and in a sweetly tender way, she says that it “wouldn’t be a good idea.” Max then reveals his own feelings towards her, telling her that if he read her journal, he would realize how Liz really sees him, and Liz shyly smiles, revealing, in a wonderfully subtle way, the depth of feeling that she has for Max. The show ends with Isabel discovering a picture of the geodesic dome that Michael sketched in the book that Max was reading, and with Liz musing on the effects that recent events have had on her life, as she hides her journal in a safe place.

Overall, I found this show to be enjoyable, and while it didn’t attain the emotional level that the previous show had, it did do a very creditable job of furthering character development and paving the way for future episodes.

#104 Missing - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Secrets and Lies - A review of 'Missing'
November 5, 1999

"Max, can I ask you something?"
"Sure, but I have to tell you, Liz, at this point I don't have any secrets left."

This entire episode revolved around the secrets these characters are keeping from each other: Liz and Maria keeping secrets from Alex…Liz keeping secrets from Kyle, from her mother, from Isabel and Michael, from Topulski…Topulski keeping her real agenda a secret from the kids…Max not telling Isabel and Michael about the missing journal initially…Michael and then Liz keeping it a secret that Michael had taken the journal...Liz wanting to keep the intimate thoughts in her journal secret from Max…Max feeling that he's shared all his secrets with Liz...The insight and power Michael has into Liz now that he knows all her secrets.

The power of a secret is a powerful force indeed.

Random Thoughts:
Liz is always reassuring Max that she's in control of things in her life that she really doesn't have the ability to control. How many times has she told Max that "I'm on top of this…I'm taking care of it"?

And then I realized that Max plays that same role for Michael and Isabel. They are always looking to him to be the leader, especially Isabel. That could stem from the fact that they are looking to him for reassurance that he's taking care of damage control. But the practice seems a little more ingrained than that, as if they are used to looking to him for leadership. This episode showed us yet again that Max accepts this leadership role, but it's not always an easy role for him to play.

Again in this episode we see that Michael keeps laying the guilt trip on Max for revealing their secret to Liz, even carrying it to the length of blaming Liz for knowing. To him, it's black and white…the secret should never be told to anyone else regardless of the consequences, even life and death ones. Isabel is much more compassionate of Max's reasons. She's extremely worried about the situation this puts them in, but she seems to understand without having to be told, how Max has always felt about Liz and she knows he couldn't have done anything else when faced with the prospect of her death. She doesn't like where this puts them, but she understands why they are there and doesn't seem to be blaming Max.

Max took the news of the journal very calmly, I thought. It seemed to me that he wasn't angry about it's existence because he completely understands how overwhelming this secret is for Liz and how compelling the need to sort through the whole situation externally. The same reason he didn't get mad at her for telling Maria. This secret of theirs is a huge burden and it's unrealistic to expect that she can deal with it entirely on her own. He seems to understand that she needs to be able to verbalize what's happened. After all, it's been hard for him, Isabel and Michael and they've always had each other to confide in. He also likes the one-on-one communication with Liz, and that it allows him to be closer to her and be her confidant. I think that's also why he tells her she doesn't owe him an explanation about why she wrote everything down. Interesting, too, to see that Liz is more willing for Max to believe she would misplace something that important than to accept the fact that someone may have wanted it badly enough to break in and steal it. A misplaced journal is entirely within her control to fix, but a stolen journal takes away any hope she has of controlling the situation. Our Liz is a bit of a control freak, in case anyone missed that.

But from the very beginning when she tells him it's missing, I got a sense that Max was as much interested in the contents of the journal as he was afraid that their secret was in danger. I loved the culmination of this in the final scene between him and Liz when he finally comes right out and asks her if he can see it. The dawning realization on his face as he begins to understand that to read it would let him see himself through her eyes. Since that's a gift he's already given her, he understands just exactly how vulnerable that makes you to another person. She told him all he needed to know when she said that she wanted to document the experience so when someone touches her the way Max did, she would know what it's suppose to feel like. She gave him an understanding that he holds a special place in her heart without flat-out telling him so.

Let's start with the Dislikes:
There really aren't very many of them, so let's get them out of the way.

  • Topulski really annoys me. Even for a guidance counselor, she's a nosy thing. Seems to me the kids should not set aside their initial suspicions quite so readily.
  • I classified this next one as a dislike to begin with, although I am willing to see if they go anywhere with it. The shadowy figure who beat them to Kyle's house (and presumably left the front door open) was not explored enough. We got spooky music and an all-too-brief glimpse of someone hiding in the shadows outside the house, but no more follow through. It will be a legitimate dislike if it's allowed to drop with no explanation.
  • Minor nit….wasn't Kyle even the slightest bit curious about the door being open? Are we really supposed to believe that the sheriff would leave home with the door, not only unlocked, but unlatched enough to open at a knock? Maybe I'm too much of a big-city girl to understand the security of a small town, but I had trouble with it. Especially since they made a point of adding dialogue to bring it to our attention.
  • Max's protectiveness of Liz, both to the other two and to the world in general. He's always defending her to Isabel and Michael and trying to get them to see her in same light in which he sees her. The first words out of his mouth when it was time to tell them about the lost journal was that it wasn't her fault. He trusts her and he likes her and he wants the two people who mean the most to him in the world to feel that way about her too. He's shown in past episodes that he's there for her when she calls and proves it again in this one by accompanying her to Kyle's house on a search and rescue mission. He knows that his presence would be awkward if he's with her when she goes to the door, so he waits patiently until it becomes clear that the house is empty and the door is open. Then he jumps in to be the first in the door in case there's trouble. Of course, I realize he has more than just a little bit at stake here too, but the romantic in me still likes that he demonstrates that protectiveness.
  • I really like that Max is showing just a bit more of a playful side to Liz. It came across especially in the scene at the vending machine and the first back room scene when he was teasing her about the conversation not really warranting the privacy of the back room.
  • Which brings me to a small nitpick….how little everyone smiles. I know they're supposed to be in this really serious situation, but come on! They're teenagers for God's sake…they need to lighten up and laugh a little on occasion. They all have great smiles….we need to see them a little bit more.
  • I can't help thinking how handy it would be in the real world to be able to tap into all those little tricks their powers allow them do. Seems like there are a lot of practical uses for a power that lets you sharpen pencils with your hand, manipulate a vending machine into giving you what you paid for when it eats your money, and erase paint strokes with a single swipe of the hand.
  • I can't help it….I get a kick out of the fact that Max works at the UFO center. The irony of that just works for me.
  • I thought Jason played the scene in Liz's bedroom wonderfully! The discomfort of finding himself in her bedroom combined with the curiosity of learning more about her in spite of himself came through beautifully.
  • I loved the scene in the diner between Michael and Liz. The flashback was handled very smoothly and the insight we gained into Michael's character was deftly delivered . I like how Michael drew things out to keep Liz nervous and off-balance before revealing that he had the journal. Possibly payback for all the hours he's spent worrying since she learned of their secret? We are made aware yet again of much he envies Max and all that he has going for him….nice parents, a nice home, security and now a nice girl who believes in him and accepts him for who and what he is. Makes me wonder if that envy will come into play down the road and be cause for more serious contention between Max and Michael. This scene was well played by both Brenden and Shiri.
  • They did a great job of showing Michael's turn-around in his regard of Liz. His obvious hostility to her in the beginning to the pleased, secret smile when Max told them Liz's journal had been returned by a 'good friend'. However much Michael may be envious of them, Liz's feelings for Max make her OK in his book. If she feels that way about Max, she must be someone they all can trust.
  • Michael's sarcastic sense of humor. How can you not love a guy who would draw a nude as a stick figure in art class to get out of an assignment?
  • And finally…what I love best about this show shone through with beautiful clarity in the final scene between Max and Liz…the incredible chemistry these two people have. It just radiates between them in every scene together, and this one was no exception. They convey the breathless wonder of the other's presence so strongly it's a physical thing. We can almost see the butterflies flying around their bellies and the thought train derail as they look into each other's eyes.
Favorite Quotes:

Liz: "Max, don't go Maria on me"

Michael: "Hey man, what's going on?"
Max: "Since you asked, REM sleep."

Max: "You saw a semi-circle?"
Michael: "I saw this, Max. This."
Max: "And what is this?"
Michael: "I don't know. But it's what I saw. I didn't even remember it until now. I had to tell somebody."

Max: "And I appreciate that I'm the one you chose to wake at 3:00 in the morning to tell you've been dreaming of semi-circles. But maybe we can talk about this in the morning?

Max: "You said you'd be nicer to her."
Michael: "And you said you'd stay away from her. Call us even."

Max: "Someone ought to tell the sheriff the deadbolt doesn't work as well when you leave the door open."

Michael: "And you might want to get better window locks… …for when your criminals are human."

Liz: "How am I going to tell Max?"
Maria: "My advice? Over drinks."

And my personal favorite:

Max: "Patience, Spaceboy."

I for one am grateful this show is one secret we're all privy to. I give this episode 4 UFOs out of 5.

#104 Missing - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

There appears to be something "Missing."

This episode gives me another good insight about Isabel. When they are in the Cafe, Isabel is upset at Michael's drawing and asks Max to talk to him about it. "He'll listen to you." From this, I gather that Isabel has silently accepted that Max is the leader of the group. However, later when we learn that Max is indeed their destined leader, Isabel reacts strongly that Max will not order her around (The first instance is the second season episode "Surprise.") So apparently, as long as it doesn't concern Isabel personally, she doesn't mind Max being in charge.

I'm told that Jason Behr is a very calm and quiet person. There is a lot of this in Max Evans too and I think it's a weakness on his part. When Liz tells Max her journal containing the truth about them is missing, he accepts it rather well. No wide-eyed surprise or panic. I found this a little unsatisfying.

I was glad that the creators were so quick to address the issue of Liz's journal. I was wondering about this myself since Topolsky appeared. I said outloud "Topolsky better never get her hands on that journal." I wonder the same thing about Nicolas in season two.

There's not much emphasis on Maria here but she gets her chance to shine in the next episode.

I was happy to see an improvement with Liz in "Leaving Normal" but I'm starting to want to smack her when she babbles and say "Just say it!" She must get it from Maria.

I sort of feel both sorry and envious of Alex. On one side, he feels badly that Maria and Liz have sort of left him out and on the other, he has Topolsky using him to try to get information on the others. And make no mistake, she is using him for that. But in this episode, Topolsky is almost flirting with Alex. She speaks very softly to him. She smiles a lot. She sits on the edge of her desk showing him a little leg in the process. Now this could be just Topolsky trying to make Alex nervous to throw him off. However, she walked the fine line here. Scary, isn't it?

During the "previously on Roswell" segment, we see a review of Michael getting the key from Valenti's office and having a vision of Atherton's dome. Sorry but according to "Morning After", that is not what Michael saw. He saw the vision Max gave Liz in "Pilot" of the Evans finding Isabel and Max in the desert. (This is because my copy is a version of the episode that didn’t air. I’ll never live it down.)

When Michael comes into art class, the teacher reacts with surprise. He says that today is Thursday and he hasn't seen Michael since Monday of last week. Count 'em up folks. That's seven days Michael hasn't been to class. I'm sorry, but high schools do NOT work like this. Michael would have been expelled long ago. I'm wondering if Katims had thought to put the cast into a college setting originally where this type of behavior is more common.

Two great lines this episode:

"You know what the best part about being broken up is Liz? I don't have to try anymore." -Kyle to Liz when she avoids answering him. Oooh, take THAT Liz.

"Well, go ahead. We both know she's more interesting then I am." -The UFO Center manager to Max when Liz walks in. The dialogue has still not given this character's name.

Why does the storage room sound like wind blowing in a cave?

I'm not sure I understand Isabel's paranoia that Michael is drawing at the Cafe. From what Michael has on paper, it's nothing that would draw a lot of attention to them. If it was, artists everywhere would be suspect. Of course, Max doesn't share this until Michael's painting goes on display. Then he voices his objections. Given all the weird alien memorabilia hanging up in classrooms, I think Michael's work would blend right in quite well. What's the problem here?

Of course, I would not be doing a good job if I didn't point out that they are discussing this in the quite public Café. Not that it's anything revealing but wouldn't Isabel feel better discussing this privately?

During the shots of Michael painting, an interesting oddity occurs. One of the close-ups shows that Michael has blue and green paint on his right cheek. As the scenes continue, he gets identical colors on his left cheek. The strange thing is that there is no paint shown on Michael's hands (there are some very good shots of his hands in there) so the only conclusion I have here is that Michael is painting his face.

There's a continuity error in the conversation Liz and Kyle have on the basketball court. After a few words, Kyle walks over to pick up a bottle of water. The close ups of the two as the shots change from one side of the fence to the other have Liz doing a little hop scotch dance. Shots from behind Liz show that she is on the left side of the screen, which put her to Kyle's right. Shots from behind Kyle have Liz on the right side of the screen, which would now put her on Kyle's left. No wonder Kyle ends the conversation. Liz won't hold still. Thanks to Robert Schwartz for sending this along.

One must ask why Liz's parents let Kyle into her room when Liz wasn't home and let him rummage around her belongings.

Oookay Max and Liz, pay attention. Here's a little lesson on breaking and entering. When the two enter the Valenti household, they go into Kyle's room and turn on a lamp. Then the dark figure surprises them and Kyle drives up. When they leave out the back door, they forget to turn off the light. That's not the best way to do things.

Also, the creators make it a point to add a line of dialogue for Max to make us see that the front door is unlocked. Presumably, the dark figure is one of Topolsky's agents and when he broke in, he left the door unlocked. My, but that's sloppy for a professional FBI agent. But the really important part is that when Kyle is shown walking through the front door, he doesn't appear to think that the door being unlocked is a big thing. Kyle! There are guns on the wall for crying out loud!

In the restaurant business, there is something called "last call." This means that you have only a few minutes before the kitchen closes to order any food. Normally, the doors are then locked from the inside so that no new customers can come in. When Michael comes into the Cafe at the end of the episode, Liz says they are closed. She appears to be the only person there. I'm sure the Crashdown has a last call so my question is why aren't the doors locked? He didn’t use his powers on them.

Liz's closing journal date is October 28. Liz's opening date in "Leaving Normal" is October 19. If you look at a calendar, the 28th is on a Thursday. "Leaving Normal" lasts only two or three days. This episode also appears to last only three days. Michael says he took the journal a week ago. Liz noticed that the journal was missing on the fourth day of that week.

Someone is altering Atherton's house. The photo of Atherton's house in the jacket of the book seen at the end of the episode has a dark triangle on the dome over the door. I assume this is a window. However, the color photos that Valenti has in "285 South" have NO dark triangles over the door. When they go there in the next episode, there are TWO triangles over the door.

#105 258 South - Review

Written by Jerry D.

This episode was, to put it quite simply, fantastic. It absolutely had it all, suspense, conflict, touching romance, the beginnings of new relationships between some of the characters, and a surprise ending which made all of us sit on the edge of our seats, as we wait in eager anticipation for the next show!

The shows opens up with Michael breaking into the UFO Center, where he goes to the secret research room, and he uses the computer there to get a print out showing the location of the geodesic dome that may hold the answer to their origins. Right after this, Michael is caught by Max’s boss, and arrested by the deputy sheriff.

Back at school, Mr. Summers, the history teacher, gives the class an assignment to interview each other with a series of probing questions for the supposed purpose of writing a biography, and the class is teamed into some unlikely pairs. To the mutual dismay of all involved, Liz is paired with Isabel, Maria is paired with Michael, and Max is paired with Kyle. Later, we find that this “random” pairing was arranged be the ever scheming Ms. Topolsky.

Max goes to the police station to bail out Michael, and he is forced to lie to protect him, and he convinces his boss not to press charges, and Michael is released. Meanwhile, the deputy sheriff has made a copy of the print out Michael had in his possession, and gives it to Sheriff Valenti. Michael then tells Max and Isabel that the geodesic dome is located in Marathon Texas, and he asks Max and Isabel for the keys to the jeep so he can go there. Max advises Michael that they should wait, and Michael angrily storms off.

Michael then runs into Maria, who tries to ask him questions for their assignment, and he rebuffs her until he realizes that she has a car, and he asks her for a ride to the gas station where she is going to get a money order.

Back at the diner, we see Liz and Isabel and Max and Kyle paired up for their project, and the hostility in the air is so thick you can cut it with a knife. Meanwhile, Michael “borrows” Maria’s car at the gas station while she goes inside to get her money order, and Maria gets in with him, screaming that Michael was “kidnapping” her. Maria then surreptitiously contacts Liz via a cell phone that she has hidden in her car, and relates that she is unwillingly “on the road” heading south on Highway 285. Michael discovers her ruse, and throws the cell phone out of the car. Max, Isabel and Liz leave the diner, and Liz asks to go with them, and Max relents only when a sarcastic and suspicious Kyle tries to interfere. Meanwhile, an obvious looking government agent reports their departure to Ms. Topolsky, who tells him to follow them. Ms. Topolsky then sends an encoded message to her superiors which says: “Tension in the ranks. Waiting for them to slip up. Will happen soon.”

On the road, Liz calls her mother, and Isabel makes a snide remark about “the perfect Liz Parker lying to her mother,” and Liz replies “At least she knows what species I am!” ( Summary writer’s note: Good for you Liz!) We next find Maria and Michael arguing, and then they get stopped by the police. Maria had every right at that point turn Michael in for stealing her car and kidnapping her, but after hearing Michael’s explanation as to why he needs to get to Marathon, she gets them out of trouble by saying that she has a weak bladder condition, and that they were speeding because she “had to pee.”

Sheriff Valenti comes home and finds Kyle making a series of phone calls trying to locate Liz, and Kyle unwittingly tells him that Max, Liz, and Isabel had left the diner suddenly, and the sheriff leaves to go find them, telling Kyle to stay out of it.

At a gas station, Liz tries to give Isabel a cup of coffee, and it spills on both of them, and Isabel is characteristically cold and hostile to Liz, even when Liz tells Isabel that she’s the Elle MacPherson of the sophomore class. (Summary writer’s note: no argument from me on that point! Isabel is gorgeous! ;-)) Then, kindly and perceptively, Liz tells Isabel that she’s not trying to take Max away from her, and asks Isabel if what they find what they’re looking for in Marathon, if Isabel will take Max away from her. Isabel doesn’t respond, but uses her powers to clean off spilled coffee from Liz’s blouse. Meanwhile, Max catches on that a government agent is following them when he sees the agent loitering at a phone booth, and he uses his powers to give the agent’s car a flat tire.

Maria and Michael break down, because Michael had ignored Maria’s warning that the car couldn’t travel at high speeds, and Michael sets the engine on fire by misusing his powers, which he reluctantly admits he doesn’t have control over. Michael and Maria argue constantly during this interlude, and they finally agree to spend the night in a nearby motel.

A suspicious Kyle, on the road, calls Liz, and is able to determine their location, and proceeds to follow them. The sheriff, meanwhile, also determines that they’re heading to the site of the geodesic dome, and proceeds along Highway 285 himself to track them down. Meanwhile, it is announced on the radio that a major accident has caused all southbound traffic on Highway 285 to be shut down by a road block.

Back at the motel, which Maria calls a “porno version of Aladdin,” Michael and Maria continue to argue, but they start to discover that they have some things in common, and they seem to come to an understanding with each other.

We next find Liz and Max alone in the jeep while Isabel talks to the police at the road block, and they apologize to each in a way where they also express the deep affection that they have towards one another. Liz then sweetly asks if they should reconsider “feeling a certain way towards each other,” and Max reaches over like he’s going to kiss her, but he uses his powers to fix a tear in the jeep roof instead, smiling shyly at her and saying that he “didn’t want her to get cold.” (Summary writer’s note: What are you waiting for Max? They don’t get any nicer than Liz! ;-)) They then discover Michael and Maria at the motel, and just as Michael starts to say that everyone in the room would be in trouble if their secret came out, Kyle bursts in, and confronts them, demanding to know what their secret is, and Michael angrily but effortlessly throws Kyle across the room. Kyle then orders Liz to leave with him, and she replies that she’s not his girlfriend any more, and that he doesn’t belong there, and that this is none of his business. Kyle then angrily storms off. Liz then demands that they tell her and Maria the truth, and it is Isabel who breaks down and encourages the others to tell their full story.

Following this, they all arrive at the geodesic dome, and they discover that the key Michael has unlocks the door to a secret underground room which seems to hold all the answers they’re looking for. To their great alarm, however, they hear footsteps above them, as Sheriff Valenti has followed them, and he seems to be on the verge of discovering them, until he is knocked unconscious – by Ms. Topolsky!

Overall, I enjoyed this episode on every level, and this show just gets better and better with every new episode. Like the rest of you, I anxiously await next week’s show!

#105 258 South - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

The Quest - A Review of '285 South'
November 11, 1999

"Oh my god! You're kidnapping me! No, you're abducting me!"

This episode was a pivotal one for the gang. There are no more secrets to be kept from each other and the potential break in the ranks was mended. After this little adventure, Topulski shouldn't hold her breath for these 5 to fall apart. Writers William Sind and Thania St. John spelled out for us where each of them stands on the whole question of seeking the answers in this episode. Michael wants answers because he wants a better life away from Roswell. Max wants the answers almost as much, but it's not for a ticket out for him…it's just the knowledge of his past. Isabel is afraid of the answers because they endanger a life she's comfortable with. Liz wants to help them find the answers because she knows it's important to Max even though it may mean losing him. And now even Maria has a higher stake in things with the introduction of a possible connection to Michael.

Random Thoughts:
The tension between Max and Michael is growing, and the scenes in the police station and at the motel together were filled with a jumble of emotions. Michael may resent that Max is always coming to the rescue, but he depends heavily on it at the same time. Just as Max is coming to resent being looked to all the time to be the responsible one. But even in his resentment, Michael still looks to Max for approval and guidance. Interesting to note that when they finally got to the dome and the key didn't work in the lock, Michael relinquished the lead in the quest to Max. Max is the one who opened the door and led them inside to explore.

But the best part of this episode for me, was an opportunity to get to know Michael outside the dynamic of the threesome. In Maria, he finds someone he didn't think existed…a human who really can understand what drives him.

And this was certainly Michael's episode for coming face to face with his heritage. From the first moment when he landed on the stuffed alien in the UFO Center to the alien head on Maria's antenna to the blowup doll in Maria's car. He couldn't escape it. But then I guess it's pretty hard to escape aliens in Roswell, isn't it?

I don't get the sense that Kyle is really malicious, just hurt and confused. He does get an unholy delight in getting Max's goat, but I really think that he had convinced himself that Liz was getting sucked into something against her will and was entertaining visions of himself as her next savior. He didn't seem at all anxious to point his father in the right direction to find them.

I did find myself wondering if Michael knows about front doors. Because if he does, he seems to have a distaste for them judging by how often he chooses alternate means of entry. And do you suppose there really are such people as Certified UFOlogists? If so, how do you become certified?

  • I still dislike Topulski. Not just her presence as an antagonist for the kids, but the way the character has been written and portrayed. She's much too intrusive in the daily operations of the school. I certainly never had a guidance counselor who could fill in for a math teacher one day and prepare the course schedule for the history class the next while evaluating the entire sophomore class in her spare time. When does she have time to do her real job? In addition, she gives off a sexual vibe that is inappropriate for what she's trying to accomplish. It's jarring and misplaced.
  • Which brings me to my next one…how did Topulski know where the kids were headed? Did she get there first and hide? Or did she follow the sheriff? Where could she possibly have been hiding when the sheriff walked in that he didn't see her, giving her the opportunity to get the drop on him ? None of these things were ever explained to my satisfaction and I hate it when things are left dangling.
  • The portrayal of the FBI in general. They are portrayed as bumbling and inefficient. If they are going to be a presence on this show, the field agents should at least look like they know what they are doing. Topulski seems to be the only one who can make any independent decisions. And don't get me started about Mr. Inconspicuous following Max, Isabel and Liz down the highway.
  • And how did Kyle find our intrepid fivesome anyway? Are we expected to believe that a simple phone call to Liz's cell phone allowed him to hone in on them and determine what direction they were heading? Sorry, it doesn't work that way.
  • We really got much more of a sense of who Michael is as a person in this episode and it added some nicely complex layers to his character. He's rounding out quite nicely, and is played to the hilt by Brenden Fehr. I've said before that I love his sarcastic sense of humor and he didn't disappoint in this episode, throwing out outrageous answers to Maria's questions just for the fun of it. But there was so much more. We got to see him progress from someone tunnel-focused on a mission without regard to anyone or anything else, to someone who comes to realize that there are people who can understand him if he just lets them in enough to try.
  • Some of my favorite scenes in this episode were Michael's wordless reactions to Maria. The look on his face when he realized she wasn't going to give him up to the cop was a comic mixture of relief, disbelief and amusement at the story she concocted. His sudden realization that Maria was frightened at the motel and his gentle admonition for her to lock the door while he scavenged for food. And of course, his little smile of appreciation when she threw his insult back in his face about sharing the bed. But I think my favorite was his instant gratitude when she believed in him and his ability to sense the key's secrets and her show of support in front of the others.
  • The bickering/bantering flirtation going on between Michael and Maria. Majandra and Brenden played off each other perfectly in their scenes together. I look forward to seeing how this plays out and if and how it affects Michael's plan to be unencumbered when they get the answers they seek.
  • Michael quoting Ulysses, page number and all. It's easy to see why that particular passage would have been noteworthy to him.
  • Loved Maria's hair.
  • I got a kick out of the interaction between Max and Kyle. Kyle was obviously milking the opportunity to needle Max for all it was worth and Max was working so hard to not let Kyle goad him. Makes me wonder just how far he's going to be able to let Kyle push him before he snaps. And I did chuckle at how quickly he changed his mind about letting Liz come along for the ride when it gave him the opportunity to one-up Kyle.
  • The easing of hostilities between Isabel and Liz when Isabel realized that Liz wasn't going to be intimidated and that she actually saw through the hostility to the fear that inspired it. Like Michael, once Isabel realized the depth of Liz's feelings for Max, she became a little more trustworthy in Isabel's eyes. And it was maybe the first time Isabel realized that Liz was just as scared of losing Max as she is.
  • I know a few people I'd like leave with flat tires. The cool things they can do with those powers just keep racking up.
  • Anyone else notice the sweet little smile Max and Liz exchanged when Isabel was wondering about the sleeping arrangements in the Jeep?
  • How could you not love the scene in the Jeep? It may very well be my favorite Max/Liz moment. My heart just stops when they look at each other like that. The UST in that car was running high enough to run it for a week. Kudos yet again to Jason and Shiri. They're magic together.
  • Minor nitpick: I couldn't help but think what a typical guy thing it was for Max to notice a rip in the fabric at a moment like that. And conveniently avoid Liz's question at the same time. Even if he did cover it nicely with a sweet comment.
  • Director of Photography John Bartlett gave us a nice visual panning in on Liz's face when Max confesses that he's never been in love. Her face is framed and the music just dies.

I give this episode 4.5 UFOs out of 5. They're setting the bar pretty high.

Favorite Quotes:

Max: "Don't do me any more 'favors'."

Maria: "You do not watch the View."
Michael: "It keeps me in touch with my feminine side."

Maria: "I have to pee."

Isabel: "The perfect Liz Parker lying to her mother?"
Liz: "Yeah, well, at least my parents know what species I am."

Maria: "It's like the porno version of Aladdin."

Michael: "I don't suppose we could share?"
Maria: "Not if you were the last alien on earth."

Max: "First of all, nothing about you is stupid."

Maria: "I mean this is like cruel and unusual education. I mean, aren't there like Geneva conventions against this sort of thing?"

Maria: "God, I knew you had illegal tendencies. You even drive erratically.

Maria: "I told you you can't go over 80, the engine won't take it.
Michael: "Maybe it's just tired of hearing you talk."

Maria: "You owe me big."

Maria: "Do something. Go."
Michael: "Don't tempt me."

Maria: "Come on. Wiggle your nose, blink your eyes. Do your Samantha/Jeannie/alien thing."
Michael: "I can't."
Maria: "Why not? If there was ever a time to have a secret power, this is it."

Liz: "We thought you were in trouble. I guess we were wrong."
Maria: "No, no. You don't think…I mean that is like so unreal. Come on, (kicking Michael) would you tell them?"
Michael: "Come on honey. We don't have to lie."
Isabel: "I believe you. The day Michael calls anyone honey, it's all over."

Maria: "You kidnap me and blow up my car and you expect me to spend the night with you in here?"
Michael: "Not exactly my fantasy evening either."

Michael: "You know, if you would stop being such a princess about things…"
Maria: "Princess? No, no I think I've been a pretty good sport about things until now. But I am cold, and I'm hungry and I'm stuck in some nookie motel with a guy I barely even know."

Maria: "So do you get hungry just like the rest of us?"
Michael: "Of course I get hungry."
Maria: (eyeing the bed) "What other human urges do you feel?"
Michael: (also looks at bed, gets right in her face) "Not if you were the last woman on earth." Max: "I just wanted to keep you warm."

#105 258 South - Review

Written by LSS

285 South is part one of a two-part story that finds our teens leaving Roswell, NM and going south to Marathon,TX. Aside from being an important episode in developing the Michael/Maria relationship, this episode focuses on Michael and his desire to know more about his alien background.


As early as The Morning After, viewers are introduced to a mysterious key that Michael finds hidden in the top part of Sheriff Valenti's thermos bottle. When Michael touches it he has a flash that continues to haunt him throughout the succeeding episodes (in Missing it becomes the subject of numerous artistic endeavors much like the "tower" in Close Encounters of the Third Kind). In Monsters Michael insists to Max and Michael that the key has "got to be something important" and suggests it belongs to the 1959 corpse that Valenti showed Liz in Pilot. His suggestion? That they "follow where it takes us" which, of course, is precisely the impetus for his trek south in 285 South! 285 South is Michael following HIS heart--going on his personal quest for the alien heritage he so desperately wants and that he thinks will make him "whole." Yet we would be remiss to assign interest in this quest solely to Michael, for Liz' quiet question to Max in the jeep concerning the importance of Marathon reveals that Max is not as disinterested as he seems!


In 285 South we see Michael's powers at their worst (fried Jetta engines) and at their best (Kyle flying across the motel room). But perhaps the most perplexing lack of/use of power revolves around the key and the mysterious room in Atherton's home.

Once inside Atherton's home, Michael runs into a dead end. He concentrates on the key (which did NOT open the front door) but nothing happens. It is only when Maria goes over to his side and urges him to try again that Michael gets a flash and successfully locates the key's intended lock (and ultimately the hidden room under the floor). Why was Michael unsuccessful the first time, but successful the second? Did being next to Maria somehow help his focus? Or is there some significance to Maria that we have yet to find out?

Although there are not a lot of new Science Fiction elements in 285 South, as part one of a two- part series, it sets the stage for some interesting revelations when the story continues in River Dog.

#105 258 South - Review

Written by Chad Evans(Nitpickius Roswellian)

Let's take a look at "285 South."

My first impression when I sat down to watch this episode was that this was definitely Michael's episode. He is explored more then any other character in this episode, including Maria. But everyone involved is given a chance to shine. So far, this is my favorite episode of season one that I had seen (It's was also my last until my next set of tapes arrived. Imagine the pain of finding out I ended my first set with part one of a two parter.)

It was easy to say that there was more to Michael then meets the eye (but what TV character isn't that way?) One thing that's for sure is that Max and Michael showed a bit more confrontation and they are going to come to a head eventually (see "Crazy.") I look at it like this is the first time Max has told Michael he's running out of patience cleaning up after him and Michael knows it. At the police station, Michael is speechless. At the motel, Michael stands up to Max.

I loved all of the interaction between Maria and Michael. Michael seemed very surprised by everything that Maria did from opening up to him in the motel to saving his butt from the cop. The look on his face during her "restroom excuse" was absolutely hilarious. He couldn't believe that she did that and he was totally thrown off. In fact, I think that the officer was a bit amused at it too. Who wouldn't be? And even cold hard Michael can be sensitive. He notices Maria's unease at the hotel and goes out to find some food.

Isabel and Liz get a small opportunity to bond. It's small but it's important because Liz expresses the fear of loss that they both have about Max. That one line allowed Isabel to drop her walls around Liz. And for the rest of the trip, she left Liz alone where as before, she had been making snide comments to her. And speaking of that, it was nice to hear Liz snapping back at her. Clearly, Liz isn't going to let Isabel intimidate her like she did Maria in "Monsters." I wonder what keeps Isabel from dreamwalking Liz (We have to wait until season two for that.)

I initially raised an eyebrow at Liz when she demanded to be told the whole story at the motel. It certainly took some gall to do that. I was glad that no one argued about it. I was beginning to become impatient with the way the Royals kept avoiding her questions.

Max is pretty much in the middle of everything here. He's the source of Liz and Isabel's bickering, the source of Kyle's hostility, and the reason why Michael went off on his own: Max wanted to investigate more before checking Atherton's house. I also agree with Kate Ancel (who initially reviewed this episode for in that the little grin Max and Liz exchanged when Isabel asked if they would have to sleep in the jeep was a nice touch. It certainly would have been interesting if they had to actually try it. Max also continues with his trait of being content but wanting to learn more about their past at the same time. When Michael's key won't open the door to Atherton's house, Max opens the lock for him saying they have come all this way and should see it through.

One important thing to note about Isabel was the apparent unease she was feeling during this entire episode. There were several occasions where she appeared to be on the verge of tears facing the truth of what she is. Her comfortable life is changing and she is helpless to do anything about it. Katherine Heigl played these moments perfectly and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters on the show.

I still think Kyle gets a bad rap but I simply do not understand why he followed them to the hotel. That's a little obsessive. I got the impression he was doing it out of spite to Max for taking Liz from him and to Liz as well for dumping him. Of course, this immediately begs the question of just how Kyle knew where they were going? At no time does any dialogue with Kyle in the scene at the Café give any indication where Liz and the others went. Nor is there any dialogue to indicate he knew that Michael and Maria had even left (unless he is secretly a Kryptonian and eavesdropped on Maria's call to Liz.)

This episode brings up my first dislike for the show: the portrayal of the FBI. The FBI on Roswell comes off as a group of the most incompetent boobs next to Barney Fife (and at least he was funny!) In "Missing", an FBI man breaks into Kyle's house. To gain entrance, he surely had to pick the lock (I doubt the sheriff would leave his house unlocked with a gun collection right by the front door.) Yet, the FBI man leaves the door unlocked which is why I believe the creators had Max mention it. In this episode, an agent is watching the kids as they leave. The 'ole FBI stereotype of the "men in black" is in full force. The agent is sitting out in the open in a dark suit in a brand new, shiny black car ("Duh, gee. Hope no one notices me.") He couldn't have been any more obvious then if he had a big neon sign over the car that blinked "FBI DUDE HERE!" But it gets worse. When following the teens to a convenience store, he completely blows his cover walking over to a public phone. If he wanted to remain hidden, he should have pulled over to the opposite side of the road and watched. We know he's not using the phone to talk to anyone because of the person yelling at him to get off of the phone if he isn't going to call anyone. The guy probably has a cell phone to call in. The tiny camera we see in "Tess, Lies, and Videotape" is said to be expensive so I'm sure they supply all their agents with cell phones (your tax dollars at work!) For a law enforcement agency that is supposed to be the best and the brightest, everyone in this show falls really short.

I'm also starting to dislike the nosiness that is Topolsky. I'm surprised that the school's staff isn't curious about her because I know I would be. It's rare to see a guidance counselor taking such a role in teacher's curriculums like she did. And just like Kyle, how did she know where the kids were going? I know Mr. Obvious probably phoned in to tell them he had lost the teens but beyond that, unless she tailed the sheriff, Topolsky wouldn't have had a clue where to go. And I would ask where she got the idea to follow the sheriff, if that is what she did.

According to one of the FBI files at, Topolsky karate kicked the sheriff in the back of the head to knock him out. But the episode shows her hitting him with something in her hand. I'll get more into this in "River Dog."

I wonder. Just where did the deputy come from that arrested Michael in the UFO Center? Did Michael trip an alarm or did he see him clammering around up on the roof?

Whoever built the UFO Center isn't that smart. Who puts in vents large enough to allow someone to crawl through them to enter the building? On a large multi-story building I could understand but on the UFO Center? They're a little unnecessary. In season two, we will learn that the building is an old fallout shelter. These are designed to keep out radiation from a nuclear blast. You sure don't want really big air vents in a place like that.

What class are the gang in during the beginning of the episode? Are they in history class or some kind of writing class? I couldn't figure it out from the dialogue.

Hey, Michael's not in class again. I'd say he is far removed from being in danger of being expelled to actually being expelled. However, not to just pick on Michael, but the whole group is missing school the next day while they are at Atherton's. The episode lasts two days. It's not a weekend because when the teacher gives out the reports for them to do, he says they are "due tomorrow." There's no date given in this episode but that will change with a review of "River Dog." Along the same lines, Liz is the only person to call in and let her parents know where she was. What did Maria say to her mom? Max and Isabel get away with it because Mrs. Evans says she didn't hear them come in last night in the next episode. Michael's the only one who could have gotten away with this one.

Is this next one a nice touch or pure coincidence? Reading off the pairings for the assignment, Mr. Summers gives the last pair as "Trussel with Wolf." The next shot shows Liz and Maria walking out of class and the onscreen credits give the name of producer Carol Dunn Trussel.

Reader Jordan brought this one to my attention. One of the other pairings the teacher calls out is "Kalinoski with Nell." The name Kalinoski is popular because it appears a few times in season one. Aside from this episode, it's also the last name of one of Alex's cellmates in "Heatwave." It appears yet again in "Into the Woods" as one of the organizers reads off a list of names for people to load the bus.

Find out what kind of cell phone Maria uses and buy it! It's has to be one of the best cell phones ever created! It picks up voices perfectly even if it is down inside your purse. That's a good phone.

There were three great lines for me in this episode.

"Why don't you just bring them some ketchup or something?" -Isabel to Liz after watching her constantly glance to Kyle and Max.

"Oh my God! You're kidnapping me! No wait! You're abducting me!" -Maria

"It's like the porno version of Aladdin." -Maria describing the motel.

Max must project some sort of wind force field when they are in the jeep to deflect the wind. As Liz talks on the phone to her mother saying she will stay at Maria's house, look at her hair. It doesn't move at all. Then when the shot changes to show her through the windshield, her hair is whipping about. Did Max lose his concentration?

In all the daytime scenes of the jeep, Isabel appears to be driving less then 10 miles per hour. We aren't in any kind of hurry, are we Isabel?

When the police officer pulls Michael over for speeding, Michael pulls over to the side but he stays inside the lane instead of pulling over to the shoulder. That's weird. The police officer also wins the award for fastest citation ever written. It takes him exactly seven seconds from the time Michael hands him his license to the time the officer hands him the ticket. It's also not procedure. Procedure on tickets is that first the officer asks for your license and registration and then contacts dispatch to check wants and warrants and confirm your identity even if the officer is only going to issue a warning. The local police station provided this information for me. Of course, this is TV and to do things properly would have taken up a lot of time.

As Maria's car starts to give out, Maria asks if Michael pulled out "the chokey thing." Michael says he tried that. No wonder the car gave out. You NEVER, EVER pull the choke out when a car is running.

Maria's car is put together weird. After Michael puts the whammy on it, he says "Now that the battery is fried…" The battery? Flames erupted from directly under the windshield. I've never seen a car battery placed behind the engine on any make of car. A few people have written to me saying there is at least one car out there that does have a battery behind the engine. The 1962 Triumph TR3 did. But Maria's Jetta is not the same as that car. Some also suggested that Michael fried the electrical system. Michael specifically says "battery" and with the exception of the Triumph, batteries are not behind the engine. I will concede and agree that this is all possible as the battery is part of a car's electrical system.

The aliens really are obsessed with tobasco. Michael appears to carry one around in his pocket. He uses it on the candy bar he buys at the motel. I know he had a bottle during "Pilot" and "Morning After" when he was eating a candy bar but I didn't think he actually carried one around with him wherever he went. I was surprised that Maria didn't say something like "You're putting hot sauce on a candy bar? Ugh. You light a match before you go to sleep buddy!" Maria doesn't make any kind of comment about the tobasco until "River Dog" which seems quite patient for someone like curious Miss De Luca.

When the gang come to Maria and Michael's motel room, Isabel uses her powers to remove the latch on the door. They then walk right in. Wait! Did Maria not lock the doorknob too? I can't believe that she wouldn't have locked it. Not in the "nookie" motel. And why didn't Isabel knock instead of just barging right in? To use a quote from Isabel in "Crazy", "Geez, Isabel. Can you be any more rude?"

For a small motel off the highway, there was some serious money put into it. The hot tub has lights inside it. That has to be expensive.

Who paid for the room? Did they pool their cash together or does Maria have a credit card? Maybe Michael broke the display of a local fruit stand sending fruit all over the sidewalk and then robbed the register while the employees were scrambling for the fruit. It's if it's good enough for Lonnie and Zan in "Meet the Dupes", why not Michael?

When the group comes into the room, we see that Michael is laying on a sleeping bag. Where did Michael get the sleeping bag? Was there one in Maria's car? It looks exactly like the one Max keeps in his room when Michael sleeps over.

When they first enter Atherton's house, there's a line spoken that says someone has been searching for something. That makes sense. At this point in the series, we don't know anything about Atherton and how he died or who killed him. But once we find out that it was Nasedo who killed Atherton, we could assume he was the one who searched the place. How could he have missed the secret room though? Yes, the door is pretty solid and easy to miss but the room's ceiling is the floor. It has wide gaps in it that you can see simply from the light that shines through it. Wouldn't a thorough search reveal the light shining on the objects below? Some good hard blows to the wood would splinter it open even if you couldn't open the door. How could Nasedo have missed that? (When Nasedo does finally show up, we'll find out that I have a lot more to complain about concerning Nasedo as a whole.) It would be easy for the FBI to miss it. They're incompetent boobs but Nasedo? If the FBI searched the dome, when they left, they locked the door! Someone smartened up after breaking into Valenti's house in "Missing" because in that episode, the agent left the door unlocked for Max and Liz. (A future episode says Topolsky was the one who searched the dome. But that only makes it worse for the reputation of the FBI in the show. Of course, that can't be right because she had no idea where the kids were going in the first place! Maybe she first stopped by Madam Vivian's to find out and then put the peddle to the metal to get to Atherton's first.)

#106 River Dog - Review

Written by Jerry D.

Once again, the writers and producers of Roswell presented us with a very compelling episode of Roswell for us to enjoy. This episode furthered along the relationship of some of the key characters, as Liz proves her devotion to Max by embarking on a dangerous quest to help Max learn about his origins.

This episode opened up where the last episode had left off, with Liz, Max, Isabel, Maria and Michael in the secret room in James Atherton’s geodesic dome, while above them, Sheriff Valenti has been knocked unconscious by Ms. Topolsky, who is in actuality a FBI agent. Conveniently though, thanks to a rat that scurries by to the horror of Maria, they found a hidden tunnel, and our heroes make their escape, after hurriedly gathering all the research material they can find. Isabel finds a locket with a missing corner that has some type of mysterious symbol on it, and recognizing the symbol, she takes it before she too escapes, followed closely by Ms. Topolsky. In the meantime, Sheriff Valenti surreptitiously observes who had knocked him out, without revealing to the devious Ms. Topolsky that he has recovered.

On the trip back, in separate cars, Liz, with Max and Liz, muses on the events of that evening, and Maria and Michael deconstruct the previous evening’s events, showing a reluctant but growing attraction for one another.

Back at Max and Isabel’s house, where they’ve hidden all the research material that they took from James Atherton’s geodesic dome, Isabel asks Max to recall a symbol that they had drawn in the sand on a Florida vacation that they had taken years before. She then asks Max to draw the symbol, and his drawing not only matches the old picture she has of their sand drawing, but it also matches the symbol on the locket that Isabel found.

Back at school, Maria talks to Liz about Michael, and Maria calls him a “vibrator,” meaning someone who communicates by sending “vibes” out into the atmosphere, injecting some rare humor into this usually rather somber and ominous show. Maria indicates that Michael had asked her to come with him to Max and Isabel’s house, to go through the information that they had gathered, and Liz seems a little hurt that she hadn’t been asked, but she indicates to Maria that she will join her later. Liz then goes off to talk to a bitter and sarcastic Kyle, who says he won’t reveal what had happened the night before, until he has something on Max that will “destroy” him.

We see Agent Topolsky being chewed out over the phone by her superior, who we met in the first show. He orders her to get the information that had been taken from James Atherton’s geodesic dome, and she replies that she’s “all over it.”

Sheriff Valenti goes to the UFO Center, and asks Max’s boss about James Atherton, and Max’s boss indicates that James Atherton had written a book about aliens called “Among Us,” and he had mysteriously disappeared in 1959. Back in his office, the sheriff notes that the dust jacket picture of Atherton matches the photograph of the dead body with the palm print on it that the sheriff has.

Max, Isabel and Michael head to Max and Isabel’s house, and Michael indicates that Maria will be joining them, and when Max and Isabel express their displeasure at this, Michael gets all defensive and says that Maria had “forced him” to allow her to come, calling her a “vibrator!” I thought this was a very firm indication of the mutual attraction that Michael and Maria have for each other. Pulling up to their house though, they see it surrounded by the police, and Michael makes his escape. They then pull up to the house, and a dubious Sheriff Valenti tells them that their house has been broken into. Horrified, Max and Isabel go into Max’s room, and discover that all the research material that they had gotten from James Atherton’s geodesic dome has been stolen. A suspicious Sheriff Valenti starts to “grill” Max and Isabel, until he is stopped by Mrs. Evans. In Isabel’s room, the Deputy notices the locket that Isabel is wearing, and he says that it’s from the Mesa Laka Reservation, where he had grown up. Michael, Max, and Isabel go then go to see Maria and Liz, and tell them what’s happened, and that they’re being followed. Michael recognizes the locket that Isabel has.

Sheriff Valenti goes to see Ms. Topolsky and tells her about the break in at the Evans’ house, while dropping hints that he’s “on to her.” Liz goes to see Max, and she climbs through the window, and literally falls into Max’s arms. She tells Max that she intends to go to the Reservation to find out whatever information she can, to pay Max back for saving her life. Max is against this of course, but in the sweet and earnest way that has become Liz’s trademark, she tells Max that she “has to do this one thing.” She tells Max, in a firm but incredibly endearing way, that she’s going no matter what he says, and he gives her the locket that may hold the key to their origins. Once again, the tender affection between these two characters is a joy to behold.

Liz then goes out to a trade store on the Reservation, and runs into a mysterious older Native American who recognizes the locket she has, and he tells her to give him the locket, and that the locket is dangerous and “brings death.” Later, back at the diner, Liz meets a young Native American named Eddie, who brings her a message from “River Dog,” the man she had met the night before. Eddie has the missing corner from the locket that Liz had. He tells her to meet River Dog on the Reservation at 10:00 PM that night.

That evening, knowing they’re being followed, Liz, Max, Isabel and Michael throw Ms. Topolsky off their trail, and Liz and Max meet up with Maria, who lends them her car. Ms. Topolsky is stopped by the sheriff, and he indicates that he knows she’s a FBI agent, and he tells her that he’s ready to turn her in to her superiors. Ms. Topolsky, clearly corned, proposes that they work together and pool their information, and he tells her that he’ll “think about it.” Personally, I don’t like the idea of these two villainous characters teaming up, but it does add to the intrigue on the show.

Max and Liz meet up with Eddie at the Reservation, and he says that he will lead them to River Dog, but they will have to pass a “test” before River Dog will reveal any information to them. Max and Liz get separated, and Max uses his powers to light up the area, and by doing so, he apparently passes the “test” that River Dog had laid out for them. River Dog then tells Max and Liz about the alien that he had encountered 40 years before, and that the alien had befriended River Dog and his entire tribe, and had lived among them. He said that the alien had also befriended James Atherton, and had given him the locket they had. Much to Max and Liz’s horror, however, he then told them that the alien had murdered James Atherton.

Meanwhile, Michael and Maria, waiting for Max and Liz to return, continue to argue with each other, but at the end of their argument, Michael kisses Maria passionately, which he tells an obviously smitten Maria that he did it to “calm her down.”

The episode ends with River Dog showing Max and Liz a mysterious cave writing that was made by the previous alien, and he warns Liz to make sure that Max deserves her trust. Overall, I really enjoyed this episode, and I thought it did an excellent job of continuing the intriguing story of our favorite residents of Roswell.

#106 River Dog - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Answers and Questions - A Review of 'River Dog'
November 18, 1999

"I have been acting covertly." "Drop kicking the sheriff - you call that covertly?"

Writer Cheryl Cain gave us an episode that answered some questions and raised a few more. She gave us the banter we've come to love between Michael and Maria and a healthy dose of pure romantic magic for Max and Liz. The trio is coming ever closer to discovering pertinent information about their heritage with a little help from their friends and the bonds of trust that began so shakily in '285 South' are beginning to cement.

Random Thoughts:
This episode showed us clearly that their joint adventure to Texas has strengthened the bonds of trust between these five people. They were all much more comfortable with each other and it allowed us to see a little more of their lighter sides. In spite of the fact that the situation is growing more dire, they all found time to laugh, smile and tease each other. It was a nice change.

One thing that does bother me a bit is that things seem to be falling apart awfully fast. It makes me wonder how much farther they can stretch this story believably. Both the FBI and the sheriff are pretty convinced that Max, Isabel and Michael are suspicious. What are they waiting for in the way of evidence to make a move? It seems apparent from this episode that they are watching them to see what the kids will uncover. But it's unclear to me how discovering artifacts from the crash and information about the people involved translates to hard evidence that the kids are aliens. If that was all that was needed for evidence, every UFOlogist in the world would be under suspicion.

River Dog is still an unknown quantity. It's true he provided some answers; confirming the existence of at least one other survivor of the crash and giving the kids yet another link to their past. But he raised more questions about the whereabouts and actions of that survivor.

We did get confirmation that Topulsky is indeed working for the FBI, although the possibility of an agenda hidden even from them still exists. I do have to wonder how the Bureau expects to accomplish anything with such inept field agents, though. Topulsky is about as subtle as a Mack truck and Mr Inconspicuous on tail duty is failing abominably at blending. At least Topulsky seems to be taking fashion tips from Scully with the high-heeled boots on a stakeout. And let's not mention the important pieces of evidence they conveniently left behind for the sheriff when they ransacked his office. The key I can understand, but an envelope of pictures under his desk drawer? Please. Very sloppy work indeed.

Speaking of the picture in the envelope, did anyone else notice that this was a different picture than the one the sheriff showed Liz in the first episode? In the picture Liz saw, the chest and the handprint were clearly visible, but the face was in almost complete shadow. Now we have a face so clear we can match it to an author's photograph in a book.

Interesting choice of movies playing at the theatre where Max and Liz pulled their bait and switch. The Lady Vanishes and The Secret Agent. Very appropriate, I thought.

It seemed a little out of character to me for Isabel to wear the necklace she found at the dome in plain sight, especially when she was so harsh with Michael about displaying his painting at school. But it was nice to see her get a little more excited about finding keys to their past. She's still scared, but now her interest has been piqued too.

I couldn't help but think it's pretty lucky Max lives on the first floor. That window gets more traffic than most front doors.

  • The flirting between the sheriff and Topulsky. It just doesn't work for me. I haven't made my mind up about the sheriff yet. I can't decide if he's a really bad guy or just someone with something to prove. But he makes my skin crawl whenever he flashes that flirty smile at Topolsky. Stick to the facts, officer; just the facts.
  • I'd like to know what kind of forcefield Max has put over his Jeep that keeps the wind from ruffling anyone's hair.
  • How did they get Maria's car to start for the return trip? I guess those secret powers can be really useful when you know how to use them, eh Michael?
  • Where has Alex been? This character is sadly underused. He's got great potential when he's not missing in action.
  • It bothered me that Max didn't write down the symbols on the cave wall, especially after he was told they couldn't come back. How are they ever supposed to decipher them if they can't reference them? And it denies Isabel and Michael the opportunity to even see them. Just because Max couldn't remember what they meant, doesn't mean that the other two won't. Seemed sloppy and out of character to me.
  • Teasing us with trailers that include scenes not in the aired episode. What happened to the "Are you insane?" scene between Isabel and Michael we were shown at the end of 'River Dog'? Wasn't that from 'The Morning After'?
  • I liked the montage of scenes at the beginning of episode before scenes from last week were shown.
  • It gave me a lot of satisfaction to see Topolsky getting her butt chewed for sloppy field work.
  • We got to see laughing and teasing and smiling!! It was a long time coming, but it was worth it. Great scenes between Maria and Liz discussing Michael and also between Max, Isabel and Michael discussing Maria. I liked the teasing between them.
  • The love/hate relationship between Maria and Michael is wonderful. Their bickering is hysterical and their lines are priceless. Brenden and Majandra look like they're having such fun together. I'm glad we're along for the ride.
  • It's nice to see that Liz doesn't view Max as the father-figure Michael and Isabel do. His word is not law to her, which appears to be a fairly new concept to Max. He didn't quite know how to handle it when she made it clear she didn't need his permission, but wanted his understanding. His struggle to hang on to some semblence of control of the situation was obvious, and as was his fear for her.
  • The increasingly close relationship between Max and Liz just continues to enchant me. I can't help it. The scene in his bedroom was just beautiful, in my opinion. I loved when Max held out his hand to help Liz in the window and his nervousness when he realized that he'd held her just a tad too long after catching her. I loved how shaky his voice got when he told her to come back. But mostly I loved the intensity of emotion that passed between them at so simple a gesture as touching foreheads. Jason and Shiri continue to blow me away with their scenes together.
  • I liked the way the final scene played out. Max didn't much care for River Dog playing mind games with Liz and attempting to put doubts in her mind. With his outstretched hand he seemed to be asking for her trust and the image of them walking away hand in hand worked for me.
Favorite Quotes:

Maria: "Oh, the Stalker. Good luck with that one Lizzy."

Maria: "Michael is the type of person my mother likes to refer to as a vibrator."

Max: "I'm not worried."

Sheriff: "Only when they blow through three red lights, two stop signs and do 70 in a 30 MPH zone. Miss Topolsky, you are a walkin', talkin' movin' violation."
Miss T: "I'll take that the best way I can."

Max: "Friggin' Eddie."

Maria: "Interesting. You know Michael, some wome of the 20th century would find that last comment a tad bit offensive."
Michael: "Why?"
Maria: "Why?"
Isabel: "Welcome to Michael-land."

Isabel: "Are you guys flirting? Could my life get any worse?"

Maria: "I mean, it could never be. There are a number of obstacles… his hair, his personality, the fact that he was hatched."

Isabel: "Fine, but don't let her blather too long because I'm desperately low on minutes."

Sheriff: "I woke up with one hell of a headache."
Miss T: "You must have had your head in the wrong place."

Maria: "I hope you intend to pay for that."
Michael: "I do not."
Maria: "Well that's theft, buddy."
Michael: "Arrest me."

Isabel: "We all like things extremely sweet and extremely spicy.

It's our little dietary quirk."

I give this episode 4 UFOs out of 5. All in all, a solid, well-crafted outing.

#106 River Dog - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

I waited a long time to finally see part two of this saga. When I finally did see it, I felt a little let down.

Of all the episodes so far in season one, this one has more things I took note of. The entire premise of the show broke down to three things: the Sheriff blowing Topolsky's cover, meeting River Dog, and Michael and Maria having their first kiss. There was a lot of dead time in-between and I wish there was more to this episode. We never learn what was in the files taken from Atherton's nor do we get any real solid answers from River Dog about Nasedo. Not even his name. I was let down by this as I was hoping for something more then that. But it wouldn't have been good for the season if we had gotten everything at once.

First off,Topolsky. While she's being chewed out by Agent Stevens, he tells her that she's supposed to be doing her job covertly. She's certainly not doing that. While the kids didn't see her at Atherton's, what would have happened if they hadn't found the escape tunnel in time and she'd gotten down into the basement? "Oh, hi Miss Topolsky. What are you doing here?" Then again, with the way I went off on the incompetence of the FBI in my rambling for "285 South", she seems to be fitting right in. (And we aren't done beating that dead horse yet by a longshot!)

Michael spent the last part of this episode frustrated. He learns of the reservation and a chance to get a clue to the meaning of the pendant and Max tells him no. I think the only reason he doesn't snap and go anyway is because of Maria's presence.

Speaking of Maria, she's obviously fallen for Michael. I can imagine how awkward Michael felt when she kept staring at him on the drive home from Atherton's. He certainly doesn't scare her as much as she said he did in "Monsters." Their banter with each other at the Crashdown while they waited for Max and Liz to return was funny. It was also funny that their flirting made Isabel uncomfortable.

There was little character development for Max in this episode.

Despite the way he was portrayed in this episode, I don't think Kyle is showing any hatred for Max specifically. More like he is jealous of Max for taking Liz from him and it's nothing more then that. In a few episodes, we will actually see Kyle and Max bond in "Blind Date" (though alcohol has something to do with it.) So it's clearly not Max that Kyle is out to expose. It's Liz he's after.

The show's opener begins with Liz's journal entry of November 11. With this date, we can now set the timeline for this episode and "285 South." "285 South" lasts three days. It ends the morning of November 11 on day three. Since we saw nothing else happen, we must assume that the gang went straight back to the hotel after leaving Atherton's to get Maria's car and return home. "River Dog" starts at this point. It lasts two days. They drive back that morning and arrive early as Max and Isabel's mom says she didn't hear them come in. Their house is robbed that afternoon and Liz goes to the reservation that night. The next day, Eddy tells her to come back that night where she and Max meet River Dog. The show ends on November 12. Checking a 1999 calendar and going back four days has "285 South" beginning on November 8. That means there is a week and a half gap between "Missing" and "285 South."

HOWEVER, according to, this is not correct. In the Allies section, they showed the assignments the kids are given in "285 South." These forms are dated 11/4/99. At the bottom of page one and two of the assignments, there is a message in bold that says they are due "Friday, November 5, 1999." Since "285 South" only lasts three days and this episode begins on November 11, the only way the assignment's date could be correct is if there is a four day gap after the assignments are handed out. But that can't be possible because they are due the day after they were given. So which do we go by here? Liz's date in the episode or the silverhandprint documents? Me, I choose Liz's journal dates.

Lighting is very important in Roswell. No matter what time of day it is, the sun always appears to make it look about five or six in the evening. Light also behaves very eerily in this episode. Liz follows the rat into the escape tunnel. She lifts the covering and a far away shot shows a faint blue glow inside the tunnel. When Michael climbs out of it, he has to heave up a solid steel lid that was covering the exit. So whence does this blue light cometh? Since the exit was covered, the tunnel should have been pitch black.

Topolsky must be related to Gumbi. All the dialogue in this episode suggests that she kicked the Sheriff in the back of the head to knock him out. If you look closely at the end of "285 South" and the "previously on Roswell" for this episode, you can see that Topolsky is hitting the Sheriff with something in her hand. The shadow shows her arm coming down bent at the elbow. I'm quite positive about this but there are three things that say otherwise.

Agent Stevens says "Dropkicking the Sheriff. You call that covertly?" Later, the Sheriff says "That's a hell of a kick you've got there." No, Sheriff. She didn't kick you! How would he know anyway? He was hit from behind! And finally, a document at says that Topolsky kicked the Sheriff. Again, she did NOT kick the Sheriff. The only thing I can think of that would make all of this correct is to say that Topolsky is a contortionist. That or she needs knee surgery really badly.

Did one of the kids pull the door to Atherton's basement shut or did it close automatically? Topolsky has to pick the lock to open it again.

I got into this a little bit in my rant for "285 South" but I'll go into it here too. When they begin looking around Atherton's home, a line of dialogue says that someone has searched the place. I was wondering who had searched the place. Was it Nasedo after he killed Atherton? Was it the FBI and Topolsky? I guess it was Topolsky since Nasedo doesn't appear to be around at this point in time. So in another example of FBI foolishness, Topolsky failed to notice the basement. There were lots of clues that any FBI agent worth his salt could use to find it. There would be a line in the floor for the door. The rock that covered the lock was off colored from the rest of them. And if that's not enough, there are huge gaps in the floorboards. Looking between them with a flashlight would reveal the room. But Topolsky appears to have missed it.

This also makes Nasedo look incompetent. At the end of the episode, Max speculates that Nasedo killed Atherton because he was going to expose him. Since that appears to be the case, why didn't Nasedo follow through and torch Atherton's house to destroy any evidence? Because if he had, then the kids wouldn't have found the pendant. It works on TV but it still makes Nasedo look foolish. (As we go on in the series, you'll find I have a lot more to say about Mr. Nasedo and they aren't very supportive. As season two reveals, my comments about him are quite justified.)

Max's wind force field loses a bit of power. During a lot of driving segments, there are times when the wind whips the actor's hair around and then there are other times when it stands quite still (I say its because Max is using some sort of wind force field. He's really not but it's funny to think so!) In this episode, as Liz does her voice-over journal entry, she and Max's hair waves in the wind but not by much. If you watch the background, Max doesn't appear to be going faster then ten or twenty miles per hour. Max must not be in a hurry to go back to school.

Going to Max to tell him about the symbol on the pendant, Isabel just walks into Max's room startling him as he looks at the box of files. Does Isabel know how to knock? I asked this in "285 South" when she barged right in to Maria and Michael's motel room after using her powers to remove the chain on the door. Of course, Max has the same habit. He walks into Isabel's room without knocking in "Independence Day" and season two's "We are Family" to name a few.

This episode adds a second room in the school that makes a perfect hiding place for making out and skipping classes, the janitor's closet. I wonder if it also locks from the inside. Oddly enough though, it has the same small gray TV on the shelf that was seen in the eraser room in "Morning After."

There's a nice little hidden bit in this episode. As Topolsky speaks to Agent Stevens during her stretches, there's a sign off to the right on the wall that says "YOU CAN CHOOSE to overcome them." That is what she is trying to do to the kids. The first part of the sign is blocked out by a haze of light.

The guy who owns the UFO Center (the show STILL has not given him a name yet as of this episode) shows his audience slides and identifies a piece of alien metal in one. He says that it does not match "any of the 92 trace elements on the planet." There are currently 105 elements listed on the periodic table of elements. What about the other thirteen elements? Did he forget about them?

In "Morning After", the Sheriff takes the key to the secret room in Atherton's house from his files and hides it. Shortly afterwards, the FBI and Agent Stevens come into his office and seize the contents of his file cabinets. At that time, I wondered why the Sheriff didn't go a step further and make copies of the entire file and hide them. Apparently, he did just that when we weren't looking because he has a photo of Atherton's dead body hidden under a drawer in his desk.

Speaking of the photo, there must have been more then one taken because the one seen in this episode and the one Valenti shows Liz in "Pilot" are not the same one. The one in "Pilot" barely showed the person's face. It centered on the handprint. This new photo makes it possible for the Sheriff to identify the body because you can see the entire face. My, that's convenient. It's Atherton! I wonder why no one has noticed this before. After all, his picture is in the back of his book and it was published in 1955 according to the owner of the UFO Center. Atherton died in 1959. No one could identify his body in 1955?

Max has a computer monitor sitting in the corner of his room. I'd seen this before in the previous six episodes and figured his computer case was under the shelf. There's a good shot underneath the shelf in this episode where the monitor sits but there is nothing there. At first, I thought it had been stolen along with the rest of things in the house. I went back and watched the other episodes making sure to look in the corner and believe it or not, I do not see a computer anywhere in Max's room. Alas, my lack of knowledge about Apple computers comes back to bite me here. Stephen Ludwig pointed out that Max's computer is an iMac, which is an all in one unit.

As Isabel goes to check her room after the robbery, Deputy Owen is waiting in her room to take a statement. Uh…just what was he doing waiting in Isabel's room? I shall not allow myself to speculate any on this one. On a side note, this is the last time that Deputy Owen appears in the show.

Great confusion surrounds the name of the Indian reservation. Deputy Owens says that he is from the "Mesa Leko" reservation. Later when Michael first sees the pendant, Isabel says that the deputy comes from the "Mesa-VEKO" reservation. Closed captioning says the reservation is called "Mescalero." It seems everyone has a different way of saying the name.

Why does everyone go to Max's window to enter the house? Is there something wrong with the front door?

The FBI foolishness continues. In this episode, an agent in a black suit is seen following Michael. Don't you think that if you were following someone that you would want to do it discreetly and not wear clothing that would make you stand out in a crowd? Agent Stevens should yell at everyone involved and not just Topolsky. But she deserves yet another good talking to. She herself follows the gang around as they split up so Max and Liz can go to meet River Dog. Why, if she is supposed to be doing things "covertly", is Topolsky the one following them around? Wouldn't it be better for her to have one of her cronies do it and give her a detailed report and keep the suspicion off of her? And if she had no choice but to follow them herself, wouldn't running stop lights and going seventy in a thirty mile per hour zone be drawing too much attention to herself or are citizens of Roswell used to law enforcement officials driving like maniacs?

The dialogue when Liz goes to Max to tell him she's going to the reservation is worded a bit strangely. Liz tells Max she's going and Max says no. Liz tries to appeal to him saying he saved her life and to let her do this one thing. It appears she wants Max to give her his blessing. Max again says no and Liz says she didn't come for his permission. Then why was she asking for his approval?

Another odd thing about the scene above is Liz asks for the pendant and Max gives it to her. Did Isabel decide she didn't want to wear it anymore or was she wearing it just to get Michael to stare at her chest? (Ok, that was mean.)

Every time we see Isabel wearing the pendant, it has a thin, black cord. When Liz hands the pendant to River Dog, it suddenly is attached to a light brown leather cord. You can get a good shot of this when Eddy returns it to her at the Crashdown with the missing piece.

Michael makes a small continuity error. Waiting for the others to return, Michael proceeds to eat the cake on the counter. He takes the lid off the cake and we see the inside portion facing us. Michael picks up a plate and we get a reaction shot of Maria asking if he is going to pay for it. The shot goes back to Michael who gives a plate with a piece of cake on it to Isabel. Now the cake has turned with the sliced portion away from the camera. There is time for him to turn the cake here but he'd have to be quick about it.

Watching Michael and Isabel put tobasco sauce on the cake, Maria asks "What's with the tobasco sauce?" Isabel says it's their dietary quirk. They all like to balance sweet tasting things with spicy things (putting tobasco on chocolate cake will certainly do that for you!) Maria reacts like it's the first time she has seen this. In fact, it's not. She watched Michael put tobasco sauce on a candy bar at the nookie motel in "285 South" but she didn't comment on it and Michael pulled the bottle out of his pocket. That would surely give someone like Maria pause.

When we first see the above scene, Michael is pacing around upset that everyone else is off doing his "vision quest" and he's waiting around for Max and Liz to come back. Isabel tells him to calm down. Oddly enough, after Isabel leaves (which in itself is odd since she was the one who said they were told to wait there until Max came back) Maria starts to freak out and Michael is the one telling her to "Cool her jets." And if Maria is freaking out, why doesn't she sniff some cypruss seed oil? (In fact, we don't see the cypruss seed oil ever again.)

Does director Jonathon Frakes not believe in steady cams? The entire scene as Eddie takes them to the cave is all wobbly as if the camera guy couldn't get any solid footing. At one point, the camera dips down so far that it cuts off the actor's heads.

Just before Michael kisses Maria, she walks a few steps away from him and behind her, we see the orange glow of the heat lamps over the serving window. If the Café is closed, why are these lamps still on? Talk about an accident waiting to happen!

I wonder if Max has ever used the power to create light before. He does so because he hears someone grab Liz in the dark. Watch Jason Behr's eyes. He looks more at the light in his hands then he does his surroundings. I thought he did it so he could see and save Liz, not to watch his hand glow. Fortunately, River Dog isn't there to hurt them.

Creating the light passes River Dog's test and according to Eddie, he will now answer all of Max's questions. I felt that Max didn't ask enough. Why not ask what "the Man" looked like? Or if he knew anything about the crash and the ship they landed in? The entire ending of the episode just made me feel like Max didn't try hard enough (I'll bet Michael would have complained about that.) When Max asks if they can return, River Dog says there is nothing more he can teach them. Either River Dog is in a hurry or he is just flat out lying because in "Balance" the gang learn about the healing stones from him. Of course, Michael has to get ill for them to be told about them (Actually, as we will see, this sort of thing is right up Nasedo's alley by not letting them find out any secrets until something happens but I'll wait until he appears to discuss that.)

I'll be back soon with a review of Blood Brothers.

#107 Blood Brother - Review

Written by Jerry D.

This episode mostly served the purpose of allowing to observe how secrets can cause pain and do real damage to old friendships, when a trusted friend is excluded from a confidence at the behest of someone else. In this show, Liz was forced to choose between her love for Max and her friendship with Alex, and the results of her choice have sad consequences for both her and Alex.

In the opening scene, Max asks Liz to go for a ride with him, due to the absence of one of their teachers, much to her great delight. He takes her on a ride on a seldom used back road out of town, and she muses about their “perfect moment” together as they listen to a song they both like. Suddenly, a horse jumps out in front of them, and Max swerves to avoid it, and they crash into a ditch. Immediately after the accident, Liz looks over and finds that Max is unconscious, having hit his head on the steering wheel. Max is taken to the hospital, with a worried Liz by his side.

Back at school, Michael runs into Maria, and they seem uncomfortable after the passionate kiss they had shared, and Maria accuses Michael of avoiding her. Just then, Liz calls Maria, and she tells her that she and Max had been in an accident, and Michael grabs the phone. A teacher informs Ms. Topolsky that Max and Liz were in an accident, and she calls one of her operatives, and tells him to get over to the hospital.

Meanwhile, back at the hospital, Isabel and Michael arrive, and they all realize that they have to get the blood sample taken from Max and switch it with someone else’s. Isabel asks Liz to give some blood, but Liz says that they’ll be able to tell male blood from female blood, so Isabel says they’ll need to find a guy, and Liz calls Maria to get Alex to donate. Michael then sneaks into the blood lab to find the vial containing Max’s blood sample, and he observes Topolsky’s operative searching for the vial as well, but the operative is interrupted by the attending nurse before he can find the vial. Back in Max’s hospital room, Isabel takes a blood sample from Alex, and Michael uses his charm to distract the attending nurse while Liz switches the blood samples.

In the hospital waiting room, Liz tells Alex that maybe he should go home, and Michael brusquely orders him to go home, and Alex leaves, clearly hurt. Liz follows him, and tells him that things are complicated, and finally, to get him to stop asking questions, she tells Alex that Max is in drugs, and Alex leaves, not fully believing her. I felt bad for Alex at this point, as it’s very obvious that he cares about Liz as a friend a great deal, and he’s clearly crushed that she’s excluding him from her confidence.

Max wakes up, and he introduces Liz to his mother, and he tells his mother and the attending physician that he feels fine and wants to go home. They all leave, but Michael goes back to retrieve Maria’s purse, and he discovers two of Topolsky’s operatives in Max’s room. Michael goes back and tells a wary Max and Isabel what he had discovered, and that they have to figure out who their enemy is. One of Topolsky’s operatives reports to her and indicates that he thought that Max’s blood was switched. Back at school, Alex talks to a hostile Kyle, who echoes his own sentiments about how much Liz has changed.

In an intriguing game of cat and mouse, Max and Liz set up the agent that is following them, and Maria, Michael and Liz follow him to his hotel room. In a series of amusing exchanges where affection is masked by sarcastic banter between Maria and Michael, they discover a phone number and call it, and Ms. Topolsky answers.

Back at school, the ever wily and devious Ms. Topolsky sits and talks to Alex, and she slips something into his drink, and she tells him in her usual insidious way that she “knows what he did for Max.” Before she can wheedle any information out of him, though, Liz interrupts them, and she tells Alex to stop by her office later. Liz talks to Alex, and she asks him to keep their secret. Alex’s nose starts bleeding thanks to the drug that Topolsky had slipped into his drink, and he rushes off to the bathroom , and stops the blood with a tissue, which he throws into the garbage can. He then leaves, and Topolsky comes along and takes the tissue from the garbage.

Back at the Crash Down Café, in a very amusing “he said, she said,” scene, Michael tells Max and Isabel, and Maria tells Liz, the story of how they discovered that Ms. Topolsky is the spy in their midst. As they individually relate their story, they each give themselves full credit for the discovery, and they discount the role that the other person played, in a clear indication, through their very denial, of the growing affection that they have for one another.

Alex goes to see Ms. Topolsky, and she indicates that she knows he gave blood and lied for Max, and that she can “help” him. She tells him that she wants him to write down everything he knows and sign it. Alex then leaves, clearly troubled. Max then talks to Alex, and thanks him for “saving his life,” and Alex tells Max that Topolsky already knows about him and wants him to write a statement about what happened, but he doesn’t indicate whether or not he had, in fact, done what Topolsky asked.

Alex goes to see Liz at the Crash Down Café at her request, and she tries to salvage their friendship, and she asks him to believe in her and trust her, even though she can’t tell him what he needs to know, and that she’s on the right side. Liz and Alex then set up Topolsky, and they discover that she works for the FBI. Topolsky leaves, but before she does, she warns them that they’re playing games with something very dangerous, and she says that she was “on their side.” She then ominously warns Liz that she hopes that Max doesn’t “end up in the wrong hands” without her there. In a poignant final scene, Alex delivers an ultimatum to Liz that their friendship is over unless she tells him the truth, but Liz sadly informs him that she can’t tell him, so he walks off, crestfallen, leaving Liz to reflect on the choices she’s made.

Overall, I really enjoyed this show, although I thought it didn’t achieve the level of suspense and tenderness that the previous two shows achieved. This episode did allow us to get to know Alex better, however, and it also served as a good illustration about how deception can hurt the people we care about the most.

#107 Blood Brother - Review

Written by Jerry D.

Runaway Train - A Review of "Blood Brothers"
November 25, 1999

"I need one more moment now. One more chance to change directions."

Things are spiraling out of everyone's control in this episode. There are more people than ever involved and on the verge of learning the secret despite the best efforts of the kids to keep things quiet. The choices Liz will have to make are becoming ever clearer, as are the ramifications of those choices. She's finally realizing that trusting and protecting one friend may mean sacrificing not only another friend, but also her own reputation. There are no easy answers here. Writers Barry Pullman and Breen Frazier also vividly outlined for us the moral dilemma Alex is faced with and the equally strong influences of friendship, loyalty and conscience.

Random Thoughts:
This episode delved into the bonds of friendship and the impacts of hiding parts of your life from the people who love you. I was pleased to see Alex involved in the story finally. Colin Hanks gave us a great performance, giving Alex much more depth and dimension than we've seen from this character in the past. The scenes between Liz and Alex were some of the best in the episode. He is clearly torn between his loyalty to her and his need to do what he believes is the right thing.

It seems to me that Alex is much more dangerous to them feeling left out and hurt than he would be if he knew their secret. As the situation stands now, he is reacting out of hurt, and that makes him an unknown quantity. He's much more likely to keep his mouth shut if he feels he is being trusted.

Interesting that both Alex and Kyle seem so willing to believe that Liz is involved with drugs, and that she would be willing to cover up for someone using them. She doesn't strike me as the type. Even if that's the only logical story to explain the blood switch, it seems to me that Liz has grounds for some hurt feelings herself that her friends are so quick to jump to that conclusion.

Liz was on the right track with Alex, taking everything except their friendship out of the equation. But she should have gone a little further and asked him to understand that this wasn't her secret to tell and she has bonds of trust with other people that he has to respect. He certainly would expect to be able to trust her not to share his secrets with her other friends, but I don't think he's thought about it in those terms. As it stands now, Liz is pretty much in a lose-lose situation.

Topolsky has been very clever in the way she used Alex's isolation to manipulate him. She said all the right things, but didn't count on the strength of his loyalty to Liz. Too bad she wasn't quite clever enough to keep from having her cover blown. I'd love to be a fly on that wall when she has to explain to her superior how a high school sophomore was able to hack into the encrypted FBI logs she's been sending and blow her cover. I get a certain satisfaction in that.


  • The added character development for Alex was long overdue. He's been an underused character up to this point and it was high time we got a little insight into what makes him tick and into the dynamics of his relationship with Liz.
  • Michael flirting with the nurse to divert suspicion was pure Michael. You just gotta love that guy.
  • The whole scene in the hotel room with Michael and Maria, with Michael doing exactly what Maria was suggesting while trying to make it appear that it was all his idea. And while we're on that one, remind me never to call Maria the next time I need a baby-sitter. It's a little frightening that she makes a habit of going through the garbage of the families she baby-sits.
  • I noticed with interest that Michael is no longer in flight mode. It was good to see him want to stay and fight instead of run away. Could it be he has more of a reason to stick around than ever?
  • I loved the scene where Liz meets Max's mother for the first time and the sweet look exchanged between Max and Liz. Although I did wonder why Mrs. Evans singled Liz out for an introduction and not Maria. Mother's intuition?
  • I got a kick out of the irony of Miss Topolsky using a coffee cup from the UFO Center. How appropriate.
  • I like the closer relationship we're seeing between Liz and Max. It was nice to have an opportunity to see them just enjoying being young and together and 'normal' for a change. Their relationship is progressing nicely and it's evident they are moving beyond the shy awkwardness of past episodes. I like the development and growth we're seeing there.
  • Isabel's continuing exasperation with the flirtation going on between Michael and Maria is funny and very sisterly.
  • I like that Alex didn't offer up any information to Topolsky even though he was feeling used and hurt and in danger of serious repercussions himself.
  • Director David Nutter offered us a well constructed scene at the Crashdown after discovering Topolsky's phone number in the trash at the motel. The ping-ponging back and forth between Liz and Maria and the trio at the table was very well delivered and entertaining. As were the differing viewpoints of what actually transpired there from Michael and Maria.
  • Anyone else notice how popular Mrs. Deluca's blow-up aliens seem to be at the UFO Center? She's doing a booming business.
  • The SWAT music accompanying the FBI agents as they attempted to retrieve Max's blood was a nice touch, I thought.
  • Dislikes:

    • My first and most major dislike about this episode was how contrived the whole situation with Alex seemed. I just don't buy the premise that they couldn't have used Liz's blood because they would have been able to tell the difference between male and female blood. I think it's unlikely that they would have done the extensive testing that would have been required to determine gender for a simple head injury. So the need to call Alex in was extremely contrived, in my opinion.
    • I know I said that I wanted more smiling and laughing, but was that forced laugh while walking with Max the best Liz could do? They need some work on appearing natural and casual.
    • How convenient that Topolsky answers her phone using her name.
    • I found myself wondering that if Topolsky has had that handy little nose-bleed drug all this time, why hasn't she used it on Max or Michael or Isabel? It's possible they would have been careful enough to flush their tissues, but it's also possible they wouldn't have expected someone to slip them the nose-bleeder and been careless.
    • If they went to all the trouble to show viewers a real prefix for Topolsky's phone number instead of the infamous 555, they should have at least done their homework a little better. 505-437 is an Alamogordo prefix, which is about 120 miles away from Roswell and certainly not a local call.
    • I had a little trouble with Maria sending Michael back for her purse. Why wouldn't she just have gone back for it herself? Oh, right…because then Michael wouldn't have been able to ID the FBI agents collecting evidence from Max's bedside.
    • What ever happened to the forcefield on the Jeep? Liz's hair was actually flying around in the wind this time. Although it was exceedingly neat and tidy at the hospital for someone who had just been driving with the top down and been in a car accident to boot. Are we supposed to believe she took the time to groom herself in the ambulance?
    • West Roswell High certainly goes all out to keep their guidance counselors in the loop on student activities. I have a hard time believing the principal would rush immediately to the guidance counselor with news of a student car accident.
    • And speaking of the car accident, why wouldn't the sheriff have been all over that? He was conspicuous in his absence in this situation.

    Favorite Quotes:

    Michael: "I heard you saved Mr. Ed."

    Maria: "Relax. God, you guys act like I've never tailed someone before."
    Isabel: "Subtle. He'll never notice us going backwards."

    • Maria: "This is the second time you've dragged me into some cheap motel."
      Michael: "Yeah, well, don't spread it around; you'll ruin my reputation."

      Maria: "How long is this going to last, us waiting out here like this?"
      Michael: "Why? You got a date?"
      Maria: "Maybe."
      Isabel: "You know, I'm the one that should be complaining stuck out here with you two."

      Liz: "Maybe you could stay for dinner. You know, Blue Moon burger, Saturn rings and a Mercury milkshake for $3.99."
      Max: "Sounds tempting."

      • Maria: "You know, um, toiletries say a lot about a man, which, by the way, you should take note of, but I am guessing you'll have more luck by the phone."
      • Maria: "Keep looking, Sherlock."

        Maria: "Listen, any baby-sitter worth her salt knows that the best place to look is in the garbage can. It's always revealing."

        Maria: "Anyway, so Spaceboy was looking at this guy's aftershave, so I told him to look in the trash because, you know, that's where you find the best trash."

        Maria: "Clear as a bell, no mistake, that's right. Miss Topolsky, all American guidance counselor and big, fat liar."

        Michael: "Never trust a blonde."

        Michael: "Stick a fork in us, Maxwell, we're done."

        Max: "Liz told him we were into drugs, just to get him to stop asking questions."
        Isabel: "Great. That will be a lot easier to explain to Mom and Dad."

        I give this episode 2.75 UFOs out of 5. A passable episode if you overlook the plot holes.

#107 Blood Brother - Review

Written by LSS

Blood Brothers highlights both Alex's loyalty to his friends and his growing unease with their guardedness and secrecy. It also makes some interesting statements (while raising some intriguing questions) about alien physiology and biology.


Viewing Blood Brothers reminds us of how little we really know about our alien teens' physical constitutions. Isabel tells her human companions that "we" don't get sick. Should the viewing audience understand by this proclamation simply that our podsters have never been ill--that they've never needed a doctor? Or does her statement have more far reaching implications? Is she saying that, by their nature, their alien bodies are impervious to all earthly disease? If the latter, then hopefully the source of such immunity will be explained in the coming episodes, for it is not at all self-explanatory given the world of Science Fiction.

Aliens in human environments have not always faired as well as our podsters. In H.G. Well's classic War of the Worlds, for example, it is precisely terrestrial germs that do what the United States military fail to accomplish--they bring down the Martians!! To be alien and be impervious to human germs requires either a natural or engineered immunity or a physical constitution so different from that of humankind that germs, etc. can't live in it. Are our alien's internal systems designed to ward off earthly sicknesses? Or are earthly diseases too "alien" to affect their "not-of- this-earth bodies?

Of course, even if our aliens can't get "sick" they can be hurt--as our episode so poignantly reveals. Immunity to disease does not make Max invulnerable to injury or trauma. (It should also be remembered that in River Dog, Max reports that Isabel had sunstroke all of August [while they were on vacation] and that Max himself had sprained his ankle on the shuffleboard court [hard to imagine shuffleboard being that dangerous of a sport, isn't it?]) Thus, if even our aliens don't get colds, they are susceptible to the bruises / cuts (see Leaving Normal where poor Max gets beaten up) and the sprains / injuries that befall us lesser humans!


Prior to this episode, our knowledge of alien biology is limited to Liz's discovery in the Pilot episode--that Max's cells on his pencil do not match the cells she took from her own mouth. Our gang's concern with Max's blood sample in Blood Brothers, reminds us once again that, although our aliens look "human," there are real biological differences. Curiously these differences center in the blood rather than our teens' vital organs/life signs. At various times in this episode, for instance, the Paramedics report blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, etc. without causing undo alarm (undo, that is, for a trauma victim). It is only the request for blood tests that causes panic among our teens--and result in Alex's "donation" to the hospital's blood vials! Admittedly, Max is not too keen on staying for the MRI the next day, but it is unclear as to whether it is the examination or spending the night in the hospital that he wants to avoid.

From a Science Fiction point of view the similarity between the external/internal make-up of our aliens and that of humankind in general is perplexing. The aliens that inhabit the fantastic worlds of Science Fiction come in all different shapes, colors, and constitutions (i.e., non-carbon based entities [silicon based beings], aliens of pure energy, interdimensional aliens). But rarely do we encounter "human" aliens. To posit that the evolutionary direction on two different planets (with their ecological and cultural differences) would evolve along almost identical lines strains the imagination.

In Science Fiction when humans make contact with aliens who are basically human, it can mean that: 1) in the past, earth was an colony (or the center) of a civilization that somehow got cut off from the rest due to some natural catastrophe or intergalactic conflict (the colony [or center] then forgets their origins and technology and seeds a new civilization on earth); or 2) the human looking aliens chosen for first contact are genetically altered to look human because humankind is earth's highest and most successful life form; or 3) the aliens only appear to be like humans--in fact, the form that human see is either (a) a mental projection, or (b) is a form into which the alien morphs to allay the fears/apprehensions of (or simply to deceive) the humans with whom they come into contact. There are other plot solutions, of course, but these give you a sample of how Science Fiction writers deal with humans coming into contact with "human" aliens.

Why is Max so human? Why are his life signs normal? And why isn't his blood? If Max's human form functions as camouflage (allowing him to mix with earth's population) then why is it so incomplete? Why is his blood--a fairly easy indicator of his alien identity, left so--"alien"? So susceptible to discovery?

And what about that record recovery time Max experiences? Are we to think some kind of regenerative powers at work on a non-voluntary level? Does Max "heal himself" as he lays in the hospital? Or was his head injury not that serious?

Blood Brothers alerts us, on a physiological level as well as a biological one, of what we have known all along--that while Max looks human and experiences human emotions--he is also different. Just what part of Max (besides his blood) is truly "alien" and what that ultimately will signify for the human relationships in our story, has yet to be seen.

#107 Blood Brother - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

This is another critical episode. In order to keep Max from being discovered, the gang brings in poor Alex to help and must keep him totally in the dark. It's all done quite well too. The drama builds right up to the end where Alex demands to know what is going on.

The secret of the aliens is starting to take its toll on Liz. It's costing her friends. It would have put a rift between her and Maria if she hadn't told her and then it soured her relationship with Kyle. Now it has formed a huge rift between her and Alex. You know, this whole thing could have been avoided if Liz and Maria would stop acting so strangely. In fact, if they would quit talking about it in PUBLIC it would also be easy to avoid all this sneaking around. The whole thing couldn't have been easy for Liz but I kept telling myself it would have been easier if Liz had asked Alex just to trust her from the beginning. Instead, she chose to lie to him and say it was drugs. If I were given the choice of lying to a friend or asking them to just trust me, I'd choose the latter. But Liz doesn't come off as a particularly good liar so what she did was in character for her.

Even though he says otherwise in "Monsters", I believe this is the first time Max actually "steps out from behind his tree" and takes Liz on an outing. It's the first indication that he really does want to pursue a relationship with her. It's too bad that in an episode or two, Max will back off from this and go right back behind the tree.

