This Roswell, New Mexico review contains spoilers.
Roswell, New Mexico Episode 10 Review
While it’s somewhat unusual to have a 13-episode season on the CW, Roswell, NM has certainly made the most of it, quickly becoming a fan favorite and erasing any lingering concerns about rebooting yet another beloved property. Some fans wish for a 22-episode extension this season, or a full run next season, but so much about what works on Roswell makes a great case for a compact, well-conceived nighttime soap that’s full of equal parts nostalgia and contemporary social sensibilities.
Tonight’s episode is the kind of connective tissue that even abbreviated seasons require. Every story requires a certain amount of ebb and flow, and even some shows with eight- or six-episode seasons find themselves leaving viewers feeling either off-kilter, with a story too truncated to feel complete, or otherwise off-pace. Roswell attempted to tackle this problem by fitting in a bunch of its requisite truth-telling into the space of the same hour, perhaps in the hope that episode eleven will be better for not having to bear the expository burden. Episode nine certainly couldn’t have fit any more information, and was too thrilling to hobble with some of the narrative detritus handled here.
This episode tried for thrilling, with its active shooter plot that fizzled. It’s good to learn more about the fourth alien, but everything about the active shooter felt…B movie. A bit cheap. It never seemed genuinely scary, like any of the characters or actors were taking any of it too seriously. Bit of a swing and a miss in the melodrama department, and the episode probably would have been better off without it. Perhaps a more targeted attack on the lab would have been more interesting, instead of such an obvious attempt at high stakes that so clearly floundered. I was more worried about Isobel and Noah’s expired cheese.
After far too long, Isobel finally came clean with Noah. It feels a bit hollow, since we never saw her moment of realization that she could or should trust him, separate from him seeing her in an “egg.” One of the best things about this episode was that it mostly cleared the decks of needless secrets (except for Maria, who seems to be the only person in Roswell aside from Mr. Ortecho who doesn’t know about aliens). But for as much time as we spent with Isobel and Noah, I don’t feel like we really know them any better.
Instead, I enjoyed watching Isobel get to know herself and her relationship to Rosa. This was necessary, but it keeps Noah at an arm’s length, and if Isobel’s relationship with him is meant to be part of her development moving forward, a key moment was missed. It was not surprising to see Roswell treat the revelation that Isobel had feelings for Rosa as NBD, but it should be noted and applauded, nonetheless. Characters who are bi or pan are still few and far between, and it’s important when we get to see them as regular people, rather than sex maniacs or unicorns or something. Michael’s, nonchalant “um, welcome to the party?” was the perfect acknowledgement of the moment.
I’m eager to see how Roswell will play Isobel’s final revelation in the next episode. We got to see information that clearly means she was being controlled by a fourth alien, a man who seemed to be obsessed with Rosa and consider himself her strong protector. But Isobel could have just as easily been reacting to the disturbing resurfaced memory of having killed someone, a person she recently realized she loved.
Elsewhere in the spirit of transparency, Cameron shared the information about the 14 falsified autopsies with Max, and Kyle shared what he knew about his father’s suspicious death with his mother. Both yielded new information and a continuation of the surprisingly even-keeled reactions to the fact that aliens exist. Other than Noah literally saying “cowboys and aliens!” twice, everyone has been pretty chill. I’m still holding out hope for one big Scooby Gang to form at the end of the season, much like Riverdale eventually did with their feuding youths.
This episode made time for a few choice Maria tidbits: she’s for real psychic! Also, she and Alex now both know about each other and Guerin, and they know that they know, and all that. They’re both pretty mature about it, sharing this information immediately. Maria draws the clearest boundary on the planet around the issue. BFFs come first, Guerin! Speaking of BFFs, it was great to see Maria tease Max about their karaoke duet, and I’m hoping for more unusual screen partners the closer the group gets and the longer the show goes on.
This episode may have been a bit lackluster – not bad, by any means, but a bit of comedown after the blitz of last week – but it sends the action off in some great directions for the next episode. Isobel chugging the experimental alien death serum that triggers repressed memories in your brain is definitely going to have some consequences. Surely Grandpappy Valenti’s connection to Caulfield Prison will turn up some alien action. And somewhere out there is a fourth alien man who was obsessed with Rosa and is trying to stop Liz, and he can take the form of anyone who blacks out.
I love Isobel: “Are you serious? He’s still president?”
Great lampshading the fact that it’s suddenly snowing, coming from Isobel
Liz, the scientist: “This is bathtub gin and anything can happen”
Why does Cameron look like the 2019 version of a Pink Lady?
Guerin’s ship console looks like half of a Cylon raider, which doesn’t worry me as much as the fact that Alex isn’t telling him he has a piece of it.
“I can’t believe I’ve literally been probed by an alien.” Never change, Noah
“It was just a drunk, dirty, no-good Texas rounder”
“That was the code, the unbreakable moral line. Protect your children at all costs.”
Kyle is kind for telling his mom the truth about Rosa Ortecho, and she takes that incredibly in stride.
“You little street rat!” OK now I’m picturing Guerin as Aladdin in the Roswell High play