Roswell, New Mexico: Creep

“You’re not the only one that wants answers.”

Considering last week focused on the fourth alien’s reveal, I expected this week to revolve around the repercussions. What I did not expect was for what seemed like a run of the mill subplot to overshadow what has taken an entire season to set up. Nor was I expecting to get my heart ripped out in the process.

It turns out Papa Valenti wasn’t as crazy as first assumed. What looked like the ravings of a madman were really clues to solving his murder. It turns out Caulfield prison isn’t empty or abandoned. Instead it houses the known survivors of the ‘47 UFO crash. Including a man that can cause cancer. What do you know?

This puts Kyle in an unenviable position. On one hand, he’s learned an alien was responsible for his father’s death which lends credence to Jesse Manes' claims. And yet, he’s discovered his father, a man he idolized, assisted with the systematic incarceration and torture of that alien and dozens of others for decades. That definitely puts the son at odds with the man bound by the Hippocratic oath.

Speaking of fathers, Chief Master Sergeant Manes may not have been in this episode, but his presence was EVERYWHERE. I know the focus of this show is our three aliens plus Liz and Max’s star-crossed love, but I really hope some of next season is devoted to Alex’s backstory. Every time we get a glimpse into the Manes family dynamic, I desperately want to know more.

This week was no exception. Flint’s belief in his father’s mission seemed absolute. Yet, when Alex asked what Dear Old Dad had on Flint to make him take this assignment, Flint looked rattled. And lest we forget, before Caufield’s self-destruct sequence began, Flint threatened to keep Alex there, permanently.

All of which takes a backseat to Michael’s revelation. He’s survived multiple abusive foster homes, settled for being Max and Isobel’s unacknowledged brother, and tried and failed to build a relationship with Alex. After twenty years of heartbreak, it’s no wonder he decided his best bet is to rebuild the spacecraft and go home.

Now he believes there may be no one to go home to. The mother he’s been desperate for was mere miles from him his whole life. And the moment he finds her, she’s taken from him. Honestly, I’m amazed Michael’s not a puddle on the floor given this loss on top of all the others. Could this lead to yet another attempt with Alex? Alex’s plea that Michael is his family would suggest it, but with Maria waiting in the wings and without the decade of baggage, I’m not so sure.

If anyone had cause to want Noah to die, it’s Liz. But she has no desire to be his killer. She created that serum as a defense for humans, not as a poison for aliens. Add to this the fact she is currently emotionally connected to the man and can feel his fear of death. So although he murdered her sister and sixteen others (I know they keep saying fourteen but they always skip Rosa, Kate, and Jasmine) she sets aside her own anger and grief in favor of what Max wants and, more importantly, what Isobel needs.

Which leaves each of the alien trio wanting answers from Noah. Michael wants to know if there is anything left to go back to, Max wants to know who they are and why they came to Earth in the first place. And Isobel just wants to know how Noah convinced her he was a decent person all these years.

To learn that not only is the man she married a serial killer, but he used her body to commit several of the murders. And to know he could only control her when she was at her weakest and most vulnerable. I can’t imagine the horror, anger, or sense of violation Isobel is going through.

In the “women behind the camera making a difference in front of the camera” category, if the showrunner had been male, we may have gotten a discussion of the violation that Isobel suffered at the hands of Noah. But I doubt it would have been as nuanced. It certainly wouldn’t have been addressed in terms of losing someone you loved.

Buried in all the high drama was the quiet resolution of Cam’s storyline. For all her talk of Max being just a “scratching post,” her feelings for him were deeper than she cared to admit, even to herself. In the end, she gave him what he needed most. She protected his secret at the cost of her job. While I’m sorry to see her go, I can’t say I’m surprised.

The only moment that felt contrived was the final one. I get Michael’s need for answers and given what he just went through, even his irrationality is understandable. But after a lifetime of self-sacrifice on behalf of Isobel and Michael, there is no way I buy that Max would turn a gun on his brother. I don’t care how much he wants to see Noah die.

There was a lot of setup for a penultimate episode. A thermobaric bioweapon against the aliens. A stowaway that caused the crash. The idea aliens get stronger when they kill and weaker when they heal. And Noah needing the trio for leverage, to name a few. How much of that is for next week and how much is for next season?

This would have definitely been a 4 if not for that final moment. So, I’m going to say 3.5 out 5 antidotes.

Parting Thoughts:

This episode is named after Radiohead’s 1992 hit.

Max’s tattoo is a map? I feel like I should have realized that before.

They never said it, but the government has obviously developed some kind of power dampening process to hold the aliens. That does not bode well...

They finally brought up the fact that Max has killed someone. I wonder if the reminder is another reason, Max wants Noah to die. That he “marked” Liz is certainly high on the list.

Quotes:

Noah: “We were all hopeful once.”

Michael: “Our whole lives, we’ve wondered where we came from, what we are doing here. I don’t know, Max, if only there was someone to ask.”

Kyle: “Can’t believe Roswell’s Mr. Congeniality is the killer.”

Liz: “Rosa always liked you.”
Kyle: "No, she didn’t."

Alex: “Look, high school’s ten years to the left. Let’s focus on the shadowy government conspiracy to the right.”

Kyle: “I thought Isobel was the psychic, and you were the Jedi.”
Alex: “Jedis are psychic.”

Liz: “It doesn’t matter what Michael needs to know from him, and it doesn’t matter how angry Max is. What do you need?”

Michael: “We’ve got to get them out of here.”
Kyle: “And bring them where?”

Guard: “It could give a tumor to a brick wall.”

Noah: “Destruction is chaos, is entropy, is energy is power is victory.”

Kyle: “This place is a nightmare. Guantanamo for innocent people, and our fathers facilitated it.”

Isobel: “Call me when he’s dead.”

Max: “I should be the one to take the fall for that. Why would you do that?”
Cam: “You know why.”

Michael: “They’re my family, Alex.”
Alex: “All right, maybe. But you are mine.”

Alex: “Then you look around and realize that the evil is you.”

Noah: “Don’t leave me to die alone, Max.”

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

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