One can't help but smile at the way Michael and Maria react to one another through this whole episode. I was especially fond of their dialog in the car as they spied on the FBI agent at his motel. Each one added a nice touch to their characters as Moss leaves his hotel room. Maria says the agent will never leave his room. Then the guy leaves. Michael looks at her matter-of-fact-ably with "Never?" and Maria just smirks at him. Isabel's reaction to this exchange was priceless. It's easy to see that these two characters add to a lot of fun that is in Roswell. I can't help but picture the two together having a heated argument and at the moment when they are about to really let each other have it, end up in a passion filled kiss. These types make for the most interesting relationships but they are also the hardest to make work all of the time which is what we see happening and it continues to develop as the season goes on (of course, we all know what happens between these two.)

There is nothing really significant with Isabel in this episode other then enjoying watching her unease at having to endure the aforementioned "terrible two."

Poor Alex. Can you imagine having to do the things he was asked to do in this episode and not be told why? While many may have felt that Alex was harsh with Liz at the end, I don't blame him one bit. Now he has something in common with Kyle. Neither feels that they can trust Liz but because we are sympathetic to Alex, we don't label him as the enemy for doing so. Kyle's not bad. He just doesn't like the way Liz appears to be using him.

There is no date in Liz's journal entries in this episode so there is no way to tell how this episode fits into the timeline. I'll hold off until I get another date before adding this episode to the list. However, the episode does last three days. Day one begins with the accident and Max leaving the hospital that night. It ends where he learns about Agent Moss being at the hospital from Michael. Day two details the surveillance of Moss at his motel. Alex wears a shirt with the number 39 on it during this scene. Wardrobe changes signify the passing to day three where the episode ends.

Everyone in the gang skips school in this episode. Liz and Max are the first. Max says that with Mrs. Hardy having the stomach flu and the fact that they both have fifth period lunch means they have two free hours so they leave to go on a joyride. Excuse me? Just because a teacher is sick does not mean you don't have to go to class. That is why they invented substitute teachers! At the very least, Topolsky could have filled in for the rest of the day. Now in college, if the teacher doesn't show up, you can leave class with no penalty. This is more evidence that Katims may have had college kids in mind and not high school originally.

Also, at my high school, we had what was called a closed campus. Once you arrived in the morning, unless you had permission to do so, you did not leave until the end of seventh period. If you did, you were truant and the school could get in big trouble because they are responsible for your well being during school hours. I checked around and all the local high schools in my area are that way as well. Can you really just leave Roswell High whenever you want? That's just wrong folks.

Shortly after I posted this review, I began receiving emails from readers who say that this isn't so wrong after all. Tetjani Hessami was the first. Tetjani tells me that in her school in Michigan has an "open campus" and "open campus hours." As long as you had permission from your parents and the proper ID tag, you were allowed to come and go as you like. This included lunch hour too. Reader Missy said that sometimes, the security guards at the front door would even wave goodbye to you as you left. I must have gone to a very strict high school (that would explain the orange jumpsuit with the number on the back I had to wear.)

Michael, Maria, and Isabel also skip school. During surveillance of Agent Moss, we go to a cut scene with Max and Liz at school. Liz makes the statement that she has to cover for Maria in English class. So school is going on during this outing! The school's administration is ranking up there in incompetence rivaled only by the idiocy of the FBI.

Alex may also have skipped to go to the hospital with Maria but this is one time when getting an excuse to leave would not have been a problem.

Also, in "Monsters", Maria finds Liz by the bulletin board after class and asks what she is doing and wonders if it has anything to do with Max having fourth period P.E. In this episode, Max says his English teacher is out sick and that the have fifth period lunch. Did Max change his class schedule?

Max forgets to turn on his wind force field during the drive with Liz. Her hair whips around in the wind quite fiercely. Shiri Appleby usually has the same kind of hairstyle where the hair to the sides of her forehead is brushed back while the hair on the side of her head comes down over it. That might not be a very accurate description but those that know hair know what I'm talking about. After the accident, look at her hair. It is hanging free with the hair on her sides knocked loose. This makes sense. She was just tossed about violently. But after the opening credits and they are in the ambulance, look at her hair. It's been re-styled! My, those paramedics are thorough!

Of course, the whole premise of this episode could have been avoided if Max would have worn his seatbelt. There's another important plot point like this one that is a little blatant. Maria sends Michael back to get her purse in the hospital so that he can recognize Agent Moss. The creators try to cover this by making Maria play the "damsel in distress" to try to persuade Michael to get her purse for her. The whole bit made me think "What's wrong with your legs Maria?"

When medical matters are used in television, the creators for the most part try to be as accurate as they can. However, Roswell is not ER so there are tons of errors in the hospital scenes. For help, I enlisted the aid of my mother who holds an associate degree as a nurse practitioner. (Thanks mom!!)

Liz tells Isabel that they cannot use her blood to switch with Max's blood sample because they can tell male blood from female blood. Mom tells me that this is true. If you do a chromosome test, you can identify the XX configuration for males and the XY configuration for females. However, this test is not standard procedure on blood samples unless you are doing it to test for genetic disorders. The person taking the blood will mark on the label male or female when they take the sample. A head injury does not get the chromosome test so it is possible that they COULD have used a blood sample from Liz and gotten away it. The FBI might have been a bit more thorough in their test as all the hospital would have done was determine the blood type and white blood cell count. (Maybe. The FBI doesn't exactly rank up there as the best and the brightest in the first place.)

Watching Isabel use her power to increase the speed at which the blood vial fills had me say outloud "That had to hurt." Mom said that the method used to get Alex's blood sample is called a vacuum needle. The needle itself is standard but the small glass vial is vacuum sealed. When the needle breaks the rubber seal, the escaping pressure in the vial pulls the blood into it. The patient's pulse and the structure of the vein used also play a factor in the speed that the vial fills. Sometimes it's slow, sometimes it's fast but no where near as fast as we see here. Mom said it was possible that at that speed, Isabel could have collapsed Alex's vein! The most it would have done is give Alex a large bruise on his arm but a quick heal might have fixed that. Quite lucky it works out for Nurse Isabel.

The paramedic gave Max's blood pressure as 124 over 84. Mom said that is normal. Kudos for accuracy on that one.

Mom immediately commented on the fact that Agent Moss, who nurse Susan identified as a medic, was able to get inside the blood lab. In a hospital, the blood lab is a high security area and you must have security clearance just to enter it. Medics do not get this clearance. One of my local hospitals, St. John's, has a keycard entry just to open the door because it is electronically locked and the cards themselves do not leave the building. In this episode, the door is wide open for anyone just to walk in. Mom said that Susan should have called security or at the very least, informed the chief resident doctor on duty of this breach of security immediately! The same thing applied to Michael being in there as well. And during this whole scene, the door is again wide open! Susan should have promptly thrown him out.

I also asked Mom if they usually keep large amounts of blood vials just sitting about on open counters like the ones seen here. She said that while there are certain tests done that require the blood to be refrigerated, for the most part, what we see in this episode (aside from the wide open door) is just about what you would see in your run-of-the-mill blood lab. Kudos for accuracy again!

Mom said that the word "Vacutube" seen on the labels of the vials is a real brand name. Cool!

One of the other odd things I asked mom about was Alex's bloody nose. Topolsky drops a pill or a powder into Alex's drink (the quality of my tape is a little poor so I can't tell which one it is) and after a little less then two minutes of constant dialog, Alex gets a bloody nose. I asked mom if there was something that actually worked that fast. Mom said she didn't think anything could work that fast. There are chemicals out there that will give you a nosebleed but they are all poisonous. For example, arsenic, a fatal poison, will give you a nosebleed after it is ingested. But ingestion of most poisons is usually followed by severe vomiting. So what the heck did Topolsky put in Alex's drink??

Did you notice the sunlight shining in through the open shutters as nurse Susan looked into the microscope? Mom said that the light would have rendered the microscope almost useless.

Thanks again to my mom for all of this information!

That nurse Susan. She's a strange one. As Michael begins to ask her out, she says "You seem a bit young." We don't know Michael's age at this point but 16 or 17 isn't that bad of a guess. After Michael switches the vials, she tells him to come back when he turns 18. Isn't that STILL a bit young for her or was she was she really getting into the whole "age doesn't matter" thing Michael was talking about?

Liz has got to have the worst fake laugh in the known galaxy. Watch the scene where Max tells her to laugh while watching to see if Moss is following them (in his "avoidable" black suit no less) and tell me that laugh is believable.

There seems to be a thing with numbers in this episode but I don't understand their meaning. Alex's shirt on day two has the number 39 on it. A reflection of the number 110 can be seen in the glass as Liz and Max head into the UFO Center. A "Blue Moon burger, Saturn rings, and a Mercury milkshake" cost $3.99 (though it says $3.95 on the marker board at the Café) and Agent Moss's motel room is 104. If these numbers have a hidden meaning, it's lost on me.

Maria describes Agent Moss as "avoidable." Just what does she mean? If anything, a guy walking down the street in a black suit and sunglasses would make me say "Hey buddy! Do you know Agent J and K?" (From the movie "Men in Black" in case you don't get the joke.)

As the trio duck down to avoid letting Agent Moss see them as he drives by, from the view outside through the windshield, Michael is ducked down and completely hidden as his head drops below the dashboard. When the shot changes to a view from the backseat, Michael's head is considerably higher. High enough that Moss could have seen him if he was looking. Get down buddy!

When entering the hotel room, Michael uses his powers to unlock the door. I believe this is a first for Michael. The most we've seen him do is melt the lock on Valenti's window in "Morning After" but that's different. Maybe he's been practicing.

While searching Moss's bathroom, Michael sniffs the agent's deodorant. What the heck was he doing? Working on those bloodhound instincts in case he was followed again? I'd hate to think that this could have led to a number of incidents in future episodes where Michael would say "We're in danger Max. I can smell it."

It's in character for Maria to know how to snoop around someone's house. I can't see her actually going through someone's garbage though. Not without a clothespin on her nose and rubber gloves on her hands.

In another example of ineptitude on the part of Topolsky and the FBI, Moss writes down her phone number and then throws it away. Shouldn't her number be a secret and not casually discarded? And does it also make sense Topolsky would answer her cell phone with her name? Why not some sort of code name in case of a wrong number if her phone is not public which it appears to be. Look at it like this: you're an FBI agent working undercover. You're supposed to be covert. Would you use a public cell phone to speak to your agents in the field? I say to you "Nay." Of course, if she did take all of these precautions, it would have been a short show.

Great lines this episode:

"Well, he'll never notice us going backwards." -Isabel as Maria accidentally puts her car into reverse.

"Heard you saved Mr. Ed." -Michael to Max.

"This is the second time you've dragged me to cheap motel." -Maria.

I'm not sure this next one is intentional but if it is, it only makes it all the more hilarious. As Topolsky walks into the men's room to get the bloody kleenex Alex tossed in the trash, over her head you can see the letters from an anti-smoking sign. Her head blocks out all but the words on the top of the poster. They say "This looks cool."

Liz drops a note in Alex's locker telling him to meet her at the Crashdown presumably after school (it's not like these kids can't just leave whenever they want to.) It's still day three since they are both wearing the same clothes from the previous scene and the sun is still up. It's probably around 4 or 5 PM but the Crashdown is empty! No waitresses to be seen either. The door isn't locked because Alex just walks right in so it can't be closed. It's almost dinner time! Why is the Café empty?

Topolsky has one of the most unusual computers but it seems to fit with the silliness that the FBI is portrayed with in the show. I don't consider any of these items as a suggestion that Alex is some kind of super hacker. I think the creators were just not tech savy when they wrote the scene.

First of all, she walks out of her office to speak to Liz and leaves her laptop on. Now folks, this is probably the most boneheaded move she has ever made (but one of those necessary plot points (wink, wink.)) Depending on what kind of operating software she is using, she should have hit a key and locked out her laptop. Windows 2000 has this feature. It requires an administration password to get back into the computer once it is locked. In a school full of teenagers, this would be a handy feature!

The next odd thing is the interface. Instead of clicking an icon, Alex types in "requesting on-line internet service." I've never in my life seen such a computer interface like that (except in some science fiction movies) but despite how unusual that is, the modem clicks on and dials. And it does so without having a phone line connected to it. Cellular modem maybe?

Once Alex is connected, he changes Topolsky's password to get online. What kind of self respecting security program allows you to change the password without first entering the old one? And how would Alex have known her password anyway?

Alex then types in "requesting email received." (Do you think that if he typed "Requesting picture of Pamela Anderson", a picture of the Baywatch star would appear?) He finds nothing and types in "requesting email sent" and the computer begins downloading and encrypting the files. The email programs I am familiar with keep a record of the emails they send locally on the computer they are sent from. The person receiving them do not normally get this information though it's possible to store a log of email activity on a network server. This is one odd system she's using. Don't you think that there would be more password prompts to do anything of that nature for security reasons? And why is the computer encrypting the files it's downloading? Isn't Alex wanting to read the files? Why make it so you can't read them once you get them?

Confronted with all of this and the nifty little FBI logo on the laptop screen, Topolsky gives up saying "Just because you know who I am doesn't mean anything." Just what do they know? The FBI logo could have been Topolsky's homepage. On most browsers, you can set that to be anything you want. Instead of trying to cover for herself by saying "Alex, what are you doing using my computer to go to the FBI webpage?" Topolsky feels her cover is blown. Come on lady!! Try a little harder here! Instead, she packs up and leaves. Welp, see ya!

I may have found more things in this episode then I did "River Dog" but I enjoyed this episode a whole lot more. Next comes "Heat Wave." Stay tuned.

#108 Heat Wave - Review

Written by Jerry D.

This episode explored the romantic side of the stories of the characters of Roswell to an unprecedented degree, and it also introduced Maria’s mother as a character on the show, foreshadowing her role as a possible love interest for Sheriff Valenti.

This episode opens up during a heat wave, and Liz is doing the books and Maria is cleaning up at the Crash Down. Suddenly, Michael appears at the door, and Maria opens it, and they passionately embrace while being surreptitiously observed by Liz.

At school, Liz observes the effect of the heat wave, as many people are “coupled” up, including Kyle and Vicky Delaney, his apparent new girlfriend. Vicky invites Liz to a party that is being held at a deserted soap factory that weekend, and Liz accepts, much to Kyle’s dismay. Suddenly, Liz observes Sheriff Valenti talking to Alex. Valenti then questions Alex about Ms. Topolsky, who has apparently disappeared. Liz then goes to report this to Max, and that she hasn’t been able to talk to Alex about it. She then asks Max if he’s noticed anything different about Michael’s behavior lately, and Max expresses alarm about the possibility of Michael and Maria “hooking up,” much to Liz’s disappointment.

At the school Sheriff Valenti runs into Amy DeLuca, Maria’s mother, who had been summoned to school by Ms. Topolsky. She reacts in a simultaneously hostile and interested way in him, and it is very obvious that there is some type of history between them. Liz runs into Alex, and he expresses anger and hurt towards her, and he once again asks her to reveal her secret, and she replies that the secret isn’t hers to tell. She then asks him what he said to Valenti, and he replies that the secret isn’t his to tell. I can definitely understand the hurt that Alex feels, but I can also understand the feelings of helplessness on Liz’s part as she tries to protect Max, the person she loves, at the expense of her friendship with Alex, who is someone she cares about deeply.

In the rest rooms at school, Liz and Maria, and Max and Michael talk about the escalating relationship between Michael and Maria, and Michael and Maria each talk about their feelings for the other person. Liz and Max both urge caution, and Michael and Maria both exhibit confused and conflicted feelings towards their relationship.

Sheriff Valenti goes to see Amy in the Crash Down, and apologizes for arresting her years before at a protest demonstration, telling her he singled her out to be arrested because she was “cute.” Oddly enough, she appears flattered by this revelation, while saying that she’s “outraged.”

On the school campus, Liz talks to Isabel and asks her why she’s afraid to move forward in a relationship, and Isabel replies that natural fear that anyone has to open themselves up to another person is magnified 100 times in her situation. Isabel then questions Liz about what is going on with Alex, and Liz replies that she doesn’t know, since Alex won’t talk to her or Maria. Isabel then tells Liz that she’ll “look into it,” in an obvious allusion to her ability to visit people in their dreams. That night, Isabel enters Alex’s dream, and to her great confusion and surprise, she finds out that Alex genuinely cares for her. In Alex’s dream, Alex is dressed up in a tuxedo, and he dances with the dream Isabel, and he tells her that beneath her beautiful exterior, there is a beautiful interior that she is afraid to show. This greatly disturbs the real Isabel as she observes this dream, revealing, once again, that there is a vulnerable soul beneath the seemingly apathetic front that Isabel reveals to the world as a form of self protection.

Max questions Isabel about Alex’s dream, and she responds evasively, obviously afraid to reveal her own conflicted feelings, even to Max. The next scene finds Michael telling Max that his relationship with Maria is spiraling out of control. Max then goes to see Liz, and she tells him that in light of Michael and Maria’s relationship, she doesn’t understand why they can’t start a relationship. Max responds that he couldn’t bear to hurt her, and she sweetly replies that it’s not his choice, and they are about to kiss, when they’re interrupted by Liz’s teacher. Isabel then asks Alex to meet her at the party that evening, much to Alex’s bewilderment and delight.

At the party, Alex meets up with Isabel, and they go and talk. During their conversation, he misinterprets her statement that she feels he can be trusted as a ploy on her part to find out what he said to Sheriff Valenti, and he walks off, angry and hurt, much to Isabel’s concern and dismay. Maria attempts to talk to Michael about why he’s been avoiding her, and he rejects her, leaving her deeply hurt.

Meanwhile, Sheriff Valenti is out on a date with Amy, and it seems to be going well until he’s interrupted by a phone call, and he has to break the date, but it’s very obvious that there’s a mutual attraction between these two characters, setting the stage for some intriguing story line twists in the future.

A fire starts at the party, and Sheriff Valenti uses the disturbance as an excuse to arrest Liz and Alex under the pretext that they were holding bottles of liquor that someone gave them as they rushed out. Max and Isabel are greatly concerned, and Isabel indicates that they should have told Alex the truth about them, saying that she has a “feeling about Alex,” revealing the growing attraction that she has towards this warm and kind character. In the jail, everyone who is arrested is freed except for Liz and Alex, and it is obvious that Valenti is attempting to strong arm one or both of them into revealing everything that they know. Alex expresses hostility towards Liz, and she tearfully breaks down and tells him the truth about Max, Michael and Isabel. I wish that she had also told Alex that Max had saved her life, but I was glad that she finally took Alex into her confidence. Alex is skeptical at this revelation, but he appears glad that Liz has told him the truth. Sheriff Valenti then appears, and Alex tells him off in a courageous and forthright way, threatening a lawsuit, and Valenti is forced to let them both go.

In the final scene, Liz is in her room, musing that it’s probably just as well that her and Max didn’t give in to their feelings and kiss, when suddenly Max comes to see her. He then breaks down admits his feelings towards her, and he ends his conversation by kissing her, sweetly and passionately. They then melt in each others arms in one of the most passionate and romantic embraces that I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness. Ah romance!

Overall, I enjoyed this show immensely, and I thought the burgeoning romantic relationships of the characters were handled in an emotionally satisfying and realistic way.

#108 Heat Wave - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Pairing up and Moving Forward - A Review of 'Heat Wave
December 2, 1999

"It's kinda funny, isn't it, how people have started pairing up and moving forward?"

Heat Wave offered a delightful blend of gentle humor and insightful character study that was presented with flair by writer Jason Katims. As the citizens of Roswell paired up, he offered us a peek into the inner workings of all the main characters in this episode and we took away a more in-depth understanding of what makes them who they are.

Each couple had their own set of problems to deal with and it was interesting to see the different paths they each followed to resolution.

Random Thoughts:
The contrast of Michael and Maria's relationship meltdown to Max and Liz's step forward was handled nicely. Michael and Maria's headlong rush into intimacy may not have worked out so well for them, but it did serve as a catalyst for Max to finally re-evaluate his relationship with Liz. We could see him struggle with the information about Michael and Maria and what that situation meant in terms of the closely guarded limits he had placed on himself. It was apparent yet again, that Max feels the need to take responsibility for everyone he cares about. He needed Liz's reminder that it's not his place to decide for her whether or not she's willing to deal with the hurt they may have to face as a consequence of involvement.

The allusion to Romeo and Juliet in the final balcony scene was a subtle and bittersweet reminder that the path to true love may not be smooth for these two, but young love is strong and enduring.

By the same token, I wouldn't be surprised if Michael finds his decision to remain a loner a bit harder to live with now that he's let Maria under his skin. He may want to believe it was only physical, but I think she made a bigger impression than he is allowing himself to consider.

Director Patrick Norris excels at scenes that transition from one setting to another and incorporate the same story. The opening sequence back and forth between the Crashdown and Liz's home gave us everything we needed without words. The scene in the two bathrooms meshed together nicely and offered us both sides of the same situation and the perspectives of all involved.

I think the pairing of Isabel and Alex has a lot of potential as well. Alex is a strong, loyal person and I think Isabel would benefit a lot from his presence in her life. She needs someone to put her first because of the person she is and not because of what she looks like or because she's family. Despite her apparent popularity at school, we've seen she's longing for someone with which to make a connection. The two men in her life she's always depended on, now have their attention turned elsewhere and Alex would fill that void quite well.

Interesting to note that Alex didn't seem to have any problem with Isabel being involved in the whole hospital cover-up. Of course, Liz and Maria would get the brunt of his anger and disappointment because he felt personally betrayed by them. But for all his condemnation for Liz wanting to be involved with Max, it didn't seem to affect his desire to be with Isabel. It wasn't until he felt Isabel used him that his opinion of her dimmed.

On an unrelated note: Did anyone else think "Got Milk?" when Liz opened the refridgerator?

Dislikes were few and far between for me in this episode.

  • Max and Liz really need to stop apologizing to each other. It's been established that Max believes he's messed up Liz's life and Liz believes she's messed up Max's life. The regret is apparent. Can we please stop with the apologies now?
  • I had a hard time believing that the sheriff would have released Liz and Alex just because Alex demanded it. The parents had already been contacted and agreed that they should stay overnight and they had been breaking the law. Whether they had been drinking the alcohol or not, they were in posession of it at the time of the arrest. I'm not a lawyer, but it seems to me that those circumstances gave the sheriff every right to hold them at least overnight, regardless of whether he had another agenda or not.
  • But the only big fault I could find with this episode was that I disliked the fact that Liz was the one to tell Alex the truth. Of course, once they were in jail and Liz was faced with the choice of Alex spilling the beans or revealing the truth to him, it made sense that she would be the one to tell him. But I believe it would have been a stronger story if Isabel had been the one to further explore the trust she is beginning to feel for him and been the one to let him in on the secret. It's her secret to tell, after all. I think it would have given a great opportunity for character development for Isabel and still allowed Liz to keep the promises she's been making to Max and the others. Unless that broken promise is going to figure into the future story, I would much rather they hadn't taken her character there and had her compound the problem by not telling Max what she'd done.


  • This was a great episode for Isabel. We were treated to another aspect of her in this episode and it was wonderful to discover a little more about her instead of just that she's frightened. The dream sequence was a beautiful scene. Kudos to Katherine Heigl for the study in vulnerability she presented while watching her dream self dancing with Alex and discovering there is more to him than meets the eye.
  • It was fun to watch how flustered Isabel got when trying to explain to Max what she'd seen in Alex's dream. I would hazard a guess that the ice princess doesn't fluster easily over the interest of the opposite sex and it was revealing that she didn't quite know how to process what she'd discovered about him. She doesn't appear to have a lot of experience with a male who is interested in what's below the surface beauty.
  • I really enjoyed Isabel and Liz bonding over nail polish. It's nice to see them forging bonds of friendship.
  • I did appreciate the symmetry of Liz using the same imagery Max used with her when trying to explain to Alex where they came from. And his response was entertaining as well.
  • Diane Farr gave a nice performance as Amy Deluca. She makes a good addition to the supporting cast. I found myself hoping the sheriff is really interested in her and not just trying to dig up new information. Although the idea of Kyle and Maria as potential step-siblings could really throw a wrench in everyone's works.
  • The opening scene was steamy and very effective in setting the tone for the rest of the episode. The lack of dialogue worked extremely well. Words would have ruined the effect. Norris left us with a series of impressions that were infused with the intensity that builds in the heat and that intensity continued throughout the remainder of the episode.
  • Isabel continually unbuttoning Alex's shirts was a cute touch.
  • Alex continues to display surprising strength when threatened. His spirit when confronted by Topulski in the last episode and Sheriff Valenti in this one proves that.
  • As always, the scenes between Max and Liz were wonderful. They were honest and sweet; alternating between passionate and fun. I'm always struck by the incredible tenderness with which Max treats Liz, and it was extremely evident in this episode. And it just doesn't get any better than the final scene, in my romantic opinion.
  • But the highlight of this episode for me was the opportunity we were given to see inside Max's soul. Simply stated, I loved every scene that gave us the chance to know him better. We were allowed, not only to see the real cause of the fear that has been holding him back from Liz, but also the process of coming to terms with it, and moving beyond it. Jason Behr was outstanding in this episode. Well done.

I give this episode 5 UFOs out of 5. This was the best episode to date, in my opinion.

Favorite Quotes:

Max: "Are you saying there's something going on between Michael and Maria?"
Liz: "No, I'm not saying that. But would it be so bad if there was?"
Max: "Yes! (pause) I mean, I don't know."

Alex: "What do you want from me, Liz? More blood? A urine sample? How about my kidney?"

Michael: "I hate to break it to you, Max, but when I'm feeling urges, you're not exactly the first person I think of."

Isabel: "He's a complex individual with a lot of complexities."

Michael: "Like suddenly the eraser room isn't enough."


Teacher: "Liz, how are you doing on your mating ritual?"
Liz: "I was doing just fine."

Liz: "Let's hope nothing explodes."

Liz: "Have you observed any differences in his behavior at all?"

Amy: "There were more than 20 of us out there that day. I was 18, naïve and clueless. Why did you pick on me?"
Sheriff: "You were cute."

Isabel: "Are you afraid? I mean to let someone in; to let someone see who you really are?
Liz: "Yeah, of course I am.
Isabel: "Well, multiply that by about a million."

Max: "I think that what I'm afraid of isn't that that we try this and it works out really badly. What I'm afraid of is that we try it and it works out really well. Somewhere down the line, we're gonna get hurt. And I can live with that. I just couldn't bear to hurt you."

Alex: "I like the way you look in red."
Isabel: "I know."

Alex: "What? They're from Wyoming?"

#108 Heat Wave - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

I like this episode despite it becoming exactly what the WB usually does with a show (make a program where all the teens get to make out and send the audience swooning.) Instead, I like it because it gives each and every character more insight.

First Max. This episode is the first to reveal to me the fact that he is controlling and has a need to be in charge of every situation around him. A fact that Liz will point out to him in "Toy House." Liz asks him if Maria and Michael being together would be a problem and he immediately says "Yes!" Then he calms down a little and says he doesn't know. Later, he tries to ask Michael about it and asks why Michael didn't come to him to discuss it. Michael basically tells him it's none of his business. Of course, this behavior is made even worse by the fact that he doesn't seem to object to Isabel and Alex starting something. However, in Max's defense, his scenes with her don't really give him any indication that Isabel likes Alex in that manner. So perhaps he just doesn't know about it yet. In later episodes, we'll see that Max doesn't object to Michael and Maria dating and actually seems to encourage it. Strange behavior.

One part I found extremely insightful about Max is when he tells Liz he is afraid to be with her not because he doesn't think it will work out badly, but because it will work out quite well. And that because it's not meant to be, they would only end up hurt. (A bit of pyschicness on Max's part there? It sure sounds like he is referring to the as-yet to appear Tess.) He can live with that pain but doesn't want to subject Liz to it. Liz immediately throws a wrench into his plan saying it's not his decision to make.

Max also has a real problem with commitment. He tells Liz that he can't allow them to be together but then gives in and tells Liz at the end of the episode that it's all worthwhile because they are together and kisses her. But in one episode, he's going to break it off. To quote Isabel "Pick a side Max."

I believe that even though he is uncomfortable with it, Michael has let Maria get under his skin and is now having difficulty letting her go. Even though he insists he needs to be a loner, I think this is just his defense mechanism to protect himself. But then for your average human male, getting physical is always first and the emotional connection comes after that. Welcome to Loveland Michael.

Maria says here what I think she should have said in "Blood Brothers." Maria admits that Michael's avoidance is hurting her. I think that if Liz had not called her to inform her about the accident, that she might have said it then. I also thought that the opener where she and Michael made out was good. There was no dialogue here and it really set the scene. In fact, everything about that scene was good including the music selection of Santana and Everlast's "Put Your Lights On."

Ah, Isabel. I was waiting for this part of her to be revealed. I knew there was a whole lot more to the Ice Princess then we had seen. I've always thought Isabel was the type to heavily date but never with anyone who saw beyond the surface. Mostly because Isabel refused to let them see more then that which is something she admits to Liz during their bonding moment. When she dreamwalked Alex, what she saw was an absolute shock and really threw her for loop. Katherine Heigl's reactions were perfect and I thought that the director did an excellent job of taking advantage of the scenery to block out the real Isabel when doing all of the full room shots. This avoided the need for any kind of special effects or bluescreen. And did everyone notice how calm and collected Alex was during this sequence? Definently the opposite of how he really is.

And we can't forget poor Alex. The guy feels betrayed by his friend, then by the girl he is interested in and then has the truth dropped on him like a bomb. True to form, he makes the decision at the last moment to defend his friend and keep their secret. I wish the truth could have been told to him in a different way. Perhaps with Isabel taking a moment to try to trust him by telling him as he ran away from her at the party and having Liz confirm later. I would have liked that more then what we saw here but it works either way. Now Alex is a part of the team.

Even Kyle is furthered a bit. He's moving on by hooking up with another girl. Even though it appears to last only one episode. The young lady he is with is never seen again. And as much as he appeared to be flaunting her in front of Liz as if to say "I don't need you", he just can't seem to let her go. He was upset when Vicky invited Liz to the party but I think he set himself up for that one.

Liz's opening journal date is December 2. Checking a 1999 calendar reveals that is a Thursday. The episode lasts three days. The party is on Friday, December 3. Liz and Alex get arrested that night and released early the next morning on the 4th. So actually, this episode lasts two days and a couple of hours.

There were no dates mentioned in "Blood Brother" and the last date we were given was November 11 in "River Dog." As I said in my review for that episode, it lasted two days and ended on November 12. Since there are no dates given in "Blood Brother", there is no way to determine exactly what dates it takes place on. All we know is that it takes place between November 12 and December 2.

The radio at the beginning of this episode says that it is already 90 that morning. The question I kept asking myself throughout this entire episode was "Does anyone own an air conditioner in this town?" During the opener, Maria, Michael, and Liz are all sweaty. Sure it was needed for the scene to work but later when the Sheriff comes in to talk to Maria's mother, she and the sheriff are visibly hot. Is the Café not air-conditioned? One of the main things about a restaurant is you want to make your customers comfortable and for the Café to not have an air conditioner is unfathomable. However, with the front doors they way the are, I can see why they wouldn't. They aren't sealed so all the cool air would be sucked out every time someone opened them and would drive the bill way up. But that's not all. Liz is shown upstairs and she is also looking hot (from the temperature :grin: .) So do the Parker's not have an air conditioner in their apartment? I have to go to Roswell someday with a truckload of Trane's and make a fortune. Stephen Ludwig wrote and informed me that air conditioners in New Mexico work differently by adding moisture to the air. If that's what is going on here, the units are working overtime because buildings would be absolutely balmy.

Liquids are always fun to watch on TV shows and they don't disappoint here. In the opener as Maria is sweeping, take a look at the ketchup bottles that are precariously balanced on each other (On a side note, there are plastic containers you can buy that will drain ketchup bottles without you having to risk shattering them by doing this.) The ketchup bottle on the top to the left is 1/4th full. The one on top on the right is a little more full then the one on the left. Maria lets Michael in and they begin kissing. NOW look at the ketcup bottles. The one on the top left is empty and the top right is filled up to the label where before it was below the label. Odder still is that the bottom bottles never fill up or get any less empty.

A full body pan of Maria as she is sweeping shows that she is working in bare feet. This is a health hazard (You know, no pants, no shoes, no service?) and incredibly dangerous if there is broken glass or anything sharp on the floor.

When Liz finds that she is out of milk upstairs ("Got Milk" anyone?), she goes downstairs to the Café to get some. Wait a minute! I know Liz's parents own the Crashdown but can Liz go downstairs and just help herself whenever she wants? This is how her parents make a living. To quote Maria "That's theft buddy." I'm told that when you buy milk, it's cheaper to buy it in bulk so maybe the Parker's personal milk supply is a small part of what they buy for the store as well. But without knowing that for sure, it still looks like theft to me.

Michael, and every guy who is shown making out in this episode in fact, show incredible hand restraint. Any time he is making out with Maria, he appears to be consciously avoiding touching Maria's chest, which as most guys will tell you, is usually where hands tend to wander to. But then we have to maintain that PG rating. I just thought it was noteworthy.

At my high school, even though it was loosely enforced, we had a rule in our handbooks that said petting was not allowed. In other words, no hand holding, kissing, etc in the hallways and classrooms. Everyone in this episode appears to be quite hot and heavy, even the teachers. Perhaps that's why no one is reprimanded. "But Mr. Styles, you and Miss Hardy were hugging earlier. If it's ok for you to hug, why can't I?"

The school doesn't appear to be air-conditioned either. Not even in the offices! As the Sheriff talks to Alex about Topolsky's disappearance, he is sweating. The library is though. As Liz and Max talk in the library, neither of them appears to be hot. That's not unusual. The libraries in my schools were always air-conditioned so the books would not be harmed by the heat.

I have to agree with Liz when she says that it's odd that everyone else is making out but she and Max are the only ones who are not. If I didn't know what was going on, I'd think there was something wrong with them.

Great line this episode.

"Ooooh, very amusing!" - Amy De Luca when the Sheriff asks her if she's staying out of the slammer.

Amy De Luca must have been one mixed up kid. The Sheriff reminds her of when she was 18 and he arrested her for participating in a rally to stop people from destroying a piece of native-American culture. The Sheriff tells her that the Indians didn't object at all to it being torn down. Granted, rallying to protect a piece of our heritage is one thing but if the people it belongs to don't care if it's there or not, what's the point in protesting? Of course, this IS Maria's mom we are talking about here and "like mother, like daughter."

The last time we saw Isabel Dreamwalk someone was in "Monsters." In that episode, Maria saw the real Isabel enter her dream. When she dreamwalks Alex, he doesn't see the real Isabel. Of course, he's obviously distracted but think what having TWO Isabels would have done to the poor boy.

There's a funny bit of symbolism in this episode. Liz is having difficulty getting two slugs to mate. The exact problem she appears to be having with Max.

As Liz tries to get the slugs to mate, we see that she is wearing gloves. As she takes Max's hand, her gloves are gone. There is time for her to remove them unseen as all of the shots are close ups but she would have to be quick about it.

It's interesting that the party at the old soap factory is unsupervised. But then, that was the whole point wasn't it?

The "Dude" that hit on Liz looks up and says "Babe-orama." He is talking about Liz but from where he was sitting, there is no way he could have seen Liz since there was a couple directly in his line of sight. He has to walk around them to get to her. Do Jello shooters give you x-ray vision?

And I may not be up to par on the latest teen rages but what exactly is a "Jell-O shooter?" (It's Jell-O mixed with vodka or rum, etc and left in a small cube until it hardens. I'm so out of it.)

In my review of "Leaving Normal" I wondered if the reason the Crashdown was so busy was because it was the only restaurant in town. This episode reveals there is a Mexican restaurant in Roswell. The bartender is wearing a sombrero. But the odd thing is that some of it's decorations appear to be Chinese in nature. Is this some kind of cultural exchange? Actually, it's not. This appears to be Senor Chows which will show up again in "Crazy." However, as I said in that review, the one seen there and the one seen in this episode do not look the same.

This episode also gives the first mention of the Sheriff's ex-wife's name: Michelle.

With the use of cell phones everywhere, I can understand this one but just who called the fire department at the party? Let's see. Unsupervised party, alcohol on the premises, underage teenagers, let's call the cops! Sure.

Then again, it's a good thing someone did. The "Dudes" try to put out an electrical fire with beer! The worst thing you can do in an electrical fire is pour a liquid on it!

The name "Kalinoski" is used again. This time, Deputy Hanson uses it as the last name of one of Alex's cellmates.

The sheriff tells Alex and Liz that he has contacted their parents and they all agreed it would do the two some good to spend the night in jail. If the parents agreed to it, he has every right to hold them overnight. After a few hours, he comes in to talk to Alex trying to get him to spill the beans on Max. Alex spouts off some legal stuff and demands to be released. I don't buy any of it. If his parents aren't coming to get him, he's not going anywhere. But it seems to scare Valenti into releasing the both of them. That is not how it works.

Liz's hair suddenly loses it's perm after they are released from jail. But being in the slammer can do that to you.

#109 The Balance - Review

Written by Damon Moudry (ETAmerican)


I want to welcome fellow Roswell fans to what I hope will be an ongoing series of fun, entertaining and hopefully educational articles about the show that is near and dear to all of our hearts. My name is The ETAmerican (Extra Terrestrial American), aka Damon Moudry, and I will be working closely with JerryD and the others at to bring you the best news, information, and analysis of Roswell's weekly episodes and its stars.

My column will focus on the technical aspects of Roswell such as the acting, lighting, editing, camera shots and other elements while JerryD will comment on the stories told each week. But that doesn't mean our seemingly different worlds won't ever cross like Max and Liz's did (but hopefully, neither of us will have to heal the other after being shot in gaudy alien theme fast food joint, but that's a whole other story). In fact, they will often overlap and it's my intent to help you become smarter viewers when you not only watch Roswell, but other films and TV programs as well.


"Sometimes you have to take a step back to see what's really going on." When Max Evans uttered those fateful words in the episode "Balance" (12.15.99) he proceeded to not only break Liz Parker's heart, but those of Roswell fans all over the world. However, in terms of what made Balance such a stand-out episode, Max unwittingly unlocked the key which producers Jason Katmis and David Nutter ("My So-Called Life," "The X-Files") have used time and time again to produce compelling television series: Special and visual effects should enhance a story and not tell it.

Although populated with more special and visual effects than previous episodes, Balance managed to effectively use them to bring the closeness, tough choices, and unspoken bond the characters have to the forefront. Balance also incorporated a number of other techniques in terms of directing, editing and sound mixing which only added to the impact of the special and visual effects when they were on screen.

Take for instance the Liz and Max date scenes. They incorporated a lot of close-ups to emphasize intimacy. The director also decided to use a lot of hand-held shots to emphasize the natural flow/chemistry between Max and Liz. The vocal song by Third Eye Blind only added to their characters getting closer as it was an up-tempo song, and is usually what you associate with dates and having a good time.

In contrast to Max and Liz, the Michael, River Dog and Eddie scenes at the sweat lodge were mostly shot through the fire and this helped to convey a sense of heat and disorientation to those scenes, and more importantly, to Michael's character as he undergoes the change. The lighting of these scenes was almost completely natural (the fire) which contrasted the other characters locations such as the pool hall and Crashdown. Again, it was a sense of disorientation and urgency versus grounded reality.

The heart of Balance was of course the crucial healing scene in the cave where River Dog, Max, Liz, Isabel, Maria, and Alex perform the healing ritual on Michael who has spun a cocoon around himself.

The cocoon itself was a very effective special effect (anything that enhances the story that can physically be on a set like prosthetic makeup, or bullet holes in walls is considered a special effect) because it was able to tap into our basic universal knowledge, and let our mind do most of the work. We've all seen butterfly cocoons, and cotton spider webs during Halloween, so it was easy for us to believe that Michael was changing into something unnatural. As the saying goes: cheap, but effective.

The scenes in the cave itself were very low lit (by torches) and the colors very bland such as the sandy floor and surrounding walls. This helped convey the fact that the ritual was very old, perhaps old as the Earth itself. Also, all of the characters except Liz were dressed in dark colors which made Liz's isolation that more apparent when she wasn't able to participate in the ritual because of her doubts. In addition, the score (the instrumental music played in the background) was also very effective because it was soothing, yet almost like an anthem conveying a quiet struggle. This was in fact my favorite part about Balance: the score used in the cave scene. Very reminiscent of Has Zimmer's ("Days of Thunder"), or Mark Snow's ("X-Files") music.

The part of the healing ritual where we are taken into "the other realm" used a lot of visual effects (things that have to be done to the footage of the actors during editing). What was most effective though was that even though we were bombarded with quick flashes of light, strange images and symbols, and even warped footage of the actors, it focused on the main characters and the bond they share with one another by having the characters physically reach out for Michael. By grounding us with familiar images (the actors) we could easily make the connection between reaching out to help someone as the characters reached into the realm to bring Michael back. Again, very simple, but most effective.

So, take a step back and find your balance? Indeed. If you do this you will see that even though Balance is full of special and visual effects, most of them were not that special at all. The most special thing about Balance was the shared universal connections that the story was able to draw upon and between character and audience as they all worked through a crisis to save one of their own. And that is something no amount of computer generated visuals or fake cocoons could ever do by themselves.

River Dog said, "The Balance can draw you in. It's a force that can change both your body and your mind. Unless you navigate it properly," and he was absolutely right. But what he didn't know is that navigating each week's episode isn't as hard as you might think now that you know what to look for, is it? Now go... And may the Balance be with you.

Damon Moudry is a represented screenwriter who is skilled in dramatic story development and various technical aspects of the film making process. Please send comments, concerns or complaints to

#109 The Balance - Review

Written by Jerry D.

I thought this was a very well done, although ultimately disheartening, episode of Roswell that served as a metaphor for the fragility of our existence on this earth, and also of the tenuous nature of the relationships in our lives.

This episode opened up at the Crash Down, with a blissfully happy Liz musing on the perfect day that she was having, while a very unhappy Maria remarks on what a lousy day that she was having. Max and Michael walk in, much to Liz’s sheer bliss, as she and Max smile sweetly at one another. Michael is clearly unhappy about being there though, and he tells Max that him and Maria had “sort of broken up,” and that he wasn’t sure if it was completely over between them. This ambiguity is quickly cleared up when Liz and Maria walk over to their table, each with a cherry coke in hand, and Liz hands Max his cola with a big smile on her face, sweetly telling him “it’s on the house,” while Maria hands Michael his cola with a sneer on her face, coldly telling him “it’s $1.25.” Michael angrily gets ups to leave, and knocks over his cola, and it spills on Max’s school books, and Michael discovers a drawing that Max made of the symbols that he and Liz saw in the cave that River Dog had shown them. Michael recognizes the drawing, and he asks Max what he’s been hiding from him.

The next scene finds Maria sticking pins in an alien “voodoo doll,” hilariously reflecting the anger and hurt that she feels towards Michael, when Alex walks in to the Crash Down. Alex questions Maria as to why she believes that Max, Michael, and Isabel might be aliens, and she tells Alex the story of how Max saved Liz’s life. Alex then says that maybe he’ll talk to Isabel about it, (summary writer’s note: good choice! ;-)) and Maria cautions Alex not to get too involved with any of the aliens, because they’re “heartless.”

Back at the Evans house, Max talks to Michael and Isabel about his drawing and his and Liz’s experience with River Dog, and Michael reacts angrily to the inference that Max couldn’t trust him to act in a rational manner with this information. Max tries to explain that they were all under intense scrutiny at the time, and he asks Michael to “leave it alone for now,” and that they all formulate questions and see River Dog again, as a group, when the time was right. Max then leaves to go on a date with Liz. Michael immediately tells Isabel that he is going off to see River Dog, and leaves, much to her chagrin.

The next scene finds Michael at the Mesaliko Reservation, where he meets up with Eddie, and he demands to see River Dog, who is in a tent participating in a group ritual called a “sweat.” Michael then participates in this “sweat,” and begins coughing violently, and he leaves the tent.

We next find Alex questioning Isabel about her alien origins, and she shows him Max’s drawing. Isabel tries to explain that in many ways, they are as “human” as anyone else, with the exception that they can manipulate the molecular structure of things, which she demonstrates by turning a bottle of ketchup into a bottle of mustard.

We next find Max and Liz out on a date at a Chinese Restaurant, with Liz teaching Max how to play pool, and the sweetness and affection between them is a joy to behold. Liz remarks that her parents are away for the weekend, saying that they were at a star gazing campout to observe “Venus in the Morning Sky,” and Max remarks that “I thought that she was standing right in front of me.” Joey and Dawson, move over! Liz and Max are the sweetest couple I’ve ever seen! J Max and Liz begin to kiss, only to be interrupted by Maria, who tells them they need to get back to the Crash Down, stopping them dead in their tracks with the words, “It’s Michael.” They rush back to the Crash Down to find a worried looking Isabel standing over a very sick looking Michael. Michael suddenly recovers, though, and he reacts defensively, and Isabel demands that they all leave, leaving Liz and Maria at the Crash Down. Maria and Liz then compare notes on their experiences with Michael and Max over ice cream, in a really sweet scene that wonderfully illustrated the close bond between them. Maria warns Liz about getting too involved with Max, saying while she was “Teflon, babe” and could walk away from Michael, she could tell that Liz and Max had this whole “look into my eyes soul mate thing.” Liz expresses optimism that everything will work out between her and Max, but that they have to prepare for anything that comes their way.

Alex takes Isabel to the UFO Center, and he shows her an exhibit of a place in Peru that had symbols that were similar to the ones in Max’s drawing, and when she expresses disdain for his theory, he blurts out “What if this can help you find your planet?” to her obvious horror. This remark is overheard by Max’s boss, who warns Alex to not joke around about such things, and Isabel chastises Alex for behaving so foolishly. Suddenly, there is a commotion, as Michael has turned violently ill, with his eyes turning white, but Max rushes over and puts sunglasses on Michael, and he tells his boss that Michael has migraines, and he and Isabel help Michael out of the UFO Center, taking him to the Crash Down, where they enlist Liz and Maria’s help. They bring Michael upstairs, and in a trance, Michael calls out River Dog’s name.

Max and Liz drive out to the Mesaliko Reservation, and Eddie says that River Dog wasn’t there, and he doesn’t want to have anything to do with them, because they violated his trust, and Max reacts angrily, saying that he’ll wait for River Dog. While waiting for River Dog, Max tells Liz how he, Michael and Isabel met as children when they first came out of their incubation pods, and how even then, Michael exhibited the same wariness and tendency to be a loner that he exhibits now. He also told Liz that him and Isabel got separated from Michael and didn’t see him for three years because Isabel took Michael’s hand when the headlights that signified their first contact with human civilization approached, but Michael refused to do so. Max said that Isabel would cry every night after that, wondering where Michael was. I thought this was a telling scene concerning how close the bond was between Max, Isabel, and Michael, and what type of a special relationship that they shared. Max then mused on the possibility that maybe that this was just their life cycle, and perhaps that this was how they die, and he tells Liz that he would understand if she didn’t want to get involved with him because of all the uncertainty surrounding his very existence.

Meanwhile, back at Liz’s house, Michael is getting worse, and a visibly upset Isabel tells Maria and Alex that only she can take care of Michael, and “not strangers.” Later, though, Maria brings Isabel something to eat, and an emotional Isabel, after acknowledging that Maria cares about Michael too, tearfully says that Max and Michael are all she has. Michael reacts violently to his illness, chanting and crying out, and Maria and Alex help Isabel tend to Michael. Michael hallucinates about being in a place filled with the symbols in Max’s drawing, and he sees a vision of a dead man. Back at the Mesaliko Reservation, River Dog finally shows up and tells Max and Liz to bring Michael to him. Max and Liz then come back to find Michael wrapped in a type of cocoon, near death, and looking like the person in his hallucination.

We next find all the characters in River Dog’s cave, and he relates the story of how he saved the life of the original “visitor,” as he explains the ritual which will now hopefully save Michael. He says that the “sweat” that both the original alien and Michael participated in upset their “balance,” so they all have to participate in a ritual, fraught with a certain amount of risk, to restore this "balance” to Michael and heal him. River Dog then gives everyone stones which he says were from the original alien’s planet, saying that they contained the energy which was present in Michael’s own body, to restore him to health. River Dog has set up a circle with lines going out to everyone so they can participate in this ritual, and everyone readily participates except Liz, who is clearly troubled by all this due to her love for Max and her fear that something bad could happen to him. River Dog senses her fear, and tells her that she has to take a step back, a statement that will serve as a metaphor for what will transpire later in the show. The ritual works, and Michael recovers. As he comes out of his coma, Michael sees visions that contains parallels of how they all originally emerged from their pods as children, reinforcing the ties between him, Max, and Isabel, but also recognizing the ties he has with the new people in his life, especially Maria, who, in his dream, he kisses passionately. Michael then takes the rocks that were used in the ceremony, and fits them into designated places in the cave wall, and the stones light up in a star like “Vee” formation on the wall, and Michael recognizes that the paintings on the wall are a map to their home planet.

The last scene shows Liz writing in her diary, and reflecting on her fears about Max, that he too, could suffer the same fate as Michael. Max then comes to see her, and in a heartbreaking scene, he says that he has lost his “balance” due to his love for her, and that he can no longer fool himself into thinking that he could ever be normal. Liz apologizes for having doubts about him, but Max tells her that her doubts about him were true, and that they don’t belong together. With true regret, Max tells Liz that he’s as confused as she is, and that they both need to take a step back to find their “balance” again. A deeply hurt Liz then tenderly kisses Max goodbye, and she tells him that she just wants to remember, and a saddened Max says goodbye to her and leaves. Liz then looks up in the starry sky, and sees the same “Vee” formation that we saw in the cave, as we are left to ponder this sad development for the next month. I was very moved by this scene, and very upset with Max’s decision, and I hope they don’t keep this wonderful couple apart too long.

Overall, another great episode of Roswell, and I look forward to seeing the next episode with a sense of great anticipation.

#109 The Balance - Review

Written by Jerry D.

Splitting Up and Stepping Back - A Review of 'The Balance'
December 16, 1999

"This whole thing is going to work out. We just have to be prepared for whatever comes along."

The Balance was a beautiful blend of real-time events and dream-like sequences that filled in a lot of the missing pieces of the aliens' heritage. Thania St. John penned an emotional episode that gave us a closer look and deeper understanding of the dynamics of the relationship between Michael, Max and Isabel. With that, we were also given more clues as to what drives their interaction with those outside their little circle.

We were finally given the details of how Max, Isabel and Michael all met. The images of the small, frightened children wandering the desert looking for each other were vivid and completely in keeping with the teenagers they turned into. I could imagine Isabel taking Max's hand while they searched for Michael and Michael watching them from the cover of a rock while he made up his mind to trust them or not; Max urging Michael to take his hand when they saw the lights of the Evans' car; Michael, unwilling to trust anyone enough to go with them; and Isabel, crying every night about leaving him behind until they found him again three years later. The Balance ceremony not only allowed them to heal Michael in the present, but maybe also allowed them to heal the damage done in the past when Michael couldn't trust them and Max and Isabel were forced to leave him behind.

This look at their past helped us understand why Max feels so responsible for what happens to Michael. I think he feels guilty for having left him all those years ago and what Michael has had to live with as a result. This would explain Max's motivation in breaking up with Liz as well. It doesn't have as much to do with the fact that they are different, as it does with the fact that Liz distracts him from his responsibility to Michael and Isabel. He's not used to putting his own happiness above theirs; it throws him out of balance. He feels he should have been able to prevent Michael from going to the reservation alone, thus preventing the events that led to his illness. But he allowed himself to put that situation on the back burner for the night so he could enjoy an evening with Liz. And the result was almost fatal. Also, it was obvious that it tore him up to see Liz so afraid for him. I don't think he ever wants to be the cause of that kind of fear for her again.

>Random Thoughts:
I was glad to see that Max did make a copy of the drawings on the cave wall. I was afraid after the last trip to the cave, he had just committed them to memory.

I've noticed that Michael and Isabel seem to set higher standards for Max to live up to than they do for themselves. They don't feel any need to make their own dating habits a group decision and yet they jump all over Max for even considering going on a real date with Liz. He shouldn't have to justify that to them. Maybe it's the fact that they are aware that, with Liz, it's not just casual dating. But I do think Michael's "I'll be just as trustworthy as Max" comment was way out of line.

In spite of Liz's brave words that they just need to be prepared for whatever happens, Maria is really the one who handled the whole crisis with aplomb. As worried as she was for Michael, she kept her head and didn't panic. She seemed to be the only one with any real clue how to treat the more obvious symptoms. Which is not really what I would have expected from the self-proclaimed wacky friend, but was glad to see, nonetheless.

I wonder what Michael's newfound determination not to run away from complications means for his relationship with Maria? Let's hope it means a return to each other and a more meaningful relationship.

Anyone else wonder who they left running the Crashdown when Liz and Maria went upstairs to help take care of Michael?



Favorite Quotes:

Maria: "If it isn't Prince Charming and Quasimodo."

Liz: "Max likes cherry cola. What does Michael like?"
Maria: "Cherry cola with arsenic?"

Max: "You broke up? Why didn't you tell me?"
Michael: "I don't know if we did or we didn't. It's kind of confusing."
Liz: "Cherry cola on the house"
Maria: "Yours is $1.25"
Michael: "I guess it's not so confusing anymore."

Max: "What is it? Is something wrong?"
Michael: "Compared to nuclear winter? No."

Alex: "I've got two theories. One is that you and Liz have been brainwashed by a drug cult. The other is that I'm trapped inside some extremely weird, extremely long nightmare."

Maria: "I guess when Liz got shot and Max dissolved the bullet to nothingness and repaired the damage inside her that would have otherwise resulted in her death, that kind of changed my thinking."

Eddie: "She's not deaf. She's just not answering you.."

Alex: "Why on earth, excuse the phrase, why would you be sent here to begin with? What purpose could you possibly serve?"
Isabel: "To wipe out the world one annoying teenager at a time?"

Isabel: "We're just as human as you are, Alex. Only we can manipulate the molecular structure of things."
Alex: "What?"

Isabel: "Look, the whole staring thing is making me uncomfortable."
Alex: "What staring thing?"
Isabel: "You haven't taken your eyes off me all night. Like you're waiting for me to turn into something else."

Liz: "My parents are away for the weekend. They were going up to Phoenix and camping out. Something about Venus in the morning sky."

#109 The Balance - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

I'm going to just say it. I'm angry at Max Evans. Someone really needs to give him a good smack. He seems to jump back and forth so often that I wonder if his heart is actually a pendulum. Just last episode, Max was saying how afraid he was to get close to Liz not because he thought it would fail but because it would work out well. Then he finally gives in and allows himself to be with her (pleasing fans everywhere I'm sure.) He spends the majority of this episode in her company and appears to enjoy not only himself, but enjoy being in her company as well. But while talking to Liz about how he first met Michael, Max begins to get scared and makes the statement that he would understand if Liz was having second thoughts. Uh...I don't think it is Liz who is having a problem here. I do believe it is.Max. Liz is then unable to participate in the healing of Michael because she is afraid for and cares for Max. This isn't a bad thing in of itself. It just disrupts the energy needed to heal Michael. But Max appears to view this as a sign that Liz is having doubts about him! That's very misconstrued. Max then makes a lame excuse saying he needs to "take a step back" to find his balance. In "Into the Woods" Max tells Liz he did this to slow things down between them, not break them up. Well, gee Max. That's not how you came across to Liz here. Perhaps if you had said it like that to begin with, you wouldn't have spent all that time chasing her. Max can't commit. It's all because he has no idea what his future is or what the destiny that may have already been written out for him is (More foreshadowing to Tess if you ask me.) When Nasedo finally shows his ever-changing head, you'll find that this "leaving the gang in the dark" that he has done is one of my chief complaints. It sure would have helped things if everything was explained from the get-go (but that would change the premise of the entire series as a whole even though it is as frustrating as hell.) Perhaps Max would be more willing to make a decision and stick with it if this was the case.

In fact, my original observation of these two when I wrote a review of "Pilot" comes up here. I noted that during season one, it is Liz who tries very hard to have a relationship with Max and she never wavers from it. Max on the other hand is very back and forth. First he does, then he doesn't. By the time season two comes around, these rolls are reversed. It's Max who wants the relationship and Liz that does not. Actually, she does but she graciously steps aside to let Max live as he was intended (until Max totally turns her away from him with his actions in season two.) Of course, if Max had chosen a side to begin with, it could have kept Liz from walking away so quickly. In my opinion anyway.

You really do have to feel for Liz with Max putting her through all of this. She knows he is an alien and she knows that he wants to understand who he is and where he comes from but she doesn't care if he's not normal. She wants to be with him regardless and he can't seem to make up his mind. But to her credit, Liz never forces Max to stay with her. She leaves him to make his own decision. That's very admirable of her.

I thought it was funny that Liz gave Max a free soda and that Maria then said Michael's cost $1.25 (Soda is expensive there given they only appear to have one size. See my review of "Monsters" for more on that.)

I've always felt Isabel was not one who was quick to trust. But during the scenes in the Crashdown with Alex where she was telling him about her, I thought she was doing so with ease. Sort of like he knows a little, tell him all of it. Then when Michael becomes ill, she immediately reverts back to the "Us / Them" analogy even towards Maria who she was starting to let into their circle. Isabel seems willing to trust to a point. When it comes right down to it, where she is concerned, there will always be a fine line between who she is and the humans. I find it interesting that the Dup Lonnie acted the same way but to Lonnie, the humans were beneath her. A dangerous frame of mind but because she cares so much for Michael, I understand her drawing the line.

I applaud Michael going over Max's head and going to River Dog. While Max' s concerns were justified, he didn't even tell Isabel about the writing on the cave wall. Max had no right to keep that information from them considering it's importance. I would have driven Michael to the reservation myself on that one. I don't see this as bad on Michael's part at all. In fact, it was rather necessary though it was unfortunate he became ill. That could have been avoided if Max had told River Dog there were more aliens then just himself.

Maria may describe herself as "Teflon babe" but I don't think so. She is smitten with Michael and while she may not like how is trying to avoid her, she still likes him. She can't help but smile when referring to him even if she's trying to be negative. She is trying to put some distance between them but if she had the choice, she'd be all over him and she'd love it.

Alex is his usual bumbling self. Is there anyone who didn't frown and shake their heads when he blurted out that line about Isabel finding her planet at the UFO Center? He needs to be more careful on that.

As I said in the review for "River Dog", River Dog must have been lying when he told Max that he had nothing more to tell them. This episode proves he did. He had the healing stones! The same stones that fit into grooves on the wall with the scrawled message. These sound pretty darn important to me.

This episode gives no dates with Liz's journal entries. (Don't the creators know that this sort of thing is maddening to us? It's almost like Star Trek episodes giving us the ever- illuminating stardate "supplemental" .) My best guess has this episode lasting two days (the first where Michael finds Max's drawing and going to River Dog that night and the second day showing his illness and they take him back to River Dog to end the episode.) Where it starts after the events of "Heatwave" isn't as clear cut. The only reference I can find is a statement by Maria that they have been looking for Alex "for a couple of days." Since Max is carrying his school books, it would be logical to assume that this episode starts on Monday, December 6. The "couple of days" could refer to the weekend. If this is so, then this episode ends on the evening of December 7.

How odd. After objecting to Michael and Maria in "Heatwave" being together, Max says he brought Michael to the Crashdown thinking he'd like seeing Maria. Is he trying to torture Michael or something? And once again, he asks Michael why he didn't tell him that they had broken up. Flustered, Michael admits that he doesn't know what is going on. Well it IS none of your business Max.

Max must have one heck of a memory to be able to draw the symbols from the cave wall. It's fortunate that he did since River Dog told him that he couldn't come back.

When I wrote my review of "Pilot" I said that Max healed Liz but did he remove the bullet? This episode answers that with Maria saying that Max dissolved the bullet. Liz is free to walk through those metal detectors now.

More fun with liquids. As the camera shows us a wide shot with Alex and Isabel as they talk at the Crashdown, Alex's glass is 3/4th's full with soda. However, all the close up shots of them in the booth show that Alex's glass is not as full. The sound effects have it almost empty. He must have been thirsty.

Liz plays an odd game of pool. I'm not privy to all forms of the game of pool but the one I learned was simple. You choose a style of ball either the ones with a stripe or those of a solid color. You try to put all of your style of ball in the holes and then attempt to sink the black 8 ball to win. All the while, you try to avoid sinking the white ball or missing a shot. In this episode, Liz must be playing a different game. First, she sinks a stripe, then a solid followed by two more solids, a stripe, and another solid. Of course, she COULD just be showing off for Max.

Michael collapses at the UFO Center after Alex's planet comment. My only question is just where did Michael come from? Was he there all along or did he arrive with Isabel and Alex? Maybe a shot of him stumbling in and falling was edited out because without it, Michael's sudden appearance is a little kooky. Michael does this sort of thing again in "The Convention" when he appears at the end of the episode out of nowhere.

Michael opens his eyes at the UFO Center. They are slightly white and Max tells him to close them. They take him to the Café and his eyes appear to have cleared up. After taking him upstairs, his eyes are completely white. Not really a nit since we don't know how this is really affecting Michael but the change was noteworthy.

As Liz and Max drive up to the reservation, it looks like there is a grave that appears along the lower portion of the screen. It has flowers and a cross on it. This is strange given that native Americans do not normally use Christian symbols to adorn their gravesites. I could be wrong about it being a grave but I can't think what else it might be.

As Isabel tries to make Michael more comfortable, Maria comes in followed by Alex in an apron. He says everything is fine downstairs. "Downstairs" means the Café and he is apparently working in the kitchen. I do not recall seeing Alex working in the Café before now nor was he at the employee meeting seen in "Monsters." Can just anyone who wants to work in the Crashdown do so and without any training?

Max describes the first time he saw Michael as being in the desert. However, when Tess gives Max images of them all emerging from their pods, we see Michael first and that he is the one who opens the chamber door. Wouldn 't this be the first time he saw Michael or did Max not remember? See my review of "Four Square" for more on this.

River Dog says he can heal Michael but he would need all of their help. There are five of them with healing stones: Alex, Isabel, Max, Liz, and Maria. He tells them to take a place on the circle. He gives each person one of the five healing stones and then asks them to drink from the bowl. When he gets to Liz, he says that she will upset the balance and must step back. Fortunately, Michael is still healed using just four stones and doesn 't require all five because no one takes Liz's place. The group also only use four stones to attempt to heal Nasedo in "Skin and Bones." Do they really need that fifth stone?

During the flashes Michael has, he looks at everyone in the circle in turn. Liz is not in the circle but when he turns to Max, Liz appears and from the way she is holding her hand, she is carrying a stone. Granted, these visions are like dreams and can be weird. Michael must have felt Liz was a part of it all even if River Dog had her step back.

Once again, keep in mind this is all like a dream and this could be part of that weirdness too. In the shots involving the child versions of Max, Isabel, and Michael, the young actors wear the same clothing as the older ones. Except for two things. The first is the jacket the Max's wear. The older Max's leather coat appears to be brown. The child Max's jacket is black. This could be a video problem since my tape isn't the best quality but it sure looks like two different jackets. The other error is that when the three children walk away from the camera hand in hand, the young Max is not wearing his leather coat. As the older actors fade in to take their place, Max is wearing his jacket again.

Also, during the shots where Max and Michael, both young and old, reach for each other's hands, first Max is wearing his coat. Then he isn't. Then he is. Then he isn't. Maybe it's some kind of alien cloaking fabric.

Notice those rocks in the background during Michael's visions? They are very popular rocks. They have appeared in several other shows and movies including the second Bill and Ted movie and the original Star Trek episode "Arena." (They are the Vasquez Rocks in Los Angeles County Park.)

Was Shiri Appleby standing on tip toe as she spoke to Max in the final scenes? She appeared to be a little taller in the close ups. She wasn't wearing heels as a shot of her feet as she was writing in her journal showed her wearing flat shoes. I suppose in her eagerness to stop Max from leaving she could have been trying to come up to his level but that seems a bit over the top.

Thanks to Renka for bringing this to my attention. At the end of the episode where Max chickens out of his relationship with Liz (and that's being kind!) Max turns to leave and Liz stops him with a kiss. As Max turns, he appears to say something. Now this is one of three things:

1. Max's dialogue was edited out.
2. Max was going to say something and Liz cut him off with a kiss.
3. Max was getting ready for that kiss!

#110 The Toyhouse - Review

Written by Jerry D.

In this episode, the focus is mainly on Max, as a near catastrophic event, aided and abetted by the devious Sheriff Valenti, causes Mrs. Evans to become suspicious about Max and his origins. I thought this was a very telling episode in many ways, as we begin to understand that Max feels as alone and isolated on his adopted planet as Michael does, despite living in the loving environment that the Evans’ have provided for him. We also got to see a vulnerable side to Isabel that’s only been touched on in earlier episodes.

This episode opens up with Max studying while his mother is cooking in the kitchen. Suddenly, a fire starts, due to some cooking oil accidentally spilling on the kitchen burners, and Max, reacting instinctively, puts out the fire using his powers, but then throws a pot of water on the embers to make it look like he put out the fire with the water. The fire department comes to investigate what happened, along with the ever suspicious Sheriff Valenti, much to Max’s alarm. The sheriff, in his usual insidious way, casts a doubt on Max’s story. Max then relates the story to Isabel, and Max is clearly upset about everything. In their conversation, Isabel tells Max that he was right to end things with Liz, much to Max’s displeasure. This scene segues to Liz telling Maria at the Crash Down that she’s over Max, while her actions prove to Maria, and all of us, that she isn’t over Max at all.

Back in school, Michael expresses alarm that Max used his powers to save his mother, and then Liz and Max share an awkward moment talking about the fact that they’ll be sitting together at the upcoming basketball game. I thought it was very obvious in this scene that both Max and Liz still care for each other a great deal, despite their attempts to deny it to each other and themselves.

Back at home, Isabel finds Mrs. Evans watching an old video of them as children, clearly looking for something in the video. Mrs. Evans then starts asking Isabel questions about Max, much to Isabel’s alarm.

At the basketball game, Maria and Liz respond enthusiastically to what’s happening on the court, and Michael observes it all and responds derisively to Max, “humans.” Isabel then joins them, but pulls Max off to the side and tells him that their mother is suspicious, and Isabel indicates that they should tell their mother the truth, a move that both Michael and Max are clearly against. Liz cheers for Kyle, who’s playing in the game, and, distracted, he falls and hurts his ankle. Liz looks on at Kyle with concern, and Max seems hurt by her concern.

Max goes to see Liz at the Crash Down, but she heads out to see Kyle, and give him a pie, because she feels responsible for his injury.

Sheriff Valenti goes to see Mrs. Evans, and in his usual unctuous way, he plants seeds of doubt in Mrs. Evans’ mind about how Max put out the fire, giving her a pamphlet that clearly states that grease fires can not be put out by water. I really saw Sheriff Valenti as truly evil in this scene, using his charm to draw the web of suspicion ever closer to Max.

Michael goes to see Maria as she’s working, unsuccessfully, on a wood shop project, and she confronts him about the fact that she helped save his life, and yet showed no gratitude whatsoever towards her. Liz goes to see Kyle to drop off the pie she got him and some class notes, and he treats her coldly, hurting her a great deal.

Back at the Evans house, Max’s mother relates her suspicions to Max about how he put out the fire, saying that water doesn’t put out a grease fire, thanks to the information in the pamphlet that Sheriff Valenti “helpfully” provided her. Isabel walks in, and she and Max leave, and she tells Max that they need to tell their mother the truth. Isabel indicates that she’s wanted to tell their mom the truth all along, but Max indicates that telling the truth could destroy everything. Isabel then tells Max that this isn’t just his decision. I think that this scene showed the fundamental difference between Max and Isabel, as Isabel wants to feel truly connected with her adopted family and is happy with her life on earth, and wants nothing more than to belong, while Max, like Michael, feels like an outsider, and has never really felt comfortable in this “alien” world that he’s forced to call home. Mrs. Evans talks to Isabel, and asks her if she has any memories of their life before their adoption, and Isabel answers sweetly but evasively, saying that the day the Evans came for them is when their lives began, which, to Isabel, represents a certain type of truth.

Back at school, Michael and Maria argue some more, and Maria demands an apology that Michael is not prepared to give. Back at the Crash Down, Kyle goes to see Liz, and, pressed, she admits that she feels somewhat responsible for his injury, and that she was sorry for the way that things ended, and Kyle apologizes to her, and they seem to come to an understanding, and leave the door open for them to become friends. Max comes into the Crash Down, but upon seeing Kyle and Liz together, he leaves, clearly hurt.

Mrs. Evans goes to see Sheriff Valenti at his behest, and he shows her the police report detailing the shooting at the Crash Down, and that witnesses reported Max healing Liz. Max then sees Mrs. Evans looking at the video of their childhood, and she focuses on the part where Max healed an injured bird. Mrs. Evans questions Max, and he gets defensive, and he tells he that he can’t tell her what she wants to know, and he leaves, highly agitated and clearly upset.

Max goes to discuss the situation with Michael and Isabel, and Michael and Max tell Isabel that they can’t tell Mrs. Evans the truth, and that Mrs. Evans is not their mother, and Isabel leaves, very upset.

Back at school, Maria finds a napkin holder that Michael had made for her in her locker, along with a thank you note, much to her delight. Michael then talks to Maria, and she says that she didn’t use his napkin holder for her project, but that she kept it, and she thanks him, and he smiles, clearly touched. Michael goes on to say, however, that he can’t get indebted to anyone, and that he has to be a stone wall, and when he gets around her, he feels confused, and he doesn’t want to feel that way, which is as close as Michael can get to admitting that he cares for Maria a great deal.

Back at the Crash Down, Max goes to see Liz, and he tells her that it’s okay if her and Kyle get back together, to which she coldly replies that she wouldn’t need his permission if that were the case. Max, clearly upset, tells Liz that she sounds just like Isabel, saying that Isabel said he’s controlling, and Liz replies that he is controlling, and Max, about to break down, replies that he is who he is, and that he’s trying to make things work. Liz then replies that he should have some faith in the people around him, which has a noticeable affect on Max.

Max then goes to see his mother, who’s sitting on a bench in the park, and she asks him if he wants to find his real parents, and he responds that he doesn’t know where he would be without her and his father, and she responds that nothing he is could ever turn her away from him, and she asks him why he can’t tell her his secret. Max responds by giving her a model house that she had given him, explaining that he hated his first nights in their house, and he cried because he wanted to go home, while Isabel felt at “home” with the Evans right away. Max then tearfully tells his mother that he doesn’t know what “home” is, and he begs her to trust him, and they embrace.

In the final scene, Max apologizes to Isabel, and he tells her that he talked to their mother, and but that he didn’t tell her the truth. Isabel then breaks down and cries, and Max embraces her, and tells her that everything is going to be okay.

Overall, another good show, and it continued to allow us a view into the hearts and souls of these wonderful characters.

#110 The Toyhouse - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Blind Faith - A Review of 'Toy House'
January 20, 2000

"Max, you know what your problem is? You put everything on yourself, on your own shoulders. Maybe you should have some faith in the people around you."

The relationship between mother and child was explored in this touching and, at times heartbreaking, outing penned by Jon Harmon Feldman and Jason Katims. It clearly showed us how secrets can divide families and how difficult blind faith and unconditional love can sometimes be. There were no easy answers to be had here and I was pleased they didn't wrap the story up conveniently by telling the secret. This outcome was much more realistic and offered much greater potential for future story development as Isabel and Max must now deal with actively keeping the truth from their mother.

This episode also gave new dimensions to the relationships between Michael and Maria and between Liz and Kyle as they found their way past hostilities.

Random Thoughts:

I wonder how much of Max's resistance to telling their mother stems from the resistance he's been facing from Isabel and Michael for months about bringing Liz into the fold. He threw their words back in Isabel's face more than once in this episode and the frustration he feels about it was apparent. I did find his absolute refusal to even consider telling their mother a little hard to believe given his complete faith that Liz could be trusted. Certainly you would think Diane has given him more reason think she would be accepting of the idea than Liz had before he confided in her. I would have thought Liz's acceptance of his true nature would have made him more open to trusting the woman who has apparently loved him unconditionally most of his life.

But maybe it's a case of too much too soon for someone almost completely unused to sharing himself with anyone other than Isabel and Michael. Also, the relationship he's had with his mother is one of the few normal relationships he's allowed himself to have over the years. It must be frightening to think of that being taken from him and being confronted with suspicion from the last person he expected it from.

And it's obvious that Isabel has some real issues with Max taking charge when she disagrees with his position. I don't get the impression this happens often and that she is fairly used to getting her way when it does. It's equally obvious that Max doesn't find it easy to stand his ground when faced with her anger and her desperation.

I find Isabel to be such a paradoxical character. With her family, she is almost completely open, warm and loving. She has obviously felt safe and secure in the love of the parents who've raised them since the very beginning. And yet she's developed a persona that is the polar opposite of the warm, loving girl she is at home to deal with the outside world. I enjoy watching the different facets of her personality unfold. Katherine Heigl does such a great job showing us the many layers of Isabel. Her despair at having to withhold the truth from her mother was heartbreaking.

But I found it strange that Diane's suspicions focused so intently on just Max. It seems reasonable to me to assume that if Max had special powers to hide because of where he came from, so would Isabel, since they obviously came from the same place.

While this was primarily an episode that focused on Max's inability to control everything around him, we also saw Liz struggling to get back in control of her life. She refused to admit that it was Max's decision for them to break up by insisting that the decision was 99% mutual. She took steps to resolve the tension with Kyle by extending an olive branch and followed through, opening the door to a more solid friendship with him. And she made it clear to Max that she's not going to be sitting around pining for him.

There was also some real progress in the lines of communication between Michael and Maria. Maria forces Michael to deal with all those messy feelings he's managed to avoid most of his life. She doesn't make excuses for him or make it easy for him. In spite of his repeated statement that he has to remain uninvolved, he's finding himself entangled in a very earthly relationship whether he likes it or not. Her opinion matters to him and he goes out of his way in this episode to make things right with her. I hope Maria realizes what it cost him to be so honest with her and how much he must care about her to make that effort.


  • I loved the exploration of Max and Isabel's relationship with their mother. We have a much clearer understanding of their dynamic, both individually and together. The bonding scenes were very well done and Mary Ellen Trainor did a great job of conveying love for the kids as well as the frustration any mother would have at feeling left out of something significantly important in her children's lives and the hurt of feeling inadequate as a parent.
  • I like Diane's protectiveness of her kids. She shows us again that she's aware of the undercurrents between Max and the sheriff and she doesn't appreciate it.
  • I was glad to see the easing of tensions between Liz and Kyle. He's got a lot of potential as a character and now that they are on the road to friendship, maybe we will see more of him in the future. And let's hope that any further life lessons he learns from Sally Jessy are as enlightening as this one proved to be.
  • I got a chuckle out of Maria spontaneously cheering for the other team and her subsequent reaction.
  • The scenes between Michael and Maria were fabulous. I loved that Michael didn't give up when faced with her hostility, but instead kept making serious efforts to put things right between them. I found it very in keeping with the Michael we've come to know that he would try to solve the interpersonal problem by fixing the napkin holder for her. It represented something real and concrete without the messiness that comes with feelings. I found his anger at her failing grade touching and sweet. Brenden Fehr conveyed the confusion and determination Michael was experiencing superbly.
  • I liked how subtly Sheriff Valenti fed Diane's suspicions about the fire. Instead of coming right out and asking how Max put out a grease fire with a pan of water, he leaves a brochure for her to read, allowing her to wonder that for herself instead of raising her protective shackles by being accusatory.
  • I thought it was cute how Alex rearranged everyone in the bleachers to make room for Isabel and her friends and conveniently created a space for himself right next to her.
  • Loved Mom giving Max the third degree about his mysterious female lab partner.
  • I loved that Max wrapped the toy house in newspaper and then was embarrassed about it.
  • I thought Jason Behr did an outstanding job of showing the frustration and fear Max was feeling as things spiraled out of his control. From watching Liz gravitate back to Kyle to his first serious fight with Isabel to his heartfelt plea to his mother for understanding, his reactions were completely believable and real.


  • There were more set inconsistencies in the Evans and Valenti homes. There was a window where the fireplace should be in the Evans' living room and the Valenti living room was completely different yet again. This makes the three different sets used for that house, by my count.
  • The scene at the lockers with Max and Liz felt contrived. Since when is there reserved seating at a high school basketball game? There was nothing explained about why they would be compelled to sit together and therefore the conversation was unnecessary. And if they were uncomfortable enough about the whole situation to actually have a conversation about it, why would they sit next to each other instead of Liz sitting with Maria?
  • How ironic that both Isabel and Liz were very quick to condemn Max for his controlling ways, without ever acknowledging their own tendencies in the same direction. While I think it was good that Max was forced to confront this in himself, we've seen time and again that Liz is every bit the control freak that Max is and Isabel has been trying to control Max ever since he confessed the truth to Liz. If they really believe that Max is the only one with a control problem, we need to take up a collection and buy them both tickets on the clue train.
  • I thought Max's pretext for going to see Liz after work at the Crashdown was weak. I think it would have been a much stronger scene if he had admitted that he was there because he needed someone to talk to who could provide a little perspective on the situation and wasn't as emotionally vested as Isabel and Michael. I think the same result could have been achieved if they had left Kyle out of it, and Max would have established that he still values Liz as a friend and respects her opinion. He could have even asked her directly if she was getting back together with Kyle without creating the ill will giving her permission created.

Favorite Quotes:

Max: "You're a real party animal, Mom.."

Max: "Everything you always wanted to know about a dead frog."

Max: "Thank you. You mentioned that. Like 10 times."

Michael: "Dealing with Frick and Frack over there is one thing, but we can't bring adults into this and expect them to handle it.."

Liz: "Hey."
Max: "Hey."
Michael: "Hey."
Maria: "Yeah, whatever."

Michael: "Humans. How excited they get over someone putting a ball through a hoop. It's ridiculous."

Isabel: "What are you saying? That if we tell Mom the truth, she won't love us anymore?"
Max: "I'm saying we'll never know the answer to that question."

Maria: "Look, I know how to grip, OK?"
Michael: "Apparently you don't."

Maria: "Interesting. You know, you should get yourself massive doses of therapy, like immediately."

Maria: "Maybe you should figure out what's wrong with you, Michael. Why you can't just piece together an apology like any normal human being. OOPS! Maybe that's the problem."

Isabel: "We can't just do a Max on this. We can't just sit back and passively watch."

Michael: "You healed a pigeon. Great. Now you're Doctor Doolittle."

Liz: "Excuse me? Are you apologizing to me?
Kyle: "I guess."
Liz: "Wow. You know, I wasn't aware that this was part of your repertoire."
Kyle: "I didn't either."

Kyle: "About lunch. I was hoping for something high in both fat and cholesterol without any inherent nutritional value."

Maria: "I guess I can safely rule out any career paths involving wood."

Michael: "It redefined the term napkin holder."

Michael: "I gotta be a stone wall and when I'm with you sometimes I don't feel like a stone wall anymore.
Maria: "What do you feel like?"
Michael: "I don't, confused."
Maria: "Human?"
Michael: "Yeah, and I don't want to feel that way."

Max: "She's got this thing all of a sudden that I'm controlling."
Liz: "Oh, so it's her thing?"
Max: "What?
Liz: "Just take a Psych class, Max, because you are controlling."

I give this episode 4.5 UFOs out of 5.

#110 The Toyhouse - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

When I first sat down to watch this episode, I was a little bored with it. But after multiple viewings, I find that this episode has a certain charm. Up until now, very few episodes have featured the parent / child relationships amongst the teens (the parents seem to disappear shortly after "Tess, Lies, and Videotape and season two features more of Maria's mom then any other parent. The Evan's don't really do much until season three. Nor the Parkers for that matter.) It's rather difficult to sit back and watch these "teenagers" do the things they do and not wonder where their parents are. I'm glad Katims and co-writer Jon Harmon Feldman wrote this episode.

I felt Michael's performance here was a mix of amusement and strangeness. I would chuckle at the typical moments he and Maria would have but then frown at his tendency to be clueless about the facts between them. Whether he simply didn't realize what was going on or he chose to ignore it is a good question. I think it was a little of both. After listening to Maria's confession to him, I had to wonder just what the creators meant by having him hug both Max and Isabel in "Balance" but just stare at Maria and make his "no more running" comment. At the time, I thought that he was just overwhelmed and unable to give her the caring thank you she wanted. But with this episode, Michael has yet to tell her anything. This makes Michael look like he wants his cake and to eat it too. I wonder how many fans were watching this and finding themselves completely on Maria's side. I know I was. But in his defense, he DID try to make it up to her at the end of the episode even if it wasn't quite the way Maria wanted initially.

Maria was Maria here. It's interesting that Maria is usually one to just babble about things until they strike really close to home and THEN she is very straight forward. The fact that she forces Michael to deal with everything is a little overdue if you ask me. And I agree that she really should avoid careers that deal with wood. I really do like Majandra Delfino 's performance in situations like this. She puts a lot of heart into them. I just had to smile at her oogling the basketball players. She's not exclusive to anyone yet!

Apparently, the Us / Them aspect of Isabel I talked about in "Balance" only goes to a point. She doesn't include anyone in her family as one of "Them." Around everyone else, and even Max to an extent, she keeps up a huge wall. There was one problem I saw with the fact that she wanted to tell her mother the truth: why haven't she and Max had this conversation before? In all the time they've known they were aliens, the idea of telling their parents never occurred to them? Yes, in "River Dog" Isabel said she hated lying to her mom. But I felt that Max should have had a line asking why they were having this conversation again. It would have been a perfect piece for continuity' s sake and make it look like this has been something they have dealt with in the past even in events we have never seen.

This episode also begins the main problem between Max and Isabel. In season two, I've read a lot that says Isabel and Max are at odds because she doesn't like Max "being the boss." Here, Isabel makes several statements about how she doesn't like him speaking for her or being the final word. Before this episode, Isabel seems to just quietly let Max do as he will. Now she is becoming vocal about it.

There have been several times in the show so far that I simply roll my eyes at Liz and the things she does and says. One of the main dislikes I have about her is the way Shiri Appleby seems to struggle to spit out her dialogue. Often I want to reach into the screen and smack her upside the head and scream "Just say it!" While she does show this some in this episode, I clapped my hands when she told Max exactly what he really is: controlling. I LIKED that scene.

And Max is definitely controlling. Since day one, he has attempted to be the master of every situation he has been involved in. In this episode, Isabel calls him on it and he doesn't understand why she is angry. Then Liz directly points it out to him and he reacts angrily to her for the first time. As I said earlier, this part of Max's personality is going to cause major problems in season two. In fact, because of Liz's statements, I can easily accept statements in season two where Brody tells Max why his kingdom failed. Specifically, Brody says he was trying to do too much at once. Given Max's behavior here, I can definitely accept that. Max has a need to do everything himself and can't trust anyone else doing it for him. The bad part about this is that he won't admit it and when someone points it out, he reacts with anger. He should take Liz's advice about trusting others. This is Max's major weakness.

Max and Liz both display this next trait. Max constantly issues out orders saying and doing so with the intent that they are final. When someone stands up to him saying he's not the "be all, end all" of things, he will then agree with them but still feels his word is the end of it. Liz does something similar. She tells Kyle she doesn't feel guilty about his injury and when Kyle confronts her, she finally admits it. What is with the double talk from these two?

How about good 'ole Sheriff Valenti? The guy is good. Instead of making any kind of direct statements to Diane, he subtlety shows her things like the pamphlet and the file on the Crashdown incident and lets her draw her own conclusions. It makes it easy to dislike him because it shows how manipulative he his.

Once again, we see that Kyle is unwilling or unable to let Liz go. He says "Hey" to her in the hallway at school right in front of Max and then is able to get her to admit she feels guilty about his injury and seems to enjoy doing it. While he is smitten with Liz, he respects her feelings and doesn' t just barge back into her life. Kudos to him for that one.

Once again, the creators give us an episode without a date (don't you hate it when that happens?) The next episode "Into the Woods" also has no date. It's maddening I tell you! In any event, this episode appears to last six days (or five depending on a couple of things.) Actually, about five days and a few hours but let's keep it simple. Day one begins in the evening with the fire. Day two is the basketball game. Because of the costume change, I felt day three involved Liz delivering the cake to Kyle and ending with Isabel and Max's chat by the power plant (If that is what it is.) Day four begins with Isabel talking to her mom about the orphanage. She has her school books with her. It ends that night as Max watches the bird video and leaves. Day five begins at the quarry with Max, Michael and Isabel and ends when Max gets his "controlling" speech from Liz. The episode ends as Max talks to his mother and then we have the scene at the quarry with Isabel and Max on day six.

I really have a problem with the fire. Diane knocks over a bottle of vegetable oil. It covers the stove, hits the burner and bursts into flames. First, vegetable oil is not that flammable. It will burn but it has to be at a very high temperature. If it was that volatile, then every time we used it in restaurants I've worked at to cook fries and chicken would have been disastrous. The fryers I've used usually heat up anywhere from 200 to 350 degrees. All the oil did was bubble a little as the air trapped under it was heated. The grill where steaks and meats were cooked was of a higher temperature and if oil was sprayed on it, the flames would indeed flare up (note that I said sprayed and not POURED in great quantities as we see here.) Somehow, I don't think that the Evan's stove is capable of those kinds of high temperatures. However, since I'm unwilling to pour a bottle of Wesson on my stove and hold a thermometer over it, I don't have any scientific proof that what we see is or is not possible with this type of oil. It just seems strange to me. If anyone does know, feel free to relate your story.

Early in the episode, Max says Isabel told him about ten times that he should have left Liz. I don't recall Isabel ever telling Max that directly. She has said they should be careful. Personally, I think Max will just listen to any excuse given to him so he doesn't have to admit to his own insecurities when it comes to Liz.

Part of the reason I don't understand Michael's reactions in this episode can be seen clearly in one scene. At school, Michael indicates Maria and Liz and refers to them as "Frick and Frack." I'm pretty sure they heard him say this. When Liz and Maria come over to Max's locker, Michael looks confused when Maria says "Yeah, whatever" to him and walks away. Well, what did you expect Michael?

Diane Evan's remote makes an audible "Click!" when she is using it. I've yet to encounter a VCR or TV remote that "clicks" that loud. I'm sure there are some out there that do. It just appears exaggerated to the extreme here.

There are a few things to note about the basketball game. After Maria makes her "Boys, boys" comment, a quick shot of the player with "10" on his shirt shows him coming to a stop with the ball in his hands. Watch him closely. He stops and slides forward a few inches and gives an audible squeak. He just traveled! But the refs do not call it. (For those unfamiliar with the term, "traveling" in basketball happens when the person with the ball moves without dribbling. Once you plant your feet and stop dribbling, any steps or movement by your pivot foot is a violation. That includes you sliding on the floor. Some refs will let this go. Others will not.)

