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Roswell, New Mexico: Killing Me Softly with His Song

“I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep them safe. Because we’re all connected.”

Perception is the name of the game this week, as Roswell proves the only thing separating the hero from the villain is the storyteller.

When Zeke, Jordan Bernhardt’s Regimental partner in crime, is found burned to a crisp on the Lopez’s property, the fault lines of Roswell’s fragile peace erupt. As an interracial gay couple known for helping immigrants, the Lopez’s are considered “political” by Roswell’s new sheriff. That, combined with the location of the body and their ongoing feud with Zeke, was enough to have them arrested. Not investigated. Arrested.

The Lopez’s may be poker buddies with Max, but their trust only extends so far. Being Max’s friend didn’t stop him from cuffing them and, regardless of Max’s desire to help, anything they told him could and would be used against them. The realization isn’t lost on Max even as he struggles to clear their name. Anatsa pointedly asks him how he continues to put on his uniform when it represents inequity and injustice as much as it does law and order. While he claims that he finds a reason to do so every day, he fails to name what that reason is.

Liz wakes up to discover she had a heart attack. She’s pretty sure it has something to do with Max’s most recent handprint. This means a trip to Roswell and Heath’s assistance. Heath, despite all my fears, turned out to be a decent guy. And, like all the other good guys in Liz’s life, he got royally screwed over. Desperate to keep Liz alive, he drives her back to not one but two of her exes, although I doubt he knew Liz and Kyle’s history. Heath’s reward for saving her life was a wild goose chase after Jesse Manes’ fake pathologist.

To be fair, I can’t imagine what reason Liz could give to get Heath to leave her alone with Max in the midst of her heart failure. Plus, I would imagine imminent death and well-reasoned plans don’t often go hand in hand. But when Heath laid out the ramifications of Liz’s decisions, 'not cool' doesn’t begin to cover it. As brilliant and caring as Liz may be, she has a nasty habit of using and discarding any man not named Max. Oh wait, she did it to Max, too.

Meanwhile, Isobel and Michael debate the merits of Jones’ offer to heal Max. Isobel points out that even if Jones can’t fake his memories, he can certainly edit them. Michael doesn’t disagree, but given Max’s declining health, do they have any other options?

Isobel decides to test her empathic abilities with a little tête-à-tête over steak and wine. Isobel believes Jones is hiding something, but Jones insinuates that Noah’s betrayal has colored her opinions and she’s projecting her distrust onto Jones rather than reading what’s really there. Jones’ accusations may have given Izzy doubts, but they don’t dissuade her. Her doggedness pays off. She solves the mystery currently plaguing Roswell.

I never gave Michael and Rosa’s relationship much thought. Rosa's relationship with the other members of the alien trio was far more concrete. For a while, both Isobel and Rosa thought Izzy had killed her. And before bringing Rosa back to life, Max had been the one to decide to use Rosa to cover up what they believed to be Isobel’s murders. However, not only had Michael aided and abetted Max’s plan, he’d let Isobel believe he was responsible for the deaths. When added to Michael’s conviction that he was a monster, it makes perfect sense Rosa’s death had been eating at him for a decade. This is why Michael’s recently turned-over leaf includes making amends to Rosa. She is one of the people who matter.

Thanks to Max, Kyle survived his run-in with Jordan, which seems to have given him the clarity he’s been searching for. Unfortunately, that clarity continues to put him in the Regiment’s crosshairs. Luckily, Maria is not above babysitting. And when that doesn’t work, she goes on the offensive.

In a horrible plan, Maria and Rosa let themselves be caught by Jordan and the Regiment. They naively believed the black chick and the cousin of the Mexican murderer would get him to incriminate himself without harming them. What were they thinking? And yet it worked. Jordan spilled his guts on camera, which prompted Roswell’s fearless Sheriff to arrest the Mayor’s son and grovel just a little.

Which brings us full circle. Jones killed Zeke to get enough strength to save Max. Jordan, convinced that “those people” murdered and abandoned his friend, moved Zeke’s body to the offenders’ property. Unknowingly, Max used his connection to Liz to heal Kyle after Jordan's attack, nearly killing her. This leaves a weakened Max begging Jones to save him and, by extension, the people he cares for.

Jones may be a murderer, but he saved the closest thing he has to family and then went back into the pod. Does that make him a villain? Our little band of misfits may not be marauding through Roswell, terrorizing any locals with a tan, but does that make them heroes? After all, Kyle may still be alive, but Maria’s vision came true. They are covering up yet another murder.

The final 30 seconds of the episode laid the groundwork for next story arc now that the Maria’s vision and Max’s impending death have been resolved. Don’t ask me what any of it meant because I don’t have a clue. What I do know is that I’ll be watching.

4 out 5 Alien Stuffies

Parting Thoughts:

This week’s episode is brought to you by the 1996 Fugees remake of Roberta Flack’s 1973 hit. Curiously, that was a re-recording of Lori Lieberman’s song that she co-wrote in 1972.

Didn’t Max tell Maria to call an ambulance in the previous episode? How did he explain what happened?

Content creator aside, I was happy to note Maria’s a Buffy fan!

Deputy Deport’ Em vs. Lieutenant Liberal made me laugh despite the seriousness of their argument.

Quotes:

Liz: “I need Max Evans. Take me back to Roswell.”

Max: “Rise and shine. Checkout’s in an hour.”

Kyle: “How was I supposed to know I was the coffin-filler from your vision?”

Maria: “I want to take down the Regiment just as bad as you guys do, but until this intergalactic body glitter disappears, we’re just going to have to bust out some puzzles and binge some Buffy.”

Arturo: “You cannot be happy if you cannot be yourself.”
Jones: “You’re not afraid I’ll run?”
Isobel: “What kind of a white knight would run away?”

Heath: “I was there when she collapsed then we practically broke the sound barrier to...get here. You know, forget I said that, Officer.”
Michael: “We’re not going to fold to Roswell’s racist social club.”
Kyle: “I agree with my man-sitter.”

Isobel: “We are a united front. That’s what matters.”

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

2 comments:

skyemaidstone said...

This was actually the first episode of this season I wasn't that keen on. I think the racist locals and the BLM, defund the police etc felt a little too much like a twitter argument. Obviously they were good points but you don't need to hit your audience over the head with a shovel to make them.

The sci-fi part was traditionally great.

I'm startingn to like this version of Maria as much at the 1990s Maria although I'm liking Liz less and less.

Nice review btw! :)

Shari said...

Thanks.

And you're not wrong. They aren't exactly subtle with their political commentary, are they?