Often, in real life, and watching TV, I think of that moment in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where Dumbledore talks about making a choice between what is right and what is easy. Very rarely has it applied to anything as it applies to Isobel’s decision on this week’s Roswell, New Mexico, titled “I Saw the Sign.”
Because Isobel made the right choice, the hard choice, the one judging just by the first episode of this show I would have never guessed she could make, and in doing so, she forever became the kind of character I will protect an defend and go to bat for.
She did it for herself, yes, because she isn’t – doesn’t want to be the kind of person who would hurt others when there’s something she can do to prevent it, but she also did it for the people she loves, because Max and Michael have done a lot for her, and sometimes the decisions they’ve made haven’t been the best ones, but they’ve been made out of love, and Isobel can make decisions out of love for them too.
Loving people, whether they are real or fictional, isn’t – shouldn’t be – about perfection. We aren’t perfect, and the people we love aren’t, and though the feeling in itself can be pure, the things we do because of it don’t necessarily have to be. We do bad things in the name of love just as we do good things – Max and Michael have proven that – but we also do good things, beautiful things, wonderful, amazing things.
It keeps the world going round and round, love. For good or for bad. Not just romantic love, either. There’s Maria’s love for her mom, and Liz’s love for her sister. There’s their friendship. There’s Michael’s love for Alex, and of course, his love for Isobel and Max, and viceversa, just as there’s Max’s love for Liz, and Noah’s love for Isobel. This show is a love story, or at least, the story of what we do for love. All kinds of love.
So, with that in mind, let us go into “I Saw the Sign” as the show gears up for what’s sure to be an exciting back end of the season.
A PIECE OF ME
The emotional backbone of this episode was, like I said before, about love, and about the decisions we make for the people we love, but it was also about examining that love, and in many ways, about understanding, or even accepting, what that love means, and what we would do in the name of it.
Max, for example, loves Liz. He always has. But he loves Isobel too, and Michael. They are his family, and he would do anything for them. And that means, at some point, he might have to choose between the things he loves, as he once chose between Isobel and telling Liz the truth. Just as Michael might one day have to choose between Alex and helping Max and Isobel, or how Maria was, in some ways, forced to choose between her mom and herself.
Because love (and life) this episode is basically saying, is about choices.
Is Maria wrong in thinking her mom needs the kind of care she can’t provide? Is she wrong in making a decision that would give her mom that care and allow Maria to have a life? I don’t think she is, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy, just as it wasn’t easy for Max to tell Liz to hang onto what could potentially be a weapon against Isobel, or easy for Cameron to basically spy on her partner.
That’s probably the best thing about this show. Save Manes Senior, there are very few black and white characters in Roswell, New Mexico. Everyone is a little bit fucked up, everyone makes mistakes, everyone can learn to do better, and as much as that can sometimes be frustrating as a viewer, that’s still a really powerful message to send.
WE AREN’T MEANT TO TOUCH THINGS FROM ANOTHER WORLD
This goes into the big notions surrounding this whole show: the idea that Max, Michael and Isobel are in Roswell for a reason. I mean, they have to be, right? But what is that reason? Why don’t they remember the first years of their lives? Who was pulling the strings? How did they end up where they were found, and most importantly …why?
What’s the endgame here? I don’t believe in coincidences, and I especially don’t believe in coincidences on TV shows. These are, however, the big questions, and I’m not exactly sure we’ll get the answers we want right away. The mystery of the season seems to be Rosa, and the rest, the rest we might just have to wait till a hypothetical season 2 that we better get.
But I get the sense that Project Shepherd, Liz’s experiment, it’ll all end up meaning something big, and maybe, just maybe, it will all lead to the answer of what in the world is happening to Isobel, which is truly what we need to know to figure out what happened to Rosa Ortecho. Everything else in this show has been connected, after all, why not this?
MAYBE PEOPLE LIKE YOU DESERVE BETTER
These words stuck with me, because they don’t just apply to Noah, or at least, the show is making it seem like they don’t, but also because they go basically against the whole idea of this show, of this episode, of life.
What do we deserve? More importantly, do we get what we deserve in life? Is justice a real, daily thing? Because the world is flawed, and it’s hard to look around the world and go, oh yes, people are getting what they deserve. It isn’t as simple as that, not in the big things, and not in the little things.
So, does Noah deserve better? Does Alex? Does Liz? Maybe the answer to that is yes. Maybe they deserve better than to be part of this damn mystery because of who they love, but guess what? They’re already in. The feelings are already there. So now it’s not truly about what they deserve, it’s about what they choose. And if they choose to stay, if they choose to fight, then shouldn’t that be the only thing that matters?
Things I think I think:
- This episode was directed by Paul Wesley, and written by Miguel Nolla & Christopher Hollier.
- Who died in the original crash? Was she somehow related to Max, Isobel and Michael?
- Still so many questions.
- This isn’t really fair for Cameron, but I still hope she doesn’t make the choice plot dictates she will.
- WHY WOULD YOU HAVE THAT TATTOO? YOU DUMB, MAX?
- Silly question, of course he is.
- Yeah, Max, telling the dude who’s evaluating you what to do.
- I love how they haven’t forgotten about Liz’s dad being illegal, and how every decision she makes is colored by that.
- “You’ve been a crappy friend.”
- I also love that Alex went and called Liz out.
- “Girl, you got hot.”
- Ain’t that right.
- “What happened to ‘I can handle the truth, Michael?”
- I laughed. Michael and Isobel are such siblings.
- What’s going on with Maria’s mom? How did it happen? WHAT does she know?
- Wyatt Long is despicable, memory or not.
- “You’re not my family, you’re not my friend, so leave.”
- That hurt me, Max. In my soul.
- Does Michael think HE is the reason Alex went to war? Because his face says he thinks HE is the reason.
- A black woman learning to love herself, isn’t that grand? I love Maria, and I love her mom.
- I really like Noah, and I really, really like him with Isobel and I hope he doesn’t like die at the end of this season or something.
- NOOO, CAMERON. MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES. MAKE THE RIGHT CHOICES.
- “I am questioning your character.”
- How have I become so protective of Isobel? When did this happen?
- MARIA AND MICHAEL ARE SO SOFT.
- Like, I don’t even want them together, though if they were I wouldn’t mind it, though I love Michael and Alex more, and yet …gah. I just love them all.
- Max being honest not just with Liz, but with himself, is a powerful first step. But it’s just that, a first step.
Agree? Disagree? Share with us in the comments below!
Roswell, New Mexico airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on the CW.