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Roswell, New Mexico — Goodnight, Elizabeth — Review

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Before we get into it—Congratulations to Heather Hemmens on her directorial debut!

All humans have an inner “mean girl.” There are times when I point a stern teacher finger at mine, and she sits down vibrating silently with indignation, and sometimes my inner mean girl just looks at that stern teacher finger shrugs, and goes, “Call my parents because this is happening.” Of course, it’s not quite time to call my parents, but maybe look up the number.

Sometimes, episodes need to lean into the plot, setting up what comes next, making the nebulous future more transparent. I get that. After all, the plot is the chessboard. The characters and pieces are all there waiting to be moved by the invisible but thoughtful hand of story. When that happens, the viewer gets a thing of beauty—the what and the why. The action and the motivation. This episode’s problem was the pieces were dragged into place carelessly and therefore uncharacteristically.

Let’s get to it. 

Don’t You Forget About Me . . . Damn, You Already Did 
Kyle Valenti disappeared then, Michael Guerin asked Alex Manes for help finding him. Eduardo Ramos pulled a gun on Alex Manes. Michael Guerin found a shady facility in the middle of the desert and left Alex Manes a sassy voicemail. I think Ramos probably, didn’t let the handcuffed Alex Manes make a phone call. Despite that, Michael Guerin went home, and everyone in Roswell forgot that Kyle Valenti and Alex Manes existed. At least they have each other. 

Not one character mentioned, inquired, or even seemed to notice Alex and Kyle’s absence. Instead, every character threw all their energy and efforts behind subduing Jones to save Maria. I thought she saved herself? 

Was there really no one in the writers’ room that stopped to say, “Ummmm, shouldn’t one of the other characters mention Kyle and/or Alex? Maybe, we can change one of the 57 mentions of Maria to Alex and/or Kyle, but only one. We don’t want to go crazy and pretend they matter.” Come on, Hollier and friends. This is just inexcusable. 

Anyway, it turns out Kyle was poisoned by an unknown drug and is in an actual coma, and Ramos is keeping him in a barn without any medical supervision to protect him from the people that want Max and his sword. I think. Maybe. It’s really unclear. 

I feel like Ramos could have revealed all of this to Alex without the gun, handcuffs, and unlawful detainment? 

You Are the Weakest Link 
Maria has managed to lock Jones in a mindscape cage. No, we don’t know-how. No, we don’t know where she learned how to do it. Yes, in the last episode, she was hiding memories, and her mindscape was a crumbling bar awash in cobwebs. 

You can’t go from I’ll throw myself off a building, inject myself with adrenaline, and down THC while napping with the scorpions because I don’t know how to control my powers to Jean Grey in a week. So, again, move the pieces, but make it make sense. 

Overall this scene had the potential to excite and intrigue, but there was a problem. One of the people was acting while the other was emoting. I’ll share this bit of wisdom from my high school drama teacher and then move on: “Your job isn’t to make the audience talk about how pretty you look, so squibble up your face, or I’ll replace you with a blowup doll.” Squibble isn’t a word, and we always suspected her mug was holding neither coffee nor tea, but her advice was sound. 

Michael, Max is Your Daddy 
Kyle was Right; Michael Guerin is a Jedi. Jones’ sword didn’t burn Michael. We all knew eons ago that Jones was Michael’s daddy, yet there was still a tiny element of surprise to the unsurprising reveal. Michael even has the hand thing like Luke Skywalker. 

Less of a reveal, Jones is the Dictator; at least, the characters now know what the audience has always known. 

I do have a few thoughts about this scene. First, for a genius, Michael was a double dumb adult to bring Jones’ sword to Max’s house. Even if it was encased in concrete, Jones has proven formidable and diabolical. Do better. The second, as much as Michael and Isobel both being Jones’s children, screams dictator behavior, I now think Isobel is his niece. This way, we can maintain the Pod Squad’s sibling bond, and someone can tell me how Michael and Maria are related. Cackle. The third, will Michael need to use alien glass and the transformed turquoise to make his own power amplifying weapon? Since there is a biochemical component, Liz “The Main Character” Ortecho can help. 

Nobody Puts Baby In a Corner 
They do, however, leave a recovering addict alone at a bar. Anyway, Rosa’s character growth continued this episode. She has become proactive, making decisions for herself rather than letting her sister or the Pod Squad tell her where to go and what to do. It’s a good thing she’s become so self-possessed, or else they’d all be dead. 

It’s too bad she forgot that her brother is missing. 

On a superficial note, she looked incredible this episode, and she invited a hot priest that counsels using Biggie Smalls to the party. I’ll have more of this relationship, please and thank you. It’s far better than pairing her with the town’s amnestic racist. 