The next thing is rather unavoidable and pretty funny once you see it. As Kyle is passed the ball before he's distracted by Liz, look at the floor. Kyle is waaay out of bounds! The white line of the court is to the right of the screen. To the left, is a thick green line at the edge of the bleachers. But the ref doesn't call it and he dribbles by Liz and is knocked down by the other player (who is also out of bounds, by the way.) Unfortunately, in order for both Shiri Appleby and Nick Wechsler to be in the shot, the director had to move them closer together and couldn't keep it inside the limits of the court. However, when we see Kyle fall down, he is once again back inside the court limits as the white line on the floor shows.

Isabel and her friends come to the game and Alex clears the bench so they can sit down. Isabel tells Max she needs to talk to him and they get up and leave. Look at Alex. He's got one of those "Where are you going?" looks on his face before turning his attention back to the game. Considering he just scooted a bunch of people out of the way, I can understand.

Dialogue says that Kyle broke his ankle so why does he grab his thigh after he falls? I've sprained my ankle twice and I didn't grab my leg either time.

When reading Kate Ancel's review at, she says that both the Evan's and the Valenti's living rooms look different from previous episodes. She is correct. In "Morning After," there is a fireplace on the left wall in the Evan's living room. In this episode, that wall is now a window. They also must have bought new furniture and gotten rid of a couch. There were two in "Morning After." In this episode, there's just one. The furniture that is seen here is a different color. The Valenti's house is a little harder to pin down because every time we have seen it, it's been quite dark. One thing is for certain though. The door Liz uses is not the front door. The door seen in "Pilot" and "Missing" is not the same as the one we see here. If you look closely, you'll see that the door does not lead outside. It looks to go into another part of the house because the background does not look outdoorsy. Just where is Liz going?

Does anyone else find it strange that Michael just walks into Maria's shop class? Can you really do that in this school? (Given the strangeness that goes on with missing class and such, I'll say "YES!")

Did anyone else grit their teeth at Maria as she tells Michael how they "saved his ass" outloud in a room that echoes as you speak? Maria, Sssssssssssssssh!!

In the scene where Max is painting the ceiling, why isn't there any plastic on the floor to catch dropping paint? Their footsteps are normal sounding. Does he expect to just wave his hand over them later to clean up?

During the discussion with his mom as he paints the ceiling, he tells her it's late and asks why she isn't asleep. Then Isabel comes in to interrupt them and she and Max then head out in the jeep to have a little chat. Did they sneak out or does their mom let them go out at any hour of their choosing?

After seeing this episode about nine times, I was really getting sick of the same song by the Counting Crows played throughout this episode. By the way, Isabel tells Max that he only listens to the Counting Crows when he is really upset. Max is upset a lot in season two but he doesn't listen to the Counting Crows anymore (thank goodness!)

This one may have been intentional. As Max is listening to music in his room, he hears the TV in the other room over the music. Diane must really be cranking up the sound out there. Could it be to get Max's attention?

After Diane turns off the tape, she says Max touched the bird and "it came to life." I don't believe the bird was dead. It just had a broken wing and she even said so on the tape. I think she misspoke (or the writers simply goofed.)

This episode proves that healing a bird is easier then healing a human for Max. In "Pilot" and "Destiny", Max seems to be having a difficult time as he healed both Liz and Kyle (he seems to have an even harder time healing Kyle then he does Liz though.) In this episode, young Max picks up an injured bird and heals it and doesn't even flinch.

Signs on Roswell always add a nifty touch to the episodes they appear in. As Michael is leaning on the wall waiting for Maria towards the end of the episode, a poster on the wall says "Today, I will commit one selfless act of kindness. Will you?" Something Michael just did.

When I initially saw the ending scene with Max and Isabel, I thought they experienced flying arm syndrome with the way their hands kept moving around from shot to shot. After repeated viewings, I find this to be in error. In fact, the director used multiple cameras to film the scene simultaneously and then switched between cameras for different angles. All their arm movements work out as the shots change. Kudos to the detail on that!

#111 Into The Woods - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Father's Day - A Review of 'Into the Woods'
January 27, 2000

"It's a father's weekend. A get-to-know your dad kind of thing."

Penned by Thania St. John and directed by Nick Marck, this episode delved into family dynamics and also provided more clues in the search for a fourth alien. With a prologue worthy of the X-Files, the episode opened with a UFO sighting that stirred the interest of everyone from the resident UFOlogist to River Dog. A school sponsored father-child camping trip provided the perfect excuse for everyone to be crawling about the woods looking for evidence.

Random Thoughts
It was nice to explore the relationship between Kyle and his father. We've been given tidbits of information about their family history in the past, but now it's really been laid out on the table for us how Kyle feels about his father's preoccupation. As if it's not bad enough that he lost Liz to Max Evans, now he's losing his father to him as well. I did like the way the episode wrapped up, with Valenti mending fences with his own father. Hopefully this bodes well for his future relationship with Kyle as well. The symmetry of the two relationships was very well portrayed. Both William Sadler and Nick Wechsler did a great job showing the difficulty both characters are having communicating with each other and their struggle to understand the situation they find themselves in.

They've done a good job adding dimensions to Sheriff Valenti and not just giving us a black and white villain. His agenda hasn't been fully exposed yet and we're still not sure whether he poses the threat that Max, Michael and Isabel obviously think he does.

It's becoming increasingly obvious that Michael is in serious need of a father figure in his life. In spite of the fact that he's a self proclaimed loner, he is searching desperately for someone to fill those shoes. His jealousy is apparent in his gruff manner whenever he talks about Max and Isabel's father and his acute need in his haste to jump to the conclusion that River Dog is not only the fourth alien, but also their father. There hasn't been anything up to this point to support his belief that the missing alien is even related to them, much less a parent. The scene where Michael confronts River Dog for answers was sad and heartfelt.

I liked the dramatic extreme shown as we cut from the scene of Liz and her father sharing a warm hug to Michael's home where Hank can't even be bothered to keep milk in the house, much less provide any kind of nutritious meal for him.

I did wonder why River Dog only attempted to track down Michael. I originally assumed that Michael told him about the camping trip and they were planning to meet up with Isabel and Max, but they were all surprised to run into each other in the woods and I didn't get the impression that Michael and River Dog expected to see them.

It seemed strange, too, that Max was the one pushing to look into the sighting. That seemed much more up Michael's alley and yet Michael seemed to dismiss it until River Dog showed up. It seemed out of character for him to not pursue the possibility of a clue even if it meant joining the Evans' party. More evidence that Michael doesn't have the best relationship with Philip Evans, perhaps?

Interesting that Max, Isabel and Michael would call one of their own an alien. Doesn't it stand to reason that everyone else would be the aliens to them?


  • Overall, I really liked the deeper look we were given into the dynamics of the Valenti family, but I thought the last scene between the sheriff and Kyle ended badly. We were just left hanging with Kyle's accusation that he's filling the same position that Jim did as a child with his father. I was hoping to see more of a reaction to this from the sheriff. It apparently made some impact since it inspired him to visit his father in the nursing home, but the scene with Kyle was unresolved. I was hoping for some acknowledgement on his part to Kyle that there was some truth to the accusation.
  • And speaking of the nursing home, just imagine how long it's been since the sheriff has actually been to see his dad since he didn't even recognize him and had to have him pointed out by an orderly.
  • So, Max, Michael and Isabel needed a private place to talk and the eraser room at school was the best they could manage? I agree it made for some comic relief to have them all pile into the eraser room, but since Max found out about the sighting the night before, it seems to me he could have found some privacy with at least Isabel at home or in the Jeep on the way to school.
  • For such a deadbeat, Hank sure manages to move himself and Michael around a lot. This was the third home we've seen them living in. The first was a house in the pilot episode and the second was a completely different trailer in 'The Morning After'. They are moving up a little though, because this one actually has a covered patio.
  • Mr Evans was looking different in this episode. Oh, maybe that's because it wasn't the same guy who played him in 'The Morning After'.
  • So now, even Liz's dad thinks she'd be involved with drugs. The people in her life don't trust her very much, do they? I'd be starting to get a complex if I were her.


  • I loved the look on Max's face when Milton asked him about close encounters.
  • The interaction between Alex and Isabel was wonderfully done. I liked how casually she turned the tables on him when he asked her to the arty film festival and asked him to a regular movie instead. And I loved the scene when they are looking at the stars together. She looked so pleased when he explained how the stars were so full of possibilties now. And so panicked when she realized how seriously Alex was taking her interest.
  • I was glad to see Isabel taking a little of her own medicine when it comes to getting serious about anyone. I should qualify that by saying that I don't agree with that decision, and really want her to be with Alex. But it is only fair that if she's going to be so stubbornly resistant to Max dating Liz, then she shouldn't indulge in serious relationships herself. And it's clear that she's beginning to realize a relationship with Alex would be serious.
  • Maria's whole attitude change provided comic relief, although it seemed like a case of "the lady doth protest too much". She did have most of the best lines this time around though. The whole aqua bra bit was great. As was the effort to convince Max and Michael they had big dates for the weekend. With men, no less. I laughed out loud when Max discovered they'd been lying.
  • How cute was Max playing poker with the men and cheating so Liz's dad could win? I hope Liz appreciates his efforts to win brownie points.
  • Michael's powers are improving. He must be practicing. It's probably a good thing River Dog didn't know about the past disasters caused by Michael's lack of control over his powers.

Favorite Quotes

Maria: "Liz, today is the first day of the rest of our lives."
Liz: "Spending time with your mother again?

Maria: "Ixnay on the iningpay"

Maria: "Like a puppy in heat. He's my next project."

Isabel: "I can't believe I'm in the eraser room with you two."

Michael: "There's no milk."
Hank: "Use beer."

Maria: "My idea of the great outdoors is rolling my windows down in the car on my way to the mall."

Deputy: "He's a walking bundle of stress."
Kyle: "That's my dad."

Maria: "Am I going to have to do an intervention with you?"

Maria: "It's an aqua bra. You know, all the fun of implants without the invasive surgery part."

Maria: "We've both been kind of busy."
Michael: [looking at her chest] "Yeah, I can see that."

Liz: "It's not that cold."
Maria: "You're not wearing an ice bra."

Maria: "Another one being sucked into the alien abyss."

Maria: [Watching Michael follow Max into the eraser room] "No wonder he couldn't make a commitment."

Alex: "Did I mention that I'm not very athletic except for dodgeball?"

Alex: "I was wondering - do aliens enjoy the cinema?"
Isabel: "Alex..."
Alex: "Yeah, right. Sorry. The 'A' word."

Max: "So River Dog saw the light."
Michael: "The Dog himself."

Liz: "Alex, your paranoid schizophrenia? It's kicking in."
Alex: "Right. I'm going to go to the bathroom and have a little talk with myself."

Max: "We've been looking forward to it."
Isabel: "Yeah, absolutely. Mosquitos, pit toilets and animal droppings. Yes!"

Liz: "Maria, having a life is one thing, but having a whole fantasy life is just a little bit troubling, don't you think?"

Isabel: "Well, that's our new policy, Dad. We're joiners. Right, Max?"
Max: "Joiners."

Maria: "We were making such progress."

Max: "I wanted us to slow down, not screech to a halt."

Milton: "Where's Max Evans?"
Maria: "I thought he worked for you, dude."

Milton: "A close encounter. How many of us can say we've had that?"

Liz: "I hate not knowing what's going on with Max."
Maria: "His decision, if I recall."

I give this episode 3.75 UFOs out of 5.

#111 Into The Woods - Review

Written by LSS

The opening scene of Into the Woods, with images of lightening laced clouds and flashes of light, heralds the theme of alien encounters--a Science Fiction theme frequently associated with Roswell, NM. This theme becomes the episode¢s framing device when, in its closing scene, we find Sheriff Valenti admitting to his aged father that maybe -just maybe - his father was right all along concerning aliens and Roswell. Sandwiched between the opening visual sighting and the concluding verbal affirmation of alien existence, lay several interesting ideas drawn from both the real world of UFOology and the speculative world of Science Fiction.

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. Milton, the owner/proprietor of Roswell¢s UFO Museum, tells Max that Frazier Woods is the site of a newly reported close encounter. Milton's use of this term propels us into the real world of UFO investigations.

The term close encounter was coined by Dr. J. Allen Hynek in his 1972 book, The UFO Experience: A Scientific Study. (Hynek, a professor of astronomy, also served as a consultant to the United States Air Force's Project Blue Book.) In The UFO Experience, Hynek developed a classification system to catalogue UFO sightings:

Close Encounters of the First Kind (CEI) = A UFO in close proximity of witness (about 500 feet).
Close Encounters of the Second Kind (CEII) = Encounters that leave physical evidence.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (CEIII) = CEI and CEII that have visible occupants.

Although Hynek's system utilized only three categories, it was later expanded to include two more:
Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind (CEIV) = Abduction cases.
Close Encounters of the Fifth Kind (CEV) = Communication between a human and an alien.

So, although Milton simply employs the term close encounter in his conversation with Max, the sighting described in this episode falls more into the real world category of a CEII, since it leaves behind physical evidence (the symbol on the ground). Of course, the audience knows what Milton has yet to find out--that Milton himself has a CEV daily by simply employing and talking to Max at the museum!!!

ALIENS AS ENEMY. Previous episodes of Roswell have explored/alluded to the human fear of aliens as 'the other'. One has only to think of Maria's dream in Monsters where the handsome, tuxedoed Michael is transformed into Science Fiction's traditional BEM (Bug Eyed Monster) to see this fear in its most common form. In Into the Woods, this fear is implied in Kyle¢s campfire storytelling. Kyle relates the case of one Haddie Wexler, whose cows were not only mutilated with surgical precision, but who claimed to have been abducted, and whose skull later was allegedly found to have perfectly bored holes in it and subsequently buried in Area 51 (NOTE: Area 51 = the super-secret installation in Nevada that is the target of real world UFO conspiracy theorists; also the subject of a special section in the Roswell's [the TV series] UFO Museum). The irony of this scene is significant, for Kyle¢s audience is Liz and Maria, whose first hand knowledge of aliens not only exceeds Kyle's, but who both know that aliens in Roswell (thus far, that is) are handsome and charming--far from the BEM's of Science Fiction legend!

ALIENS AND THEIR POWERS. This episode highlights Michael's effective use of his powers in a way not previously seen. Not only does Michael join with Max and Isabel in activating the symbol near the episode's end, but he also heals River Dog's broken ankle. The subject of alien powers is a resurfacing story element woven throughout Roswell's storyline. To date we have seen: 1) healing, 2) telekinesis, 3) the power to connect, 4) dreamwalking, and, 5) the ability to manipulate matter. Whether or not all of our alien trio have the same powers, however, remains to be seen (for example, only Isabel has dreamwalked). Both Max and Isabel's powers seem to be under control and are consistent. But Michael has difficulty controlling his powers. Thus when Michael heals River Dog (and in the process 'connects' with him) it comes as a bit of a surprise to the viewing audience. True to the pattern we saw established when Max heals Liz, Michael gets flashbacks of River Dog from Balance.

NASEDO: THE ALIEN OFF STAGE The elusive fourth alien, referred to by River Dog as Nesedo visitor), remains unseen throughout this episode. Nevertheless, the flashing light in the clouds--the 'sighting' as it is called--announces his presence in Roswell. This is affirmed by River Dog¢s exchange with Michael (River Dog: "Did you see it? It was real; Michael:"How do you know?"; River Dog: "I've seen it before."). Indeed, much of the episode's action is directed toward finding physical proof of the sighting's significance. When our trio finds a symbol (a whirlwind figure or stylized galaxy?) they activate it with their powers (by making it glow). Exactly what this activation implies--whether communication, or some other function--remains a mystery at this point in the series. Although the significance/translation of the symbol remains unclear to the audience, Michael furnishes an explanation to both characters and audience alike--Nesedo is back!

#111 Into The Woods - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

Off we go "Into the Woods."

The last episode "Toy House" was the first parent show. This is the second parent show but it's a little one sided. Only the fathers are seen here and the mothers are mentioned only in passing mostly from Maria. While this is ok, it raised a few questions for me. Where was Liz's mom during all of this? And shouldn't there have been a line from Maria saying that her dad had taken off so casual fans who hadn't seen "285 South" would be filled in?

I found this episode a little slow and not quite as good as "Toy House." In that episode, the parental interaction was an important part of the plot. Here, it seems to be just a convenience.

I frowned on Max in this episode. This stems from his actions in "Balance." In this episode he asks Liz if things between them will always be like they are now. They are quite strained at the moment. Liz says she thought that this was what he wanted. Max tells her that he only wanted them to slow down not come to a halt. Oh really? That's not how he came across in "Balance." To me, Max came off extremely insecure and unwilling to further their relationship. If Max wanted to slow down, he should have said he wanted to slow down. And for those of you that say Max's line about taking a step back was just that, let me just say that according to dialogue in this episode, he hasn't seen or spoken to Liz in a couple of days. Max dumped Liz. Plain and simple. If this is Max's idea of taking a step back, he must take some humongous strides when he walks.

I also do not understand why Max let Liz's father win the poker game. Personally, I would have written the scene differently. I would have let Mr. Parker say his line about Max having some kind of power over the others and put down his full house. I then would have Max put down his cards unaltered, smile at him and say "Yes." It would have been a really nice touch and given the two characters an even better bonding moment then what we saw here.

Liz makes a valiant stand here. Instead of being somewhat cowardly and hiding from Max, when he confronts her at the campground, she faces up to him. I'm hard on her character from time to time but in the last few episodes, Liz really has been putting her foot down. The only complaint I have is that once again, she reminds Max that he made her a part of everything. Now I can look at it in two ways: Max is either trying to forget what he did back in September or Liz is trying to blackmail Max into letting her take part in everything he does. It is an inevitable fact between them but the way she keeps bringing it up seems to make Max uncomfortable and rightly so.

Maria really plays the "sticking out like a sore thumb" part in this episode quite well. She's definitely the comic relief. While I could appreciate a friend helping me out as she did for Liz in this episode, her outright lie about the dates with the college guys really came back to bite the both of them in the rear end. Oopsie, Maria. I also kept wondering just where Maria gets all the medicines she has. First Cyprus seed oil and now "ackaphasia" and goldseal (I can't spell it so if anyone knows, let me know. Echenatia I THINK. I don't know.) We found out in "Independence Day" that Maria gets her new age medicines from her mother's shop.

We get a chance to visit with everyone's dad including Michael's stepdad Hank. He really is a jerk. When I first heard Michael's theory that River Dog was their dad, I gave the TV a thumbs down. I know Michael is quick to jump to conclusions but this theory was way out in left field. I think this was too extreme even for Michael and probably one of the worst things in the show character wise so far. I'm glad they didn't continue with it.

One other thing about Michael was the look on his face as Maria revealed the college dates story. Michael didn't believe her for a second. Apparently, Michael can already read Maria like a book.

Isabel is developing "Max syndrome" towards Alex. In "Heatwave", Isabel was surprised to learn Alex liked her. She follows up with this by asking Alex to the party. I believe she did this with a duel purpose. The first was to find out what Alex said to Valenti but she was genially disappointed when Alex thought this was her only purpose. She was happy to spend time with him. In this episode, she still shows that. But when Alex brings up the possibility of them having another date, she immediately throws up her walls and tells him that it cannot happen. Of course, I'm more lenient on Isabel with this then I would be with Max because she has never let anyone inside.

I don't understand Alex's reactions here. In his dream, he tells Isabel how he understands why she is so distant and that she can trust him. I've no doubt Alex knows and believes this. But when he runs into Isabel's walls, he acts like he can't understand why she is trying to keep him at a distance. It may be an "Alex quirk" but it is a little odd.

I think this episode finally showed Sheriff Valenti that he is becoming exactly like his father. He was painfully shown himself in his son Kyle's place and is finally able to let himself admit that perhaps his dad was right. We actually get more into this relationship in "The Convention." And why was Agent Stevens calling the Sheriff? When the deputy asked if the Sheriff was going to return his call, I thought "Huh?" I don't think Stevens would want the Sheriff involved on any level. Also, the Sheriff corners off four square miles of Frasier Woods. I wonder what legal trickery he used to make that work. Otherwise, the owner of the UFO Center (who STILL has not been given a name as of yet) could sue for unlawful arrest.

This was the first really good copy of the show on tape for me. From this point on, they are all perfect copies.

Folks at the Crashdown are not very health conscious. In "Heatwave", we saw Maria sweeping the floor in bare feet. In "Toy House", we see Liz piling scoop after scoop of coffee grinds into the filter and then she shoves it into its slot sending the overfill all over the coffee maker. If the burners were on, she's lucky they didn't catch fire. This episode is the worst example of all. At the beginning, we see Liz sneeze into her hands and then walks out front to begin work. I can promise you that if I ever eat at the Crashdown, Liz Parker will not be serving my food!! She does this not once, but twice. After buying meds from Maria, she sneezes and wipes her nose on her hands before heading upstairs. Will someone tell her to wash her hands!!

There are many strange things in the universe. This episode features one of them. Maria is wearing an aqua bra to increase her bust size. In doing so, she gets a good deal of male attention and tells Liz she actually has gotten three guy's phone numbers since second period. There have been many occasions where I have overheard girls saying how insulted they felt that during the entire time they were out with a guy that he kept staring at their chests. Yet here, Maria is actually encouraging it. So I'm confused. Do you women want us to stare at your chest or not? (Let's do try to stay on topic here but I could not resist posing this question.) Just in case you are wondering the same thing, Maria was doing it to make herself feel better because of the way Michael has been treating her lately. That and make Michael jealous.

Liz's dad says he isn't used to the whole privacy thing when he walks in on Liz in her underwear. Well, there would be less chance of that if he would knock before entering his daughter's room. And yes, the door was open but still, I trust I have made my point.

As Liz looks in her mirror to brush her hair, look at the upper left portion of the screen and you can see the playback monitors reflected in the glass!

Hank must not have any taste buds. Can you imagine putting beer on Cornflakes?

As Michael sits down to "dinner", he puts a bottle of tobasco sauce on the table. I'm pretty sure the liquid in the bottle is clear! Is tobasco sauce not red? (Beer, tobasco sauce, Cornflakes. Michael should carry a bottle of Pepto Bismal!)

For reference purposes, Kyle says he is 16 here. We also now have both of Max's parent's names. They are Diane and Phillip Evans. However, their dad must have had plastic surgery because he looks quite different from when he appeared in "Morning After." (I don't deal in reality here folks!)

In "Blood Brothers" I took exception to the fact that Max and Liz could leave school like they did. I used the example that in my high school we had what was called a "closed campus" meaning once you arrived, you couldn't leave until school was out because they are responsible for your well being during school hours. In this episode, Kyle had third period free and leaves campus to visit his dad. Roswell High is a very weird school.

Of course, there are no dates given in this episode making it difficult to find out how to fit it into the timeline. I'm going to have to wait until I get another date before I can fit this episode and "Balance" into the time frame. This episode lasts six days. The first day is the "dry lightning" in Fraiser Woods. Day two is the debut of the aqua bra and ends after Michael runs into River Dog the first time. Day three begins with Kyle playing hooky to buy a new tent and Alex has to cancel his date with Isabel. I have to believe that this day is a Friday because the camp out is supposed to last the weekend. Now here is where it gets a bit fuzzy. Liz tells Maria that the bus leaves at five. She doesn't specify A.M. or P.M. However, when we look at the skyline as everyone boards the bus, it looks to be early evening. Now even with daylight savings time the sun can not be that high in the sky at 5 A.M. so the only explanation is that the bus to the campground is leaving on Friday night, 5 P.M. The search takes place that night. We next see Sheriff Valenti visiting his father. Since I do not believe that Valenti up and left Kyle by himself at the campground, he stayed the entire weekend and went to see his father on Monday. So we don't see anything of day five. It skips right to day six. I say six days because Kyle says he will see him on Monday so the bus probably returned Sunday night. I'm willing to accept this episode lasting five days with Valenti going to his dad on Sunday evening if when we finally are given another date, six days won't fit into the timeline. (NOW do you see why not having dates in the episodes is such a maddening experience? The creators are playing with our minds!)

Even though the FCC has lightened up a bit on the use of colorful language on TV, I'm surprised the WB actually let this one slip by. As Alex rambles about Isabel at the Crashdown, he suddenly gets the idea that the whole thing is joke and says "you bastards" to Liz and Maria. Whoops! It goes by quickly but that is definitely what he says.

When we first see Max and Isabel's dad as they prepare to board the bus, look at the do rag on Isabel's head. Does the "Aunt Jemima" look just not work for her?

I cannot help but burst out laughing no matter how many times I see Maria in her fuzzy booty things. I realize Maria is not exactly what we call "woodsy" but her wardrobe and accessory choices here are absolutely ridiculous. Does she not own any kind of sensible shoes for this kind of situation? Maria strikes me as the type to have a wide variety of shoes in her closet. Maria brings her guitar case. Now I've seen all of the season one episodes. I do not recall being given any indication that Maria plays the guitar (note that I said in season one.) I'm not saying she doesn't but as of "Destiny", I've not seen her play an instrument (she won't actually play one until season three's "Behind the Music.") I originally thought this was the only piece of luggage that Maria bring. Under Cover Angel 68 reminded me that she is wearing a purple backpack. Hopefully, she has more sensible clothing in it then what she was wearing. Maybe she has one of KISS's old outfits in there.

The name "Kalinoski" makes another appearance in the show. The camp organizer reads the name off his list as people board the bus. The first two episodes the name was announced in were "285 South" and "Heatwave."

Does anyone else find it strange that River Dog just opens the door to Michael's trailer in the middle of the night? Hank doesn't strike me as the type to leave his door unlocked. And unless Michael is sleeping in the living room, his trailer gets a redesign between now and "Independence Day." In that episode, we see that Michael's bedroom door opens into the kitchen. Here, the background behind River Dog is of the trailer park.

According to "Kate Ancel" it's the third house for Hank and Michael. Kate says "For such a deadbeat, Hank sure manages to move himself and Michael around a lot. This was the third home we've seen them living in. The first was a house in the pilot episode and the second was a completely different trailer in 'The Morning After'. They are moving up a little though, because this one actually has a covered patio." She's right about the trailer being different from the one seen in "Morning After" but we didn't see Michael's house in "Pilot." The first time we saw where Michael lived was in "Morning After."

Great line this episode.

"I am now wearing an ice bra." -Maria as they hike through the woods. Transcripts of this episode done with closed captioning have Maria saying "You're not wearing an ice bra." (I think the spoken line is funnier.)

Hiking through the woods, Maria says she's freezing (hence the great line above.) When I heard this, I said "Why don't you zip up the giant, fluffy coat you're wearing Maria?"

When Michael heals River Dog (something we never see Michael do again for the rest of the series...until "Who Died and Made You King?" of course) he gets an "hallucination" (see my review of "Four Square" about this.) Does this mean he and River Dog are now connected? The ramifications of this are just too darn scary to consider!

The woods are sure brightly lit. Of course, it wouldn't do for us to stare at a black screen with a bunch of voices for half an hour.

When Valenti is first shown visiting his father, we see him leaning up against the door watching him. A doctor comes up and says "Can I help you?" Wait a minute. This is a mental hospital. Was Valenti able to just waltz in without first checking in at the front desk? This would certainly explain why alien stories are so rampant in Roswell. All of the crazy folks get out long enough to tell the populace strange abduction stories before someone notices they are missing and goes out to pick them up. And it's easy to do too because there's no one watching the front door!

Valenti Sr. is upset because his pears are slippery. No wonder. The guy is eating them with a spoon. Use a fork dude!

As the Sheriff approaches his father, a chair magically appears on the right side of the screen conveniently for the Sheriff to sit down in. I'll say this. The staff might not be good at the front door but their chair service is top notch.

Next is "The Convention." I'm going to love that episode.

#112 The Convention - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Alien Hunter - A Review of 'UFO Convention'
February 3, 2000

"Who was that?"
"That, Deputy, was a genuine alien hunter."

This episode was an artful blend of levity and danger written by freshman writer Emily Whitesell and directed by Tucker Gates. Set against the comical backdrop of the 10th Annual Roswell UFO Convention, Max and Sheriff Valenti are both confronted with a ghost from Valenti's past. Everett Hubble, the man that Valenti holds responsible for the mental breakdown of his father, drifts back into town after a 30 year absence with an unhealthy interest in Max. Tempted by the chance to discover the truth and against his better judgement, Valenti forms an uneasy alliance with the alien hunter, with disasterous results.

Random Thoughts:
This episode was a great mixture of humor and solid story points. I feel like we know Valenti's heart a lot more after this. He's a man almost as much in need of answers about his past as Max, Michael and Isabel. This was a pivotal moment for him and when faced with the consequences of his misplaced trust, he made the right choice.

The return of Larry and Jennifer added to the story nicely as well. I liked that we got to know them a little better individually and the bonding between Liz and Jennifer was sweet. Liz is such a tender-heart. And I loved Jen's choice of reading material… 'Women are from Venus, Men are from Mars'; how appropriate.

The use of the slow motion as we see Liz and Maria through Max and Michael's eyes was interesting and different.

How could Alex not see how hard it was for Isabel to send him away? That was the least convincing send-off I've ever seen. Note to Alex Charles Whitman: when the girl's face lights up when you enter a room and her voice breaks and trails off when she's sending you away, chances are pretty good her heart's not in it. He'd have to be blind to not see how much it cost her to hurt him like that.

Did anyone else notice how fast it got dark after Max pulled into Peppers? When they cut away to the Crashdown, it was still daylight. When they cut back to Max and Hubble, it was pitch dark.

Michael made me laugh with his interrogation of all the conventioneers, looking for answers. Especially his insistence that Max introduce him to 'the real guys', and his expectation that there are real answers to be found at a UFO convention.


  • I loved the interaction between Michael and Maria's mother. Especially Michael 'Stonewall' Guerin stepping in and saving the day in the Alien Takedown. He works so hard to hide his heart of gold, but he's really going to have to stop making these grand gestures if he wants to maintain the facade.
  • The captioned stills announcing each day of the convention was a nice touch, I thought.
  • I loved the irony of Max taking relationship advice from Mr. Lonely Heart himself, Michael. Nothing like going to the experts.
  • Milton makes me laugh every time. Steve Hytner plays the quirkiness to the hilt.
  • The appearance of Jonathan Frakes at the UFO convention was funny, but I do think they overplayed that joke just a bit.
  • The sheriff's dad and Amy DeLuca are great supporting characters and John Cullum and Diane Farr play them beautifully.
  • The flashback scenes at Pepper's Café were beautifully done. I loved the use of color to distinguish between the past and the present and the suble blending as we moved back and forth.
  • I loved that Michael was finally in a position to save Max for a change. Although you know there is something seriously amiss when he's the calm, level-headed one of the group.
  • I thought the final showdown between Max and Sheriff Valenti was fabulous! William Sadler outdid himself in this episode in general, but in this scene especially. The remorse he was feeling at the outcome of the whole situation was obvious and well played. Jason Behr was also outstanding in this scene as he finally confronted the sheriff with all the anger, fear and frustration that has been building for months. He can do so much with facial expressions and tone of voice. It was such an amazing scene; superbly written and acted.


  • Hubble died awfully quickly. He appeared to be hit in the upper right shoulder and yet he immediately lost consciousness with no discernible loss of blood. A little too convenient for my taste.
  • I know this is nitpicky, but it's a personal peeve of mine…I really wish they would test simple things like cell phone functionality. You don't get a dial tone when someone hangs up on a cell phone.... you get a quick busy and then dead air.
  • How did Michael get to Pepper's Cafe so quickly? He doesn't have a car and there was no evidence of a bicycle. I was glad to see him there, but it stretched my credibility a bit to believe he made it there on foot faster than the sheriff in a vehicle.
  • I wish there had been more interaction between Amy and Valenti. He blew her off so quickly at the convention. I'm looking forward to future story development between those two.
  • Max really needs to add a little color to his wardrobe. Does he even own a shirt that's not dark? Light grey doesn't count.

Favorite Quotes:

Isabel: "I want to get the hell out of here. This place is psychologically damaging."

Michael: "This place could hold the answers to everything."
Isabel: "Yeah, I'm sure it's a real mecca for factual information."

Max: [From under Alien head] "Save me....I'm a human trapped in an alien body."

Isabel: "You realize we've just lost our last shred of dignity."

Customer: "I am Zenaplox from the planet Zetagon. I come to destroy humanity and return to my home planet."
Liz: "Well, then, it's really great that you're starting out with a nice, hearty breakfast."

Liz: "Can I get you a beverage?"
* Larry: "A beverage would be good. How about one of those milkshakes you it is...Alien Encounter. I'll have an Alien Encounter."

Max: "Michael, I have to talk to you about something....personal"
Michael: "Nothing's too personal."
Max: "How did you deal with Maria?"
Michael: "Too personal."

Michael: "You can't let yourself be led around by your [pause] energy source."

Michael: "Alien Takedown? What is that? Some sort of wrestling match?"
Maria: "Yeah, the Alien Takedown. You have a problem with that?"
Michael: "Yeah, you know what? I do. I'm here trying to figure out the meaning of my existence and I'm tired of having to wade through the kooks like you and the freak shows like this to do it.

Maria: "Mom Michael Michael Mom."

Maria: "My mother. Great first impression."
Michael: "Why would I want to make an impression?"

Milton: "I'm not going to lie to you, Evans. I'm moved right now."

Max: "Michael, there are no real guys. It's a freak show."

Amy: "If I'd known real life was going to be so difficult, I never would have signed up."

Michael: [Maria kisses him] "Mud. I'm thinking about mud."
Maria: "Why do I even try?"

Alex: "No, no, no. Not a date. Just two friends out at the same place enjoying the same thing at the same time."

Hubble: "I'm no Captain Kirk, but I'll give it my best shot."

Larry: "Jen, I have had an epiphany."
Jen: "Really? I thought you said it was an allergy attack?"

Max: "You're the're supposed to protect me."

Max: "You want me? Well, here I am!"

Valenti: "Son...."
Max: "Would you treat your son this way?"

I give this episode 4.75 UFOs out of 5.

#112 The Convention - Review

Written by LSS

Set against the backdrop of a UFO convention, this episode employs an engaging mixture of fiction set against the backdrop of reality. It is a mixture that takes place not only within the show's narrative structure (which mixes 'real' aliens and alien hunters with their pseudo-counterparts) but also between the TV series and the real Roswell, NM. Like the previous episode, it contains themes and images taken from both the worlds of UfOlogy and of Science Fiction.

UFO Conventions. Contrary to what some might think, UFO conventions are not staple fare for most science fiction writers--for precisely the reasons implied in this episode. Isabel's remark that the convention is 'psychologically damaging' applies to more than just the aliens attending. "Zinaplex's" words to Liz, along with his claim to be from the planet Zedagon, symbolizes the fringe element such gatherings sometimes attract.

Of course, what the audience may not know is that Roswell, NW does indeed have a UFO museum and, in fact, that museum does hold an annual convention. Moreover, Roswell, NM is also the site of a UFO festival. At one such gathering in 1999, it even featured a guest appearance from a Star Trek celebrity. Art imitating life? Perhaps! It would be intriguing to know if Katims' writers knew about this before they wrote this episode.

On a literary level, Milton hails the convention as one of the most important gatherings of the paranormal in history' while Max tells Michael it is simply "a freak show". Neither Milton nor Max is correct, but for different reasons. Max, of course, is well aware of Hubble and suspects he might indeed know something--but lies to Michael about it (perhaps to remain in control of this possible information or else to shield Michael from the consequences of approaching Hubble). Milton's mistake, however, must be credited to Roswell's writers. Milton identifies the convention as dealing with the'paranormal'. Although the paranormal is often found juxtaposed to the mention of aliens in lists of fringe topics, it is debatable as to whether it is to be understood as synonymous with aliens. Whereas 'paranormal' usually conjures up images of terrestrial powers (telepathy, telekinesis, etc.) or of the supernatural (ghosts) it does not have to evoke the specter of extraterrestrials!

The scene involving the panel discussion displays a good example of the ironic blurring of narrative reality and fiction. The speaker blithely refers to smooth skinned ovoid E.B.E.s (= Extraterrestrial Biological Entities) while the 'real' aliens (in the form of handsome teenage males) stand by and listen. Moreover when Larry begins to describe his own alien encounter (which the audience knows is 'real') the so-called alien experts discredit him. Ultimately, these' experts' remain in the room, while Larry, the one person who we know actually had an alien encounter, gets escorted out by Max, the very alien he encountered.

Alien Types. The mention of the 'smooth skinned ovoid E.B.E raises the issue of alien typologies often encountered in UFO terminology. Although there is no one standardized classification, such systems usually distinguish between grays, reptilians, humanoids, etc. One wonders, however, as to the purpose of this narrative mention within Roswell¢s larger storyline. Are we, as viewers, being alerted to smooth skilled ovoid E.B.E.s as an image we will encounter in future episodes? Or are the writers simply using a stereotypical image we will all recognize?

Aliens and Alienation. One of the most humorous (but poignant) moments in the episode¢s beginning centers on Max as he descends the museum's stairs struggling to take off part of his 'alien' costume. His words, "Help, I'm a human trapped in an alien body" speak volumes of both Max's dilemma in Roswell's story line, as well as to the way aliens function as metaphor in Science Fiction. Max, we have been told, is an alien (who appears on our screen in human form). Max struggles to come to terms with how his form (human) and his nature (alien) can coexist. When he is in the alien costume, and struggles to get out of it, we have a truly surreal moment in the episode (alien / human form in / alien costume / human trapped in / alien costume). Max¢s struggle, of course, takes place on two levels--the physical (the costume) and the social/psychological (the alienation he feels from both alien and human societies). This latter struggle epitomizes one aspect of "alien as metaphor". Aliens often function in Science Fiction to explore the feelings of otherness and alienation that humans feel within and between their own communities. Thus some alien struggles have more to do with humanity than they ever have to do with extraterrestrials! While this theme is an undercurrent throughout the Roswell TVseries, it is implied in a somewhat humorous way in this episode's costume scenes.

Aliens as Menace. Because the aliens in Roswell are so attractive and charming, it is easy to forget that Science Fiction has a tradition of imaging aliens that is far from the 'eye candy' and charm our Roswell cast presents. Throughout this episode we are reminded of this more nefarious image at various junctures. One so-called alien expert, for example, remarks to Michael that aliens are "brutal, dangerous killers, and must be stopped at any cost." The brutality of this statement (delivered ironically to one of the 'real' aliens in the room) is echoed by the young boy¢s question to Max as Max staffs the information booth: "Why did they kill the aliens from the 1947 cras?" Such references stand as warning to both the aliens in the storyline and to the viewing audience. Exposure is dangerous. And although such exposure has thus far resulted in friendship and in some cases love (Liz, Maria, Alex) disaster may await around the turn of a narrative corner. Inevitably, one suspects, our story will 'go there'. The question is not if, but simply when. And when it does we may find out that, while humans fear aliens, our alien teens may have every right to fear humans as well!

The Fourth Alien. In the dramatic conclusion to this episode, Hubble confronts Max with the accusation that he is a shapeshifter who has killed before. Unlike Max, we the audience have been made privy to the pictures of various bodies boldly imprinted with fatal silver handprints. Such references raise the issue, not only of the presence of a fourth alien, but also of whether or not the alien is good or evil (this issue may revolve around the motivation behind the deaths, though it is difficult to imagine just motivation for killing a pregnant woman). And, of course, it raises the issue of how many aliens are on earth outside Roswell. Is the alien responsible for the symbol at the end of Into the Woods the one who left this trail of dead bodies? Or are we talking about a fifth alien? Either way, it looks like the world outside Roswell may be far more complicated that either our alien trio, or we as an audience, have thus far been led to believe.

#112 The Convention - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

"The Convention." Or "UFO Convention." I've seen both to name this episode.

Now THIS is a good episode!! This episode lays the groundwork for the appearance of Nasedo. Of course, with the information I have picked up here, more and more and I am not liking Nasedo.

There isn't a whole lot of character development here but everyone does get a chance to participate.

One thing I am happy that the creators have done with Valenti is to not make him such a black and white character. He's in the middle and tends to lean towards one side or the other depending on the circumstances. But when it comes right down to it, he does do the right thing by shooting Hubble at the end of the show. Strangely missing was Kyle in this episode. He wasn't essential to the plot but after the way we were left seeing him and his father part company in "Into the Woods", his absence was felt.

The entire convention gave the gang a chance to learn a little more about themselves. Or at least that's what they were trying to do. I'm not sure what it was they could have learned more about unless the UFO Center had added new exhibits specifically for this function. Max pretty much summed it up for Michael about there not being any "real guys" and it was merely a freak show. I agreed with him when I heard good ole Zenaplox from the planet Zetagon say he'd arrived to destroy us. (I imagine that actor's appearance sealed his future in Hollywood…with him on the outside of it!)

Kate Ancel described Liz as a "good heart" in this episode and I must agree. The fact that she even bothered being kind to Jennifer is proof of that. It was interesting that the creators decided to bring these two back instead of leaving them as they were in "Pilot." (This way of cleaning up loose ends seems to disappear in season two.) The look on Larry's face as he hugged Jennifer after telling her he wanted to settle down makes me believe there's an opening for them to return at some point. However, given the solemn turn to the show with season two, I find this highly unlikely. Cancellation did too.

I really enjoyed the bit in the Crashdown when all the women ganged up on Alex. He really did open a huge can of worms by asking his question. But the really funny part about it is how he asked. Alex says "Hey listen, let me ask you guys a question…" I KNOW that this is just a phrase but everyone around him is NOT a guy. It's just a little thing I laugh at whenever I see this episode.

Alex also really needs to gather up a little more courage around Isabel. When he comes to her house to give her the stargazing book, she is touched by the gift and it shows. She also was amused that it took him twenty minutes to finally get up the guts to come in and give it to her. But when Alex brings up the suggestion that they could both put it to good use with another "date", she immediately throws up her walls and tells him that his "obsession" cannot continue. Isabel obviously did not like having to say this to him but instead of staying to talk to her about it, he simply gives in and leaves. This only made Isabel feel even worse. I'll say this for Isabel. She's consistant. All the advice she has given Max about Liz is the same stuff she uses on herself.

I think I will nominate the ending scene with Max and Valenti as one of Jason Behr's best performances in the show so far. He finally lost his temper with Valenti when the Sheriff's actions put him in danger. "Here I am!" he yells. But I think that the line "Would you treat your son this way?" was really what finally made Valenti give in and send the two away. Not just the kids were looking for answers in this episode. Valenti was as well.

I will once again bring up Isabel's line of "Pick a side" from "Pilot" and apply it towards Michael here. He says he must remain alone but then goes out of his way to help out Maria's mother in that "wrestling match." Maria is quite right when she asks why she bothers with Michael. But the irony here is she still wants to be with him. It's his attitude that's keeping them apart. Michael also took a huge risk giving Larry his case of the "itchies." Here we are in a room full of UFO spooks and he walks up to the guy who is the center of attention and puts his hand on the guy's shoulder. For that room of "experts" to have missed the glow in his hand is nothing short of incredible. You were darn lucky Michael! It's that kind of rash thinking that will get you killed or captured.

While he is the villian in this episode, I doubt anyone could help but feel sympathy for Hubble. It's not exactly easy to continue living your life after suffering the loss he's felt and what makes it worse for him is that there is no closure to his wife's death. Nasedo is still out there (I have no doubt in my mind that it was Nasedo who killed Sheila Hubble.) But his obsession at finding that closure has driven him over the edge. He had already killed one innocent because of his rage. After he did that, there was no going back for him.

One last thing before I get to my usual dissections. I thought the use of Jonathon Frakes was overdone. I've met the guy at Star Trek conventions and he is no where near as obnoxious as he is portrayed here. I realize the guy is one of the show's executive producers but I do not think that the UFO Center actually pulls in the kind of money it would take to afford an appearance by him. And I thought mentions of Patrick Stewart and William Shatner were a bit silly. This little place could afford Shatner? This is the same guy that charges fans close to $100 for just an autograph at conventions! I could almost hear Dot Warner of the Animaniacs saying "Oh I get it! It's a whole Star Trek gag."

Once again, the creators play with our minds and don't give us any dates in the episode. However, they do let us know exactly how long this episode lasts with the caption stills, three days. The final round table discussion was to take place on Sunday. This episode began on a Friday.

The UFO Center guy is FINALLY given a name in this episode: Milton.

Great line this episode: "Save me. Save me. I'm a human trapped in an alien body." -Max in his costume. I chose this line for two reasons. First, it's hilarious and two, this is one of the few times in the entire run of the show that we have seen Max Evans tell a joke. (I really feel for actor Jason Behr having to wear that head. It had to be extremely hot.)

The Café has a new waitress. You can see her behind Liz in the opening Crashdown scene as Liz serves good ole Zetaplox his meal. She has dark hair. I do not recall seeing her at the employee meeting shown in "Monsters." It's about time Liz's father started hiring!

The Café also now has outside seating. I do believe this is a first. Sure would have come in handy in prior episodes when we have seen the Café literally jam packed with business.

At the start of day two, Frakes goes to put his handprints in cement and accidentally falls into the cement up to his elbows. My, that's a deep hole. Was it really necessary to dig a foot and a half deep hole just for someone's handprints? The really odd part is that Frakes pushes his own arms into the cement as if he was trying to find the bottom. Me, I put my hands in cement, I keep my center of gravity back so I don't get my clothes dirty. Another funny part is that when Frakes is helped up by Milton and Max, he waves and flings a large chunk of wet cement off to the left. The creators froze the picture at this point to add in the caption. I wonder who got splattered.

According to the information Max pulls up on a computer, Everett Hubble was born on November 14, 1947 (Ooooooooh. The year of the crash!) and he was a witness to the silo murder in 1972. He was 25 at that time. He then disappeared for thirty years making him fifty-five in this episode. It's not a nit. Just noting this for reference purposes.

When Ernie hangs up on Amy de Luca's cell phone, we hear a dial tone. Cell phones my gentle readers do not have a dial tone when you are hung up on. You hear a fast busy signal followed by silence.

The living room in the Valenti household gets a snooker table added to it in this episode. It could have been there the last time we saw their home in "Toy House" but it would have been hidden by the couch Kyle was sitting on.

When being interviewed by Frakes at the round table discussion, Larry says that he was sitting in the Crashdown on "September 17" when Liz was shot. Something's wrong with that. According to "Pilot", Liz says she was shot on September 18 where "five days ago I died." Her journal entry was September 24 to begin that episode. Larry must have been flustered by being in the presence of "Number one."

Does the Department of Motor Vehicles really keep registration records for 1970 on file in their computers? I also wonder about that date on the car's license plate. Was that the expiration date of the tag? Because if it was, the Hubble's were driving around with expired plates. Dialogue in this episode says that almost a day after his wife's death, Hubble and Valenti senior tracked and caught the drifter seen leaving the scene of the crime. That murder took place in 1972. It's possible the number was the year the tag was initially issued. I don't know that for certain since I have never seen a license plate from that long ago. Anyone know?

As the Sheriff looks up the registration on Hubble's car, his computer tells him the following:
Sheila Hubble
477 Skyhawk Road
Bitter Lake
New Mexico

There are a few things to point out about this address. First, Bitter Lake, New Mexico does exist. It is to the north of Roswell on highway 285 and is actually a wildlife refuge. The zip code is incorrect however. Zip codes for New Mexico are 88201, 88202, or 88203. Zip codes have changed over the years but a zip code in the 20000 area would put it on the west side of the country. For example, California is in the 90000 range and the number gets smaller as you head west.

As Max drives Hubble to his home, the shot of the road is not going at the same speed as the shots of Max and Hubble inside the jeep show. The road shots look to have been filmed in a car going about forty or fifty miles per hour. Max looks to be going only ten or twenty. Max doesn't bother to even turn on his wind force field. And why should he? He's not in any kind of hurry so why worry about your hair? Hubble certainly doesn't worry about his hair!

When Hubble says the line "But you know that don'tcha?" to Max, he is looking right at Max. When the shot changes and Max says "Sir?" Hubble is looking forward. He's fast for an old guy.

I have to say that I thought that the instrumentals were done quite well in this episode. None of them were repetitive as done in previous episodes like "Toy House."

Towards the end of the episode, we see Jennifer cleaning tables in a partial Crashdown outfit. I ask again, can anyone who wants to work in the Crashdown do so? Did Jennifer fill out an application or a W2? For that matter, did Liz even pay her?

My, time sure does fly in Roswell, New Mexico. As Hubble and Max pull into the abandoned Pepper building, there's still some daylight left. You can see blue sky. We cut back to the Crashdown with Larry and Jennifer and we still see daylight. When we head back to Max and Hubble, it's completely dark.

Where the heck did Michael come from in the final scene? He wasn't in Max's jeep (unless he was riding under it) and we don't see him in Valenti's truck. Valenti drives up without him. He is suddenly just there. Clark Kent in disguise maybe?

I'm not sure if we are to believe that Hubble died here or Valenti just wounded him. It's hard to tell but he could have been shot in the shoulder or in the stomach. In any case, he gets shot and doesn't appear to bleed. Regardless of what we see, the shot must have been fatal because in "Crazy", Topolsky asks the Sheriff if he really thought he could kill Everett Hubble and not raise a red flag.

#113 Blind Date - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Night on the Town - A Review of "Blind Date"
February 10, 2000

"Ladies and Gentlemen, who is M.E. and what has he done with our Dream Girl?"

'Blind Date' was written by Thania St. John and directed by Keith Samples. The dissention in the ranks predicted by Topolsky is starting to show itself as Michael and Max draw their lines in the sand. Max makes it plain that he thinks further investigation into the identity of the other alien is dangerous and foolish. And Michael makes it equally plain that it's too soon to make that judgement and he's determined to continue the quest with or without Max.

Max, meanwhile, has issues of his own to occupy his night as Liz prepares to embark on a very public blind date arranged by a local radio station. The date, whose description is uncannily familiar, attempts to woo her with promises of a normal date while Max and Kyle do their best to make sure his efforts are in vain.

Random Thoughts:
As Max and Michael were coming to loggerheads again over the 4th alien, I found myself wondering if these two would even acknowledge each other if they weren't tied together by the whole alien thing. We've seen very little real friendship between them. They've come to each other's rescue; they've argued; they've shared secrets. But when have we ever seen them laugh together and just have fun and be friends? Granted, they do spend a lot of their free time together, but how much of that is simple mathmatics? Neither one of them seems to have an over-abundance of friends in their lives. Isabel and Michael genuinely care about each other, but Michael and Max seem to have such an adversarial dynamic. They can count on each other to cover their backs, but it's becoming clearer that the basis of their relationship is changing and they are going to have to deal with it.

As Michael comes closer to the answers about Nacedo, he becomes more convinced that he will find a father in the 4th alien. Max has been so used to being Michael's father figure, I don't think he quite knows how to approach Michael in any other capacity. Michael and Max need understanding and compassion from each other so much now…more than either one of them seems to want to admit. You'd have to be pretty hard-hearted to not have been touched by Michael's defeated, resigned assertion that no one ever comes for him.

I like how we're discovering bits and pieces about Nacedo as the kids do. The mysterious peek we get of him at the end of the episode was a good teaser. I was a little confused about the significance of the picture, however. If it was supposed to be a sign to Michael, why burn it? The only point I could see for leaving it was for the audience to see that he's been keeping an eye on them.

So Max can become invisible and levitate when he's been drinking. Or is it just that he can make ladders out of thin air? Nice trick.

I must admit, I was disappointed we didn't get to see Max make Doug into a blonde. I'd like to have seen him talk his way out of that one.

And I want to know where Liz buys that fantastic lip gloss. It manages to stay put and glossy even after being thoroughly kissed not once but three times. And not a speck of it ended up on the lips of the ones doing the kissing. I'm definitely shopping in the wrong places.

Liz needs to be taught a few things about fire safety. It's not generally a good idea to leave lighted candles burning unattended on your balcony.

Anyone else catch the Mulder and Scully dolls on Liz's cabinet?


  • I was absolutely loving this episode right up until the inevitable Max-coming-to-his-senses scene. Must the writers toy with us this way? I should have suspected something like it was in store for us when they hit us with Liz's daydream kiss with Max. It would have been bad enough for Max to take everything back, but to add insult to injury, he denies even remembering it. Please. Who does he think he is, Bobby Ewing? I thought this was a weak ending for this story.
  • I would have much preferred to see Max and Liz dealing with the consequences of his unguarded admissions in the cold light of day.
  • I didn't like having the whole Nacedo storyline relegated to the C story. I thought there was some really valuable information revealed in that ongoing story, but layered in with the blind date and band storylines, it lost its impact.
  • Doug seemed a bit old for Liz. After all, he's a sophomore in college and she is only a sophomore in high school.
  • And where were Liz's parents during all of this? We're expected to believe that their daughter is going out with a complete stranger who also happens to be a college boy and they don't even show up to meet him? Especially after they made a point of showing us a Jeff Parker who was a concerned, involved parent in 'Into the Woods.'
  • I have some issues with teenagers solving their problems with alcohol and pressuring others to do the same. Although a drunken Max and Kyle were undeniably cute, I don't think teen drinking should be presented in quite such a light-hearted manner.
  • Do you really think Liz would hear the name of the Crashdown on the radio during the prize announcement and just continue to sweep the floor as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening?
  • I have to give a serious thumbs down to misleading trailers. We were led to believe that Max had gotten himself in trouble with the law yet again when we see him running away with a siren in the background. And yet, it turned out to be as innocent as a foot race.
  • This one is unrelated to this episode...just an overall gripe. Whatever happened to the FBI anyway? Do you suppose the whole hacking incident instilled the fear of God into them and sent them packing for good?


  • I liked the bonding we got between Isabel and Michael. This is the first time their friendship has been spotlighted and it provides some valuable insight into their relationship. I do wish she'd spoken up at the Crashdown on Michael's behalf when he was there to hear her, but it's clear she doesn't like being in the middle between him and Max. Their scenes together were sweet and tender. Michael doesn't let himself show Isabel how much she means to him when there are others around. It was nice to see real feeling between them. Isabel understands him better than anyone else in his life. She alone seems to understand that the hope of finding a real father is what keeps Michael going.
  • I like how they worked in the musical talents of both Majandra Delfino and Colin Hanks.
  • Who would have thought Max would be a cheat when he's drunk?
  • You know we've entered a serious alternate universe when Kyle is playing guard dog so Max can spend some quality time with Liz.
  • I got a kick out of both Kyle and Liz treating Max like a disobedient puppy when he was drunk.
  • It was cute how Max superimposed himself over the images of Alex and Maria in the picture in Liz's bedroom. It made me wonder if that indicates a bit of jealousy on his part at the roles they both play in her life that he is unable to play.
  • Max looked so proud of himself for flagging down the KROZ van to give them a ride.
  • I liked symbolism of Max viewing Liz out of focus and then suddenly have the image become clear as his head suddenly cleared and everything crystalized around him.
  • I was absolutely enchanted with the magical evening Max gave Liz. He makes himself a hard act to follow. How can some normal college boy hope to live up to mirrorball street lights, car alarm serenades and a heart with initials that spontaneously light up? Not to mention sparkling parking meters. And let's not even get started on the whole connection thing they make when kissing. Doug did not stand a chance. I hope we get to see a bit more of light-hearted, carefree Max. He deserves to have some fun once in awhile.
  • For me, though, the highlight of this episode was Kyle. Nick Wechsler deserves a round of applause for his performance in this one. I loved the bonding between Max and Kyle. Let's hope they really can bury the hatchet once they've both sobered up. I'd like to see them actually (gasp!) become friends. Max could use a friend outside the tense trio and who better to understand what he's going through than someone who's been there himself? Every scene they had together made me laugh.

Favorite Quotes:
Kyle: Every line he uttered qualifies as a favorite quote in this episode. I've listed a few of my favorites below, but in the interest of space, let's just say every word out of his mouth was a classic. And most of Max's were as well.

Liz: "Do you guys sound this good plugged in?"

Liz: "Ok, embarrassing, humiliating, mortifying...I don't know...pick your SAT word."

Announcer: "What's running through your mind right now?"
Liz: "Yeah, nothing I can say on live radio."

Kyle: "Evans, I know your pain, man."

Michael: "Fine. Both of you sit here with your cherry colas and your high school fantasies."

Michael: "It was clear in my hallucination."
Max: "Hallucination would be the key word there."

Liz: "What am I going to do?"
Maria: "You're going to get some phone numbers, that's what you're going to do."

Liz: "I guess that's sort of a contradiction of terms...being normal in Roswell."

Kyle: "In case you haven't noticed, we're here in the gutter while she's out smooching with dog boy."

Kyle: "You tell me and I'll tell you. How far did you and Liz get?"
Max: "We saw into each other's souls. How about you?"
Kyle: "Second base."
Max: "Well, we can't win 'em all."

Kyle: "We can't leave now. Look where we are…Liz's bedroom. It's Mecca."

Alex: "What are you doing?"
Maria: "I'm hyperventilating."

Maria: "They have no style.."
Alex: "We have a very specific style. It's called normal, not thrift shop freak."

Michael: "Well, it's either the concert or discovering where we come from."

Michael: "The only father I need is the one out there waiting for us to find him."

Max: "She's going to forget all about Mr. Shallow and come back to us."
Kyle: "How do we split her up exactly? Every other week? Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays? Alternate Saturdays?"

Kyle: "There is no ladder."
Max: "Well, yeah, now."

Isabel: "I'm just afraid you won't find what you're looking for. Or that you will and you won't need Max and me anymore."
Michael: "That's not possible, ok?"

Kyle: "Girls always like that meaningful stuff. I suck at that."

Liz: "This can never be normal, Max."
Max: "What's so great about normal?" [setting off the parking meters like sparklers]

Michael: "Just forget it. He's not coming."
Isabel: "Maybe not tonight."
Michael: "Not ever. No one ever comes for me."
Isabel: "I will. Whenever you need me."

Isabel: "Michael needs his hope. It's the only thing that keeps him going."

I give this episode 4.75 UFOs out of 5. The sobering-up cop-out was the only thing that kept this from being a perfect episode for me.

#113 Blind Date - Review

Written by LSS

In a case of art imitating (or at least anticipating) life, Blind Date, with its framework of a Valentine's Day's contest, originally aired during the week of February 6-12, 2000--one week before Valentine's Day. Although the show obviously centered on the Max / Liz romantic storyline, it also incorporated new information concerning our three teen aliens as well as giving the audience their first glimpse (although fleeting) of a new alien character.

ALIEN BIOLOGY. So far we have learned little about the alien physiology of our teens. What information we have comes from three episodes: 1) The Pilot gives us a microscopic view of Max's cells, the purpose of which is to clue Liz (and the audience) to the fact that, whatever else Max is, he is not of this earth, The Balance presents us with a Michael who, after leaving the sweat lodge, has a reaction inducing a cocooned state (and who remains this way until his friends and River Dog intervene with the stones); and finally 3) Blood Brothers reveals that aliens--when traumatized--can heal themselves (although it may it take a bit of time for their regenerative powers to kick in). With Blind Date, we add another precious snippet of information to our compendium of alien physiology--the fact that aliens have zero tolerance for alcohol (not to mention their amnesia concerning their drunken activities, but don't get me started on that topic). Apparently alien drunkenness is both similar (blurred speech and vision) and different (amount necessary to induce intoxication and the resulting amnesia that follows) to its human counterpart. Of course, what is most striking about Max's condition (apart from that blasted amnesia--can you tell I really didn't like that?) is his total loss of inhibitions. It is a real treat (as I am sure the writers intend) to see the 'secret-keeping Max' morph into the real Max who will tell you what he thinks. One suspects this glimpse into alien biology (with its accompanying interior view into Max¢s true feelings), however, is less driven by Roswell¢s Science Fiction framework, then its romantic one. Nevertheless, what the writers give the romantics in the audience with one stroke of their pen, they take away with another when an instantly sober Max conveniently forgets much of what happened that evening. Thus, the viewing audience is left with an interesting, if somewhat useless (beyond this episode that is), piece of knowledge about Roswell's aliens. If ever one becomes inebriated, one kiss from their soulmate guarantees instant sobriety!

ALIEN POWERS. This episode gives viewers a veritable cornucopia of incidents illustrating our aliens¢ powers. Glowing hearts, altered photos, lamp posts converted into strobe lights, parking meters bursting into sparklers at the touch of an alien hand, car alarm systems turned music boxes--all of which we can categorize into roughly two types: incidents involving the manipulation of matter and incidents that seem to involve its creation. The issue is whether or not Max simply rearranges the materials he touches (i.e., photos), or whether he creates something that more than the sum of the parts he finds (i.e., sparklers out of parking meters). Truthfully, I think this point is left purposefully vague in the series and should remain so--that way both the show¢s audience and its writers' scientific expertise can remain untaxed! Science Fiction does not have to mirror real science nor is it accountable to its audience for real explanations. What is key, however, is that the actions it describes appear plausible to its readers/viewers, and that that plausibility is based on science not fantasy. In The Pilot we learned that our teen aliens can manipulate matter. For most viewers, that is explanation enough.

Another alien power/ability in Blind Date can be seen in Max and Liz's kiss. In The Pilot Max and Liz connect when he heals her and Max experiences visions of Liz somewhat involuntarily. Later he connects with Liz and reverses the flow, and voluntarily allows Liz to see into his soul. Each time it appears that the connective flow is one way (healing--Liz to Max; Max's hand on Liz¢s face -- Max to Liz).

In Blind Date, the audience sees a series of visions highlighting key moments of Max and Liz¢s relationship. These visions resemble those imaged in The Pilot and appear a type of telepathic flashback or projection. Whether or not this is voluntary on Max's part is not clear. But at the end of the kiss, the audience sees alien symbols and a v-shaped constellation. While the images of Liz and Max can be likened to mental flashbacks or perhaps mental projections (is Max intentionally projecting these images as part of his attempt to convince Liz?), the second type seems to fall into a different category. Whether these represent species' racial memories, or memories buried deep within Max and subsequently forgotten, is not yet clear. Nor is it clear, at this point in the storyline, who (besides the viewing audience) sees these images. Does Liz? Or Max? Or do they both?

ALIEN SYMBOLS. Twice in the storyline we see alien symbols. The first involves the parchment Michael takes with him when he and Isabel visit the library and the second occurs at the end of the kiss in the club. In the library lawn scene, Michael and Isabel burn one of the parchment's symbols on the ground. That same symbol, though erased by Isabel, is subsequently rekindled by the unknown alien in the episode's final scene. Its visual significance (represented to the audience by a stylized eye?) is reiterated by the photographic representation of our alien trio (an image seen through the eye of a camera) that the alien tosses into the rekindled flames. Does Michael or Isabel fully understand the symbol¢s significance? Not really. Can they read the writing on the parchment? No. Nevertheless, Michael knows enough (without understanding how he knows) to figure out that it is a map and to identify certain referents in it. The motif of knowing without understanding how one knows or of almost knowing is one associated with our teens in prior episodes. In River Dog, all three teens recognize the symbol on the pendant (but don't understand how) while Max recognizes the writing on the cave wall (and feels that he has forgotten how to read it). Such familiarity evokes the idea of prior memory (either racially or individually held). If this is the case, one wonders what other memories besides language recognition will emerge, should our teens ever begin to really remember what they have forgotten.

THE FOURTH ALIEN. In the last scene we finally meet a figure whose alien identity is clearly established by his ability to rekindle the erased symbol on the library lawn. Whether or not this alien is the same one that allegedly left the symbol in Frazier Woods (Into the Wood), however, is not clear. Nor do we know if this is the alien who left those silver palm imprinted dead bodies we saw previously (The UFO Convention). If he is not, then there are a lot more aliens among us than our trio realize. Another ambiguous element is his motivation for being in Roswell and his intent toward our teens. The visual effect of the photo burning in the fire as he walks off into the darkness is chilling, however, and hints that his presence may be anything but comforting.

#113 Blind Date - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

"What's so great about normal?" - Max to Liz.

Rarely are truer words then these spoken.

This is without a doubt my favorite episode of season one. It really is telling of the entire series and my hat is off to writer Thania St. James. It's delightful how she could give the audience and the cast exactly what they all want but somewhat frustrating that when it is all over, everything is right back to normal. Does this sound familiar? When you wake up tonight after you have dreamed, ask yourself that question again.

I really did enjoy the uninhibited Max we got to see. Roswell would be a much different show if this Max Evans existed. It's a pity that he had to get drunk in order for use to see this. If you want to describe Max as being not in his right mind in this episode, go right ahead. Many times I have heard people say that the real person comes out when someone is drunk. I've always countered this with the mind being affected by a chemical influence and it doesn't function normally. I've seen normally gentle people after drinking become even more subdued but I've also seen the same type of person become a wild party animal. If you want to find your true self, don't look for it in a bottle of Jack Daniels. You may not like what you find.

In Max's case, I see it a little differently. Max Evans is very serious. The consequences of his actions and the actions of those around him weigh very heavily on him. Even things they may do in the future seem to cross his mind. He needs to have control on matters he is involved in and when it appears that he cannot maintain a hold on things, he is sullen and withdrawn trying to not appear weak. Put a "little bit" of alcohol in him and the Max Liz Parker dreams about is released: A Max that doesn't care about consequences and throws caution to the wind. He flags down the news van and turns to beam proudly at Liz. That to me just screamed "I want the world to know I love you Liz." Then he kisses her in front of the crowd at the concert and it sends the same message. I like this Max better then the real one.

The big let down in this episode was at the end when Max sobers up. Reality creeps back in as the alcohol goes away but what also goes away is the memory of it all. The dream is over. So there will be nothing for Max to look back on and say "I did that. I could do it again." No. We are left with the same brooding and sullen Max who is more interested in consequences then magic. And it's that trait that keeps him away from Liz. Pardon me but there is something seriously screwed up about that. Responsibility is a pain the ass.

But who is more hurt here? I say Liz. She lived it. She experienced it and for a moment allowed herself to believe it but even she was realistic enough to ask Max what happened tomorrow when he went back to normal. Sadly, that very thing happened. The old adage of "Enjoy it while it lasts" seems to be how Liz is destined to live life.

A part of Max seems to be rubbing off on Maria. When the opportunity to sing in a band offers itself to her, she jumps on it. The problem is she goes in wanting control. "This is my band." I don't blame Alex for being a little snide with her. Were it not for peacekeeper Liz, there could have been a real problem. Just what was Maria's thinking behind that? And in a VERY deep story hole, I don't believe we ever hear anything of the talent scouts that came to see the concert again. Did they not like what they saw? That is, until season three but there is no indication as to whether the scout seen then is connected at all to the talent scouts seen in this episode.

There was nothing really noteworthy for Alex here except that we learn of Colin Hank's musical talents.

I think the battle lines between Max and Michael have finally been drawn. After not being shown the cave drawings in "Balance", it began. Here, it's solidified. Michael is finally tired of Max's brooding and is going off to find answers on his own whether Max approves or participates. It's telling how before starting that Michael goes to Isabel for her help. While his relationship with Max can best be described as "aggressive cooperation", he and Isabel are closer. He does appear to trust her a lot more. At least she has always been there for him unlike anyone else in his life. Michael desperately wants to find a father figure in Nasedo and his despair at the end when Nasedo didn't appear was a real let down for him. Again, it was good that Isabel was there with him. It wasn't something that he should have had to do alone.

If ever there was a balancing character here, it was Isabel. She actually defended Michael at the Crashdown at the beginning of the show. But it was very interesting that she didn't do it while Michael was there instead waiting for Micheal to leave before she said something. I immediately saw this as Isabel not wanting to come directly between Max and Michael.

See? I told you Kyle wasn't such a bad guy. He's actually quite charming in this episode. He was given a lot of great lines too. Let me say again that it is actually a downer that the only way we can see the characters really having fun is because they are drunk. But never-the-less, what a night about town eh? Would it be too much to ask to see Kyle and Max actually be friends? Of course, the REAL Max wouldn't allow it because he can't remember any of the night's actions. But Kyle, ooooh, imagine the fun he could have at Max's expense the next day with "Hey Evans, I want a rematch on that race to the mailbox."

This episode lasts three days. With no journal entries, there's no way at first to fit it into the timeline. The first day, Liz wins the contest. The second day begins with Liz incognito at school and has her interview on the radio. The third night is the date and the concert.

Has anyone else noticed that the FBI has mysteriously vanished lately? In fact, we don't see hide nor hair from them until after "Sexual Healing." Maybe they are too busy chewing out Topolsky and crew on their incompetence (they sure do deserve it.)

There was a lot for me to comment on directly about Max in general in this episode.

The first is that Max thinks finding Nasedo is a mistake because he's a proven killer in Max's eyes. And we learn that he is just that. The part I dislike about it is that come "Destiny" this little murder thing doesn't bother Max anymore. In fact, he sends the murdering alien off to possibly do even more murders under the guise of Agent Pierce. (If you haven't figured it out by now, I do not hold any great love for Nasedo.)

As Max was torturing himself watching Mr. Shallow (now THERE'S a telling name if I ever heard one) kiss Liz at the restaurant, I just nodded and said "That's right Max. You just watch and feel bad because you had a chance with her and you blew it because of your own insecurities." Something Max points out to himself when he draws the heart on Liz's balcony.

Did you say "I'm crushing your head" when Max showed Kyle how much he drank?

Just where DID Max go after he rounded the corner during the dash to the mailbox? For that matter, how did he get up on the roof where Kyle found him later? I almost added this to the Powers List (a list of the alien power for each character that will be posted later) for Max. However, I explain the second one by seeing how Max got down. He slid down a drainage pipe. It's reasonable to assume that he climbed up it as well. As for his little disappearing act, I'm not sure. I didn't chalk this up to invisibility or super speed because if Max could do either of these things, we would have seen them again or before now….wouldn't we? Since I've seen all sorts of folks from James Bond to Batman perform this little stunt, I didn't add it. But it still begs the question of just where Max went.

It's very hard to tell because Liz's date is in the way but during the pan around the table at their dinner, there's a menu board to the left of the screen. I'm not sure but the letters across the top of the board appears to say "Chez Pierre" the same place Alex and Isabel have dinner at before Prom in "Heart of Mine" according to the prom info at Can anyone confirm this?

In the opener, Liz is mopping the floor and wearing orange gloves in all of the close up shots. As soon as the camera pulls back, Liz's gloves disappear. After the DJ comes into the Café, her gloves magically reappear. (I love this stuff!)

The Crashdown Café is heard on the radio and everyone but Liz reacts. She must take her mopping seriously.

Great lines this episode.

"I pity the fool that radio station fixes her up with." -Kyle doing his Mr. T impression.

"Hey, I'm just happy to be nominated…and I think I'm gonna puke." -Kyle "accepting" his claim to fame at the concert.

Michael makes the statement that the 4th alien is not a killer. I know that Micheal wants to believe that but the evidence we've seen so far suggest that he is exactly that. It only makes Michael's disappointment all the more heartbreaking when he realizes the truth in "The White Room."

I gave Maria's wardrobe choices in "Into the Woods" a hard time but I really am going off on her choice of footwear in this episode. Just what in the hell are those things on her feet as she arrives for the band's audition? Those have to be the ugliest things I have ever seen in my entire life!

As Maria tells Liz she needs to go out front and get some phone numbers from the mass of guys who have come to see her, look behind her on the wall. There's a new sign that says "Wash those hands." Where was that sign in "Into the Woods" when Liz was sneezing on her hands and still going out front to work? Maybe Liz's dad is giving her a subtle hint about the health code.

Does Michael believe in doors? He always comes to someone's window. Is he afraid of Max and Isabel's parents?

The picture of Alex, Liz, and Maria that Max changes first appears in Liz's room as she is primping in the mirror getting ready for her date. The first time we see it, it is sitting on top of her radio. When Max changes it later on, it has jumped off of her radio to sit by itself on the desk. And I'm not real sure but a lamp seems to move as well. It sits next to the desk so the picture is more illuminated.

Where are Liz's parents!? Their daughter wins a blind date in a radio contest. A date that turns out to be a college sophomore! From what I can tell, Liz is also a sophomore…in high school. This isn't something that if I was a parent I would allow and given the way her father was in "Into the Woods", I don't think Mr. Parker would either. Actually, I think that with this and the above nit, I know where they are. They are coming into Liz's room while she's gone and rearranging the furniture and then hiding in the closet to giggle at the confusion they cause (Ok, ok, I'm just having fun here.)

You are going to have to really crank the audio to hear this one but it is defiantly there. As Kyle and his friends yell at Max, one of them screams "Come on down Behr!"

Trying to get Liz's date to kiss her, the DJ tells her to give her that first kiss "just like we practiced!" I am NOT even going to comment on that!!!! No way!! I can't hear you. La, la, la, la, la.

Max takes one sip of alcohol and he immediately gets drunk. According to Pierce in "The White Room" everything about Max's physical body is 100% human. Only his blood is different. Now given that information, it doesn't seem possible that Max should become inebriated so quickly. Several people wrote to remind me that Max is a hybrid, neither human nor alien. So if his body can more quickly absorb ethanol, it's quite possible for him to get drunk that fast since the body's mucus membranes are what do the absorbing. As there are mucus membranes lining the stomach, that makes sense.

Now jump forward to season three's "A Tale of Two Parties." When Michael gets drunk, he totally zonks out and starts sparking electricity through his hands. Compared to Michael's reaction, what happens to Max is mild. This can probably be explained by the fact that Michael drank much more then Max did. Max just had "a little bit."

And speaking of this quick drunkenness, Kyle takes it all in stride and doesn't find it weird at all. Yes, he's drunk too but he seems aware enough of the world to notice some things.

Mr. Shallow says that he and Liz ought to be safe at the Crashdown because it's the last place the radio people would look for them at. He must not live in Roswell or he would know that just about everything happens there. Shootings, acts of passion, strokes. You name it. It happens there.

Maria is extremely nervous before the concert and tries to calm herself with breathing techniques and is totally out of shape as she walks on stage (in more sensible shoes I might add.) Does this not seem like a good time to sniff some cypress seed oil?

Director Keith Samples sure had a thing for extreme closeups of Shiri Appleby's face in this episode. There are times that the camera is so close that it almost looks like you are viewing her through the peephole of a door.

It's a nice touch but I wouldn't be doing my duty if I didn't point out that there is nothing inside a parking meter that will combust and spark as we see them do here. Unless there's some wacko running around Roswell sticking sparklers in meters all over town and Max happened to see him doing it. (I know. It's magic bay-bay!) I added this and the other things in this scene to the Powers List labeling it with the "molecular structure manipulation" excuse.

Majandra Delfino has a lovely singing voice but there is a noticeable difference in her voice during her song. Maria sings the first verse of Phil Collins's "Hold On" with a slightly weak voice. The second verse is much stronger sounding. This is probably due to her nerves but those with excellent pitch like myself can tell. All in all, she really does have talent.

Disappointed that Nasedo didn't show up, Michael asks Isabel to cover the burn marks in the grass. They do so because they don't want someone walking up and finding the symbol. But when Nasedo shows up to reignite the flame, he walks off and leaves it burning for someone to find!! This is extremely foolish for someone who is supposed to be protecting the young aliens.

Next up is "Independence Day." Stay tuned.

#114 Independance Day - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Family Ties - A Review of 'Independence Day'
February 20, 2000

"The three of us belong together. There's a reason we're together. We're family."

In 'Independence Day' writer Toni Graphia gave us a heart-tugging look at Michael's personal hell. There have been hints along the way that his home life was less than ideal, but this was the first time the degree of both physical and mental abuse was detailed. It's no wonder that Michael has made it his personal crusade to find Nacedo.

This episode dealt a lot with family dynamics. In addition to learning more about Michael's situation, the mother-daughter role reversal that comprises Maria and Amy's relationship was examined, as well.

Random Thoughts:
This episode helped me understand what drives Michael a lot more. It's clearer now that his isolation and his defensiveness are in large part results of the mental and physical abuse he's been suffering for years. It explains why he pushes people away and his sense of worthlessness, in addition to his intense need to find Nacedo.

It's interesting that after all this time Michael is still such a stranger to Philip and Diane Evans. Michael works awfully hard to keep himself separated from inclusion in that family unit, however much he may envy it from afar. And while the Evans elders appear willing to include Michael in the family, they are not willing to lay aside the rules of the family for him. It was made fairly clear that if he wanted to be accepted by them, it would be on their terms. And it's understandable that this would be a threatening concept for a boy raised by someone like Hank. It's hard to grasp that rules can mean love when rules have always meant punishment in the past.

I thought the helplessness and frustration Isabel and Max were going through was well presented. It's horrible to watch someone you love going through trauma and not only be powerless to help, but also in danger of losing him. I liked how they both tried to make him see that the only way out of the situation was to take control of it and that running away from it and the people who love him was not going to make it better.

It was obvious how hurt Isabel and Max were that after all this time and all they've been through together, Michael still considers Nacedo his only family.

I did have to wonder if emancipation would really have been granted to a minor with Michael's record and lack of any visible means to support himself.

The shapeshifter turning into Hank was a surprising twist. I had convinced myself it was the guy who picked Michael up hitchhiking.

I liked the effect of the light streaming through the tree while Nacedo buried Hank.

Did anyone else notice that the weather was a little schizophrenic? One minute, rain would be running down windows and windshields and the next sunlight would be streaming through the windows and the ground was dry as a bone.


  • I didn't like that Max immediately broke his promise to Michael about not telling anyone. Isabel needed to be told and I know that Max told her because he was worried, but it wasn't a promise he should have made in the first place.
  • Was Amy really using the old tried and true "We have to step back" approach to romance? I was just waiting for her to tell Jim she needed to regain her balance.
  • And we have yet another apology between Max and Liz. It was getting to be an old plot device about 6 episodes ago.
  • I was surprised to see Michael open the package from Max in front of a stranger. I realize he is the least paranoid of the three about stuff like that, but it was very careless of him to take the crystals out of the bag so the truck driver could see them.
  • Set inconsistency of the week: Since when did they install that wavy glass in Liz's bedroom window and what happened to the other one? It was a double window in previous episodes.
  • I didn't feel like there was any resolution between Michael and Maria. She was there for him (again!) and (again!) he didn't express any gratitude or even let her know he was leaving town. I wanted to see something between them at the Sheriff's office. I would have much preferred to see that than the scene between Jim and Amy that we got instead. I know that "Thank you" is not really a big part of Michael's repertoire, but I wanted some acknowledgment from him that he appreciated her actions…both at the Sheriff's office and the night before.
  • The scene where Max healed the bruised eye bothered me a bit. I wasn't sure why he would hesitate to heal it in the first place. And once he did heal it, why didn't he have to make a connection with Michael to do so and why was it so easy? In the past, Max has had to concentrate very to heal and it's taken a lot out of him. If it was effortless because Michael is another alien, that wasn't made clear. And why couldn't Michael heal it himself when just a couple of weeks ago, he was able to heal River Dog's broken ankle?


  • The grief relief was a funny bit. Both when Maria was giving it to Liz to help her keep perspective and then again later, when she herself chugs the entire bottle when Michael shows up outside her window.
  • I'm really liking the character of Amy DeLuca. She is so quirky and funny, but at the same time it's very obvious how much she loves Maria. And her relationship with Valenti adds such a human dimension to his character.
  • The whole role reversal between Amy and Maria is both funny and a little sad. It's apparent that Maria seems so self reliant because she's had to be. In spite of the fact that her mother loves her, Amy has a lot of growing up to do herself and I would guess that Maria ends up playing the mom role more often than not. I was glad to see Amy take such a firm stand on the issue of Michael sleeping over, as well as coming through for Maria and talking to Valenti on Michael's behalf.
  • It made me laugh to hear Liz trying to convince Maria, as well as herself I suspect, that she has a handle on the whole Max situation. Her powers of resistance when Max is actually in the room remain to be seen.
  • Loved the scene on Liz's balcony where Max opened up to Liz. It's a definite sign of progress that he is sharing his problems with her and trusting her with his feelings about the whole situation.
  • I was very glad it was Max who went to Michael and told him how much he means to them. Isabel has told him in the past how she feels and that she is there for him. I don't think Max has ever verbalized his feelings before. Michael needed to hear from Max that Max thinks of him as family.
  • I really liked that Maria was the one that Michael turned to in his hour of need. It showed that in spite of his words, he knew that she was the one who would be able to give him what he desperately needed…understanding without questions or solutions. He needed someone to just hold him and let him cry without judgment and without attempting to tell him what he should be doing.
  • Michael's understated return was well done and completely in character. It was completely believable that Michael would just show up and offer breakfast as a peace offering. And I loved the 'sir' he used when he finally worked up the courage to ask Mr. Evans for help.
  • Brenden Fehr played Michael's shame and anger superbly. He was outstanding in this episode. My heart cracked when I saw his bottom lip quivering while Maria was toweling his head and completely broke as he emotionally melted down in her arms. This scene was the most heart-wrenching of the series to date and incredibly well acted, directed and written. Michael's wordless cry for help was wrenching.

Favorite Quotes:

Isabel: "Something's wrong with Michael. He's acting weird."
Max: "Weirder than usual?"

Maria: "It's grief relief. It's this herbal remedy that shocks the body back into reality when the mind has gone into overload. Veterinarians use it to calm wild animals.

Maria: "This is your brain on Max."

Valenti: "If you make it, I'll eat it."
Amy: "Just remember Jim, in this date we have a three strikes law now."

Amy: "Ah…my favorite little wrestler."
Amy: "I need to ask you for some space. I can't feel like you're judging me all the time."

Isabel: "You just need to speak up and tell him the truth."
Michael: "And what? Be the poster boy for domestic abuse? It's not going to happen."
Max: "He's not easy, Isabel. He never has been. You can't just push him like that.
Isabel: "He was acting like a child."
Max: "Maybe. And maybe you need to stop treating him like one. You can't make up for in one night what he's never had in a lifetime."

Amy: "Maria, there are like three single guys in all of Roswell. And two of them live in the Desert Inn Retirement community."

Maria: "He's a cop. And you're a hippie."
Amy: "Well, opposites attract."

Amy: "I hope you're not talking from experience."
Maria: "Just yours."

Michael: "I don't belong there. I don't belong here. I don't belong anywhere."

Amy: "My baby is having sex."

Amy: "What exactly were you thinking letting him stay here, young lady? And besides, why is it OK for you and not for me?"

Liz: "Just last night I said it really clearly…NO! Of course, Max wasn't there, but when he is, I'll be ready for him."

Maria: "You know the boy I slept-but-didn't-sleep-with?"
Amy: "Unfortunately, the shock has indelibly imprinted his face on my brain."

Isabel: "I think it's time you either put up or shut up, Michael."
Michael: "Very poetic, Isabel."

I give this episode 4.5 UFOs out of 5.

#114 Independance Day - Review

Written by LSS

Central to Independence Day's plot is the issue of relationships--that of Hank to Michael and of Michael to Max and Isabel (as well as to Maria). Embedded in this relational framework are various references to Roswell's Science Fiction framework. But without doubt, the most exciting Science Fiction feature of the episode takes place in its closing scene where the audience encounters the shape shifting fourth alien.

CONNECTIONS AND VISIONS. While the conclusion of Blind Date left the audience wondering whose visions they were seeing, the opening scenes of Independence Day makes it clear that they were Liz's (whether or not Max saw them, we may never know). An interesting allusion to the vision can be seen in the rooftop scene where Max interrupts Liz as she is looking through her telescope. Although the constellation she is studying is not a "v", it oddly contains a configuration of stars that might include such a pattern.

Another type of vision/flashback occurs toward the episode's conclusion when Michael twirls the stones in his hand as he rides away from Roswell. But whether this is meant to be Michael's own memories we are seeing or an object induced vision is unclear. If the latter, then it is not without precedent. We have seen the object induced flashes when Max picks up a CD (Missing) and when Michael finds the key in Valenti's thermos (The Morning After).

ALIEN POWERS AND ISSUES OF CONTROL. Michael's powers have up to this point been imaged as inconsistent to say the least (a good example of this is that fried engine in 285 South). Yet in spite of this, Michael can open the window lock to Valenti's office (though he melted it in the process) and heal River Dog's broken ankle (Into the Woods). Yet in Independence Day, when confronted by Isabel with the suggestion that he use his powers in self-defense (against the abusive Hank) Michael baulks saying he might kill Hank if he did. Indeed the pandemonium that follows later in the trailer when Michael, goaded beyond tolerance, lashes out against Hank with his powers, seems to substantiate Michael's earlier fears. It is as if Michael's human emotions stand in the way of exercising his alien powers.

Michael's somewhat erratic powers evoke the question of their nature and use. In this episode, for instance, Michael is unable to heal his own black eye. Yet earlier, in Into the Woods, Michael has little difficult healing Hank. For Michael, the issue of emotional focus and stability seem crucial. Of course, we have never seen an upset Max or Isabel attempt to exercise their powers so that we might confirm this supposed relationship between emotional stability and the use of powers. It could simply be that some aliens have different degrees of expertise in their powers, due to innate ability or their previous exercise. Even gender might play a role in certain powers (only Isabel has dreamwalked thus far). We will simply have to wait until our writers see fit to give us more information on this subject!

THE SHAPESHIFTER. What is of prime Science Fiction interest is this episode's closing scene with the appearance of the much awaited shapeshifting alien. Prior to this, we know that something (but not what) happened that evening in Hank's trailer. Valenti told Michael that after hearing an argument, neighbors reported sounds coming from Hank's trailer--screaming, crying, tortured sounds--inhuman sounds. This prepares us for the last scene where we discover that Hank, now dead, has been replaced by the shapeshifting alien. While the elimination of Hank, on one level, may indicate his protective stance toward our aliens, the tortured "inhuman" sounds emanating from Hank's trailer raise questions concerning, ironically enough, the shapeshifter's "humanity".

In Science Fiction aliens can be imaged either anthropomorphically (that is, imaged as human in form) or androcentrically (that is, having human values and manners in spite of their different physical forms) or both, or neither. Max, Isabel, and Michael, for instance, look and act human (in spite of Michael's off repeated reluctance to acknowledge this). The manner of Hank¢s death, however, raises the issue of how "human-like" our shapeshifter really is on the level of human values and emotions.

Another key difference between the shapeshifter and our alien trio is obvious. He (?) can shapeshift while they can or do not. Either shapeshifting is a learned ability that our trio simply haven't been taught, or else it is an ability that our trio does not possess. If the former, then the shapeshifter may function as mentor to our teens and help them to develop this and other latent abilities. If it is not a learned ability, but something our trio cannot do, then it opens the question of whether or not the shapeshifter and our trio are the same lifeform. If they are not, then the shapeshifter is not simply a fourth alien, but may be a different alien species as well.

Shapeshifting, as an ability, is deeply embedded in myth and legend. Perhaps the most widely known of these stories contain beings with the ability to shift from human to animal form (i.e., werebeasts). Our alien shapeshifter, however, shifts from one human form to another (whether he (?) can shift to animal form is not known). Such shifting is apparently accompanied by a blaze of white light/energy (almost as if he (?) was an energy being whose essence we are able to glimpse in the transformation). Moreover, both before and after this transformation, the shapeshifter ingests what--for all practical purposes to the audience-- looks like tic-tacs from a plastic container. If our producers mean for us to think of pills here, it is odd that they do not provide us with a more easily recognizable container. Instead we are left with the perplexing question of why shape shifting requires tic-tacs. Are we to think sugar/energy requirements? Or bad breath as an a residual effect of shapeshifting (but then why take them before the shapeshifting occurs)? Perhaps the objects are meant to represent pills (pain killers?) and any confusion is simply attributable to a poor choice of props!

