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Roswell, New Mexico — I Ain't Goin' Out Like That (3.12) & Never Let You Go (3.13) — Review

I was a bit melancholy going into tonight's finale because there's no indication of how long viewers will have to wait for season four. Now, despite what I liked about this episode, I seriously want to fight someone—throw hands as the kids would say. Eventually, I'll start to wonder when season four will premiere, but I'm frustrated, confused, and angry right now.

There was so much wasted time and missed opportunities in these two episodes. The amount of talk therapy Max, Isobel, Dallas, and Heath needed was tedious and unnecessary. The Eduardo and Jones scene should have never been written, much less filmed. Since we already knew Jones was a killer, we didn't need to see him do it again. And once Eduardo showed up with a handgun, Jones stabbing him was a foregone conclusion. And all of the time discussing and discussing again and discussing again fake science was plainly absurd. It isn't real, so tone it down. All of these story dragging moments should have been lost in the editing process in favor of making sure the emotional beats that needed to happen, the ones the viewers spent 11 episodes wanting, happened.

I just don't understand why a room full of writers continuously fails at telling a tight and coherent story. But, while I don't understand, I do suspect. This season we added Heath, Dallas, a racist, a racist Sheriff, Eduardo, and Anatsa to the cast. Plus, we bumped up Wyatt's screen time. And next season, we might keep some of these players and add Shiri Appleby, which was a welcome surprise, and two bank robbers!

Maybe it's time to scale back. Perhaps it's time to recognize that 13 episodes aren't enough to have a cast this large and do every growth arc, every plot, and every story justice. And 13 episodes aren't enough to dedicate over 50% of them to plots that go nowhere but more on that later. I am so frustrated by what could have been. Hollier had an opportunity to show viewers character, sci-fi, and romance, but he failed. Instead, these two episodes delivered nothing more than the slap portion of a slap and tickle.

I acknowledge that Hollier alone didn't set this season in motion, but he is as responsible as his former partner in writing crimes. Just because he was the silent partner for the first two seasons doesn't mean he disagreed with the show's choices. The truth is, everyone had someone obvious and easy to blame. I'm including myself in that everyone. We had the easiest of targets. A loud, aggressive, self-serving, petty, hostile, tone-deaf, vindictive, self-inserting, fan-hating, character assassinating, story retconning, performative personality to blame for all of Roswell, New Mexico's failings and shortcomings. And it's clear from the things the show got right this season that Hollier is a steadier, friendlier hand with a better grasp on storytelling, but he has work to do.

I think I need to start with what's bothering me. I need to sweep the debris of hostility away, dissipate the fog of incredulity, hot glue a bunch of glow sticks together in the form of a sword and beat a tree until I have freed my mind. Then and only then can I unearth what I loved, what there was to love in the two-part season finale.

Let's do this one more time. At least until season four.

Sloppy, Sketchy, and Performative

Is Sanders alive or dead? I'm not sure how that reveal didn't warrant some screen time? Why is closure so hard for this show? I have a list of at least seven scenes that could have been cut to let the viewer know whether they should mourn Sanders. There are times when the fate of a character should be left dangling, but Sanders isn't a cliffhanger character. He isn't in enough episodes to make viewers wait months, a year, or maybe never to discover whether he lived or died. I get that we should assume Sander's is right as rain, or else Michael wouldn't have skipped down Main Street with Alex, but how about you show us. How about you give the viewer the emotional beat of Michael talking to Sanders, telling the old man he was stupid for putting himself in harm's way. Not making time for this is just poor story management. Honestly, it's unacceptable.
Is Alex a ghost or a figment of Michael and Kyle's imagination? Is that why he can't play with the group? Or is Eduardo a wizard that's placed a powerful spell trapping Alex at Deep Sky? I can't imagine any other reason why the squad that showed up for the final battle with Jones needed a resurrected music-loving recovering addict artist with dolphin powers and a psychic-ish bartender. I say that as someone who loves Rosa. Instead, Alex was basically relegated to the same position as Anatsa and Greg. Even Dallas and Heath were given more screentime. Tyler Blackburn has spent a season feeling more like a recurring character than one of the secondary mains. Also not acceptable. Also sketchy.

What happens next season. Will viewers occasionally view his back as Michael races out of bed to save the day with Wyatt, Heath, and Maria? When a character can't even manage to be part of the action where they work, something is seriously wrong. I mean, Alex did get everyone into Deep Sky, did he not?

If you're a show that can't manage the cast you have or a showrunner who can't juggle multiple storylines, you shouldn't try. Instead, pick a single story and tell it well. Don't waste viewers' time with a murder vision plot that eats up valuable time, goes literally nowhere and ultimately doesn't connect to the bigger story because you feel guilty. In case no one told you, it didn't end racism or push this world any closer to the right side of history.