You Can’t Sit With Us. 
When the episode ends, we’ve traveled to the past. Oh, so Maria isn’t special. Jones needs Patricia’s memory, and Maria is the genetically linked plot device he needs to get it. She’s basically the equivalent of the turquoise but with more screen time. Looks like Roswell, New Mexico, hasn’t fixed its Maria problem. Oh well, let’s try again next season. 

I mean, this season’s agenda has been to prove that Maria is special, so characters have been contorting themselves to tell us that Maria is awesome sauce. Even Maria! 

A philosopher? Like a Conversation Heart? 

Resilient Bitch? Like a virus? 

Dream Girl? Like . . . Wait . . . Didn’t we bury this sexist trope? 

The problem with agendas is they are obvious, usually performative, and rarely address the issue. All of this effort to prove that Black girls are magic for the Black girl to be nothing more than the eagles from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

I’d say do better, but I’m all out of care for this week. 

The Powerful, the Pleasurable, the Indestructible 
How much fun is Nathan Dean having? Watching Jones is an absolute pleasure. 

Sorry, did Jones disappear by spinning the glow stick sword until flames erupted? There was glitter mixed in with the fire in my mind because that is the only possible way to make that exit even campier and better. Jones is a wizard. 

Jones has been the most beautiful addition to this season. At the end of last season, I thought the clone reveal would be incredibly lame, but I was wrong. He’s outstanding. 

I’m not even mad that he threatened to kill Liz, Michael, and Isobel. Because to be fair, the plan they concocted was transparent and dumb. Unfortunately, there was a lot of dumb this episode. These characters are historically too smart to be this stupid. 

The premature death of Jesse Manes has left us without a villain. I propose Jones stay. He could be The Pod Squad and Friends’ Joker, He could be their Luthor. Or their Gargamel. 

And we know how much Roswell, New Mexico loves to saddle queer characters with problematic fathers. It's all about the parallel. Sure it is.

On Retconning, Continuity Errors, and Hand Wavy Science 
Since when does Isobel remember being trapped in a mind prison when Noah was puppeting her body? If that was the case, wouldn’t she have described it as such two seasons ago? What’s the point of this particular retcon? The viewer doesn’t need to hear that Isobel remembers being trapped to empathize with the character. I’d like to believe that most of Roswell, New Mexico’s viewership understands enthusiastic consent even when the show doesn’t. 

Ramos and Maria’s version of events can’t both be true. The only way it works is if Ramos saw her body sprawled on the floor, took Kyle away, and left her behind. I suppose he could be that mercenary, but it doesn’t feel right. And from a believability standpoint, it makes more sense Maria hadn’t arrived when Ramos dragged Kyle away because the other version has her injecting Kyle with a random amount of adrenaline without knowing what was actually wrong with him. I’m not a doctor, but I used to be a scientist, and difficulty breathing doesn’t immediately make me think adrenaline. The bigger problem, there shouldn’t be continuity errors from one episode to the next. I’d be more forgiving it was from one season to the next. 

I love that this show has a group of people so dedicated to science, even the hand-wavy kind. Liz and Michael make it sound good but don’t pay too much attention to the specifics. I know it irks some, like the someone that sits next to me each week, but science fiction is about possibility, so just pretend everything and anything is possible. 

I don’t know, friends. This episode didn’t thrill me; it feels like a letdown after last week. Without a doubt, it was better than all of season 2, but for me, it was one of the weaker entries this season. I’m a great lover of character development, and except for Rosa, there was nothing to see here other than the pieces moving into position for what I hope is a glorious ride to the season finale. And as long as the ride is magnificent, I’m willing to forgive some things, but never all things. 

Just When I Thought I Said All I Can Say 
—Either Gregory Manes is dead, or someone extracted his personality. 

—Stage mom joke two episodes in a row. Lazy. Lazy. Lazy. 

—Another racist bites the dust. Is that the plan to wrap up the storyline? Jones kills them all? It provides him with low-stakes victims, which I get because the audience doesn’t care about the character, but it isn’t brave or bold writing. 

—A character that didn’t exist before season three, Eduardo Ramos, knows about Alex and Michael, but the own savior girl boss resilient bitch hot girl super psychic bestie didn’t? In my head, I’m laughing so hard my stomach hurts. I’m also crying. Speaking of, can we talk about how Alex never knew Kyle had an uncle? 

—Hey, Alex. Why are you even considering sacrificing your mind to solve the Lockhart Machine? Take it to Michael and stop being dumb.
Thoughts? What was your favorite moment? Leave your comments below.

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