#114 Independance Day - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

I like this episode but after getting built up from "Blind Date", this episode sent me into a downward motion especially if you watch them back to back. "Yeah, they kissed! Drat! He doesn't remember! Maria sings! Yeaaaah. Michael got beat up by his foster father? Thpppt!" (It's not all rosy in Roswell. That's for sure.)

When I learned the premise behind this episode from it's description, I wondered just how Max was going to deal with this because of his controlling nature and the strained relationship he and Michael have. Michael is someone Max cannot control because of who Michael is so this was a "fish out of water" type situation for Max. While Isabel was trying her best to help Michael, Max mostly sat by quietly and observed. He knows what to expect from Michael in most situations and just accepts that. Isabel is always the one who has wanted to have Michael closer. But when Michael made the decision to leave, it wasn't Isabel who went to him to try to stop him. It was Max! He didn't order Michael to stay. Instead he tried to tell Michael that the thing he has wanted the most, he has always had with him and Isabel: a family. It took a little while for this to sink in but it worked and Michael stayed in Roswell. However, Max's opinion on Nasedo hasn't changed. Max believes Nasedo is a killer. Michael sees him as a father figure. This fact is going to keep the two at odds because Max is in no rush to find him while it's the only thing that drives Michael forward. In a few episodes, we are going to see this progress. The complaint I have about Max here is that Michael asks him not to tell anyone about his black eye. Max then tells Isabel. It's difficult for Michael to trust Max when he does things like this. Isabel had a right to know but Max should have handled it differently for Michael's sake.

Isabel is a little confusing in this episode. At first, she wants only to help Michael in any way she can. When she can't convince him to do it himself, she takes it upon herself to get him help even answering for him to her parents. Before he leaves the house, she begs him to not to leave and to get help. I also believe that it was Isabel's idea to go to the trailer to check on Michael. She was the most concerned so it makes sense. Finally having had enough of Michael's attempts to blame everyone, she then does a complete 180 and tells him to run because that's all he's good at. Jeez, Isabel. That was harsh and a bit uncalled for. In fact, I'll bet you that Isabel's outburst was what convinced Michael to leave in the first place.

We knew Michael's life was hard but this is the first time we get to really see it. I wonder if it would have been more effective if we had actually seen Hank getting rough with Michael. Dumping a load of dirty clothes on him didn't really tell me that Hank was the physical type. On the plus side, I can see where Michael gets the idea that he is worthless. Hank isn't someone I would describe as encouraging. But does Hank come off a physical bully? Not really. I mean Michael is a head taller then Hank. Alcohol must make you brave. Were I directing this scene, I would have shown Hank about to hit Michael again only to have Isabel and Max walk in at that moment to stop it. The scene could then continue as we saw it. We don't HAVE to see Hank being an abuser but it would have gotten it across more.

I read this one in the Chadd's section of the message board and it's a beauty! How did Hank become a foster parent? He's single (strike one!), lives in a small, shoddy trailer (Stee-rike two!) and is also an alcoholic (Heeeeeee's outta there folks!) No social worker in their right mind would give a six year old to someone like him. Was there a Mrs. Hank around at some time or another? Also, don't said social workers drop in from time to time on foster parents to make sure the child is living in a proper environment?

I did wondered why Michael hadn't used his powers before since he said Hank has hit him before. Michael answered this for me saying that Hank wasn't much of a home but it was all he had.

Was Michael really going to leave without saying goodbye to Maria? This after she went against her better judgement when he was hurting and took him in? Come on Michael. That is not fair.

Round one does go to Max when he told Michael that without Hank to blame anymore, Michael was now responsible for his own actions. He could no longer blame all of his life's problems on his step dad. This and his line about Michael having a family was really good on Max's part. I wish he would do that sort of reasoning more often instead of pouting about things like he does.

There really isn't much to say about Liz here. I know Maria is just trying to help but her attempts to put a stop to the "iningpay" are not working. Just like she can't resist Michael, Liz can't resist Max because it's what she wants. It must be that protective friend instinct.

I echoed Liz's statement about "What happened to saying no?" when Maria let Michael in. Still it was nice that she could put aside whatever issues she was having to comfort him. Maria won several points with me by telling Michael he didn't have to tell her what was wrong. It was hard enough for Michael to come to Maria in his fragile state and she made no demands of him. But just so you know, Maria did tell Michael "no." In fact, she told him "no" ten times! (I don't write the dialogue. I just nitpick it!!) Maybe Maria can get her money back on that herbal aid because it obviously doesn't work.

I must be missing out being a guy because this mother / daughter relationship appears quite deep. Maria and her mother are able to talk about her mother's past failures with men. What I found interesting was that Maria was almost chastising Amy for it. Yes, she was expressing her own displeasure about Michael in her words but she came off really judgmental with her mom. Again, it must be a mother / daughter thing.

I thought the look on Maria's face as the sheriff came into the kitchen with his clothes all ruffled was absolutely priceless. She almost looked like she was ready to barf!

According to Isabel, her father, Phillip Evans, is a lawyer. Good thing. He sure comes in handy in season three's "Busted."

Hey, who would have thought the sheriff was a hornball? Valenti was set back a little when Amy told him that his job kept coming between them. Is it just me or does it seem that one person in the couples we see on the show always seems to have some sort of hang up about the relationship? Max and Liz aren't together because Max has trouble with commitment. Isabel and Alex aren't together because Isabel won't let her defenses down to let him in. Maria and Michael aren't together because Michael is uncomfortable at letting her in and it makes him feel "human" which he doesn't want to be. And Amy Deluca is hesitant to get with Valenti in this episode saying she couldn't lose her focus on Maria and that the sheriff was a "distraction" to that. It's almost as if the writers don't believe in problem free relationships.

The Max and Liz needing-to-talk-but-then-not-talking bit is getting old. Really old. But fret not! We get to put an end to that with the next episode…for a while anyway.

This episode lasts three days. The first day begins at school where we learn of the black eye. It ends with Michael going to Maria's where he wakes up to begin day two. Day two ends with Michael leaving town. Day three begins with Michael making breakfast and asking Mr. Evans how he can live on his own. Day three and the episode ends with Nasedo / Hank burying the real Hank. Of course, we have no dates here so just where it fits into the timeline is a mystery. But that will change come "Sexual Healing" (but not by much!)

Citrus and Vine brings up a very good point about the time frame. It obviously takes much, much, longer then just a day to go through the legal proceeding to become emancipated. At this point, Michael does not have a job nor does he have a place to live (or at least, he hasn't move IN yet.) There is clearly a lapse of time between the beginning of day three and the end of the episode.

Maria says that her "grief relief" herbs are used by vets to calm wild animals. In other words, Maria is giving Liz a sedative. That's hilarious.

In yet another example of the school administration's incompetence, while trying to talk to Michael in the bathroom, the bell rings. Since we had just seen everyone walking around the hallways, I'm sure that meant class was starting. This makes them both late to class. Then we see them in Max's jeep out by the railroad tracks. Now it's possible that this is all taking place after school and we didn't get to see leave. Then again, they could have just left school. It's not like anyone stops the students from doing that.

The bruise under Michael's eye changes shape and shrinks in size at the railroad tracks from the bruise we see in the school bathroom.

Of course, the big question here is why can't Michael heal his bruise? After all in "Into the Woods" he healed River Dog's broken ankle, a more serious injury. Michael says he tried to do it but wasn't successful. I guess we can write Michael's healing River Dog off as a fluke because we never see him do it again.

I've seen a lot of people being critical of Max's healing powers. Some have expressed dissatisfaction that while healing Michael's black eye, Max does so with ease yet when healing Liz and Kyle's gunshot wounds, he appears to be straining considerably. I would argue that healing a bruise or cut is one thing. Healing a bullet wound is quite another. If you were brought into a hospital with a cut at the same time as a shooting victim, who would get priority? So far, the creators have been very good at this type of power display.

At the Café, Amy says that her last two outings with the sheriff didn't make it past dessert because work called him. Their first date was in "Heatwave" when they went to the Chinese / Mexican place. When was the second? It must have happened when we weren't looking.

Amy says that when she makes a pie, she expects it to be eaten. Valenti says that if she makes it, he will eat it. He doesn't! Maria and Liz find a partly eaten pie when they interrupt Amy and the sheriff. Yes, I am being technical here but that's my job!

Ooooookay. Picture this: you're a mother of a teenage daughter. You invite a gentlemen over and things start to become a bit "hanky panky." It's late. You know you're daughter comes home around a certain time each night. Am I to believe that Amy and the sheriff's hormones were running so rampant that they didn't hear Maria and Liz come in the back door? Just love numbed I guess.

Speaking of the time Maria and Liz come home, Maria says it's 10:30pm. This raises the question of what time does the Café close? 9pm? 10pm?

As Isabel and Max follow Michael as he leaves the Crashdown, look down the street and you'll see a palm tree in the background. Are there palm trees in New Mexico? I know there are palm trees in Covina, California where the show is filmed but in New Mexico? (It's great when you don't have to deal in reality )

When Phillip Evans asks Michael what his step dad does, Isabel speaks up and says he works in marketing. Marketing? According to the Sheriff later in the show, Hank works "at the plant." Could you see Hank of all people working in marketing? "Hi can I interest you in…….well screw you too! You're just like that lazy good for nothing kid who never does my wash!" Where did Isabel come up with that one?

The little things in Roswell are the things I enjoy the most. Granted, a lot of the stuff I do is picayune but I should take a moment to commend the creators when they get some things right. The Monopoly game seen in this episode is one example of it. But of course, I did find a couple of things wrong with the scene at the same time (you knew I would) so they didn't get it exactly correct. To prove a few of these, I whipped out my handy dandy original Monopoly board game.

  • As the scene begins, Isabel says "As long as I'm back on Park Place, I think I'll buy a hotel." You don't have to land on a property you own to buy a hotel. You can do it at any time during your turn no matter what property you are currently sitting on.
  • When buying the hotel, Isabel picks up two slips of paper money, a yellow one and a blue one and hands them to her dad. The blue one is definitely a $50 bill. The yellow one could be a $100 or a $500 (the $500 bill in the game is a darker color of yellow then the $100 but the exact shade is hard to see on my tape.) If it's a $500 bill, Isabel should have received some change since hotels only cost $200 and she's paying $550. If it was a $100, she was short $50.
  • Getting her hotel, Isabel just puts it in place. She doesn't give back the four houses that would have had to have been on Park Place (you must have four houses on a property before you can buy a hotel.) In fact, I don't think there were any houses there to begin with!
  • Isabel places her hotel on the board suggesting that Park Place is on the side of the board facing Michael. When Michael moves, from the clicks of his piece on the board, he moves nine to twelve spaces. There is a slight pause after the eighth click and before the ninth and final click so he could have just silently counted the last two or three. In either case, where he lands, he lands on Atlantic Avenue, which is right in front of him. This makes Isabel's placement of the hotel incorrect. If Atlantic Avenue, the first yellow property, is facing Michael, that would mean Park Place would be in the corner by Mr. Evans. The two blue properties are in the same corner as the "GO" space.

    • I'm really not sure about this one but it looks to me like Michael rolls three individual dices. There are only two used in Monopoly. Anyone else see this?
    • Landing on Atlantic Avenue with four houses on it does indeed cost you $975. Score one for accuracy.
    • Isabel attempts to loan Michael money when he can't pay the rent. She only gives him one piece of paper (gee, hope it was a $500 otherwise Isabel's a cheapskate.) Her dad stops her saying that you can only get a loan from the bank. This is also correct.
    • Michael doesn't appear to have any property cards in front of him. At first I thought they were on the edge of the table to Michael's right as there is a blur of color there. But it looks like a towel of some kind. I could be wrong though.
    • See the glass that sits in front of Isabel on the table? I thought I was going to enjoy seeing another example of the rising and falling levels of liquids on TV but you know what, after repeated and careful viewing, the water level in the glass doesn't change once during the entire scene! The funny part about that is that Isabel takes a drink of it and it still stays the same height. Maybe she just sipped it.

    In "Morning After" Diane and Phillip come into the house and say hello to Michael. The impression I got was that Michael was a regular visitor. But in this episode, Diane says that this is the first time they've met Michael. As I said in "Morning After" maybe Diane has a really bad memory. Of course, since Phillip didn't object to his wife's statements, he must have a bad memory too. (Of course, we COULD say that the Phillip Evans seen here isn't the same Phillip Evans seen in "Morning After" so we shouldn't expect him to know Michael but eh, why do that?) I've been told that Diane was actually referring to Hank here. That ruins my nit.

    There is a lovely bit of symbolism for me in the scene where Michael leaves the Evan's home. On the porch, Michael moves into the doorway and a soft dark light shines on him. Isabel walks up and a bright light shines on her. Michael is trying to distance himself from everyone ("to hide in the dark" so to speak.) Isabel is standing in the light. A "beacon of light" beckoning him to come back. Michael leaves and Isabel moves out of the light towards the door putting herself "in the dark" unsure what to do to help him. Max then walks onto the porch with the bright light shining on him to explain to Isabel what she needs to do. "Lighting the way" for her. Cool huh? I don't know if the director intended it that way but it is a nice theory.

    When I first heard Michael say that it was Max and Isabel's fault that he couldn't go back to Hank's place, I agreed with him. If they hadn't shown up, Hank wouldn't have pulled a gun forcing Michael to use his powers. In a way, I still think this is true but it is just another example of Michael putting the blame for his actions on Hank. I really don't think that Hank would have shot Michael for not doing the wash.

    This episode is the first time we see it raining in Roswell. But the rain behaves rather weird. During the beginning of the episode, it's quite dry with barely a cloud in the sky (as the street scene with the mysterious palm tree shows.) Max and Isabel come to Michael's house and Max's windshield is wet. It's not raining at that point. As Michael goes to Maria, we see that it is raining quite hard. But in the morning, the sun's out and all appears dry again. I suppose this is all possible. Mother Nature is rather fickle but that doesn't explain why Max's windshield is wet. When we saw Michael walk into the trailer, it's not raining. Did they take the jeep through the car wash and have Isabel wave her hand and dry them out?

    Michael gets rained on a lot waiting for Maria to let him in. At the rate it was falling, he would have been soaked to the bone rather quickly. But once inside, he takes off his outer shirt to show that only the front part of his gray shirt underneath is wet. The only other part of him that is wet is his hair. His jeans are dry. Good thing too. Maria has him take off his wet shirt. What would have happened if his pants were just as wet? Mmm hmmm. You just ponder that one amongst yourselves.

    Great lines this episode:

    "Maria! Kitchen! Now!" -Amy DeLuca when she finds Michael in Maria's bed. I love those types of orders.

    "I know that one. I've used that one!" -Amy DeLuca when Maria tells her she didn't sleep with Michael, they just slept. Yes folks! The curse your parents put on you with the statement "I hope your kids act exactly like you do" works!!!

    When Amy asks why that sort of thing is ok for Maria but not for her, Maria spits out the excuse "I'm 16." Oh, thppppppppppppppt!! Try again Maria!

    Because the year is never mentioned in Roswell, I will refer to the original air date of this episode of 2/16/2000 to set the year when determining Maria's age. As of the second season episode "Baby, it's you", Maria should be 17 with that info. But that can't be right because that would make her 15 with the date of September 19, 1999 we figured up in "Pilot." All of the jobs I have had required you to be at least 16 before you could work there. Plus, Maria was driving in "Pilot." The webpage for the Department of Motor Vehicles in New Mexico doesn't directly say what the minimum age you must be in order to have a driver's license is but in Missouri, you must be at least 16. Somehow, Maria's age is messed up (I'm told Isabel's age is something of a debate as well in the second season episode "Surprise" and how she is able to graduate early in "Heart of Mine.") If anyone knows when Maria's birthday is, it would really help if you'd pass that along to me so we could clear up this age problem. In "A Roswell Christmas Carol" Maria says she is 17 so she really is 16 in this episode.

    Has anyone noticed how perfectly combed Maria's hair looks as she is sitting in the kitchen? She was just pulled out of bed by an irate mother! I don't think she would have waited for Maria to comb her hair. But then there are some people who can wake up looking radiant no matter how much they toss or turn.

    The instrumental that first appeared in "Toy House" is heard in this episode after Maria gets a talkin' to by her mother. At least the creators only used it once in this episode. They used it more then four times in "Toy House."

    Liz is shown using her telescope inside her bedroom. The light behind Liz would render the telescope useless. Bright lights interfere with the lenses. There was a similar problem seen with the microscope nurse Helen used in "Blood Brothers."

    Liz's bedroom window also gets a wavy glass design upgrade. The window was last seen in "Blind Date" and was quite clearly smooth glass. Maybe it's for suspenseful romantic scenes in future episodes so Liz can ask "Who is that rapping, rapping at my chamber window?"

    Was Liz so awestruck by the constellation she was looking at that she didn't hear Max climbing the fire escape and walking across the roof to her window?

    This one is sort of unavoidable but the inside of the truck that Michael and the "non-believer" ride in is very well lit for a truck on a dark highway.

    When I first saw Michael cooking breakfast, I wondered how he had gotten into the house. Did he use his powers to unlock the door or climb in an open window? We know he just hates using the front door.

    In case you don't know, the judge is series creator Jason Katims's father, Robert Katims. He is a real judge. And as a real judge, I must question him granting emancipation to a minor who has no visible means to support himself aka no job, doesn't show up for school that often, and has a rather sketchy reputation. Hank may have set up some sort of trust for him but I doubt it.

    Nasedo / Hank tells the sheriff that he is "hitching up the trailer" and is leaving town. Given that the only car we've seen belonging to Hank is the station wagon Nasedo / Hank drives, I doubt it could pull that giant trailer. I think that would require a large flatbed diesel truck and some "WIDE LOAD" signs. But then, we don't see Nasedo actually do this so who knows what happened.

    Also, the Sheriff asks Hank / Nasedo about the gunshot but fails to ask about the "inhuman" screams that witnesses reported. The Sheriff made it a point to tell Michael about that. I would have liked to see Nasedo try to lie about that one.

    Now that Nasedo has appeared, it's time to discuss my hatred for this alien. I'll do this on a per episode basis for the moment.

    Let's look at this guy. First off, Nasedo obviously has no respect for life, at least not for human life. So far in the series, that we know of, Nasedo has killed five people. We know this from the photos Hubble showed Valenti in "The Convention." There we saw a photo of an unidentified man, a police officer in his car, and Hubble's wife. In "River Dog", River Dog says Nasedo killed Atherton. Max suggests this was because Atherton was going to expose him. In this episode, we learn that he killed Hank. Examine these individually.

    In future episodes, we will learn that Nasedo was captured by the military shortly after the Roswell crash in 1947. At some point, he escapes. We know that he takes Tess with him but it appears his ultimate goal is to get away. Now gentle readers, people who are trying to escape from something do not intentionally want to leave a trail for those they are escaping from to follow yet this is exactly what Nasedo does when he burns the silver handprint onto those he kills. Why did he kill the unidentified man in Hubble's photos? We don't know. Why did he kill the police officer? He could have been following him. But why in the world did Nasedo kill Hubble's wife? There was no reason (Hubble suggests that Nasedo was trying to steal the car.) She presented no danger to him. If she saw him, he could have simply changed his appearance. But not only did he kill her, he dragged her out of her car to do it. Hubble's photo shows his wife laying on the ground in front of the car. When Hubble went inside the old restaurant for matches, he left his wife in the passenger seat. So why did Nasedo kill her? And let me remind you that in the process, Nasedo killed her unborn daughter as well. These are the actions of a psychotic maniac not a protector to the royal family of Antar. Surely Max's race doesn't condone this kind of violence.

    Sheriff Valenti tells Michael what witnesses said about the events at Michael's house after he left. Specifically, the Sheriff says they heard "Screaming, crying, tortured sounds like an animal. Almost inhuman." You know what that says to me? That says that Nasedo tortured Hank to death. I'll admit Hank is no saint but did he deserve to die? Some might say yes for the way he treated Michael but I wouldn't agree with that and I certainly don't agree that he should have been tortured to death! What is it with Nasedo? Does he get some kind of sick pleasure doing this? (He appears to enjoy playing the little game of "follow the line of corpses" in "Max to the Max.") While the sheriff tells Nasedo / Hank that he doesn't have to sign anything, I really wonder if that is true. What happens if the IRS or the division of child social services suddenly does need Hank's signature? The sheriff will say he left for Santa Cruz. So someone looks him up and they can't find him. A little more checking determines that Hank's trailer is not in Santa Cruz (I doubt Nasedo really did tow it there opting to abandon it somewhere instead.) So what happens now? Hank is reported missing. Someone's going to ask Michael if he knows anything. Perhaps Valenti becomes suspicious again and hauls him in for questioning. The point is that killing Hank raises several questions, all of which lead directly back to Michael.

    And look at how Nasedo is being seen by those he is supposed to protect. Isabel says they know nothing about him other then that he is a potential killer in "Pilot." In this episode and the previous three, Max learns that Nasedo really is a killer and is hesitant to find him for that reason. Only Michael appears eager to seek him out. And in probably the worst example, when Tess finally appears, she is so like Nasedo having grown up knowing only him, she is seen as one not to be trusted. When she reveals the truth of who they are to the others, she rebels against him at first. Unfortunantly, she never follows through with those feelings.

    The purpose of the Royal Four being on Earth is to hide them so that one day they can return to Antar and save their people from the rule of Khivar. By acting in the manner he has done, Nasedo has caused more harm then he has done good for the Royals. Nasedo uses the defense that all he does is for the Four. Nothing else matters. For a bodyguard, that's a good philosophy but Nasedo has gone completely over the edge. At this point in the series, he is a serious bane. Sure enough, it turns out that I was right to doubt Nasedo. He may be protecting them but he's also setting them up to be betrayed. Bane indeed.

#115 Sexual Healing - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Unsealed With a Kiss - A Review of 'Sexual Healing'
March 2, 2000

"At this minute, I can't NOT touch you."

First time writer Jan Oxenberg gave us an uneven episode in which Max is led to another alien artifact through the visions Liz experirences as a result of his kisses. There were some nice visual effects as Liz was transported to a cosmic universe in the throes of passion.

Director David Semel made good use of the chemistry between the characters to offer some good interaction between them that was much more comfortable and free than we've come to expect from them, in spite of the sexual tension.

Random Thoughts:
I didn't feel like we were ever given a good reason for the visions. There were hints and implications that this was caused by some kind of chemical reaction and that there was a potential risk to Liz's health, but that's all they were. It was never really explained why Liz was the only one getting these galactic visions or why Max is the only one capable of giving the amazing glowing hickey. Two teenagers giving in to sexual frustration and getting carried away is completely understandable, but the vague references to other physical causes were confusing. I thought the episode relied too much on the appeal of beautiful people making out and too little on actual plot development.

I wondered if the lack of visions between Max and Liz in the final scene indicated that the only reason for them in the first place was to find the orb. And if that's the case, it didn't explain why Max and Liz were the only ones getting the visions. It makes more sense to me that if the whole reason for the visions was to lead the kids to the orb, then the more people getting them, the higher the success rate. I think this was a key plot point that was underdeveloped and poorly explained.

Nasedo's appearance at the signal tower indicated that he was possibly involved in whatever was going on, but that wasn't explained either. We were left to wonder how long he'd been there and what his purpose was.

Under set inconsistency of the week, we can file Liz's balcony. In Heat Wave, the fire escape was to the right of the window, but now it's directly opposite the windows. Nice to know you can move those things in an emergency.

I thought it was interesting that of all the parents, Liz's dad was the one most willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. He was the one I most expected to be up in arms about his daughter spending the night away from home with a boy.

Did anyone else want Isabel to just reach out and grab that ping pong ball that Michael was bouncing on the paddle in front of her face?


  • I thought the jump into physical intimacy for Max and Liz was rushed. I know they've been pining for each other for months now, but what really changed? This could have been explained if they'd followed up on the chemical reaction angle of things, but since that remained vague and ambiguous, it just didn't work for me that Max would all of a sudden forget all the reasons he's had for maintaining his distance.
  • Liz's reaction to Max stroking her hand in class seemed way over the top to me. Again, this could maybe have been explained by more detail on the reasons for the urgency, but without that, it just seemed out of character to me that she would forget herself so much in the middle of a class.
  • And speaking of that scene, what are the chances that they are going to get detention for inappropriate behavior in class and then get left alone to serve that detention? Doesn't that kind of defeat the purpose?
  • Liz's aggressive hostility to her mother seemed out of character to me, as well. She's been portrayed to have a fairly good relationship with her parents, in spite of typical teen frustration over their attempts to remain involved in her life. But she became aggressively confrontational both in the principal's office and after her mother caught her sneaking into her bedroom.
  • The kiss between Isabel and Alex didn't work for me. I'm all for more development between the two of them, but that scene felt like a sidenote to me. I think it could have worked if Isabel hadn't so completely and dismissively blown him off earlier about experimenting. But, in spite of her ice princess persona, I don't think Isabel would be so unkind as to coldly use him for experimenting. It would have worked for me a lot better if they had shown her being tempted by his offer and affected a little more by his kiss.
  • I found myself wondering how Michael managed to find an apartment he could afford and what means he found to continue to afford it. I think they missed a good opportunity for backstory on Michael to overlook the whole apartment-finding process. It would have been fun to see him going through that.


  • In spite of it feeling rushed, I was glad to see progress in Max and Liz's relationship. It was good to see them give up some of that infamous control and just let themselves feel what they feel for each other.
  • I loved the scene in the girl's locker room when Max sneaks in to research his vision. I loved his honesty with her both about the fact that it could have been his own imagination and how her feelings for him made him feel.
  • Maria handing the strawberry to Max was cute, as was his reaction to it.
  • I laughed at Isabel playing little Miss Homemaker setting up Michael's kitchen.
  • Jo Anderson did a nice job as Liz's mom. She came across as a very caring and compassionate mother worried about her daughter.
  • Michael was a lot more open and less defensive in this episode and it was a nice change. Being on his own appears to agree with him.
  • There was a nice moment of empathy from Isabel to Liz when Liz arrived at Michael's apartment and says things are strange. You could see that Isabel understood how confusing it all must have been for her. It would be nice to see more development in their friendship.
  • I thought Michael and Maria made some huge strides forward in their relationship. Their final scene on the couch when he puts his arm around her, kisses her on the forehead and actually says "Thanks" was incredibly tender and sweet. I was glad they were able to be honest with each other about what they had been experiencing while they kissed.
  • It was nice to see Max and Liz smiling and laughing with each other. Makes a nice change to the pining, soulful looks they've been exchanging of late.
  • I liked the final scene with the parents framed in the doorway of the Crashdown as Max and Liz walk in hand in hand to face them together.
  • I loved that we finally got some friendly, joking banter between Michael and Max in this episode. We see entirely too little of that and it was a welcome change.

Favorite Quotes:

Maria: "Liz, nice strawberries."

Liz: "I always knock over strawberries this time of night. Always."

Max: "I have orders from my home planet to take over the earth."

Liz: "When I actually do it, it's not going to be between a plate of kielbasa and a deep fryer.."

Mrs. Parker: "Don't ever have sex, don't ever leave this house, don't ever stop being my baby girl."

Michael: "Did she see anyone else on the ship, like our parents?"
Isabel: "Yeah, like Captain Kirk and the Klingons? Do you have a paper towel holder?"
Michael: "I could act like a person. But then I'd have to fake it."

Michael: "Maxwell, let me assure you, you have not experienced anything I have not experienced many times or caused to be experienced."

Michael: "I see you."

Alex: "In the interests of science, kissing being purported to invoke…insights, I wanted to, you know, offer myself as a human subject available for experimentation."
Isabel: "Not gonna happen, Alex."
Alex: "Right, right. Thought I'd give it a shot."

Science Teacher: "You are an excellent student, Miss Parker. I'd hate to see anything get between you and the…uh…beauty of the universe."

Isabel: "Do you have a juicer?"
Michael: "Isabel, you're pushing it."

Michael: "Go for it, Maxwell, for the good of all mankind, you lucky, undeserving dog."

Michael: "Listen, Maxwell. You're a sensitive guy and you have available to you one of the top three seduction lines in history with 'It's going to help me find my home planet'. And you're refusing to use it. No guy is that sensitive. Use it."

Michael: "OK. We're leaving now. But I have some Chaka Khan queued up on the CD player."

Liz: "I can't do it to you."
Max: "I'm glowing everywhere; my toes, my heart. You can't see it…it's on the inside."

Maria: "Michael, I was looking for you at your apartment, but I found Max and Liz instead."
Michael: "Yeah. Are they still there?"
Maria: "No. I just drove Liz home."
Michael: "Great. I won't have to miss the hockey game."

Max: "You're not the only one who could worry about being used. I mean, some girls would give a lot to see themselves fly through outer space."

Liz: "So what you're saying is that you've saved me from a life of watching Kyle barf."

I give this episode 3.75 UFOs out of 5.

#115 Sexual Healing - Review

Written by LSS

Locker room fantasies, falling strawberries, and eraser room trysts--all this and more mark what has to be the most sexually active episode of Roswell to date! But aside from its steamy sexual scenes, Sexual Healing raises some really interesting questions concerning Roswell's Science Fiction framework.

THE ALIEN HOME SYSTEM. Prior to this we've been alerted to a v-shaped constellation, which appears not only in Balance, but also in Liz' vision of the night sky in Blind Date. Sexual Healing adds to our meager store of Roswell's astronomical references by highlighting a galaxy (The Whirlwind galaxy) and a star (a red giant). The significance of these for our storyline, however, is unclear. Is the audience to understand that the galaxy Liz reports seeing in her vision is the same one that spawned Max's species? And is that red giant that Liz says she sees none other than Max's home sun? Moreover, what is the relationship of the v-shaped constellation to either the galaxy or the star? All of these questions remain unanswered as the audience, like the characters in the story, wait for more tidbits of knowledge to be forthcoming!

EMERGENCY LANDING VS DESTINATION. Up until this episode, our storyline emphasizes the notion of a "crash" landing that brought our teens to earth. This theme is reflected in a number of different story elements (i.e., Crashdown Cafe, Crash Festival, etc.). What has never been clear, however, is whether this "crash" was an attempted landing that went awry or an emergency landing made on route to another location. Sexual Healing now provides us with a bit more clarity. Liz' visions of the alien craft in space seem to imply that earth is the craft's destination not the site of an emergency landing. Moreover, the fact that the aforementioned star is "dying" offers plot possibilities of an "exodus". (By the way--go back and look at the kitchen make-out scene again--does that look like a warp trip, explosion, and stellar debris field? Or is it simply meant to visually depict the throes of Liz' orgasmic encounter with Max?)

INTERSPECIES SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS. On one level the question of whether or not aliens and humans are sexually compatible has stood behind Roswell's entire storyline. At the end of Pilot, Max explains to Liz why they cannot be together by simply saying that they are "different." Various episodes flirt with the Max and Liz relationship bringing us sexually charged scenes ranging from tender kisses on balconies to drunken kisses on stages, but always managing to skirt direct confrontation with Max and Liz's essential difference. With Sexual Healing, this tension reaches climactic proportions. Maria recognizes this as she comments to Alex: "If they actually do it, she'll probably explode" while Alex protests that Liz will "explode if they don't do it."

Science Fiction writers let their imagination run far and wide when it comes to aliens and sex. Reproduction can result from a lone individual, a twosome, a threesome, a foursome--indeed the variety and shape of alien sex is limited, it would seem, only to the creative boundaries of individual writers and to the contours of their aliens' physiologies. Cross-species compatibility, however, is another issue. Even if said species can surmount the obvious problem of finding a partner with relatively equivalent sexual "equipment" (an insurmountable obstacle between many species) there remains the whole issue of viability. For, even though it cannot be denied that sexual experience as we humans know it can (should) be pleasurable, the more functional aspect of the biological act remains--procreation.

Interest in alien sex, of course, is not confined to the pages of Science Fiction stories. Real world psychologists study the psychological parameters of abduction stories with explicitly sexual components--reports from people usually consigned to the front pages of tabloids at grocery check-out stands!

In Sexual Healing we explore the question of interspecies mating aka Roswell style. But it is not equipment (Max seems exceptionally suitable) or potential viability that is this episode's focus-- rather it is the consequences of alien/human mating that is in question. Maria raises this question when she warns Liz that she's worried for her by saying "...this is dangerous....We don't even know what could happen." Liz echoes Maria's concern when she asks Max; "Could I get sick?" And Max--Max confesses that he simply doesn't know what could happen. As if verbal warnings are not sufficient, a glowing hickey, odd looking rash, and a raging fever accompanied by an almost addictive sexual attraction alert viewers to the fact that Max and Liz are far from your ordinary (even hormone driven) teens!

Moreover, the words of the science teacher in the lab scene are especially interesting: "The conceit that alien lifeforms would be like us in any essential way would be the wishful thinking of a lonely planet that once believed it was the center of the universe." Is this meant to be ironic? Are we meant to think that alien lifeforms may be MORE like us than we imagined (i.e., Max)? Or is it a reminder that human make-out sessions rarely end with glowing hickeys? That as much as Max might look/be human that he was right all along--that he IS different? That a normal sexual relationship between Max and Liz might be---"wishful thinking?"

THE NATURE AND FUNCTION OF THE ALIEN ARTIFACT. On one level the orb discovered in the desert is the narrative focus of this entire episode. In the first frame we see the broken radio tower in the desert and hear a beeping. The episode rapidly concludes after the artifact is found (and activated by their proximity). Liz suggests it is a message beacon of sorts, and looks to the sky in mute wonder. Is she correct? Or is the message it is sending more personal? Ever ask yourself why the sexual frenzy begins after we first hear it? Does it have anything to do with Liz' words in her opening shower room fantasy: "Lately I've been having these feelings, like I'm changing inside....these feelings are strong, dangerous, undeniable. It's like I have no choice. It's like--chemical"?

VISIONS AND KISSING. At the end of Blind Date, Liz receives a vision when Max kisses her. In Sexual Healing, she kisses Max and receives a series of visionary flashes, as does Max from her. Even Michael receives a flash when kissing Maria, (although she receives none from him). Michael suggests that these flashes "might have been planned this way" and that by connecting with human the aliens gain information. Both Maria (in warning) and Liz (in questioning) echo this idea in a different way when they raise the issue of being "used" to gain more information for the aliens. Are these flashes originating from outside our teens? Are they functional? And why doesn't Maria receive them from Michael?

Ironically, Sexual Healing with its multiple make-out scenes (even Alex gets lucky with a kiss form Isabel), raises a host of Science Fiction questions, many of which remain unanswered as the episode concludes.

#115 Sexual Healing - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

Don't get this review wrong. This was a good episode in that all relationships were furthered a bit. But it left a lot for me that I felt was unanswered. The show has a really bad habit of doing this sort of thing for me.

Many times when I watch the show to add to the Powers List, I often say "Now how did they do that?" Watching the scenes with the flashes and the glowing light in Liz's skin made me say that again. I asked myself several questions about the flashes and such.

"How can Liz have memories of the Crash if she wasn't on it (or WAS SHE?)?" Did she get them from Max? Wasn't he in an incubation pod during the crash? I doubt he was able to look out a window.

"Did Max pass those memories off to Liz when he healed her in "Pilot" and their activities just reawakened them?" This seems reasonable. Ava said Liz was changed in "Max in the City" (an episode I had not seen when I originally wrote this review.) It's possible this change has made Liz more susceptible to some sort of psychic power and her heightened state of arousal was allowing her to open her mind to Max and more freely "see" things. Of course, I've no evidence to support that theory. Another theory is that Liz was seeing things in Max's mind just as he was seeing things in hers (her fantasy in the shower for example.) That may explain the things Max was getting but not what Liz was seeing. Max was in an incubation pod and wouldn't have those images in his memory.

"How could Liz have the first person view of the person who buried the Orb?" This question puzzled me the most. From what little I have gathered, supposedly, the person who buried the Orb was Nasedo as he escaped the military installation he was taken to. She couldn't have gotten that from Max. At this time, he was growing in an incubation pod. I thought the second season episode "Summer of '47" would answer this question. It doesn't. It more supports my theory that Nasedo was the one who buried the Orb but why would Max have a memory from Nasedo? For that matter,why would Liz have it?

"Why was the hickey glowing?" Does Max's saliva have some sort of phosphorescent property we aren't aware of? The hickey also turned into what looked like a burn that Max was able to heal. Along those same lines, what was the glowing line Max traced across Liz's arm?

"Why are Max and Liz the only one getting visions?" This one was easily answered. Neither Michael nor Isabel have healed or otherwise connected with any one in the manner Liz and Max have. The fact that there is probably a small part of Max's essence in Liz, a side effect of the healing and the explanation for Liz's changes, is what makes the visions appear for them. We will learn in "Departure" that the reason Maria isn't getting any flashes is because Michael is preventing her from seeing them. So it appears that Max was just totally opening himself up to Liz and she was doing the same.

The creators are consistent with the visions. Max does not see what Liz sees and vice versa. They have to tell each other about them. It made for an interesting moment between them when Liz learned that Max had seen her fantasy (wouldn't you have liked to have been Max in that scene and for you ladies, wouldn't you have liked to have been Liz?)

"Was Michael lying about the red shoes he saw as well as Maria's dog?" The creators did not explain this and I found that unsatisfactory. Since Michael doesn't seem the type to just make up something like that, just where did he learn it? Did he talk to Amy DeLuca when we weren't looking or was he really seeing these things? Given that we have seen Michael get flashes in the past, I think it is possible he was indeed seeing something. For instance, with the key to Atherton's house, I once heard the power explained this way: "Events cling to objects and it is possible to concentrate and hear those memories." It was referred to as "psychomotry." Whether it is a real phenomenon is another matter. I guess the creators wanted to limit the vision effect for just Max and Liz. In season two's "Departure", Michael tells Maria they weren't having flashes because he was not opening up enough to let her see them. While Michael might not have been open to Maria, she could very well have been open enough to him to let him see things. Of course, the creators didn't see fit to show us these flashes so who knows. This means Michael was able to see Maria's thoughts and Michael admits that Maria was open to him when they kissed. This is different from the way Max and Liz experience their visions.

Ok, character time. The episode accomplished something for Roswell as a whole: it made the fans happy. Finally, Max and Liz were going to be together. No more "iningpay", no more awkward looks in the hallways at school or at the Café. They were without a doubt, a couple. Personally, I felt the sexual tension was being forced a little bit and suddenly people had forgotten why they wanted to be together or why they weren't together in the first place. So I feel safe in saying that everyone walked away after this episode feeling that things were finally looking up in Roswell. Of course, in just one episode, another obstacle is going to be thrown into the mix: Tess is on her way.

Kissing scenes are always difficult to do on screen. A lot of it has to do with the chemistry between the actors. If there is mutual attraction there, the scenes can be handled with a bit of ease. It's not easy to summon up the passion when you have a director and producers yelling "More passion, breathe harder." Jason Behr and Shiri Appleby appeared to be enjoying themselves. If they weren't, they really are good actors.

I was hard on Liz in the beginning because I always felt like she was struggling to say her lines. At times, it was almost as if she had a stutter. In this episode, there is a drastic change. No longer does Liz appear to be having a hard time saying things. Her speech was fluid and thought out. She has found the path and is walking it with ease. I like that. One of the other especially nice touches was her facial expressions. Liz was teasing Max with her eyes and how she would walk close to him as if to say "Come and get me big boy." And when Max did, she totally threw herself to him. I think this was a sign that Liz was finally truly happy with herself and Max. That's why what happens in the next few episodes is all the more crushing for her.

One of the things I do not understand is the hostility between Liz and her mom. I know that from the few times we've seen the two of them together, they aren't exactly open to each other but we never have been given any kind of real explanation as to just why that is. This is a big hole that really needs some clarifying. But I don't think we ever find out. And through all of this, we only see Liz's father once at the end of the episode. It's almost like the Parkers are too busy doing other things to play their parent roles (like hiding in the closet. See my review of "Blind Date" for more on that. Also see my review of "Leaving Normal" for a possible explanation of the tension between Liz and her mom. Season three attempts to explain this somewhat but only as far as to show the tension between Liz and her dad. The reason behind why Liz and her mom are not so close isn't really explained that well.)

I thought it was interesting that Max was playing the submissive here. In all of their encounters, it was Liz who would come up on tip-toe to kiss him, or tell him to take off his shirt, or tell him to lie down. The cautious approach is normally one the girl takes. That is a refreshing change of pace.

However, clearly Max was torn between things like he usually is. He's very interested in Liz. He's very interested in the images they are both seeing but at the same time, his old insecurities are still speaking to him. He doesn't want to hurt Liz or make a mistake. Even if I didn't know what would happen between him and Liz, the line he said in "Heatwave" about the two of them being together wasn't meant to be always rings through my mind when I see them together. But I also remember Grandma Parker in "Leaving Normal" saying that they wouldn't be soulmates if it wasn't difficult. That's sort of an omen for things to come, wouldn't you say?

Scrolling back through the old messages on various message boards, I saw that a lot of people thought Max touching Liz's hand in class, and her subsequent reaction to it, were over the top. I have read and been told that in the right frame of mind, a simple touch can be just as powerful as a hard, passion-filled kiss. Although I will agree that being in a school classroom wouldn't necessarily provoke the needed frame of mind.

There are times when I think Maria asks too much of Michael. After they start "exploring" to find their own images, Maria decides to fake one. I don't really have to get into how devastating faking something important to a loved one is and it's even worse when they find out. Maria told Liz she did it for an ego trip for Michael. I think that it was very unfair to Michael for her to do that. She knows how important finding clues to his home planet is to him (or maybe she doesn't. We have never seen Michael directly state that to her.) Of course, when Maria finally does fess up, Michael is upset and Maria is almost surprised. Well, what did you expect Maria? You were lying to him!! She then wants him to talk to her. Asking an angry person to talk to you is not always the best thing to do, especially with someone as rash as Michael. Then later, Maria asks Michael not to be cold or mean to her. Easy for you to say Maria. Michael was the one being honest here. Also, Maria's wardrobe is improving though she did look like a go-go dancer in her outfit at the football field.

Has Michael mellowed out or what? Instead of being withdrawn, Michael appears to be relaxed and trying to enjoy his new found freedom. He is even joking around with Max. Of course, he's still new at it when he offends Max with his remarks towards Liz. Even though Maria hurt him when she said that she had lied about the visions, Michael didn't abandon her in a rage. He even seemed to warm up to her a little more then normal when she came to his apartment. Living on his own has definitely helped him.

I felt bad for Alex here. He gets a chance to kiss the girl he wants after being turned down the day before (in spectacular fashion I might add) and the first experience in the morning after he wakes up is the same girl on his front porch saying it's ok to kiss her as casually as she might take a step. I don't understand Isabel's approach to that but I'm sure that Alex was wide awake after that kiss. According to behind the scenes footage, Colin Hanks added some levity to this scene by saying "Dad, you better not eat my corn flakes!" as Isabel walked down the sidewalk.

Other then the kiss, there is nothing really noteworthy about Isabel in this episode. At least she tried to lighten up a little.

Finally! We are once again given a date for an episode though at first it didn't help much in determining a fit into the timeline. The show opens with the caption of "February 2000." The last date we were given was in December 2 in "Heatwave." Then Liz Parker came through and gave the date "February 20" during the voice over in the girl's locker room scene. Thank you Liz!!

This episode lasts three days. The first day is the make out session at the Café. Day two begins at school and ends with Liz and Max finding the Orb in the desert. Day three begins with Nasedo (in the form we saw him change into in "Independence Day") finding the wayward two.

The opening caption does have a few interesting points. There is a Lincoln County in New Mexico. It's to the west of Roswell on highway 380. Roswell itself is in Chavas County. So Transmission Tower 31 is in Lincoln County two miles from the crashsite. We can't pinpoint that though because the crashsite itself is the Vasquez Rocks in California. Also, according to my atlas, there is no Highway 42 in New Mexico.

Great Lines this episode:

"Well, I have orders from my planet to take over the Earth." -Max to Liz. One of the few jokes he tells in the entire series.

"No." -Liz to her teacher if she has anything she'd like to share with the class.

"Go for it Maxwell. For the good of mankind you lucky, undeserving dog." -Michael letting Max use his new place for an encounter with Liz.

So now Michael has his own place. Just how is he paying for this? Did he get a job when we weren't looking? I don't think the Evan's are paying his rent. We don't see him working at the Crashdown as a cook until "Crazy." Who paid his deposit?

Watch closely for this one as it goes by fast. As the camera angles change around during Max and Liz's first kisses in the opener, Jason Behr's hair goes from being neatly combed, to ruffled, to neatly combed again. Must be a new power Max is working on called the "Always look cool" power.

There is an audio edit on my tape after the opening credits. Liz and Maria are talking and it looks like Maria says "You guys didn't go beat off?" to Liz. I'm surprised the WB let that one slip by too (see my review of "Into the Woods" for a similar situation.) The audio edit makes it sound like Maria says "You guys didn't go beyond?" My copy was made from a Canadian broadcast and I know that censors in Canada are strict so the edit does make sense.

Science teachers on this show have oddly written dialogue. There's one in this episode that just makes me laugh. The science teacher says "Hydrogen, oxygen, carbon. Created in a millisecond after the Big Bang." Now I am not up to speed on my Big Bang theory so anyone who is in the know can help me on this one but I don't believe that the Big Bang actually created those particles. The guy also says that these particles are "The basis for all life forms in the universe, present and unaccounted for." The guy also says that these particles are "The basis for all life forms in the universe, present and unaccounted for." I originally said that water and oxygen are the basis of life. Reader Loni Lodwig wrote to point out my error. Carbon is the basis for all life that we know of as this is what our DNA is based on (the thing that reminded me of this was the Ilia-probe in "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" referring to all the humans as "carbon units.") I meant to say that water and oxygen are the basis for supporting life, which is why probes sent to Mars are always looking for water. Hydrogen by itself is not needed but when combined with oxygen (H20), you get water. So while technically correct, the teacher's line is still worded awfully weird.

The guy then says something that made me sit up and say "What?!?" Specifically, he says "Today we are going to combine hydrogen, liquid oxygen… " At this point, the music fills in to drown out the rest of the statement while Max touches Liz's hand. Obtaining hydrogen is simple enough. You can buy it in large gas canisters though I think you need a special chemical license for it. But the really strange part is that he is saying they are going to use liquid oxygen. Oxygen in the air is in it's gaseous state. Air is made mostly of oxygen and nitrogen. To get nitrogen gas changed to a liquid, it must be cooled to minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit, which is minus 196 degrees Celsius. Oxygen turns into a liquid at a slightly higher temperature, minus 183 degrees Celsius. To get these gases down to such low temperatures, the air is compressed and cooled. When it is allowed to expand again, the temperature drops even further. By repeating this process many times, the air is eventually cooled to minus 312 degrees Fahrenheit. The liquid formed is a combination of oxygen and nitrogen. To separate the oxygen, the liquid is warmed just enough for the nitrogen to turn back into a gas - leaving only the liquid oxygen. I do not think that this is the sort of thing that a high school science lab would have access to!

I'm really not sure just what Liz and Max did to get them detention. Unless Liz was being loud again which she didn't appear to be. Even stranger is that the teacher gives them detention for misbehaving together and then while they are actually in detention, heads off to leave them by themselves. Strange punishment.

The faculty of Roswell High School has suddenly decided to wake up and Max and Liz become the scapegoats. They are both found making out in the eraser room (not to worry though. They still have the janitor's closet!) and then the principal says that they also cut two academic classes. What has taken the staff so long to realize this? Check any of my past reviews and you'll find that cutting class and even leaving campus happens all the time. But the principal singles out Max and Liz? Of course, a few moments later, the faculty once again demonstrates that they have no control over the students when Maria and Michael are shown kissing in the eraser room. They seem to forget about it for the rest of the season too because Maria and Michael are going to interrupt Alex and Isabel in there in "Four Square."

During Liz's flashbacks, she sees a red giant star which she later asks our favorite science teacher about. While the home planet of the Four has never been mentioned in the show itself (until season three's "Busted"), tells us that the Four's home planet is called "Antar." Oddly enough, there is a red giant star called "Antares." It's the brightest star in the scorpius constellation and has a slight orange color to it. It's color is what gives it it's name which means "Rival of Mars." It's about 520 light years from Earth and 230 times bigger then our sun. Antares is in it's last stages of life. The star's nuclear furnace has consumed its original hydrogen fuel, and is now "burning" heavier helium. As the star switched fuels, its outer layers puffed up like a balloon. Antares will someday consume its helium, converting it to heavier elements like carbon and oxygen, which will in turn continue to feed the star's nuclear fires. Eventually though, Antares will no longer be able to use the elements in its core. The star will explode in a supernova outshining even the Moon in Earth's sky. All that will remain of Antares will be a crushed corpse: either a neutron star - a ball so dense that a teaspoon of its matter would weigh millions of tons - or a black hole - an object with such powerful gravity that not even light could escape from it. Given this information, it sounds like the planet Antar is in mortal danger, doesn't it? Thanks to "Mia of the Wild Sirens" for help on this.

Eating hot pizza, Isabel burns her mouth. There is some weirdness involved in this scene. First, the tobasco sauce Isabel uses appears to be a darker red color then any other tobasco seen in an episode. I thought maybe it was real tobasco sauce which would help actress Katherine Heigl with some realism in the scene. After taking a bite, Isabel waves her hands and says "Hot!" and reaches forward to grab her water bottle but suddenly stops and pulls her hand back. Now if I burn my mouth, I drink water! There are two explanations for this oddity. 1) The tobasco was indeed real tobasco and Katherine Heigl didn't know that. Or 2) Watch her head. As she reaches for the water bottle, she turns her head slightly to the right to see Alex approaching. Suddenly deciding to play the damsel in distress, Isabel forgoes drinking the water to get Alex's attention. Nice bit huh?

So is Antar in the Whirlwind Galaxy? I wonder if the red giant that is supposed to exist there is close to it. (Yep! See above!)

The final scenes take place at the Vasquez Rocks in Los Angeles County Park. You can see the famous stones in the background of the desert scenes where Liz and Max find the Orb. They find the object by Transmission Tower 31, which the caption says is two miles from the crashsite. We find out in a few episodes that the pod chamber is inside the Rocks. So either the crashsite itself was somewhere else or the opening caption is incorrect. The Rocks don't appear to be two miles away.

Just in case anyone is interested, the Metallica poster on the wall in Michael's apartment is one of the promotional posters for Metallica's "S & M" concert (it means "Symphonic Metallica" as the album was recorded with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.)

I'm not sure about this one but after watching it several times, I think it's safe to say that as Maria drives Liz home, she appears to be going in circles. The lights and signs in the background repeat.

Liz's fire escape ladder has moved. It is now directly opposite Liz's bedroom window on the roof. Just one episode ago, it was to the right of the window. The odd thing is that both of the ladder location's open on the same street scene it always has. Now that is freaky folks.

#116 Crazy - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Just Act Normal - A Review of 'Crazy'
April 11, 2000

"Would that be alien normal or we're the subjects of an FBI manhunt normal?"

This episode, written by Thania St. John, explored the issues of trust and how far it can be and should be stretched. This is a subject that has been addressed before, but this was really the first time the kids have had to address those issues as a group in addition to trust amongst themselves. New players are being brought into the mix and old enemies are proving not quite so easy to categorize.

Random Thoughts:
I am as yet undecided about the motivations of Topolsky and Tess. Topolsky's capture at the end of the episode certainly lends credence to her claims of conspiracy and to her terror. But I did wonder why Nacedo would have intervened to prevent any further contact between her and the kids if she really was trying to help them. Possibly he believes that Pierce is too close on her trail and any contact with Topolsky would lead Pierce right to them. But how did he managed to create a cover story about Topolsky being hospitalized at Bethesda that would stand up under investigation without some help? Possibly Nacedo has connections and resources that we have not yet been made aware. I guess the more likely story is that Pierce really did have her hospitalized at a facility at Bethesda for her interrogation in the event of the need for just such a cover story. What do you suppose Nacedo had in store for her if he had caught up to her before Pierce? Keeping Hank company with the worms, probably.

I'm equally ambivalent about Tess. I suppose she could be exactly what she appears to be…a new girl in school looking to make some friends. But things are rarely what they appear to be on this show. The timing of her appearance and the fact that she seemed to be trying a little too hard to ingratiate herself with the alien trio, make me suspect that there's something fishy about her. Not to mention her habit of interrupting private conversations between Alex and Isabel and eavesdropping on Max and Michael. It will be interesting to see how she interacts with Liz and Maria.

The new ending scene in the opening segment was a good visual addition. I like that it ends with all six of them standing at the edge of the reservoir, showing that the story has expanded to include them all.

If Liz knew ahead of time that she and Max were going to catch a movie, why would she wait until the very last second to ask Maria to cover her shift at the Crashdown? She put Maria completely on the spot. And Max was no better letting Isabel believe he was joining her when he had no intention of staying at all.

So Max and Liz had their first date at a place called Senor Chows. What do you suppose they serve there? Chinese Mexican food? Enchiladas eaten with chopsticks? Chinese Mexican food, a pool table and a dance floor. What more could you ask for?

I thought it was noteworthy that Isabel referred to Michael as her brother for the first time. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, but that certainly seemed like foreshadowing of some sort to me.

Fashion note of the week: bra straps are meant to complement an outfit, not to be strategically hidden away. I'll have to make note of that. I just have to shake my head when I think of all the years I've wasted trying to hide those suckers.

How do you suppose the mysterious guy in the car knew that Alex was one of the ones in the group that voted to talk to Topolsky? Lucky guess, maybe.

I thought it was an interesting development that the sheriff now has the orb, although I did wonder why he noticed it there in the dark with the symbol facing downward and looking so much like a rock. Maybe that's the safest place for it to be right now. It certainly would be one of the last places Pierce would logically think to look for it, especially if he doesn't know that Topolsky enlisted the sheriff's help.

It was an interesting contrast to see Max and Michael having a friendly discussion about relationships to the hostility at the end. That fight was a definite sign that Max was serious when he told Michael that it was time for him to be held responsible for his actions. It did seem a bit of an overreaction for the normally so contained Max, though. Especially since he's been guilty of following leads on his own a few times himself.

I thought it was strange that no one except Maria noticed how quiet Michael was when they gathered at the reservoir the second time. It was such a glaring difference from his previous loud protests. Max and Isabel are usually pretty quick to pick up on mood swings that extreme from him. They should have seen that something was up.

Did anyone else think the Gidget and Moondoggie reference was a little dated for kids in the 21st Century?


  • It seemed out of character to me that Isabel would so openly and unreservedly befriend Tess. Maybe she sensed another ice princess type and Tess is someone she would have befriended under normal circumstances, but these are not normal circumstances. Given everything that's happened lately, a new girl on the scene should have immediately raised the red flags for Isabel that it did for Max and Michael. Granted, Isabel is feeling a little needy these days for someone to fill the void that is being left by Max and Michael, but she knows better than anyone that what she needs is a confidante. Why would a girl she just met fit that bill any better than any of the other friends she's made over the years? Her open acceptance of Tess seemed a little too convenient to me.
  • The reactions of Max and Liz when Topolsky shows up at the window out of the blue in the middle of nowhere seemed entirely too mild. It should have scared the hell out of them to all of a sudden have a crazy woman appear, at least initially.
  • I know I'm probably going to be lynched for this thought, but I thought director James Whitmore, Jr. relied a little too heavily on Max and Liz kissing and cuddling all the time in this episode. I know it's a natural progression, but it got to be a bit much. These two can say so much to each other with just a look or a casual touch and I found myself missing those lines of communication between them.
  • The MIA status of Kyle is puzzling. We haven't seen hide nor hair of him since he tied one on with Max in Blind Date. Must be one hell of a hangover to keep him sidelined this long.
  • Michael's snide comment to Liz that her judgment of Topolsky couldn't be trusted because Liz trusted her the first time around was unjustified. After all, Liz was the only one to suspect Topolsky wasn't what she claimed to be initially and went out of her way to warn Michael that Topolsky had pulled his school records.
  • The Crashdown appears to be remarkably self sufficient if the waitresses and cooks can just disappear on a whim and the owners are rarely in attendance. I wish I had a job that flexible.
  • I was disappointed that Sheriff Valenti was convinced that the doctor had tracked Topolsky to Roswell from her credit card transactions. He should have been suspicious that an FBI agent suffering paranoid delusions of being followed would have dared use a credit card knowing how easy it is to track those transactions.


  • This was an outstanding Michael and Maria episode. While it's obvious they are struggling with the rules and boundaries of their relationship, it's equally obvious how much they really care for one another. Michael is trying so hard to give Maria what she wants, in spite of the fact that he has very little in his personal life to draw from. There were some very sweet, tender moments between them that showed without words what their real feelings are. I loved when Michael put his arm around Maria on the couch after learning Topolsky was back in town because he knew she was scared. Also, the moment by the reservoir when he pulled her close and just held her. It's nice to see that he's finally learned how to use her first name, too. This was the first episode for me that the Michael and Maria story took precedence over any other aspect of the plot. I thought Brenden Fehr and Majandra Delfino were fabulous in this episode.
  • I liked that Michael finally called Maria on her need for him to be a certain type of boyfriend, asking her why she wanted to be with him if she thought he was such a loser. I don't think Maria realized up until that moment how unrealistic and how unfair she was being to him asking him to be something he doesn't know how to be, not to mention completely different than the boy she first liked.
  • Kudos to Wardrobe for finally finding something for Max to wear besides dark colors for at least two scenes.
  • I laughed out loud when Maria called out Max's name when she and Michael were making out, as well as to Michael's reaction to it.
  • I do like the new, comfortable closeness between Max and Liz, in spite of the previously mentioned dislike. It's nice to see them be affectionate and close, as long as they don't go overboard with it. I would hate to see the writers substitute sex for real, honest character interaction.
  • It was fun to see the tables turned and have Michael asking Max for romantic advice this time around, even if it did lose something in the translation to action. Gotta love Michael's wrapping paper of choice, though.
  • I always love to see the friendship between Isabel and Alex grow. Slowly but surely he's winning her over in spite of her fear of being vulnerable. Katherine Heigl and Colin Hanks both played the scene at the booth in the Crashdown beautifully. Very sweet. Tess could sure use some lessons in timing, though. Every time Alex and Isabel were making progress, Tess would appear to put a crimp in things, almost deliberately it seemed to me.
  • I liked that the FBI loose end wasn't left dangling as I had originally thought. I didn't expect Topolsky to show up with a second communicator, and I have to wonder how the FBI got their hands on it.
  • I'm glad they are continuing to show the sheriff in a more favorable light and his possibilities as an ally to the kids. That said, I'm also glad Max didn't trust him too much when the sheriff approached him in the UFO Center, since his motivations are still suspect.

Favorite Quotes:

Michael: "Just a couple of horndogs looking for a place to make out."

Maria: "How many light years away is my Eclipse Burger?"
Michael: "Depends on how they feel about raw."
Maria: "I put that order in 10 minutes ago."
Michael: "Yeah, well you can't rush an eclipse."

Alex: "Whoa! Peep show!"
Maria: "Don't worry. It's nothing you haven't seen before."
Alex: "Don't be too sure."

Alex: "You two have plans?"
Tess: "Girl's Night."
Alex: "Guess I have the wrong hormones for that."

Michael: "This whole dating thing really bites."

Michael: "If I'm such a loser, why do you even want to go out with me?"

Liz: "I believed her."
Michael: "Let me remind you, Liz, that you believed her the first time, too."

Michael: "Now she says what we've got isn't good enough. She wants more."
Max: "You mean like…"
Michael: "No, if that's what she wanted, would I be here talking to you?"

Michael: "I'm serious, Max. Things are getting frosty. She went to the French club meeting today instead of meeting me in the eraser room. The French club. What the hell is that?"

Max: "She's a stranger, Isabel."
Isabel: "Well, it's not like I'm going to fall in love with her, tell her our secret and compromise our very existence."

Maria: "Hey, Gidget. You got some flowers from Moondoggie."

Liz: "I've never seen anyone so scared."
Alex: "Taken a look at me lately?"

Maria: "If you want me, you have to earn me. That's how relationships work."
Michael: "No, Maria. That's how Boy Scouts and merit badges work."

Maria: [Looking at gift from Michael] "Shampoo."
Michael: "Shampoo and conditioner."
Maria: "A real time saver."

I give this episode 4 UFOs out of 5.

#116 Crazy - Review

Written by LSS

With Crazy we get our first glimpse of "Roswell Revamped" and it is an interesting sight indeed. With two of our three human/alien couples in place (Max and Liz, Michael and Maria), the writers are now free to turn from their relational focus to one more laden with action and adventure. At least three elements of this episode stand out concerning its Science Fiction framework:

ALIENS AND ALIEN HUNTERS. Conspiracies within conspiracies--this episode introduces us to the existence of Agent Pierce (the ruthless alien hunter) who answers to no one (except on a need to know basis) and who appears more inhuman than our aliens. Admittedly, implications of our trio's exposure have been part of Roswell's emotional landscape since the Pilot. But before Crazy they have remained some nightmarish specters that are given substance only occasionally in the storyline. Thus far we've had three close encounters with this fear: 1) Everett Hubble--the grief crazed UFO enthusiast--who corners Max at the end of The Convention; 2) Ms. Topolsky and the FBI, who have been off stage since Blood Brothers; and 3) Sheriff Valenti who, being local, has been our trio's most persistent nemesis. But Crazy, employing a series of ironic reversals, rearranges our characters' allegiances and turns prior enemies into unlikely allies. Valenti, the previous hunter/doubter emerges as Valenti the protector/believer. Topolsky, the FBI/guidance counselor, becomes a frantic potential friend/ally who begs Michael to take her with him when his people come to get him. Running throughout all of this rearranging of loyalties is Topolsky's warning to Max and Liz as they lay entwined in the jeep: trust no one--act normal. Such warning serves to put the audience on its guard as well. In these final episodes of Roswell's first season, who can be trusted? Who really is what they seem?

SHAPESHIFTING ALIENS AND THE FBI. Our favorite shapeshifter appears again in this episode along with his little box of pills/tic tacs. And, once again, the final scene treats us to a transformation process complete with blazing white light and shaking car. But WAIT -- IS that the same shapeshifter we saw at the end of Sexual Healing? Or is it another one? How does one recognize one shapeshifter from another?

Moreover, the shapeshifer's presence in this episode is interesting for several reasons. First of all, unlike the incident in Sexual Healing, which involved taking the form of a person already dead (and soon to be buried), we are not informed that the doctor whose form the shapeshifter assumes in Crazy is already dead. If he is not, then the chances of the shapeshifter's eventual discovery are a real possibility. Secondly, one wonders at the motivation behind the shapeshifter's actions. Is the intervention aimed at protecting the trio? If so, then how does the shapeshifter know what the trio is up to? Even Liz had to read Maria's note before knowing of Michael's intent. The only one who knew of Michael's destination was Topolsky. We can, of course, assume that Topolsky is under FBI surveillance. Is she under alien surveillance as well? Or is our shapeshifter working with the FBI? When Topolsky tells Liz that embedded deep within the FBI there is an alien hunter, does she mean a person who hunts aliens, or a hunter (who is an alien)? Moreover, since it is due to the shapeshifter¢s intervention that Topolsky does not meet with our trio (and ultimately gets caught) can we assume this was the shapeshifter's plan all along? Or did the intervention prevent the FBI from getting the hard evidencethey needed to pick up Max (i.e., Topolsky giving him the orb, his knowing the orb's significance and his possession of a second orb)?

Ironically, if we think back to The Morning After, Maria was more correct then any of us realized at the time when she said: " we have this Topolsky person around. You know, that¢s what they do. They send special government task forces. Alien hunters." It has taken our writers over half the season to get us there, but with Crazy we have come full circle to Maria's warning. No doubt future episodes will flesh out this shadowy elite unit with its nefarious Agent Pierce.

ORBS AND ALIEN COMMUNICATION. We now know that there are at least two orbs--the one found by Max and Liz buried by the old communication tower (Sexual Healing) and the one in the FBI's special unit evidence vault in Washington, D.C. Just how the FBI obtained their orb, of course, is as yet unknown. After Sexual Healing we speculated as to the orb's function. According to Topolsky, however, we now find out it is a communication device that only works when two orbs are together. But this information leaves the audience with more questions than it does answers. Do both orbs work in concert? That is, are both necessary for a single communication? Or are we talking about a transmitter and receiver? And what is the range of these devices? And is communication their entire function?

But what is perhaps the most significant and telling question--HOW DOES TOPOLSKY KNOW THIS? Either the FBI has (or has had) two orbs and through experimentation found out how they work, or they found out the orb's function from someone who knew it -- an alien (possibly an informer).

Moreover, if orbs do not work except in pairs, then what was the beeping sound in Sexual Healing? Was the sound a homing function of the orb? But then why was it keyed to sexual activity? Or was it? Or was there simply another orb in the vicinity to which it was responding? As I said, although we find out more in this episode about the orbs then ever before, such knowledge, scant as it is, only opens to us a vast arena of speculation.

#116 Crazy - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

It's time to get "Crazy."

This episode generated a lot of excitement for me. I became interested in Roswell for one reason. I was suffering from what I call "de Ravin withdrawal." Towards the end of the year 2000, the ill-written Beastmaster episode "White Tiger" aired. It was the last for my favorite character on the show, the demon Curupira, played by Emilie de Ravin. I was extremely unhappy with the way she was written out of the show and because I had no idea at the time where the actress went, I was a little depressed. When I heard she was appearing on the WB's Roswell, I decided to check it out. "Crazy" is her first appearance on the show and she came in with a bang. I was extremely excited to see her again (in fact, I met one of my neighbors when the Aresenio Hall whooping I was doing bugged them. :D .)

I was familiar with the events in every episode of season two that had aired at the time so I knew what kind of impact Tess was going to make and was well prepared for it. I knew she was a big wedge in the relationship of Max and Liz. I felt myself being a little bit biased though. I was rooting for Tess because of the actress who played her. There are a huge host of fans who hate the blond bombshell just because she was breaking up their favorite character's relationship. With the airing of "Departure", we know Tess's true intentions. As I watch her first appearance, I can't help but look at her not as the person who was just trying to fit in with the others, but as the serpent in the Garden of Eden. I find it difficult to look at her now and say she's being sincere. However, to be fair, I reviewed the show as a fan who was seeing her for the first time and was able to look beyond my bias (somewhat. I still love Emilie de Ravin and probably would have enjoyed her performance even if she had pulled a gun on someone.)

Max and Liz spent the majority of this episode love numbed. It sure does seem like Max has gotten over whatever obstacles that were keeping him from being with Liz. He's quick to lean down to kiss her as they approach each other. There is only one instance where Max left Liz's side when they were together and that's when he confronted Michael at the end of the episode. Even Isabel's sarcastic comment to him about blabbing their secret to Liz didn't appear to phase him. It may have hurt him a little inside but outwardly, there wasn't much of a reaction. I was fully behind Max when he faced off against Michael in the woods. Max said that this time, Michael being Michael was no excuse. He's got that right.

Great laughter came from me in the scene at Senor Chow's when Max kicked Michael to tell him to go after Maria when she left the table. That had to hurt.

Apparently, there was nothing to come from the meeting with Max and Liz's parents at the end of "Sexual Healing." They are still together and there was no word of anyone being grounded or punished in any way. If we could all be so lucky.

There were still some leftovers from Shiri Appleby's performance in "Sexual Healing." In the scenes where she would walk up to Max, she would still have this wide-eyed loving look. She was still teasing Max with her eyes. And if you want to keep focusing on her eyes, I'll mention that she was on the verge of tears everytime she shared a scene with Topolsky. After a number of viewings, I finally understood why she was about to cry. Topolsky was telling her that the possibility of losing Max could happen again. For someone who had finally obtained what she desired, I think the tears are justified.

I can only define Maria as a big yo-yo in this episode. Maria is jealous of the relationship Liz and Max have. That's painfully obvious. The fact that her relationship with Michael is not like her best friend's leaves her feeling empty. The first time she goes through this is in the show opener when she watches Liz and Max greet each other. And I can't help but mention Isabel's reaction to it either. How would you feel if you were watching your brother suck face? More on that in a moment. Michael then makes a good attempt to snap her out of her brood by mentioning his empty apartment. And it worked! Maria turns her frown upside down.

I think that at this point in their relationship, Maria is looking for more then the physical stuff and that's to be expected. But she and Michael aren't quite on the same page just yet. Michael has just come out from under the thumb of Hank. He has his own place and newfound freedom. For most of this episode, he is a little self-involved. That is also to be expected. Instead of allowing him time for some self discovery, Maria is almost demanding that he give her more. Michael realizes this and goes to Max trying to learn how. At least he is trying! Instead of accepting his gift of the shampoo (and conditioner!) Maria chides him saying he shouldn't have bought the generic kind. I thought this was a little harsh but I could understand her point. Michael was rude to pass the bill off on her and his table manners were a bit piggish. Then again, I doubt Hank was one to make sure the forks were clean in the house. The "self discovery" type of behavior I've referred to about Michael really comes into focus in season three. Maria reacts to it exactly the same way then as she does now.

The yo-yo effect comes into play in several other scenes. First, she tells Michael that she will no longer accept just the physical from him. So Michael suggests that they double date with Liz and Max. She accepts though she would have preferred they do something alone. As she leaves the table during the date, she tells Michael about all the things he has done wrong and tells him what she would like to have instead. She wants the emotion from him. Later in the show at the rock quarry, Michael makes an attempt to do just that. Maria stops him saying she knows how he feels. At this point, I sat up and said "What!?" Michael was about to make a heartfelt confession and instead of encouraging him to tell her how he feels, Maria stops him knowing how difficult it is for him. Maaa-ria!! You were about to have your wish. Why did you stop him? I know she was making it easy for him but when you really want to hear someone say something to you, you encourage them gently. You don't cut them off. I think she was just happy that he was making the attempt.

In another yo-yo moment, Maria refuses to let Michael go to meet Topolsky alone. She blackmails him into letting her go by telling him she'll report her car stolen. (I think Michael could have avoided all of this by ASKING Maria if he could borrow her car instead of going through her locker to get her keys. But then she wouldn't have demanded to go with him. It's an unavoidable plot point but I digress…) On the way there, Maria gets scared and tells Michael to let her out of the car. There was no way in heck that Michael would have done that. When he refuses, she starts blaming him saying he has no right to put her in danger. Now that's not fair! She demanded that she come with him. If she didn't want to be in danger, she should have stayed at the Crashdown. Yes, I realize she went with him because she was worried about him but to throw that back in Michael's face wasn't right. Of course, he wasn't right either to have gone against the decision they all made to meet with Topolsky! I think this scene was a peak point for all the frustrations involving Michael. Maria finally could no longer take Michael's brushing her off and Max could no longer take his rash actions. An action that cost them one of the most important links to who they are: the orb.

Michael did put this all to a head though when he asked Maria why she stayed with him if he was such a loser. Ah, ha! That dropped some reality on Maria's head.

One other thing about Michael here. He tells Liz at his apartment at the beginning of the episode that her judgement of Topolsky can't be trusted. Oh yeah Michael? Did you forget that you were the first person Liz came to when she saw that Topolsky was carrying your school records in "Morning After"? She was suspicious of Topolsky from the start. Back off son!

I wish we could have gotten into more detail on the "debriefing" Topolsky told the sheriff about. It would have put a little more fear in us about Agent Pierce. However, because I feel that the first attempt by the FBI to learn about the aliens was full of things worthy of a Three Stooges episode, I can't sympathize with her too much. This is her last appearance in the show. A friend of mine remarked that it was too bad too because she had nice legs (Of course, I pointed out to him that in this episode she wore pants but he's not as nitpicky as I am.) I miss Julie Benz. This was one of her best performances on the show.

Now we come to the best part: Tess. We can't discuss Tess without talking about Alex and Isabel because they are her first targets. When we first see Tess, she walks into the scene and sees Isabel and takes a moment's pause preparing to approach her. She then walks right up to her and begins talking to Isabel basically ignoring Alex. As they talk, Isabel also seems to forget that Alex is sitting with them as well, too interested in the new girl's sudden similarities to herself. I read that some people thought this was a mind warp on Tess's part. I disagree. Tess knew exactly what she was doing here. Later at the Crashdown, Tess does the same thing putting Alex off and isolating Isabel.

This is a brilliant strategy on Tess's part. If there is a weak link in the group, it's Isabel. She's been the most resistant to her past then either Max or Michael. She's also the only one who does not have an involved relationship. Yes, she and Alex like each other, but any time Alex has attempted to move their relationship forward, Isabel stops him cold. I'm sure that Nasedo has briefed Tess on everyone so she knows their strengths and their weaknesses. Could Tess have begun with anyone else? No.

When she comes into the room at Max's house, both men give her a cold shoulder especially Michael. Isabel angrily tells him he's being rude. There isn't even the slightest chance that Tess would have had much success going to Micheal because he wouldn't have trusted her at all. Max falls silent and doesn't speak again until Tess leaves the room. Two things occurred to me about him here. First, he was shutting down to keep out a stranger. And second, he may have been overcome a little by the beautiful girl who had just walked into the room. Max is actually Tess's second target. I don't believe there was any kind of mind warp involved here either because of Tess's reaction. This is first time she has met the man that Nasedo has told her all her life she is going to be with. The look on her face borders on nervousness and delight. If there is any genuine attraction for Max in her, it was really peaked in this scene when she not only was finally seeing him face to face but hearing what a gentlemen he is as well. Yes, the deal Nasedo made with Khivar has her destiny set but why can't she actually enjoy it at the same time?

The problem with all of this is how quickly Isabel accepted Tess. I am guessing that she was feeling a bit lonely now that both Max and Michael are occupied so she eagerly accepted Tess in. Just another example of how manipulative Tess was being to her. Tess said she hated how all the guys wanted to jump her bones and how all the girls were wondering if she wanted to jump their boyfriend's bones. Then she looks at Isabel and says "But you must get that a lot." When I first heard that, I thought Isabel would get angry saying "Who the hell do you think you are!?" but she doesn't! She agrees as if she gets it all the time! It's not something we have seen so I don't know if Isabel goes through this or not.

Starting with this episode, the pictures of the opening credits change. The ending shot of Liz running out into the hall after Max at school in "Pilot" is replaced with the aerial shot of the gang at the rock quarry in this episode. It stays for the remainder of season one. It makes for a nice change. I saw it as saying that the story has broadened out to include all of them and not just anyone in particular.

There are no calendar dates to be seen in this episode. I am really getting annoyed with that. In any event, the episode appears to be three days long.

This is also the first episode where we see Michael working as a cook at the Café. I still want to know where he got the money for his apartment. When you first move into an apartment, most landlords want a security deposit and first and last month's rent. I don't think the Evan's offered up the dough.

The Café is a dream job. Apparently, just like school in this town, you can leave at any time you want! Liz leaves early in the opener to go to a movie with Max. Then Maria and Michael tell Isabel they are going to close early. Where the heck is Mr. Parker? Would he really allow his employees to take off any time their hormones tell them to? And does he also really let his waitresses decide when to close the Café? For someone who's sole income is his restaurant, I'm sure that wouldn't be allowed.

Wasn't it pretty sucky of Liz to have made plans to go see a movie with Max earlier that night but wait until the last minute to tell Maria about it and leave her hanging by herself at work? Then again, Maria did say she was going to close early moments later. Think there was another reason besides wanting to make out with Michael for that?

I thought the reaction of Max and Liz when Topolsky knocked on the jeep window was way too mild. They should have been scared out of their wits. Instead, they act like it's no big deal. (They must have read the script )

At Michael's apartment, they tell the story of Topolsky's appearance and Max says "No one says "alien" and no one mentions this in public." Sound advice Max. Too bad NO ONE has followed this advice in any episode prior to this (or after it of course.) It could have saved them a lot of trouble. Just ask Alex! Uh, well…maybe Alex isn't the best person to ask in this regard.

Senor Chows. That's the name of the mexican restaurant everyone eats at or goes to in this episode. Sounds like a mix of Mexican and Chinese doesn't it? Does that sound familiar? Think back to "Heatwave" where we saw Valenti and Amy De Luca having dinner. That place had Chinese décor and the bartender was wearing a sombero. Sounds similar to me. But they don't appear to be the same place. The restaurant seen here is darker with a heavy red coloring and it doesn't have the same layout. The place seen is "Heatwave" was more brightly lit. I'm sure they aren't the same restaurants. Still, it does have some odd similarities.

During her first talk with Isabel, Tess mentions that most guys just want fifteen minutes alone with her in the janitor's closet. Is the janitor's closet some kind of world-wide place for teens to make out? My school must have been the exception to the rule. The janitor's didn't have a closet. They had a small room where they kept all of their supplies. It didn't have a door and it's usually where the janitors hung out during school hours. There was always someone in there. Isabel says that they have an eraser room. Roswell high also has a janitor's closet. Gee, this school is doubly lucky!

I loved that when Michael drank out of the orange juice carton, Max handed him a glass. Lovely little touch.

When flowers are delivered to Liz, we see some nuns sitting at the counter in the Café. I don't think I have ever in my life seen nuns eating out! (There is a small congregation of nuns where I live that founded a local hospital. They don't hang out at McDonalds!)

Yuck! What a hideous wig Topolsky was wearing when she met with Liz at Senor Chows. I guess when you're trying to hide out, make yourself look ugly.

In the same scene, Topolsky tells Liz they can't be seen together. Is that why she had them meet in a PUBLIC place??

In a strange bit of oddness, look behind Maria in the first scene at the rock quarry and you'll see a tall column of rocks that someone had set up. What the heck is that for?

It's time to nitpick addresses again. There are two in this episode that appear for Agent Stevens on Valenti's rolodeck. They are:

Stevens, John (Special Agent) FBI
106 Hudson Avenue NW #3865
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 555-0107

Stevens, John (Special Agent)
6025 Murray Lane
Alexandria, VA 222313
(703) 555-0165

First of all, there is no Hudson Avenue in Washington D.C. according to my atlas. But the rest of the address is correct. Washington's area code is 202 and one of the area's zip codes is 20001.

The second address has it's own problems. According to his driver's license in "Pilot", Max lives on Newton Avenue (I can't read the numbers.) Max says his address is "6025 Murray Lane" in "The White Room" but his license says otherwise. Does this mean that Stevens lives at the same house that Max does? There is no Murray Lane in Alexandria but there IS a Hudson Avenue! Also, the zip code has one too many numbers. The zip codes for Alexandria, Virginia are anywhere from 22301 to 22336. The area code in the phone number is correct though. There are two for that city. The other is 571.

When Liz comes to the window asking about her chili dog order, Michael gives her an order of onion rings to bribe the customer with. As a cook, I don't believe he has the right to just give out free food like that. That cuts into Mr. Parker's profits! Unless he is also a manager, then he could. Someone has to be. We haven't seen Mr. Parker in the Café during business hours at all!

The sheriff comes up to Max at the UFO Center and starts talking to him. While they chat, Max hands out masks to people who walk by him. During a shot facing Max, an elderly gentlemen walks right by and Max doesn't offer him a mask.

Speaking of masks, they are quite unusual. If you look carefully, you'll see that the masks don't have any eye holes cut in them! (I can see it now. "Save me. Save me… OW!")

When Tess approaches Isabel at the Café and interrupts her and Alex, it looks like she walks into the scene from the back. Where did she come from? Did she come in the back door? It's possible she could have come in the front door, walked all the way around the tables and walked back to the booth Isabel and Alex were sitting at but why would she?

One other thing to note about the above scene. The look on Tess's face and the fact that she called Alex "Al" tells me that she has no concerns whatsoever for the humans. In a few episodes, we are going to learn that this is exactly the case as she attempts to separate the aliens from their human friends.

When Topolsky walks out of the back room in Michael's apartment, the flashlight is up and aimed directly at Michael. When the shot changes to show her holding the orb, the flashlight is suddenly aimed directly at the orb. Must be those FBI reflexes.

Let's turn our attention to some of Topolsky's statements. She tells us that there is an alien hunter deep inside the FBI and that even the President is on a need-to-know basis with him. The hunter answers to no one. I'll avoid any kind of political arguments on that except to say that it is entirely possible. But I still stand by the statement I made in my review of "Pilot" that it is a branch of the Air Force that investigates aliens, not the FBI though they can assist if asked (See my review of "Max to the Max" for proof of this theory.) She tells the sheriff that Pierce killed Agent Stevens as an example to them all. That sounds like the Pierce we will meet in a few episodes. Topolsky tells Liz about a list and that everyone's name is on it including Valenti. I found this interesting because even though everyone is suspect, Pierce only captures Max in "Max to the Max" and seems to forget about the rest of them.

I suppose we can chalk this up to Nasedo's charade but he tells the sheriff and Max and Company that "we" traced Topolsky's whereabouts through her use of her credit card. If this is true, it's just another example of the ineptitude she exhibits. Topolsky is obviously afraid she is being followed and fears being caught so why would she use something as easily traced as her own credit card? Why not pick some poor dope's pocket and use THEIR credit card? (Or better yet, use untraceable cash!)

As scared as Topolsky is, why doesn't she carry a gun? If anything, she could pick one up at the Sheriff's house from the collection in his living room that we saw in "Missing"? (See? I told you that could be trouble!)

As a part of Dr. Margolin / Nasedo's story, he mentions a medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland. There is in fact a huge medical facility in Bethesda. It's called the Bethesda Naval Hospital and it's a military hospital. That's very interesting. A quick phone call could confirm the doctor's story. I wonder if the Sheriff did that. And if he did, I wonder just how Nasedo could have set that up. I doubt Agent Pierce would have used the facility to "debrief" Topolsky and the others. That's a little too public. If the Sheriff did call and confirm it, it makes Nasedo look like he has connections in high places. (Since we know he was had made a deal with Khivar, that is a frightening prospect, isn't it?)

And what was with all the secret meetings? If Topolsky is so dead set on giving the gang the second orb, why doesn't she follow them to the rock quarry for example? I can understand why she would try to single out Michael. He's the one the most obsessed with returning home (I have to wonder just how she would know that however.) The reason for the meetings is so that the gang won't make it to the one at Buckley Point and she can get captured secretly by the FBI. Gotta love that plot trickery!

The FBI drives up to Topolsky and voice inside thanks her for "leading him to them." Don't they already know where the aliens are? Their names are on a list after all.

Now it's time to kill a blooper I've read about. (I know. I'm stunned too.) One of the bloopers I'd seen for this episode is that Tess asks Isabel not to forget the extra sugar in the scene at the Evan's home. After snapping at Max, she then leaves the room and doesn't have the sugar. If you watch carefully, Isabel goes to the table and picks something up before leaving. That was the sugar.

Going after Michael, Max says there is only one road to Buckley Point. The Sheriff must have already been at Buckley Point. He drives into the scene coming away from Buckley Point on the only road to Buckley Point. Dr. Margolin / Nasedo drives up the road the same way as Max and Company came going to Buckley Point. What was the Sheriff doing up there? Searching for Topolsky? This whole thing begs the question of just how the Sheriff and Nasedo knew that Michael was meeting Topolsky at Buckley Point since the arrangement was made in Michael's apartment and only Michael and Topolsky were there. Hmm. I think someone needs to sweep Michael's apartment for listening devices. (There was a camera found there in "Tess, Lies, and Videotape.")

I think Nasedo's words about the group being safe were true words. After all, he has to keep Max alive until he can impregnate Tess right?

The orb must be related to a Mexican jumping bean. It is much closer to the tree when the Sheriff found it then it was when Michael dropped it. And the Sheriff must have really good eyes to have seen the dark colored orb symbol-down on the dark ground at night.

Nasedo is pretty selective about how he changes shape. This is the second time we have seen him do it. The first time was in "Independence Day" after he buried Hank and the only thing that changed about him was his face. But this time, it's different. Inside the car, we see the face of Dr. Margolin melt away into a new face. Note that Nasedo still wears the dark clothing he had on as the doctor including the black gloves on his hands. As soon as the change is done, we see Nasedo get out of the car and suddenly his clothing has changed into the outdoorsy type. Remember, we didn't see the clothing change. Only Nasedo's face! Maybe he has super speed too (the envy of every person in a department store fitting room!)

What's with Nasedo's Tic Tac fixation? Does he get really bad breath when he changes forms? (I think this is a joke on the creators part. In the 70's, comedian Bill Cosby had a very popular joke about aliens abducting people in the south and introducing the candy "Chicklets" to humans. "They come down outta the sky and um, gave us some, uh, Chicklets.") Some have suggested that this is the Dupes protector and given him the alias "Tic Tac." However, with all due respect, I've not seen anything to suggest that there are two shapeshifters in Roswell but I don't discount the theory. Turns out that I am right. Langley, the second shapeshifter, is in L.A. We learn about him in season three. From what I've seen of Langley, he doesn't seem that interested in protecting the Royal Four. Nor does he seem too inclined to leave L.A. to visit Roswell, New Mexico.

Michael and Maria don't appear to notice Max as they are making out on Michael's couch until they are standing right next to them. They didn't hear them open the door or close it? Just love numbed I guess. Or MAYBE Max and Liz saw them and deciding to be sneaky, crept into the room quietly. It seems a little out of character for Max however.

During their make out session, Maria has her shirt unbuttoned. When she notices Max, she and Michael sit up and there's a pan around the room. When the camera comes back to Maria, her shirt is buttoned up. There is time for her to button it but she'd have to be quick. If that's the case, it's quite understandable.

In my review of "Heatwave", I mentioned that Michael appears to be consciously avoiding touching Maria's chest when that is usually one of the first things a guy will reach for. Michael seems to be getting riskier because he doesn't have any problem venturing upwards during their session on couch. Hey, way to go Michael.

The stage is now set for the Dark Times of season two and we still have several season one episodes to go. I'm excited!! "Tess, Lies, and Videotape" is next! Oh boy!

#117 Tess, Lies and Videotape - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

New Girl in Town - A Review of 'Tess, Lies and Videotape'
April 18, 2000

"I'm checking out the new girl."
"Tess? Why?"
"It's classified."

The storyline, furthered by this episode written by Richard Whitley and Toni Graphia, just kept getting more tangled and complicated and so did the cast of shady characters. Now, in addition to the shadowy alien hunter Pierce, we also have someone who may or may not be Tess' father added into the mix. What part does he play in all this? Is he really Tess' father or is that set up all part of some elaborate plan to trap the kids into exposing themselves? Or are Pierce and Mr. Harding one and the same person? Maybe Mr. Harding is actually Nasedo. They both seem to have quite a photo collection of one or more of the kids.There were a lot of questions raised in this episode and very few answers.

Random Thoughts:
After the events in "Crazy" I wondered if the sheriff really had bought into the story Nacedo gave him about Dr. Margolin. It appears that he not only did buy into it, but that Pierce had covered his bases by holding Topolsky in the mental ward at Bethesda after all. Since those things really did happen, Nacedo was able to use those facts for himself in the last episode instead of needing resources to falsify medical records.

