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Roswell, New Mexico: Tones of Home

“Love makes you do crazy things.”

How do you define home? Is it a place, a feeling, an idea, or maybe a person? There are as many ways to define it as there are people walking the Earth, and it appears each member of our merry band is in search of their personal definition.

Being coma bound gave Maria perspective. For her, home is about the things that bring comfort and contentment. It’s a beautiful view on a wintery day. A kiss from the guy who cared enough to keep your business running while you were sick and stares at you like you’re the only woman in existence. Even arguing with your newly discovered “sister” can feel like home.

Maria’s newfound perspective is in stark contrast to that sister’s dogged pursuit of Jones. After Noah, Isobel threw herself into anything and everything that could keep her or her loved ones from ever being victims again, including learning martial arts and strengthening her alien abilities. Maria reminds Isobel that being alive isn’t enough. You have to have something worth living for.

After bawling out Maria for her lack of focus, Isobel grudgingly admits Maria has a point. Michael has Alex and Max has Liz, or at least he’d like to. What does Isobel have? Where is her home? Could Anatsa be the answer?

Alex’s definition of home is simple. A life with Michael free from the threat of other aliens or clandestine government agencies that wish him harm. Alex wants it so badly he remade his world and risked his sanity in service to it. If he can just figure out how the Lockhart Machine works, he can... what? I’m not sure Alex even knows at this point. It seems that in addition to its intended use, the Lockhart Machine ferrets out fears and magnifies them until the person using the machine can no longer separate hallucinations from reality.

Alex’s fears are manifold. That despite everything he’s done to the contrary, he is a threat to Michael and the other aliens’ existence just as his father was. He fears he’ll discover that Nora wasn’t the embodiment of goodness that Michael wants her to be, and that Michael will resent him for it. Mostly, I think he fears that no matter how much he loves Michael, happily ever after is not in their cards.

For once, Michael and Alex’s definitions of home are the same—each other. Michael’s version is realistic enough to realize the threats will always be there. It could also be that he hadn’t spent two days in the company of a mind-warping machine. Michael may be curious about the machine and its potential to help defeat Jones. However, any desire to use it as a way back to Oasis died with the realization that for better or worse, his family is here on Earth.

Like Alex, Kyle’s definition of home is tangled with notions of family and legacy. For years, he believed living by his father’s code would make him a better person. It would bring him happiness and help him find his place in the world. His home. In some ways, it did exactly that. It helped him grow past the bullying teenager into a kind-hearted man who can’t see suffering and injustice without trying to make it better.

However, as much as the code was Jim Valenti’s guidepost, it was also the justification he used for the parts of his life that weren’t so altruistic. Kyle now understands the code's limits. He still believes in helping the less fortunate, but he won’t let that blind him to his needs or his obligations. What that means for Kyle's future and his search for home remains to be seen.

Which leads us, as all roads do, back to Max and Liz. Like Michael and Alex, they define home as each other. Liz admits this when she describes her time in LA as a commercial in her life. Unlike the others, they still have an airport full of baggage to work through. Liz left for LA for a lot of reasons. Chief among them is Max’s betrayal. For his part, up till now, Max’s decisions were based on a future he would not see. Now that he has one, he can admit that it’s not complete unless Liz is in it. But how much is he willing to risk to see that future to fruition?

They need to find a way to get Max into his own body and sever the connection that allows Jones to hijack it before Jones finds a way to permanently lock Max out. Heath may be the answer they’re searching for. The problem is, he has his own agenda and while it may dovetail with Liz’s, the jury’s still out on whether he’ll help her. And that was before Jones found him first.

I know, I know, I’ve completely glossed over the hunt for the other alien. In truth, it was the least interesting part of the episode for me. One, they’ve done this before. Two, they’ve done it better. Although they get points for sowing the seeds two episodes ago.

And what do we know about our mysterious ET? Dallas is a minister, Heath’s best friend, and he’s sick. I doubt he’s the person Nora was trying to communicate with, and I’m not sure how he’s supposed to help in the fight against Jones. If anything, he might be the leverage Jones needs to ensure Heath’s cooperation.

Then there’s Jones. What does he consider home? Oasis, the planet he subdued and remade in his image? Earth, a backward planet ripe for domination? Or is it something small, like Max’s body, free of the fear its rightful owner will steal it back?

Inquiring minds want to know.

4 out of 5 Beeblebrox Burritos

Parting Thoughts:

This week’s title was named after Blind Melon’s 1992 release.

For the uninitiated, Zaphod Beeblebrox was a onetime Galaxy President in The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

What happens when Isobel and Max discover they each had a fling with Anatsa, especially if Anatsa is more than a fling for Isobel?

Quotes:

Jones: “It seems we need to find ourselves a smarter genius. Huh, Buddy.”

Isobel: “Apparently almost dying and swapping bodies with and then sapping bodies with an evil dictator sort of takes it out of a guy...”

Isobel: “So now you just need to convince someone who’s not taking your calls to rejoin Team Liz, and then convince Max that his fear of outsiders and science, all wrapped up in what I’m assuming is a rather handsome romantic rival, is the best option on the table.”
Max: “Hey. Did I sleep through the plan to save my life?”

Kyle: “No one is more qualified in top secret ET shenanigans than me.”

Michael: “You know I love it when you talk code-y to me.”

Liz: “How long do you think this is gonna take. You know, I got to save your life.”

Maria: “You bourboned and bolted? Sipped and snuck?”
Gregory: “Highballed it and hightailed it.”
Isobel: “Okay, you’re both very clever...”

Alex: “I won’t lose my way. Michael is my focus, and remembering that will keep me from any undoing.”
Nora: “I’d argue that your feelings for him will be your undoing.”

Anatsa: “Good thing about snooping in a church. Sinners can walk through the front door.”

Michael: “You don’t walk away from a broken engine. You find a way to make it purr again.”

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

3 comments:

skyemaidstone said...

Nice review!

Definitely an episode for moving the various couple's relationships forward and I kinda liked it even if it did feel a little odd given they have a pink sword wielding evil max to deal with.

Wow Liz has some real high speed mouthfuls of dialog to wade through. She reminded me of Geordi (Star Trek) spouting technobabble for a second.

I love how the show flies along at a ridiculous rate. They really cram a lot into each episode.

How will max ever go back to being max? He'll be wanted for multiple murders.

I really wanna know what that machine does..

Billie Doux said...

Yeah, the exposition was heavy on the ground this time. Many words with multiple syllables.

Shari said...

I've been wondering how Max goes back to being Max for a long time. Even if there wasn't a murderous clone pretending to be him, he hasn't exactly been focused on his job or other responsibilities lately. Not that being in the pod helped...

And you are not wrong about the exposition. I'm almost embarrassed by the number of times I replayed Liz's speech and in the end very little ended up in my review. I decided it only amounted to 2 things. Liz is REALLY smart and there's a connection between Jones and Max that has to be severed before they can contemplate killing Jones. Everything else is gravy...