This Roswell review contains spoilers.
Roswell Season 2 Episode 4
The obvious theme of this episode of Roswell is all about playing God—how Max Evans did it when he killed Noah Bracken, Isobel Evans does it when she chooses to reunite Rosa Ortecho with her father to right the wrongs from so many years ago, and you could even say how Liz and Kyle are trying to go beyond the edge of science, or the way Kyle is studying surgeons at work, who if Grey’s Anatomy is to be believed, often think of themselves as Gods.
But this episode was really about family, especially how you make a family. Arturo Ortecho isn’t Rosa’s biological father, but there’s no denying the way he mourned her, or the look on his face when he saw her alive in front of him again. Some 70 years ago, Louise and Nora were hiding out and found Mr. Bronson and Walt. Yes, they were trying to make a ship to get home and get things safe for the alien kids, but they also made a family of their own. And while Rosa may be slamming doors and whipping through rooms, barely sharing any screen time, the Ortecho-Valenti siblings are family, and Kyle and Liz will both be there for her when she’s ready. You could even say that for all his shame over the evil actions of Manes men throughout history, Alex has chosen Michael again and again, including making what some see as the biggest sacrifice for those you love, by giving Michael the means to leave him and the planet forever.
Roswell threw a lot of surprises at us. A member of the Long family with teal hair, who’s not completely full of hate (though suspiciously interested in Nazis), who’s hot as hell and seems pretty into Guerin? We knew both Michael and Alex are slated to get love interests this season, but that’s not what I think anyone had in mind. Then there was the small child we spent all episode getting attached to, who I was hoping we’d meet as a sweet old man with some hints or evidence in the present. But Roswell went a decidedly different direction—the kid was deliberately burned to death inside a barn, courtesy of Jason Behr (that’s OG Max Evans), who is obviously a member of the Manes family tree.
Among the less extreme surprises was how quickly Roswell seems to have wrapped up the mystery of Guerin’s mother. Will Michael and Alex move on to Michael building a spaceship of his own, now that he has a full schematic and a bit more of the materials, thanks to Alex finally handing over the piece that Jim Valenti left him? So far this season’s various moving pieces, like Cam’s sister who just happens to have worked on a genetic sequencing program that could save lives or be used as a bioweapon, seem a lot less scattered than last season. That being said, with the elder Manes up and about, Cam back on the scene (and her sister likely in the mix), Roswell’s character count is once again headed northward. Even with Max down for the count and the DeLuca family sitting out every other episode, it feels like there’s no longer enough room in the episodes to get to everyone.
It feels odd for Rosa and Isobel to have both sidestepped their one-time romantic relationship, but at the same time, seeing the two actors together, it’s hard to see what else they could do. Lily Cowles, who plays Isobel Evans, is so formidable, so mature in a specific way, that Amber Midthunder’s Rosa somehow looks even younger next to her than she does next to her younger-older sister Liz. 19 and 28 are such drastically different ages, and it’s easy for a bunch of 19-year-olds—or a bunch of 28-year-olds—to be all over the map even among themselves. Liz and Rosa are both having to come to terms with all the pain that was waiting for Rosa once the tragedy of her death and physical addiction were gone, but there’s still so much growing up for her to do. And while the rest of the group certainly have more growing up to do of their own, Rosa’s presence makes it clear how much farther along they are now than they were 10 years prior.
Which brings us back to Isobel and Rosa. While it would be “legal” for the two to pick back up and explore what they were feeling before Rosa’s death, a time that feels incredibly recent for Rosa, it would be hard for it to not look squicky on screen. Narratively, they seem to have plenty to do when it comes to working on themselves, and it’s doubtful that a show like Roswell would want to go there. But it still feels weird to leave that loose end without so much as a conversation.
All the same, Isobel’s gift of giving the Ortecho family back to one another was a beautiful thing. It’s hard to imagine how that’s going to work for the rest of the town—will they tell Arturo she has to be a secret from everyone else? Will Isobel become so powerful she can mindmeld everyone? But it was both a good demonstration of her growing power and discipline as well as how she’s using her strength as part of her healing, to make things right with those Noah harmed through her.
Whoever does the music for this show is a genius, and thank you for bringing Len’s Steal My Sunshine back into our lives, with all the overly close mixed gender siblings and pregnancy weirdness that music video underscores for the Evans siblings and the show in general.
Graham Green has apparently changed Grant Green’s UFO Emporium into a rival diner/milkshake joint. I look forward to this continued reference/rivalry, Isobel and Arturo’s combined social media dominance as PancakePapi, and those silver boots his staff were wearing.
Wyatt Long’s horses are named Diamond and Silk and that’s probably not a coincidence.
This week in Michael Guerin Does Hot Cowboy Shit: he casually perches on a section of fence in a cowboy hat, because of course he does.
Alex sure knows how to melt a guy while also hunting for clues: “Hey you smell that? It smells like rain. It’s what you smell like under all the grease and bourbon. It’s what your workshop smells like. Something alien happened here.”
Cam’s not drinking for the second episode in a row, and on television there are no coincidences. Place your bets now friends, is she sober, or pregnant? Is it Max Evans’s half-alien spawn? Will Kyle Valenti get to be an alien OB/GYN after all?