Why does the sheriff concentrate so exclusively on Max? By this time, he knows that whatever Max is hiding, Isabel and Michael are hiding as well. But he's never approached either one of them to try and get answers or to gain their trust. Surely he must realize that in order to earn Max's trust, he's also going to have to earn Isabel and Michael's. He should be making attempts to gain the confidence of all of them.

No wonder Max has always been so afraid of losing control. When he does get himself into a mess and tries to work it out with the people he loves and trusts, they all turn on him. Liz can't seem to make up her mind about whether he's God's personal gift to her or the Devil incarnate. Granted, she did have grounds for hurt and anger after witnessing the kiss, but she was having doubts even before that. And if she wanted to talk about the situation with him, it seems like there should have been a better way to approach it than grilling him about whether he's going to continue to be Tess' lab partner. How is he supposed to know?

Then there is Michael. His hero has fallen off the pedestal in a big way and he doesn't forgive that easily. First the punch last week and now collusion with the enemy. Unforgivable. Even after he discovers that Max was right about there being something fishy about Tess, he still didn't let up on him. They didn't even call him to let him know Liz was in trouble.

It was surprising to me that, even as well as they all know Max, no one was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when he tried to tell them something strange was happening. Certainly strange occurrences are not so strange for them and, given recent events, it seems to me they should have taken him a little more seriously. Max is not the type to cheat, he's proclaimed Liz as his soul mate, and he's pretty good about taking responsibility for his own actions without trying to make up excuses. And yet at the drop of a hat, every last one of them believed he would just out of the blue have some secret fling with a girl he barely knows and doesn't trust.

It was also made clear in this episode that Max is the alien most susceptible to the memory/vision flashes that come through the kissing connection and that they don't have to have some sort of emotional connection in order for the flashes to work. Just think what they might have found out about themselves if Max were a little more uninhibited.

So Topolsky died in the fire, huh? I have my suspicions that we haven't seen the last of her.

Was anyone else reminded of The Truman Show when the mini camera recorded events from Michael's refrigerator?

Thania St. John seems to be doubling as an investigative reporter these days.

I was just waiting for Tess' dad to start sculpting the Devil's Tower out of that mound of mashed potatoes on his plate.

I don't remember things being so sexual in my high school science classes. Everything they talk about seems to take on sexual overtones. I must have been taking the wrong classes. Or maybe I just have my mind in the wrong place now.

What's the point of referring to the aliens as Czechoslovakians if you are going to say they're not human in the same sentence?

Michael is either working on keeping his electric bill down or relying on his enhanced vision, but he doesn't make much of a habit of turning the lights on in his apartment.

So Tess was born in Omaha, Nebraska and last went to school in Chicago. I couldn't quite place her accent, but it didn't sound Midwestern to me.


  • Tess. She's nosy, she's manipulative, she's got an agenda, and I wouldn't trust her as far as I can throw her.
  • How convenient that the science teacher picked Max out of everyone else in the class to be lab partner to Tess. She couldn't have planned that better if she'd asked him herself.
  • And speaking of convenient plot devices, what are the odds that the army is going to show up at the Harding house on what appears to be urgent business and station an armed guard at the door just when Michael happens to be there looking for clues? Although the armed guard doesn't appear to have been very competent since Michael was able to sneak away without being detected.
  • Have these people never heard of eavesdropping? They all talk about the most private things in the most public of places. The Crashdown is certainly not their own private dining room and yet they carry on their conversations in regular voices most of the time completely disregarding the fact that there are other customers in the area. If we are to assume that other customers couldn't overhear their regular voices, then why can they hear each other from across the room? And what was the sheriff thinking just laying the orb on the counter for all the world to see when he gave it back? I've heard the argument that the orb and the other artifacts don't have any significance to anyone else, but that is obviously not true or there wouldn't be so many people after them. If they are really so scared the FBI is after them, they should learn to use a little more caution and take Mulder's advice…Trust no one. And for heaven's sake, keep your voices down.
  • I still have a problem with how quickly Isabel bonded with Tess. Now all of a sudden she's the only friend Isabel has ever had and she immediately leaps to her defense assuming the worst of Michael and Max when they are suspicious?
  • Tess' dad was creepy and unnatural. He was fairly normal with Isabel, but could he have broadcast "bad guy" any more loudly when Liz was there? The contrast between his face and Tess' smile when they practically demanded Liz stay for dinner was spooky.
  • Set inconsistency of the week…Michael has apparently replaced his front door. When we last saw it, there was only a peep hole and now it has 4 panes of wavy yellow glass.
  • Nit-pick of the week: When Liz called Max from Tess' house, there was bright sun shining through the windows and yet when the kids showed up in front of Tess' house, it was dark, foggy and raining. It didn't seem like enough time had passed for that drastic a change in the conditions.


  • It was nice to see Kyle make an appearance. So he's been holed up watching basketball all this time. Now that the Final Four are over, can we expect to see more of him or does that have to wait until after the NBA playoffs?
  • The pictures of Liz and Maria in Liz's locker at the Crashdown were cute.
  • I was glad that Liz wasn't completely convinced even with first hand observation that Max would cheat on her. Her heart knows what's true, even if her head doesn't.
  • I liked how protective of Liz Michael was in this episode. Maybe there is potential for a friendship there after all. We haven't seen much evidence of it since Missing, but he was really trying to watch out for her. There were signs of it throughout the entire episode. From giving Max a hard time about kissing Tess behind Liz's back to sending Maria up to take care of her when she was so upset to his frantic insistence that they get Liz out of that house, his concern for her was touching.
  • I like the way Emilie De Ravin plays Tess. She's very good at using her expressions, gestures and tone of voice to create a character we don't trust.
  • The ending was extremely well done. The way they transitioned from sleepy boredom, to alertness to downright shock when Tess put the figurine back together was very well played. I did find myself wondering if Tess knew the camera was there and was performing a little show for anyone watching. After all, the marble bowl wasn't the most inconspicuous place to hide the camera.
  • My "awwww" of the week comes in the form of a sweet little Alex/Isabel moment when I caught sight of Isabel resting peacefully on Alex's shoulder during watch duty.
  • I like that they are keeping us a little off kilter as far as the sheriff is concerned. Just when I think I've got him figured out, he does something to make me wonder about his real motives. He seems like he's become someone they can trust and his arguments to Max that he's in danger as well, hold credence. But then he goes and does something like spying on them and taking pictures without their knowledge.
  • Shiri Appleby did a good job of showing Liz's struggle with what she believes in her heart and what she is seeing with her eyes. Her confusion over actions that don't make sense was well played.
  • Max underwent a wide variety of emotions in this episode and they were carried off beautifully by Jason Behr. Feelings ran the gamut from loving playfulness to fear, confusion and anger and they were all believable and heartfelt.

Favorite Quotes:

Isabel: "Do you have to do that?"
Max: "What?"
Isabel: "Be so public. It's kind of creepy."

Maria: "So either give it to me straight or you're not going to give it to me at all."

Michael: "You're just making friends all over the place."

Alex: "I don't mean to get all warm and fuzzy, but I'm really glad I can use what I know to help out…you know, what we're doing."
Michael: "Whatever."

Maria: "I'm not as flat as I thought I was."
Michael: "Well, it's a wide angle lens, so…"

Isabel: "What are they doing in there?"
Alex: "Passing the mashed potatoes."

Maria: "Max isn't human. What if Czechoslovakians can't resist temptation?"
Liz: "So what you're saying is that this is not just a romantic problem…now it's intergalactic?

Max: "I didn't want anyone to panic and do something stupid."
Michael: "Hey, I'm trying to know which problem to panic over."

Maria: "Whatever you do, you know I've got your back, right?"

Maria: "What happened to partners? What happened to an equal exchange of information, Michael?"
Michael: "I lied."

I give this episode 4 UFOs out of 5.

#117 Tess, Lies and Videotape - Review

Written by LSS

While the Dreamgirls in the audience are recovering from that lab scene, it may be therapeutic for us all to turn our minds to the Science Fiction aspects of Tess, Lies, and Videotapes -- for there are several elements in this episode that struck me as curious.

MIND CONTROL VS. BIOLOGICAL INFLUENCE. Three of the four times Max comes into proximity to Tess in this episode (cafe, lab and rain scenes) he becomes totally mesmerized by her presence. The only exception to this is when he goes to rescue Liz from Tess' house. Moreover Tess' effect on Max is limited to physically proximity only--for when Max observes her on the monitor in the closing scene, he displays none of the telltale marks of his former entranced state. What is not obvious is why Max is so mesmerized. This is extremely out of character for Max. Not only is Max is with Liz now in the storyline, but we have never before seen Max notice any girl other than Liz. Are we talking normal teenage hormones here, or is something else happening to Max? If the former, then Michael is right--Max is, in the end, only acting human. But if the latter, then two possibilities come to mind: either Max in being mentally controlled or being controlled by something more primal on a biological level (something, by the way, to which teenage hormones pale by comparison).

Mental Control. Is Tess intentionally influencing Max? Max thinks she is. We are invited by the writers to draw that conclusion at least twice in this episode. But these hints remain on the level of teasers. In the lab scene, after Tess looks back at Max, his Bunsen burner flares up. Is this a sample of Tess's telekinetic power? Or does Max influence the burner himself (a precursor to his later on fire incident)? If the former, then perhaps the resulting fantasy is at Tess' initiative. Another scene in which Max reports feeling controlled takes place outside the cafe in the rain. Max accuses Tess of setting up the entire encounter. If Max is right, then the infamous rain kiss takes on a more manipulative element.

The audience is given no hard evidence that Tess ever controls Max other than what is presented by Max's words and his atypical actions. If Tess is controlling Max on some mental level, her actions constitute a type of sexual assault coming as they do as uninvited/unwanted on Max's part. If Max is being controlled, but not by Tess, this episode provides us with no clues as to who/what is doing this controlling. Nor are we given any motivation for this control other than the obvious--to separate Max and Liz in favor of joining Max with Tess.

Biological Influence. Another explanation for Max's entranced state could be that it stems from a more biological source. The concluding scene reveals to the audience that Tess is an alien--and if form can be believed, a female alien at that. Until now, Roswell's alien population (2 boys and 1 girl) has obviously suffered from an imbalance. Now that this asymmetry is corrected (2 boys and 2 girls), it does not take a graduate degree to see the potential of where this story element is going. Is the attraction Max experiences not mental control at all but control on a more biological level? Are we talking alien mating patterns here? And is Tess emitting some type of alien pheremone of which she is (or is not) unaware? And is the increased sexual activity we've seen in Max's life since Sexual Healing part of a cycle? I can't get out of my mind the image of a moth mesmerized by a flame as Max walks up to Tess in that rain scene. What is the nature of this attraction that he feels for Tess?

MAX'S VISIONS/FANTASIES. While we have seen visions in previous episodes, the ones Max experiences in Tess, Lies and Videotapes are different in three ways. First of all, up until this episode, some type of contact has been a prerequisite (the touching of either an object or a person). But in the cafe, Max has a vision simply by looking at Tess. Secondly, when Max kisses Liz in the backroom, his vision of Tess is highly unusual. It does not qualify as a flashback, because it features Tess as we currently know her, but in a scenario that has not as yet happened. Is Max experiencing flashes of the future--either what will happen or a future that somebody/thing wants to happen? Finally, Max experiences something that he calls daydreams. These fantasies fall outside the purview of what we have seen thus far in visionary experiences. Let's look at each of these types a bit more closely:

Fantasies/daydreams. There is only one clear fantasy in this episode, and that takes place in the chemistry lab. The teacher's lecture, including as it does references to chemicals and combustibility, alerts the audience to the forthcoming dynamics between Max and Tess. (NOTE: a similar literary device was used in the lab scene in Sexual Healing.) The content of this fantasy involves Max's passionate attack of Tess in which he sweeps her off her feet and ultimately onto one of the lab table tops--in front of a staring classroom. The fantasy comes to a close when Tess' passionate exclamation "You're on fire, Max" morphs into a Tess warning Max that his shirt sleeve has indeed caught on fire.

Flashbacks. Max experiences flashbacks at least twice in this episode (cafe and rain scenes). Both flashes involve pods or stars. In the first flashback Max, Isabel and Tess are sitting in the cafe when Max stares at Tess and sees both a pod and what looks like a series of pods within a chamber (the ship?). Overall, this flash has a very "organic" ambiance. The second flashback occurs when Max kisses Tess in the rain. This time Max sees a figure in a pod and the now familiar v-shaped star formation.

Other. There are a number of other visionary scenes in this episode that defy easy categorization. In the cafe for instance, we see Max and Tess holding hands against the backdrop of a desert floor containing alien markings. Is this a stylized reference to a message of which Max and Tess are a part? Interestingly, the mark Max and Tess are standing by resembles an x with pod shaped marks at the end of each line. We also see a teary-eyed Tess looking up at Max almost beseechingly. Later, in the backroom, we again see Max and Tess holding hands, but this time, after stroking Max's face, Tess turns and walks away. The audience then sees Max staring after her with an exit sign blazing in the darkened background. It is not clear at all what these visions signify or are meant to signify. Do they represent a type of precognition? That is, are we seeing things that are going to happen to Max and Tess (as opposed to flashbacks of what has happened)? Or are these visions being implanted in Max as a future that someone/thing is trying to suggest? Either way, these experiences represent something other than simply fantasy or flashback.

THE IDENTITY OF TESS. In the episode's last frame we find out that Tess is "not what she seems." That she is an alien is without question. But who she is, and even what she is, is open to debate. Since she appears to be the same age as Max, Isabel and Michael, we are invited to wonder if our trio was originally a quartet that somehow got separated in the process. Or is she the elusive other alien we have seen either off stage (Into the Woods) or on stage (Independence Day, Sexual Healing) before? Moreover, what is her relationship to her "father", the creepy Mr. Harding? Hard to imagine that he is not going to be aware of that reconstituted statue--which implies that he also is not what he seems. You know, somebody ought to inform Roswell's Chamber of Commerce that its alien population is growing by leaps and bounds!

#117 Tess, Lies and Videotape - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

In the immortal words of Sherlock Holmes "The game is afoot."

After I watched this episode, I walked away feeling I had just watched a very creepy episode. All the smiles and eerie looks from Tess and Ed Harding aka Nasedo were unsettling and reminded me of the evil witch who lived in the candy house. She would lure you in with sweets and then proceed to eat you.

The thing that stood out to me the most in this episode (besides learning that Tess is the fourth alien) is that the group went to spy on Tess without Max. Up until now, Max has always been involved in what the group did. But here, they leave him completely out. I don't think that they even bothered to tell Max their plans either. Since it was mostly Michael's idea, that makes sense. A little bit of revenge for all the times Max has gone off to do something and then not informed Michael about it. Touché'.

We all know now why Max kissed Tess. He was drawn to her from his feelings for her from the past. I wasn't able to accept Max's explanation to Liz about why he kissed Tess though. I really believe there was more he could have said or done to drive home the fact that he didn't know why he did what he did. Instead of confessing his uncertainty, he tells Liz that Tess was waiting for him as if to say it's all Tess's fault. This doesn't phase Liz and she doesn't accept it. What really broke Liz's heart here was Max telling her he had a flash from Tess. That suddenly made Liz feel like she was no longer special and was probably the worst thing Max could have said to her.

I realize I may not measure up to the great leader that is Max but if I were suddenly seeing visions of a new girl and did even half of the things Max did with Tess and then was back in reality like nothing had happened, I would certainly not write it off as a simple day dream. I know Max told Michael that they were disturbing but come on. These events were something that was beyond anything Max has experienced before in his life. He should have been much more concerned about them. And even though his attempt to confide in Michael failed, why doesn't he give Isabel a try? Max's need for control gets him into trouble every time.

During the opener, Max realizes that he is staring at Tess and immediately grabs Liz and heads to the back room to kiss her. Talk about your guilty conscious. It's a good thing Liz didn't realize what was happening or she probably would have been insulted.

This episode is the first one where Liz's world begins to crumble around her. For the past couple of episodes, she has been living life on a high having everything. With Tess putting her plan into action, the most important thing to her is starting to slip away. It's very telling of Liz when she says that her eyes tell her Max is cheating on her but her heart tells her it's not. I don't think Liz is able to blindly follow her heart. She tempers herself with her intellect. I couldn't help but hear grandma Parker's voice during the scene on her roof with Maria saying it wouldn't be a soulmate if it weren't difficult. Max tells her to have faith in him. She clearly does even if it's hard to do so.

Because I knew Ed Harding was Nasedo, there's a little scene in this episode where Liz should have been more scared then she knew. When Liz broke the statue, Tess comes into the room and immediately is afraid of her "father's" reaction. I thought for sure that Mr. Harding was going to strike Liz or, as we know Nasedo is want to do, kill her! In fact, I'm surprised that he didn't do anything! Nasedo thinks it's more fun to play with Liz's mind and invite her to dinner. This had to have surprised Tess but being a master at her trade, she falls right into line. If Liz had known the truth, I'll bet her dark hair would now have a white streak in it (making her perfect for the part of Rogue in the next X-Men movie!!)

At the end of the episode, Liz tells Max that she doesn't know if there will ever be enough explanation for Max kissing Tess. I wonder if after all the explanation in season two that Liz got enough of an answer. There is one other very important line in this episode. When Liz confronts Tess at her home, Tess says that what happened between her and Max will never happen again. Liz says that she wishes she could believe that. She doesn't trust Tess at all and her concerns are quite warranted.

I'll admit that I was slow to notice this but Liz's wardrobe has gone from bright, colorful outfits to the same dark colors Max always wears since they began dating. Max himself no longer wears straight black. He now wears softer shades of gray though he could still disappear in the blackness of a dark alley (that probably could have helped him in "Leaving Normal" when he was attacked by Kyle's friends, dontcha think?)

I'm starting to find the "I can do no wrong" trait that Michael exhibits to be extremely annoying. When the Sheriff leaves the Café, Michael is immediately paranoid that Valenti knows something and points out that he has the orb. Max fires back that he has the orb because Michael went against the decision they all made in "Crazy" which allowed Valenti to find it. Michael comes back with "Oh so it's all my fault." Yes! It IS all your fault Michael. Your continued reckless behavior keeps proving that you can't be trusted. Max was exactly right when he told Michael in "Independence Day" that without Hank, Michael didn't have anyone to blame his bad behavior on anymore. But that sure isn't stopping him from trying!

Michael tells Max that he was someone he had respect for. After the punch in "Crazy" and Max confessing that he kissed Tess, Michael says he doesn't know Max anymore. How about that? Michael is defending Liz! I do believe that this is the first indication that Michael likes Liz (aside from the statement he made to Liz in "Missing" after reading her diary.) Maria really is rubbing off on him. At the beginning of the season, I would not have thought this possible from Michael because he kept himself on one side with Max and Isabel and everyone else on the other. But despite all the good in this, Michael is awfully quick to push Max off his pedestal. Max tried to talk to him about his odd feelings for Tess and Michael just dismissed it as Max living his life by his "power source." That's a bit unfair though it's right up Michael's alley. I guess getting punched out by your friend makes you think less of them.

What's very important about Michael in this episode is that he pursues a course of action on his own. One that is very effective too. Somehow he even convinces Isabel to take part in it without her telling Max. Just what did Max do to make Isabel leave him out? Was she as annoyed at Max's infidelity too? It's a dark day in Roswell when Isabel leaves you high and dry. The whole idea to use the camera to spy on the Hardings was all Michael's baby. I'm told that in season two, Michael and Max sort of switch roles as Michael comes into his own. That's good to hear because it began in this episode.

Maria needs to work on Michael a little bit more. After all the moving forward in their relationship Michael has done in the last couple of episodes, he takes a step backward by not telling Maria what he is doing. And that line he tells Maria about the camera having a wide angle lens? Why not just smack her upside the head? They both probably would have had the same effect on her. It's almost like Maria is delivering ultimatums to Michael when she is trying to get him to tell her things. I personally don't mind a friendly reminder now and then but really.

It was nice to see Liz and Maria just sit and talk about their lives again. We haven't seen that since the ice cream session in "Heatwave."

There are only a few things about Isabel to mention. She still sees Tess as a friend of hers and is thoroughly annoyed at Max and Michael for investigating her. But the odd part of it is that while she objects, she doesn't stop them from doing anything. I think there might be just a bit of the wall she reserves for Alex showing up for Tess here as well. This makes sense because Tess is really going to make Isabel feel uncomfortable in "Four Square" so why wouldn't she have some lingering doubt? I wish I knew that for certain. I don't like thinking that Isabel would so blindly let in a stranger as she appeared to do in "Crazy." There was a nice comforting moment between her and Alex in this episode as she leans on his shoulder at the warehouse. I think Alex is wearing down the Great Wall of Isabel.

This is the first indication we get that Alex is an electronics enthusiast. Before now, all we saw him playing with was a guitar. I'm glad the creators actually wrote an episode that gave Alex a role within the gang instead of having him appear to be the odd man out. Even Tess appears to lighten up about him. In "Crazy", her attitude towards him was absolutely cold. In this one, she is tickled pink how Alex is so smitten with Isabel. She even teases Isabel about it. Of course, with Tess, she probably sees it as humorous. Like the way royalty would laugh at a peasant.

One last thing about Alex, his parents must be rich. He has some really nice electronic equipment. More on that later.

The mindwarps have begun! Tess begins to put her plans into action here and directs them towards her second target, Max. She used Isabel to get in the door to get close to him. Now she turns up the heat…literally. I couldn't help but see a hint of my little green demoness's mischievness in Emilie de Ravin's performance. Curupira was always one to play with those around her. Tess does too. It was very hard to determine just who's side Tess was on here (She tells Nasedo in "Max to the Max" that Max, Michael and Isabel are her people, not Nasedo.) Tess was the perfect partner for her "dad" Ed Harding. Nasedo has no social skills what so ever so Tess's ability to lighten the situation is a perfect balance. It really was easy not to trust her in this episode. There was a lot to worry about behind that smile.

An article in FHM Magazine, Emilie de Ravin said her power was called "thought transference." That's cool but I'll continue to refer to this power "mindwarping." It IS after all, my review.

Wasn't it interesting that Tess told Max their kiss was his mistake? No doubt she was posturing in front of Liz. What would she have said if Liz wasn't standing there? She'd probably try for another hot kiss or worse! (or better, depending on what kind of Tess / Max fan you are.)

There are two mindwarps in this episode. The first one takes place at the Café while Max gives Liz guilty kisses. Watch closely as Max gets a flash during the kiss and you'll see Tess's smiling face flash for a few seconds. The second one is, of course, in science class.

Just when I think I have Valenti figured out, he goes in another direction. Trying to find answers, Valenti goes to Max and tells him of the death of Topolsky and how Dr. Margolin has no idea who he is. Valenti knows that things are way over his head so he tries to earn Max's trust by returning the orb. While this doesn't garner him any trust, his actions plus the interest in Tess on the gang's part does throw them off of him enough to follow them with the camera. See? Valenti wants it to appear that he is trustworthy and just when you think he's not so bad, we see him spying on them. Gotta love those lawmen. Knowing his name is on Pierce's list also has him a bit afraid for his own safety and even trusting those he investigates is a risk he is willing to take to get some answers.

How about that Ed Harding huh? "If I told you, I'd have to kill you"? Think that's what Nasedo would have done to someone if he had told them his real job, protecting the Royal Four? I do. I mentioned in the bit above that Liz was lucky Nasedo didn't hit Liz for breaking the statue. But he didn't have to. His expressions and tone of voice were more intimidating then any slap could have been. His offer of dinner to Liz was a surprise to both ladies. The little Q and A session during dinner was what made Nasedo decide to kidnap Liz in "Max to the Max" for his little trip. The sarcasm just oozed out of him. Ugh. He's a despicable being!

Lookie! Kyle is back! Where the heck has he been all this time? Was he glued to the tube watching basketball? Maybe he was resting that bum ankle of his (see "Toy House.")

There are no journal entries or dates in this episode. I really do miss Liz's journal. It sort of made the story of Roswell appear that we were watching her life story unfold before us. In any event, this episode appears to roughly cover five days. Day one starts in the evening at the Café with the first mindwarp on Max. Day two features the second one in science class. The Sheriff going to Max at the UFO Center to tell him of Topolsky's death takes place in day three. The Sheriff says the fire was "last night." This probably took place in the evening because later Max goes to the Café to talk to Liz and it's dark outside. Day three also features the ill-fated kiss and finding the camera in Michael's apartment. Day four has them discussing the camera and Maria and Liz having their heart to heart. Day five features Alex playing the part of Q explaining the camera and Liz's dinner at the Harding home and the discovery of the fourth alien to end the episode. The last episodes of the season run back to back with the next one taking up immediately where the other left off. Sure would have appreciated a calendar date in there somewhere! (We'll get one later.)

I've always wondered this but never thought to comment on it before now. In the opener, we see Michael leaning in the window that separates the bar from the kitchen. Take note of the heat lamps shining directly on him. Those things have to be hot but we've seen him, Liz, and Maria showing no discomfort at having conversations under them. At least Michael keeps his hair from bursting into flames by wearing that rag on his head.

Just how many teenagers do you know who drink coffee? Add Max Evans to that list. He asks Liz to give him a refill. Maybe there's another reason why Max was up so late painting the ceiling in "Toy House."

The Sheriff comes in and asks Liz for his "usual." He wants his thermos filled. He must come to get his "usual" when we aren't looking because I don't recall ever seeing him come to get some coffee in any prior episode. I've seen him come in for a Coke and to have breakfast in "Monsters" but that's it. Well, he did come in to hit on Amy De Luca but that doesn't count.

It's hard to tell because of how close the camera was to the actors, but I don't think the Sheriff paid for his coffee. He hands Liz his thermos. She fills it and hands it back and the Sheriff leaves. It's possible he slipped her a couple of bucks below the camera's view. Then again, we've never seen Max and Company pay for anything they've eaten so why not Valenti too? Liz must make everything "on the house."

There's a new waitress working at the Crashdown. You can see her behind Liz as the Sheriff comes for his "usual." She's working at the register and is wearing a sweater. It's hard to tell what her hair color is because of the light shining overhead but I don't recall seeing anyone matching her description working in the Café prior to this episode.

There's another waitress working in the Café in this episode as well. I have seen this girl before. She has dark hair and is also standing behind Liz in the above scene. But there's something very odd about her. After the Sheriff leaves, Michael walks into the scene expressing his paranoia. Look to the right. You can just barely see the lady at the register behind Liz. She is by herself. The shot changes to Max telling Michael the Sheriff doesn't know anything. Back to Michael again saying the Sheriff has the orb. The lady at the register is still back there by herself. The shot goes back to Max saying that it's Michael's fault the Sheriff has the orb. The shot goes back to Michael trying to pass off the blame. Now look at the register lady. The dark haired waitress suddenly appears out of nowhere!! We don't see her walking around Max or behind Michael prior to this shot. I suspect a fifth alien!

The gang are speaking in normal voices during the entire exchange above. Do they not realize there is a man sitting at a table right behind Max? Not to mention the other two waitresses working with them. What happened to Max's order of no one talking about things in public in "Crazy"?

It's time to pick on that silly 'ole Roswell science teacher again (I love this guy!) The "Bill Nye wanna-be" says this interesting line: "Combustibility: When two or more chemical elements become easily aroused culminating in oxidation and eventual burning." Despite the fact that this entire scene was written with sexual overtones, let's take a look at his statement. First, my dictionary defines combustibility as "1. capable of combustion" and "2. easily excited." In science, it refers to the ability of something to explode. There's no "arousal" involved. Gasoline doesn't get horny when you drop a match on it. It just burns!

"Mr. Nye" says the mixing of two "combustible" elements results in "oxidation and eventually burning." Well…ok. On the surface, this sounds a bit convoluted but according to a few people I've spoken to, it's essentially correct.

The Bunsen burners seen in class are way too high for ones not in use. In my chemistry class, unless the burner was being actively used to heat something, the flame was to be out and the gas off. These burners are just sitting there all aflame. It's no surprise that Max's shirt caught on fire.

What made Max's burner flare up? Did he accidentally hit the gas or did someone use their powers to increase it's flame? I suppose Max could have done it subconsciously in that manner. I'm not sure so I didn't add it to the Powers List.

Our favorite science teacher also has Max move down to become Tess's lab partner. What about Liz? This leaves her without a lab partner now. Does the teacher have something against Liz? We never do learn whether or not Max's move was just for the day or permanent.

I really must question the dress code of Roswell High. Take for example Tess's outfit in science class. If she were to take off her light sweater, she would be walking around in a small one piece top that is wide open in the back, doesn't cover the shoulders and with just one pull of a string, the world could get quite a view. I think there is a strapless bikini type thing underneath it because the shirt stays firmly in place during all of the "hot alien foreplay." But still. Do you think you could wear something like that to school and get away with it? I know I wouldn't.

Tess must have some odd perceptions of Alex. During the mindwarp in science class, reaction shots of Alex show him to be smiling and laughing in his seat enjoying the show. Tess must think he is of the late night HBO viewer sect.

During the scene in the girl's bathroom, Maria has her posterior in the sink. During the shots in the guy's restroom with Max and Michael, we see the rather large faucets on the sinks. From the way Maria is sitting on the basin, she should be extremely uncomfortable with the faucet poking into her back. But she's just fine. Do you know why? It's because the sink she's sitting in doesn't have a faucet! Look closely and you'll see it has disappeared.

If you're going to refer to aliens as "Czechoslovakians", why then say that they aren't human in the same sentence? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of calling them "Czechoslovakians" in the first place? Granted, this is Maria we are talking about.

At the Sheriff's house, we see Kyle watching basketball on TV channel 3. Note the large red "3" on the TV set. The Sheriff changes the channel to the news report on "14 News." There's an icon in the lower right hand corner of the screen that says "14 News" with the 14 superimposed on the word "news." Note that the TV still has a red "3" on it. The Sheriff then changes back to the basketball game. The TV still says "3." Actually, there is an explanation for this. If you have cable TV, you put your TV on one channel, usually three or four, and change your viewing channel on the cable decoder box. The box's number display will change but the TV's will stay the same. But we don't see a box on the set. Maybe it's under the TV.

The reporter identifies herself as "Thania St. John." Does that sound familiar? It should. It's also the name of one of Roswell's producers. A coincidence? I'll let you decide.

The icon says "14 News." So why does Miss St. John have a large "8" on her microphone?

There's a nice little hidden bit in the scene where Valenti tells Max of Topolsky's death. Max finishes a display that says "Trust No One." Trust is what that scene is all about. I also wonder if this wasn't a nod by the creators to the "X-Files."

Does anyone else find it strange that Michael can just walk into the student transcripts room? I guess if it was locked, Michael could have used his powers to unlock it but we can't tell if that's what happened (though it seems likely.) At my school, student transcripts were in a vault and no student was permitted in there.

I'm assuming that Michael went to Tess's house after school. Or maybe he didn't. It's not like the school staff stops you from leaving whenever you want.

Roswell continues it's strange weather patterns. As Michael goes to Tess's house, the gutters are running full and it's raining with an overcast sky. In the scene immediately after this at the Crashdown, the sun is shining.

What were the military guys doing at Ed Harding's empty house? Was it some kind of security sweep? Isabel suggests that they might have been there because of Ed's job. If that's the case, Nasedo has really pulled the wool over the government's eyes. Here's a guy the military captured and imprisoned for three years for study and when he escapes, he manages to get a job working for the same group! (This information comes from "The White Room.") It's perfect for him. He now has access to all sorts of government information. He's a crafty little shapeshifter, isn't he?

Wouldn't a guy in army fatigues with an M16 standing on the front porch of an empty house make you suspicious? Perhaps suspicious enough to call 911? Why were those guys checking out the house anyway? The military doesn't use armed soldiers to check houses of low-level CIVILIAN government employees.

Michael tells the gang that he saw "two men with briefcases and suits." We are only able to see two of the three men who get out of the humvee, a man in a gray trench coat and the man in army fatigues. We never do get to see the third man that well so it's possible he was carrying a briefcase. The man in the gray trench coat isn't carrying anything.

Tess may be evil but she is a great host. She is quick to offer any visitors to her home something to drink. Both Isabel and Liz are treated to her hospitality. It's not an error but it's nice to know there are some polite snakes in the grass.

I guess Max was depressed and punishing himself because I can't think of any other reason that he would be out walking in the rain. He arrives at the Café to talk to Liz drenched. Maybe he should work on a "keeping dry" power. Perhaps he could learn one from Michael (see "Independence Day.")

After Max walks by Tess's broken down car, Tess pops into the scene just as drenched Max is. She says she is waiting for help. Why isn't she waiting for help inside the car out of the rain even if she is purposely there to meet Max? Was she depressed too? I'm sure Tess used her power to damage the vehicle but since I didn't see her do it, I didn't add this to the Powers List.

In the scene where Max tells Michael about kissing Tess, Michael is eating cereal with a bottle of tobasco (an interesting choice. I would have used milk.) The tobasco is a very light color of red. Almost as if it's not really tobasco sauce (hmmmm. Imagine that?) On the other hand, the bottle of tobasco on top of Michael's refrigerator is a very dark shade of red.

I also must note here that in season two, Tess exhibits the same tendency to use tobasco sauce on her food just like the other aliens. The creators are careful not to have a bottle of tobasco on the table at the dinner with Liz so we don't get any early hints that Tess is an alien. It's a minor point but a very important one!

Now let's discuss Alex's electronics interest. Max says that the little camera would wipe out the Roswell PD's budget for the entire year. We learn in "Four Square" that the camera is FBI special issue. It's safe to assume it very expensive and highly sophisticated. Yet small town high school student Alex Whitman has equipment that will allow him to use the camera. Does that seem right? Wouldn't the FBI be a little more careful to use equipment that us normal folks can't use? I'd like to think so but given the way the FBI behaves on this show…

One last equipment mention. Alex uses a flat screen monitor to hook the camera receiver up to at the warehouse. The picture plays on both the monitor and the receiver. The monitor looks like an LCD (liquid crystal display) and it shows a remarkably smooth picture for such an item. It's been my experience that full motion, full screen movies on LCD monitors tend to blur a little bit as things on them move. There's another odd thing about this set up. While the image is on both screens, everyone decides to crowd around each other to watch the tiny display in the receiver rather then watch the larger image on the monitor. I think I would have watched the larger picture myself rather then strain my eyes on the tiny screen in the receiver.

In another delightful little bit, in the scene where Alex shows them the camera and the receiver, Michael and Maria have one of their discussions. As they talk, Alex turns the camera to face the person who is speaking at the time. Once you see it, it's pretty funny. It's like Alex is watching a tennis ball go back and forth in a tennis match.

When Isabel picks up the box of photos, Tess immediately tells her to put it down. If she is so afraid of someone seeing the pictures, why does she leave it out for Liz to find later? Why didn't she take it upstairs? (Because we have to keep the plot moving forward. That's why.)

Great line this episode.

"Passing the mashed potatoes." -Alex to Isabel as they come to rescue Liz. They are all expecting something horrible and instead, Alex acknowledges something ordinary.

One of the odd things about the show is that we never have actually seen anyone eat the food they have in front of them. Even Nasedo is not immune to this little quirk. Before I get into this, Nasedo and Tess are really good cooks. The meal of fried chicken and mashed potatoes look delicious. Ok, back on topic. Questioning Liz, Nasedo picks up a piece of fried chicken and holds it in his hands. We get a shot of Liz and then we come back to Nasedo. The skin is torn off his chicken and he's holding it like before. There is time for him to remove it between shots. What's interesting is that Nasedo is acting like he hasn't moved. He asks Liz another question and we head back to Liz for her answer. When we come back to Nasedo, several bites have been taken out of the chicken. Again, there is time for him to have eaten it but he is still posed as if he hadn't moved. It's almost as if Nasedo asks a question, quickly ravishes his food and then takes a normal pose so it looks like he hasn't moved at all. That's pretty funny if you think about it. Of course, I wouldn't be consistent if I didn't say that neither Liz nor Tess eat anything off of their plates. The most Tess does is drink some water.

The shot goes by too fast for me to see and I don't have the proper software to blow up the screencap I have, but according to Kate Ancel, Tess's transcript says she was born in Omaha, Nebraska and the last school she attended was in Chicago. I wish I could read the other things that are on that transcript. I'll bet the information on it is ripe for nitpicking!

Michael has a new front door to his apartment. In previous episodes, Michael's door has a single peephole on it. In this episode, the door has four panes of wavy glass. Michael must also be trying to save on his electric bill because all the scenes in his apartment are very dark. Then again, when you belong to a group who can create light in their hands and light candles at the snap of a finger, do you really need to bother to turn on the lights?

This episode loses some time during dinner at the Hardings. As Liz calls Max pretending he's her mom, the sunlight is pouring through the windows behind her. When Alex and the rest of the group come to the house, it's night. Surely the group didn't take that long to get to Tess's house. I don't think that little camera has that far of a range so I doubt that the abandoned warehouse was too far away. Doesn't make much sense does it?

If you watch the ending scene in the warehouse, the camera pans over Michael and Maria asleep on the couch. When the camera does a far shot of everyone, Michael's eyes are wide open. One shot later, Michael's eyes are closed again. Must be some kind of weird alien REM sleep (Rapid Eye Movement for you non-sleep professors.)

Next, "Four Square." Until then.

#118 Four Square - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Strange Bedfellows - A Review of 'Four Square'
April 25, 2000

"You are who you choose to be. Just like you're with who you choose to be with."

Writer Thania St. John and director Jonathan Frakes presented an episode that explored fate versus destiny. The alien teens are faced, for perhaps the first time, with the prospect of a future planned for them instead of a future they are allowed to choose for themselves. They are made aware in no uncertain terms that being alien may mean living a life that has been predestined for them instead of enjoying the free will their human counterparts enjoy.

Random Thoughts:
I thought it was very telling that Isabel's first dream started out with Alex. It reinforced the notion that he's the one she would choose to be with, as did the urgency with which she attacked him in the janitor's closet.

We see yet again that Max's alien connections scare Liz, even more than the other two humans. She seems to approach the search for their roots as some kind of fascinating science project, but when faced with any evidence that Max is not a normal boy, it really puts her out of her comfort zone. Maria may have had a higher freak factor initially, but she really has accepted the notion that Michael is another life form better than Liz has. Well, except when it comes to romance and table manners.

Max is starting to wonder if he, Isabel and Michael really are family. Maybe that's why he's so afraid of finding Nacedo. Finding Nacedo means having to make a choice between his alien and his human heritages. He's not so sure that, in choosing his alien heritage, he won't lose everything that is dear to him, including the two he has always considered his family. The idea of Nacedo has already caused him to lose the Michael he's always known and he doesn't know how to deal with the person Michael has become in his quest for answers. By attempting to deal with him the way he always has, he's just driving the wedge between them even deeper. Answers about themselves threaten everything Max holds dear and because he doesn't understand it, he can't control it. As he tells Michael, the goal is to stay in control; it always has been.

Max needs to come to grips with the fact that Michael is not the scared little boy in need of a role model anymore. And even if he were, he's past the point of accepting Max in that role. He needs to acknowledge the fact that Michael has worthwhile contributions to make in their quest and stop disparaging him or he really is going to lose him.

How come Max has visions, but Michael has hallucinations?

I found myself wondering how Tess seems to know all about their past and where to find things, when the other three do not. There is still so much the kids don't know about her and I hope they are cautious about accepting what she has to say at face value. If she really does have powers of mind control, there isn't any way to be sure that what seem like memories aren't actually mind manipulations. It seems to me that if she really is what she claims to be, there isn't be any point to the mind games. She obviously knows the other three are aliens or she wouldn't be giving them clues and teasers. The fact that she won't come right out and give them the answers makes me suspect that there is still something more up her sleeve.

Mr. Harding continues to be spooky. I'm not sure what he hoped to accomplish by turning the camera into the sheriff, or what role he plays in the whole scheme of things.

I think it odd that during a heat wave, kids can make out in every hallway and behind every library stack without attracting much attention, but when Michael kisses Maria in the middle of the hallway, all of a sudden they are a circus attraction.

Isabel looked like she was on the verge of cracking up when Michael and Maria discovered them in the janitor's closet.

Speaking of the janitor's closet, haven't the school officials learned anything yet? Someone needs to introduce them to the concept of keys. They know that the janitor's closet and the eraser room are hotbeds of heavy petting, and yet locking the doors doesn't seem to have occurred to them.

I thought Michael accepted the news of Isabel's pregnancy with amazing calm. Isabel looked properly unsettled, but he just accepted the news as if he'd been waiting his whole life for just such a destiny to be fulfilled.


  • Do these kids not have parents? It never ceases to amaze me how much freedom they have to come and go as they please and how little they have to deal with parental consequences.
  • It bothers me how often scenes are just left hanging. A prime example of this is when Tess asks Liz why everyone is following her. Liz never answers and we aren't given any clue as to how this confrontation played out.
  • How dense can Alex and Maria be not to pick up on the serious undercurrents of tension between Michael and Isabel, especially in the janitor’s closet when proclaiming their staked claims?
  • I thought Maria's response to Michael's sudden need to talk about their relationship was entirely too glib. For someone who has been trying for weeks to get him to talk about their relationship and take it seriously, she sure managed to be awfully sarcastic.
  • Set inconsistency of the week: In the scene where Maria is standing behind the counter at the Crashdown talking to Max and Liz, the wall behind her starts out as a glass case filled with desserts. When Kyle walks in and the camera pans back to Maria, the wall behind her is two shelves of glasses on a blue wall.
  • I was incredibly glad to see Kyle, but I thought he and Liz had gotten past the whole bitterness issue and settled their differences. Looks like he didn't spend enough time with Sally Jessy while he was MIA.
  • Isabel gets pregnant from a dream encounter with Michael. Please. Did they really have to add an alien baby to the whole situation? And does this mean that Tess could have gotten pregnant from her dream encounter with Max in the science lab?
  • Max and Michael really need to sit down and talk through their hostility for each other. It's getting completely out of hand. Now more than ever, they need to join forces and work together instead of at odds with each other. Keeping secrets and cutting each other down all the time is counter-productive.


  • I loved Katherine Heigl in this episode. I thought she did a great job conveying the fear and confusion the whole situation is instilling in Isabel. Her safe, little world is being turned upside down and it's obvious that she's frightened by the changes. It's equally obvious that she fears the influence Tess has on her. She played the confusion and guilt over her dreams about Michael very well. I must admit, I laughed out loud at her little Mary Sunshine routine in the administration office, too.
  • I liked the interaction between Liz and Max in this episode better than I have for awhile. The tenderness and caring were no less apparent, but the gooeyness factor was removed. I could go back to enjoying it without worrying when my next dentist's appointment is scheduled. Max's little kiss on Liz's forehead in the hallway before she followed Tess into the bathroom was perfect.
  • I liked that they addressed the fact that Isabel has felt compelled to befriend Tess. As I mentioned in the last two reviews, her ready acceptance of her seemed out of character to me. Katherine played the scene in Max's bedroom when she's telling him about Tess' power over her beautifully.
  • It was a nice touch to have each of the aliens seek to re-connect with their human love interests after experiencing the erotic dreams/visions. I thought it reinforced how important the humans are to them and highlighted the difference between where their hearts are leading them versus where their alien destiny would take them.
  • I loved how tender, loving, and downright happy Michael was during all the dream sequences, both with Isabel and with the baby.
  • How cute that Liz made special note of Tess' grades when they were looking over her transcript. That seemed very in character to me.
  • I liked that the book that Tess retrieved was in the public library, proving that Michael had been right in his calculations.
  • Heart-melt moment: Alex was so incredibly sweet when he tucked Isabel into bed and kissed her on the forehead.
  • Kyle!! Welcome back from the land of the lost. We've missed you.
  • It was nice that we finally got to see what happened when the aliens broke out of the pods, although this version of events differs from how Max told Liz it happened. In the original version, Max and Isabel encountered Michael for the first time in the desert. I guess we're supposed to chalk that up to the fact that he didn't fully remember events when he first told Liz.
  • I was glad to see that they didn't just let the events of the last episode just drop. While I was glad that Liz realized Max was being coerced into actions against his will, she didn't entirely let him off the hook for it either. It seemed very normal and in character for her to ask him what it had been like to kiss Tess. And while she was ready to forgive him, she wasn't entirely ready to forget it, judging by the lengths to which she went to make sure it didn't happen again.
  • This show does a great job keeping the viewers wondering about motivations and agendas. I found myself rethinking my opinion about Tess. I still don't trust her, but I'm now open to the possibility that she's acting from honorable intentions, even if her agenda is at cross purposes with the humans.

Favorite Quotes:

Michael: "You just want to deny who we really are?"
Max: "I want us to stay who we really are."
Maria: "Operation Never-Leave-Max-Alone-for-an-Instant. That way one of us is always around in case she works the voodoo on you again."
Max: "I don't need a baby-sitter."
Maria: "No, you're right. You need a bodyguard at all times."

Max: "We'll go watch her on the monitor."
Valenti: "Isn't that against the law, Mr. Evans? I wish you'd stop doing that."

Michael: "Why are you so scared to be an alien?"
Max: "Why are you so scared to be human?"

Max: "The goal is to stay in control. It always has been."

Michael: "I've been thinking…"
Maria: "Great. That usually involves me having to get my car towed."

Isabel: "You know how I said I wanted to take things slow?"
Alex: "The word glacial comes to mind."
Isabel: "Maybe it's time to melt the ice."

Maria: "It must be something in the water."

Kyle: "What a knockout, huh? Can't beat a blonde. [looks at Liz] Oh, sorry."

Liz: "Just the way she treats guys - she just leads them on and then drops them cold."
Kyle: "Yeah, I guess it takes one to know one."

Kyle: "What is this, a jealousy thing?"
Liz: "No…"
Kyle: "Oh, so it's just a everyone-deserves-to-be-happy-except-Kyle thing."

Liz: "Just don't be alone with her, OK? She could be using you."
Kyle: "That's exactly what I had in mind."

Tess: "There's just this one book I need for history class."
Kyle: "Well, what say we start speaking the most ancient language known to man?"

I give this episode 4.75 UFOs out of 5.

#118 Four Square - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

"You are who you choose to be. Just like you're with who you choose to be with." -Liz to Max.

"The circle is now complete." -Darth Vader to Obi Wan Kenobi in "Star Wars Episode IV." It's not Roswell but it is exactly how I see this episode.

"You can be who you choose to be. It's an act of discipline sometimes but it can be done." - From the movie "The Bodyguard" starring Kevin Costner.

Those were the three lines that came into my head after I finished watching this episode. I put a lot of extra time into this review because this episode, unlike any other episode in season one (aside from "Destiny") brings everything full circle. The Royal Four are finally reunited. From this point forward, the game is now set and the mystery will really start to unfold.

We can't discuss this episode unless we start with Tess. Tess holds all the answers for everyone but the method she uses to reveal the truth to everyone really doesn't make much sense to me. She is fleeting about how she tells people things. Why the big mystery? Why does she sneak around dropping hints and clues to everyone? In the next episode, we are going to see her defiantly tell Nasedo that Max and Company are her family, not Nasedo. She is just like the others and is probably looking for companionship from those she can relate to. Why not tell them everything? The answer is of course, we still have three more episodes to go this season and if all the secrets came out in this one, there'd be nothing left to finish the season with. But since I don't deal in reality, I disregard that theory. J And then there's the deal Nasedo made with Khivar, yadda, yadda, yadda.

There is one other possibility. By letting Max and Company know what she tells them at the rate that she wants them to know it, it makes her important. In this manner they would come to depend on her. Clever. If she really is rebelling against Nasedo, then the only reason she is doing this is to further manipulate Max.

Tess is pretty sneaky. To get Max to follow her, she starts flirting with Kyle. And it works. This immediately perks everyone's interest. Poor Kyle. Everyone uses him for something. She then leads Max and Liz to the library so that he will see the destiny book. The book really peaked my interest. I hope that at some point in the future, the creators will scan this book for us and post it at or make copies of it for us to buy. The pictures and things within deserve further study. Probably won't happen now. As of this writing, the site no longer exists. Now the show's been canceled. We'll never know!

Tess also reawakens the memory of Puhlman Ranch in Michael. She makes the four square symbol on Michael's window. He has the flash (or in Michael's case, a "hallucination) and then she leaves Michael to discover it's meaning. From this, I surmise that the four square symbol has a double meaning. On the map, it marks the spot for the crash site. It also stands for the pairings of the four for mating purposes. Tess (Ava) with Max (Zan) and Michael (Rath) with Isabel (Vilondra.) That's what Ava's collage at suggests anyway. In "Meet the Dupes", the "rejects" also use it for a tattoo on their arms.

Now the infamous scene in the kitchen with Isabel. I've seen people remark about the sexual tension in this scene. I really have to chalk this up to the male hormone and wishful thinking on said male hormones because to be quite honest, I don't see this scene in that way at all. I can understand why people would think that but I do not. I see it as Tess making Isabel feel uncomfortable so that she would go to Max. She wanted to get them talking about things and make them curious about the dreams and symbols knowing that eventually, they would come to her for answers. And it worked! Immediately after this odd experience, Isabel went straight to Max to talk about it.

The scene with Tess and Liz in the restroom was really good. I loved how Tess showed us that the gang's usual sneaking around isn't going to work on her. Of course, it does have it's own oddness which I'll touch on later.

We now know that the Four were engineered but I'm a little confused about something. Max says all the odd things started when Tess showed up. At the same time, the V constellation came into shape. So all of the dreams and Isabel's strange feelings come from what? The stars? Or did they come from the fact that the Four are now together and their energies are awakening the memories within them? Personally, I'm going with that second theory. Star constellations don't affect your mind unless of course, you believe in astrology. I've never been one to believe that the stars make you do something. They might make you choose to go in a certain direction because of their interpretation but that's about it. (I'll leave it at that since any further insight would probably give me a headache.)

Tess is usually a calm and collected individual. She's isn't like Michael who is rash and has wild mood swings. However, Tess's blubbering at the end of this episode as she awakens the memory of the pod chamber in Max didn't seem real to me. Why is she on the verge of tears and suddenly appear to be afraid of Max? Also, Max tells her that he believes she is Nasedo. Instead of flat out saying "I'm not Nasedo" she just says that isn't who she is. She continues to come off as mysterious. I frowned during all of this. I felt she should have said more to clear things up if not for Max, then for us. She knows who Nasedo is. The instant Max said "Shapeshift" Tess should have said "No, that's not me. That's my dad!" But that would have ruined the beginning of the next episode. I also was unhappy that the book wasn't explained. As the episode ended, I said "The book! What about the book they made a big deal about?" Fortunately, that's the first thing they go into in "Max to the Max" but it must have been maddening having to wait a whole week for it.

At this point, I want Michael and Max to just slug it out. The two keep dancing around that fine line and I just don't understand why, in typical male fashion, they don't just resort to fisticuffs. Michael has already said he doesn't know Max anymore (he said this in "Tess, Lies, and Videotape") and in this episode, they both hold back information from each other. They both are clearly tired of the others behavior; Michael hates Max's constant need to control and parent him and Max is tired of Michael's rash behavior and his unwillingness to follow orders. Let's take a look at what they both hide.

In the past, every time Max has learned something, he doesn't tell Michael about it. Max believes that Michael will just impulsively go off and cause problems, which is exactly what Michael usually does. In this episode, Max is thoroughly ticked about Michael's actions in "Blind Date" with the cave map and the library. SO! How do YOU like it Max? Doesn't feel very good does it? Of course, what does Max do? He learns about book at the library and when Michael asks what they found out, Max says "Nothing." Why does Max keep doing that to Michael? Does he think that Michael is going to storm off to Tess's house to steal the book? That thought had actually crossed my mind. However, I don't think Tess would have left the book just lying around and would have simply mindwarped Michael and made him leave if he'd come looking for it. She wanted to reveal the truth to Max first and on HER terms.

When discussing the situation at the carousel with everyone, Max says that Nasedo is a killer and looks directly at Michael expecting some sort of argument. Michael remains silent. When Max learns that Michael and Isabel have left a message for Nasedo, he is angry that they have led the killer to them. "Discovery on our terms" is how Max wants it. Michael still seems to think that Nasedo has the answers they are all looking for. We find out soon enough that Nasedo doesn't have much to say to them.

Max spends the majority of this episode in the dark. He doesn't know why he is drawn to Tess. He is surprised to learn that Michael and Isabel have gone behind his back to contact Nasedo. I for one am glad that the mushy kisses from Max and Liz were toned down. It was starting to become sort of distracting.

Liz approaches everything in her life as some sort of science project. She analyzes all the facts and forms a plan. It's that simple for her. However, when it concerns Max, it's not that easy. Anything that reminds Liz that Max is not a normal human scares her. She finally admits that to Max in this episode. This to me is a sign that Liz is starting to think seriously about her relationship with Max. They've gotten beyond the physical and now she's wondering if they really can be a couple. I also thought it was interesting that she no longer is holding anything against Max for kissing Tess. She understands that Max didn't do it because he wanted to. He really wasn't cheating on her. She came to that decision pretty quickly. This episode picks up exactly where "Tess, Lies, and Videotape" leaves off. There's maybe a half a day between learning that Tess is the fourth alien to the scene at the Café where Liz tells Max it's not his fault. At the end of the last episode, Liz told Max she didn't think there would ever be enough explanation for kissing Tess. I think the truth was all the explanation Liz needed. Even though Liz told Max she wasn't jealous of Tess, she really is. There is no shame in that though. Feeling jealous is just one way to know that you care about someone. It's when it goes to extremes that it becomes dangerous.

Maria has really changed. It's hard to believe that this is the same girl who ran screaming from Liz's house when she learned that Max is an alien in "Pilot." However, in this episode, she is a bit out of character in a small way. When Michael comes to her to talk about their relationship, she is very sarcastic to him with comments like "Are you ok?" Given the intense emotion she displayed in "Crazy" about Michael's lack of caring for her, I would think Maria would be jumping into his arms. Isn't this what she wanted? I guess we should just run it all through the "Maria filter" for it to make sense.

Isn't it also interesting that while the alien aspect worries Liz, Maria is totally oblivious to it? Michael being an alien doesn't really worry Maria.

I think the sheriff has driven it home to the gang that he is watching them. I don't understand why Nasedo turned the camera into the sheriff. Just what did he think Valenti could accomplish? The sheriff is almost begging the gang to tell him the truth. I think the anxiety of being on the FBI's list is starting to become quite a burden to him.

The scene in the kitchen where Max and Michael argue is the turning point in the series for Isabel. Finally tired of their bickering, she explodes on both of them saying that she is a part of this too. Katherine Heigl really does a good job in portraying the confusion and fear Isabel is feeling through out this episode. There was one point where I thought Isabel was going to fully embrace her alien side. When Tess asks Isabel if she is aware of the signals that she's been getting. Isabel nods her head and says "No." Yes, she NODDED and said "no." She then snaps out of it and shakes her head no while saying "No!" again. Tess brought out a side of Isabel she previously had refused to acknowledge and the feeling was so scary, Isabel threw up a wall to block it out.

It was weird to find out that Michael and Isabel are supposed to be together. There's nothing in the series so far that has suggested to me that Isabel and Michael think of each other in a romantic way. The most I've ever seen is a couple of times when we've caught Michael staring at Isabel's chest. One was in "Morning After" and the other was in "River Dog." It's been sort of a brother / sister kind of thing between the two so the first time I saw Michael kiss Isabel in the dream sequence, I went "eeeeeew." But it was a shocker to see Michael with the baby. Isabel was correct when she said she had never seen Michael that happy. I agree. I haven't seen him react like that at all. Not even with Maria!

Pregnant from a dream? Oh, give me a break. How Isabel would even come to that conclusion is beyond me. I'm glad Tess cleared up that foolish notion in "Max to the Max."

It was great to see Kyle again. He has been AWOL for too long. I do so love the humorous lines the writer's give him. He's still not afraid to express his bitterness to Liz about their break up.

I did laugh pretty hard at the fish out of water situation Isabel put Alex into in the janitor's closet. I don't think Alex was prepared for Isabel to come on to him so strongly. He kept backing up into the corner as she got close to him. I think Alex is a nice balance for Isabel and she really needs that from someone who isn't in her immediate family which may have been part of the reason she was so willing let Tess in. Isabel has kept pretty much everything in her life bottled up behind her walls. She couldn't ask for a better confidant. He would have been a better fit then Jessie whom she marries in season three.

Speaking of the incident in the janitor's closet, were Maria and Alex just too love numbed to see the uncomfortable looks Michael and Isabel were exchanging? In "Tess, Lies, and Videotape", Max pulled Liz into the back and gave her guilty kisses when he caught himself staring at Tess. Isabel and Michael sort of do the same thing here.

In the next episode, we are going to see the book show the pairings of the Four. The Antarians who wrote it obviously did not take the human factor into the equation. Michael's attraction to Maria and Isabel's attraction to Alex have thrown a damper into their great plan. I think that if the Antarians had really wanted things to turn out as they planned them in the book, they would have isolated the Four. Then again, tell a bunch of teenagers "You WILL do it this way" and see how successful you are.

All in all, this is an incredibly powerful episode even if it did leave me saying "But, what about this?" over and over.

No dates start this episode but it picks up right where "Tess, Lies, and Videotape" left off. The next episode will pick up where this episode ended. In this one, this episode lasts roughly three days. There is one date given later in the episode. It's on the star chart program on the computer Liz uses. Max tells her to look for today's date. It's 5/27/2000. This is on day two.

In the opening, Liz follows Tess into the restroom. Liz comes in and looks around and the camera pans with her as she looks under the stall doors. Liz turns around in a complete circle and we do not Tess in the restroom. Liz finishes her turn and suddenly, there's Tess! Just where was she? The camera showed us the small area and she clearly was not in there. Either Tess was in one of the stalls standing on a toilet lid or she mindwarped Liz to make herself invisible.

Speaking of that restroom, it is identical to the men's restroom seen in "Tess, Lies, and Videotape" including the poster on the back wall. Nope. Not gonna touch it. Not me. Noooooo way!

As Nasedo talks to the sheriff about the tiny camera, shots outside the Sheriff's office window show leaves from a tree blowing in the wind. When we got an outside view of the window when Michael broke into the Sheriff's office in "Morning After" we see there is a set of bars on a gate over the window. The office is on the second floor and opens into an alley. There were no trees within sight in that alley. So unless there's someone running around Roswell with a bottle of Acme Quick Grow, those leaves should not be there.

One of the Sheriff's photos is of Nasedo shaking hands with Liz with Max standing next to her in front of the closed doors to the Harding's house. The photos come from the Sheriff's camera recon at the end of "Tess, Lies, and Videotape." However, I do not know where this photo came from because we never saw Ed Harding step outside the house. When he bid Liz and Max goodbye, Ed Harding was standing inside an open doorway. The sheriff must have some kind of psychic camera.

The FBI tomfoolery continues. This time, an agent spying on the gang is seen with an umbrella as the gang talk at the carousel after the opening credits. He is in plain view and clearly watching them. You know, the guy who was behind the grassy knoll is smarter then the FBI. At least he was trying to hide! (I realize the episode never states that this guy is FBI but what else could he be?)

The weather continues it's odd behavior. When the show starts, we see that it is raining at Tess's house. After stalking Tess in the restroom at school, the episode picks up at the carousel. There's a large puddle on the ground to go along with the rain seen in the previous episode. In all camera shots facing the carousel, the sky is dark and cloudy. Once Liz and Max walk off the carousel, we see the sun is shining behind them. When we go back to shots of Michael still standing on the carousel, the sky is dark and cloudy with no sun. It actually is possible that the clouds are doing this. It just looks funny considering the freaky weather we've seen in the past couple of episodes.

At the Café, Liz says "She's an alien Max." What happened to Max's rule of "No one says alien or talks about this in public" he made in "Crazy"? Even if he hadn't said that rule, there's a guy sitting two seats away at the counter behind Liz. Sheesh!

Going over the transcript Isabel retrieves, Liz reads off Tess's class schedule. She says "Science Lab third period, hallway between fourth and fifth, and PE." I have a screen capture of the class schedule Isabel pulls up on the computer. I don't know how to post pictures and shrink them down or I'd post it for you. But according to the computer, Tess has Home EC fourth period, lunch between fourth and fifth period, Algebra fifth period, and creative writing sixth period. Do they call lunch in Roswell High "hallway"? I've never heard of that one. It's also noteworthy that Tess doesn't have seventh period. My high school had seven hours worth classes with a half an hour for lunch.

During the creepy scene with Tess and Isabel, Tess quickly arranges some sugar cubes into the four square pattern. A far away shot of the cubes between Isabel and Tess has the upper left cube off center from the ones around it. Once we get a full close shot of the cubes, they've all been aligned next to each other perfectly.

There are a few leftovers from "Heatwave" in this episode. As Michael comes down a set of stairs at school to talk to Maria, there's a young couple flirting quite openly on the steps. When everyone was making out in "Heatwave," they could do so and not garner any attention but when Michael and Maria kiss in this episode, everyone is watching. Even the teachers are watching. Embarrassed at the attention they are getting, Maria and Michael head over to the janitor's closet and interrupt Alex and Isabel. Remember, there were teachers watching all of this. They watched them walk to the janitor's closet! Do they really allow students to go in there? How come Alex and Isabel didn't get in trouble like Liz and Max did in "Sexual Healing"? In that episode, Liz and Max's mothers were called in to the principal's office.

Speaking of the attention the kiss got, there is one girl who was a bit impatient waiting for it. Look in between Maria and Michael as they talk and you'll eventually see a girl with dark hair, a dark jacket, and a book bag. She keeps glancing at Michael and Maria waiting for them to kiss. When they finally do kiss, she gives them one last glance and then heads off. Nasedo maybe?

Alex takes Isabel home where she goes to her bedroom to take a nap. There are a few things about this scene I noticed. First, Colin Hanks adds a nice touch to his character by constantly looking around the room. This is the first time Alex has seen Isabel's room so this is a natural reaction for him. Nice one Colin.

Prior to entering Isabel's bedroom, Alex says that he can have a Galaxy Melt at any time because he knows the cook. The cook is Michael. Is he still giving out free food? He gave away a free order of Saturn Rings to an impatient customer in "Crazy." I wonder how the Crashdown makes any money with it's employees just giving food away.

As Isabel lies down, the camera moves around and we get a quick shot of her bare feet. They are quite dirty! The soles of her feet are almost black. Diane Evans needs to clean her house!

Alex also makes an unusual statement here. He says "You're the one who said that you couldn't sleep last night. Maybe you're the one who's hungry." Excuse me? I don't think Isabel is hungry Alex. I think she is TIRED! Since when does being sleepy make you want to raid the fridge?

Isabel also falls asleep incredibly fast. As soon as her head hits the pillows, she's out. Wow. Quite a time saver.

Ok. Let's take a look at Isabel's dreams. Keep in mind that freaky things can happen in a dream so we have to take these nits with a grain of salt.

During Isabel's second dream, she makes out with Michael at the crash site above the map symbols. When we see her and Michael getting hot and heavy, they are way up at the top on the very edge of an outcropping of rock. Does that sound like a good place to be making out? A little dangerous don't you think?

Also, during the first dream, Isabel wore pink slippers with her long, dark dress. In the first part of the second dream as Isabel looks at the map symbols on the ground, she is still wearing her slippers. When she is laying on the ground with Michael, her feet are bare.

One of the in-flashes as Isabel and Michael kiss is of Max's cheek cells that Liz looked at under a microscope in "Pilot." Why are they thinking about Max's cheek cells? Making out with Isabel would certainly not make me think of her brother. Nor his cheek cells for that matter.

After her first dream, Isabel woke up with a small scream. After the second dream, she calmly opens her eyes and doesn't even sit up. When she has her third dream where she envisions the baby, Isabel sits up quickly with another small scream. Maybe dreaming about making out on a rock face made her cautious about sitting up too fast.

In Kate Ancel's review of this episode, she listed a set inconsistency. She said that before Kyle came into the Café, shots of Maria showed a dessert freezer directly behind her. When Maria asks Liz if she listened to Kyle's warnings about Max, there are two shelves with colored glasses directly behind Maria. Earlier in the episode as Liz told Max she was scared of Tess, you can see the dessert freezer between them. The shelves of glasses are directly to the right of the freezer. This isn't an inconsistency with the set per say. Maria just decided to take a hop to the camera's right for some reason between lines.

Great Line this episode.

"What a knock out, huh? Can't beat a blonde! Oh, sorry." -Kyle when Liz mentions Tess. He just had to remind Liz about their break up.

Tess dresses really provocatively for a date at the library doesn't she? I wonder what she would have worn if Kyle had taken her to a monster truck rally.

As Kyle and Tess move towards the back wall of the library to retrieve the destiny book, Kyle refers to the books as the "ancient languages" section. The books look like encyclopedias to me.

Trying to get something going, Kyle suggest that he and Tess start "speaking the most ancient language known to man." So does Kyle want Tess to start speaking Latin or are they going to start grunting like cavemen? (Yes, yes. I know, I know. I just couldn't resist.)

Where did Tess get the ladder she climbs? When we see a shot of them walking down the aisle away from the camera, there's no ladder to be seen. There isn't enough time for them to have retrieved a ladder when we cut away to see Max climbing the bookshelves. Maybe they are in a haunted library.

Michael tells Max that the Puhlman Ranch was taken over by the government in 1947 and that they had wiped it's name off the maps. If that's true, why do we see a sign hanging on the barbed wire fence that says "Puhlman Ranch" when Max and Tess drove there? "Say what soldier? This isn't Puhlman Ranch? Then what's that sign there, hmm? Huh? Hmmm?"

Everybody goes to Max's window. Even Tess! Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I can only hope that Emilie de Ravin would come to my window. Ahem! Pardon me.

Why does Max have flashes but Michael has "hallucinations?" No wonder these two argue so much.

Thinking Tess is the shapeshifter Nasedo, Max asks her about the murders. Specifically, he demands she explain the death of "William Atherton, the man who wrote the alien book." Who's William Atherton? Is he related to James Atherton, the man who lived in the geodesic dome we saw in "285 South" and "River Dog" and author of the alien book "Among Us"?

Growing frustrated with Tess, Max hauls her up by her jacket and throws her to the ground. He then forces her head down by putting his hand on her head flat against her ear. Max screams at her to shapeshift and show him how she really looks. Considering he has his hand over one of her ears and the other pressed against the ground, do you think she heard him? Perhaps Jason Behr was trying to keep from hurting Miss de Ravin's ears when he shouted at her by covering her ear with his hand.

The child actor who plays young Max in the pod chamber is not the same one who appears in the flashbacks of "Pilot." Also, the girl who plays Isabel looks to be the same one but in this episode, the young Isabel's hair is hanging off her shoulders. The young Isabel in the flashes Max shared with Liz all show her with short hair barely to the end of her neck. Maybe even at a young age, Isabel was fashion conscious and went to get a hair cut so she would look good when the Evan's found them.

In "Balance", Max tells Liz that his first memory of Michael is when he appeared to them on a bolder in the desert. This episode shows that the first time Max saw Michael was in the pod chamber. I guess we can say that what he saw in the desert was the first time he REMEMBERED seeing Michael until Tess reawakened the memory of the pod chamber within him.

Ok. Let's take a quick look at the pod chamber sequence. We'll touch on this a little more when I review "Max to the Max" and we see it again.

When young Max first breaks through the pod casing, his hand is covered in a gel and it pours out of the hole. This makes sense. When we see Tess in her pod, she's suspended in a liquid. It's safe to assume they all were. When Max pokes his head out of the pod, no more liquid pours out. It must have evaporated instantly when it came into contact with the air. Otherwise, there would have been a lot more to spill out if the pod was filled with the stuff.

The kids are all covered in the gel from the pods. But when the Evan's found them in the desert according to Max's connection with Liz in "Pilot", they were clean and dry.

I don't think this is ever explained in any episode in season one or season two but why didn't Tess awaken in her pod at the same time the others did? The entire flow of the show might have gone completely different if Tess had grown up with them.

The outer covering of the pods appears to be a membrane of some kind. It's not solid and gives easily as young Max pushes against it. But when young Max wipes his hand across the pod containing the young Tess, it's as firm as glass. The moisture on the outside even streaks like glass. Maybe the membrane is solid until the occupant inside is ready to emerge.

The flash of the pod chamber is only about two or three minutes long. When we come back to reality, the sky quickly changes from night to day suggesting a long period of time has elapsed. Why? Did it really take that long for Max to relive these memories? It shouldn't have unless…the whole experience was a mind warp by Tess. I doubt it but you never know.

Up until now, for anyone to get a flash, they had to be touching the person or object they get the flash from. Max tells Liz in "Pilot" he has to touch her to share memories with her. When Max gets the flash about the pod chamber from Tess, he is laying on her (Yup, I'd say that qualifies!) but when the memory is over, Max is no longer touching Tess and they are both standing at least half an arm's length apart from each other. I guess once the connection started, it played out until it was over. But could you really be seeing a flash through your mind and manage to stand up during it? I guess it's possible but it would have to be disorienting. But that doesn't explain how Michael got his flash when Tess came to his window. Tess didn't touch him nor was Michael touching the symbol she breathed on the window.

#119 Max To The Max - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Shell Game - A Review of "Max To The Max"
May 2, 2000

"Don't believe everything you see."

In a tense game of cat and mouse, the stakes have been raised in this episode penned by Toni Graphia and directed by Patrick Norris. Nacedo has finally revealed himself and proven to be just as dangerous as Max had feared, at least to the humans. He seems to be willing to stop at nothing to draw his enemy out, but the result may prove unexpectedly tragic.

Random Thoughts:
So Mr. Harding is actually Nasedo. That would explain the creepiness factor. I also find it fascinating that he can shapeshift into inanimate objects. That would certainly be a handy talent.

Why do you suppose Nasedo made sure Liz got safely out of the fun house instead of going back to get Max? Max is supposedly the one that he’s so desperate to protect and yet he just left him there for the Feds to grab him. He claims to have their safety at heart, and yet all his actions put them at risk.

If Harding just transferred from Alabama, why did the school records for Tess show her last residence as Chicago and her records transferred from the Illinois school system?

The fact that they were engineered would explain why they are all so beautiful, although it’s a little strange that Max, Michael and Isabel all have a similar look in spite of the different coloring and Tess looks very out of place. The former are all tall and have brown eyes, while Tess is significantly shorter with blue eyes.

The force field previously in place around the Jeep to prevent blown hair, seems to have been transferred to the convertible for the night.

Anyone else notice that the precipice where the cave was located is the very place Isabel and Michael had their dream sex?

I noticed that Isabel used the past tense when talking to Alex about her feelings for him and her declaration to him. That doesn’t bode well for their future.

Michael seemed genuinely disappointed to learn there was no baby. He’d already wrapped his mind around the idea and seemed ready to run with it. He seemed reluctant to give up the idea that his destiny was to be with Isabel. Maybe it’s a case of seeing the future and the future making him happy.

Isn't it interesting that Liz could tell the difference between Max and Nasedo by the visions conjured up while kissing? What does that make her…some kind of human satellite dish? If she can pick up signals from any old alien who kisses her, I guess that blows the theory that they have to be emotionally connected in order to get good reception. Also, the fact that he didn't seem to realize she'd had a strange vision puts a few dents in the school of thought that he was causing them in the first place.

The hostility between Max and Michael seems to have cooled a bit in this episode. They were still having the same arguments, but there seemed to be less heat to them.

The funhouse mirrors were a great analogy for the theme. Nothing and no one is what they appear to be.

I guess we know now why no one has just happened upon the discarded pods if they were buried within the mountain.

I’m glad the writers remembered that Max’s birthday was in March, therefore making him 17 now.

That gas station must be doing better business than it appears to be if they can afford surveillance cameras that produce such high resolution pictures.

Anyone else wonder where Nasedo’s breath mints were?

I did have to wonder why Liz kept flashing on Sheila Hubble whenever she would kiss evil Max. Nacedo’s killed many people since then, by all accounts. It seemed strange that she would be the one Liz would see.


  • The whole idea of the alien baby didn’t seem to freak out much of anyone except Isabel, and neither did the idea that Michael and Isabel were sleeping together. They were the only two that knew they hadn’t been and everyone else immediately jumped to the logical conclusion that they were. But everyone just kind of took it in stride as something new and alien to deal with. Even Max was more concerned that they had kept it from him. He practically assaulted Michael over the fact that Michael wasn’t listening to him about Tess, but the idea of Michael sleeping with Isabel doesn’t inspire hostility? Please.
  • Just who did they leave in charge of the Crashdown this time when they went tearing off to rescue Liz?
  • I had to wonder why the real Max didn’t do something to differentiate himself to Liz so she would know which was the real Max and which was Nacedo. Seems like it would have been easy enough to just take off his coat or something.
  • Just for the record, you don’t get a dial tone when a cell phone hangs up on you either.
  • How were they planning on convincing the sheriff that Max is really a good guy once he caught up with him. Assuming he arrested Nacedo, the real Max would have to stay in hiding for as long has evil Max was in custody. Although it was a good way to get Valenti involved in a way that Michael could accept.
  • Where were Alex and Maria when the pod squad ran off to rescue Liz? We’re supposed to believe that they just stayed quietly behind after reporting Liz’s kidnapping to the sheriff? That doesn’t sound like the Maria we’ve all come to know and love.


  • The way the action picked up immediately where it left off from the last episode, gave it a nice touch of continuity.
  • I thought it was great that Maria confronted Michael calmly and immediately about what she overheard about the baby instead of just flipping out and I liked that Michael was honest with her instead of just blowing her off.
  • Is Alex too good to be true or what? Confronted with the possible alien pregnancy of his girlfriend and without any assurances that she hasn't been sleeping with Michael on the side, he is immediately supportive and sweet. Do people like this exist outside the realm of fiction?
  • I liked the fact that Isabel seems to be physically gravitating to Michael more and more. It seems to fit with the increased awareness she has of him now.
  • I got kind of a kick out of evil Max. It was fun to see the normally uptight Max be the devil-may-care rogue, even if it wasn't really him. Jason Behr did a great job with the dual role. He was delightfully creepy with the sly innuendoes and the way he kept looking at Liz.
  • I thought 'evil' Max was a great way to create conflict between Max and Liz without it really being between Max and Liz.
  • I, for one, am heartily glad there isn't really an alien baby.
  • How cool was that alien batsignal? Beats having to use a telephone to reach out and touch someone.
  • Michael just keeps growing on me more with every episode. I loved that he was the one to hug Liz and comfort her when she escaped from Nacedo and told them Max had been captured. And you just have to love how much concern he showed Isabel when they thought she was pregnant.
  • They have done a great job in the last couple of episodes of giving us suspenseful cliffhanger endings.
  • Shiri Appleby did a wonderful job showing the fear that Liz was feeling when confronted with Nacedo in the guise of Max.

Favorite Quotes:

Max/Nasedo: "All I care about is protecting them. Nothing else matters."
Michael: "Whether you want to believe it or not, we weren't born. We were engineered."

Isabel: "I thought you said we can't trust her."
Max: "Who said anything about trusting her?"

Isabel: "You were so happy, Michael. I've never seen you that happy."
Michael: "Well, I've never been that happy."

Liz: "What kind of hostage am I? Pierce would just kill me."
Max/Nasedo: "Now there's a thought."

Max/Nasedo: "You could come in extremely handy in terms of my survival. And even if you don't, you've been fantastic company."

I give this episode 4.5 UFOs out of 5.

#119 Max To The Max - Review

Written by LSS

The opening scene in Max to the Max takes us back to where Four Square left off (an unusual continuity between episodes for this series). Max to the Max advances the show's alien mythology as well as returning to the conspiracy plotline emphasized in Crazy. In addition, it provides us with a number of Science Fiction themes and questions–perhaps more so than we’ve encountered in any one episode outside Pilot and Sexual Healing.

MADE NOT BORN. Michael suggests to Max that they were "engineered" -- not "born." Although this idea is new in this storyline, it is a theme frequently encountered in the world of Science Fiction.

Aside from humans and aliens, there are other character types that populate the landscape of Science Fiction. Some are hybrids–a combination of different species (i.e., human/alien). Others are bioengineered–crafted from a species for a specific purpose (i.e., to adapt a lifeform to an environment unsuited to the original species). Still others merge the mechanical with the biological (i.e., a cyborg). Finally, some are purely mechanical (i.e., sentient computers, human like androids, etc.). Of these types, it is the "hybrid" that seems most applicable to Roswell’s aliens. Typically, Science Fiction writers use the "hybrid" character type to explore: 1) multicultural human issues (What does it mean to be from two cultures and often not at "home" in either one?); 2) identity issues (What does it mean that you are different from everyone else because you have been "made" artificially and not "born"?); and 3) philosophical issues (What constitutes a "person"?).

While hybridization can be achieved naturally through the union of two species (at least it can in science fiction), our alien teens appear to be the result of some type of genetic engineering that combines materials from human and alien donors. Just where this donor material originally came from has not yet been revealed in the storyline.

Aside from the weighty issues mentioned above, the revelation that our teens are bioengineered raises a variety of questions for Roswell’s story frame: Who made Max, Tess, Michael, and Isabel? For what purpose were they bioengineered? Why are they in human form? This new information concerning our teens’ nature opens up endless possibilities and questions. In some ways it draws the alien teens closer to their human friends (because now they are part "human") while at the same time driving a wedge between them (they are "made" -- bioengineered – not born).

WHAT MAKES A HUMAN? If our aliens are "made" does this make them any less human? Is being "human" simply looking human? Or is it acting/feeling human? Or is it being raised human and adopting human values and standards?

Stories of hybrids, cyborgs and androids allow writers to explore the philosophical/theological (and at times legal) issue of what constitutes a "human". Criteria often suggested in Science Fiction for determining the "human" are: 1) form (looking human); 2) ensoulment (having a soul); and, 3) morality/values (having a moral conscience). If one accepts the formal definition, then only humans or humanoids qualify as "humans". But this attitude is repeatedly combated in science fiction and very few writers actually argue for it. Having emotions/moral consciousness/human values, however, are frequently considered essential to being "human". And, since some religious traditions understand the possession of a soul as what distinguishes humankind from the animal world, it should not be surprising that some see having a soul as a key criteria for determining the "human". Real life theologians ask the question: Do aliens (if we ever meet any) have souls? If they do, then some would argue that this qualifies them for "personhood".

Is Mr. Harding human? Is Max? Max has a "human side" while Mr. Harding, we are told by Tess, does not. What does having a "human side" mean? Figure this out, and you will understand what our writers think is "essentially" human. Is it emotions? The ability to empathize and have compassion? Or is it a basic moral code that values human dignity and freedom? Is Tess human? She was willing to ignore Liz because Liz really didn't matter to the alien mandate. Was Tess being human then or alien? These are only a few of the questions that the viewing audience are invited to consider as this episode unfolds. Moreover, its concluding scene with Max imprisoned in the frightening white room, raises the issue of when do humans, by their very actions, cross the line and lose their human status!

WHAT MAKES "DESTINY" POWERFUL? I found myself wondering at times just what is the nature (not the content) of this "destiny" to which Tess repeatedly refers. It obviously operates on a biological level, but what gives it its power? Max’s conversation with Isabel in which they note that something inside them has been "turned on" (something "primal", something "alien") hints at its deeply seated nature and puts it almost on the level of a biological imperative. Is it implanted in our teens on a cellular level? Or is it embedded in their psyches–a forceful memory begging to be recovered?

In addition to internal elements, this "destiny" is linked to external events as well. When Venus aligns with Aries, our aliens experience the onslaught of sexual visions–visions different from the usual human teenage fantasies. Are our teens entering into some type of alien estrus (a "heat" linked to their mating cycle) or is this simply the beginning of alien puberty?

Moreover, is this "destiny" inevitable? Do people (even bioengineered aliens) have the power to make their own choices and shape their own lives? Or does a person’s genetic heritage inevitably control who they are? In terms of Roswell’s storyline–does Max have a future with Liz? Does Alex have a future with Isabel? Or does Isabel "have" to be with Michael and Max "have" to be with Tess? Was Liz correct in what she told Max in Four Square? You are who you choose to be. You are with who you choose to be with. What happens physically and emotionally to our alien teens if they rebel against this biological imperative and exercise their "human" freedom of choice?

LIZ AND "DESTINY". Did the "destiny" that awakened our aliens also awaken something in Liz as well? At the beginning of Sexual Healing (and right before we are introduced to Tess in Crazy) Liz reports that something is happening to her body, something undeniable, something chemical. Since this coincides with the frenzied sexual activity between Max and Liz, one wonders if the same thing that is "turning on" Max is turning on Liz as well. The physical aspects of this sexual activity – the visions, glowing hickies, strange rashes) are not lost on Maria, who is worried about what will happen if Max and Liz ever "do it". Liz, on the other hand, says she wants to and that it feels "right".

In Max to the Max, Liz finds out from the shapeshifter that Max and Tess are intended for each other–that Tess is Max’s destiny. In response to this, Liz argues that: 1) the shapeshifter does not know what she shares with Max, 2) that Max has "changed" her, and 3) that she and Max have seen into each other’s souls. If one sets aside the obvious romantic function of these lines, and analyzes them from a science fiction point of view, it seems as if Liz is arguing that physically as well as psycho-socially, she and Max are now linked.

Moreover, in Max to the Max, we see the cave and the pods from which our aliens emerged. And in the visionary state we see the "birth" of our alien trio. Max reluctantly leaves the curly headed Tess’ in her unbroken pod, and follows Isabel. We know from previous episodes that Max will become smitten with the curly headed Liz shortly after this when he begins school. Are we to think of Liz as a surrogate for Tess in Max’s psyche? And by healing Liz and forming the intense two-way connection with her in Pilot, has Max made Liz Tess’ replacement? Is Liz now linked to Max regardless of his original alien destiny?

If Liz has been altered physically, perhaps this explains the visions she has when kissing the shapeshifter in Max’s form. Only Liz, of all the humans in our story, has been able to receive visions. If this is basically an "alien" ability, then this is a manifestation of another difference in Liz–a difference the shapeshifter appears not to realize..

THE SHAPESHIFTER. Tess informs Max that the shapeshifter has neither a human body nor a human side. He/it [NOTE: how do you determine the gender of a shapeshifter? And does it even have a gender?] thinks of himself/itself as the aliens' protector and will kill to save them. Of course such devotion begs the question–exactly what is the shapeshifter’s relationship to our teens? Is his/its species the one that bioengineerd M/Mi/I/T? And why did the shapeshifter wait so long to come back to Roswell? And why the cat and mouse game with them? Why not just make contact?

In Max to the Max the shapeshifter uses his/its powers in a variety of ways: 1) to morph into Max (this happens off stage so we do not see it), 2) to morph into the clown (which we do see), 3) to kill (the infamous silver palm print that looks slightly different from the earlier photos), 4) to explode gas pumps (apparently the palm can convey heat), 5) to send an alien signal (the whirlwind symbol emblazoned over the carnival in the night sky), and 6) to morph out of the cave wall. This latter involves a shift from an inanimate to a biological form–a shift that is highly unusual and distinctive from previous shifts involving changes from one person’s form to another. Throughout this episode, the shapeshifter exudes a slightly sinister ambiance (especially in his/its callous treatment of Liz).

THE BOOK. The "destiny" theme so embedded in this episode’s storyline ultimately is ascribed to the book Tess takes from the wall in Four Square. Oddly, none of our aliens recognize the language (Isabel calls it "strange"). But if the language is unrecognizable to them, the pictures are clear–four individuals, two pair bondings. What is not clear, either to the teens or to the audience, is the function of this book. Is it a manual of sorts? An alien "how to" book? Or is it a message? And why is it so crude in design and appearance? Is it tremendously old? Or has it simply been through a crash? Perhaps the next few episodes will clear up some of these questions!

ALIEN AUTOPSY. The episode ends with Max in a sinister white room. The best case scenario for its function is that it is an interrogation chamber. The worse case is that it is a scene for Alien Autopsy II. Who is the true "alien" in this scene? The compassionate and gentle Max who is now locked in the room? Or the alien hunter Pierce, who is preparing to experiment on him? The white room evokes the UFO Museum’s alien autopsy exhibit and is every alien's worst nightmare–a nightmare where humans with scalpels are the true monsters!

#119 Max To The Max - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

So, how many of you still like Nasedo after threatening to kill Liz if she lost her worth to him? Before I jump into this, when I am referring to Nasedo in the form of Max, I'll call him "Nasedo / Max."

Yes, that Nasedo is one evil guy. If you have read any of my past reviews where I've mentioned our shape-changing friend, you'll know that I don't particularly care for him. He has no value for life except for the lives of the Four and has demonstrated this on a number of occasions. He tells Tess that if he has to kill people, he will. I may not particularly care for his morals but this really does make him the perfect protector. He reminds me a lot of the character Anya in the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "The Dauphin." In that show, Anya was Salia's protector. At one point in the episode, Anya encounters a crewmember in sickbay who has an infectious disease and Anya demands the patient be killed to keep Salia safe. That is something that would be right up Nasedo's alley. Still, there are a lot of instances where Nasedo himself actually puts the Royals in danger with his actions.

My congratulations go out to Jason Behr in this episode for the dual role he played. My favorite moments in his performance as Nasedo were in the car as he told Liz what he had in store for her. My absolute favorite moment was at the amusement park where he tells Liz to pick a shell. When Liz hesitates, Nasedo tells her to pick one again in a much sterner and louder voice. And it was done so casually! He then sums up the premise of the entire episode with the line "Don't believe everything you see."

Max Evans is one confused young man (alien.) Max must have control in everything and when something happens that reminds him he is a victim of the unknown just like the rest of us, he gets angry. However, in this episode, Max just confuses the heck out of me.

Max risks their secret by healing Liz. He says he did it because "It was you" referring to Liz. Now he defends himself whenever someone brings this up but if someone else does anything that he believes will expose them, he speaks up. It's almost like he believes the rules apply to everyone but himself. Now who does this remind you of? It reminds me a lot of Michael and how he has reacted in the past. Do you think that is why Max and Michael are at odds so much? They see a piece of themselves in each other!

Ok, let's get to the confusing part. In "Tess, Lies, and Videotape", Max goes to Michael and tries to talk to him about Tess. Michael blows him off and Max gets physical, demanding that Michael listen to him. Now jump forward to this episode. Isabel mentions the baby and Max, who hasn't been told this little secret, reacts with what I would describe as calmness. Now just hold on a second. Michael has just implied that he and Max's sister have had sex and Max just takes it all in stride? No way! Given Max's past behavior, he should have grabbed Michael and hauled him into the air by his collar and shouted at him. Yes, I KNOW that Michael and Isabel didn't do anything but Max doesn't know that. All he knows is that there is a baby!

In another confusing moment, Michael says that they were designed. Max responds with "That's impossible Michael." Oh yeah Max? So is healing someone with a touch or making parking meters shoot sparks but we've seen it happen. Just why is Max so quick to dismiss the truth? That's something I would expect from Isabel, not Max.

