This Roswell review contains spoilers.
Roswell Season 2 Episode 2
Over and over, Roswell is a better show than it needs to be. They don’t need to squeeze in a line about the military facility being an abandoned Indian boarding school, giving Alex a reference to this country’s continuing history with genocide that at times parallels or criss-crosses the relationship between the aliens and their home world, or ours, depending on whose perspective you take. From a technical standpoint, the opening montage could have been standard fare, rather than juxtaposing Liz’s diner job slinging milkshakes with her nightly scientific exploits dealing in specimen jars as she tries to save Max.
Amber Midthunder and Jeanine Mason continue to anchor this show emotionally. In a truly good fictional argument, both sides have merit within the narrative, and we’ve got that with miles to spare here. We get why Rosa is pissed at Max – like Liz, we the audience were mad at him too when we first found out his role in her death and the hatred that followed. But we also saw Max try to make it right and everything Liz has done in her grief for her sister. Beyond that, all the hate crimes Rosa is trying to throw back in her sister’s face? Liz lived through them.
Watching all their sisterly roles get spun around makes my heart hurt for them, and I hope Rosa will meet the rest of the gang soon. I bet she and Guerin would get along, and she and Izzy obviously have unfinished business. Not to mention, poor Maria DeLuca (who seemed to sense Isobel’s alien baby?) is still way outside the knowledge bubble on this one and is going to be so hurt when she learns her best friend is back from the dead.
Rosa is deeply in need, whether she realizes it or not. Her physical addictions might be gone, but the underlying issues were still waiting for her, and some have only been exacerbated by the strange circumstances of her revival. Later, we hear her saying the Serenity Prayer in a church, which is generally associated with addiction recovery. The choice to have her narrate the episode and stalk around town as a ghost was a smart one. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the world through Rosa’s eyes in the present tense. But that may have to wait, since it seems like Max may have doomed
Michael Trevino‘s performance as Kyle Valenti continues to add a crackle of unpredictable fun to Roswell. He can play the “I’m just barely a good person” card with Sgt. Mans, acting like he would use evidence that would expose Michael Guerin. I doubt the new kinder, gentler Kyle Valenti would do it, but he was an ass for so long that Manes probably believes it. And his salty line read of “Wouldn’t want to dislodge your catheter” to Sgt Manes was perfectly prickly. The brief moment of big brotherly connection with Rosa was lovely, and I’m looking forward to seeing more.
Considering the gentleness in his voice, I don’t think Alex meant his remark about “choosing Maria DeLuca” as a “bisexuality is a choice” thing so much as she’s his actual best friend, Michael always takes the easy way out and their relationship is a decade-long mix of complications – independent of their gender and sexuality. (We can never really separate those things, but as near as I can figure.) Still, it was still tough to hear, and combined with Guerin’s comment last episode about how he goes where Alex wants him, I’m hoping we’ll see Guerin stand up for himself outside of the context of choosing to date Alex or not. Guerin can say no to being with Alec and also say “you can’t talk to me like that” or be with him and still call him out for biphobia, unintentional or not.
Michael Guerin makes these sweeping decisions about his romantic life that often have more to do with whatever short term interpersonal or existential conflict he’s in at that moment than who is actually a good fit for him to be in a relationship with. So was he really choosing Maria, or was he choosing the less tortured relationship for the next few episodes? As Michael said himself, he just wants to be good for someone. (Stab me in the heart! Which is better – the writing for Michael Guerin or Michael Vlamis’s performance? Who’s to say?)
Maria DeLuca, on the other hand, is responsible for several moments of greatness. It’s good to see her on her bruja hustle, tacitly (unintentionally) encouraging abortions, protecting her boundaries with Michael, and convincing white people to give her money so she can find her mother. Her little squirm under Michael’s gesture when he wipes away her single tear is a damn near perfect bit of character-becoming-physicality business.
Finally, I’m glad to see Isobel make her own choice about the pregnancy. Being pregnant because of your abuser is a devastating thing to have to contemplate. Add to that the complications of alien anatomy. I just wish she wasn’t alone, and I hope Roswell has the guts to say the word abortion on screen. I’m somewhat concerned about her micro-dosing herself with “alien death serum,” but we also know that it’s a reality that when people can’t access safe and affordable abortions, they can be forced to resort to unsafe at-home practices, though usually not of intergalactic proportions.
Ultimately, Roswell framed Isobel’s at-home abortion as making a choice for her own freedom and peace. She was surrounded by other women and positivity, even if her mother and Maria didn’t know what, exactly, they were supporting her in deciding at the time. Hopefully Isobel will be alright, and she’ll be able to access more support soon.
This episode featured not one but two shadowing cowboy leans from Michael Guerin. That guy’s a total pro.
Max’s password being “password” is very on-brand. What’s the nice boy version of being Basic?
Shout out to Jimmy from Degrassi!
“Justice can’t be served until after disaster has struck” whoa the manes men have very creepy plans for the future
Wyatt long continues to be The Worst (“Christopher Columbus came all the way over here to sacrifice his life so Americans could be free.”) Soliciting donations in his sister’s honor to build the border wall is, sadly, exactly what he would be doing if he were a real person.
“What if I have a body snatching bundle of evil?” Valid question, Isobel.
As far as grand gestures go, parking your airstream trailer in somebody’s parking lot fits perfectly into the romantic lexicon of this show.
“Last time I checked, you were a bad thing that happened to me” – Maria DeLuca, ladies and gentleman. She pulls precisely zero punches.