Roswell, New Mexico: Stay (I Missed You)

“I reject goodbye.”

Like the song this episode is named after, a lot of things are being said, but for most of our characters, they only hear what they want to.

Given Isobel’s penchant for event planning, she is forced to hold a massive funeral for the man she loved and now loathes. Her attempt at a eulogy fails miserably until she talks about the other man that she’s loved and lost. Max. The people of Roswell may continue to believe Noah was a pillar of the community, but Isobel, Michael and Liz know the truth.

Noah’s funeral isn’t the only charade that’s going on in Roswell. To assuage Isobel’s grief, or at least give her time to acknowledge reality, Liz and Michael agree to move Max into a pod and maintain the fiction that he left town to nurse a broken heart. Thus Isobel and Liz’s staged fight at the repast. However, in an effort to make the argument appear real, Isobel’s rage at the loss of her brother shows through, as does Liz’s guilt and pain. They both know Max would be by his sister’s side if not for his love of Liz.

Isobel has latched onto the idea that she and Michael have untapped powers. She believes she can unlock the ability to heal Max, as he healed Rosa. So far, the only ability she’s tapped into is breaking glass. However, Isobel’s two weeks of training does not mark newly discovered self-control. It only reflects her fury at being used and betrayed. It certainly won’t lead to anything that resembles healing.

Isobel’s other overriding goal is for Noah to be out of her life. He haunts her thoughts and dreams. She hopes that once he’s cremated, she’ll finally be free. Unfortunately, Noah’s still on ice thanks to Alex. Once she discovers it may be the secret to bringing Max back, she may not mind as much.

Between Noah’s appearance in both her and Rosa’s dreams, I was afraid he’d hidden his consciousness in some crack of Isobel’s psyche. The truth is better and so much worse. Unless I’m mistaken, Isobel is pregnant.

Meanwhile, Liz and Michael believe that Isobel is living in denial. Noah shredded Max’s heart, then it was fried by lightning and that was before he decided to play God. Nothing is going to bring Max back. Or so they think.

Which makes me wonder how they were planning on explaining Max’s continued absence. It hasn’t gone unnoticed. Mom realizes his texts are vague and gruff, and Sheriff Valenti is sniffing around the connection between Noah’s death and Max’s disappearance. Will they buy what Isobel and Company are selling?

The fiction Max left because of Liz is partially sold by her departure to Palo Alto. With Max dead and a sister she can’t explain, there is no reason to stay. Having Rosa back was the thing she wanted most, but it came at such a high price. She’s determined that Rosa not feel guilty over Max’s death, but since most of the world believes he’s still alive, and Michael and Isobel are wrapped in their own grief, Liz is suffering. And Rosa knows it.

I can’t imagine what Rosa’s feeling. She wakes up to discover she’s missed out on the last 10 years. Her baby sister is now older than she is. And the love of her sister’s life just sacrificed himself to save her. That fact would give anyone a wicked case of survivor’s guilt, but when you already believed yourself unworthy... Let’s just say, it wasn’t surprising that Rosa risked being T-boned for the possibility of bringing Max back.

There’s also the possibility Rosa just wants the nightmares to end. Noah is haunting her dreams as thoroughly as Isobel’s. Which is amazing since Rosa never met the man, at least not in his true form. I must admit, I didn’t realize they were Max’s memories. Especially since they were all taken out of context and location. Yeah, I’m gonna go with that.

As we’ve been told multiple times, within the pod, time stands still. Which means if Max was placed within the pod while even a flicker of consciousness existed, then it still exists. Which gives the regenerative scientist hope. Is that destiny calling?

Alex is no longer willing to blindly follow orders, whether they be his father’s or his country’s. Since Project Shepherd is larger than he originally imagined, he can’t afford to be on the outside looking in. So he stayed in the army. He’s also not given up on Michael.

Michael has the decency of being honest with Alex. He’s done waiting for Alex to decide what he wants. It’s a shame he couldn’t show that same decency to Maria. He claimed he wanted to “be good for someone.” If that’s true, he has a funny way of showing it. I’ve always liked Michael. Even when he was being “The Bad Boy” he didn’t lie, and he didn’t play with people. I know that he’s hurting, but the way he treated Maria here was appalling. Bad Michael, no biscuit.