Yet another confusing moment. Michael wants to talk to Tess. He believes she can explain things to them (and sure enough, she can and does!) but Max says they can't just go asking her things. Why not Max? Is that not why you went with Tess to the crashsite yourself, to find some answers? Or do you just have a problem with Michael talking to Tess? I guess that's it because he says he will talk to her. Isabel says Max told them not to trust Tess. Max says "Who said anything about trust?" Isabel, completely frustrated at this point, asks "What are you saying?" Yeah! No kidding. What IS Max saying? Why doesn't Max just say "I'll get all the answers because I'm a control freak"? That is how he is coming off in this scene.

Oh yes, more confusion. Max wants to go rescue Liz. When Isabel says they all must agree to it, Max says "Since when?" Since "Crazy" and the meeting at the rock quarry Max! Michael then says that there are rules. Max fires back that the rules didn't seem to apply to him and reminds him of going to meet Topolsky despite their decision not to. Michael counters saying that there have always been rules and they still apply. Yeah? Maybe only if there's something that you want to do, eh Michael? (Is anyone starting to get dizzy from the odd dialogue yet?) In all fairness, Max is probably not thinking straight because his true love is in danger but he knows all the things Michael is telling him so that's why I mentioned this.

I think in this and the last episode, we are seeing a side of Michael that not even Maria gets at this point in the show. He is compassionate towards Isabel and her situation. He wants to help her. He hugs her with no hesitation. With Maria, there is still a bit of space between them that keeps them from being totally together. Did anyone notice that Michael and Max are a bit calmer then they were in "Tess, Lies, and Videotape"? They are both finding the truth of what they are and that common bond brings them beyond their petty rivalry for control or at the very least, makes Michael set it aside to deal with the more important issues.

I think there was a small bit of disappointment in Michael that there wasn't a baby. The happiness that a perspective child would have brought to his life was very compelling to him. To have that taken from him was sad for him but at the same time, he was relieved Isabel was ok. I can't wait to see if Michael reacts the same way should a similar situation come up between him and Maria!

Did you notice that when Liz broke down realizing Max had been captured that Michael moved to comfort her? I hearby christen this Michael the "new and improved Michael."

When faced with the truth, Isabel runs from her alien side. After a few seconds inside the pod chamber, she bolts out the door back into the daylight. But she doesn't totally reject it. She thumbs through the destiny book looking at each page even when Max and Michael start talking about the baby. And yes, she was relieved that she wasn't pregnant (who wasn't?) After the opening scenes however, Isabel becomes strangely quiet until Nasedo kidnaps Liz. But she has been through quite an ordeal so that's understandable. Isabel says that before they go after her, the must all agree. She is no longer drawing the line between the humans and the aliens (in this situation that is.) I think Alex might have had an influence or two here.

Speaking of Alex, did he win over the audience when talking to Isabel in the Café? Despite believing she and Michael were future parents, despite that this meant she was cheating on him, he is supportive. Now who wouldn't kill for a boy / girlfriend like that? I also loved how Alex was to Michael. Michael makes sarcastic remarks to Max about going to Valenti and Alex brings him down to earth saying that's not what Max meant. I love it!

Overhearing Isabel and Michael's conversation about the baby was devastating to Maria. I'm glad that she calmly approached Michael to talk about it instead of demanding answers in typical Maria fashion. She told Michael that he should not have referred to their relationship as "stupid" if he didn't mean it and I was right behind her on it. When Michael came to break the news to her that there was no baby, he did so as casually as one might say hello. Maria isn't one to just accept it and say "Oh, that's great" and move on. Not after spending the past several episodes trying to make Michael talk to her about anything and everything.

Also, where did Maria go after telling the Sheriff their false kidnapping story? She isn't with the rest of the group when they set off to rescue Liz. This is not Maria's style. She would have wanted to personally help her friend.

In my opinion, this is first episode where the result of Max's healing affects Liz. What do I mean? I'm talking about the changes Ava mentions in "Max in the City." Her powers! Yes, Liz has powers. She even admits herself to Nasedo that Max "changed her."

Ok, specifically, when Liz kisses Nasedo / Max, she gets black and white flashes. It tells her that the person she believes is Max is not Max. When Liz was getting flashes, I thought it was because of Max but now, it appears to be that it's also Liz's doing too. Of course, the smart alec in me sees great use of this power when facing future shapeshifters. All Liz has to do is kiss them, get a flash, and tell whether they are who they really claim to be! (I'm joking, I'm joking.)

The only other really notable things about Liz in this episode is how she was teasing who she thought was Max about pulling over for a kiss. Sure enough, Nasedo / Max pulled over! (Well, well, well, Nasedo's a boy dog!) The other thing was her break down at the end of the episode. Her worst fear has now come true! But Liz, the trooper she is, is not going to let that get her down as we will soon see.

After all the sneaking around in the last two episodes, Tess suddenly becomes less of a troublemaker. Even when Michael grabbed her and threw her into the jeep as they headed off to rescue Liz, she didn't put up much of a fight. I cannot help but mention that while talking to Max about her life with Nasedo, she seemed to be coming off very heartfelt and honest. No doubt she has lived a very lonely life with the shapeshifter. I think Tess was getting excited at the talk about mating. She was almost devouring Max with her eyes during that talk. Before we move on, take a moment to look at the first shot of Tess during the flashback with her and Max in this talk. Tess looks straight at the camera with an intense look on her face. A look I describe as a look of warning. Then she kisses him. At that very moment, I believe Tess told herself that Max belonged to her.

We all know what Tess does in season two. But right now, in this episode, Tess is openly defiant to Nasedo. What's odd is that in "Tess, Lies, and Videotape", Tess was downright spooky and appeared to be the perfect partner to Nasedo. In this episode, Tess expresses her disgust at Nasedo having learned from Max that he has killed many times since they've been together. A fact that Nasedo apparently kept her in the dark about. Angered that she's been paired with a killer, Tess starts to leave the pod chamber. Nasedo, taken aback by Tess's actions reminds her they have been together a very long time and if he must kill to protect them, he will. Tess finds fear in his voice and Nasedo admits that Pierce is very close to finding them. This explains why Nasedo was so angry at Tess for bringing the kids to the pod chamber. At first, I couldn't understand why Nasedo was so upset and thought he was angry that the kids had learned the truth. Tess had taken a huge risk bringing them to the pod chamber and Nasedo was slapping her down for it.

How many people thought that Agent Pierce was really struggling not to fill the Sheriff full of holes when told to clean the coffee pot and wash the truck? Of course, the nitpicker in me immediately says the Sheriff doesn't drive a truck. He drives an SUV!! (Pick, pick, pick, pick, pick.)

The date of 5/27/2000 that Liz gave us in the last episode helps immensely in figuring out the timeline. Believe it or not, it works perfectly to finish out the season because most schools end on or around May 31st for summer break. Liz goes to Florida for the summer after "Destiny." Works out perfectly. There are no dates in this episode but it doesn't appear to last more then one day. The show opens right where "Tess, Lies, and Videotape" leaves off and ends that night at the amusement park with Max's capture by the FBI.

Tired of wondering whether the FBI really did pursue aliens and UFO's and the like, I finally broke down and called the Bureau, getting a phone number from the local police station. It took a few tries but I was finally directed to a representative that answered a few of my questions. When I asked my first questions, she responded with "You're writing a book, aren't you?" (heheheh) When I asked if the FBI really did investigate aliens, she said that they did not but I could ask the Department of Defense! (Phil Farrand got a similar answer for his book "The Nitpicker's Guide to X-Philes.") So there you have it! Why is the FBI investigating the aliens?

The FBI tomfoolery continues. As Nasedo drops a coin into a parking meter, he notices a man watching him and heads off to lure the guy to him. You have to watch carefully because the camera moves over him quickly but this guy is wearing the typical black suit and standing right beside a car with his arms folded on his chest looking right at Nasedo. That's really covert, isn't it? In short order, Nasedo kills him when the FBI guy, who is supposed to be amongst the best and brightest in law enforcement, foolishly follows him into an alley.

In "Destiny", Pierce tells Max that the former heads of the FBI special unit all died when their internal organs reached a temperature of 180 degrees. I'm sure that is how Nasedo kills the FBI man in this episode. Here's one of the problems I have with Nasedo. Can he not use any other method to kill people? Is he physically weak? If he isn't, he could simply snap people's necks or strangle them. That way, their deaths could appear to be from a mugging or a serial killer. Or better yet, he could shoot them! Getting his hands on a cache of weapons shouldn't be a problem for someone who can take any form he wishes! Instead, he uses a method that immediately identifies the killing as done by an extraterrestrial power. Is this some kind of shapeshifter ego? He kills someone and wants everyone to know about it? What kind of protector puts those he is supposed to protect in danger by leaving evidence of their existence all over the world? Smart Nasedo. Real smart.

And speaking of the 180 degrees, why are their no external signs of such a thing? (Aside from the silver handprint that is.) That would surely cause bleeding of some sort but none of the bodies seen prior to this episode show any evidence of this. Yes, the photos are all in black and white but blood would be visible on a black and white photo. On my tape, it appears that the agent Nasedo kills in this episode gets a skin discoloration in his face and neck. At least that is something.

In the destiny book, we see pictures of what the kids will look like at various stages in life. One of the grown up photos shows Tess's curly locks. Emilie de Ravin's hair is normally straight but is naturally curly on the ends. Apparently, the Antarians who engineered the Four are control freaks themselves. They've genetically programmed Tess to style her hair in a particular manner. Now that's attention to detail folks!

The flash between Max and Tess has Tess wearing a very noticeable silver watch. It's not a nit really but Michael and Isabel weren't wearing any jewelry during their dreams in "Four Square." I just thought it was a weird time to be wearing a watch.

A number of towns and highways are mentioned in this episode. Deputy Fisher (AKA that darn Pierce) says his father was a sheriff in the town of Las Vegas, New Mexico. There is a Las Vegas in the state. It is north of Roswell. Just take 285 North to Interstate 40, take a left to highway 84 and turn right. (Just in case you want to travel there someday.) Nasedo / Max says he left a present for Pierce on "Highway 380 to Hondo by mile marker 67." There is also a Hondo in New Mexico. It's west of Roswell on highway 380. Kudos to the creators for their accuracy on this! As for the infamous mile marker 67, the sign turns up in season two's "Departure" inside Kyle's house. Since Kyle wasn't involved in this episode, I wonder why he has that sign. Does he collect morbid things?

So who was working at the Café when the gang leaves to rescue Liz? We get a full pan of the Café in the conversations before they leave and we see that Maria is the ONLY waitress working! Liz was just going to start her shift when Nasedo / Max kidnapped her. Who's taking customer orders, the cook? There was another cook working that day because Michael appears to have the day off. The Crashdown must do some monster business when it's staffed because I can't imagine how they stay open when their employees leave whenever they want to.

Great line this episode:

"And tell 'em what? There's two Max's? The good one's right here but please help us catch his evil twin!" -Michael wondering what they will tell the Sheriff.

Nasedo / Max is really moving in the car he uses. To date, I've not seen anyone in Roswell drive that fast! The background is zipping along as he calls the FBI to tell them about his surprise. Nasedo must also project a wind force field when he drives similar to the one Max uses in past episodes. While driving, neither Nasedo / Max's or Liz's hair is blown by the wind.

Along the same lines, Max fails to use his wind force field when driving the jeep. Tess's hair is flying about so strongly, she has to hold it in her hand to keep it from flying into her face. Then again, maybe he's doing it on purpose because he believes that Tess knows more about Nasedo taking Liz then she's admitting. Yeah, that's right! Cross Max Evans and he will ruin your hairdo! (Don't believe me? He would have made Mr. Shallow a blonde in "Blind Date" if Liz hadn't stopped him.)

I'm not sure this one is really what you can call a mistake because Mother Nature is fickle but I wouldn't doing my job if I didn't mention this. Nasedo / Max puts his hand on the gas pump and it begins to smoke. It puffs out enough smoke to partial hide him in the white stuff. The wind blows the smoke back towards the main building. He gets back in the car and a far shot as he pulls away from the pump shows very little smoke coming out and it's now being blown back towards the car to the left of the screen away from the main building.

That tiny little gas station has an incredibly sophisticated surveillance system to produce the picture of Nasedo / Max that is faxed to the sheriff's station.

As the Sheriff takes off to investigate the explosion at the gas station, we watch him pull away in his "truck." Then Max & Co. come screeching around the corner and the jeep comes up on two wheels! I wonder if the production staff had a little chat with Jason Behr about his driving skills. The jeep could have easily tipped over and injured everyone in it! (Yes, I know he was supposed to be going fast but there's fast, and then there's almost-tipping-over fast.) I do believe this is the fastest we've ever seen Max Evans drive (see my review of "The Convention" for an example.)

I want Katherine Heigl in the car with me when I get pulled over for speeding! All she had to do was bat her eyelashes and say they were sorry and Deputy Fisher decides against giving them a ticket! I know a few girls who admit that this tactic does indeed work!

There's a very strong white light in this scene whenever the camera's view is behind Deputy Fisher. Whenever the view is from the jeep facing Fisher, there is no light. Where doth this light cometh?

Arriving at mile marker 67, the FBI agent tells the Sheriff to leave. Valenti tells him that this is his county and he has jurisdiction. I did a little looking and Valenti's statement is correct. Sheriff's control the county they are elected to. In this case, anything that has to do with law enforcement and investigation in Chavas County, New Mexico (which includes the city of Roswell) is under Valenti's control. The FBI may take control if the head federal officer on the scene exercises his right to do so. Realistically, if the Sheriff reports that his authority is being ignored, there will be an investigation (unless there is a government cover up.) According to the Bureau's representative, matters of "national security" are controlled by the CIA not the FBI. Actually, the Bureau told me that this "national security" stuff is open to interpretation. It actually depends on the circumstances of the incident which determines what agency responds to it. For instance, if a Federal building is taken over by men with guns and they take hostages, the FBI has control. If someone threatens the President, that's a job for the secret service. If someone is threatening to bomb Washington, it's the CIA's job to find out who, what, and when and stop it. But it really doesn't matter because once he sees the really nifty "Batsignal", Valenti leaves the scene!

The big question is that if the FBI didn't want anyone to intrude on the scene, why didn't they quickly remove the body and leave instead of going to all the trouble to rope it off with yellow tape? There have been enough of these types of murders in the past that they should know what to look for.

As Max & Co. drive upon the scene at the mile marker, Tess panics and tells Max the men there are members of the special unit and not to stop. She tells him to "Just go!" So what does Max do? He SLOWS down as he drives by the scene before finally speeding off. Then to make matters worse, he stops a ways down the road to watch! We see the Sheriff speed by him heading towards the "Batsignal" in the sky. Stupid Max. REALLY stupid.

Nasedo / Max gets Max's hair exactly right. Star Trek's "Deep Space Nine's" Odo would be proud.

Nasedo tells Liz that his only concern is the Four. That's the only thing he cares about. When the real Max comes to the house of mirrors, Nasedo tells him to leave. Shortly thereafter, the FBI nabs Max! So what does Nasedo do? Instead of luring the FBI away from Max or bursting through a few mirrors to save him and burn a couple more agents, he grabs Liz and runs out of the mirror house! Does that seem right? Liz's kisses must have done more to Nasedo then he admits.

Watch the scene as Liz and Nasedo / Max get on board the bus. Outside the bus, Nasedo / Max gets on first with Liz following close behind. When we switch to the bus's interior, Liz comes up the stairs first with Nasedo / Max behind her! Whoops.

Did Nasedo lose his bottle of Tic Tacs? Perhaps when he took the form of Max, he inherited Max's excellent dental hygiene. We never see the breath mints again.

I can't find one instance in the mirror house where the camera appears in the mirrors. Kudos to the creators!

"They have Max!" Next, "The White Room."

#120 The White Room - Review

Written by Kate Ancel

Lab Rat - A Review of "The White Room"
May 9, 2000

"I know what you are and now you’re going to tell me everything."

The White Room, written by Jason Katims and Thania St. John and directed by Jonathan Frakes, was an intense, disturbing episode that explored the aliens’ worst nightmare. Agent Pierce has finally captured Max and will do anything it takes to get him to reveal the secrets Pierce thinks he’s hiding. The others are desperate to rescue him and past hostilities and mistrust is put aside in their efforts to find him before it’s too late.

Random Thoughts:
It was great to see how Michael and Isabel reacted to meeting Nacedo. Michael clearly wanted more information and Isabel only trusted him to help them because she didn’t feel they had any other options.

Michael didn’t appear to be as overjoyed to finally meet Nacedo as he thought he’d be. He seemed to finally realize that embracing Nacedo means giving up his human side. I don’t think he realized until the moment that he saw how easy it was for Nacedo to kill that agent, what giving up his human side would fully entail. Nacedo is not bound by human laws or morals, but I don’t think it will be as easy for Michael to dismiss those things are he supposed it would.

At the same time, Nacedo is someone who knows exactly what Michael is capable of and is not willing to let him cop out of that. He was there to encourage Michael into using the powers he’s been engineered with, even if that encouragement was a little abrupt. Nacedo had absolute confidence that Michael was capable of transferring those fingerprints. Michael hasn’t encountered a lot of absolute confidence in himself before and I have to imagine that will be a very compelling factor when it comes time for Michael to decide his own destiny.

I love the fact that their ‘alien’ powers are actually ‘human to the max’ powers. Except for those pesky green blood cells, the humans and the aliens aren’t really so different after all. And why do you suppose the aliens bleed red blood if their blood cells are green?

It disturbed me that Tess chose an image intended to frighten Isabel when she revealed her ability to manipulate thoughts. Isabel was clearly just barely holding it together; she really didn’t need to be frightened anymore. It is just one more incident to add to the list of why Tess doesn’t fit in with the pod squad. She has yet to convey any sense of genuine caring about any of them, except for how they fit into her pre-planned future.

My heart went out to Liz as the scene in the Crashdown opens and Maria and Alex both leave her just standing there to go comfort Michael and Isabel. She looked so lost and abandoned with no one left to turn to but Tess.

It seemed strange to me that Tess uses the name Nasedo for the other alien. Do you suppose he’s gone by that name ever since River Dog started calling him that and that really is what Tess has called him all these years?

Now we know for sure that Isabel is the only one who has explored the power of dreamwalking.

According to Pierce, the government captured 4 aliens from the crash site. 2 were dead and 1 was held in captivity. What happened to the other one? Is Nacedo the one they held in captivity before he escaped? Or do they still have one locked away somewhere? Maybe there is still another alien on the run that has yet to be identified.


  • Maria took the news that Max was captured entirely too calmly. They have toned down a lot of what makes her such a fun character. The ‘Maria-filter’ made her stand out from the rest of them in an entertaining way. But I think that Maria must be hiding somewhere with Kyle because we haven’t seen much of her lately.
  • These kids apparently need some breaking and entering lessons. Rubber soled shoes are big plus when trying to be stealthy, I’ve heard. They would have been hard pressed to make much more noise when they broke into the research lab.
  • I had a little trouble with Liz asking Valenti to just trust her. What possible reason has she given him for trusting her? She’s continually lied to him. I understand that she didn’t feel she could tell him everything, but the "Just trust me, please" was a bit much.
  • We’re expected to believe that these kids can just be gone for days at a time without checking in with the parents?


  • The whole episode was incredibly intense and disturbing. It kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire hour. This has to be one of the best episodes all year. The writing was tight and solid and the acting was outstanding. The tension was drawn out well and sustained throughout the full hour.
  • I’m always glad to see episodes written by Jason Katims. I can generally count on his episodes being good ones because he has proven time and again that he knows these characters intimately.
  • I was glad they were able to use the UFO Center for information on where to find Max. Although I was a little surprised Isabel remembered the logo was something she’d seen at the UFO Center.
  • Loved the scenes where Isabel was able to connect to Max through her ability to dreamwalk. The surreal, distorted images conveyed the drugged and fragmented state of his mind powerfully.
  • Katherine Heigl was fantastic in the dream scenes, especially her absolute, abject terror for Max after she snapped out of the dreamwalk. She continues to impress me with the way she plays Isabel.
  • I thought it was great that Valenti differentiated between the two Max’s in the funhouse by referring to one of them as "the one we all care about".
  • The introduction of Nacedo in the morgue was very well done. That must have been quite a shock for Michael when the target of his energy surge gave back better than he got.
  • I actually found myself liking Nasedo in this episode. Jim Ortlieb does a great job with the character, playing him with kind of a quirky sense of humor. He’s still a little creepy, but I enjoyed it.
  • Michael in a suit was a strange sight to behold. He looked more like Mulder than ever. I laughed when Nacedo produced a comb for him to help him look the part.
  • I was glad that Valenti was able to come through for them at crunch time. He really proved his good intentions in this situation and hopefully has earned their trust.
  • Jason Behr just blew me away in this episode. His terror and pain were so unbearably real, his scenes were painful for me to watch. My heart literally hurt as I watched the torture scenes, both mental and physical. His frantic desperation when he is faced with the virtual reality image of Liz lying dead was palpable. He was simply outstanding.

Favorite Quotes:

Alex: "I’m going to stay with you. If I’m holding onto you, maybe you won’t get lost."
Michael: "You’re different than me?"
Nasedo: "Biology lesson later."

Nasedo: "Humans are weak. Which doesn’t bother me."
Nasedo: "The only one stopping you is you."
Michael: "Stop saying that! It’s not helping me."

Nacedo: "It’s inside of you. You’re programmed."
Michael: "Hey, I didn’t get the manual, OK?"

I give this episode a resounding 6 UFOs out of 5. This was unquestionably the best episode of the season, in my opinion.

#120 The White Room - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

This episode gives us the most information about the gang as far as what they are then any other in season one. The only other episode that even comes close is "Destiny." We'll get to that episode and the information therein in it's review.

This episode was especially good for two reasons. One, it was written by Jason Katims and Thania St. John (I guess she got tired of being a reporter (see my review of "Tess, Lies, and Videotape" for more on that.)) This is good because Katims knows exactly how his characters should act so his insight in a script always makes for a good episode. The second thing about this episode that's important is that it's directed by Jonathon Frakes aka Commander Riker. This episode deals with torture and bizarre images in Isabel's dreamwalks of Max. Frakes was the perfect choice for an episode of this nature because he had directed a show of a similar nature before. It was the "Star Trek: The Next Generation" episode "Frame of Mind." In that episode, Riker experiences hallucinations of being captured and held in a prison on the planet Tilonus IV. It's all part of his mind fighting back against an alien device designed to extract information from him. It was a really good episode and watching "The White Room" made me think of that past accomplishment. Both are terrific TV episodes.

There wasn't much for Max in the way of character development. He spends every second of this episode scared out of his mind. Max refuses to admit to Pierce anything until Pierce changes tactics and threatens Liz's life. At this, Max's emotions explode and he is willing to do anything to keep Liz safe. Jason Behr's performance in the torture scenes was incredible.

Liz however is living her worst nightmare. Her beloved Max is captured and may possibly die. This is probably the most alone Liz has felt in her life. The scene in the Café where the others all go to someone for comfort leaves her feeling isolated. After a few seconds of this, Liz turns to Tess demanding to know where Nasedo is. Liz is also the one to go to Valenti for help. In my opinion, Liz is the only member of the cast who could do this. She does it saying that Max wanted to trust the Sheriff and that was a good enough reason for her to trust him as well. She went through her own torture session waiting until four o'clock and then she finally could no longer wait. Good thing she didn't either because without Valenti's timely arrival, both Max AND Michael might have been captured.

There's nothing really significant about Maria and Alex here. Maria does take things rather calmly and that doesn't seem quite like her. Especially when you watch tense situations she's gone through in past episodes (all without her much needed Cyprus seed oil too!) I guess she was just trying to be strong for Liz's sake. My favorite Maria moment in this episode is as the aliens head out to go to the base, Maria tells Michael "Come back to me."

Katherine Heigl does an excellent job of walking the fine line between desperate and hysterical. It's clear Isabel doesn't trust Nasedo. She also doesn't appear to trust Tess anymore either. She does so out of necessity. However, just before Nasedo tells them about his plan, Isabel expresses her concerns saying it's possible Nasedo and Tess are working for Pierce. I realize Isabel is panicking here but that statement is more far fetched then Michael believing River Dog is their father in "Into the Woods." I guess this is one of those statements that needed to be run through a "Maria filter" because by itself, I couldn't and wouldn't accept that as true.

Finally Michael meets the being he sees as his teacher and father. Everything Nasedo is and does is overwhelming to him as he tries to take it all in. He's put Nasedo up on a pedestal and has not let anyone bring him down from it in his mind. Because of the situation, Nasedo is unable to give him the answers he is looking for. But Nasedo does finally fall off of his pedestal when he kills Agent Matthews in front of Michael. Michael finally realizes the truth that Nasedo is a killer. The "killing is wrong" moral that he has grown up with tells him just how evil his "father" is. If Michael's relationship with Nasedo had been given a chance to be furthered, he would have never seen Nasedo in the same light again.

To the rescue comes Tess. First and foremost, she tells the humans that they are "a liability." I don't believe this is a "Us and Them" type of thing. Not at this point in the series. I think it was just her telling the truth. There was nothing Liz, Maria, and Alex could do but the aliens, however unadvanced as they are with their powers, are better equipped to save Max. There was nothing malicious about that. Just the truth.

But despite being helpful in saving Max, Tess can't resist playing. When Isabel asks her what her role will be, Tess creates the mindwarp that an agent has picked her up and carried her off. Isabel is already shaking and about to crack from the strain of waiting and is made even worse by seeing that. Once the mindwarp is over, Tess has a playful smile her face, proud of what she has accomplished. It was not the time for that! I've no idea what she was trying to accomplish there.

Revealing this power to Isabel has her come to the conclusion that this is why Max had all the thoughts about her. I will agree with this to a point. All the images Max had of Tess like the kiss in "Tess, Lies, and Videotape" (the one in the Café where Max was kissing Liz, not the one in the rain) and "Max to the Max" was this power. But was Max feeling drawn to Tess the same mindwarping? I say no. In "Destiny" we learn that Tess (Ava) was Zan's (Max's) bride. We even learn that Max was genuinely attracted to her in her past life as Ava. Brody's memories from Larek of the first time Zan saw Ava prove this in the episode "Off the Menu." So while Max may not specifically remember her from the past, he KNOWS she was a very important part of it and this is where the feelings of being drawn to her come from. Max himself admits he doesn't know why. Max being drawn to her is not itself a mindwarp. In my opinion, the mindwarp excuse is used far too much to explain things people don't like or don't understand. Most of the time, the answer is right there but it's not always easy to see.

Nasedo is the creepy hero here. Nasedo sums up his character with the line "Humans are weak, which doesn't bother me." Humans are beneath him so of course, killing them means nothing. He knows everything about the Four including their powers. It sure would have been nice to have him around before now, wouldn't it?

I've seen statements about Nasedo saying he doesn't have emotions. Some claim his line of "Emotions are a weakness" is proof of that. I disagree. Have you ever heard the phrase "Control your emotions or they will control you"? If you're frantically angry or afraid, you aren't thinking clearly. You have to stay calm to be in control. This is what Nasedo means. He's trying to make Michael calm down so he can focus on the task at hand. Nasedo does have emotions but his focus buries them making him appear to be a cold, emotionless being. In fact, he's just well disciplined.

There's no date in this episode. The last date we were given was 5/27/2000 in "Four Square." This episode picks up probably no more then a couple of hours from the events in "Max to the Max." The time this episode covers appears to be no more then twenty four hours. Michael, Isabel, and Tess go straight to the base after learning where it is. Shortly before 4 P.M., Liz goes to Valenti and he drives to the base to help rescue Max. The episode ends with them still in the building. When "Destiny" begins, it will immediately pick up at that point and it's dark outside making it no more then mid-evening.

In "Pilot", Valenti pulls Max over and asks to see his drivers license. As I said in my review of "Crazy", the numbers on his license are hard to see but I can make out "Newton Avenue" as Max's street address. In the same episode, we learn that "6025 Murray Lane" is Agent John Steven's home address from the Sheriff's rolodex. In this episode, Max says his name and gives his address as "6025 Murray Lane." No wonder Pierce decides to proceed the hard way. He knows Max is lying from the very beginning because Pierce knew that wasn't Max's real address.

Deciding to go the hard way, people come in and put Max on a table and one of them takes a syringe to draw some of his blood. If you will look carefully at the shot of the needle filling with blood, you'll see that the needle misses Max's vein. His vein is right beside the needle's point of entry. Missed it by that much! You can still draw blood that way but it would be painfully slow. Then again, maybe that was the point.

When Tess brings up the idea of using their abilities to save Max, Alex asks Isabel about her ability to dreamwalk. When did Isabel tell Alex about that power? Was it when she told him the truth about herself in "Balance"? It must have happened when we weren't looking because in that episode, Isabel only told him about the ability to manipulate molecular structure and then turned ketchup into mustard (or made it yellow.)

Let's go over the facts about the bodies of the Royals we learn in this episode. Since they were all made the same way, the things Pierce said about Max applies to all of the Hybrids including the Dupes (except for Nasedo and the others like him of course.)

From X-rays, Pierce finds that Max's skeletal structure is 100% human. He goes on to say that his organs and pulmonary and circulatory systems are also 100% human. From this, we can assume that all his other bodily systems are human as well. Nasedo tells Michael that their brains are also human and so are his powers. They can do everything the human mind is capable of. They are just thousands of years more advanced then mankind's minds are now. Many times in science fictions stories, this little bit has popped up. There is a part of our brains in the frontal lobe that has mystified scientists in what it does. It doesn't appear to be a part of memory or control any bodily processes. The movie "The Lawnmower Man" and the movie "The Shadow" propose the theory that this area of the brain does indeed have a use. It is the source of unlimited power. Once tapped, humans are capable of most anything. But we have long forgotten how to tap into that part of our minds. A human brain thousands of years into the future may know how to access this part of the brain. So if that is where the Four's powers come from, sci-fi wise, it makes perfect sense.

Now here's where it gets tricky. Pierce shows Max a slide of his blood cells and says they are completely not human. First of all, the picture is the same picture of Max's cheek cells that Liz looked at under a microscope in "Pilot." The reason they were green was because she put a drop of green dye in them. It's possible that dye was used in this instance as well. However, in humans, if you were to look at a blood cell and a cell from your cheek under a microscope, you can clearly tell a difference. Red blood cells do not look the same as a skin cell. So according to the picture in this episode, Max has one type of cell for both his skin and his blood. Since he is a genetically engineered being, it's possible but biologically "iffy." Unless Max is really a plant, then it works just fine! (Plants have only one type of cell throughout their structure.)

Of course, if there is no dye and the cells shown really are green, you have to wonder why Max's blood is red. Of course, our blood is different colors too. Enriched with oxygen, blood is a bright red. When the red blood cells give up their oxygen, it turns blue. When we cut ourselves, it looks red because the oxygen in the air is soaked up into it. Maybe Max's green blood cells turn red in the presence of oxygen.

One last thing. During the Hybrid Chronicles in season two, Larek tells Max that the gandarium is the bridge that joins human DNA with alien DNA. Without it, the two biologies will not interact with each other. So did Pierce's analysis of Max not turn up the gandarium in his body? Either Pierce didn't go that far into it or the substance itself is untraceable.

To make this simple, let's just go with this: Max and the others are human in every way except for their blood cells.

Here's three more deaths by Nasedo. All were heads of the FBI special unit. All the towns mentioned are real towns.

Delta, Colorado 1962. Agent Lewis killed.
Union City, Tennessee 1967. Agent Del Beonko killed.
May 2, 1999. Agent Daniel Summers, the man Pierce got his job from, killed.

Pierce doesn't mention any in between 1967 and 1999 but there had to be others in there somewhere. You have to wonder what it was about the job that made people want to take it. "We're offering you a job agent. All the other heads of this unit have been killed. But don't worry. You'll be ok." Odd job security. Season two's "Skin and Bones" has Congresswoman Whitaker speak about another murder in 1972 so there must have been many more murders then the ones Pierce mentions.

Pierce says that there were four aliens captured in the crash in 1947. Two were dead and two were alive. One of these was held in captivity for three years and the other one escaped. Nasedo tells Michael that he knows the base intimately because he escaped from it once before. So Nasedo was the one who escaped first (the enhanced features of the Roswell soundtrack confirms this.) Shows a lot of comradeship on his part leaving and abandoning his fellow alien, doesn't it?)

In season two's "Summer of '47" we will see for the first time that there are two aliens. Hal Carver comes upon them in the room with the pods. He tells the aliens to "save them" referring to the pods. The little white guys must have been captured after getting both sets of pods to safety. Nasedo escapes and the last one stays captive in the white room for three years. We aren't told about this little guy's fate but the Dupes refer to their protector in "Max in the City." Tess says that Nasedo has never left her alone so the Dupes protector wouldn't have been Nasedo. We learn about this alien's fate in season three.

Views from outside the white room show two way mirrors. From inside the room, there is no indication that there is any kind of mirror. The walls all look like set tiles. When Nasedo uses his power to break the mirrors, we see that it was painted to look like tiles. Why wasn't there any indication of this from the outside? No lines, no nothing. I've never seen that kind of two way mirror.

Isabel identifies the symbol Max showed her on the floor of the base as a floor tile at "Eagle Rock base" in the UFO Center display. There are several military bases in New Mexico but none of them have ever been called Eagle Rock. There's Cannon Air Force Base and many others. When we finally get some shots of the outside and inside of the base, it appears to be a hospital. There are signs pointing towards "radiology" and "blood lab" that look like the signs you'd see in a hospital. Would it have been too hard to say that it's an abandoned hospital and not a military base? Again, the episode "Summer of '47" tells us there is a military base thirty miles from the crash site. It's never named specifically however in the episode. Perhaps that is "Eagle Rock."

When the episode begins, Tess is still wearing the dress and blouse she was last seen wearing at the end of "Max to the Max." After Isabel dreamwalks Max the first time, they all head to the UFO Center and Tess has changed clothes to a shirt, jacket, and pants combo. Isabel contacted Max in Liz's room which is right above the Café. The UFO Center is directly across the street from the Café. So before going to the UFO Center, Tess apparently went home and changed clothes. What bad timing. I suppose she could be wearing some of Liz's clothes but I REALLY doubt it. When they arrive at the base, Isabel has changed clothes as well. It appears that she changed clothes after leaving the UFO Center but BEFORE driving to the base. Now her outfit change makes sense. With Tess, it appears that she made everyone wait for her while she changed clothes yet Isabel waits until they go to leave. Would it have been too much for them both to get new outfits at the same time and then meet up with Michael to go to the base?

One last comment on apparel. When they first enter the base, walking down the lighted tunnel, you can see that Isabel and Tess are wearing some shoes with monster heels. Now I understand that big heeled shoes like that are the rage but wouldn't a more sensible pair of shoes be called for? Maybe a pair of sneakers or some running shoes? This type of thing calls for quick, stealthy movements. Why slow yourself down by wearing a pair of shoes that will definitely hinder you? We know Isabel owns a pair of running shoes because she takes up jogging in season two. What about Tess?

We don't get any indication to suggest what time it is when they go to the UFO Center but given the circumstances from "Max to the Max", it would be mid or late evening. What times does the UFO Center close or is it open at all hours? It's possible one of them used their powers to unlock the door but we didn't see that so I wonder how they got in.

Ok, time to look at Pierce's torture of Max. After Max refuses to answer any of his questions, Pierce calls in some people and pumps Max full of chemicals. We don't get told what kind but it's possible they used sodium penathol (truth serum.) Pierce has no idea how Max will react to any kind of drug. We know that one sip of alcohol makes Max drunk immediately. We saw this in "Blind Date." For all Pierce knows, simple aspirin could kill Max but instead of taking the time to test what these chemicals will do to Max by using tissue samples first, Pierce lets his people dope Max up. Considering Max's value to Pierce, does that seem right? Now you might argue that Pierce does know what the chemicals do because they might have been used on the captured alien in the 1940's. No, no, no! That alien is not the same as Max. Max is a hybrid. The chemicals may not affect the two beings in the same way. It just doesn't seem right to me to want to damage your prize by doing something that might kill him. And yes, I know Pierce threatened to kill Max many times but I think that was just to get him to talk. He didn't intend to really kill Max. At least, not at first.

Pierce's next tactic is to physically torture Max. He drops him in cold ice water and then electrocutes him. Pierce then gives up on this approach and tries to emotionally torture Max by threatening Michael and Isabel. He finally gets some cooperation when he threatens to kill Liz. Not that I approve of Pierce's methods but it seems to me that this would be the best way to go. Once he realized that Max was more afraid of what could happen to the others then he was himself, Pierce should have followed through with his threat and picked up EVERYONE and torture them to get Max to talk. Instead, he seems content to keep Max. What was he going to do? Torture Max until he died and then pick up Isabel or Michael? Pierce is going about this the wrong way.

After flushing the chemicals out of Max's system, Pierce tortures Max with electricity. When we see him getting dunked into the tank, they have taken away his shirt. After that is done, they must have given Max his shirt back because when Pierce decides to torture Max by promising to hurt his friends, Max is wearing a shirt. Why'd Pierce give him his shirt back?

Coming to his senses, Max jumps at Pierce and corners him against the wall. Pierce tells him to not even try to use his abilities because they've injected him with a neuroinhibiter that prevents it. So why doesn't Max just kick his ass? Yes, there are agents on the other side of the door but why not try it?

This is important to note. Isabel thinks the man under the sheet is Max. Tess says that she would have felt it if something had happened to Max. From this, I would think she means that if he had died, she would have felt it. At the moment, Max is being tortured. If Tess could get feelings from Max, she should be able to feel the fear he is experiencing.

I realize that the base / hospital is supposed to appear abandoned but it's unbelievable that Pierce didn't tighten security now that Max was on the premises. Michael and the others enter the base with apparent ease through the tunnel. Not to mention Nasedo getting in as far as the security door. No roving patrols? No snipers in look out on the roof? (I swear. EVERYONE in the FBI is a moron!!) Of course, if they couldn't get in, it would have been a short show.

As Nasedo / Agent comes into the morgue, Michael attempts to use his powers on him. Papers blow around, lights fall from the ceiling, a freezer door opens and the entire room shakes. Did no one else in the building feel the tremors or was it just confined to that room? Something like that should have brought the entire building on alert! However, maybe it was just the camera shaking because everyone is standing upright with no difficulties. I'll bet the cameraman was hoping this take was done in one shot ("Dang it Frakes. That kid's powers are making me seasick!")

When talking about the security door, Isabel says she can open it. Nasedo says no. He says the door is made of depleted uranium which contains heavy atoms that they can't manipulate. Uranium is a highly radioactive but naturally occurring element on Earth. It makes sense that Four cannot manipulate it. Uranium has a half-life of about 247,000 years. In other words, it takes that long for HALF of it to wear down. There are methods one can use to shorten that timespan and make the uranium inert (non-radioactive.) When uranium decays, it turns into lead. That's right. Plain, old, simple lead. Why didn't Nasedo just say the door was made of lead? (Because it's more COOL to call it uranium, that's why!) The metal might be uranium but what about the glass? Nasedo could smash it, take the form of a mouse or something (assuming he can actually do that. He may only be allowed to change his appearance and not become another type of being), walk through the bars, hide, turn back into an agent and vio-la! He's inside! That's assuming it IS glass and not some kind of thick plastic.

After Nasedo knocks Michael to the floor, listen to Emilie de Ravin say "It's you!" and you can hear her Australian accent. Has Tess been to Australia and picked up this little quirk? (snicker, snicker)

Nasedo gives Michael a map of the base and tells him to scan it into his brain. This power is forgotten because no one practices or exhibits it in any other episode. Too bad too because it sounds like a handy power to have. This is another prime example of how Nasedo's absence has hurt the Four power-wise. Without someone to train them, they probably never will be able to tap into their full potential. And that's quite a shame considering Nasedo's statements to Michael that he can do anything he sets his mind to.

Trying to inspire Michael to quickly learn how to change his fingerprints so they can open the security door, Nasedo tells him if he doesn't, he'll use the hand of the agent coming down the hall "and you know how I'll get it." By this, Nasedo means he'll cut the guy's hand off. This presents the inherent flaw to the door's security. Nasedo cannot open it because while he can match a man's fingerprints, he cannot change his skeletal structure. So the FBI put an x-ray scanner on the door as well. So by himself, Nasedo can't open the door. But if he really wanted to get in, he could simply cut off an agents hand and use it to get inside. It sounds gruesome but it seems like something that is right up Nasedo's alley. I'm surprised he doesn't carry around a lucky agent's hand (as opposed to a lucky rabbit's foot.)

Showing Michael how to change his fingerprints, he holds up the dead agent's hand and straightens it's finger. This isn't possible. When a person dies, a process called "rigor mortis" sets in. It's a complex chemical process inside the body but to make a long story short, the body stiffens in place (hence the term "stiff" to refer to a dead body.) The time it takes for rigor mortis to set in depends on the temperature. At colder temperatures, it takes longer. If the temperature is warm, it will happen quickly. Normally, it takes about three hours for rigor mortis to set in. In the warm temperatures of New Mexico, it would take anywhere from three to eight hours for it to happen. The dead agent seen here is the one Nasedo killed in "Max to the Max." That was more then twenty four hours ago in show time! That body should have been as stiff as a board. That means his arm wouldn't bend at the shoulder or the elbow and unless his finger was already pointing straight, impossible to move! The arm and the rest of the back of the agent's body would also have been black and blue from all the blood collecting in the back due to gravity (Boy, am I pointing out all the sick stuff or what?) Update: According to someone who works in forensics, rigor mortis eventually wears off. Just as it takes longer to set in with colder temperatures, the warmer it is, the sooner it wears off. Also, the body would have begun to smell VERY badly!!

Michael shows some amazing intestinal fortitude to be holding a dead man's hand in his. Not once does he grimace or feel like he's going to be ill. He's probably seen it on TV and refuses to let it bother him.

Nasedo appears to be very confused at Michael's reaction to his killing of Agent Matthews. He doesn't understand why Michael is so against killing. Michael tells him that Nasedo doesn't appear to care. Damn right!!!! (Ok, it's not a nit. Just me backing Michael on a very important detail about our shapeshifting friend.)

Speaking of poor dead agent Matthews, Nasedo kills him and then leaves his body on the floor of the morgue for the two agents to find later. Nasedo killed him saying he couldn't take a chance of running into the person he was changing into in the hallway. So why didn't he toss the body into one of the giant freezers? The door to one of them is still wide open. Why increase the chance of discovery by leaving proof of yourself for others to find? I'll tell you why! Because Nasedo does that ALL THE TIME!! As evidence, the silver handprint on the bodies of those he kills. The guy WANTS to get caught I tell ya!

After changing Michael's clothes into a suit, Nasedo hands him a comb. Where did he have that comb? Did he have it in his pocket or did he manipulate something he always carries into a comb? It seems unlikely that a being who can alter his shape would carry something to fix his hair when a simple wave of the hand would work just fine. Not that Nasedo has a lot of hair to worry about in the form he always takes anyway.

Other then what I've mentioned, I didn't see anything else wrong with this episode. Kudos to the creators!

#121 Destiny - Review

Written by

A Review of 'Destiny'
May 16, 2000

"We choose our own destinies, remember?"

In this teleplay by Toni Graphia and Jason Katims and story by Thania St. John, a lot of the answers the kids have been searching for since that fateful day in October have been revealed. Max is the once and future king with Michael his second in command betrothed to Isabel, the sister of the leader. Talk about a heavy load to place on their young shoulders. How the hell are they going to keep this a story about alienated teen aliens just trying to fit in?

Random Thoughts:
I thought it was very clear right from the beginning that Max is the leader of this group. As soon as they all gathered at the mine and regrouped, he was the one they all looked to for the answers and the plan. Everyone was involved, but he seemed to give them a direction and a cohesion they had been lacking while they were attempting to rescue him. It came as no surprise to any of them, except maybe Max, when it was revealed that he was the leader of their people. Michael and Isabel have always known that Max had the leadership qualities, no matter how much they may have chafed against it.

I was so sad for Michael that when they finally found a link to their home, the parental figure belongs to Max and Isabel yet again. Although, it strikes me as a little too coincidental that the two who just happened to be brother and sister in reality were both adopted by the same couple and raised as siblings. It would have been so nice if this loving, benevolent mother figure could have been all for Michael.

Michael really seemed to step into the role of second in command naturally, didn’t he? All the hostility that has been present in his relationship with Max just took a backseat to all the things going on. They were really working as a team and look what they can accomplish when they work together instead of against each other.

Tess was working awfully hard to keep the aliens separated from their human counterparts, going out of her way to make sure they felt like they were hindering efforts to get the aliens to safety.

I thought it was interesting that Max took the same approach interrogating Pierce as the agent had taken with him. There were definitely shades of Nacedo-as-Max in his demeanor during that scene.

Max is getting a lot better at that healing touch. This time he even managed to make the blood disappear on Kyle’s shirt. Think what messy questions they could have avoided if he’d done that with Liz’s dress.

How inconvenient for Nacedo that he retains the shape he’s shapeshifted into if that shape dies. Lucky for him the trio had already recovered the magic stones.

I wonder if anyone is ever going to tell the kids the name of their home planet?

Why do you suppose Tess wasn’t involved in the rescue effort when they went back for Nacedo? She was the one insisting they go back for him, after all.

Did anyone else notice that in order for the communicators to work, Max was paired up with Tess and Michael was paired up with Isabel? I wonder if they can make them work with any other pairing?

I really like the idea of Nasedo as Pierce working his magic from the inside. They’ll never know what hit them. I’d love to be a fly on that wall as he makes them jump through his hoops.

The bait and switch at the UFO Center was fun. Valenti really had me going there for a bit. And there was something very ‘Pulp Fiction’ about Max and Michael holding them at gunpoint.


  • The intensity was immediate and lasted through the entire episode. The opening scene grabbed us by the collar and held us there for the whole ride.
  • I liked how Michael continued to distrust the sheriff even when faced with overwhelming evidence that he could be trusted and didn’t fully set aside that distrust until he’d had a chance to talk to him face to face and get an answer that satisfied him.
  • I loved the Mommagram from the home planet.
  • They did a good job keeping us guessing right up until the end what side Valenti was really on. I wanted to believe that his double-dealing with Pierce was all part of the set up, but I still found myself wondering which way he’d go to protect Kyle.
  • I loved the way they involved Kyle in this episode. And it about time! It was good to see the lengths he went to to protect his dad, too. I’m glad Max came through and healed him. I loved how that whole story played out.
  • Even though the consequences were extreme, Michael’s energy burst power is very cool. Once he gets that under control, it will be a very useful power to have. Although I did wonder how he managed to bypass Max and Liz and just send the first energy bolt directly at the Hummer.
  • Speaking of the consequences, I’m glad they showed how hard it was for Michael to deal with having killed someone he wanted to kill. That will be something he has to come to terms with and learn to control without ‘giving in to the dark side’. I wish they’d had time to explore that a little more fully. Especially Michael’s perception that he’s the bad one and Max is the good one. He’s been living with that perception entirely too long and was just starting to get out from under it. He’s gotten as far as he has emotionally because of Maria. It will be interesting to see how he deals with all of this without her loving influence.
  • Michael telling Maria that he was walking away from her because he loves her too much to stay was wonderfully bittersweet. The look on Maria’s face went from stunned amazement to sad acceptance in the blink of an eye. Kudos to Majandra.
  • The symbolism of Sheriff Valenti taking off his sheriff’s badge once he’d made his decision to continue helping the kids was well done and subtle.
  • The interaction between Max and Liz in this episode was fabulous! They were everything I love about them as a couple. Their chemistry was so incredibly apparent and they were able to convey their complete support and love for each other with looks and touches and just the occasional kiss. The final goodbye scene was wrenching and well played by both Jason and Shiri. I was very glad that the decision to leave was hers and not brought about by some mind manipulation on the part of Tess. It was much more powerful for her to realize that this is something Max needs to pursue on his own, I thought. The complete devastation Liz was experiencing was heartbreaking.


  • I found myself wondering why Max and Liz went off alone in the slowest car. It seems strange to me that Michael and Isabel would have let him out of their sight even for a minute, much less put him in Maria’s old clunker. And the decision to get out of the car and run in Max’s condition seemed less than wise as well.
  • Those have got to be the slowest FBI agents on earth. They were right behind Max and Liz and yet the kids had time to climb the railing, kiss and hesitate before jumping into the river and the agents didn’t even get there until after they’d jumped. What happened to those big guns they were hauling around?
  • So they’ve saved Max from a fate worse than death and after running through the woods and jumping from a bridge to escape the death squad, Max and Liz finally have a moment alone. Max is weak from the torture and the running and when they kiss, he allows Liz to see some of the hell he’s been through. After all this, the only thing she wants to do is…talk about their relationship? I realize that the fact the he’s destined for another woman is devastating to her, but let’s get some perspective, shall we? The boy almost died, for heaven’s sake. Surely she could have held off on the relationship conversation until he’d had a chance to get a little bit of his strength back and found some comfort in her arms.
  • I wish there had been more time to explore the psychological impact of the torture on Max. I know there was too much to tell in a short amount of time, but I suspect that by the time we return next fall, that aspect will have fallen by the wayside. That would be a shame to just let that fall through the cracks. It would be worth exploring, in my opinion.
  • Jeers to the old soap opera trick of cutting away to a commercial and leaving us hanging about whether Kyle is going to die and whether Max is going to save him or not. The hesitation on Max’s part didn’t make any sense to me from a story perspective. What possible reason would Max have for hesitating? Valenti had just saved their butts at no small risk to his own, not once but twice. So in return for that, we’re expected to believe that he’s just going to let Kyle die from a gunshot wound that everyone knows he’s capable of healing?
  • I have not warmed up to Tess at all. She comes off as whiny and selfish and completely unconcerned about anyone but herself. I got the impression she only wanted to go back for Nacedo because she was afraid to be left alone. And her timing leaves a lot to be desired too. She’s been witness to the unmissable emotion passing between Max and Liz and is aware that they believe they are soulmates. And yet when the ‘mommagram’ is done, the first thing she does is cozy herself up to Max right in front of Liz and tell him she knew it was meant to be. I got a kick out of Max firmly putting her back in her place, though.

Favorite Quotes:

  • Max: "Knowing you has made me human."
  • Liz: "The day you saved my life, your life just ended."
    Max: "No, that’s the day my life began."
  • Valenti: "We’ll be safe here for awhile."
    Michael: "There is no safe anymore."
    • Kyle: "Who the hell are you talking to?"
    • Liz: "Do you just do that with everyone? Make them see things that aren’t even there?
      Tess: "Sometimes it’s easier to do that than to make someone see something that’s right in front of her."
      • Agent: "What just happened here?"
        Kyle: "I was kind of hoping you could tell me."
      • Valenti: "If I’d wanted you dead, you’d be dead."
      • Michael: "I always thought you were out to get us. I’m glad I was wrong."
      • Michael: "Just get out of here. It’s not safe."
        Maria: "It’s never been safe. What difference does it make now?"
      • Maria: "You can just throw me away just like that. Why is that?"
        Michael: "Maybe because I love you too much. Goodbye."
      • Isabel: "Are you sure this is him?"
        Michael: "Well, this is who he was the last time I saw him."
      • Michael: "Why are you helping us?"
        Valenti: "There’s a right side here and a wrong side and I don’t think Pierce is on the right side."
      • Michael: "The bottom line, Maxwell - I kill people. I kill people and you heal them. You’re good and I’m bad."
        Max: "That’s not true, Michael."
      • I give this episode 5 UFOs out of 5. They have certainly gone out with a bang.

#121 Destiny - Review

Written by LSS

Destiny is part two of Roswell's first season finale and takes up where The White Room left off -- at the Army's Eagle Rock Military Base (a Medical Research Facility located somewhere by Roswell). Destiny is an action packed, fast-moving episode, that has more earthshaking Science Fiction revelations in its last twenty minutes than in Roswell's last ten episodes combined! Not only does Destiny conclude Roswell's first season, but it lays the groundwork for a radically changed horizon for its Fall storyline.

THE SOURCE OF THE ALIEN TEENS' POWERS. In White Room we learn that our teens' powers are extrapolations of humankind's abilities. Destiny, however, furthers our knowledge of these powers in two ways. First, Michael twice extends his hand and uses his powers to save both Max and Liz, and later Valenti. Each time, although he is successful, he does so without really understanding what he is doing. Later Tess explains that this force is simply his own energy and how he chooses to focus it. When Max suggests they focus on the orbs to activate them, the writers again repeat this theme. Thus we are told that our aliens have energy at their disposal that can be harnessed--the only requirement is mental discipline/focus.

THE ORBS. While before the orbs were labeled, communicators, Destiny gives us our first real glimpse into seeing them in action. Yet what we see is perplexing on several counts. To begin with, when activated, each orb sends a blazing shaft of light through the opening provided by the whirlwind symbol. This, in itself, is not unusual, for it is the same effect we saw in Sexual Healing when Max held the newly found orb in his hands. What IS different in Destiny, is that we have two orbs in proximity being activated at the same time. As early as Crazy, Topolsky alerted us to the fact that the orbs worked in pairs. This working, however, turns out to be nothing more than a kind of recorded message from the teens' home planet. Whether or not the orbs can also be used to communicate directly to the planet (as Michael suggests) remains to be seen!

NESEDO. Destiny gives us more information about Nesedo than we have thus far gleaned from previous episodes. We learn that he cannot be killed, or perhaps more accurately--that if he is killed he can be healed by the healing stones we've seen in Balance and later in Independence Day. During the healing process the audience is treated to a fleeting glimpse of the shapeshifter's true physical shape. As early as UFO Convention, our plotline mentioned the ovoid greyling alien type--and now we know why! Nesedo is a ovoid greyling--complete with the standard large black eyes, 3-4 fingered hand (my copy of this episode is somewhat blurred), and oval head. Just as important as this revelation of Nesedo's true physical shape, however, is the emerging picture we have of his true relationship to Max and the others. He describes his job as to keep them alive and declines to play any other role. Moreover, when Max issues an order, Nesedo smiles at this display of assertive leadership--and obeys without question. This soldierlike response to a superior is not lost on the audience. If Nesedo is not what he seems, then it would appear that perhaps Max is more than he seems!

PRIOR LIVES, PRESENT TASKS. The message delivered by the hologram image of Max and Isabel's mother is mind-blowing in its content and is perhaps the most revelation-laden segment of this entire first season (at least rivaling Max's disclosure of his identity to Liz in Pilot) In one fell literary swoop we learn not only who our teens are, but why they are on earth.

Max, Isabel, Michael and Tess have all lived before and died in a conflict far removed from the earth on which they now stand. This conflict involved enemy aliens who enslaved their planet. Max (the beloved leader), Tess (his young bride), Isabel (Max's sister), Michael (Max's second in command; Isabel's betrothed)--have all been recreated in human form by cloning their alien essence and mixing it with human genetic material. The teens are given a mandate by the hologram--learn to use your powers, combat the enemy, return home and free the home planet. It goes without question that the ramifications of this information for the future of Roswell's romantic and science fiction plotlines are legion!

Moreover this new story situation raises interesting philosophical and religious questions as well. In one of Metz' books, Liz remembers a conversation she has with Max that marks him as someone interesting in her memory. They were talking about cloning and Max queried whether or not a soul could be cloned and what it would mean if it couldn't. Although they do not raise this issue in the TV series, I couldn't help remembering it. What does it mean to clone an alien's essence? What is its significance? Are we to understand that this essence is the core of who Max was/is? What contribution does that human genetic material have in terms of Max's soul?

Science fiction writers, speculating about the day when the cloning of humans is possible, have already begun to raise a myriad of questions this may evoke. How will legal systems address issues of ownership? On a personal level, how is identity established? In the case of Max, one might ask--to what degree is he still that beloved leader (with all of its relational obligations [that young bride] and leadership duties [to return and free his enslaved people])? Or is Max--just Max--a being made human by his love? Can he choose his own destiny (as Liz has several times insisted) or is he bound emotionally and legally to the persona of a person who died in a conflict he's only just heard of? No doubt Fall episodes will explore this thorny issue of personal identity and prior responsibility.

GOOD VS. BAD ALIENS. Throughout the entire season we have confronted the specter of the bad alien. Maria in Monsters, feared that the alien teens were bad aliens. Liz in Crazy thought that Tess might be a bad alien. Destiny reveals that both Maria and Liz were partially correct--there ARE bad aliens on earth--the enemies that have already enslaved Max's home planet. In the episode's closing shots we are treated to a glimpse of one, an alien who cryptically utters the line: "It has begun."(Obviously we will have to wait until next Fall, however, to find out to what he is referring!)

Moreover, we now have indication that the alien population of earth is far more numerous than ever revealed by any nation's census! In response to the orb¢s activation, the audience sees similar lights emerge in farms, a light house, suburbs, and in urban settings. Whether these lights represent good or bad aliens remains to be seen. [And of course we will not even address why the orb's activation in Sexual Healing did not set off a similar response!]. The episode concludes with a shot from space looking down on earth¢s curvature--a hint that these aliens are a worldwide presence? Or are we to think of the vantage point of an alien ship in space just beyond earth?

GOOD SCIENCE FICTION VS. POOR/SILLY SCIENCE FICTION: SOME END OF SEASON REFLECTIONS ON ROSWELL. At a recent NYC Roswell gathering, Kevin Brown commented on the Science Fiction aspect of Roswell--especially as they had played it out in the last six episodes (Roswell "revamped"). He noted that everyone was pleased and that the creative team considered it a "success" and validated this by the show's increased ratings in its new time slot. Would Science Fiction enthusiasts consider Roswell's Science Fiction dimension a success?

While Science Fiction does not have to be based on accurate science, I would suggest that it HAS to persuade its audience that it is plausible. To do this, Science Fiction writers have to avoid blatant inconsistencies and story elements that reek of vagueness or just plain absurdity. And they have to give audiences explanations--otherwise supposedly Science Fiction elements come off with a touch of "magic" instead of "science". Let's look at some examples that we've seen in Roswell this season of good Science Fiction, poor Science Fiction, and finally, just plain silly Science Fiction.

1) Good Science Fiction: The Power to Manipulate Molecules. In Pilot Max explains and demonstrates to Liz (and thus to the audience) what will be a primary alien power in the series--the power to manipulate molecules. It is not until the last two episodes, however, that the writers return to this power and explain it. Nevertheless, I suspect that most viewers accepted this power at face value throughout the show. True--in these reviews and in the "Science Fiction of [Episode]" threads on Roswell 1, we have at times questioned various issues attached to it--i.e., Do all aliens have the same powers? Why does Michael have difficulty with this power while Max does not? Yet very few watchers raised the indignant outcry--What? Manipulate Molecules? How could aliens DO that? This silence indicates, to me at least, that for most of the viewers this Science Fiction element works . Whether or not it is based on good science--it is nevertheless good Science Fiction. It does what Science Fiction is supposed to do--give us plausibility, if not accuracy. Moreover it gives us a basis for distinguishing aliens from humans and another reason our teens feel so alienated.

2) Poor Science Fiction: Liz's ability to receive flashes from Max. At best this element is vague, at worst terribly misleading. Liz first receives flashes from Max at the end of Blind Date and continues to do so the rest of the season. Indeed, this ability is heart wrenching in Destiny when she gets flashes of Max being tortured. Now, by itself, this ability works for the audience on the level of Roswell's romantic storyline because it cements the bond between them that the writers have already emphasized. But on Roswell's Science Fiction level it is riddled with problems.

First--why does Liz receive these flashes while Maria and Alex do not? Not once is an explanation even hinted at in the storyline. To make things worse, in Sexual Healing, the writers go out of their way to tell us that Maria is ultimately reduced to faking flashes. In the apartment conversation at the end of this episode, a discussion is raised concerning being open to each other. If this is the writers' explanation of why Maria doesn't receive flashes from Michael (i.e., he is not open enough) then it is woefully inadequate because most of the viewers do not get it! Moreover, the subject never even arises when it comes to Alex an Isabel making out. This vagueness of explanation and inconsistency between couples led to an interesting theory on the Science Fiction threads--that Liz's connection to Max had altered Liz in some way--either by the healing, or the reversal of the connection, or the intense emotional and then physical relationship she and Max shared. However fans explained it, this theory--seemingly substantiated by Liz's remark to Nasedo that Max changed her in Max to the Max--became a favorite one of many viewers. And seeing why it was so popular is easy--not only did it further develop the specialness of the Max / Liz relationship (a carefully crafted theme of Roswell's romantic storyline), but it explained plausibly why Liz could do what no other human could in the series--receive a vision from an alien. It also explained, by the way, why Liz was the only one to have glowing hickies and rashes when she made out with an alien--another inconsistency between couples in the plot.

When confronted by the altered Liz theory at the NYC gathering, Brown seemed mystified. He apparently had no idea of this in terms of the writers' intent. This then, I would argue, is what really poor Science Fiction looks like--an element that is not only inconsistent, but is vague and unexplained and thus open to being misunderstood by those encountering it. Oddly, in this case, Roswell's fans were far more astute than Roswell's writers--for they resolved an obvious problem that the writers apparently did not know (or care) existed!

3) Silly Science Fiction: The Save the Home Planet Mandate. In the last moments of Roswell's season finale, the viewing audience learns from the hologram of Max and Isabel's mother that our alien teens have a mandate: to learn their powers, combat the enemies, and to return home to free the planet. Now folks--no one loves Roswell more than I do. The fact that I am sitting here writing this rather than other projects I have on my desk speak volumes to my interest. And, like many of you, I sent in more than my share of Tabasco to the WB. But this plotline is just silly given the storyline up to this point.

While it is true that the history of Science Fiction is rift with save the planet stories, many of these can be summarized as what might be labeled space operas (Star Wars is a good example of this). Making Roswell into Space Opera, however, is problematic for Roswell for two reasons. First, the core of Roswell's faithful watchers are at least as much attracted to the human/alien relational dimensions of this story as they are to its Science Fiction dimension. This mandate, however, threatens to shift the show¢s focus away from teen alienation toward teen superhero-hood. Secondly, the grandiose contours of this storyline clash with the simplicity of Roswell's 17 year old teens in a way that is really jarring.

Admittedly, this mandate will throw Max into a personal/moral dilemma--how will he reconcile being both alien and human--with the relationships and obligations associated with each? And it will cause him either to choose one over the other, or to find a way to integrate his two heritages. And such a emphasis can easily become a thinly veiled metaphor for addressing all sorts of multicultural issues in contemporary society. Nevertheless, one wonders if this could not have been done without positing a world full of aliens, some of whom are hostile, and all of whom promises to stretch the Science Fiction framework of Roswell to its limits.

Ultimately, however, it boils down to this: Roswell's writers (and I say this with all due respect) have yet to convince me, in spite of the finale they delivered (that was action packed but filled with Science Fiction loopholes) that a high power Science Fiction show is within their capabilities. I believe that Brown mentioned that the show will be adding some Science Fiction writers to their creative staff. If this is true I applaud this move. If Roswell wants to hold its head up in Science Fiction circles it cannot continue the vagueness and inconsistency it has allowed repeatedly in its Science Fiction framework. For no matter how attractive Roswell's romantic storyline is, Science Fiction enthusiasts will only suspend their disbelief for so long before frustration sets in. Will Roswell take its own framework seriously? Can Roswell can make good on the Science Fiction promises it makes in its own finale? See you on the board next Fall where we will address these very questions!

#121 Destiny - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

"It has begun."

The season one finale was a very good ending to a superb first run. It kept you on the edge of your seat and wondering how it was going to turn out. It has a little bit of everything. It has sacrifice, it has suspense, a little action, a little sadness, a little understanding, and a small bit of pain.

It's unfortunate that the torture Max endured in "The White Room" didn't seem to adversely affect him and after one night's sleep, Max is seemingly back to normal. I guess we could chalk this up to his mind not being able to be so easily broken but it sure looked like he was having difficulty when posturing for Pierce that he would make the Orbs work. In season two, there is little reference to this episode except for one mention in "Skin and Bones." For us humans, traumatic events can stay with us for some time. I guess it helps to have a little alien DNA at times.

I'm sure everyone who is a Max and Liz fan felt a rush of passion when Max and Liz said they loved each other. It only made the end of the show even more heartbreaking.

Even if I hadn't known otherwise, it was clear even in "Pilot" that Max was the leader of the group. Both Isabel and Michael seemed to accept that when Nasedo let them know who was their leader. It was Max who was surprised about it. I don't really know why though. I guess Max is one of those types of leaders who has the ability to lead, but not the desire to do so unless circumstances require him to. There's an example of this in this episode. As everyone muddles about at the abandoned silver mine unsure of what to do, Max comes in and immediately takes charge. He says they won't run and that they will stand and fight. Everyone agrees and even Michael goes along with it without a word of protest. In fact, Max and Michael put their differences aside and work as a unit for the first time. I like that. Michael is the type of follower who feels it's his duty to point out alternatives but when Max makes a decision, it's his duty to carry it out no matter what. That's exactly how it should be.

The only complaint I have about Max in this episode was that I was wanting to see a bit more rage in him when he was talking to Pierce in the UFO Center. He didn't have to hurt Pierce but I would have liked to see Jason Behr gritting his teeth or looking at him with a fierce look in his eyes. This was the man who had tortured him.

You know, at the beginning of season one, it was really hard for me to get behind Liz. She seemed so unsure and quirky about everything that I really didn't care for her that much. After "Leaving Normal" and "Toy House", I changed my mind and found she was really someone I could get behind and empathize with. When she would say or do something, I was able to say "Yeah, that's right" with regard to Max and how he couldn't seem to commit. But Liz did something in this episode that really made me shake my head. After fleeing the base and eluding the FBI, Max and Liz hide inside an old bus for the night. After getting a flash from Max about the torture he endured that day, Liz takes a moment to comfort him and then decides she wants to talk to him about their relationship. Slow down girl. Max could have died and all you want to do is talk about destiny and your relationship? No, no, no, NO! What Liz should have done was spend the night comforting him. I'm sure that an "I'm sorry about what has happened to you" would still have led to Max telling her he loved her. She should have left all the destiny stuff for another time. That's just my opinion of course. Max didn't seem to have a problem with any of it.

I thought Liz letting Max go was probably one of the most noble things I've ever seen anyone do. Max had no intention of following through on what was planned for him and Liz felt that the only way for him to do so was to remove herself from the picture. As we learn from season two's "Skin and Bones" Liz left for Florida for the summer and barely spoke to Max before she went. Can you imagine the head and heartache Max went through for three months?

Looking again at season two's "Skin and Bones", we learn that Isabel has once again put up her walls to keep Alex out. In this episode, she leans back against him when he comes up behind her at the silver mine. At the UFO Center, Alex tells her he knows she must rescue Nasedo alone. He then hugs and kisses her and she responds in kind. It appears from this and her statements in "Four Square" about being ready for a relationship that she was ready. Why all of a sudden did she change her mind? The only excuse Isabel uses is the one she has always used. She can't think of being with anyone because of everything. Boy, Madam Vivian hit the nail on the head in "End of the World" saying Alex's relationship with Isabel would never work. Apparently, Isabel is too scared to commit. A failing she must have learned from Max. I wonder what happened between this episode and "Skin and Bones" to make Isabel change her mind.

Isabel's heart probably leapt into her throat when the mom'o'gram played. This feeling is revisited in season's two "Surprise."

Even for the most hardened soldier, to take another's life is not an easy task. In Ray Liota's movie "No Escape", his character Robbins is such a soldier. Setting out on a mission, a prisoner named Casey follows him and is angry when Robbins won't let him come along. Robbins asks Casey if he has ever killed a man. Casey finally admits he hasn't. Robbins tells him that he must kill without mercy, without hesitation. "Once you can do that, you can never go back," Robbins says. "You're lucky you can't do it."

This is what Michael feels after he kills Pierce. Michael wanted to kill Pierce. It's one thing to want to kill someone. It's quite another to actually do it. This wasn't something that Max could help Michael with. It was totally beyond his experience. Michael still feels this pain in season two and I'm glad that creators didn't just drop it.

Did you see the look of shock and realization on Maria's face when Michael told her he couldn't be with her because he loved her too much? Maria wasn't prepared for that at all. And this powerful scene is how we leave Maria in season one.

In my review of "The White Room" I said that Tess wasn't really drawing a line between the humans and the aliens calling them liabilities as they tried to rescue Max. In this episode, Tess is clearly doing just that. She makes a big fuss about Michael leaving Nasedo behind. I was waiting for Michael to say that he told them too. Nasedo did say that after all. Then while they are at the silver mine, she says they should all go to the pod chamber and leave the humans behind because Pierce doesn't want them. More on that in a minute. She knows full well that Max and Liz care about each other and instead of respecting that, tells Isabel in "Four Square" that she feels drawn to Max. Then after the mom'o'gram ends, she immediately tries to kiss Max directly in front of Liz! I chuckled a little bit how Max put her in her place during this and went to Liz. The look on Tess's face was clearly one of a woman scorned. Did she really think Max was going to kiss her back? It's not gonna work that way Tess 'ole girl.

Tess made a quiet zinger to Liz in this episode. Liz asks Tess if she can really make people see things that aren't there. Tess says it's easier to do that then "to make someone see things that are right in front of her eyes." (Emphasis mine.) Liz then looks down as if to say "message received."

I really did like how the creators kept us guessing about Valenti. Finally learning the truth from Max, he is elated and at the same time sad because his father had been right all this time and he never believed him. I also felt a shock when Valenti started shooting at Pierce in the UFO Center. I knew Kyle was hiding behind the displays and I think the Sheriff realized something was very wrong on his last shot. It's a testament to Valenti's character when after Max heals Kyle that he says he will be there for them. Now they have a very important ally.

We will see more of Kyle's mistrust for Max and Company in season two. We get a small hint of it here where he threatens to kill Max if his father is in danger. Kyle being healed by him will also give him a few nightmares…literally. When we head into season three, there's really no trace of Kyle's aversion to the aliens and even seems to respect Max for saving his life.

One of the interesting things about the mom'o'gram is she says she has taken a human form so they can understand her. Apparently, on Antar, they have another form. If the remaining Royals ever do return home, I wonder how things will look to them. Maybe they will have to give up their physical bodies. I'll bet those episodes are going to be expensive to visually produce.

In season two's "Ask Not", Brody says that on May 14th, his little beeper device went off. As this episode ends, we see these devices going off in several different places. So the date for this episode is May 14th, 2000. Looking at a calendar, that was a Sunday. Since the last episodes of season one were right after one another date wise, it will be easy to fit them into the timeline.

As the episode begins, we see a large sign on the fence that says "Eagle Rock Military Base. Medical Research Facility. Property of the U.S. Department of the Army." The first thing wrong with this is that I have never seen a sign saying something is property of the "Department of the Army." It's always said "Property of U.S. Army." I suppose that this is technically correct but I've always heard the Army was a branch of the U.S. military and not a department. Maybe someone out there can clarify that for me.

The sign also answers one of my suspicions I stated in my review of "The White Room." I wondered why it was called a military base when it looked like a military hospital. The sign says it is a hospital.

The other odd thing about this sign is that Eagle Rock is supposed to be an ABANDONED military base. Maria said the government closed it down "years ago" in "The White Room." Since Pierce is using this ABANDONED military base secretly, why would he want to leave a big sign up announcing the place to the world? Kind of like the sign hanging on the fence that said "Puhlman Ranch" in "Four Square" when the military supposedly took it over in 1947 because of the crash. Why would they leave the signs hanging on the fence in both cases? Michael said the government wiped Puhlman Ranch off the map. If they wiped it off the map, does it seem likely they would leave the signs up? (Of course, maybe the idiocy of the FBI began with the army!)

The sheriff says there is a silver mine "in Galitas off horseshoe road" (This comes from the transcript at because it's hard to make out exactly what Valenti says on my tape.) I don't know if the Sheriff is referring to a town called Galitas because if he is, he's mistaken. There is no "Galitas" in New Mexico. The closest thing to it is the Gallinas River which is by Las Vegas, New Mexico north of Roswell at least a hundred miles away. I'm told there is also a small town in Lincoln county called Gallinas so it's possible that is what the Sheriff is talking about. It's close to the town of Coronas. "Horseshoe Road" must be local slang for a farm road because there is no such road on my map of New Mexico. For the past few episodes, the creators had been pretty good about real locations in the show. This blurb and one I'll mention later killed it for them. However, they do make references to Hondo, which is a real city in New Mexico west of Roswell.

The first time I saw Isabel hand Max some clothes as they prepared to escape the base, I thought she must have been a Girl Scout to be so prepared. Apparently, she knew he needed them from seeing how he was dressed when she dreamwalked him in "The White Room." Way to go sis!

I thought it was a real boneheaded move to drop Max into Maria's car and then leave him by himself with Liz. The two of them all by themselves? Does that seem right? Max isn't exactly in any condition to be left with just one person to help him. And why did they bring Maria's car? The Jetta wasn't exactly built for speed. Then again, neither is the jeep (or perhaps it's just the way everyone drives it. You'll remember that in past reviews, I've noted that no one seems to drive faster then 15 mph.) The Sheriff's SUV would have been a better escape vehicle and it could hold all of them. Of course, if they did do this, Liz and Max wouldn't have spent the night in the old bus and had their heart to heart and so on and so on.

Speaking of the cars, Max and Liz get into Maria's Jetta. Alex, Isabel, Tess, Maria, and Michael get into the jeep. And the Sheriff? He gets into his truck all…by…himself. Now what's wrong with that picture? The Sheriff makes a big showing about wanting the kids to trust him and when they do, he abandons them? Right.

Max and Liz abandon Maria's car after the FBI shoot out the back window. I'll bet Maria REALLY appreciated that. I wonder how she explained the broken window to her mom. "Typical teenage day mom. Kidnapping, conspiracy, Uzi's." I guess after all the stuff at the pod chamber at the end of the episode that someone went back and fetched the car.

As Max and Liz run down the road to the bridge's edge, look at the agent behind them just trotting along. What is he doing? Hoping Max and Liz will tire from running and drop to the pavement so he can catch them and not break a sweat? Oh, and let's not forget these agents have guns. Really big guns! No one bothers to fire a warning shot or even yell "Freeze!"? (They're all morons I tell ya. Morons!)

Looking over the bridge's edge, we see a shot of the water below. Max and Liz jump in and we hear a splash. Then immediately after, the agents look over the side and we see the water below. There is no disturbance in the water where Max and Liz jumped in just seconds before. I guess Max is using his "keep the water still" power. The creators just used the exact same piece of footage for the water each time. I guess they didn't want the actors to catch a cold.

After the opening credits, we see Max and Liz running through a little stream. The odd thing is that the only part of them that is wet is their pants. That can't be right unless the water under the bridge they just jumped off was only waist deep. If that was the case, then jumping off that bridge probably hurt. Maybe Max is using his "Always stay dry" power.

As Tess fumes about them having left Nasedo at the base, Michael says "We're not leaving anyone behind anymore." That's a funny thing for Michael to say considering he had just left Nasedo behind.

Somebody is using a wind forcefield in the jeep. Nobody's hair is moving! Of course, Michael might not be driving very fast. It's not like anyone ever drives over 15 mph in the jeep. (I personally think this is why the jeep broke down twice in "Monsters." Isabel was trying to drive fast and the jeep, not used to being taxed so hard, blew it's radiator.) In Michael's defense, we have no idea just how fast he really is going because we can't see the background. It's just straight black. As if it's only a black backdrop. Hmmmm.

There is a shot in the opening credits where we see Max and Liz running from a vehicle's lights in the darkness. There isn't any episode where this comes from exactly but there is a scene in this episode where Max and Liz run from the FBI humvee. It's not possible that the bit came from this episode because when it was added for "Morning After", this episode had not been filmed yet. Perhaps it's just a nice touch by the creators.

Trying to get everyone to go back to the pod chamber, Tess says that Pierce "doesn't want the rest of you." Does that mean Nasedo was lieing when he told Liz in "Max to the Max" that Pierce wanted to study her because he knew what Max did to her or did Tess not know that?

We couldn't end the season without the FBI still acting like dumdum's could we? They sure don't disappoint here. There's an FBI agent sitting as plan as day in a dark van outside the Café and he's wearing the ever-visible black suit too. And if that wasn't obvious enough, when Michael and Isabel walk past him, he gets out of the van and follows them with all the subtlety of fingernails on a chalkboard. We then see a second agent guarding Kyle. That's it? Two agents? That wasn't very smart of Pierce. When Max escaped, Pierce should have mobilized every agent he had and sent them in mass to Roswell and picked up everyone involved with Max. Of course, if he had, it would have been a short show and probably the end of the series.

s I said above, the last few episodes were back to back time wise. Did Max's parents or for that matter, ANYONE'S parents not have any concern about where their children were all weekend? I suppose Liz, Alex, and Maria could have checked in as they waited at the Crashdown in "The White Room" but what about Isabel? Don't you think Phillip and Diane Evans would want to know where their children were?

As Tess mindwarps the FBI agents, she shows them an image of Pierce. He is wearing a sling. How did Tess know that Pierce was wearing a sling? I realize that Valenti could have told them that he shot Pierce but she didn't know he was wearing a sling on his arm. Not unless she climbed up the wall and looked into Valenti's office window when we weren't looking she wouldn't.

Let's take a look more closely at these two mindwarps. Tess mindwarps both agents at once. The agent sitting outside the Café is Agent Bellows. He is following Isabel and Michael and suddenly, Pierce is right in front of him. Bellows must be used to this kind of behavior from his superior because he takes it all in stride.

The agent guarding Kyle is Agent Samuels. When Tess mindwarps him, he hears Pierce talking to him from the back porch. A porch with a big wall and some giant cactuses growing on it. Where was Pierce supposed to be standing? Did Tess have him appear to be hiding behind a cactus?

I'll say this about Max. If you torture the guy, don't piss him off later. Max lays out Agent Samuels with one punch. Then again, maybe Max is using his "punch like Superman" power.

Pierce tells the Sheriff that he shot him six inches from his heart. Six inches is about as long as your index finger. That's a pretty serious wound but all Pierce has is his arm in a sling and never shows any signs that he is feeling any pain. Pierce is either very lucky or a real tough guy.

Setting Pierce up, the Sheriff tells Pierce the gang is taking out his agents one by one. The Sheriff suggests Pierce get them on the radio. Pierce attempts to do so and no one answers. Now we know why Samuels isn't answering. Max kicked his butt and shoved him into the closet. But why didn't Agent Bellows respond? He got in his van and drove off. Did he drive out of radio range? That doesn't seem like a very good design for FBI special issue equipment.

s anyone else wondering where the heck Milton has run off too? We haven't seen him since "The Convention."

Valenti speaks about a friend in the district attorney's office. In a nice bit of continuity, we see that Valenti does indeed have a lawyer friend during the Hybrid Chronicles in season two.

Wanting to find where Nasedo was taken, the gang decides to have Isabel dreamwalk Pierce. Isabel says she has never dreamwalked anyone who wasn't asleep. I immediately knew this was incorrect because she did it to Max three times in the last episode and Tess agreed with me saying the same thing. Isabel then tries to cover this by saying that Max was drugged and didn't fight her when she tried to get into his mind. Given Nasedo's statements that they can do anything the human mind is capable of, I don't understand why Isabel wouldn't think she could read a mind that was awake. It's almost as if she is afraid to try. Tess then tells her that even if she can get in, even a little, she'll get the answers she wants. And wa-la, she does.

In the reading, Isabel sees Pierce telling his men to take Nasedo's body to a helicopter at "Jefford's Airstrip outside Hobson." There is neither a Hobson nor a Jefford's Airstrip in New Mexico. And apparently, the agents knew that because when Max and Company go to get the shapeshifter, they're out in the desert somewhere with no airstrip to be seen. Not that a "helo" needs an airstrip to land anyway.

As Kyle sneaks into the UFO Center, we see Pierce sitting in a chair struggling to free himself. Throughout the scene as Kyle unties him, someone keeps changing the slides in the projector. Who's doing that? I thought Max was doing it as he acted like he had the control in his hand when he was repeating Pierce's words to him. But Max isn't in the scene. He's off behind the displays talking to Valenti and Michael. Is he back there pushing the button or is the projector set on automatic?

Speaking of Max, Michael, and Valenti, before Pierce pulls a gun, it looks like they were leaving. They weren't really going to leave him in the UFO Center by himself were they? Knowing Pierce the way I do, I would keep him under constant surveillance!

There are several things about Max's healing of Kyle that really deserves some scrutiny. First of all, there's a light shining on Max's hand. There was no light shining on Max's hand when he healed Liz in "Pilot." There's also a light that flashes through Kyle's body specifically in his face. Liz didn't do that either. But probably the most important thing is that not only does Max heal the wound, he also cleans the blood off of Kyle's shirt! Boy, that would have come in handy when he healed Liz! If he had done that, maybe this entire series of events could have been avoided in the first place! Then again, maybe Max is using his "Dry clean as you heal" power.

Why didn't Tess go along with the group to rescue Nasedo? After all her fussing and fuming about leaving Nasedo behind at Eagle Rock, she stayed behind with the humans? Oh, I doubt that.

In the Pod chamber, the gang uses four stones to heal Nasedo. What happened to the fifth stone? There were five in "Balance." Was it an extra in case someone loses one?

Max decides to have Nasedo impersonate Pierce to destroy the FBI special unit from within. Nasedo agrees and shapeshifts into Pierce. I hope that he picks up an arm sling since the last time the agents that are waiting in Hondo saw Pierce, he was wearing a sling on his left arm.

I've mentioned this in the past but since it happens here, I'll mention it again. Max is the one who is strongly against finding Nasedo because in his mind, Nasedo is a killer. However, Max seems to forget all about this aspect of the shapeshifter because he sends him out disguised as Pierce. Max doesn't order Nasedo not to kill anyone until "Skin and Bones" which takes place more then three months after the events in this episode.

When the Orbs activate and play the mom'o'gram, the Pod chamber lights up and begin to blink on and off. Once the message ends, the lights shut off. Keep the image of the chamber alive in your mind because when we return to it in "Ask Not", we're going to see a vastly different pod chamber with all sorts of lights and a much larger area!

In case you were unaware, the actress who appears as the mom'o'gram is executive producer Jonathon Frakes's wife.

The creators have always done a very good job with music selections. There has only been two occasions where I've frowned at the music in season one. The first was the constant use of the same song by the Counting Crows in "Toy House." It really began to gnaw at me after about the third viewing. The other occasion where I question a music selection is in this episode. The use of Dido's "Here With Me" makes an excellent theme song for the show but when the creators opt to use it when Liz runs from Max at the end of the show, it felt wrong to me. It was meant to be a nice touch and if the episode had ended with it, it would have indeed been something special. Instead, it doesn't quite work. Why, you ask? Because after Liz leaves the scene, the music changes as we see the devices held by the Skins lighting up. The music change from the soft beat of Dido's song to the beatless score is not seamless and really breaks the mood. We go from the sadness of seeing Liz run from her true love to the danger of the Four's enemies. Were I selecting the music, I would have used one piece of music that starts out sad and slowly fades into the beeping of the small devices. I'm happy to report however that in season two, these two incidents do not repeat themselves.

This is rather tacky to mention given the mood of the final scene but as Liz runs away from Max, you can see her underwear along her waistline. That girl needs to wear a belt. Then again, maybe Max is using his "show me your unmentionables" power.

The man who says "It has begun" to end the episode is, according to my friend Tara Moe, Backstreet Boy "Sweet" Howie Dorough. Is this Nicolas's little secret? Are his soldiers all members of boy bands? You know, I'm not as afraid of the Skins as I used to be. Who's going to be afraid N'SYNC?

#201 Skin and Bones - Review

Written by Jerry D.

A new season of Roswell is now upon us, and I felt this opening episode got everything off to a wonderful start, as the qualities that made the show so enjoyable in Season One continued in this very entertaining episode. Once again, an air of tension pervaded the entire episode, as old enemies were replaced with new ones, and the key relationships that had propelled Season One forward were forever changed by the revelations at the end of "Destiny."

I really enjoyed the opening scene, filled with comic irony, as we seemingly saw Max reveal his secret to the school psychiatrist, as he recounted the events of last season, and reflected on how everything in his life completely changed when he saved the life of the girl that he had always loved. As it turned out, of course, Max's "confession" was only for our benefit, but it lightened the mood, and it did an effective job of setting the stage for what was to follow.

I really enjoyed seeing how Nasedo effectively destroyed the special unit of the FBI that had come so close to exposing Max and his friends, but we also got to see that Congresswoman Whitaker has the potential to be an even more powerful enemy than anyone they had ever encountered before, and she made Agent Topolsky look like a rank amateur in comparison to her methodical determination to uncover the truth about an alien presence in Roswell. I thought it was ironic that Liz ended up working for her, but this connection will obviously lead to some very interesting possibilities in future episodes.

I thought it was very ironic that Sheriff Valenti, who was so determined to expose Max and his friends last season, and who largely functioned as the "villain" in most of the episodes that he was in, is now functioning as the group's protector, but I thought that it was even more ironic that he himself fell into a trap unwittingly propelled by his deputy's determination to seek the truth about the bones that were found in the desert. I thought a very basic axiom was demonstrated when even he couldn't prevent potential disaster as the murder he had witnessed in "Destiny" came perilously close to being revealed, and for the first time in his career, he was not able to control his own department's investigation into seeking a truth which he would have preferred stay buried in the desert where the bones were found.

One thing I liked about the show was how it mixed dramatic tension and humor, as Maria tried to give Max advice about Liz, while exhibiting the same behavior towards Michael that she had admonished Max for. I also thought Majandra Delfino's new hairstyle was absolutely stunning, and I hope she keeps her hair that length. I also thought that it was funny when Michael complained about the geologist "digging around in the desert" and Max telling Michael "That's what geologists do."

I thought the tension between Max and Michael was palpable, as old resentments, exacerbated by the sudden urgency in their situation, came to the surface. I liked how Michael expressed his fear and vulnerability to Sheriff Valenti, and although I was saddened to see him reject Maria, I could understand why he felt compelled to do so. Right from the very beginning, it was always obvious that Michael and Max's relationship was a tenuous one at best, filled with smoldering feelings of anger and resentment, and that air of tension was magnified exponentially by the revelations the ended Season One.

I liked how Isabel used her considerable charms to beguile both the geologist and the security guard to get what she wanted, and I look forward to seeing more of this often underused character this season. I wish that we could have seen Isabel use her powers more to help in this situation, instead of her feminine wiles, but I'm sure that in the future, Isabel will have a more defined role as they all struggle to survive and face a yet unseen enemy. I was sorry to see Alex play such a minor role in this episode, but hopefully, that situation will be rectified in future episodes, as I think his obvious intelligence and resourcefulness could be put to great use to aid their cause. I was impressed with the way that Max took decisive control of the situation in order to save Michael, and I'm glad that Liz was willing to help.

