Roswell, New Mexico Episode 7 Review: I Saw the Sign
Maria takes center stage as Roswell subverts the Black best friend trope in an insightful, character-driven episode
This Roswell, New Mexico review contains spoilers.
Roswell, New Mexico Episode 7 Review
Last week I was lamenting our lack of Maria DeLuca and it’s like the Roswell writers room heard me and gifted us this Maria-heavy episode and her intriguing mother. The entire episode, directed by CW favorite Paul Wesley, serves to deconstruct the concept of the one-dimensional fun black best friend who has no life of their own, a staple in romantic comedies and teen dramas alike. Liz has been taking Maria for granted rather than considering that her best friend might have her own problems, hopes, and dreams. Many shows are unwilling to have their protagonist called out, but Alex does it pointedly. Liz admits her wrongdoing, opening the door for an episode that allows the writing to back up the life and depth that Heather Hemmens has brought to the character since the beginning.
This episode brought back the idea that Rosa’s spirit is lingering, somehow intertwined with Liz’s. After meeting Mimi DeLuca, I’m more convinced than ever that their family has some kind of psychic ability. Mimi seems to only talk Will Smith nonsense when Maria or someone else is within earshot of her conversations with Alex and Liz. Maybe she’s in and out of lucidity, but maybe it’s a cover. Of course that falls in line with the CW tradition of the only black family in town always being witches.
Mimi DeLuca brought up a bunch of interesting points, in her moments of lucidity. It seems Jim Valenti might have been driven to drink by his knowledge of the anti-alien conspiracy (or perhaps more literally, the alien tech we’ve seen Michael and Alex separately handling.) She also reminded me that Kyle and Liz apparently had a sister in common – are they ever going to talk about that? Mimi’s reference about Alex looking like his father – in aura, anyway – serves as an awkward reminder that Alex, portrayed by an indigenous actor, and his melba toast dad, look nothing alike. Is this foreshadowing or whitewashing?
Another self-centered character this episode is Max, and the other half of our main romance is similarly held accountable. Noah’s reaction to Max serves as a great reminder that there’s more at stake than Max’s narrow view of things. Liz forces Max to content with his compromised principles, and Cam stops him from going full-on vigilante with Wyatt. Not a great week for Max, but I’m glad that the show called him out in no uncertain terms. He may be our leading man, but like everyone else in the town of Roswell, he’s flawed.
I’m glad that Roswell hasn’t turned Cam into a complete villain or relied on a love triangle. At this point, neither Liz nor Cam is choosing Max, which feels right. I still find Sgt. Manes to be portrayed in too heavy handed a manor, especially compared to the complexity of Valenti and Cam. One of the emerging themes of Roswell is that people are more than they seem – Isobel, Michael, Kyle, and Rosa being prime examples. I’m hoping that in the next few episodes, we’ll get some backstory that complicates our current reading of Manes.
A weakness in this episode was the undercooked serum concept, which seems rushed and a bit tacked on. It felt like scenes were cut for time, since characters jumped to conclusions fairly quickly. Is it, in fact, a weapon? Is that certain or suspected? Was Liz actually trying for a weapon or just a dampener? And I know Liz is a good scientist, but dang she developed that fast!
Isobel has been on quite a wild ride lately, and frankly her psych hold is the best possible cover for “unexplained alien blackouts.” I’m glad Liz isn’t letting her off the hook, and it says something that Roswell brings back the very real element that Liz isn’t in a position to seek justice in the traditional sense due to her father’s status.
I hope Isobel finds a way to be honest with Noah and with herself. At the same time, it’s good to see her stand up to the boys for making choices for her, and take back some control in her life. Isobel’s story is currently the messiest, and I can’t tell if that’s part of the mystery or because the writing is sloppy. Her split personality seems to account for at least some of the divergent characterization, but how aware she is during blackouts was inconsistent in the previous episode.
Maria and Michael (or “Guer” as she calls him) continue to pique my interest. I’m fairly certain we’re headed toward some kind of love triangle there, but I want to know more about their backstory. More Maria, in any combination, really.
The other Michael insight came at us sideways, courtesy of Max being a jerk and throwing Alex in his face. Michael says, “you’re right – if you were the reason Alex went to war, I’d hate you.” I’m guessing this is why Michael hates himself; he thinks he’s the reason Alex was sent to war, as punishment for getting caught together. I love how much Michael conveys on his face during this conversation, and the way that Roswell doesn’t feel the need to spell all of this out.
Effing Wyatt literally says blue lives matter.
Did they just magic/science away Alex’s amputation? Prosthetics are good but they don’t mean everything’s perfect.
I love the DeLuca family rules about Maria’s future – “I hate spoilers.”
Isobel had some great references – “I wont be able to escape in case I go all dark willow” and Tyra Banks’s “hoe but make it fashion” re: the johnny.
I really hope Alex gets a beagle.
Liz imagining the life rosa might have led was heartbreakingly beautiful.
I love this show’s devotion to Third Eye Blind, and the slow, quiet, woman-vocalized cover of The Jumper was excellent.
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