Which is a shame, because Maria was determined to give a relationship with Michael a chance. And when he makes it plain that he is not interested, she offers him her friendship. Something he sorely needs and doesn’t deserve. Maybe things worked out for the best because building a relationship is difficult under normal circumstances. It would probably be impossible when Maria will be focused on her mother’s disappearance.

This leaves Kyle. He wants to wake up Jesse Manes. I understand his reasons and commend his sense of honor. But seriously, how? One, the man is a murderer he cannot bring to justice. And two, putting someone in an unnecessary medically induced coma would most certainly get his license yanked. He’d never practice medicine again. Jesse is just vindictive enough to ruin his reputation and his career before killing him. Which you know he’ll try to do at the first opportunity.

So it looks like I may get my wish. Last season I wrote that I wanted more insight into the Manes family dynamics. One way or another, Jesse Manes will be up and walking soon and he’ll want payback. And Flint appears to be sticking around. With Alex firmly pro-alien and done seeking his father’s approval... Let the fireworks begin!

There are a couple of mysteries brewing in Roswell at the moment. The first is what happened to Mama DeLuca and what does she know. She definitely knows more about aliens than any non-alien or non-Project Shepherd member should. Between the necklace she gave Maria and the comments she’s made in her more lucid moments, I’ve always suspected her flights of fancy was someone’s deliberate attempt to retcon her memories. The question is, was it done by humans or aliens?

The second is why would Max not want to be brought back? It must have something to do with the alighting. Noah said that they wouldn’t harm Max, but the people he loved. Does Max believe his death keeps his loved ones safe?

This was an ambitious episode. It needed to impart a mountain of exposition to any potential new viewers while reorienting the rest to the new reality. It also laid the groundwork for what would be season long arcs in any other show, which means they will probably be resolved within the next 3-4 weeks. Either way, we have plenty of food for thought.

4 out of 5 shredded hearts

Parting Thoughts:


This week’s title was brought to you by Lisa Loeb’s 1994 hit.

The opening shot was of a “Re-Elect Mayor Bernhardt” sign. It was paid for by the Long Family. One, this will probably become important as the season progresses. Two, given that the Long Family endorses him, means I don’t like him already.

Someone is painting signs of aliens that say “We don’t believe in humans.” It could be just a harmless prank, but do you really believe that?

I don’t think Tess is getting her “very best crystal” back anytime soon.

Things to keep in mind from last season: Whatever’s left of Project Shepherd still has a bomb capable of harming anyone with alien DNA. Maria’s necklace contains the plant capable of counteracting alien abilities. The tattoo that Max wore is some sort of map that leads to their home planet. And a stowaway caused the 1947 Crash.

Quotes:

Liz: “Are you sure Noah’s really gone?”

Liz: “You might be the only Mexican father on the planet that wants his daughter to leave home.”

Isobel: “He was my other half, my better half. And I don’t think I’ll ever let him go.”

Kyle: “I can’t keep him in a coma forever.”
Alex: “Why the hell not?”

Isobel: “The only thing that could keep him from me at this unimaginable time in my life is how much he loves you.”

Liz: “I told Rosa everything except that the whole town thinks she’s a murderer.”

Liz: “I couldn’t wake you. I-I shook you, and I called your name, and you wouldn’t wake up it’s like you were...”
Rosa: “Hey. Maybe spending a decade dead inside a glowing, ooze-filled egg coffin from outer space has some side effects.”

Rosa: “Next time I die, bury me with all my stuff.”

Maria: “The nurse said last week you were crying about Rosa Ortecho. It’s been ten years since she died, Mom.”
Mimi: “Not always. Sometimes, it just happened just yesterday. Sometimes, it’s been a century.”

Alex: “If I had gotten out, left Roswell and I asked you to come with me... Would you?”
Michael: “All of our years of this, I’ve never said no to you.”

Isobel: “Look, Ma, no hands.”

Liz: “I call first shower.”
Rosa: “Uh, except that I’m the oldest.”
Liz: “Not anymore, you’re not.”

Liz: “I need your help moving a body.”
Michael: “If I had a dollar for every time I heard that.”

Kyle: “I wonder if my life will ever be normal again.”

Liz: “Max gave me back the only thing I’ve ever lost that mattered to me. Now it’s my turn.”

Max: “Liz can’t bring me back to life.”

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

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