Roswell, New Mexico Episode 8 Review: Barely Breathing

The Truth is Out There in an emotionally satisfying revelation-heavy episode of Roswell

This Roswell, New Mexico review contains spoilers.

Roswell, New Mexico Episode 8 Review

A revelation-heavy episode brought most of the gang together to save Isobel while Alex took some highly satisfying revenge on his father. So it turns out everyone in Roswell except Noah knows about aliens. And no one is worried? What a strange town.

We finally got to meet Mama Evans! In the space of just one episode, she went from seeming like a vapid Lady Who Lunches so concerned with keeping up appearances that she doesn’t even ask about her own daughter’s well being when she has a psychotic break to showing Max how hard it was to be a parent to two kids who were a universe unto themselves. We’ve already seen how hard it is for others like Noah and even Michael to exist outside of the Max/Isobel dynamic, so it’s easy to understand the hurt she felt at not being needed by her children. Isobel seems particularly self-sufficient and accidentally non-sympathetic about this sort of thing.

The Evans parents were a decent part of the original show – at minimum, they were seen as great and caring parents, and Max and Izzy didn’t want any harm to come to them as a result of their alien escapes, emotional or otherwise. This is one part of the show that might be harder to age up, since television shows often struggle to include older generations unless that’s part of the premise, like in Gilmore Girls, One Day at a Time, or Jane the Virgin. I’m looking forward to more time spent with Mrs. Evans as the Isobel is “missing” plot plays out.

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Speaking of parents, I so hope we get to meet Alex’s mom. This episode had her first mention, along with such a juicy comeuppance for Sgt Jesse Manes. I can’t imagine a more literal and visceral way to set than tone than Alex hitting his father with his crutch, the physical manifestation of the toll war took on him, a war he was only sent to because he was gay. Every part of Alex’s brilliant revenge was a delight to watch and actually helped us get to know both Manes men better.

That terror alert screen with Michael’s name and picture did make me nervous – who else was Manes communicating with, if not the actual federal government? It certainly looked menacing and like there might be other folks to worry about beyond Cam, who is truly just someone who thought she was doing the right thing and is now just trying to look out for her sister.

Kyle had a small but key role in this episode, including a moment where he almost called Rosa his sister. I’m trusting that sometime soon he’s going to have a second to unpack that. Also necessary to unpack? Going against his hypocritic oath to inject a surprisingly chill Isobel with a substance he didn’t fully understand. And as a side note, I’d like to understand why Surgeon Kyle Valenti is the only medical professional who works anywhere in Roswell.

I enjoyed Michael and Liz figuring (some of) their stuff out and working together. Michael seems to be the group’s designated truth-teller, although this was a designated truth episode. He still has a few secrets though – he didn’t tell Liz that he also skipped college to protect Isobel (I suspect he still doesn’t want everyone to know how deeply he cares for others), and there’s still whatever was under that tarp. If it was his half-built spaceship wouldn’t it have made sense to show it once Liz said that? Unless it’s just really, really ridiculously cool looking? Michael you mysterious hunk of gorgeous hair, we will never truly understand you.

I hope we don’t lose Isobel for too long. I’m curious about how everyone else will deal with this decidedly-adult take on an alien caper, but it’s unfortunate that it puts her out of commission rather than putting her at the center. Do they know how to get her out? So far, the writing for Isobel has been the most all over the map. If you squint it’s easy to claim that’s intentional, due to her weird, personality-twisting blackouts, but even now it’s unclear exactly what those blackouts mean and how much of that is inconsistent writing versus intentional symptoms.

In this episode, which could have easily been a great vehicle for her coming to terms with her life, her dishonest relationship with Noah, how she’s treated people like her mom, her feelings for Rosa, what it could mean to lose her life, her memories, instead it’s all about everyone else, but especially Max. How will Max feel to lose her, how much it physically hurts Max when she hurts, how motivated Liz is to save Max given their link, how hard it will be for Michael and Liz to watch Max watch her die, etc. I wish Roswell wrote Isobel with the same quality and dedication that it writes Max and Michael.

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Other notes:

“I just need one day not talking about or talking about or drinking about aliens”

It’s not a huge shock that Manes was discovered, considering his TERRIBLE hiding fern in front of the bunker

“I’m an influencer. Like bad gal Riri.” That is NOT how we refer to Rihanna in this house but I’ll allow it

Is there anyone in Roswell who doesn’t have a bunker?

The story of why Michael was left at the foster house was heartbreaking

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I love Liz codeswitching to Spanish with her boss in front of Michael

Kyle and Michael look more orange than ever in this blue hospital

“When I need to get creative, I turn to wine and Jagged Little Pill, channel my inner Rosa.”

More Maria and Michael vibes…

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3.5 out of 5