I'm happy to grant you a "but good looking out" and a power fist if you stop breaking and breaking again what you've never managed to get right. Not in three seasons. And just an FYI, being a daughter grappling with a deteriorating parent, knowing it might be a fate you share, is a solid opportunity for excellent storytelling and character development. So if you're looking for a way, consider yourself shown because what you have been doing just isn't working. And it should never come at the cost of another character's story.

I Call Shennanigans

Great, another murder vision, but with thrice the victims. The other one was so effective and had such a satisfying conclusion that it makes sense we'd revisit it with the limited time we have to wrap up the season. Lucky for everyone, throwing a deck of tarot cards into the air revealed the truth.

It's fascinating that with a whole host of intelligent people walking the halls of Deep Sky that not one of them thought to look for Michael at his bunker. No matter, that's Maria's job. So here she comes to save the day.

It's too bad she lost her cellphone since her morning calls to Liz and couldn't tell anyone to meet her at the junkyard. Remember the last time she went somewhere alone? Of course, nothing went wrong that time, other than she ended up in a coma and in Jones' mindscape, but whatever. I mean, how else could the show continue her hero narrative. Serious question, did she walk past Sanders' dead, injured, prone, or unconscious body?

Also, I'm not touching the Isobel-Maria sword thing.

That's What Friends Are For
For the first time in three seasons, Alex and Max have a conversation. How is that possible? Oh, wait! During the season one flashback episode, they talked. Clearly, they're friends. No wonder Max solicited advice from Alex. Their bond is like no other.

My issue isn't even that it took them this long to talk, which is crazy. Although, outside of Michael and Kyle, does anyone really talk to Alex? Anyway, my issue is, in fact, the opposite. Alex and Max have gone this long without talking, so why now? Why this episode? We're wasting time, and there is no emotional investment here. Also, what are you planning, Max? Are you just going to walk from person to person and place to place seeking free therapy? Get it together, man.

Even Michael, the king of the brooding, is over your woe is me attitude.

Romance You Say

A glued and stapled Michael rushes to Deep Sky to protect his beloved from his murderous daddy. Michael locates Alex and tells him Jones is coming for the Lockhart Machine, so Alex turns it over and goes to the fifth floor for coffee. That must be what happened. Why else wouldn't Alex have followed Michael to the rest of the group?

There were so many small ways Michael and Alex could have spent time together this episode. This was one of them. The writers or showrunner really needs to ask themselves why Michael and Alex didn't share a single scene until the second hour. And revealing new footage of a past scene doesn't count. If you want people to feel better, release the entire scene.

I suppose people shouldn't complain too much; after all, Michael and Alex share plenty of soft, sweet moments. They were big moments, but they felt hurried. There should have been more to Alex removing Michael's handana. There should have been a moment for the audience to breathe. Viewers should have been given a beat to take in the significance of the moment, Alex and Michael holding hands, skin to skin, as they turn their backs on Jesse Manes and walk the streets of Roswell for all to see. Dare I say, it might be love.

I mean, I guess it's love. Michael almost said it, but then Alex stopped him, and the writers never gave it back.

Kyle Valenti Deserves Better
Honestly, this man has been treated like a punching bag all season. So why let him pine for Isobel, frustrating him every time he gets close to declaring his feelings. And the season established Kyle and Isobel's chemistry early in the season.

Also, the delicious situational irony of Maria telling someone their timing could not be worse. One would expect Little Miss Do What You Feel to encourage Kyle to go for it.

Again, nothing against Isobel and Anatsa. I just don't like how it was handled or their inevitable crash and burn in favor of Isobel and Kyle.

So Long Jones

I thought I'd be sad to see him go, but because of the way they dragged out his defeat during the finale, I was okay saying goodbye. I mean, we all saw the "No, I'm Max. He's the imposter." "No, he's the imposter. I'm the real Max," coming, so it was anticlimactic.

He was a great villain. And Nathan Dean was wonderful week after week. Whatever he did with the Lockhart Machine is intriguing and at least leaves us with the possibility of another great villain in season four.

A Listicle: The Good
—Liz and Max reunited, and for their fans, it feels so good.
—Michael and Alex ended the season together.
—Shiri Appleby is connected to Liz and aliens.
—Some alien lady arrived. Whether this is a good thing remains to be seen considering how terrible Roswell, New Mexico is at balancing its cast. —Dallas has lovely biceps.

What did you think of the two-part finale? Any predictions for Season 4?

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