I really enjoyed how Tess and Max combined their talents to salvage the situation with the bones that were discovered, and I was impressed with how Max used both his powers and his innate genius to age the bones, and temporarily throw suspicion off all of them, and free Michael. Obviously, Nasedo's death at the end will add to the isolation of Max and his friends, and I feel it will force Max into the leadership role that he's been so reluctant to take, as the episode ended with the dying Nasedo saying "They're among you now," and we got to witness first hand the terrible devastation a whole new enemy, the skins, could wreak on Max and his fellow "visitors" to this planet.

My heart broke for both Max and Liz as Liz did her best to distance herself from him, even to the point of lying about the special connection that she still felt when he touched her, but she feels like she can't stand in the way of his destiny, even though the special love between them was still very obviously there. I thought that the scene between them at the end was sad but sweet, as the images that we all loved came flooding back to Liz, and it recalled the love that they had for one another. I simply love Max and Liz, and I can't wait until they get back together.

Overall, I really enjoyed this episode, and it did an excellent job of setting the stage of grim portents to come, as new enemies have replaced old ones, and the "shape shifter" who had protected these special beings all their lives was now lost to them, and they now face not only exposure by Congresswoman Whitaker, but annihilation by others of their kind.

#201 Skin and Bones - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: The burial spot of Agent Pierce’s bones is discovered by a geologist and Michael is the prime suspect in Deputy Hanson’s investigation. Also, the Pod Squad’s enemy (The Skins) make their presence known.

Max/Liz: I felt so bad for Max. He’s in denial. He doesn’t want to face the fact that everything has changed since they received the message from home. He’s frustrated and Liz distancing herself from him is not helping. I thought Maria was unnecessarily cruel telling Max that Liz blew him off (I don’t believe that for a minute). Max is under the false impression that Liz is keeping her distance because she thinks he has unexpressed feelings for Tess and does not want to interfere with him following his true heart. He thinks that by reassuring her that he does not love Tess, Liz will want to come back to him. But Liz knows he doesn’t love Tess, that she is his true love, which makes her sacrifice all the harder. Her seeming coldness and indifference are actually signs of the suffering she is going through, trying to stay away. She still believes that she would be a hindrance to his fulfilling his destiny to lead his people and that she’s doing this for his own good. She doesn’t realize that she completes him and the emptiness he feels without her has caused him to be an ineffectual leader. However, now that she is back and can see the effects of their separation, perhaps she will see the error in her decision. (Maybe Liz should hear the song "Here With Me"; then she would understand that Max can’t breath, can’t be without her resting there with him.)

I wonder if Nasedo knew Max in his former life as king. He seemed disgusted that Max is a pacifist. I wonder what kind of king Max was?

Michael/Valenti: I LOVED the bonding scene between Michael and Valenti; it was my favorite of the episode. Michael lacks confidence and is scared that he will let the others down. His opening up to Valenti, treating him as the father figure he has been searching for, could prove interesting. Perhaps Valenti can help Michael with his self esteem issues. Although Michael’s fears are justified, since they have no idea what they are up against, he will need to have confidence in himself in order to defeat their enemies.

Maria: I was surprised by Maria’s behavior. I couldn’t believe she actually said "I hear ex-cons are really great in bed.", making it sound like she was offering to sleep with Michael to get him back. Being needy isn’t going to help Maria; she needs to get back some of the spunk she displayed in the earlier episodes of the 1st season.

I was glad to hear that Maria and Max "bonded" over the summer. I hope we get to see some of it ourselves.

Whitaker: I find Congresswoman Whitaker’s behavior suspicious. Why would she tape her conversation with Pierce? Why was she so distrustful of Valenti? Why was she so sure they would find Cadmium X on the bones? When they were running the tests on the bones, why was she looking out the window instead of at the computer screen? Did she "sense" something was out there? I think she is more than what she seems. Nasedo referred to her as a "foul temptress"; an odd description but I think a warning that we can’t trust her for more reasons than her trying to discover the "truth".

General: I felt the opening scene in the therapist’s office was a clever way of recapping the previous season and admitting that, after what Max has been through, he would need psychological counseling. Not that it will do any good, because if he ever "opened up" to the doctor he would be committed!

Is the geologist, Grant Sorenson, supposed to be a new love interest for Isabel? Poor Alex! I’m not sure I approve; he’s too old for her. (Can we say jailbait?!)

I don’t usually pick up on accents but I noticed that Majandra used the Boston pronunciation when she said that Liz was visiting her "aunt" in Florida. Since people pick up on it every time I use it (being a Boston transplant living in California and it being a pronunciation not used elsewhere in the US), I’m surprised the director/production crew didn’t pick up on it when "Maria", who’s lived her whole life in Roswell, used it.

Michael’s arrest was waaay over the top! On WHAT grounds?! Because his pocket knife was found near the burial spot? Bringing him in for questioning is one thing but arresting him?! What happened to establishing who the victim is, when the murder took place, where the suspect was at the time of the murder and what his/her motive would be before being able to arrest someone?! It made it look like Valenti didn’t know how to handle the situation and I believe he would have been able to.

So, shapeshifters can have and enjoy sex; something tells me this will come up again!

I realize that they wanted Liz to figure out where the bones were taken but they handled it badly. Why would Liz say to Max "I’m not a dork, I just love science"? He knows that! And why would she have to explain that Mr Seligman told them about it in class? Max took the same class! They should have just had Liz remind Max about what Mr Seligman told them in class and have that lead her to the conclusion of where the bones were taken.

"The Skins"; Max and Isabel’s "mom" said they would know the enemy by the evil within but it also seems they shed their skin as well. Are they reptilian? Why did it take so long for them to show up? Have they been observing the Pod Squad for 3 months? I thought it was a neat special effect when Michael picked up the hand skin and it disintegrated.

Speaking of neat special effects, I jumped a mile when they "initiated the accelerator". I knew something would happen but I wasn’t expecting that! And just what were they doing to the bones; what was that "field" supposed to be? Could Max have been harmed by it? He does have a human body after all. And how did Max know where the bones were once he got into the building? Did he "sense" it or did he see them place them in that chamber out of our view?

At the Crashdown when they were "celebrating", they were eating pizza; I wonder if the delivery guy thought it was odd delivering pizza to a restaurant? J What was Maria apologizing for? Just that she forgot to tell them Courtney was still there? Her apology seemed directed at Michael rather than the group as a whole. Courtney is obviously interested in Michael but the feelings better not be reciprocated. His excuses to Maria will seem pretty hollow if they are.

The promo has Max saying "He died in my arms" and it’s probably safe to assume he means Nasedo, but Nasedo has died before and been brought back. It will be interesting to see if Max has the healing stones and if he will try to use them alone.

I really liked the fact that they are bringing back the humor that seemed missing from the last few episodes of the 1st season.

Favorite Lines:

Max: No rock stands a chance against Michael Guerin.

Nasedo: You can never find those little pod people when you want them.

Nasedo: Sheriff Valenti, welcome to the ever-burgeoning "I know an alien" club.

Maria: I hope he’s using birth control.

#201 Skin and Bones - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

"The Dark Times" have begun. In my humble opinion, this was a great way to start the season. Jason Katims really outdid himself with this episode. If I ever meet him, this episode will definitely be on my discussion list.

Just about everyone has undergone some changes over the summer. The first thing I noticed about the cast in general is their hair. Everyone’s hair either changes style, gets longer or shorter, or thicker. Maria especially. Her head has been quite busy (in the season three episode "So I Married An Alien", we learn that her hair had a bit of help courtesy of Isabel’s powers.) Isabel’s looks about the same. Max’s hair seems a bit thinner. Michael loses the spike look. Liz’s hair is thicker then it was in season one (and the most improved of everyone if you ask me) and Tess has added some length and de-emphasized her curls somewhat. I’ll mention other things after the character reviews.

The opening recap with Max in a psychiatrist’s office was a good way to start things off. If Maria is right and he has been "ining-pay" all summer, he must be miserable indeed. (I love that line of pig Latin from "Into the Woods." It’s so reusable.) I feel sorry for everyone he’s been around all of this time because he’s probably been sucking all the happiness out of life. But not only has Max been brooding for three months, it appears he and Michael have been arguing all summer over what the next step is. Unfortunately, there really isn’t much that could have been done, which Michael admits to Valenti. I guess these two just fight for lack of anything else to do. Katims said in an online chat that they fight because of "testosterone." That will do it too.

When Max asks Maria about Liz, she tells him that Liz "blew him off" before leaving for Florida. Was Maria trying to hurt Max’s feelings here? Liz did not "blow him off." She honorably, yet unwillingly, walked away from Max because he was refusing to accept his destiny i.e. be with his former wife, Tess. I don’t believe that Liz would have told Maria to tell Max that either. Liz isn’t that cruel.

It would have been nice to see some of the bonding that occurred between Max and Maria over the summer. I’ll bet that would have been an entertaining episode.

I’m not sure I understand Liz’s reaction here. It seems that Liz believes Max actually has feelings for Tess and is staying away to make it easier for him. Where did she get that from? Max told Tess no in "Destiny" after hearing the mom-o-gram and went straight to Liz. He told her at the beginning of that episode that he loved her. Max even tells her again in this episode that he doesn’t have any feelings for Tess. (That’s another scene I would have liked to see. Max telling Tess how he feels and where things stand between them.) Liz is clearly not comfortable with having to keep Max away. She’s not a hindrance to him. She’s the girl he loves! While walking away from Max was noble, her reactions to him in this episode don’t make a lot of sense in some places.

I also thought Liz’s line of "I’m not a dork. I just love science" was unnecessary. Max knows Liz is an aspiring scientist. That’s the one thing about the whole episode that is just not in character for Liz Parker and that’s odd on Katim’s part as he knows the character better then anyone. I think maybe it would have worked better if Liz said "Max, remember Mr. Seligmen talking about the new accelerator last year?" It’s just…odd. I also don’t remember Mr. Wanna-be Bill Nye, the science guy saying anything about a particle accelerator in season one so it must have happened when we weren’t looking (Don’tcha hate it when that happens?)

Along with her usual sedatives and vitamins, Maria must have started taking obnoxious pills. Even though I found her exchanges hilarious, some of them are a bit over the top. I’ve already mentioned her comment to Max about Liz blowing him off but how about her comment to Michael about ex-cons being great in bed? It was definitely an attention getting statement if that is what she was trying to do but man. She wasn’t really propositioning him was she? It’s strange that she can’t take her own advice. She is going through the same thing with Michael that Max is experiencing with Liz. Maybe her own sufferings have fried her neurons. I did like that once she realized the joking wasn’t going to work, she honestly told Michael that she missed him.

What the heck happened between Alex and Isabel? The last time we saw these two, they were a couple. Not a rock solid couple but Isabel appeared to have dropped her walls around Alex. Now, after watching one government broadcast, Isabel gets scared and tells Alex they can’t have a relationship. Gee, and I thought Max had commitment issues last season. His sister has now picked up the trait. This is very unfair to Alex who has been nothing but supportive to her. To make matters worse, in comes Grant Sorenson and Isabel starts making goo-goo eyes with him right in front of Alex. Apparently Isabel doesn’t mind having a guy in her life as long as the guy has no emotional attachments. That’s so unfair.

Speaking of this Sorenson guy, how old is he? Diane Evans asks the same question in "Surprise." Apparently Isabel doesn’t mind having a guy in her life as long as the guy has no emotional attachments AND is much older then she is. Again, this is unfair. Isabel is only 17 in this episode. For someone of Grant’s age to be interested in Isabel worries me and it certainly isn’t legal. Isabel must only like older men. In season three, she marries a man eight years her senior. I do feel a bit sorry for Isabel because Grant is killed in "How the Other Half Lives" but that’s what happens when alien parasite crystal queens take over your body. Someone is certainly going to tell me that age isn’t an issue in love but when you have crystals growing in your chest, age is the last thing to worry about. Just to let you know, in this episode, the gandarium queen has not possessed Grant’s body yet.

When Nasedo plays the part, he really plays the part. So he’s been having "relations" with Congresswoman Whitaker. Let’s take ourselves a little looksey at this. Whitaker is a Skin. At the moment, all Skins are peeling and shedding. Nasedo sees a piece of the husk laying on the ground at the end of the episode and recognizes it for what it is. So during all of his "diddling", he didn’t notice any loose skin? Michael finds some on Courtney in "End of the World" with one touch. I think Nasedo may have been too distracted by his session of hot alien sex to be fully aware of things. The other thing about this is even more important. In "Wipeout", Courtney explains the "plug" that all Skins have in their lower back. If opened or hit too hard, the Skin dies as they cannot survive in our atmosphere. Do you think that if a hand went over that spot that the Skin would not react to that? In Whitaker’s diary that was posted on, she talks about realizing that Pierce in season two is a shapeshifter. She also doesn’t understand how Nasedo didn’t know she was a skin. Perhaps taking the form of an FBI agent inherited him the moron aspect of the FBI which is so prevalent in this show.

I guess it was just a matter of timing but after Max asks Nasedo about cadmium X, the shapeshifter says he must kill everyone with that information. Liz is the first person to express real objection to this course of action. When I first watched this scene, I was annoyed that Max didn’t immediately say no. Then I started thinking about all the killings that Nasedo did in season one and the ease that Max showed in letting him go to Washington. Max does this after spending several episodes telling Michael that the shapeshifter was a murderer. Max doesn’t like that Nasedo kills. You’d think that hearing that the shapeshifter wants to kill again would force Max to say something in protest immediately. Instead, Liz beats him to it. Once Liz expresses her disapproval, Max orders Nasedo not to kill. This is a prime example of how Max and Liz compliment each other’s characters. They think along the same lines but Liz appears to "be faster on the draw" then Max.

There is a nice touch that the actor playing Pierce does in this episode. As Nasedo / Pierce enters the Café, a tourist recognizes him and tries to get his autograph. Nasedo tells him to move and then raises his hand as if to kill him. He then stops himself and runs into the restroom. That was one lucky tourist.

When Max hesitates to take action, Nasedo gets lippy calling Max a pacifist. Max then turns and puts him in his place ordering him not to kill anyone. Nasedo pauses for a moment as if to argue and then submits to Max’s authority. (I wonder what Nasedo was thinking at that moment. "How dare you tell me what to do you snippety little prince. I’ll show you when we go home and our enemies shoot your ass while my Tessy raises your child." Hey, it could happen.) In season three’s "Control", we learn that the shapeshifters are required to obey any commands Max gives them as it is encoded in their DNA. This puts Nasedo’s backing down to Max into a whole new light. Too bad Max didn’t try ordering the guy around before now.

One last Nasedo moment. Nasedo asks Max how he and Tess are getting along. In "Departure" Tess will reveal that Nasedo made a deal with the man who usurped the throne from Max, Kivar. The deal was for Tess to return home with Max’s child which would give Kivar an even greater claim to the throne and the others would be executed. Presumably, she would be allowed to live (though I suspect Kivar would not be willing to take any chances and slay her after the birth.) This information puts Nasedo’s comments into a whole new light. He was checking out the progress of his deal! There is no other reason why Nasedo would even care about whether or not the two aliens were getting along. His job is to make sure they are safe until they can return home. I will explore this a lot more when I review "Departure."

My favorite moment in this episode is the look on Sheriff Valenti’s face as Nasedo says he must kill everyone with information on cadmium X. It’s a look that says "What in the world have I gotten myself in to?" I also loved the frustration he went through as his "eager beaver" deputy kept doing his job to perfection. He couldn’t stop Hanson from doing his duty without raising suspicion and actually letting him do his job would raise even more suspicions.

I thought it was nice of Tess to spend time with Michael to help him develop his powers. I believe Tess offered to help him with them because Michael isn’t one to ask for help. He’s only asked for help twice before (it was in "Independence Day" and "Crazy" for you trivia lovers.) There is another reason for this. In season one, Tess attempted to get into the group by concentrating on it’s weakest link, Isabel. Once she got in, she moved to her next target, Michael. Michael is the only one in the group that wants to explore his alien side so by helping him with his powers, she hopes to gain his trust (as best as she can. Michael isn’t that trusting to start with.) Her next target is of course, Max. She’s good, isn’t she?

It’s obvious Michael doesn’t enjoy keeping Maria away from him anymore then she hates being away from him. With Courtney giving Michael the eye, the story between them is going to become a lot of fun as we watch them both move closer together again.

One of the great things I love about Michael in this episode is that Katims didn’t just drop the fact that Michael had killed Pierce in "Destiny." It could have been very easy for the aftermath of this to be forgotten but he actually took the time to let Michael reflect on his actions. This could also be an explanation as to why Michael has been arguing with Max all summer. He’s trying to hide his feelings by taking his anger out on Max. He tells Valenti that he doesn’t know what to do next and that he’s been busting Max’s chops when he doesn’t know any more then he knows. When Isabel kills Whitaker in "Surprise", the creators don’t do the same with her character which is unfortunate. Isabel is not as strong as Michael is and the repercussions would have been more devastating to her.

The awkward look Tess gives Max and he comes to Michael’s apartment is noteworthy. Despite everything that Tess is and will be, rejection is never easy for anyone to handle. She is silent during the entire exchange between Michael and Max refusing to take anyone’s side. But once Max needs her to get into the university to change Pierce’s bones, Tess is right there willing to help. Deep down, I think Tess wants to love Max and she’s willing to go slowly to see if she can make him love her back. As we will see, Tess’s definition of said emotion is a bit distorted.

We aren’t given any dates in this episode. The only thing we know is that the Monday after these events is when school begins. The day and night transitions suggest this episode covers a period of five days. The next episode "Ask Not" will take place immediately after this episode ends. Once I review that episode, I should be able to get a bit more information for a timeline. The only other real time mention is Max saying he hasn’t heard from Nasedo in three months.

At the start of the episode as Max sits in the psychiatrist’s office, the camera slowly zooms in tight on Max’s face. This is the first time I’ve noticed that Max has a pierced ear. When have we ever seen Max wearing an earring? I know actor Jason Behr does but I’m not dealing in reality here.

Can you name the episodes that all of the flashbacks appeared in as Max tells the doc his story? I can! They are:

The pod chamber scenes come from "Four Square."
The scene of the kids walking in the desert and fading into their older versions is from "Balance."
The shot of Michael behind the tree is from "Morning After."
Isabel changing the ketchup to mustard (or from red to yellow) is from "Balance."
Shots of Valenti and Max at the Crashdown festival and Liz being shot and healed are from "Pilot."
The gang having a meeting at the quarry is seen in "Crazy."
Tess walking towards the camera is when she first approached Isabel is also from "Crazy."
Nasedo morphing out of the wall next to Tess is from "Max to the Max."
Nasedo changing from the appearance of an agent into Ed Harding is from "The White Room."
Liz and Max running away from the red humvee appeared in "Destiny."
Pierce and the hooded doctors grabbing Max was in "The White Room."
Nasedo morphing into Pierce came from "Destiny."
The video of Tess putting the statue back together was at the end of "Tess, Lies, and Videotape."
Michael killing Pierce happened in "Destiny."
The Sheriff, Michael, and Max burning and burying Pierce’s body is new footage.

One of the major changes for season two are the title credits. They are completely redone and much better then season one’s title credits. It’s also one of the reasons why I chose to subtitle season two "The Dark Times." There are a lot of dark colors in the images. I do however have one complaint about them. There is a brief shot of Max erecting his force field. This piece of footage comes from the episode "Ask Not" where he stops Isabel and Michael in the UFO Center as they prepare to confront Brody. Fans who were watching this episode for the first time more then likely saw this and sat up saying "What was that!?" I think it would have been a good idea for the creators to wait until after airing "Ask Not" to put that piece of footage in the opening credits. It would have been a nice surprise for us to suddenly see Max using this power in the actual episode instead of in the credits.

One of the other major changes was Emilie de Ravin’s name moving to the main credits. In her season one appearances, her name appeared in the opening credits as a co-star.

The episode begins with the gang watching a congressional subcommittee hearing exposing the FBI special unit. I do not believe this is something that would be airing on national television. It would be an incredible embarrassment to the government and our system of checks and balances. The main spokesmen says that the special unit spent an unauthorized $17 million dollars. That’s not something our elected officials would want to admit to the voters. People lose their jobs like that.

The special unit spent $17 million dollars? Is that all? The unit has probably been around since the late 1950’s or early 1960’s after the crash in 1947 and Nasedo escaping the white room. Surely this unit, which even the President is on a need-to-know basis with, has spent much, much more then $17 million dollars in it’s lifetime.

Just what is that blow up green alien doll doing on the podium next to Nasedo / Pierce? Was this evidence of some kind? Or did Nasedo bring it in saying that the special unit created the item and sold it for extra money to buy more cameras? Eek! Does that mean the entire town of Roswell is just a government money maker? Oh, the horror! (I’m just kidding.)

When the committee decides to disband the special unit, Congresswoman Whitaker opposes. The entire purpose of this committee is to expose and disband a unit of the FBI that is made specifically to hunt down and capture aliens. The public at large would not stand to have their tax dollars spent on such a project. By opposing the vote to disband, Whitaker would be putting her career in serious jeopardy! Since she is no doubt using her position to further the Skins search for the Royal Four (She is a skin you know) would this be a wise move? I wonder what Nicolas would have to say about that.

As season two contains many references to science in the area of physics, I decided to contact a few scientists to help me with the facts that I myself am not familiar with. I’m happy to give credit where credit is due to two people in particular. The first is to Bruce C. Hyman who is a research assistant for the Radiation Effects Facility, Cyclotron Institute at Texas A&M University. My second shout out goes to Robert Hull, the project manager for the Particle Astrophysics Lab (PAL) at New Mexico State University. Both men were kind enough to answer my questions and help as best they could. Mr. Hull gets extra credit because he has actually been to the city of Roswell and gave me some really interesting facts about the town and the state in general to pass along. He’s also a fan of the show and that’s quite a bonus! You both have my heartfelt gratitude. Several members of the message board also helped with a few items. Special mention goes out to "FBI Guy" who pointed me in the right direction. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

In case you are wondering, there really is an element on Earth called cadmium. It’s commonly found in batteries in the form of nickel-cadmium. It’s naturally occurring and is an impurity removed from the element zinc. It is also highly toxic. There is no such thing as "cadmium X" however (as if you didn’t know .) Robert Hull told me that there is a joke amongst his colleagues on what to say if anyone ever contacts the lab and asks about cadmium X. He says it’s amazing the amount of scientific theories in sci-fi shows and movies that the general populace believe are scientifically found. He joked that he gets asked a lot why we don’t have a functional matter / antimatter drive yet (the engine that enables starships on Star Trek to travel faster then light.)

In "The White Room", Pierce reads off a short list of people killed by Nasedo to Max. The dates of the murders are 1962, 1967, and 1999. In my review, I asked if there were any murders between 1967 and 1999. I was sure that there had to be more murders then the ones Pierce mentioned. According to Whitaker in this episode, there was indeed. There was a murder in 1972. I’m willing to bet that there were many, many more murders by the despicable shapeshifter.

Maria orders everyone out of the back room so she can change but Max hesitates a moment wanting to ask about Liz. Maria calls Max "girlfriend." Girlfriend? As in she’s a girl and Max is her friend or the generic meaning? Max isn’t anyone’s girlfriend. He’s a guy! Just one more of those statements you have to run through the "Maria filter" to understand.

If Maria doesn’t want anyone to "see the bod", why doesn’t she step into the bathroom and change clothes? Certainly that’s safer then changing in the back room of the Café with it’s swinging door that could give anyone a pleasant view of "the bod." She could even run upstairs to the Parker’s apartment or is that off limits? I wouldn’t think it would be for Maria.

While I was annoyed that Isabel had thrown up her walls around Alex, I loved how Alex reminded Isabel he was still there by forcibly introducing himself to Grant. This is the second time he’s had to do that around her. The first time was when Tess met Isabel in "Crazy."

This next one is one of those unavoidable plot points. Watching the excavation, Michael hears something and runs after it. After he falls, he finds a shedded piece of skin shaped like a hand. When he picks it up, it turns to dust. Why does the skin wait to be picked up before it turns to dust? In "Harvest", we learn that the husks have been genetically altered to look like human skin. In "Wipeout", Michael tells Courtney that her new husk "feels real." We humans shed our skin too. Dead skin cells come off of you every day. If you are sunburned, as the skin heals, the outer layers will peal off and eventually, they will fall to pieces as the moisture dries up but this takes several days to happen. There are other examples like the one seen here. There’s one in "Ask Not" and in "Wipeout." The husks probably are similar to human skin in some respects. The unavoidable plot point is that if the shedded skins didn’t wait to turn to dust until they were picked up, Michael wouldn’t find it and Nasedo wouldn’t be alerted to the Skin’s presence.

There is one exception to this little "turn to dust" bit. When Maria picks up a piece of Courtney’s skin in "Harvest", it doesn’t immediately turn to dust. Maria is able to hold it and drop it without it evaporating.

Seeing Liz for the first time in this episode, Max leaves Isabel’s side and runs to her. Isabel stands in place and rolls her eyes. Take note of the wall to the left of the screen and the wooden windows. The shot changes to a far shot of Max running down the sidewalk towards Liz. See the windows on the left? They are exactly the same as the ones Isabel was standing next to. It’s a safe bet that Max only jogged about ten feet or so. The funny thing is, and you have to look very carefully to see this, if you look behind Max, you’ll see that Isabel has disappeared! I seriously doubt she could run in that leather skirt and there isn’t time for her to have moved out of the camera’s view. Maybe she’s working on a new super speed power. (I love this stuff.)

Does anyone find it believable that a member of Congress would set up a field office in the city of Roswell? This isn’t a knock against the town but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Roswell in 1990 was only 44,654. In the year 2000, the population for Chavas County, which the town of Roswell is in, was 61,382. The population for the entire state in 2000 was 1,819,046. Compared to some of the larger cities in the state, Roswell holds barely 5 - 7% of the state’s total population. Perhaps this is like a small branch of a main office that is located in a larger city. Of course, the real reason Whitaker is there is to find the Royal Four but her choice of office locations would surely make her constituents scratch their heads.

Maria isn’t the only one with odd dialogue. Deputy Hanson says Michael "Came in peaceably." Peaceably? I think that the rules of grammar would have him say "He came in peacefully." But that’s ok. Just run him through the "Maria filter" and it’s A.O.K.

Max tells Michael that Nasedo told them not to call him unless it was an emergency. This must have happened shortly after the events in "Destiny" because in that episode, we saw Nasedo change into the form of Pierce and leave for Hondo where Tess had sent the other agents via a mindwarp. Perhaps shortly after he left the pod chamber, Nasedo phoned them to tell them not to call.

Where did Michael get Nasedo’s phone number? I seriously doubt Max would have given it to him. Was he listed in the yellow pages under "Mean ‘ole shapeshifters?"

This episode gives us the impression that Pierce kept in regular contact with Whitaker. She has their phone conversations on tape. It makes you wonder why Pierce didn’t report in to her that he had captured Max at the end of "Max to the Max." There are several hours between that and the beginning of "The White Room." You’d think that something that important would be reported immediately. But why is Whitaker recording her conversations with Pierce in the first place? Does she not trust him? We’ll see Whitaker recording conversations in "Surprise" as well but in that episode, it was a necessary plot point to alert Liz to her eavesdropping. In this episode, it’s odd behavior yet it is explained in Whitaker’s diary. She is monitoring Pierce because he isn’t very forthcoming with information as she would like.

The Sheriff tells Michael that he found him and two of his buddies being rowdy out by the old Clovis Highway as a cover story for the knife Hanson found. There is a town called Clovis in New Mexico. It’s northeast of Roswell on highway 70 right by the Texas border. It’s also home to Cannon Air Force Base. According to my maps, there is no "Clovis highway" in New Mexico. Unless it’s another local description like the one the Sheriff makes about "horseshoe road" in "Destiny."

Nasedo / Pierce comes to the Café looking for the "little pod people." Let’s see. Pierce was head of a special unit within the FBI that without authorization spent (read that, "stole") $17 million dollars of the government’s money. Don’t you think he would have been arrested and thrown in jail? It’s possible Nasedo could have taken another form to escape and then reverted back to Agent Pierce upon returning to Roswell but that’s kind of risky. What if some tourist recognizes him? Oops! That happened, didn’t it?

Isabel must dress to make a fashion statement rather then dress for the weather. To visit Grant out at his dig site, Isabel wears her long leather skirt with leather top. She’s wearing that to go out into the desert? Wouldn’t that give her an extreme case of the vapors from the heat?

Trying to throw Whitaker off the trail, Valenti says that they don’t even know if the bones they found are human. DUUUH!!! What else COULD they be? Do those look like tuna fish bones to you?

Whitaker decides to take over the case involving the skeleton because she doesn’t want "a county sheriff" working on it. She says it is now a matter of federal interest. Now I might be mistaken but I don’t think a member of Congress can do that. They are not law enforcement officials. However, I do believe they have the power to call in the FBI and the FBI can take over a criminal investigation if they so choose. In his own county, the Sheriff has jurisdiction in almost any type of criminal investigation. I’m not sure Whitaker can just take him off the case like she does. I also wonder just what kind of interest the federal government would have in an old skeleton.

Just what justification does Whitaker have to place Michael under arrest? Does she have a motive? Does she have probable cause? What about physical evidence? Yes, she has does have the little pocket knife with Michael’s fingerprints but if you ask me, that is not enough to justify arresting him. Bringing him in for questioning, yes. Arresting him, no!

Max and Liz seem to have this unusual quirk about them when they are looking for something. In "Missing", Max and Liz went to Valenti’s house to search Kyle’s room for Liz’s missing diary. They turn on one tiny lamp in Kyle’s room as they search. They do the exact same thing in this episode. While searching for some clue as to where Whitaker has taken the bones, the only light in the small office is the desk lamp. In "Missing", I can understand why they didn’t want a lot of lights on. The Valenti household was supposed to be empty. But in this case, it makes no sense. Liz works in the office. Having the lights on wouldn’t seem out of place while she was there. Maybe they were trying to hide the fact that Max was in there too. Kind of weird how these two constantly work in the dark, don’t you think?

Max says that the residual effect of Michael using his powers on Pierce left an "isotope of cadmium" on them. I put a lot of thought and study into this statement and I can’t decide whether this is correct or not. I think it would be easier to say that when the aliens use their powers to kill someone, the element named "cadmium X" is left on the body and leave calling it an "isotope" out of it entirely.

Hot alien sex must happen very fast. It’s either that or the episode loses some time. The amount of time from the point that Nasedo / Pierce picks up Whitaker at her office until the time Nasedo grabs Max and pulls him into the alley is roughly four minutes. I do believe that Nasedo was going to distract Madam Congresswoman by "diddling" her again. Did he really only devote four minutes to that task? I know some women who would find that horrendously insulting and even less satisfying.

After Nasedo grabs Max, the young king tells him that the bones will be delivered to Las Cruces "tomorrow morning." How does Max know that? Liz didn’t tell him that when she suggested that bones were being taken there. Did they search more when we weren’t looking and come across that information? For all Max knows, the bones could BE there already but of course, they haven’t been. I sense a little plot trickery.

Now we come to part of the episode that prompted me to contact Mr. Hull and Mr. Hyman. The particle accelerator! In order to make this simple, I won’t go into the science too deeply so you may put away your headache medicine.

Liz says that the particle accelerator is at the "Las Cruces University." Mr. Hull tells me that the college where he works is not called the Las Cruces University and there is no college with that name. It’s actually the "New Mexico State University" that is located in the town of Las Cruces. I wonder why the name change.

The sign on the wall of the building that holds the accelerator says "Coleman BLDG, Particle Research Facility, U.S. Department of Energy." According to Mr. Hull, there is no such building by that name at New Mexico State University or at the Los Alamos labs OR at the labs in San Dia. So where the heck did Max and company go??

Mr. Hull tells me that his astrophysics lab does not have a cyclotron nor does any other department on the New Mexico State campus. Hull’s group does not do work that requires such a device. They use helium balloons to do atmospheric measurements in the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere. Just in case you don’t know, the terms "cyclotron" and "particle accelerator" mean basically the same thing.

The guard outside the Coleman building (wherever that is) is not very good at his job. He’s supposed to keep people who don’t belong there away. So what does he do? He leaves his post to help a pretty girl find her way. But then, do you really blame him?

I’d have to say that the possibility of a cell phone working inside a building that houses a particle accelerator is just about zero. The shielding in the walls and the magnetic fields from the accelerator would interfere with the signal. Maybe Max is working on that "enhance the ability of a cell phone" power.

Now for the cyclotron itself seen in this episode. It’s a fairly large device that contains a long twisting corridor that Max can walk upright in. Bruce Hyman tells me that most newer particle accelerators built today are called "synchrotrons" and are huge in comparison to a cyclotron. For example, the cyclotron Mr. Hyman uses fits into a single building and the diameter of the inside is approximately 62 inches (1.6 meters.) A synchrotron on the other hand, can be large enough to cover several acres. From the outside, I don’t think what we see in this episode qualifies as a synchrotron. Also, accelerators of any type do not have a long curvy corridor running through them. The bottom line is that Max should not have been able to climb inside it unless he used his powers to shrink himself down to about ten inches high.

In order to accelerate charged particles, a very low vacuum must be created. This is necessary because charged particles won’t travel very far through the air. Before I continue, allow me to mention an idea a member of the message board brought up. Max is a hybrid and thus, may not react the same way to things as a normal human would. So let me tell you first what would happen to you and me inside an accelerator. First of all, there would be no air to breathe in the vacuum so you would quickly suffocate. Second, our bodies are normally equalized to atmospheric pressure. A person inside the accelerator would experience what Mr. Hyman described as "a great out-gassing." In other words, your body would swell up like a balloon until you exploded! I don’t believe even putting yourself inside a pressure tank would save you. In "The White Room", Pierce told Max that everything about him from his organs to his skeleton were completely human. His blood is the only thing that isn’t. It is possible Max is using his powers to keep from being smeared all over the inside of the accelerator because otherwise, he’d be toe jam.

And then, of course, there is the radiation. Mr. Hyman tells me that the highest concentration of radiation exists in the cyclotron itself. While the exposure might not be immediately lethal, it would probably be AT LEAST 1000 times the recommended allowable yearly dose. I don’t have an exact figure but it would be enough to deaden your skin and make you very, very ill. "FBI Guy" said that this would make it very unlikely he could get Tess pregnant. Any human exposed to such amounts of radiation would be sick every day for the rest of his or her life. This is called "radiation poisoning." Again, it’s possible Max was using his powers to keep him safe. I doubt anything else could save the parts of him that are human. It IS possible to work inside an accelerator but you would have to be wearing a radiation suit and you certainly couldn’t be inside it while the thing was turned on! Remember the yellow stickers on your TV that tell you to unplug the set before servicing it? Those stickers are correct!

All three men said that there is a magnetic field inside the accelerator. Max’s disruption of the field as he stepped into it would instantly alert those monitoring the device of his presence. Tess’s mindwarp probably took care of this aspect of it. This magnetic field also presents another danger (as if the radiation and the lack of air and the high pressure aren’t enough.) When the scientists activate the particle flow (the pretty pink stuff that knocks Max on his butt), the electrons would be moving slightly under the speed of light (a little under 186,000 miles per second.) The flow would act like a magnet and if Max had any kind of metal on his person, such as a coin, a pocket knife, a tooth filling, even the buttons on his pants, they would be ripped off and put into a lethal trajectory. It would be like being shot. Again, it’s possible Max is using his powers to prevent this. I think the creators should have given us some indication that this was indeed what Max was doing because otherwise, our dear, sweet Max Evans would be a red stain on the inside of the accelerator.

One of the scientists on the show says that they carbon dated the skeleton. You can carbon date items inside a cyclotron. When adding to season two’s Powers List, I made sure to say that not only did Max remove the cadmium X from the bones, he also aged them forty-two years.

The scientists also say that the fused rib cage is probably from the nuclear testing done in the 1950’s. This is a reasonable theory because there were indeed nuclear tests done in Los Alamos from 1958 to 1961. They were hydronuclear tests to be exact. And yes, radiation can mutate organic structures in such a way.

I wonder why the scientists went to all the trouble of arranging Pierce’s bones into skeleton form just to run them through the cyclotron. Seems kind of tedious if you ask me.

I wonder if Maria closed the Crashdown early so they could have their traditional before-school party. She did it so she could make out with Michael in "Crazy." Why not here too?

Maria may be apologizing because she didn’t realize Courtney was still in the back but if you ask me, she probably doesn’t need to. Courtney is a Skin. She was probably hiding in the back to listening to every word.

I think this episode finally establishes that no one, and I mean no one, has any intention of using the door’s on the Evan’s house. Even Nasedo goes to Max’s window. I say they should just remove the window and put a door there. Then again, that might keep people out of Max’s room since no one uses the doors.

All I have to say about this episode is "She-bang!" Good work. Coming up next, "Ask Not."

#201 Skin and Bones - Review

Written by LSS

Skin and Bones begins with a beeping sound reminiscent of Sexual Healing’s introductory frame. This time, however, it is not a broken radio tower we see but a beeping metal detector. The frame is the first in a series of chiastically arranged scenes structured around the theme of hiddenness. The camera shifts from the geologist digging in the sand to the therapist suggesting that Max has "buried something." As the therapist assures Max that his problems are "normal teenage stuff," our privileged interior glimpse into Max’s thoughts reveals that "hiding" is something instinctual to Max. It is only after Max agrees with the therapist that the camera shifts back to the initial scene of the digging geologist. Thus, while the spatial images in the introduction alternate from desert to therapist to desert, the entire dramatic sequence is unified by the theme of hiddenness (physical hiddenness/desert--psychological and social hiddenness/therapist’s office --physical hiddenness and discovery/desert). Moreover, the finding of the buried object in the final desert scene suggests that Max’s hiddenness will also be exposed. This threat of discovery, evoked in these introductory frames, is reinforced in the concluding ones when Harding, now discovered by the enemy, warns Max that the enemy is now among them.

Of course, hiddenness is not all this episode is about. A number of new Science Fiction elements are also worthy of our attention:

CADMIUM X, RADIATION, AND FUSED BONES. According to Skin and Bones, Cadmium X (identified in the narration as an isotope of Cadmium) is a residual element left in the bodies of murder victims killed by aliens (specifically those bodies with silver palm prints as well as Pierce’s bones). It seems that Cadmium X has the properties of a metal since Pierce’s bones activate Grant Sorenson’s metal detector. This observation remains at the level of speculation (unless you already know that Cadmium is a metal) since this property is never explained even though Grant does ask why a metal detector would "locate" bones! Interestingly, the congresswoman informs the subcommittee that Cadmium X is an element that "doesn’t exist" on earth--an element that is "not human." (Ahem [cough], congresswoman...have you ever met a "human" element?) This is a tad odd since Cadmium itself IS a terrestrial element. [NOTE: If our writers meant for us to think of an unusual form of Cadmium--one that sets it apart from its earthly cousin--they should have said so! Instead we are left thinking that Cadmium is an extraterrestrial element.] By the way, Harding mentions that Cadmium X is "on" Pierce’s bones (not "in" them?).

From a Science Fiction perspective the repeated mention of "radiation" in this episode is intriguing. We are told that: 1) the geologist is testing in the area for residual radioactivity from nuclear testing in the 1950s; 2) the coroner ascribes the fused bones to a "short and very contained burst of unthinkable energy" (conjuring up images of explosive radioactive activity); and, 3) the scientist at the Particle Research Facility explains the fused bones as a "mutation resulting from the radioactivity tests done in the area in 1958" (also the alleged date of the bones after Max gets through with them).

Science Fiction in the 1950s was obsessed with radioactivity and the atomic bomb. It was the age of fallout shelters and B-grade cautionary tales. Movies like Them! and Godzilla, the King of Monsters (both 1954) warned viewers of the danger of atomic power and the problems evoked by nuclear testing. I must admit that images of the 1950s ran through my mind as Skin and Bones shamelessly alluded to the themes of this great decade of Science Fiction!

THE ROYAL FOUR. Although in Destiny we learned of Max’s identity as his people’s "beloved leader," it is Skin and Bones that reveals that Max’s planet is (was?) monarchical (with Max its ruling monarch). From this we can assume that Isabel (as Max’s sister) is/was a princess. What Tess and Michael were, however, remains to be seen. After Tess’ marriage to Max, she could have been either Queen or Royal Consort (if earthly monarchies are any example of off-planet ones). Her status before marrying Max, however, is anyone’s guess. Since kings often marry into other royal families, perhaps Tess was "royal" and her marriage to Max "diplomatic." Only time will tell if Tess and Michael can lay claim to the title "royal" other than by marriage/betrothal.

Science Fiction is no stranger to monarchies and royal characters. While Science Fiction can function as social commentary and stories dealing with social order can be a way of critiquing self and society, royal characters can also be simply the stuff of fantasy and romance. Aside from social comment, such characters conjure up the mythic/ legendary figures of Earth’s/humankind’s history. (NOTE: One has only to look at the obsession over Princess Diana to note the "draw" of royalty and the subsequent fantasy that our own time weaves around them.) It will be interesting to see how Roswell develops the theme of "King" Max. It would appear that our writers are laying the groundwork for an epic struggle between Max’s private/personal life and his public/duty oriented one. After all, elected officials can merely step down when their jobs conflict with their personal lives. Kings have to abdicate (often with great shame). Perhaps our writers will figure out how Max can have it all--only time will tell!

Of course, there are different roads to royal status. Is Max king because his father was king before him? Or did he take the throne by a coup? That is, is his planet’s monarchy hereditary? Or is it based on charismatic succession? I bring up this point because Skin and Bones presents Michael as extremely dissatisfied with Max’s DEFANGED_STYLEof "leadership." While Harding himself is not pleased with his "pacifist" leader, he does not counter Max’s orders. Michael, however, goes directly against Max by contacting Harding. And Michael’s comment to Max ("You’re our leader. Why don’t you lead?") makes Michael a character worth watching in the power dynamics of future episodes.

THE SKINS. Although Destiny’s last scene implied an alien presence on earth (other than Harding and our podsters), Skin and Bones gives us further clues into these aliens’ nature. Harding refers to them as "skins" and indeed cast off skins are all that we see of them. Twice the audience sees "husks" — once of a hand (seen by Michael in the desert) and once of some other body part (seen by Harding near his car).

Another feature of these aliens is their "odd" vision. Twice the audience "sees" objects (first Michael and then Harding) from an unusual POV. This (I think we are meant to assume) represents alien (skins’) vision. Either this is simply a visual technique to clue the audience to an alien presence or it signals something "different" about these aliens’ optic system. One interesting shot, however, shows Michael looking straight at the skin (?) without "seeing" him/her/it. Are we to think of camouflage here? Or invisibility? Or simply hiddenness? We’ll have to wait till the coming episodes to resolve these questions.

What is really interesting, however, are the words used by Harding to describe what will happen IF the "skins" come to Roswell. In the midst of confronting Max about his "pacifist" attitude, Harding asks if they should wait until "our enemies show up and have a nice boxed lunch of us." It may be nothing, but in my mind that statement evokes images of ingestion. Harding doesn’t say that the enemies will simply kill the podsters. He says that they will eat them. When you couple this with EMPTY skins it leaves open an interesting line of speculation. Do the "skins" absorb the shape they take (leaving only the dried husk of the form they’ve abandoned)? Of course if there is no significance to Harding’s statement, then those husks can be understood in a variety of other ways. They could be signs of: 1) sickness/stress, 2) growth, 3) a change in life stages, 4) a change of form, etc.

EVALUATING THE SCIENCE FICTION OF THIS EPISODE. At the end of my review of Destiny last season, I evaluated the first season’s Science Fiction by identifying some examples of what I thought was Good vs. Poor/Silly Science Fiction. This season I will include a new section ("The Critic’s Corner") in each review where I critique the episode’s Science Fiction. (NOTE: The above sections are more "commentary" than a critique. Hope you enjoy the new section below.)


Problematic Science Fiction in Skin and Bones. Having Max enter the Cyclotron did not "work" for me. As a lay viewer, I know nothing of the science of cyclotrons. But common sense dictates that anything placed in a containment chamber with thick walls (as evidenced when Max lifts the chamber hatch) is so placed for a reason. Even though Max leaves the chamber before the second stage of the cyclotron is activated, his presence during the first stage seemed to me incredulous. When you couple this with the exact dating of the bones via carbon dating (an impossibility of which even I am well aware) you produce a credibility issue surrounding two key SF elements of this episode. As I have said before, good Science Fiction does not have to be scientifically accurate. But it does have to be plausible.

Moreover, if you are going to introduce an alien element in the storyline (Cadmium X), why chose a name (Cadmium) that is the name of a bona fide terrestrial element? Come on writers, you can do better than this! And I am not going to mention Valenti’s suggestion that the bone they found belonged to a coyote. I live with coyotes all around me (they come up close to my porch all the time). And if I ever met one warranting a leg bone that size, I’d sell my farm in a heartbeat!

Good Science Fiction in Skin and Bones. I like the idea of an extraterrestrial element residual in alien murder victims. It gives our podsters a more "alien" touch that (for me) worked nicely. Although there are still many questions surrounding this element, its presence reminds us that, although Michael is a hybrid with human DNA, his alien DNA has real consequences for his actions. I welcome this reminder of Michael’s alien nature. Max told Liz that loving her had made him human (Destiny). We need to remember, however, that Max’s alien DNA makes him alien as well.

Another element that "worked" for me was the introduction of the elusive "skins." Having a second species on the narrative stage expands Roswell’s Science Fiction potential. Now perhaps we can have truly "alien" aliens instead of human look-alike hybrid aliens. It also means that Roswell can now explore the "alien as enemy/monster" theme. It is hard to envision our Max as a menacing alien and even the joke cracking Harding (in spite of his killing and kidnaping tendencies) falls short of a truly horrendous villain. I’m looking forward to the coming episodes when our writers will "flesh-out" (ouch!) the skins.

#202 Ask Not! - Review

Written by Jerry D.

I thought this was one of the best episodes of Roswell that I've ever seen, as it blended the compelling history of President Kennedy's actions in the Cuban Missile Crisis with the contemporary story of Max Evans and his efforts to protect his fellow "visitors" from an implacable enemy. I thought it was fascinating to watch Max, forced into a leadership role he never really wanted, take decisive control to face his enemy, and by using cool and rational judgement, he avoided a mistake that could have cost the life of an innocent person.

I enjoyed the opening scene of the show, as all the beautiful women of Roswell danced to the music "played" by a very unique "disc jockey," Isabel Evans, who used her powers to make the compact discs play by themselves. This brief moment of sheer fun ended very quickly, however, as a distraught Max burst in and revealed that Nasedo was dead, this time for good, as even the healing rocks couldn't revive him this time, and he disintegrated into dust, a victim of the mysterious "skins," whose presence among them he revealed to Max with his dying words. This time, Max and his three fellow "visitors" faced true danger, as there was an enemy among them, who was closer than they could possibly have imagined.

It was interesting to see Kyle come back, and I enjoyed seeing the affection that Sheriff Valenti showed his son. I thought it was amusing to see Kyle quoting Buddha, much to his father's bewilderment. I also thought that the interaction between a clearly ill at ease Kyle, and a sexually provocative Tess was very interesting, as she used every means possible to embarrass Kyle, but finally, they both showed their vulnerable side, and I thought that Kyle's later kindness towards her was very touching, as he gave up his room for her.

I really enjoyed seeing the way the show drew parallel's between the actions of President Kennedy, who I greatly admire, in the Cuban Missile Crisis, and Max's current situation. Max Evans, like President Kennedy before him, was suddenly thrust into a leadership role in a situation where extreme peril existed, and the choices that both men would have to make would have long-term effects that would affect the future of the very existence of their fellow inhabitants on this planet. I also thought that it was wonderful how Max, like President Kennedy before him, took into consideration advice that could have spelled disaster for everyone involved, but he ultimately followed his own council, and made the right decision and avoided killing an innocent person.

I thought that it was eerie seeing Max being "stalked" by one of the "skins" and the use of slow motion heightened the tension as Max used one of his new powers to try and hunt down the being that was trying to hunt him down. I thought that Michael's always present resentment of Max and his leadership role really came to a boiling point in this episode, and it could bode trouble for the future, as Michael's disobeying orders once again put himself, and by extension, all the others, in great danger. I thought that Bertie Davis was quite an interesting, if eccentric character, and his initial paranoia and hostility towards Max, to the point of firing him, was later explained by the fact that he had apparently been kidnapped by aliens, and it was fortunate for him that Max used common sense and logic and questioned his presence, rather than following Michael and Isabel's advice to kill him, since they thought he was the "skin" that had killed Nasedo.

I think Bertie should be an interesting addition to the cast, although I'm personally sorry to see Milton go. I also thought that the way that they had Max remember all the violence he had witnessed in the last year as he approached Bertie to confront him was very well done. I thought the scene between Max and Tess was really poignant, and it showed the differences between their two characters, as Tess remembered a past life where Max loved her, and wanted that to translate into their present life, but Max didn't want to acknowledge any past life, and wanted to fulfill the "destiny" of his own choosing, a destiny with his beloved Liz.

I thought it was unfortunate that Maria and Liz happened upon Max and Tess talking together at the wrong time, and my heart broke for poor Liz, who is torn by her desire to not stand in the way of Max's destiny, and the obvious love that she has for him. It was interesting to see the interaction between the devious Congresswoman Whitaker and Liz, as Liz covered up for Nasedo's death by lying about "Agent Pierce," but then Congresswoman Whitaker used her insidious ways to trick Liz into revealing the name of her rival, Tess.

I liked the interaction between Liz and Maria, and Maria always manages to provide some much needed comic relief to this otherwise dark and ominous show. I also liked Maria's conversation with Max, and the way it mixed hilarity with a truly heartfelt moment, as her advice to Max to follow his heart was both timely and true, in both the life and death situation he faced concerning what to do about Bertie, and what he should do about Liz. I loved Max's heartfelt words towards Liz, as he finally followed his heart, both in the situation where he faced Bertie, and when he told Liz that she was the only one that mattered to him, and that he was coming for her, and I can't wait to see these star crossed lovers get back together.

As is always the case with Roswell, however, a scene of imminent danger followed a scene of tender romance, as it was revealed that the flirty waitress Courtney was, in fact, the "skin" who had killed Nasedo, and was stalking Max and his fellow "visitors." Overall, I thought this was another excellent episode of Roswell, one that blended touching romance with true suspense, and the allusions to the parallels between the situation that Max Evans was facing, and the situation that my favorite President was facing, made it one of the most enjoyable episodes of Roswell that I've ever had the pleasure of seeing.

#202 Ask Not! - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: Ask not what your planet can do for you, but what you can do for your planet. Max must come to terms with his role as leader of his people, without the guidance of Nasedo, who has been murdered by the Skins.

Subplot: Max has a new boss and Tess has a new home.

Max: All I could think of when I saw Max run into the table, as he’s running towards the Crashdown, was OUCH!!, that must have hurt! I saw most of the filming of the outside scenes for this episode but I missed this one so I don’t know if they used a stunt double or not. I don’t think they did so I hope Jason didn’t get hurt doing that shot.

I gathered from this episode that we are supposed to find a correlation between JFK’s involvement with the Cuban missile crisis and Max’ dilemma with the Brody situation, as well as his insecurities as a reluctant king. Max hearing what JFK went through in the decision making process did hit home but those comparisons would be true of any leader. I do not know whether JFK listened to his advisors or not but, ultimately, JFK made the wrong decisions because the Bay of Pigs invasion was a fiasco. So, are we supposed to assume that JFK listened to his advisors and made the wrong decision to help the exiles invade Cuba and Max, who did not listen to Isabel and Michael, therefore, made the right decision by not killing Brody? Or, are we suppose to assume that Max’ decision to go against Isabel and Michael’s advice will ultimately prove to be a mistake? I guess we won’t know until we find out for sure if Brody is who is says he is. Personally, I have my doubts.

Max is still struggling with the responsibilities of leadership and the enormity of the decisions he will have to make are overwhelming him. Although he hasn’t had much time to prepare for this, I was a little surprised that he doesn’t think he has the instincts to make the right decisions. He has more confidence in himself than that, and he displays that confidence when he takes command of a situation, where he wants things to go his way (I think he rather enjoys saying "That’s an order." to Michael). But what possessed Max to discuss his leadership issues with Maria?! He must have been desperate, although I think Alex would have been a better choice.

I don’t think Max should trust Tess, just yet, with her memory retrieval techniques. God only knows what kind of memories she would conjure up for him!

Tess/Kyle: This is the first time that I actually enjoyed Emilie’s performance. Tess and Kyle are hilarious together! Their scenes together were my favorite in this episode. This pairing should prove to be a lot of fun; it may even rival Michael and Maria (especially since Maria/Majandra has not had her usual spark lately). Of course, we all know that Tess’ people skills are wanting, but I thought Tess was awfully nosy, going through Kyle’s personal belongings while a guest in his home. I thought her snapping his boxer’s was a bit much too, and why was she wearing his jersey? Had she still not brought any clothes from home, even though she was now living there (what was she wearing to school) or was she just trying to get a rise out of him? The barbs she threw out at him had me in stitches. And Kyle spouting Buddhism’s! The look on Jim’s (Bill’s) face was priceless!! Poor Kyle, not only do the aliens take up all of his father’s time, leaving very little for himself, but now they are moving into his home!

Tess reminded Kyle that she had no family, no friends, that her father figure had just been murdered and she too needed peace of mind but she seemed unaffected by all that had happened to her. Is she putting up a brave front, pretending that things don’t bother her or is she faking it with Kyle to gain his sympathy (which, of course, worked because Kyle is a softy deep down)? She’s also trying to use sympathy to get to Max as well. She never gives up!

When Tess said to Max "I’m not human. Neither are you.", I was wishing he would remind her that they are half human. Maybe Kyle will help to bring out her human side.

Michael: I thought Michael’s "time behind bars" had given him time to reflect and understand what Max is going through but he’s right back to sticking it to Max for not seeing things his way. Why doesn’t Max realize that he needs to give Michael an assignment to make him feel like he’s doing something constructive towards dealing with their predicament? Michael needs to be active to feel productive; he can’t sit back and passively watch like Max. If Max doesn’t let Michael into the decision making process more, I can see Michael challenging Max for the leadership role.

Michael smiling when Max interrupted his conversation with Isabel should have been a dead give away to Max that something was up - Michael never smiles!

Liz: Liz wants to tell herself that she can step aside and let Max be with Tess, to fulfill his destiny, but seeing him alone with her is too painful. I do believe she’s weakening! Even Maria noticed Liz’ euphoric state after Max touched her!

Maria: Maria hitting Max with the book was way over the top. She’s much too mean to him. When she said they "bonded" over the summer, I was so happy to hear that and I had such high hopes but I’m beginning to have my doubts. I don’t call his mooning over Liz and her yelling at him "bonding". They are like water and oil, they don’t mix!

Maria nagging Liz, yelling at Max and fawning over Michael - could she get more pathetic?! Maria used to be my favorite female character in the show but I’m beginning to think I may have to switch allegiances! Unfortunately, at the moment, none of the others are in contention either. L Liz is aloof and distant, Isabel has been reduced to the role of peacekeeper between Max and Michael and I still don’t trust Tess.

Isabel: I didn’t understand why Isabel was so quick to suggest that they kill Brody with so little information to go on; investigate yes but not kill first and ask questions later. I felt it was out of character, although they are all apt to do things out of character since they are so scared right now.

Whitaker: I was surprised that she didn’t ask Liz why she lied when she first asked her if there were any messages from Pierce (Nasedo) and Liz said no. I’m assuming Liz decided on the spur of the moment to make up the story of him dumping her so Whitaker wouldn’t try to look for him. (Hopefully Liz will let Max know what she told her so he doesn’t say something that contradicts the story later on.) Did she believe Liz? She seemed genuinely hurt, so she probably had real feelings for him. However, Whitaker’s drunk scene was obviously a ruse to get Liz to open up. How much information did Pierce give her before Nasedo took over? She must know Liz is involved or she wouldn’t have been trying to glean information from her. She probably was after information on Max but now knows Tess is involved too.

Skins/Courtney: So, what do we know about the Skins so far? The momogram said we would know them by the evil within; Max and Michael can "feel" their presence, even when hidden; they may have strange vision (based on the special effect used to tell the audience of their presence); and they shed their skin in large chunks (wouldn’t you love to be able to exfoliate your skin the way Courtney did? J ) They seem to leave an awful lot of "calling cards". Is this on purpose or are they just careless? What is Courtney’s game? Is she still gathering information, waiting till she knows for sure she has the right targets before going in for the kill? Does she want them to view her as a friend so she can turn them to the dark side? Is she working alone, waiting for reinforcements or is the gang all there? Did she kill Nasedo? When she asked Michael if he was into "piercings", was that a play on words to see if he would react to "Pierce"?

Brody: I’m not buying Brody’s abduction story. First, I find it very difficult to believe that Milton would sell his life’s work and not even say a word about it to his protégé, Max. Second, he "acquired" the pentagon beeper too easily. This strikes me as a very important device to the Skins, one they would not allow one of their kind to lose, for fear of exposure, and something they would have no qualms about killing for, to get it back. Third, why didn’t he want anyone to know about the "improvements" ("If anyone asks, you never saw any of this.") and why is he using an elaborate security system for his UFO information? And if he goes to the trouble to have an elaborate security system, why didn’t he question Max on how he got past it?

General: The energy surge the pentagon beeper emitted passed right through Brody without harming him (although he did jump so he knew something happened). Does this mean it was directed only at Michael and only effects the person it is directed at; that Brody is a Skin and it does not harm Skins; or that Brody is 100% human and it does not harm full humans? Is it preprogrammed to activate in the presence of the Royal Four? If so, then, like Alex asked, why would it activate when Michael was in the room but not Max? Did Brody activate it or are different beepers designated for each of the Royal Four?

Nasedo turning to ashes upon death. Guess his species doesn’t have to worry about funeral expenses, cremation nor burial!

Did anyone notice that Michael used the door this time to break into the UFO Center instead of coming down the chute or through a window?

Based on what Maria said to Max about his not telling her what he was talking about, I assume that Maria, Liz and Alex do not know about the Skins. I wonder how much information Max gave Valenti when he brought Tess over.

The door to the Crashdown did not appear to be locked; weren’t they taking a chance playing the CDs without a player when anyone could just walk in, including Liz’ parents from upstairs?

What was that red light shining on Liz and Maria when they were driving in the car? It wasn’t like they passed something that had a red reflection. It was there throughout the scene and it was very annoying.

We now know that Tess has healing powers, so Isabel is the only one, so far, to not exhibit this power.

Favorite Lines:

Isabel: I’m too young to be dust.

Tess: Calvin Klein; I approve!

Tess: Post-it Notes; nice touch.

Tess: How do you think the Buddha would feel about being sandwiched between Hustler and Busty Biker Babes?

Max: So, just know this…I’m coming for you, Liz.

#202 Ask Not! - Review

Written by Chad Evans (Nitpickius Roswellian)

Theeeeey're heeeeeere. And paranoia runs rampant in Roswell.

This was Ronald D. Moore's first script with the show and it was pretty good. It's interesting that Moore decided to use JFK to help Max with his dilemma. Now I'm not totally familiar with the Cuban missile crisis. I only recall bits and pieces of it from history class but if I was writing this episode, I would have used Harry S. Truman and the decision to drop the bomb on Hiroshima. Perhaps Moore was trying to draw a parallel between Max and JFK. They both seemed to take their time making a decision. I think there have been other world leaders with similar decisions that could have been used and surely ones that could have kept Maria from making her snide comments. More on that in a little bit.

I know Max doesn't think of himself as a rock solid leader but it's weird that he struggles with it so much. In "Destiny", when no one knew what to do, Max stepped up and took control. Everyone bowed to his direction including Michael. Here, Max is struggling to come to a decision about Brody. I surmised that the reason for his delays were because Max may have to kill the guy. Instead of going to a trusted teacher for "anonymous" advice, he goes to Maria. Maria? Maria has never been portrayed as someone you would go to for advice. But here, Maria is spouting advice that would make Counselor Troi from Star Trek proud. There are some things about Maria that have really changed over the course of the summer. The nice thing about Maria here is she is absolutely confident that Michael wants her even though he is trying to avoid her. What's even funnier is that she is exactly right! Michael couldn't help but look at her during the dancing at the party though he was trying not to. Give it up Spaceboy.

In her musings, Joan Pickering said she thought Maria hitting Max with the book was over the top. I didn't think so. Maria has always seemed the type to do stuff like that. She can always find a humorous comment in a serious moment. I think this is why she and Liz are such good friends. Liz is always so down to earth and planning things out while Maria just takes things as they come. Maria may seem like she is being mean to Max when offering him advice but you have to keep in mind that Maria is not exactly being objective. Max is or was dating her best friend. She has Liz's best interests at heart because she knows Liz loves Max. So when Liz gets her feelings hurt by seeing Max walking with Tess, Maria is not going to let Max, who is also her friend, get away with it without a few zingers. Maria wants both of her friends to be happy which is why she spends a lot of this episode trying to patch things up between them. Who hates "ingpay" more then Maria De Luca? Of course, she should take some of her own advice. She's still pining for Michael! I do feel the need to say that once season three begins, the playful supportive side of Maria disappears and she becomes a brooding, confused person. I miss the season two Maria.

Now that Max knows he is the leader, I think he rather enjoys telling Michael "That's an order." Now he thinks he has more reason then ever to be in control of Michael. Of course, Michael isn't one to just let someone order him to do something and simply obey. The only time Michael has sat back and followed Max unquestionably is during "Destiny" when NO ONE knew what to do. Michael may seem like he is frustrated with Max but he's really not. The thing he hates is that Max doesn't make his decisions fast enough. I'm willing to bet that if Max would give Michael something to do, he wouldn't be so difficult. Michael is coming into his own though. When Max came to the Crashdown to tell them of Nasedo's death, Max is in no condition to make any decisions so Michael steps in to take charge. That is perfect behavior for someone who is second in command. There is one more important thing about Michael to mention. While Michael may grouse Max about not leading, when Max does make a decision, Michael follows it. Coming into the UFO Center, Michael is dead set on killing Brody. Max stops him and Isabel to handle the situation himself. All Michael does is ask what will happen if Brody kills him. He holds back and lets Max handle it alone.

I do believe this is the first time Isabel has expressed her own position so concrete. Isabel is tired of living in fear of her life and their enemies and says "enough is enough" and takes Michael's side about Brody. Before this, Isabel refused to really take a side but once Michael was injured, Isabel didn't hold back. I think perhaps Michael being hurt reminded her too much of the fear she felt when Max was held in the white room and she refused to ever let that happen again. To her, Brody raised more questions then he gave answers. I don't think this was out of character for her. She still continues to be the "referee" for Max and Michael here as well.

Did you notice that Isabel paid almost little or no mind to Alex in this episode? Alex definitely had his eyes on her as she danced. Alex's look was one that said "Why Isabel, why?"

Admittedly, not everyone was happy about Tess showing up but I think this is the first episode where people might have started to think differently about her. The exchanges between her and Kyle were hilarious and really sort of played off how the two acted in the library during "Four Square." Tess was teasing him in that episode and she was teasing him in this one too. I believed her reactions of fear about being alone now that Nasedo was dead. She always thought that the deal Nasedo made with Kivar would be carried out with him. Now, if she is going to do anything, she is going to be doing it alone.

There is a nice little touch that Jason Behr added to the scene with her as the two characters walked to Tess's house. Tess tells Max about their past; a past where he loved her. She then reaches up to touch his cheek and if you listen to Max's breathing, he gets a little excited as if remembering the feelings her touch was associated with. After a second or two of this, Max takes her hand away and says he doesn't remember that life.

At this point, I don't think Tess has really made a decision on what she will do as far as Nasedo's deal goes. She isn't really pursuing Max in this episode. In just about every instance, Max goes to her. She does reaffirm her belief that Max should be the only one in command. When Michael tries to take control of the situation in the Café, Tess objects saying he is not in charge. Max was clearly not in charge though nor was he capable of doing so either. If the situation had not been what it was, I'm sure Michael would have given this little remark more scrutiny.

Other then how Isabel ignores him, there is little else for Alex in this episode.

Liz, for lack of a better way to say it, is just depressed. She does seem to be enjoying her new job however. Liz enjoys organization. She's not to the extreme that Max is with it but this makes her feel important and allows her to focus on something else besides her grief. Yes, she is still in love with Max but the fact that Tess is in his presence almost every time she sees him won't let her forget what happened between them. Even though Whitaker had an alterior motive for getting her to talk about Max and Tess, it was good therapy for her to finally say that she hated the blonde vixen. There is another example of this in the episode. Maria is trying to get Liz to dance. Liz doesn't want to and Tess comes over to sit by her. Both she and Maria look at each other and Liz, eager to get away from Tess, relents and begins to dance. There's another little tidbit on this segment. Maria seems like she is giving Liz a hard time about Max. Maria had seen them outside at the end of "Skin and Bones" and made Liz smile asking her about having a flash. I don't think Maria was giving Liz a hard time here. She was trying to make her friend smile. It was a party after all!

One more Tess / Liz moment. After Max tells them Nasedo is dead, Liz notices the scrape on Max's cheek. She tries to comfort him which is all she can do. Tess goes one step further and reaches up and heals him. Liz looks on in shock because Tess can do something for Max that she cannot do. Yet!

I will discuss Whitaker and the things she has done in this episode in my review of "Surprise."

I was already aware that Courtney was a Skin long before I saw this episode but I liked the cliffhanger the creators left us with to end the episode. Moore did a nice little hidden thing with the script too. Courtney asks Michael how he feels about "piercings' (get it? Pierce? As in Agent Pierce.) Michael says he is not into pain. Pain was what Pierce all about to Max in "The White Room." Of course, it's also a sexual barb on Courtney's part. One that Maria was none too happy about.

I wonder if the Sheriff thought he had picked up the wrong kid when Kyle started spouting his Buddha talk. As Tess said, where did Kyle pick up Buddha? Did he go into a local bookstore and see a pretty book cover? You know, if Kyle were really serious about this, he'd shave his head, give away all his earthly possessions, and start wearing orange and yellow robes. I doubt that even in Roswell anyone would notice. Yeah, right. On a nicer note, it was kind of Kyle to give up his room for Tess. These two are going to provide some really humorous moments in season two. I also add that at this point in the series, Kyle definitely doesn't appear to see Tess as his sister. When "End of the World" rolls around, the word "sister" is not anywhere near the word I would use to describe the two.

As I said, the episode appears to last five days. It begins I'd say not more then an hour or so after the events of "Skin and Bones." After the scene in the pod chamber, the action starts on Monday morning and ends on Friday night. I'm afraid I must wait until I get the date Liz uses in her journal entry in "Heart of Mine" before I can add it to the timeline (I add to it one episode at a time.)

Isabel is using her powers to make the CD's play music. The last time she did this was in "Pilot" and in that episode, she held the CD in her hand. Here, she has them sitting out on the table and can walk away from them and they will still play. There are a few other things to mention about these CDs. As I said in "Pilot", unless the energy Isabel is using on the CD's is spinning, the only music they will be hearing is the music on the sector of the CD the energy is passing through. CDs play music as they spin similar to the way phonographic records spin under the needle placed on them. The CDs use a laser instead of a needle.

Isabel also makes the CDs sound scratchy like DJs do with blank phonographic records. It's not possible to make this sound with a CD. Unless of course, you have alien powers and can make it possible.

It's awfully risky of Isabel to be using her powers like this. Was she doing that when Courtney was still in the back during the last episode? I couldn't tell. In this episode, Max bursts into the Café and the door is unlocked. Someone could have walked in and seen the glowing CDs on the table. However, with some blocking, Isabel could get away with this as the CD player is sitting on the same table. Using Isabel's powers on the CDs must make them sound better then the CD player would which is probably why she is doing this. In "Monsters", Isabel used her powers to make Maria's car stereo sound much better then it originally had sounded.

Ok, picture this: you've got a young male teenager with no shirt running down the streets and across the road. His hands are covered in blood and he has a bloody handprint on his chest. Does that strike anyone else as very suspicious? I know I'd be calling 9-1-1.

Nasedo must have incredibly thick blood. Max works up a good sweat running down the streets yet the handprint remains on his chest. It doesn't drip. There's a saying that goes "Blood is thicker then water." Maybe in Nasedo's case, it's even more so.

It's very difficult to tell whether or not a stunt double was used for Jason Behr during the scene where he crashed into the table. The creators were careful to use angles which hid the actor's face. My instincts tell me that for insurance reasons, Behr didn't do this himself. Whoever this guy is, he looks a lot like the young king.

The pod chamber is completely different from when it was last seen "Destiny." It's now a large room with a strong light source from behind the pods themselves. There are also more lights on the walls and it has a raised plate for them to lay Nasedo's body on. None of these things beside the pods were seen in season one. It's possible they were there all along but we just couldn't see them in the darkness. Max must have found the light switch.

The gang have to go back to Max's room to get Nasedo's body. This makes Isabel upset. I don't know what's she's harping at. Max should be just as upset that she's using her powers to play CD's in an unlocked Café! But anyway, Max isn't wearing a shirt for the first part of this episode. When they get to the pod chamber, he has a black shirt on. Since they had to go back for Nasedo's body, it is possible he grabbed one at that time.

There is also a very nice bit of consistency here. A close up of Max's hand holding the healing stone reveals that they are still stained with Nasedo's blood. If you watch carefully, his hands stay stained even when he was running down the street. It was very easy to make a mistake during all of this but the creators did a nice job staying consistent. Excellent. The only thing I have to say about it is that Max lands flat on his hands as he stumbles into the Crashdown yet when we see his hands in the pod chamber, his palms are still covered in blood. Maybe you have to use soap with rocks in it to remove alien bloodstains.

Does the Crashdown have a strobe light on the ceiling? From the way the light pattern moves across the walls, it appears there is one just in front of the door. Did someone bring one or has it always been there? It's possible someone is using their powers to make this happen. Max did in "Blind Date." In all fairness though, the camera's view never really shows us the top of the Café.

Use of the healing stones is not considered a power as far as I am concerned. If I added this to the Power's List, I'd have to add Maria and Alex as well since they both were part of the healing of Michael in "Balance." And River Dog said he used one to heal Nasedo after he became sick from the fumes in the sweat tent.

Nasedo's race must make burial easy as their bodies turn to dust when they die. It's a good thing it didn't happen while it was laying in Max's room. I'd hate to be the one to have to clean up that mess. Then again, with the way Diane Evans maintains her house…(see my comments in "Four Square.")

I'm not sure about this but I believe that the janitor's closet, which was last seen in "Four Square" gets a door label. As Max moves to open it, you can see "Storage closet" on the front. The two names are interchangeable but the creators referred to this room as "the janitor's closet" all the time in season one.

So Milton sold the UFO Center, huh? Are you kidding me? Brody must have offered him a good chunk of his $300 million dollars because I can't believe Milton would actually sell his life's work. The cast seems to have a trouble believing it too. I guess the creators felt it would be easier to just introduce a new character then to recast Milton. In a way, I'm glad they did because I like Desmond Askew. His accent is just so cool. When I first saw him, I wondered why Milton had sold his Center to Yahoo Serious.

While I can begrungedly accept Milton being bought out, just where did he go? The show never says.

During the scene as Kyle waits for the Sheriff to come pick him up, look at the sign behind Kyle. It has a list of cities and times. The city Albuquerque is spelled "Alburquerque." There is an extra "R" in the name. Oopsie. This is a little hidden spot by the creators. Nick Wechsler, who plays the part of Kyle, is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Thanks to Gooniegirl for pointing this one out.

I'm not really sure what this next one is. As Max comes upon Tess sitting on the park bench, Tess is looking up at the stars. While Max watches, she contorts her face as if she had just sat in some gum. When the shot changes and Max sits beside her, she resumes her normal appearance.

On the front porch of Ed Harding's house, Max hears something break and opens the front door to go inside. The door was unlocked!? Are you kidding me? I seriously doubt Nasedo was the type to leave his front door unlocked.

The fact that they went back to the Harding house raises a very big question: how will they explain the disappearance of Ed Harding? He's supposed to be Tess's father and I assume he owns the house. If a Skin had not broken into the house, were they simply going to let Tess live there by herself? What would she do when people came looking for her dad? Just take a message?

The Skins must be very desperate indeed to find the granolith because they keep "leaving bits and pieces of themselves all over England." By that I mean they are dropping pieces of their husks left and right. Whoever broke into Tess's house left a piece on the bushes in the backyard. Of course, if this didn't happen, Max wouldn't be tipped off to their enemy's presence and may have written off the intrusion as a simple burglary and left Tess at the house instead of entrusting her safety with the Sheriff. Depending on what kind of Tess fan you are, that may or may not have been a bad idea.

Was Max going to knock on the Sheriff's door or was he going to stand on the front porch all night?

I absolutely loved the look on Emilie de Ravin's face as the Sheriff pulled open the door with his gun in hand. She really does have some of the best facial expressions.

Think back to when you were in school and your first day of classes each year. The majority of your teachers made you sit in an assigned seat if just to help them learn your name if nothing else. Apparently, the teacher Max learns about JFK from doesn't have his students in assigned seats. During the first scene in Max's class, we see that there is a girl with blonde hair sitting directly behind Max. Directly behind her is a guy with dark hair. Catty corner to Max in the aisle next to the window is a dark haired girl in a very short skirt. Directly behind her is another dark haired girl who has her hair in braids. She is the last person in that row. Behind her, is the back wall. During the second classroom scene where the teacher talks about day four of the crisis, new people show up. In the seat where the dark haired girl in the very short skirt was sitting is now a dark haired guy in a purple shirt. Behind him is a blonde haired girl and behind her is another blonde girl and they don't look like the same ones seen in the previous classroom scene. Behind Max, there is now a girl with dark, short hair. There is no longer someone two seats back from Max as that desk is either empty or gone altogether. I thought this game of musical chairs was weird because for the most part, humans are habit forming in a classroom choosing to stay in the same seat whether they are assigned or not. Everything really is different in Roswell High.

In "Blind Date" Max gets drunk after just one sip of alcohol. In this episode, Whitaker, who is a Skin, can down almost an entire bottle of what looks like bourbon and be A.O.K. It probably has to do with Max's hybrid body, which I got into in that episode's review.

In Whitaker's diary at, Whitaker says that the Skins first years on Earth had them drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes. There no indication that Whitaker smokes at all but as we will see in "Surprise", Courtney does. Kind of sends a mixed message that the kids smoke but the adults don't. Maybe Whitaker decided that smoking just wasn't for her.

Great line this episode: "Tess? What is that? I hate her already." -Whitaker in her "drunken" stupor to Liz. Poor Tess. She just can't get a break from anyone, can she?

Kyle comes into his room and sees Tess laying around in his jersey. He then begins to complain about that and the fact that she is in his room (why he is doing that is so beyond me. I sure as heck wouldn't mind even if it meant being slagged by her deathray eyes. I'm immune to being slagged!) Tess then acts like she is going to take the jersey off and when Kyle objects (What is this guy's problem?) she tells him he is uptight about nudity for a guy who reads "Jugs." From this, I surmise that Tess is supposed to be naked except for the jersey. However, as Tess gets up from the bed, you can see the black shorts she is wearing under the shirt. Maybe she means she isn't wearing anything on her upper body.

During my first viewing of this episode, when I saw the device Brody had go off as Michael drew near, I, like Alex at the end of the episode, wondered why it didn't go off when Max was near it in the computer room. According to "Off the Menu", Brody had to twist the device and turn it on before it would send out the pulse. Brody must have turned it on prior to walking into Michael's view and once Michael got too close, the device sensed him and sent out it's pulse. Brody probably doesn't want to run down the battery and keeps it turned off most of the time.

Michael is softening up. In "285 South", Michael broke into the UFO Center coming down the vents from the roof. In this episode, he walks in through the back door.

I'm surprised Max didn't immediately recognize that the symbols on the outside of Brody's device were in the exact same script as the text in the destiny book. A few of them are taken directly from it's pages. This from a guy who memorized the cave drawings seen in "River Dog" and put them down on paper as we saw in "Four Square."

After Maria tells Max that she saw him and the tramp…excuse me…Tess together the previous night, Max coughs up the lame answer of "It's a long story." Oh bull! He can do better then that. How hard would it be to say he was walking her home because she was distraught over the death of the being that had raised her? And I thought Liz was a bad liar.

As I said in my review of "Skin and Bones", the footage of Max putting up his green force field in the opening credits come from this episode. However, the creators edited what actually appeared in the episode itself. In the credits, as Max creates the field, he looks down at his hand as if he is amazed at what he has done. In the actual episode, Max puts up his hand and creates the force field and the shot changes to a view of Isabel and Michael from behind him. This edit makes it look like Max is intent on stopping his fellow Royals instead of appearing surprised at his new power. I approve.

Brody tells Max that his abduction was seven years ago on the Massachusetts Turnpike. He was driving along and then abducted and taken to a room where they did…whatever. Two days later, he was in West Virginia and cancer free. All well and good until you look at the beginning of "Off the Menu" where Brody is shown viewing his first abduction on a virtual reality program. In that episode, Brody says he was in his living room when he was first abducted.

I know they didn't have time but I think it would have been interesting to hear what abduction story Max gave Brody.

As Liz walks into the Café, we get a shot of Tess using her straw in her drink. Either Tess is not sucking on the straw or she is using her powers to keep the glass full. The level of liquid in the glass doesn't change throughout the shot. Maybe she's just making a show for Liz.

The Skins must make females everywhere mad with jealousy. When Courtney tears off the dead skin from her face, it leaves the makeup she is wearing behind. When we see the removed face, it's pale and clean. Now I know for a fact that Courtney is wearing lipstick and eyeshadow in this scene. She would have put it on over the layer of skin she had just peeled off but that doesn't appear to be the case. So in other words, the husks come makeup equipped. I guess Courtney wasn't kidding when she told Maria that she had been a babe for fifty years in "Harvest." Never having to apply your makeup is a nice perk. However, I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't say that Courtney's husk inside it's maturation chamber in "Harvest" looked pretty sans makeup to me. I think the creators are playing with our minds again.

#203 Surprise - Review

Written by Jerry D.

I found this to be another engaging episode of Roswell, as we saw Isabel Evans come into her own to face a powerful enemy and save the life of one her fellow visitors. I thought that the show did a terrific job of combining dramatic tension and a palpable sense of impending danger with lighthearted moments that were simply hilarious, but mostly due to the lack of interaction between my two favorite characters, Max and Liz, and the too early elimination of one of the enemies of the "Royal Four," I found this episode to be a bit of a let down from last week's wonderful show.

I didn't particularly like how they showed a traumatic scene that occurs later in the show as the opening scene of the episode, because although it set up the peril that Isabel and Tess would soon be facing, in my humble opinion, it sort of ruined the element of building suspense that's the normal hallmark of these episodes, and as a result, the earlier scenes seemed almost anti-climatic in comparison. I loved the tender scene between Max and Isabel as Isabel walks in on the surprise party that Max had planned for her, and the love and devotion between these two very special siblings was wonderful to see. I was very disappointed, however, that Isabel, after telling Alex that she couldn't get involved with any guy, would date Grant Sorenson. To me, that seems very hypocritical and totally unfair to Alex, who clearly cares about Isabel deeply. On another level, however, I see this as indicative of Isabel's burning desire to have a normal life, and fit in with everyone on her adopted planet, and perhaps the fact that Alex knows her secret factors into her decision to somewhat back away from any type of romantic relationship with him.

I also suspect that the way that Isabel is apparently drawn to this mysterious stranger could have other implications that will undoubtedly be explored in episodes to come. I also thought this dichotomy came through when Max demanded that she not see Grant Sorenson any more, and Isabel bridled at this ultimatum, as Isabel's desire to be truly human and experience an ordinary life that could include things other teenagers take for granted conflicted with Max's desire to protect them all. To me though, Grant Sorenson seems suspicious, and I guess we'll find out what his true identity is, and what his true intentions are, in future episodes. I was both amused and touched to see Max and Michael give Mr. Sorenson the "cold shoulder," along with Mrs. Evans, who was looking out for her little girl, like all mothers do. I thought that Isabel's visions were truly harrowing, as they became more and more intense as the show progressed, and it was interesting to see the juxtaposition of these visions with what was currently happening around Isabel, as moments of joy intermingled with moments of sheer terror, as Isabel correctly sensed that Tess was in grave danger, and she came to the realization that she alone was the only one who was ultimately capable of helping her.

I also thought that Isabel and the others' statements acknowledging that they hadn't been very nice to Tess were very true, but given Tess' duplicitous nature, it's very understandable why they regard her with suspicion, especially Max. I was amused when Max referred to his relationship with Tess as "complicated" when Sheriff Valenti questioned him about it, and the Sheriff answered "Oh she wants to jump your bones, huh?" I really like Sheriff Valenti's new role as the group's ally instead of being the enemy obsessed with exposing them, and I think his value to the group will continue to increase in future shows. I liked seeing Liz dance around in Congresswoman Whitaker's office, but I was alarmed at the manipulative way that the insidious Ms. Whitaker invited herself along to the party. I was glad that Liz acted on her suspicions about Congresswoman Whitaker, and in so doing helped all of her friends, but I was disappointed that Liz played such a small role in this episode, other than to help cover for Isabel when she had to leave, and I was especially disappointed that she had virtually no interaction with Max. I enjoyed seeing everyone talking at the party, especially when Kyle told Michael about Tess and her "Fredrick's of Hollywood" lingerie, and how he complained about how she was taking over in his house, and his remark that "if some chick is going to complain about keeping the toilet seat down, she'd be at least be doing me," was hilarious, and it was also very typical of something a guy would say to his friends, and it was especially amusing when Kyle realized that Mrs. Evans was there, and he tried to weasel his way out of a very embarrassing situation.

I thought that Alex's strip tease was uproariously funny, and his embarrassed reaction to seeing Mrs. Evans was even more comical. I think this scene also revealed how much Alex cares for Isabel, because he's been shown to be basically shy and reserved by nature, so the fact that he would perform a burlesque routine to make Isabel happy shows the depth of his feelings for her. I really got a kick out of the way he loudly complained to Maria and Courtney about how humiliated he felt, and they basically ignored him, and I thought the funniest moment in the entire episode came when an hilariously overwrought Alex asked them "Do you have any idea how it feels like to walk around all day with a thong up your ass?" and both Courtney and Maria answered "yes," giving a very telling and droll view of the differences between men and women. It also struck me in that scene that it's very obvious that Colin Hanks has inherited his father's comic flair, and I hope we get to see more of this underused character and actor in future episodes.

It's very obvious that the devious Courtney, who was revealed as a "skin" last week, is "after" Michael, using her feminine wiles to try to seduce him, but I felt sorry for Maria any time she saw them together. I thought the competitive tension between Maria and Courtney was clearly evident in their scene together, and it will be interesting to see how Courtney will reveal herself in future episodes, as she may try to force a wedge between Michael and the others. Several people pointed out to me in e-mails last week, and correctly so, that she's not the only "skin," as we learned later in the episode, and she's also not the "skin" that killed Nasedo, but obviously, she's here for some type of nefarious purpose, so it will be intriguing to see precisely what that purpose is. I was glad to see Isabel take charge and organize everyone to help save Tess, since she knew that Tess was in clear and immediate danger, and that Max and Michael weren't able to help her at that moment, and I thought that she clearly came into her own in the way that she used both her powers and her ingenuity to figure out where Tess was and rescue her.

I was completely shocked that the devious Congresswoman Whitaker turned out to be a "skin," and that she was the "skin" that had killed Nasedo, and her revelation about the granolith that apparently held the key to their survival, and her revelations about Isabel, were equally shocking. I was riveted when Ms. Whitaker revealed that Isabel, as "Vilondra" on their home planet, had betrayed her family, and sacrificed everything for her "great love," and that history was bound to repeat itself. One thing that alarmed me in that statement was the strong attraction that Isabel has for Grant Sorenson, and I suspect that he may turn out to be the reincarnation of the "great love" that ultimately caused the downfall of Isabel and her people in another life. I was truly excited to see Isabel turn the tables on this murderous enemy though, as she used powers that she didn't even know she had to destroy Congresswoman Whitaker.

I thought that they killed off Congresswoman Whitaker way too early though, as her relentless pursuit of the "Royal Four" in the guise of a powerful government official definitely added to the tension on the show. I thought that the scene at the end was harrowing, but a bit overdone, as Isabel expressed her anguish at the place where it all had started for them, and I could empathize with her torment as she "talked" to her mother, and she then discovered the granolith that apparently holds the key to the survival of all the visitors to our planet, and which Congresswoman Whitaker had demanded she reveal the location of to her. Overall, I enjoyed this episode, although I missed the romantic tension between Max and Liz, but it was very interesting to see the role that each one of the "Royal Four" will play in upcoming episodes, as their past is starting to collide with their present and future, and each player in this saga is beginning to realize, and fulfill, the destiny predicted for them at the end of Season One.

#203 Surprise - Review

Musings By Joan Pickering

Main Plot: Max throws a surprise birthday party for Isabel, but she is unable to enjoy it because she keeps having flashes of Tess in serious trouble and, coincidentally, Tess is late for the party. Also, Whitaker reveals her interest in the Royal Four.

Whoa! By the first half hour I felt I was on information overload and there was still more to come. This episode was just filled with "surprises"!

Isabel: Could these kids have anymore weight placed upon their shoulders? Now, in addition to having to deal with having people trying to kill her and having to kill someone herself, Isabel has to deal with the fact that she may have betrayed an entire race of people all for the love of one man. I don’t believe Isabel’s people would have sent her (or Tess?) to be recreated as a human if she had betrayed her brother so, either they were unaware of the betrayal or Whitaker is lying. But, until Isabel learns the truth, thinking she may have done such a despicable thing will undermine her confidence in herself.

"You may be king but I’m not bowing down to you; not in this lifetime!" Until this episode, I had assumed that Isabel accepted Max’ role as King and leader, because she kept reminding Michael that Max was the leader, but it seems that doesn’t apply when Max is telling her to do something she doesn’t want to do. Then she can be just as stubborn as Michael. Poor Max, he thought being a leader would be difficult and that was before he knew his own sister would resist his authority! It seems no one (except Valenti) obeys his orders/requests unless they are convenient.

I was so tense when Isabel "saw" Tess come in while they were singing Happy Birthday to her that I was really surprised Isabel was able to keep her composure. It also surprised me that Isabel wasn’t more concerned that she was having these splitting headaches. If they never get sick, that should have been an indication to her, and the others, that something was seriously wrong. Unless Isabel wasn’t including headaches when she told Liz in Blood Brother that they never get sick.

Considering how much she feared the Pod Chamber in the beginning, it’s a good sign that she now goes there for solace; she is taking a step in accepting her alien side. Isabel talking to her "mother" that way, shows us how much she needs someone to confide in. [Side note: When talking to her "mother", Isabel said "I’m 18 today, Mother, October 25th." If today was her actual birthday, no wonder Max was stressing that she would figure it out. Most surprise parties are thrown before (or sometimes even after) the actual day so the honoree will not suspect anything. And usually when they mention an actual date on the show it’s the same date as it is being aired; I wonder why they chose the 25th instead of the 16th? Also, I’m confused about the age thing. Last year all the kids were 16 year old sophomores, now, suddenly, Isabel is 18. Did we skip a year? Are they now 18 year old seniors? Did the WB decide it wanted to sex up the show and it would be better if they were "legal"?]

