Roswell, New Mexico: Champagne Supernova

“Chances are, the killer is someone you know.”

If you’re searching for an overarching theme to this week’s episode, it’s easy to figure out. It’s right there in the first sentence. Trust. Who can you trust when the people closest to you are compelled to commit acts of violence? Or worse, are the one doing the compelling?

The hunt for the fourth alien goes into overdrive. The only problem is one of the hunters is also the prey. With the season finale fast approaching, our murderous ET is finally revealed.

The fourth alien is... Noah!



I’d like to say I was shocked but you all know I wasn’t. However, I did appreciate his attempt at framing Maria. There was enough valid evidence to make her a plausible suspect. Since she hosts Ranchero Night, she had access to all the victims, and for all we know, she may have been the person to put the powder in Michael’s jacket. But when the perpetrator can take over other minds, even the innocent can look guilty as hell.

Noah’s status as Isobel’s golden retriever allowed him to fly under everyone’s radar. This initially enabled him to remove multiple players from the chessboard with no suspicion. Towards what end, I can’t tell you. Was his goal just to take the last of the alien serum out of play and maintain his cover? Or did he have a more permanent end game?

Regardless of his intentions, it’s obvious he was having difficulties keeping his predilections controlled. After killing Rosa and her two frenemies, he murdered at least 14 others that we know about. And he was getting sloppier by the minute.

Isobel was easy. He’s been playing on her trust for a decade now. First, he convinces her not to use her powers. And when that doesn’t work, he overpowers her. Interestingly, while he may be the stronger of the two, he can’t lie to her when they’re in the mindscape.

Then Michael is knocked unconscious by a mysterious substance that zaps alien powers and is conveniently locked in his own hidey-hole. But Max is knocked out in broad daylight in front of a police station before being thrown in Michael’s fallout shelter as well. And once Noah’s cover was blown, he openly used his powers outside the gala in full view of any potential passersby.

The cat and mouse between Noah and our heroes took up most of the episode. The only hint of subplots came in direct service of or were only made possible by the main narrative.

The most substantial of these was the much-needed air clearing between Max and Michael. The audience learned nothing new other than the extent of Max and Michael’s dysfunction. We’ve known since the premiere how much Michael has chafed under Max’s leadership. And given the repeated abuse Michael has suffered, his envy of Max and Isobel’s loving family can’t be a surprise to anyone. Neither is the fact that Max takes his role as the leader and protector of his family very seriously.

Taking the blame for Rosa’s death was Michael’s choice, but given his lack of self-worth, it wasn’t a surprise. That he believed Max had the option of going to his parents is. As consequential and detrimental as that decision may have been, I don’t see how they could have explained the events leading to Rosa’s death plausibly without at least alluding to their powers.

And for all Michael’s complaints about Max’s rules, he subverts if not outright disobeys them when it suits him. Which is why Max had no clue about the fallout shelter or Michael’s “projects.” Being trapped and powerless allowed all of Michael’s truths to come out, including his attraction to Maria, his bisexuality, and the real cause of his injured hand.

But Michael isn’t the only one capable of self-sabotage. Michael’s drug of choice may be pushing people away before they can hurt him. For Max it's self-sacrifice.  His inability to protect Isobel and Michael from the vagaries of life have left him unable to enjoy any of the advantages he had, including growing up in a loving family.

Next up is Liz’s ongoing desire to bolt anytime things get too real for her. That her job is moving to Palo Alto provides her with a legitimate excuse to leave. And despite what she says, her bright red “armor” lipstick suggests she’s considering it. Add to this Isobel’s helpful reminder that she didn’t make Liz leave Max. She only pushed Liz in a direction she wanted to go.

All of which led to a brutally honest, if somewhat overwrought scene between Liz and Max. It takes a lot of guts to admit your flaws so nakedly to another person. And despite her self-described lack of trust in people, I don’t think she would have done so without the faith that a) Max wouldn’t hold it against her and b) that he really would fight for her.

The only other topic worth mentioning is the ongoing discussion of Arturo’s undocumented status. However, the only reason this was revisited was to provide Liz with the final clue to the fourth alien’s identity. It seems Noah was offering legal services on Ranchero Night as a pretense for choosing his victims.

I lied. There is one other topic of note.  If we’re going to talk about pretenses, I should mention Maria’s little bombshell about never wanting Michael to leave. I’m sure once the night is over she’ll say it was the drugs talking, but now we and Michael know the truth.

Who you can trust may have been the theme of this episode, but dealing with the betrayal of trust will surely be the topic du jour for the next one. Noah has a lot to answer for.

I enjoyed this episode, but I think it would have had more punch if I hadn’t already suspected Noah. I’m not sure if I’m the best judge, but I’ll give it 3 out of 5 Ranchero Nights.

Parting Thoughts:

This week’s title is brought to you by Oasis’ 1995 hit.

Please say we’re going to find out what that powder is that can take away the alien powers. Seems like that could come in handy.

Does Maria’s psychic abilities give her some “weird alien force field around her brain?” If so, was it the drugs or Noah’s increased alien abilities that allowed him to control her?

The red lipstick really was messy.

Love that Liz is the one to come to Max and Michael’s rescue, the first to realize that Noah is the killer, and even manages to save herself.

Quotes:

Liz: “Do you trust the person you love most in the world? You shouldn’t.”

Noah: “So, just pretend aliens don’t exist and we live in a boring, quiet town where nothing ever happens?”
Liz: “Yes.”

Cameron: “Let me play bad cop this time, Evans. It looks better on me.”

Maria: “No offense, Guerin, but you are not exactly the arbiter of friendship.”

Max: “It’s not Maria. She’s Liz’s best friend,  Liz would know.”
Cameron: “Yeah, and we spent twelve hours a day in a car together for two years , and I never thought, ‘Hmm, he kind of smells like an intergalactic crime fighter today.’”

Michael: “We talk.”
Max: “We speak. We haven’t talked in years, and you know it."

Liz: “Maria’s not the killer. I think she’s being possessed by the killer, just like you were. Isobel, she said something nice about you in there. She’s not herself.”

Michael: “Hope’s a dangerous thing. These scars, they remind me to avoid it in the future.”

Liz: “I think he stood me up.”
Isobel: “Oh please, that’s something you would do. Not him.”

Liz: “If you were on time, you would have been stunned.”

Michael: “Come on, Deluca, wake up. You’re no fun when you’re quiet.”

Maria: “You’ve got to stop showing up for me like this, Guerin.”

Liz: “If I mess up, if I cave and run off again, I need you to follow me this time. Don’t let me go that easily, again. Okay?"

Max: “It just doesn’t make sense. Noah is like a human golden retriever. Fetch, sit, stay.”

Isobel: “I trust my husband, Max.”

Liz: “Sucks to be powerless, doesn’t it?”

Shari loves sci-fi, fantasy, supernatural, and anything with a cape.

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

The Noah reveal didn't surprise me, either, but it was still done well. What I liked best about this episode, though, was the Max and Michael discussion, and Liz rescuing them from the bunker.

Unknown said...

Liz has a real Hispanic heart with that attractive small town girl! She wants to be there for family yet her heart is pulled towards Max! Max is the guy that want to be there for his family( Isobel and Micheal) but can’t stop thinking of the love of his life! Maria can’t get over Michael but does not want to hurt Alex either. She would prefer to let Michael get away than lose a good friend. This show has everything a needs to create a Bachelor type following! Give Liz and Max the ability to create more exciting screens while keeping them at kissing reach! Micheal needs to Let Max help him with the things Max saw in the bunker. Each should be able to learn about their planet and what they can really do with their powers!