This Roswell review contains spoilers.
Roswell: Season 2 Episode 10
Roswell brings us yet another road trip episode – sadly no overnight this time – that’s just as fruitful as the first. Tripp’s redemption continued via flashback to show us more alien backstory (now with bonus DeLuca family history!) and we finally had confirmation that Alex is indigenous. This episode had a TON going on – emotionally, expositionally, you name it, so let’s get into it.
In the town where Alex’s mom grew up (do we know what happened to her?), the pod squad plus Maria and Alex got a lot done. Max and Isobel aren’t actually twins, or even siblings, but it turns out Maria is now part of the crew. Perhaps the Caulfield experiments merely brought out latent alien abilities? Might she have more? It certainly bodes well for Isobel and Michael, who both expressed an interest in having kids someday, one way or another. Isobel’s mom being a healer seemed to add to Isobel’s overall sense of purpose, and even if they joked it off, it brought her and Maria together like nothing else could. Family legacy has been a season-long theme and both women struck it perfectly with the idea of other people’s sacrifices and needing to be worthy.
This episode, with its sarcastic and loving conversations about turkey basters and tops, really hits home one of the best parts of season 2 – Iz and Guerin. So much is made of the rivalry between Michael and Max, or the unbreakable bond between Max and Isobel, but there’s so much to love about the sweetness and depth of the connection between Michael and Isobel. It’s the stuff that adult family relationships are made of – they twist and change and double back on one another, shifting over time and becoming more important as life becoming more about the big things, like life and death, happiness and loyalty, love and hope and being true to yourself.
It’s also a great sign of how Roswell is growing into its second season that a few of its stumbling blocks from season 1 – what to do with Isobel, how to keep Maria more involved with the main group – have been resolved rather handily. If anything, the show now struggles with having too many interested characters to focus on.
And in spite of the introduction of Liz’s former fiancé Diego, there’s something genius about realizing that a show’s main ‘ship just isn’t the will they/won’t they thriller, instead moving it to the steady couple that gets together early on, a slot usually reserved for the B or C couple. Liz and Max are interesting people, it’s just that, as Liz makes clear in this episode, their love story isn’t the most interesting thing about them. Even when it is, their vibe is better suited to another dynamic.
Cam and Liz’s friendship continues to be far more interesting than any rivalry between them would have been. They have an easy give and take that translates from sarcasm to favors, as Cam uses her badge and her blondness to help Liz get Arturo out of ICE custody. That entire storyline is packed with bits of truth. From the names of people who have died in detention and the laws regarding ICE showing up at hospitals to Liz’s lifelong fear of this moment and the way the agent mispronounces Mr. Ortecho’s last name even though Liz has said it so many times. Liz’s arrest for graffiti, a nuisance that many of the characters have dealt with, is a reminder that for some, anything less than perfect is unacceptable.
Alex and Michael’s fight was similarly layered with meaning, though of a very different variety. Even their fights feel palpable in a way that only arguments between those who love each other do, the way they snap over one another’s words, anticipating what they’re saying. It’s clear that this argument, about Alex’s belief in the good in people and Michael’s tendency to nurse his pain, is part of the longer conversation of their relationship. I’m glad someone finally confronted Michael about keeping his wound wrapped, and it had to be Alex, though I think he’s wrong about the meaning and Michael will one day quietly tell him so.
It’s interesting that Alex is painted as the optimist and Guerin the pessimist, because right now the other track is about Alex’s need to accept and explore his queerness. That’s not to say Michael has it all figured out, but it does make me wonder what the internal disconnect is for Alex. Alex tells Michael “Your anger made you feel safe. You miss your injury because you want to hurt,” but maybe trying to bury how much his father and others hurt him has prevented Alex from getting to a place of real acceptance. Obsessing over an injury isn’t healthy, but neither is distancing yourself from the pain to the point where you never let it heal.
The ultimate line here is, “I don’t want to live in that tool shed for the rest of my life.” It hits like a sledgehammer, and in many ways I think both men are still just trying to find their way out of that toolshed. Realistically, they can’t have a healthy relationship together (and possibly with anyone else?) until they do. But I’m most concerned with Alex’s reply: “There’s one way for me off of this planet, and I need to believe in a reason to stay.” It could just be a reference to his fear of Guerin building a ship to fly away from him, but it awful sounds an awful lot like a reference to suicide, given that for Alex, the only way out is death. This is the rawest present-tense pain we’ve heard Alex lay bare. Both actors are phenomenal here as always, and I found my eyes wet and my hand reaching for the rewind button so I could take it all in.
Making matters worse, Alex is knocked out by – of all people – Max Evans. I guess our resident gentleman cowboy can’t be totally perfect? Everything about this points to Jesse Manes and whoever messed with the Cameron sisters.
- Shout out to code talkers, indigenous people who served in the US military by using their languages to help send secret communications.
- Anybody else getting a ~vibe~ between Tripp and Harrison? Just me? The whole you saved my life, you’re family, I’m a damn fool exchange felt like more than just bros being bros.
- Wow even Gregory Manes wants to know about Michael Guerin’s love triangle. Relatable!
- This figure of the devil keeps coming up…if it’s not Noah, it sure seems like the gang better buckle up. They’re all going to need to train as hard as Isobel if even powerful Louise was afraid.
- Max had a big week for making stuff about him! Isobel’s abortion, Cam’s abduction, Arturo’s detention by ICE…I’m hoping this is just a side effect of the memory eraser drug
- I’m so happy for Alex that he has a positive familial relationship and an example of someone who “made it out.” Also dang, Gregory is cute and throwing some lines at Iz!
- “I don’t think I get to be free until you are, alex. Youre my brother. I wish I had stood up for you more” OK that’s an extremely beautiful sentiment and I think I’m in love with Gregory Manes?
- Liz Ortecho on love: “Coming home to you, at the end of my worst days and my best days, is the only rescue I need.”