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Roswell, New Mexico: Subterranean Homesick Alien

“I think something alien brought you back to Roswell.”

This exemplifies what I love about the show. Plot is driven by conflict. Here the conflict, of which there is plenty, never feels manufactured. It is always rooted in character.

Max and Michael continue to fall into their well-worn roles of “do-gooder” and “bad boy” regardless of how poorly they now fit. Michael is the one with empathy and Lord knows he can recognize someone in pain. Besides, as Max later admits, the plan is good. Max's pulling rank had more to do with his fears than Michael’s ability to pull it off. The conflict was short-lived, and its resolution opens up new avenues of storytelling.

I have to admit, Max’s confession surprised me. Given Max’s attempts at using his powers this season, I thought Jones’ death had weakened them, not amplified them. This can only mean there’s a showdown in the offing. The question is, will it be with a member of the new triad, Ophiuchus, or possibly Jones?

Like her brother, Isobel is letting fear and guilt drive a wedge in her relationship. She admires Anatsa’s tenacity even when it’s focused on uncovering the Pod Squad’s secrets. And Isobel knows that if she wants her relationship to last, it has to be based on honesty. Yet instead of telling Anatsa the truth, Isobel manipulated her mind. Now the guilt over treating Anatsa the same way Noah treated her is eating at Isobel.

There’s also the fact Anatsa’s not an idiot. She may not remember seeing Bonnie’s interaction with Graham, but she knows Isobel’s keeping secrets. Secrets she shares with Kyle and not the woman she loves. Anatsa’s attempt to clear the air only backs Isobel further into the corner. Her last opportunity to come clean ends with Anatsa walking away.

To be fair, being honest with Anatsa brought its own risks. She might not take kindly to the knowledge she’s been sleeping with aliens. Besides, asking a reporter to sit on the knowledge that aliens exist is akin to asking her not to breathe. However, Isobel’s lack of faith allows Anatsa to discover the truth and no reason to hold back the story.

For now, Maria’s conflict is internal. She believes Liz would sacrifice her happiness to cure Maria and is therefore, unwilling to admit her psychic abilities are currently nonexistent. Her reasoning isn’t exactly rational. Liz just spent the last six months working to cure Maria, and it was probably one of the happiest periods of Liz’s life. Why would that change? However irrational as her belief may seem, it is very much in character for Maria to try to solve her problems on her own rather than going to her friends for help. And at least she’ realizes that she can’t keep the secret forever.

Maria’s questionable choices also led to a beautiful conversation between her and Dallas. I’m loving their friendship although I’m really hoping it doesn’t turn into more. One, Gregory Manes is too nice a guy for Maria to treat like that. And two, I’d really like to see a man and a woman have a friendship without romantic feelings getting in the way.

The conflict isn’t confined to the Pod Squad. Bonnie and Clyde have very different views about their purpose on Earth. Whatever the Alighting entails it will not bode well for humanity. Bonnie may follow Tezca’s instructions, but Clyde is a true believer. Their previous life seems to have included a lot of deprivation and Clyde seems to resent humans for their self-indulgence and wasteful behavior. Alternatively, Bonnie admires human’s ability to enjoy life. The longer they remain among humans, the more ingrained their dueling opinions become. All of which makes Michael’s plan even more appealing.

This show also uses a lack of conflict to raise tension. The further we get into the season, the more Shivani seems too good to be true. Her search for an alien cure to save her daughter seems perfectly calculated to tug on Liz’s heartstrings. I’m flabbergasted by Liz and Max’s lack of concern that Shivani is now in possession of alien tissue.

The stage is now set. Anatsa is free to pursue her investigation with no alien oversight. Tezca has captured Alex and Eduardo, which means Deep Sky is compromised. I’m assuming that’s how Jones’ body disappeared. However, the Pod Squad has removed one of the relics needed for the Alighting off the alien chess board. And Michael and Bonnie’s budding friendship may give them insight into Jones’ contingency plan. I have a feeling they're going to need it.

Another strong episode.

4 out of 5 space dork expos

Parting Thoughts:

This week’s title is named after the 1997 hit by Radiohead.

I loved the call back to music’s ability to calm Michael’s chaos. Almost as much as margarita’s being sweet and sour like bad decisions. So true.


Clyde: “Humanity’s self-indulgence is a sickness. It led us astray.”

Michael: “That’s the old Michael. Drinking feelings. Not embracing them.”

Max: “I’m not letting these two roam around Roswell while you place 21 Jump Street.”

Isobel: “Don’t worry. I will keep Harriet the Spy away from the alien hunt.”

Shivani: “Let me help you, or keep pretending there’s no elephant at the oil field.”

Maria: “God, I’m an idiot.”

Kyle: “You’re giving me dating tips while I’m on the date?”
Isobel: “You’re welcome.”
Liz: “We cannot avoid the better plan just because it has risks.”

Kira: “My sister says I get too chatty when I drink.”

Michael: “I’m saving you, coming on.”

Kyle: “It’s ok.”
Isobel: “It’s really not.”
Kyle: “It can be.”

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

1 comment:

  1. I love the song the episode's named after. It's amazing. "I'd tell all my friends, but they'd never believe me. They'd think that I'd finally lost it completely. I'd show them the stars, and the meaning of life. They'd shut me away... but I'd be alright"
    For once, Liz let me down. I was sad to see her basically succumb to Shivani's baiting... even though she "made the right choice" to continue spending the night with Max uninterrupted it was like she had to force herself. It wasn't well explained to begin with, her issues with full commitment. I wish she'd just take a break from Max properly.
    Maria annoyed me this episode. Just everything about her scenes. Stealing from Kyle, swearing Dallas to secrecy, and then having the show explicitly defend her "sainthood." Almost had to grit my teeth through it. I can't really explain it, it's primal. There's just something so dishonest about it all.
    The Michael honeypot is interesting.
    I'll miss Anatsa... gorgeous actress. I want to believe she'll stick around but there's already Jones's goons and Shivani to deal with, I'm not sure how she'll be a viable threat after the break-up.
    Where the heck is original Liz?


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