With all that is going on, it’s interesting that Isabel wanted to spend her birthday with Grant, a stranger, instead of making plans with her family. Telling Max that she could date Grant without letting him in on their secret, is evidence that she too, like Max, is trying to hold on to the fantasy that her life can be normal. With the Skins trying to kill her, she’s delusional if she thinks she can date someone without them figuring out something is "different" about her.

Whitaker seemed surprised at Isabel’s power. We know Nasedo had similar powers so is it that Isabel’s people were weaker than the Skins and she now has more power because of her human brain capacity?

Whitaker: I was very surprised to find out Whitaker was a Skin. I figured she was going to be the government adversary, taking over for Valenti and Pierce. Does this mean there is no government enemy or have we just not met them yet?

So, if she was a Skin and Courtney is a Skin, why was she spying on Courtney? Courtney’s cover story would be pretty easy to check, which would mean Whitaker was married with a step-son and Courtney spent two years in a juvenile hall. So, were these real people and, if so, when did the Skins take over their personas? Was Whitaker already a Skin when she and Nasedo were having their affair? Did she realize he was an alien and that he could lead her to the Royal Four and the Granilith? Did she decide to have "one for the road" before killing him that night? Was Nasedo unable to see "the evil within"?

Whitaker said she could only sustain her skin state for 50 years, that her time was almost up and that she needed the Granilith to survive. How does she know it only lasts for 50 years? Have some of the Skins been there longer than 50 years and are now dying? Does the skin state allow them to shapeshift into different personas or do they have to choose one and stick with it for 50 years? Nasedo had been there over 50 years. Was he using the Granilith to survive or wasn’t he affected the same way. Whitaker mentioned that hers was a different race from Isabel’s but were they a different species as well? What is their natural state? Do they shed in their natural state or only with human skins? Why would Nasedo refer to them as Skins if it’s not a natural state for them? Was he aware of what form these aliens took when they came to Earth and started thinking of them as "Skins" because of their need to shed or is "Skins" an English translation of their alien name? The Granilith; what do you suppose it is? Did Whitaker need it to get a new body or to go home? Where does it get it’s power? Has it been running since 1947 or did it turn on when Isabel threw the rock? Nasedo must have known about it, who else could have put it there, so why didn’t he say anything? Since next week’s episode is a flashback, we will probably not learn more about it until the 5th episode (The End of the World); a rather foreboding title.

Whitaker was obviously looking for Vilandra when she was pumping Liz for information which was why she mistakenly took Tess instead of Isabel but if she was looking for Max’ sister, why would she think it was Tess? When Liz said Tess was a girl from his past, it was implied that it was a romantic connection or she wouldn’t have had to leave the relationship. So which is it? Is Vilandra the king’s sister or wife and did she really betray her people or is Whitaker lying?

Why would killing Nasedo save Isabel from the other three? Did Whitaker think he knew about the betrayal and would let the others know?

Michael: Kyle said having Tess’ lingerie, etc in the bathroom was like walking into Victoria’s Secret and Michael’s response was "So, what’s not to like?" Are we supposed to believe that Michael wouldn’t mind finding ladies lingerie hanging in his bathroom? I don’t think so! J And Kyle, I think thou doth protest too much; people will think you’re falling for Tess! Was this the first time Michael and Kyle ever spoke to each other in front of us? It will be interesting to see if they become friends. I was surprised to see that Michael was sensitive enough to realize that Kyle had committed a faux pas in front of Diane.

Michael’s cake was soooo pathetic but it was soooo sweet that he tried. The Tabasco was a nice touch but I think the other guests might have thought it a bit odd. Why did Courtney assume he didn’t use eggs? I guess Skins like Tobasco too!

Michael screwed up big time!! What was he thinking, confronting Courtney with the information he learned in Whitaker’s office! What did he hope to accomplish? Now she knows they suspect her. He has created a very dangerous situation. Why did he think she was "working with" Whitaker if he suspected Whitaker was spying on her? I wonder why Courtney didn’t ask him why he was going through Whitaker’s files? And just what was Michael planning to do to her when she slapped him, if Maria hadn’t interrupted? He seemed to believe her story but now that they know Whitaker is a Skin will they realize Courtney is too, since Whitaker was watching her?

Courtney: What is Courtney up to? Why does she keep flirting with Michael? Did she think she could seduce Michael and he would reveal his identity to her? And why, when Michael practically admitted who he was, didn’t she kill him?

When Maria pulls up in the car and says Isabel’s in trouble, did Courtney wonder where Isabel had gone and why she wasn’t at her own party?

Did anyone else wonder if those colas Courtney served were safe to drink? It was probably a good thing Isabel dropped hers. Why was Courtney there anyway? They didn’t need to hire someone to serve the guests and she’s not exactly Isabel’s friend.

Max: I was glad to see that no one approved of Isabel being with Grant but I didn’t understand Max’ about face at the end. There’s still no proof that Grant is who he says he is so why did Max say he was wrong about him? And why would he bring it up then unless it was just to create an opportunity to tell Isabel he should trust her instincts? It looked like Max used Redial to check the last call Tess made (which would make sense), not *69 to see who called her last, so why did Max ask Grant why he called Tess? And if Grant did call Tess, why did he have her number? When did they meet? To our knowledge, they didn’t even know each other.

Tess was in pretty bad shape, why didn’t Max immediately go to her to heal her?

Why would Max invite non inner-circle members to the party? Wasn’t that a little risky since they don’t know who they can trust anymore? And why would Kyle discuss Tess’ new living arrangements openly with them. Wouldn’t they want to keep Harding’s absence low key? How have they explained his absence anyway? An extended business trip? Speaking of explanations, Valenti needs to come up with better cover stories for when he breaks the law on Max’ behalf. Grant could easily have sued him for breaking and entering his home without a warrant or probable cause. And it’s going to start getting suspicious if people keep disappearing when they go to Roswell (Harding, Pierce, Whitaker), especially prominent people like Whitaker. Can’t wait to see how they explain that one!

Alex: I thought Colin did a great job of spoofing the strip tease dance (Alex was soooo funny I was LMAO) and the look of shock on Diane’s/Mary Ellen’s face was priceless but what were they thinking?! Max was obviously aware of what Alex had planned and he certainly knew his mother would be there. Didn’t it occur to him she wouldn’t be amused and that Alex would be mortified?

It’s a good thing Alex was still dressing when Grant showed up; that would have killed him.

General: I liked that they actually gave Diane some zingers in this episode: "And, what year might that be?"

Where did the blue ring box that Isabel was holding at the party come from? When she came out from the back room she was not holding it, no one gave it to her and yet, before she got to the table to open gifts, it was in her hand. I think either Whitaker or Liz gave it to her as a gift but that action/dialog was cut. Can we say blooper?

I’ve been wondering whether the skin sheddings only disintegrate when one of the Royal Four touches it. When Michael and Max found the sheddings, only a few seconds had passed since the Skin had left it behind but much more time had passed since the shedding had been left on the car, so they don’t just self destruct after a certain amount of time. And Courtney obviously was unable to make it disintegrate or she would have done so instead of flushing it down the toilet. I’m still not sure if they are just careless or if they are purposely leaving behind calling cards.

I thought it was cute that Maria realized she’d be better off with a 4-wheel drive vehicle if she was going to continue going on adventures with the Royal Four!

It didn’t appear that Liz closed the file drawer, and the CD case was definitely still on the desk, so how did she explain it to Whitaker? At least we know now that Liz misses kissing "him".

Was that a framed picture of Whitaker on her office wall (when Michael broke in)? Who keeps a framed picture of themselves on their office wall? And I guess Isabel forgot to tell Liz to keep Whitaker from returning to her office so Michael could check it out.

Next week’s episode looks like a lot of fun. They all looked great in the ‘40s get up, especially Liz.

Favorite Lines:

Diane: And, what year might that be?

Michael: Nothing you could handle.

Isabel: You may be king but I’m not bowing down to you; not in this lifetime!

#204 Summer Of '47 - Review

Written by Jerry D.

I thought that this was a very different episode of Roswell, one that delved into the original 1947 crash that represented the "Genesis" for Max Evans and his fellow visitors to this planet, but the past also echoed the present, as an atmosphere of betrayal, cover ups, and a mass conspiracy fueled by the fear of the unknown threatened the very existence of the beings who came to live on this planet. I also thought this episode taught an important lesson about how one man’s courage could overcome an all enveloping desire to hide the truth for the sake of conformity, and it also illustrated the lengths that the governmental authorities would go to in their efforts to hide and destroy what they had discovered, even to the point of murder. I thought the situation in 1947 served as a microcosm of the situation that Max and his fellow aliens now face, as the world closes in on them, and they find that they don’t know who they can trust.

I also saw this episode as a true epiphany for Michael Guerren, as he learned the story of Captain Hal Carver, and how Captain Carver’s courage enabled him to come into being. I thought this revelation finally broke down Michael’s walls of isolation and distrust, thanks to the man who had saved him and others of his kind so many years ago.

I also thought this episode was interesting as it allowed the actors on Roswell to assume roles from the past that both reflected, but were also very different from, the normal roles that they portray, as each character played their part in this unfolding drama from the past. In many ways, each character from the past reflected a current character taken to the extreme.

The young Hal Carver definitely reflected the present day Michael, as they both had a jaunty nonconformist air about them, but deep down, underneath their cynical exterior, they cared about people, although neither one was willing to show it, but you always had the feeling that Hal, like Michael, would do the right thing, and Hal, and his story, obviously touched Michael as no one had ever done before.

Richard Doty, Hal’s best friend, was very much like Max in his desire to conform, and have a normal life, but as we saw in the episode, he ultimately sold out his best friend in the interest of "national security" and his desire for a "wife and a white picket fence."

Colonel James Cassidy represented an authority figure like his counterpart Sheriff Valenti, but he lacked Sheriff Valenti’s humanity, and was portrayed as controlling and harsh, and a typical career officer, determined to hide the truth at all costs, to the point of condoning murder and duplicity.

Captain Cavitt was very much like Alex, as far as intelligence went, but Alex’s kindness was replaced by Cavitt’s cunning and guile, as he used people to cover up the truth, and ultimately discredit Hal, and eliminate anyone who might reveal any information about the mysterious crash that ultimately determined the destiny of Michael and his fellow aliens.

Betty Osorio’s wisecracking reporter definitely reflected Maria’s wisecracking waitress, and the attraction between Betty and Hal reflected the attraction between Maria and Michael, and it was interesting to see Hal pick up on their attraction. I also liked how the past and present intersected at different points, as we saw Maria and Betty in virtually the same scene, which illustrated the similarities between their characters.

I felt that the character of Rosemary was the character of Isabel taken to the extreme, as Isabel and Rosemary seemingly hardened their hearts to any true human contact, although in Rosemary’s case, she became the stereotypical "good time girl," being only interested in sex, while Isabel closed off the possibility of getting close with Alex, or any human.

In many ways, Yvonne White echoed Liz’s sweetness and vulnerability, and it was unsettling to see her meet such a sad fate, as the cover up in the aftermath of the crash closed in to take her life, and the life of so many others.

As this episode unfolded, I was intrigued by how the past and present intermingled, and I was also struck by how the noose tightened increasingly on Hal Carver, who, like Michael, rebelled against the role he was being forced to play, and his courage, and his desire to "do the right thing" cost him his military career, and very nearly his life. It was very disconcerting how, one by one, all the participants and witnesses to the crash and its aftermath were "silenced," either by threats, or by blind conformity to "orders," or by death, as anyone who was perceived as a "security threat" was conveniently "disposed of." I thought this echoed the present day situation, as Michael and his fellow visitors, like Hal, didn’t know who they could trust, as an unknown but implacable enemy closed in on them.

One thing that I really enjoyed was seeing Michael’s attitude change throughout this episode, as he started out treating Captain Carver contemptuously, in typical Michael fashion, but then we saw his interest peak as Captain Carver’s story unfolded, and Michael realized that the pods the Captain Carver had assisted the alien beings in rescuing had served as the incubation pods for himself, Isabel, Max, and Tess, plus four other as yet unknown beings "somewhere out there." I was truly touched to see Michael register the full impact of this older man’s courage, and it was moving to see Michael reach out to him and embrace him, as well as reveal to Captain Carver that his act of compassion and courage had not been in vain. I was also very happy to see Michael later apologize to Liz for his earlier harsh actions, and to thank Maria. To me, this represented a breakthrough for Michael’s character, as he realized that he was not alone, and that he owed his very existence to some human beings who cared. I hope this trend continues, because Michael is a wonderful character, and it’s good that he finally is becoming more "human."

Overall, I enjoyed this episode, although it didn’t move me like a "normal" episode of Roswell, but it served its purpose of letting us, and Michael Guerren, understand the past as an uncertain future loomed on the horizon.

#204 Summer Of '47 - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: For a history class make-up assignment, Michael interviews Hal Carver, a former Army Captain, who was stationed in Roswell during the ’47 crash.

Michael/Hal: Oh…my…God! Was I seeing/hearing things or did Michael actually apologize (to Liz) and say thank you to Maria? We must have missed the part where they both fainted dead away from the shock! J This episode was a major learning experience for Michael. He finally realizes that no man is an island and he depends on, and owes gratitude towards, a number of people for his very existence. Now I know why the rumors said the Candygirls would be happy with this episode. Michael bringing Maria to the pod chamber to see the granilith, taking her hands in his and saying "thank you", sigh, that was sooo sweet. J Of course, we don’t know for sure he won’t still pull the "I’m a soldier" crap. He was only thanking her for what she had done for him in the past, he did not say he was wrong about them staying apart.

This episode was definitely a showcase for Brendan (I think he was in every single scene) and he used it to full effect, proving that he is capable of carrying the show! Although he was still playing a rebel, they were two very distinct and different characters. Michael is an angry, brooding, rebel with a cause, whereas Hal was a cocky, sure of himself, nonconformist rebel and Brendan was able to switch back and forth, seemingly effortlessly, giving us two different aspects of a very similar personality. I also loved the way Brendan looked with his hair combed back (he really should consider keeping it that way for awhile) and, let’s face it, there’s something about a man in uniform. (Can we say, mmmm mmmm gooood!)

At first I was wondering why Michael was so angry with everyone and then I realized that he was expressing his fear of what’s ahead of them with anger.

I didn’t think Michael cared if he flunked out of school (if he did he’d put at least a little effort into passing his courses, something he could do with ease if he wanted to) and being given an ultimatum by his teacher, you would think that would cause him to rebel even more, so I’m a little surprised they used that approach to set up the reason for the interview. Seems it would have been better if it had been a general class assignment. I was even more surprised by Michael’s attitude once he found out Hal had been there during the crash. You’d think he would jump at the chance to get information from someone who had been there but he didn’t seem the least bit interested until Hal gave him the piece of metal. I’m assuming they wanted Michael acting rebellious so Hal would "see himself" at that age, warm to him and want to tell him his story and share his secret, but, considering Michael’s lack of social skills, they could have accomplished that without making it seem odd that he wouldn’t be interested.

Michael, the one who never trusts anyone, took a major risk revealing himself to Hal (one that Max, I’m sure, will not be pleased to hear about), but then he always seems to be at his most vulnerable around men he considers as father figures (River Dog, Valenti, and now Hal Carver).. I hope his trust in Hal will not prove to be foolhardy. Considering how long Hal has kept his secret I don’t think he would tell anyone else and risk Michael being found by the authorities, but that is assuming that Hal is who he says he is and not a Skin trying to get Michael to open up about who he is.

Michael still doesn’t have his own set of wheels! I’m surprised at that since he wants to be so independent. It certainly took a lot of chutzpah on his part to ask Maria to borrow her car, considering how shabbily he has treated her recently. I thought for a minute there she was going to be strong and stick to her guns (the old Maria was back in the saddle) but I guess caving this one last time finally paid off for her.

Since Michael was acting as casting director for this little play, I’m wondering if we are supposed to infer that this is how he sees his friends, since he cast them in the individual roles:

Himself as Capt. Hal Carver: the rebel (appropriate)
Max as Capt. Richard Dodie: the stickler for rules, best friend (again, appropriate)
Maria as Betty Osorio: the feisty reporter and Hal’s lost chance (could this be significant in bringing Michael and Maria back together?)
Valenti as Colonel Cassidy: the authority figure (who keeps him in line)
Alex as Capt. Sheridan Cavitt: "Mr. Brain" who was arrogant and slimy (I think it was the brain part that got Alex this part, not the arrogant and slimy characteristics)
Liz as Yvonne White: the damsel in distress nurse (she reminded me of a frightened rabbit)
Isabel as Rosemary: the sluttish/vampish girlfriend (do you think Isabel’s behavior with Grant prompted this?
Kyle as Deputy Jim Valenti: the usurper of his girlfriend (although I think it was just the family connection at work in this role.)
Tess as Dixie: the airhead secretary (I don’t think he really thinks of Tess as an airhead but that’s all I could think of every time Dixie opened her mouth!)

If the military was following Hal to the bar, then they knew he met Yvonne, so why would he think it was safe to make plans to meet her from his office? And why didn’t he look further than the bus to find her when he heard her scream? Not much of a knight in shiny armor, is he? And the people on the bus were even worse, acting like nothing happened at all, were they deaf?

Although they were both captains, I thought Cavitt was Hal Carver’s superior, since he seemed to be giving him orders, so would Hal have really been able to get away with saying "Go find a dame to bother, Cavitt."? Maybe, because we are hearing his side of the story, we are supposed to assume it’s what he wanted to say, but didn’t really.

If Hal and Richie had the sacs in the truck, they would have had plenty of time to examine them so why didn’t Hal see there were human fetuses inside until he broke into the morgue? And how did he know to go to the morgue? The key just indicated what building, not what room.

I never saw Charles Napier, as the older Hal, play with his lighter like Brendan was doing as the younger Hal, so I was wondering if that was something Brendan ad libbed to get into character or if it was a direction in the script. I was nervous he was going to burn himself (or course, that wouldn’t have been a problem for Michael, since it seems he can set his fingers on fire with no harm!).

Max/Richie: Jason did a great job as usual, especially the drunk scene. You could tell "Richie" didn’t have to "act" in that scene because he really did feel bad about what he was doing.

When Richie asks "Are we on the right side, Hal?" I couldn’t help but wonder if we were really supposed to be hearing Max ask that question, since the Royal Four don’t know for sure that their people were on the right side.

Maria/Betty: Majandra was a hoot as Betty! It was like having the old Maria back.

Valenti/Cassidy: I thought Bill got to shine as Cassidy. I loved the fire he gave to him; I was ready to snap to attention and shout "Yes, Sir!" myself!

Alex/Cavitt: This is meant as a compliment but Colin plays arrogant and slimy very well!

General: It was definitely fun seeing them all play different characters. I was so distracted and amused as each one was "introduced" that I would miss half of what was said, but then, was it my imagination, or was everyone talking faster than normal? I had to use the close captioning to catch quite a bit of the dialog!

I wasn’t sure what kind of threat the pictures of Hal with Rosemary were supposed to be. Neither was married so it couldn’t be exposure. They may have been hinting that she would be harmed but, considering what a philanderer Hal was, would they assume he would care?

Although I was enjoying the story, I was beginning to wonder, towards the end, if we were going to learn anything from this episode; and did we ever! Eight hybrids?! It seems the people who hypothesized that more than one set of the Royal Four were created are closer to being proven right (that is if the other four turn out to be the same Royal Four as opposed to being siblings or others from the Royal Court). If there is another set of the Royal Four, I wonder if it will turn out that they "hatched" at the same time and are identical to the current Royal Four in appearance and/or character, that they are an older version because they "hatched" sooner, or totally different because of different human DNA?

I was glad they at least addressed the issues of the granilith and the problem with Whitaker’s disappearance in this episode. I hope we learn more next week.

Favorite Lines:

Max: You know, mean people suck.

Michael: You could say I was born to fly.

Hal: You ever heard of Omaha Beach, or the B1 Flying Bomb, Yalta, Jane Russell? I mean, have you ever…

Michael: …taken my teeth out to brush them?

Betty: Cars are like men, Carver, give their cable a little jiggle and they’ll be fine till morning!

Hal: I didn’t know you were so handy, Osario.

#205 The End Of The World - Review

Written by Jerry D.

I found this episode to be truly heartbreaking, as Liz Parker, in order to ultimately save Max Evans, and the world, from impending disaster, was forced to sacrifice her future happiness with the young man that she loves with all her heart. To me, mere words are inadequate to describe the heartbreaking agony that we saw Liz Parker go through as she was warned by the future Max Evans that finding love and happiness with him would precipitate events of catastrophic proportions not only for them personally, but for the entire world, so she was forced to break the present Max Evan’s heart through a series of lies and deceptions to change the course of history, and in doing so, she broke her own heart, in an episode that deeply touched me and saddened me as no other episode of Roswell ever has.

As I watched the cataclysmic opening scene, I thought it was jarring, and sad, to see the future Max and Liz facing the inevitable conclusion that they can’t be together, because their being together would literally lead to the end of the world, and thus, Liz encouraged Max to begin the journey to go back to the past, and undo their history, and change the dire fate that awaited them all.

I thought it was amusing to see Liz, Alex, and Maria to go to a fortune teller to learn about their future, and I especially got a kick out of seeing Alex decry the fact that he would never share a "carnal relationship" with Isabel. I was touched at Liz’s sheer elation when the fortune teller revealed to her that the "leader" she loved would choose love, and that they would be happy together, and it moved me to see Liz’s innocent bliss upon receiving this heartening news, which fulfilled every dream of happiness she had known concerning the true love of her life.

As we came to see though, all this joy was soon swept away, however, as the future Max Evans appeared to a clearly shocked Liz, and he foretold an ominous future for all of them, and he made it his mission to deny himself, and Liz, their own chance for happiness, forcing her to make Max fall out of love with her. I thought it was bittersweet watching the present day Max sweetly serenade Liz, complete with a bouquet of white roses, in an effort to woo her back to him, and it was so poignant to see Liz react to this, with a mixture of sheer love and joy on her face for the boy she loved, and fear and apprehension towards the man that boy would become. I also was deeply disappointed that Max’s wondrous surprise was ruined by his future self, and that a magical moment between these two "star crossed lovers" was lost forever.

I really got a kick out of the sexual repartee between Kyle and Tess, and their double entendre references to "trimming the lamp" were hilarious. I also thought it was interesting to see Michael try to get to the bottom of the truth about the alluring Courtney, but it was heartbreaking to have to see Maria witness their encounter, and interpret things the wrong way, and run off with a broken heart. I felt terrible for Maria as she related what happened to Alex, who, as always, proved himself to be a true friend to Maria, even to the point of risking his own life to avenge the wrong he felt that Maria had suffered at Michael’s hands. As we soon learned though, Courtney turned out to be a "skin," boding further trouble for them all.

I was both moved and saddened to see the future Max tell Liz of their life together, and how they had eloped, and how happy they were, but they simply couldn’t be together. It broke my heart to see Liz have to lie to the present day Max in an effort to get him to stop loving here, to the point where she told him that she wasn’t ready to die for him, and finally, to the point where she devised a ruse to make him think she was sleeping with Kyle, and the look on both Max’s face and Liz’s face was excruciating when he saw Liz in bed with Kyle. Poor Liz was so torn between the love she had for Max, and her duty to save the world from an ominous fate, and I thought that Shirri Appleby did a tremendous job in portraying Liz’s anguish, as she told the future Max, "Don’t you realize what you are to me, and what you’re always going to be? You’re the love of my life, everyone else is going to be second best. They’ll never be another you." The final scene completed this tale of heartbreak, as we saw Liz begin to dance with the future Max, the present and future love of her life, and end up dancing alone, devastated and heartbroken.

Overall, I enjoyed this episode, although I was deeply saddened at it’s outcome, and I hope that some day, Max Evans and Liz Parker find their way back to one another.

#205 The End Of The World - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: Max returns from the future (2014) to ask Liz to help him fall out of love with her in the present time period, so that Tess will not leave.

Subplot: Michael succumbs to Courtney’s seduction and he discovers she’s a Skin.

I was totally bummed out by this episode. Granted, it had some amusing parts, (I don’t do spoilers and wasn’t sure what to expect, but I had been warned to have tissues handy so I wasn’t expecting to laugh so much), however, the bits of levity did not make up for the ending. The whole time I was watching, I kept thinking Liz and Future Max would figure out a solution - a way to remain together and keep Tess from leaving the group. So I wasn’t worried and when there was no happy solution at the end, it was like being cut with a knife. It was really ironic because during the episode Liz was in so much pain from what she had to do (Max too from her rejection) and I’m feeling for her (and him) but I’m not worried, I’m thinking everything’s going to be OK and then, in the end, Liz is deliriously happy because she’s lost in the euphoria of dancing with Future Max and I can’t enjoy her moment because I’m in too much pain. I was still in pain long after I finished watching the episode, and tears were streaming down my face and falling on my papers as I was writing down my notes for my review. I don’t get it anyway. Future Max never said he had to mate with Tess for their unit to work, just that she had to remain with the unit to create a strong enough bond to defeat their enemies. He also never said that Liz couldn’t tell Max the truth, only that Max couldn’t know he was there and that they couldn’t meet. The logical thing to do would have been to have Future Max make a connection with Liz and give her his memories of what happens when Tess leaves, then Liz could have made a connection with Max to give him the memories. Then he would understand that he could not shut Tess out of his life. How he handled it, whether mating with her or just creating and maintaining a close friendship would have been his decision and not something forced upon him. The way they went about it didn’t make sense and was just hurtful to Max, Liz and the viewers. After what Liz did, I don’t see how they can even remain friends unless she tells him the truth and if she does then what was this whole thing for except to just play with our emotions; I expected better than that from Jason Katims. But I also expect a resolution to this because Max and Liz not getting back together is NOT acceptable.

Max: Doesn’t Future Max realize it’s dangerous to mess with the past? For all he knows, this new future without Liz by his side could mean an early death for him and the results would be the same - their enemies would win.

Why did Future Max keep referring to Max in the third person? When you talk about your past self, you still refer to yourself as I or me not he or him. I found that very strange, like he was trying to distance himself from his former self.

I thought it was unforgivable of Future Max to blame Liz for the fact that he couldn’t stop loving her.

Future Max was so cute, saying he would never be jealous of Kyle when all the while he was jealous just thinking about what they were about to do, even though he knew they weren’t really going to be doing anything.

Wasn’t Max taking a chance, changing the color of the roses in front of the Mariachi Band?

Michael: So, Michael has wheels now. Did he have the motorcycle all along and just didn’t want to take Hal out on it or did he just get it?

My initial reaction was shock when he let Courtney kiss him and then accepted her invitation inside but then I reminded myself that he’s just using it as an excuse to investigate her and he wasn’t really responding to her advances. However when she came to his apartment it was quite a different story, he definitely "responded" then! Did she do something to him (like Tess did to Max) or is he really attracted to her? Is Maria right? Is he just a "hound" after all?

When Michael pulled Courtney’s "skin" off, it made me wonder how Nasedo could not have known Whitaker was a skin when they were in a passionate embrace, if it comes off that easily. Unless of course, the Skin was a shapeshifter and did not take over Whitaker’s body until just before Nasedo was killed. I noticed the "skin" did not disintegrate as soon as Michael touched it, nor as he held it. I don’t like that there doesn’t seem to be much consistency with that part.

What was Michael planning on doing to Courtney when he found out she was a Skin? If he hadn’t missed, would he have killed her instead of the TV? (Guess he won’t be able to watch hockey games for awhile. ;-))

Did anyone notice that when Michael left Courtney’s apartment he forgot to take his shirt, jacket and helmets?

I couldn’t believe that Alex actually punched Michael and that Michael was so understanding about it! I laughed out loud when he said "You realize that you just risked your life?…You’re a really good friend, man." I didn’t quite understand Alex’ response - "Call me that again, and I’ll really kick your ass." What was wrong with Michael telling him he was a really good friend to Maria? Poor Michael, someone always seems to be hitting him; he seems to bring out the violent nature of people who are normally sedate (i.e. Max, Alex)

Liz: I loved future Liz’ hairstyle and look. I think Shiri should consider keeping that look for herself.

Liz saying she would not have made love to Max is not that believable, considering how close they came in Sexual Healing. If things heated up enough, she would not have been able to resist. It was a little surprising though, that Max (loved it when she referred to him as Saint Max) had anticipated the possibility by carrying protection with him, but better that he have it than not.

Maria: What can I say!? I just loved Maria in this episode; she was her old spunky, feisty self again, and the sparks were definitely flying between her and Michael.

Courtney: I still don’t know what her angle is. Why did she act like nothing happened in the alley? She must have known Michael’s an alien by now. How could she not have heard Alex referring to Michael’s alien powers. Why was she continuing to seduce him? Does she just enjoy her work? Is she just after information, like where the granilith is? Why did she jump out the window rather than stand and fight. Are his powers greater than hers and does she know this?

Tess: I didn’t think Tess (Emilie?) was very convincing when she was telling Kyle that she hates her life and is sick of the whole destiny and waiting for Max to come around crap.

I was really surprised that Tess was interested in having Kyle "trim her lamp", I thought for sure she was going to blow him off (no pun intended!). Does this mean she’s starting to warm up to humans (Kyle in particular) or does she just have physical needs that have to be satisfied and, since Max isn’t available, anyone will do?

Alex: Alex was soooo cute when he was begging Madame Vivian to find some lust in his life with Isabel. By the way, where was Isabel in this episode? Did Katie need time off for another project?

I can’t believe he shouted out "that you have some twisted alien power" to Michael, while the door was open! Why do they have to have him do stupid things like that? But that was so chivalric of him to defend Maria’s feelings like that. Although I don’t condone violence so I don’t think he should have hit him.

Kyle: Kyle looked soooo good sitting on the edge of Liz’ bed with his shirt off! He certainly was a good sport to help Liz the way he did but then, if she told him she was trying to discourage Max’ interest in her, he may think he has another chance at her himself. Would he want one?

Some of the funniest moments/lines:

Maria cuffing Michael on the side of his head for kissing Courtney!

Maria asking Madame Vivian "OK, are they a good 48 hours?" but I was a little disappointed that she would be satisfied with just a few moments of pleasure. That’s not a sign of true love, but then, I think she’s in denial about how much she cares for Michael.

When they were driving to Madame Vivian’s and Maria was sooo sure she had "landed" Michael once and for all but then qualifies it with an "I think".

Maria telling Michael that Courtney just wants to get into his pants and Michael replying "That might work." He meant using Courtney’s interest in him might work with his trying to find out who she is and he had no clue how it sounded to Maria! (and the rest of us, for that matter!)

Maria telling Liz: "Granted, Michael is the world’s worst boyfriend. I know that, you know that…America knows that." (Yes, we do!)

Max singing with the Mariachi Band. Was that really Jason singing that song!? He has a very nice singing voice.

Future Max being concerned that he had grey hairs!

Future Max admiring the top Tess was wearing.

Michael opening Courtney’s cabinet and finding all that skin lotion.

Kyle telling Tess: "In order to trim the lamp of wisdom, we must attend to our bodily needs." (Poor Kyle, he came so close to getting lucky. I bet he never did get a chance to trim Tess’ lamp!) Actually, I enjoyed all of Kyle and Tess’ repartee.

Kyle telling Liz: "I’m here to help; my body’s merely a vessel."

#206 The Harvest - Review

Written by Jerry D.

I thought this episode brought Roswell to a whole new level of suspense, as the "Royal Four" and their human friends faced not one individual enemy, but an entire town of the dreaded "skins" determined to destroy them, but, aided by an unforeseen ally, they managed to escape, at least temporarily, to face this enemy another day. This episode also focused on the hurt the Max Evans felt as he dealt with Liz’s betrayal of him, not knowing the real reason behind her deception.

The news that Congresswoman Whitaker, who had been "vaporized" by Isabel two weeks before, had "died in a car accident" came as shocking news to everyone who had been involved, because now it was obvious that a conspiracy was afoot to cover up her death, and the way she had died. Max and everyone else soon learned, through a cryptic letter sent to the Congresswoman’s office, that a mysterious organization called "The Universal Friendship League" from the Congresswoman’s home town of Copper Summit New Mexico had apparently organized this ruse, as her "death" was announced on the stated deadline for her to contact them. This caused Max to decide to embark on a journey that could lead them to their destruction, as "The Universal Friendship League," was, in fact, a "front" for an entire race of "skins."

In the meantime, Michael told a hurt and angry Maria the truth about Courtney, and as always, the banter between them was very amusing to watch, especially when they decided to search Courtney’s apartment, like, as Maria put it, "Scully and Mulder." Once there, however, Maria and Michael soon discovered that Courtney was apparently obsessed with Michael, but not to destroy him, as they had supposed, but for an entirely different reason, as they soon learned as Courtney discovered them spying on her. Courtney claimed that she was one of several renegade "skins" who wanted Michael, or his previous incarnation, to join with them, and side against Max, and lead their people into a new golden age, and Michael seemed very disturbed but also tempted by this news, as Maria stood by incredulously. Michael quickly recovered though, and he knew that he had to help out Max and everyone else, as Courtney revealed that they were driving into a trap.

Meanwhile, on the way to Copper Summit, we had to witness the heartbreaking scene where Max questioned Liz about what had happened with Kyle, but she couldn’t answer him, and later, she had to lie again to Max, telling him that her and Kyle had made love, hurting both him, and herself, further, and driving a wedge between them. I felt bad for both Max and Liz in this episode, because both of them were in a no win situation beyond their control.

Once everyone got to Copper Summit, they encountered a virtual ghost town filled with strange inhabitants that weren’t who they seemed to be, and the episode was filled with a palpable tension as we were slowly introduced to the inhabitants of this town, starting with Congresswoman Whittaker’s "family," the "Crawfords." Isabel, in particular, seemed mysteriously drawn to Nicholas Crawford, Congresswoman Whitaker’s "brother," who, in the guise of an unassuming teenager, was actually the ringleader of this entire race of skins, as she soon learned when Nicholas lured her away from the rest of the group, and took her prisoner. We soon learned that new "husks" or bodies for this alien race were ready to be "harvested," which would give them 50 more years on this planet, and spell certain doom for "The Royal Four." Nicholas taunted Isabel by telling her further details of her previous life as "Vilondra," and how she had betrayed her brother, and spelled doom for their entire planet.

In the meantime, at the "Service" for Congresswoman Whitaker, everyone was exposed, as Liz discovered that the Congresswoman’s "body" was a fake, and Max and Isabel tried to fight off the menacing "skins." In the meantime, Nicholas continued to taunt and torture Isabel, until Michael, Maria, and Courtney came to their rescue, and Nicholas faced Michael, who he recognized as Max’s second in command, but then, just when all seemed lost, Courtney saved the day by starting off a chain reaction which destroyed all the new "husks," and everyone escaped, with the ominous "skins" vowing revenge.

Overall, I found this episode to be suspenseful, albeit a little disappointing, as Roswell seems to venturing more and more into the realm of science fiction, a turn which, while expected, takes away from the "human" story of all these characters.

#206 The Harvest - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: Max, Isabel, Tess and Liz go to Whitaker’s home town to attend her funeral.

Subplot: Michael and Maria investigate Courtney.

Michael: Why did Michael wait so long to tell them something as important as Courtney being a Skin? And, I wonder why Michael chose Maria as the first to tell? Was it just because he saw her first, at school or was it to do some repair work on their relationship? Considering his suggestion on how they could "make the time go faster", while waiting for Courtney to show up, he obviously wants to go back to boyfriend/girlfriend status. However, I think Courtney is going to prove to be serious competition for Maria. (Although he pretends to be annoyed, I bet he loves having two women fight over him.) Michael is obviously attracted to Courtney and for someone like Michael, who has received little praise in his life, it will be difficult for him not to gravitate towards someone who is lavishing praise upon him. And, she knows just the right tactic to take - telling him he’s better than Max. I was glad he had enough sense not to buy into her flattery immediately but given time, she will probably be able to convince him. And he just bought her some time by rescuing her "husk". I don’t think that was just in gratitude for the sacrifice she made, I think he wants her to stick around. However, he should still beware, the Skins may be using Courtney (possibly without her knowledge) to do just what he said - divide and conquer the Royal Four.

How did Michael know from where the pictures were taken? Even Courtney was impressed with that accomplishment (but then she’d be impressed with anything he did)

Why didn’t Michael call Max (before driving all the way to Arizona) to let him know that Courtney confirmed that their enemy was there.

Why didn’t Michael ask Courtney how her people planned on getting home?

Maria: Maria, was once again her spunky self and highly entertaining. However, although I find Maria’s put downs of Michael very amusing (and often well deserved) she needs to start finding things to compliment him about, if she hopes to compete with Courtney.

I burst out laughing at Maria’s reaction to realizing she was holding Courtney’s skin. Obviously it does not disintegrate immediately when a human touches it.

That was a cute reference Maria made, comparing herself and Michael to Scully and Mulder.

I like both of Maria’s hairstyles; the swept up version gave her an older, more sophisticated look and the braids made her look soooo sweet and innocent.

Courtney: Oh, Courtney’s got it bad for Michael!! I was ROTFL when they revealed her Michael shrine! (The Metallica T-shirt was a cute touch.) Now we know her angle - she’s a groupie! I think perhaps she’s gotten a little too involved with her work. J Does she realize that if they go back home, and she returns to her former normal form, that he cannot. She seems to like being a "babe", will she want to return to her original form?

I wasn’t sure, in the beginning, if we could trust her, but if she was willing to sacrifice her own husk for Michael, I think there’s a good chance she’s sincere. I’m assuming the renegade group she belongs to is unknown to the rest of the Skins or there would not have been a husk for her, but they may have been suspicious, which could be why Whitaker was spying on her. Regardless, she can’t go back to the Friendship League colony now. Were there other members of the renegade group in the Friendship League and did she sacrifice them as well? If so, they won’t be too happy with her if they find out what she did. Does she know where the other colonies are? Will she betray them too? Will she have to ally herself with the Royal Four now?

Max: I thought the confrontation scene between Max and Liz was well done. I was so glad that he didn’t believe that Liz could do that to him and knows she’s hiding the truth. I could really feel his angst. Although he knows she’s lying, he just can’t fathom why she would be willing to hurt him so. I still don’t understand why Liz thinks she has to withhold the truth from him.

Max is showing more leniency for Tess. Although he was very stoical about it, he still let Tess use him as a pillow in the back seat of the jeep.

I was surprised that Max ate the food Ida Crawford offered, after saying they couldn’t trust anyone, and accepted their invitation to stay. Why didn’t he send someone with Isabel, when she followed Nicholas, if he said no one should be alone. And I didn’t understand why he was so surprised to realize that the Friendship League were all Skins; I thought he and the others assumed that possibility going in.

Does Max only have the force field ability for defense? Does he not have the energy surge like Michael, Isabel, Nasedo and the Skins seem to have?

When Max went sliding back, down the aisle, all I could think of was Maria’s expression - "Another one being sucked into the alien abyss!" but it was a neat effect.

Liz: Liz doesn’t trust Tess enough to let her know she didn’t really sleep with Kyle. Why? Tess would never want Max to know the truth so she wouldn’t tell him. Are Liz and Kyle planning on keeping up the charade?

When Liz poked a hole in Whitaker’s arm, I thought she was going to ask Max to fix it for her, not cover it with flowers, but then Greer wouldn’t have discovered they knew Whitaker’s body was a fake.

Why did Liz go wandering off alone after Max warned them not to?

Isabel: Isabel doesn’t want the others to know about her possible former betrayal but her withholding of information could be detrimental to the group and their mission, thereby creating the same scenario.

Why didn’t she use her powers against Nicholas? She had no trouble hitting him with a pipe so it wasn’t that she didn’t want to hurt him.

Isabel was a little harsh with Tess with that "crashing in" comment; you could see that Tess was hurt.

Tess: How did Tess know about Liz "sleeping" with Kyle. Did Max tell her or was she actually awake and overheard, when Max asked Liz about it in the jeep? Tess seemed a little too interested (and pleased) in knowing about Kyle’s "capabilities". I wonder which one she personally prefers, Max or Kyle? I think she’s too ambitious to choose Kyle over Max, if she had a choice, but I think she likes Kyle more.

What took Tess so long to help Max against the Friendship League? Why didn’t she try to unlock the doors, while Max had the force field up, so they could leave?

General: OK, if we assume the information we received from Whitaker, Courtney and Nicholas is correct, then there was a civil war between two races/species on the Royal Four’s alien home planet. (Why can’t the writers give this planet a name!) The Skins were on one side and Nasedo and the Royal Four’s people were on the other. Isabel/Vilandra fell in love with The Skins’ leader Khivar and betrayed her people, which led to the death of the Royal Four, the fall of her people’s empire and the rise of Khivar to the throne. The Skins sent troops to Earth to prevent the Royal Four from staging a comeback. The renegade Skins are just as unhappy with Khivar on the throne as they were with Max so they are planning their own coup, to place Michael on the throne. Did former Max actually cause the rift that started the civil war? These people are a mess! Are we sure we want the Royal Four to go back there to help them!?

I wonder if Khivar wants Vilandra returned to him unharmed? Judging by the way Whitaker and Nicholas treated her, I think not. I guess Vilandra made a poor choice as a mate. And, since Khivar is on the throne, I guess that means Grant is not her former lover, as some had surmised.

If the Skins have been here for 50 years, how do they know Khivar is still in power or that they still have supporters back home? Are they still in communication? The Momogram said "Our enemies have come to Earth." If the orbs contained a prerecorded message, and arrived with them in 1947, and the Skins came in 1950, how did Mom know in advance? Was the Momogram supposed to be an actual time communication? If so, can the Royal Four use the orbs to send a message as well as receive one?

I’m under the impression that the Skins are not shapeshifters, like Nasedo, so if they can’t change their form and their "husks" don’t age, they must have moved around an awful lot in the past 50 years to divert suspicion as to why they never grew any older, especially Nicholas. I’m sure they had no idea their mission would take this long. I must say, they certainly are dedicated to their cause.

If the heavy shedding didn’t start occurring until recently, because they are now dying, how did Nasedo know about it? Was he in touch with them in recent years? Did he only just recently start referring to them as "Skins" or did he always call them that because of their husks? Courtney seemed familiar with the term, so were the Skins aware that Nasedo called them this? Also, if the shedding is a sign of deterioration, why do they continue to regenerate fresh looking new skin?

When the tubes containing the husks exploded, the Skins suffered physical pain, as if connected to the husks already. Was this connection significant or was it just a way to provide an escape for Max, Tess and Liz? Since Courtney did not feel any pain, I guess we can assume Michael got her husk out of her tube before the tube exploded. Did it look like Nicholas’ husk was still in tact?

Why were the husks wearing clothes? I know, I know, network TV standards, but it was incongruous.

Why didn’t Courtney and Nicholas use Michael’s former name, and Greer use Max and Tess’ former names, like Whitaker and Nicholas did with Isabel?

I’m assuming Ida Crawford gave Tess the adoption story because she wasn’t sure who she was and that was their standard cover story but why didn’t the Crawfords pretend to be more upset about their "daughter’s" sudden demise, if they were playing a part? And if they weren’t sure, does that mean Whitaker never reported to them her suspicions? Walt Crawford did act like a typical guy, talking about which highway was the best to take!

Why did Greer say he was glad the Royal "Four" had saved them the trouble of finding them by coming to them, when it was obvious that Michael was not with them. Why didn’t he ask where he was?

Did anyone else notice that as the guy at the barn was telling them there were no tourist attractions in town, there was a tourist information office right across the street?

Did anyone else wonder why that TV was turned on in an empty classroom? They didn’t go in there to watch TV, so it is unlikely they turned it on.

Under bad edits/bloopers: First, I think there was some dialog missing in the Michael, Maria, Courtney scene, when Maria asks why Courtney is obsessed with Michael. Courtney says "I’m not obsessed with him. OK, I follow him, in the political sense." Maria laughs and Michael responds "Our leader?" (with the emphasis on the "our"). Courtney never said anything about "our" or "leader", so what statement is he responding to?

Second: In the funeral scene, the same extra (a woman in a purple v neck sweater) comes in twice in a row.

Favorite Lines:

Maria: But it’s hard to run, with your pants around your ankles?

Maria: Yes, you know what? Just to make things simpler, from now on, you should consider everything to be your fault, OK? OK.

Michael: She’s obsessed with me.

Maria: Well, I guess that makes two of you, then, doesn’t it?

Maria: Oh please, do your lips not get chapped from all the ass kissing!?

Tess: Good looking pile of dust.

#207 Wipe Out! - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: The Copper Summit Skins come to Roswell seeking revenge and place all humans, except Liz, Maria, Kyle and Jim, in a time warp.

Nicholas: I found the relationship between Nicholas and Ida unusual. He was obviously in charge and she was his subordinate, however, he still called her "Mom" and she treated him as her son, even when they were alone. I assumed their family status was just a cover but perhaps they really were supposed to be mother and son, or, after playing the roles for 50 years, did it just become habit?

He must be pretty clever to be able to create this time displacement field. It had to affect humans, couldn’t affect Skins and couldn’t affect the Royal Four, who are half human. However, not clever enough to build in safeguards, so it couldn’t be short circuited by a mere car battery. Also, did he not consider the possibility of humans being out of town at the time of the time displacement and returning later to find the Skins? Should we assume that Liz, Maria, Kyle and Jim were the only ones that happened to? (How convenient.)

Based on Nicholas’s reaction to the leftover food on the counter, Skins definitely enjoy human food! Although, he didn’t seem to be concerned about germs (ick!).


e definitely seemed to suspect that the mirror may not be real but didn’t seem to know why. Was he unaware of the ability to project images into another mind? Is this an ability Tess has, only because of her hybrid status, and therefore, it would not be known to the Skins?

Did they bring the moister chamber with them on the bus? Otherwise, how was Nicholas going to get Ida back to it without abandoning the mission? Did anyone else think that his Plan B sounded an awful lot like Plan A?

How was Nicholas able to "rape" Courtney’s mind of the information that Max was moving their operation to the school, when she was not in the room at the time he said it? And how did Max have memories of Isabel’s soliloquy in the pod chamber?

What did Nicholas mean when he said to Michael "By the way, love the hair. Hope you win." Was that some insider joke about some contest Brendan is in? (One that I’m unaware of…how could that be!)

Jim: I loved the bonding scene between Jim and Kyle. I bet Jim never realized that Kyle’s new found Buddhist idealism would interfere with dinner. His expression was priceless!

It was a funny line, but what did Jim mean when he was complaining about Kyle hanging wind chimes in "MY" backyard; shouldn’t it be "OUR" backyard? No wonder Kyle feels underappreciated and undervalued by his father. It’s probably just as well that Kyle’s football buddies aren’t coming by anymore; it wouldn’t bode well for him if they caught him hanging wind chimes! (Does he even still play football?)

I was glad Jim was prompted to tell Kyle he was proud of him but what caused his sudden weakness, making him think he was running out of time? Was it his injury or because he was about to disappear? None of the others displayed a weakening condition before disappearing, which would indicate it was his injury, but he was perfectly fine when he returned. Was he healed while in the time warp? I found this confusing.

Michael: Michael was definitely smitten with Courtney. Even Max noticed his concern for her was more than just concern about possibly losing someone who could prove to be helpful. I was disappointed, however, that his concern would extend to the point where he was willing to reveal what could be considered Top Secret Information for their mission (the whereabouts of the granilith). The look of relief he had shows us he realizes how close he came to Nicholas finding out but will he learn from that experience?

When Courtney changed husks, did Michael get to see her natural form? Good thing Maria didn’t see Michael with Courtney when she was in the tub. Even though the water was murky, he would have been toast!

Maria: Maria definitely proved she can come through in a crisis. She didn’t panic when she was left all alone, she completed her mission and she saved the day! You go girl!!!

Maria seemed totally in the dark when Liz was telling Kyle she didn’t want to disappear without Max knowing. Obviously Liz hasn’t said anything to her. Will she remember to grill Liz on this later?

LOL at Maria’s explanation for all the stress relieving herbs in her apron pocket - "What, I was dating Michael Guerin." and everyone’s knowing nods!

When they were leaving to go to the sign, why, if she thought it might be the last time she ever saw him again, didn’t she kiss Michael? "Goopy" or not, I’m surprised she could resist.

Isabel: I loved it when Isabel used her powers to throw the boys out of the bathroom and shut the door on them!

I wonder who Isabel called, when they first learned everyone seemed missing?

Tess already told them Nicholas was stronger than anything she had been up against before and Courtney had confirmed his strength, so what did Isabel hope to accomplish going up against him alone? What was in that case she grabbed off the bus seat? It looked like it was just a camera; was she planning on using something in it to hurt Nicholas? They obviously were not concerned since they let her keep it.

Max: I was surprised that Max admitted to Kyle, to his face, that he doesn’t trust him. Kyle probably understood why he said it, but I wonder if Jim did?

Max must be thinking he can’t trust anyone! He’s never trusted Tess or Kyle, his faith in Liz has been shaken, he now knows that Isabel has been hiding information from him and that Michael is giving information to outsiders. Is this what happened to him before? Is history repeating itself? Does he feel he’s been living in a house of cards and it’s all crashing down around him?

I found it interesting that Max’ first reaction to what Tess did was, can she do it again, rather than the horror of it. Although, as the leader of a race involved in a war, he has to think of survival and his reaction is understandable, and also means he’s finally thinking like a leader, he does have to ask himself, at what cost? I was glad that Tess was troubled at the thought of ever doing it again, but something tells me she may have to; they all may have to.

Liz: Liz was having an awfully hard time seeing Max just comforting Tess slightly, she’ll never be able to handle seeing them "together", if that ever comes to pass. I was glad to hear that she did not want to die (or disappear) without Max knowing the truth. This means she intends to tell him eventually.

Tess: Tess really came through for them in this episode; she hid them from Nicholas and Ida, saved Maria and then saved them all by annihilating their attackers. However, that last act may have caused psychological damage. She’s not as unfeeling as she’d like us to believe, at times, and was obviously disturbed by the results of her actions.

How did Tess know that Isabel had taken off? Did Max go back to the UFO Center, tell them Isabel took off, go back out to look for her and then return?

Courtney: I was very disappointed that they killed off Courtney, I think there were a lot of stories left to tell with her character, but I was glad to see her die with honor, by not letting Nicholas learn where the granilith was. I have to admit, I was a little bit suspicious when she asked Michael where it was, wondering if everything she had done prior had just been a set up to find it, but she proved her loyalty in the end.

Did Courtney switch husks too soon? She seemed much healthier in the old husk. Did they have no way of preserving the new husk until the old one wore out, thereby giving her no choice but to take the risk of using the new one now, even though it wasn’t "fully mature".

Kyle: I was glad to see Kyle get a chance to prove his mettle. He really kept his cool, helped keep the others from panicking and basically handled anything thrown at him. He earned Max’ trust, in spite of what Max thinks he did with Liz, and he also showed his sensitivity to Max’ feeling by promising to take care of Liz, knowing Max still cared about her. I guess the Buddhism is helping. Will it be able to help him reconcile to the fact that he has now killed another sentient being?

General: What happened to the humans while they were in this time warp? Were they continuing to exist in another dimension? Were they in limbo, frozen in time? Liz, Maria and Kyle looked ecstatic to see one another when they returned, so did they not see each other on "the other side"? Their clothing went with them so why didn’t other inanimate objects they were holding go with them (like the bowl Diane was holding, which suddenly dropped to the floor when she disappeared)? When they returned, did they notice from the clocks that an hour or so had passed inexplicably? Did those who returned to their cars wonder why they were in the midst of a major car pile up they had no memory of? Will they ask any questions or will this just fall through the cracks? Will the others at least tell Alex what happened and ask him, Liz, Maria, Kyle and Jim what happened to them while they were gone?

Who was watching Liz and Maria? Each time they have used that thermal energy vision to indicate one or more of the characters is being watched, the person(s) being observed can sense they are being watched but are unable to see anyone. Is this because they are well hidden or do they have chameleon like capabilities? The Skin in the UFO Center just pretended to be a mannequin rather than using a camouflage technique. Do the Skins have different levels of power? Is the camouflage ability only for the elite? I noticed that the soldier Skins were not using special powers to overcome the humans and Royal Four (except for the one who attacked Maria). Are the energy surges, and such, reserved for the elite like Nicholas, Ida, Whitaker and Greer? Courtney could manipulate molecular structure but she never displayed any powers useful in a fight.

Just what are the Skins’ real bodies made of and how are they the same or different than Nasedo’s/Royal Four’s people? The bullet Jim fired* at the Skin attacking Liz and Maria seemed to pass right through him, with a puff of dust. And when they were killed by being hit on the back, they disintegrated, like the husk skin sheddings, into less then dust (just bits of skin). They can’t survive on Earth without space suits - the husks. They seem nothing like Nasedo, whose body was affected by bullets, who at least became a PILE of dust upon dying and who could survive on Earth without a "space suit" of any kind (he also had the ability to shapeshift, which the Skins do not seem able to do); and yet they inhabited the same planet and apparently were able to mate with one another. (*By the way, even in slo mo, you cannot see Jim enter the Crashdown in order to be there to fire his gun.)

We have a new piece of information re the shed skin/disintegration theory. When Maria touched it in Harvest, it did not disintegrate, but when Liz touched it in this episode, it did. Is this significant? Are the writer’s trying to give us a clue about just how much Liz was "changed" by Max or are they just careless and not keeping track of when it disintegrates and when it doesn’t? If they are trying to indicate she changed, it obviously was not enough to keep her from disappearing, just like the rest of the full humans.

Why didn’t the Royal Four use their powers to create a force field when the Skins came upon them, or break their bonds when the Skins had them tied up? Are they unable to break another alien’s "spell"? Did the energy field over Roswell, creating the time displacement, suppress their abilities to some extent? It obviously didn’t suppress them totally, because Isabel used them to push the boys out of the bathroom and Tess used them to hide everyone from the Skins, but Tess’ abilities definitely increased considerably as soon as the field was removed.

Did anyone else notice the steam during the balcony scene with Max and Michael? What was that from?

Since the Skin’s attack occurred on a Saturday morning (prime tourist time), Brody should have been at the UFO Center. So, since he wasn’t there, is that proof that he is human and disappeared with the rest of them or, did he join the search for the Royal Four, because he’s a Skin, and we just didn’t see him?

When Max said they had to move their base of operations to the school, it almost appeared as if they were going to leave without taking Courtney with them. They all just headed for the stairs, including Michael, and Max only mentioned about getting Jim.

Did anyone else notice that the Jetta didn’t seem to have a rearview mirror? Did they remove it so it doesn’t block the camera angle whenever there is someone sitting in the back seat or was it supposedly lost when the FBI shot out the back window? I’ll have to go back and check that.

Was that supposed to be Nicholas who bumped into Max and Tess at the end or were they just being paranoid?

Although they look like trouble, I cracked up when I saw the punk version of the Royal Four from next week’s promos!

Favorite Lines:

Kyle: Buddha forgive me, but I’m gonna kick your ass! (and he did!)

Maria: So, how does electricity work?

Kyle: Why are you looking at me? We were both in the same remedial science class for three years.

Courtney: I think I see a chest hair Nicholas. Way to go. (spunky to the end!)

Alex: Skip the pancakes.

#208 Meet The Dupes - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: The duplicates of Max, Michael, Isabel and Tess were raised in NY. After killing Zan, Rath, Vilandra and Ava come to Roswell to convince Max to return with them and represent the family, at a summit meeting of the families of the five warring planets.

The NY Four: Who raised them? Was their upbringing similar to how it would have been on their home planet? Is their punk persona a rebellion against their upbringing, or, is it a truer reflection, than we have received from the Roswell Four, of the mind set and attitude of their former selves? (Not a pretty picture if it is.) Why do they resort to constant robbery to get what they want, when a few trips to Atlantic City to manipulate some slot machines would do the trick? Are they more interested in the violence of it than the "money for nothing" angle?

We could see that Zan and Rath sparred just as much as, if not more than, Max and Michael; did the original Zan and Rath do so as much? Per Courtney, Rath remained loyal to Zan previously, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t fight.

How much more, of their past, do they know than the Roswell Four? Are their powers more, or less, developed than the Roswell Four? (They have only exhibited molecular manipulation and minor energy surges; Zan did not use the force field or anything else to save himself from the truck.) How did they know about the Roswell Four and why didn’t whoever told them about them, contact the Roswell Four?

Why didn’t Zan want to go to the Summit? He seemed to use the possibility that it might be a set up as just an excuse; it did not seem that he had given it much thought. I can understand why the other three were interested to attend the Summit to learn more, but why were they so anxious to get home? They don’t strike me as being dedicated to the cause of freeing their people; they are too self absorbed for that. Why would they want to leave a planet where they have superior powers and can blend in (when they want to), to go somewhere where they would stick out like a sore thumb and may possibly not be as strong, or do they know for sure that their powers are stronger?

Max: That was an interesting correlation they made between the sudden death of the star and the presumed sudden death of Max and Liz’ love for one another. However, I don’t believe Max’ love for Liz will ever burn out; it may diminish to a flicker but he’ll remain hopeful, until his, or her, dying breath, of it springing to life once again. I think that’s why he still hangs out at the Crashdown; he doesn’t want to miss any opportunity that might come up that would respark the flame.

Why didn’t Max want to go to the summit meeting? Why wouldn’t he want to investigate an opportunity to promote peace? I could understand if he didn’t trust Rath, Lonnie and Ava but then he does a 180 and leaves with them without even finding out where they are going and letting the others know so they could find him if necessary. For someone who is usually so methodical, he didn’t think this through at all. Granted, right now he doesn’t feel he can trust anyone but that doesn’t mean he should start acting irrationally. At the very least he could have told Jim.

Is it significant that Max was unable to sense that it was actually Lonnie, not Isabel, who called him a self centered, self indulgent little boy? Does he think that about himself, so therefore would not be suspicious hearing it (along with the rest of the outburst) from "Isabel"?

Liz: I wasn’t sure what Liz hoped to accomplish. How can she expect Max to be her friend, after what she did to him. Friends don’t deliberately hurt each other the way she did him. He could never understand why she would do such a thing, or trust her again, unless he knows the truth. If the situation was reversed, if he had said the hurtful things to her that she said to him and then she found him in bed with Tess, would she still want to be friends? I still don’t understand why she thinks she can’t tell him, or anyone else, the truth.

Although I cracked up over Liz’ reaction when Rath kissed her, I was surprised that she didn’t display any anger. She had just told him no, in no uncertain terms, and he kissed her anyway. I would have expected her to scream something like "I can’t believe you did that! What’s the matter with you!" (then they could have added the shudder J ) I don’t think she protested enough. And she really should have told Maria. Perhaps she didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but Maria had a right to know, and every right to be hurt by Liz’ secrecy.

Ava/Tess: It seems Ava is just as much an outcast as Tess is (is there a significance to this?) and probably about as much in touch with her human side as Tess. At first I found it ironic that Ava was the most sensitive of the NY Four, whereas Tess is the least sensitive of the Roswell Four, but then I realized that Zan, Rath and Lonnie are so out of touch with their human side that Ava seemed more sensitive because she was slightly more in touch with hers and Max, Michael and Isabel are so much more in touch with their human side than Tess that Tess seems more insensitive.

I wonder where Ava was planning on going? Does she know where Tess was living? Will she try to take her place?

Maria: Maria is still frustrated that Michael doesn’t dote on her and their relationship as much as she would like. Although (much to her credit) Michael has matured and become somewhat more sensitive, there is a limit to how much she can change him. It’s just not in his nature to be that sensitive to her needs, so occasional reminders are a must, but she can’t let his failures get to her or she’s facing a lifetime of stress. She either has to accept him as he is, or move on.

Brody: OK, what gives? What’s with the older men after our high school girls!? Other than that ick factor, I thought that Brody was adorable and, if Maria had been older, I might have been rooting for him (but just a little). I think we are being led to believe that he is human and that his cover story is true but I’m not quite ready to trust him yet. And, I still want to know what happened to Milton. Perhaps Steve Hytner was no longer available to play the part, so they had to write him out, but Milton would never just sell his life’s work and leave without even telling Max. I’ll be very disappointed if the writers don’t clean up this loose end.

Rath/Michael: How did Rath know that Max and Liz were no longer together and that Michael liked Maria? It was clever of him to figure out that Max disagreed with Michael just as much as Zan disagreed with him and the best way to get him to agree would be to pretend to be against it. Too bad he didn’t think of using that strategy with Zan, then maybe he’d still be alive.

What was Rath trying to do when he walked right next to Michael in front of Brody, rather than staying hidden, like Lonnie and Ava? Was he challenging Max’ authority? Did he just want an excuse to kill Brody?

I loved the fact that Michael might have some competition and that he was worried about it. Hopefully he will be more attentive to Maria because of it.

Lonnie/Isabel: Why couldn’t Isabel talk to Max about Vilandra? She needs to talk to someone and Max, is right, they have to be honest with one another.

I thought Lonnie was a major b****h when she revealed Isabel’s secret. When she pretended to be Isabel, was she drawing on her own feelings towards Zan, as she lashed out at Max?

Jim: When Jim pulled them over, I was really curious as to what his reaction would be. During the commercial break I mulled over the possibilities: would he assume it was Michael, Isabel and Tess, suddenly going punk or would he realize they are the duplicates. Then I wondered if he had even been told about the duplicates so would he think they were shapeshifters? If he realized they were not the Roswell Four, would he pretend nothing’s wrong and immediately after report to Max or would he challenge them? So I was really disappointed that he didn’t catch on, especially with the flimsy excuse they gave. With all that had just happened, did he really think they would be going to a party, or that they would need his help to take care of anyone lying in wait for them? And how did Lonnie know to mention alien hunters? Are the FBI watching them too?

General: Are we supposed to assume that the star that imploded is the same Red Giant that Liz saw in her vision (in Sexual Healing) and that it may be the Royal Four’s home planet (meaning there is no home to go back to? But if that’s the case, wouldn’t the Summit have been called off? Unless it is a trap.

Are there five ruling families on five different planets? Are they all different races? Are representatives from all five, here on Earth? Is this getting just a little too complicated?

The NY Four indicated that the people who told them about the Summit were unaware of the Roswell Four, and, you would think for safety’s sake, it’s best that they don’t know, so why would Max bring Tess with him? It would have been a dead give away if Ava had decided to go too.

The NY Four appear to be the same age as the Roswell Four, so, does that mean they were supposed to hatch from the pods in 1989, 42 years after their arrival, and if so, why so long in between? Did they assume their enemies would give up looking, thinking they must be mistaken, after 40 years? Or, did both sets of pods malfunction in the same way?

I was a little surprised that Michael didn’t talk to Rath much and that Tess didn’t talk to Ava. You would think they would want to know how much of themselves was preprogrammed and a comparison would help tell them that, besides the fact that it was an opportunity to learn more about their history.

I couldn’t believe that Rath and Lonnie transformed themselves back from Michael and Isabel in full view of passersby.

I think the NY Four were suppose to show us what the Roswell Four would be like if some of their characteristics were taken to extremes. Max’ inability to share the decision making process and Michael rebelling against his authority. Isabel seemed the least like her counterpart, she doesn’t strike me as conniving and Ava seemed much more timid than Tess.

Timeline confusion: Liz said the pocket knife she gave Max, which said Max and Liz 4-Ever on it, was last year’s Christmas gift but they broke up after their first date and weren’t really together until Sexual Healing, which was in February, so that would not have been an appropriate sentiment for his Christmas present; they should have had her say birthday gift. It also seemed an incongruous inscription for a knife.

Fashion statements: I thought Katie looked hot and Emilie looked adorable but Jason and Brendan should consider their punk looks as fashion don’ts!

Kudos to Katie and Brendan for their portrayals of Lonnie and Rath.

Favorite Lines:

Max: Your only exercise use to be the escalator at the Mall.

Lonnie: No three ways tonight, Opie. Maybe later.

Rath: Do you want me to kill him for you?
Michael: I’ll get back to you on that.

#209 Max In The City - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: Max and Tess go to New York City to attend the summit meeting of the ruling families of the five planets.

Max: That deal sucked and I was shocked that Max even considered it for a moment! How would it help his people if Kivar was still in power and Max was his puppet!? Also, as soon as Nicholas mentioned the granilith, he should have been suspicious that he whole summit meeting was just a ruse to get him to reveal it’s whereabouts. I was glad that Max had the good sense to listen to Liz’ advice and turn down the "deal" but disappointed at the reason he gave Isabel. Although it is important for a ruler to be compassionate, he cannot let his personal feelings interfere with his decisions involving the greater good of his people, as a whole. If the deal had had merit, and he had turned it down simply because Isabel and Michael wouldn’t be able to return home, that would have been self centered and self indulgent (to paraphrase Lonnie) and not the actions of a good leader. I don’t think Max is ready yet, to be a leader and I wonder if the original Zan lost his throne because he was not yet ready to make difficult decisions.

I was glad to see Max stick up for Tess against Rath and Lonnie, that he asserted himself with them and that he remained wary of their trust. Loved his concerned looks when he saw Rath stealing food.

I was wondering if they were going to let Max have a little fun, seeing as it was his first trip to NYC, and was glad they did; it was so nice to see him smile again, but the "I’m King of the World" bit was a mite cheesy. I was also happy to see him reconcile with Isabel and Liz, which gave us even more smiles. Now that he is less sullen, hopefully in the future we will have a chance to see his playful side, something I’ve sorely missed lately.

Brody: I’m beginning to think Brody’s abduction story is just too convenient. Why would they abduct him from NM and take him all the way to NY when they could have, just as easily, abducted someone closer to NY? Also, I think his telling Maria that he felt it was about to happen again was his way of creating a cover story to explain his presence there. I think it’s more likely that Brody really is Larek and that he came to Roswell to help his friend Zan/Max, or if the friendship thing is a lie, to spy on him. I also find it interesting that Maria is the only human who knows the whereabouts of the granilith and she’s the one Brody is trying to get to know.

Nicholas: I was really shocked to see Nicholas. How did he survive Tess’ wall of fire? Did the others survive too or just him? It can’t be a clone because he knew what happened that day and a clone wouldn’t have those details. I was a little surprised Max and Tess weren’t more curious about his miraculous recovery.

Rath was mistaken (or lied) when he said the ones calling the summit didn’t know about both sets of podsters. Nicholas obviously did. The question is, did he mistakenly think the New York Four knew about the granilith, or, did he know they were ignorant and therefore, convinced Lonnie to get rid of Zan and lure Max to New York?

Tess/Ava: When Tess said "they" tried to get the info on the granilith from her, did she mean just Rath and Lonnie or was Nicholas there too? Did he try the mind rape on her. Did she use the wall of fire again? But then why wouldn’t she remember this time like she did last time? Is she telling the truth? And if not, why? Tess seems to have convinced Max that she is loyal and trustworthy. Although I’m inclined to agree with him, there are still too many unanswered questions where she is concerned so, currently, the jury is still out in my case.

I’m sure Tess’ line about considering Roswell her home is meant to be significant, indicating that she feels more accepted now.

Ava seems to have won over Liz. Can you imagine Liz hugging Tess that way!? Just where was Ava going at the end of the episode? Back to New York?

Lonnie/Rath: Lonnie seems to think she remembers her life as Vilandra. Why does she remember more than the others? Or, does she have false memories of her past, somehow implanted by the Skins? I certainly hope she isn’t a true representation of Vilandra.

I guess we can assume Lonnie and Rath have had sex with humans, since they were able to compare, and say alien sex is the best. I’m still wondering if they’ve taken into consideration that their human bodies are nothing like their alien ones, and that going home in these bodies may not be such a great thing. Alien sex may not seem so attractive back home.

I don’t think there is any question that we will see Rath and Lonnie again, in spite of their mysterious disappearance.

Liz: Why was Liz afraid to try to contact Max? Even if she felt she wouldn’t succeed, that wouldn’t be a reason not to try. Did she think something bad would happen to her? Nothing bad ever happened to Isabel, other than being frightened by what she saw, once inside. I would have expected Liz to jump at the chance to help Max, no matter what the risk to herself. Perhaps they were trying to show us that, in spite of her fear, she courageously helped Max but instead, they seem to be painting us a picture of a fearful, scared little rabbit Liz (stepping away from the circle in The Balance, saying Tess scared her in TL&V and now this), who may not be able to come through for Max in a clinch situation. Maria has been shown to be much stronger, which seems incongruous.

I was so relieved that she finally told Maria the truth but I was ready to shake her when she continued to lie to Max. He obviously had doubts that she actually did anything with Kyle, lets just hope her faint nod wasn’t enough to convince him otherwise. At least saving Max’ life definitely helped her cause in her quest to maintain their friendship. And, the more they are together, the greater the chance that she will weaken (or rather, come to her senses) and eventually tell him the truth. (I wonder if Isabel or Michael will tell him what Liz told Ava "You lost Zan, please don’t let me lose Max. I LOVE him, you know and…I love him just as much as you did Zan. Please Ava, don’t let me lose him, please." If he knew what she said to Ava, he’d know she was lying to him and remain hopeful that she would one day tell him why.)

General: Were the emissary, and the representatives of the ruling families, really able to project their thoughts and know what was being discussed by the others from millions (perhaps billions) of miles away. If so, they seem extremely powerful and I cannot imagine the Roswell Four and/or the New York Three being any match for them. I’m more inclined to believe they were all Skins and that the whole thing was a ruse to get the granilith. Or, at the very least, that they were "broadcasting" from a ship orbiting Earth. Another reason I think they were all Skins is because, if the other ruling families were willing to sit down with each other, then why didn’t they just join together to get rid of Kivar? Why would they need Zan/Max? You would think after 50 years, they would have done something by now.

I was glad Tess asked the question about who raised them but ticked that there was no answer. It could make a big difference in the truthfulness of the information we have learned from the New York Three if it turns out they got most of it from Skins. At least we know their protector was a shapeshifter. It seems their protector was even worse than Nasedo, (assuming, of course, that it wasn’t Nasedo) if the best he/she could do was raise them in a sewer/subway tunnel. Even Nasedo didn’t keep Tess in the cave. Some viewers think the shapshifter who ate tic tacs and killed Hank was different from Nasedo; could he have been their protector?

Ava told Liz that Max changed her when he healed her (not because of the reverse connection), so does that mean Kyle has been changed (other than the Buddha stuff J )? BTW, how did Ava know that healing a human would change them? Did their protector tell them? Did Zan ever heal a human?

At least they made an effort to explain Max’ absence to his parents.

I liked Maria’s hair style, when she went to deliver Brody his Galaxy Sub.

Gripe: I use the closed captioning to determine the spelling of names of characters and things. In Harvest, when they used Kivar’s name, they spelled it Khivar, now they’re spelling it without the "h"; why can’t they be consistent with something as simple as the spelling of a character’s name!

Favorite Lines:

Lonnie: Boys, don’t make me get off this couch.

Nicholas: Nice to see your genocidal girlfriend again. Killed anyone today?
Tess: Day’s not over.

#210 A Roswell Christmas Carol - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: Max is haunted by the spirit of a man, who died when Max failed to help him after an auto accident.

Max: This was an extremely thought provoking episode. It creates an interesting and heartbreaking dilemma. Knowing you have the ability to help/save someone; wanting to be able to do so with impunity, but unable to. What do you do? How much should you put at risk for a stranger? Max’ guilt and remorse over the death of the man he failed to help is understandable, because he is such a sensitive and caring individual, but he was being much too hard on himself. When he said "Why couldn’t I trade my life for his?", I wondered why he felt he was required/expected to risk his life for another; a stranger no less. And only martyrs and saints would risk TORTURE for someone they don’t even know. In addition, although it wasn’t his foremost fear and reason for not acting, he WOULD be putting the others at risk as well. He had every right to fear the consequences of his actions and besides, he has a responsibility to avoid capture and remain alive; an entire race of people are depending on him. How much can we expect from him? How much should he expect of himself? As much as he’d like to, he cannot help everyone, so he has to make choices. When does he help and when does he walk away? He can’t save them all. Those are tough choices to make. He’ll have many more tough choices to make, as leader of his people. Does he have the temperament to be a leader and make tough choices?

I wasn’t sure if the "spirit" was just supposed to be a representation of Max’ guilty conscience or if it was really supposed to be the dead guy’s spirit. I thought it was just a representation, until Max went to Brody’s house and they weren’t there. How would Max know that they went to the hospital? If it was actually the guy’s spirit, it seemed in the beginning that he wanted Max to make amends to his family, so why did he do a complete 180 when Max decided to help a different family?

I’m very confused. I’m not sure if this is a continuity issue/problem or if I’m just misinterpreting it, but in Leaving Normal, Max said "Liz, when I saved you, it was because you were shot, and there was a bullet in you. Something was happening to you that wasn't supposed to happen. It was before your time. But I can't just heal people. I'm not God." I thought that meant he could not cure a fatal illness. So then, how was he able to cure their cancer; what was the difference? Are we supposed to assume everything Max said was a lie? Leaving Normal was a very moving episode and that would diminish it. The accident fit in with what Max said he could "fix", but not the cancer. And let’s face facts here; if he is able to cure cancer, he would not have to keep this a secret. Anybody who could cure cancer, alien or not, would be revered as a god, by all nations of the world, not captured and tortured. Anyway, now that Max wants to heal people, without arousing suspicion, I wonder if they will have him decide to become a doctor? I think most viewers assumed that would be his chosen profession, if he didn’t have to be leader of a planet.

I never realized before that Max didn’t believe in God. I guess when he told Liz he wasn’t God, I just assumed he believed in Him. I have a vague recollection that there was some mention of it another time, but I can’t think what it was and don’t have time to go through every episode (not that that would be a hardship, I just don’t have the time) so if anyone else remembers, let me know. Then again, I suppose what happened to him in The White Room could cause him to question his beliefs.

I was LOL at the opening when they are discussing the necessary "parameters" of the tree and I was on the floor when he pulled out the tape measure. God forbid it should be an inch or two off!

Brody: I was shocked to learn that Brody had a daughter and she was dying of cancer. I never anticipated that story arc. It’s quite a coincidence that both he and Sydney had inoperable, terminal, bone marrow cancer. Did he feel guilty that his was cured but hers was not? Was that why he wanted to reestablish contact with his abductors? Did he hope to convince them to cure his daughter? Now that she is cured, will he give up the search?

Isabel: OK, I thought the Christmas Nazi subplot was very amusing, and her ordering everyone around, to be sure she has the perfect Christmas, fits her personality, but I got the impression that she, supposedly, has been doing this for some time and I don’t remember her being such a "joiner" - Director of the Pageant, President of the Hunger Drive, Christmas dinners at the nursing home, the Christmas dog show - somehow I can’t picture the Isabel of last season doing any of those things.

Her rant about wanting a MERRY CHRISTMAS, like a normal human being, was very funny but also very telling. She is the most afraid that they will lose touch with their human side, the more they explore their alien side, and she’s clinging to all that represents being human; which, I think, is why she sided with Max so quickly when he wanted to help Sydney, even though she still hasn’t forgiven him totally for helping Liz. Although, I think the fact he asked first, helped.

Isabel must have one hell of an allowance if she can afford all that leather clothing and pearl earrings, or does she have a job we aren’t aware of?

Tess: They are definitely doing a make-over on Tess. Last season she was portrayed as a manipulative b***h, but it’s obvious they are trying to humanize her now. I really like the new Tess but that doesn’t leave us anyone but Nicholas to hate and distrust, and I doubt that he will be in every episode, so I’m guessing they are planning on introducing a new adversary. Hmmm, maybe Howie’s character from Destiny? Anyway, I got a real kick out of her trying to infuse the Christmas spirit into Jim and Kyle and also how she demanded her own chair! I am curious though; how did she know to say Jim missed Amy in the note? It was obvious that he was smitten with her but she wasn’t in Roswell during their brief dating period, so how did she know they had dated? Kyle seemed just as surprised as Jim when Amy arrived so, if she asked him about her, he obviously didn’t get suspicious.

Jim/Kyle: I just loved all the Jim/Kyle, Jim/Kyle/Tess and Jim/Kyle/Tess/Amy scenes! Jim and Kyle were just toooo funny, trying to watch the game "around" Tess and doing the sideways cheer; Jim trying to help the players "visualize"; Jim flirting with Amy in the supermarket (I really hope they expand this story arc, I love them together); Jim panicking when Amy rings the doorbell; Kyle’s look when he realized that Tess made his favorite dish for him, and I really loved the one he had as he watched her carry the turkey into the dining room (I think he’s really falling for her and I am so hoping that they eventually get together!).

Maria: At first, when Maria told Michael the bumper was very thoughtful of him, I thought she was equating it to when he made her the napkin holder, and that she would be satisfied with that as her gift, knowing how much time and effort he put into it, not taking the easy way out by using his powers. I was a little disappointed that she expected more. (sigh) I guess Isabel knows Maria better than I do. BTW, what did Maria get for Michael?

Maria is always "coming to the realization" that "x" is more important than "y" ("I just wanted to let you know that I heard about what you did for Sydney and those children. This whole thing with Sydney has made me realize how stupid I’ve been about this gift thing. I don’t need a gift." and "After what happened to Alex last night, that's just, like, not what's important to me at all. So, if that's why you're acting strange, you can just stop. It's over. I mean...just go back to being your usual self.", etc.) but it only lasts until the next episode. She doesn’t really learn anything from it, so she doesn’t really "realize" what’s important.

I thought that whole, considering marrying Brody because she felt sorry for his daughter, was a bit over the top. I was glad that Liz had enough sense to convince her to let Brody have time alone with his daughter. How did Maria know Sydney had no mother? Are we supposed to assume that Brody said something to Maria OR that Maria is jumping to wrong conclusions?

Michael: I felt sorry for Michael. Granted, the electric toothbrush was a boner of an idea but why didn’t Isabel just tell him to buy Maria jewelry, instead of telling him to "Think about all that you and Maria have shared, all that she means to you. Then start coming up with some ideas. OK? A Christmas gift should be personal, thoughtful, and something someone would never get herself."? Very good advice, but she should have known how he would interpret that and that jewelry would not enter the equation; although personally, I think the bumper was a very sweet idea.

When Michael told Max he was pissed that Max was more capable at healing others, it made me think "just one more reason to envy Max Evans" but, more importantly, it shows he’s not as cold and unfeeling towards strangers as he’d have us believe.

General: We have new information. Not only does using their powers deplete their energy (kudos to Jason for being able to show us so well, what a strain this was on Max), it depletes their powers.

Continuity issue/problem: Michael and Maria were not "together" last Christmas so why would Maria think Michael needed to make up for last year and why would Isabel say "Last year was your first year together, and you didn’t give her a present?"

Jim and Kyle will know it was Max who healed the children, if they hear the report about the silver hand print. I wonder if they will say anything about the risk he took?

At least they are admitting that Maria is still 17 and didn’t magically "age" her to 18, to make Brody’s interest in her more acceptable.

When Max was healing Sydney and he got flashes of her past life, who was the guy sitting on the couch? Will he be significant later on?

Did anyone else think that Shiri looked especially radiant in this episode?

Blooper: There was definitely someone in the laundry room when Michael was telling Max about hedging his bets.

Favorite Lines:

Kyle: His mind and body are in deep conflict. When one’s heart and one’s mind are not in balance, one’s body is the first to fail.

Jim: I’m very concerned that you’re starting to make sense to me.

Kyle: We like it in the garage. I use it to dry my socks.

Isabel: You know, is it too much to ask, that one day a year, I can be like a normal human being, with a normal life, and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!?

Maria: This must have cost you a fortune.

Michael: I’m sure they will.

Maria: I don’t need this gift. This year my gift is you.

Liz: I thought you didn’t believe in God? Max: I believe in you.

#211 To Serve & To Protect - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: Isabel gets a vision of a young woman being kidnapped and asks Jim to help her find her.

Was it just me or did anyone else think this episode lacked the warmth and humor that are the trademarks of this series? It also felt as though the cast was just going through the motions. I hope this is just a case of "you can't hit one out of the ballpark every time", rather than a new trend/direction, in which the series is headed.

ISABEL: Isabel wishing she could use her powers for the good of society - no surprise there. Max can cure cancer so, naturally, she wants to feel like she can do something important and make a positive contribution. So, perhaps she should rethink using her dreamwalking abilities to invade the privacy of others, for recreational purposes. I was really disappointed in Isabel when she did this. It was a questionable, but understandable, activity when she did it for protection (like with Maria and Alex) but not acceptable to do it to Kyle and Liz for no good reason. I do have to admit, however, that my first thought was "Oh, I wonder if she'll learn about Future Max" and was glad at the possibility. I think Max was probably hoping she would discover something too, or he would have been more firm when telling her to "Stay away from Liz, please." It could almost be construed as a dare, since he knows she likes to defy him.

Was her vision of Grant as the kidnapper true (the girl said she never saw his face so how could she relay it to Isabel?), or was Isabel projecting her fears about him into the vision? Does she sense there is something not right about him OR is she becoming too close to him and is instinctively backing away, so as not to reveal too much of herself?

I liked that we got a chance to see Isabel and Jim working together, rather than either of them always being with just Max or Michael.

JIM: I was surprised to hear that Jim's men reported his behavior to his superiors. I didn't realize he had alienated them, to the point where they would turn on him.

I was irritated that, once again, they had Jim violating Grant's 4th amendment rights. It doesn't seem in character and, if he keeps breaking the law, on their behalf, he will become an ineffectual ally because he'll bring too much attention to them. Then it dawned on me - maybe that's the point! Maybe Jim is the catalyst that brings government attention to the Royal Four. First as their adversary, then as their unwitting ally.

I thought Jim knew about Isabel's ability to enter a person's subconscious. I guess they never told him how they got the info about Nasedo's whereabouts from Pierce.

LIZ: After getting past my "Who the hell is Brad, and I don't believe for a minute that Liz would dream of being with someone other than Max" reaction, I decided to analyze her dream. To me it said that she wants to move on but knows she will never be satisfied with anyone but Max, thereby creating a hopeless situation. Hence her frustration while trying to explain it to Maria. She's cracking; it's only a matter of time before she confides in him. And how dare Isabel call this scene "boring"! I'll never forgive her for cutting it short!

I can't imagine Maria being so hostile to Sean, just because he was in prison, so it must be that, prior to being arrested, he used and abused his relatives shamelessly, and was a shiftless, trouble making, freeloader (or something to that affect). Not exactly the kind of qualities that would attract Liz and, since Liz never asked Maria why she was so hostile, we have to assume she knew the reason. It is obvious they are trying to suggest she has an interest in him. Hopefully just that she has an interest in trying to reform him, out of the goodness of her heart, and as a way to keep her mind off Max. Nothing else would be believable.

KYLE: Kyle is trying to come to terms with this new knowledge that Max' healing changed him in some way. On the one hand he finds it a nightmare but on the other, he is intrigued by the possibilities other "powers" might offer. Hopefully his Buddhist teachings will keep him grounded and not let him either go off the deep end, or get a swelled head, or become abusive with any powers he may actually discover he has.

More and more I am enjoying the scenes between Kyle and Tess. Theirs were the only light moments in this episode and the sweet and spicy one was my favorite.

DAN: I think it's safe to say that Dan is the new government threat, to replace Topolsky and Pierce. Do we assume that Dan didn't see the force field? I suspect he knows more about the Royal Four than he is letting on. I don't think he's all that concerned about Jim's career. Jim may be an old friend, but right now all he is to Dan is a source of information.

GENERAL: Based on the promos, it is obvious that the kidnap victim is connected to their human ancestors, which is probably why Isabel was able to receive her cries for help. (Although there is still the possibility that Isabel will be able to receive visions from people she is not connected to.) I got the impression the girl was being used as bait to lure Isabel and the others into the woods to be assassinated, so did the kidnapper know she was connected to them and if so, how, OR is she in on it? Is the kidnapper Grant, a Skin, or both?

I loved the special effect of the bullet hitting the force field!

I wondered why Max and Isabel were watching that little TV in the kitchen. Do you think perhaps Mom and Dad were watching something on the bigger one that Max and Isabel considered as "crap"?

I was a little surprised that Max didn't knock before entering Isabel's room, considering she may have been dressing for her date. Oh wait, that's right, she WAS dressing for her date!

I didn't think Max' "You look really bad" comment to Isabel sounded the least bit convincing. Maybe that's because she didn't! (Could she ever?)

Was it just me or did it seem that Sean's burger never got any smaller, no matter how many bites he took?

Did anyone else think the ringing of the "Buddha's" phone sounded just like the beeping in Liz' vision from Sexual Healing?

Favorite Lines:

Maria: OK, OK, you're a, you're a ... Maxaholic. (Aren't we all!?)

Max: Isabel, you are my sister. You yell at me, you second guess me and you piss me off. You also saved my life. I don't care what we've been through, I still believe in you ... I always will. (Although I wanted him to add "and I love you" to the believe in you.)

- Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

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Musings by Joan Pickering

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Musings by Joan Pickering

#212 We Are Family - Review

Musings by Joan Pickering

Main Plot: Laurie Dupree disappears and Jim Valenti loses his job.

Subplot: Tess finally has a family and Michael may have found his.

I enjoyed this episode much more than last week’s. The story is really getting interesting and there was a lot more heart and camaraderie among friends. Having Alex back felt good and, it’s amazing what a little Max/Liz interaction can do for the soul! I’m really loving the Kyle/Tess pairing - they may even become my new favorite couple - but it was Max and Liz in the janitor’s closet that was my favorite scene this time.

Jim: What must Jim be thinking right now? He’s trying to do the right thing, and it’s coming out all wrong. When he turned over his badge, it reminded me of the scene in Destiny when he put his badge in his pocket. He made the decision then, that he felt the safety of Max and company was more important than his job. That decision was cemented when Max saved Kyle. But making a decision like that and living with the reality of the sacrifices (losing his job, his reputation, financial security, etc.) are two different things. What will happen to him now? Will he get his job back? Does he want it back? Has it been a help or a hindrance to their cause? Will Agent Duff believe he’s "one of the good guys"? Will she be "one of the good guys"? Will she help of hinder him/them?

I was a little surprised Jim didn’t discuss a cover story with Max and Isabel when they were on their way to Frazier Woods. He knew Dan was watching him, so there was a big possibility he would be followed and he would have to explain why Max and Isabel were there. Dan’s right, he’s not a good liar and he can’t think of believable explanations on the spot, he needs to be prepared!

Finally, we got to witness a lip lock between Jim and Amy! Let’s hope there are a lot more in the future and that they last longer. J I just love seeing Jim’s reactions to Amy and I’d love to see Bill in a romantic comedy.

Why did Jim call Isabel on Liz’ phone? Doesn’t he have Isabel’s cell phone number?

Amy: Way to go Amy!! Stand by your man! I loved it when she stood up for Jim in the convenience store. And it was especially intuitive of her to realize that, what he needed most was to be reminded that people not "in the know" still believed in him.

Max: I absolutely loved the janitor’s closet scene where Max tells Liz he will