‘Roswell, New Mexico’ 1×09 Review: ‘Songs About Texas’

The great thing about Roswell, New Mexico is that it never takes an episode off. There’s never an episode that feels like filler. It’s a nonstop rollercoaster of emotions and revelations that always seem to take you by surprise — even when you’re theorizing to your best degree. It’s something to be said about the writing and direction of this show, but also to the strength of having a shorter season that doesn’t feel drawn out. (Other shows, take note. It’s best for the story.)

“Songs About Texas” reawakened my appreciation for Texas, an appreciation that hasn’t been recognized since Friday Night Lights. This was the kind of episode that most shows would use as your prototypical filler episode — road trip that gives you shipper feels — but it managed to deliver a fresh spin on the narrative and continue to provide OMG moments and revelations that feel even more significant as we approach the season’s end.

This episode also was a reunion of sorts as it reunited fans with the original Liz from Roswell, Shiri Appleby, who directed “Songs About Texas.” And it felt right. Especially in an episode where Liz got clarity and where Liz and Max had their “moment.”

Let’s discuss “Songs About Texas” that had us feeling all kinds of things for the great state of Texas and what it brought us.

A Time For Healing

Who would have thought that a “magical healer” would’ve united four stressed out adults each in search of answers? Well, that’s exactly what happened as Max and Maria, along with their trusty pals Michael and Liz, found themselves seeking out the truth from a healer named Arizona. Was she an alien like Max, Michael, and Isobel? Or was she a fraud? Would she have answers about that symbol? Could she help Maria’s mother?
The answer to all of the above was no, yes, kinda yes, and no.
But while Arizona ended up being a total fraud — which was made up for my her grandmother’s wisdom — Texas was the real healer here. I believe Max and Maria were drawn to this place for a reason. They needed someone to put their faith in when they thought there were no more answers and no more hope. And what they actually ended up finding was an escape and an opportunity to heal in the slightest of ways.
Max has shouldered all of the pain and blame when it comes to Isobel’s current condition. When you take into account that six weeks have passed from last week’s episode to now, it makes you wonder just how much pain he’s subjected himself to. He’s hardly left Isobel’s side to the effect of him sleeping in that cave, until it got too cold. More than that, Max refused to let himself enjoy any part of life while his sister wasn’t able to enjoy hers. The tortured hero wallowing in his pain. Sounds about right.
But it was in his conversations with Liz and giving himself a chance to just let loose for a short time that Max found a way to repair a part of his broken soul. Not that it’s fully healed. That comes with Isobel’s reintroduction into the world. But Max was able to let himself off the hook for awhile. It certainly helped having Liz forgive him for doing whatever it took to protect his sister. Because Liz would do whatever it took to protect her sister, how could she be mad at Max for doing that for his sister?
But it was also the idea of what Arizona was doing — healing those people that needed it — that forced Max to look within and question whether he was doing the world a disservice keeping his abilities to himself. If he has this power to help those in need, shouldn’t he use it? Even if it meant exposing himself as an alien? But, as Liz reassured him (with an assist from Kyle), not being able to save someone and killing them are two completely different things. And that seemed to give Max a little clarity in that department.
As far as Maria DeLuca — her own damn savior — goes, we saw just how much these past six weeks and her mother’s deteriorating condition have affected her. While Maria is a damn hero with incredible strength, even she isn’t immune to moments of vulnerability. We saw just how desperate she became when she sought the help of Arizona.
And when Michael exposed Arizona as a fraud we saw for a split second that pure anger that Maria is usually good at covering up slip through. So she did what she usually does? She tried to live in the moment and distract herself from the pain so that the anger doesn’t eat her up. And while Maria didn’t get any real clarity with her mother’s condition, this was a trip that Maria needed if only to escape the heavy emotions of her reality back in Roswell.

Texas Is Good For The Shipper Heart

I knew from the instant this trip to Texas became a road trip with Max, Michael, Liz, and Maria that shenanigans were going to ensue. And while I expected a ton of flirting between our two pairings in this situation — Max & Liz and Michael & Maria — I certainly didn’t expect the plethora of feels that Texas brought my shipper heart.
I can’t remember the last time — in the present — that Max and Liz have had positive vibes surrounding them. Where they could smile like the good ol’ days and fawn over each other like it was the most natural thing in the world. But somewhere in these six weeks — and during this Texas road trip — there was healing that allowed them to get to a place where they could move forward.
While technically Max and Liz’s kiss happened back in Roswell, it was the product of Texas. And while I could surely fangirl over the course of multiple paragraphs about that kiss, let us not forget about the conversation that really seemed to help both of them come to an understanding. There was a sense of innocence during this scene — heightened by the presence of swings that felt like a throwback — where Max and Liz let their walls down and really, truly listened to each other.
While this was mostly Liz listening to Max about his blaming himself and shouldering the guilt over Isobel’s current state, it was also Liz saying the words that helped her realize that she’d come to a place where she could forgive Max. Where she realized that, had the roles been reversed, she would’ve done anything to save her sister. While I’m not one that likes it when a character has to apologize for their completely understandable anger — and Liz’s was justifiable — it didn’t feel like she was telling Max that because she felt like she owed him forgiveness. It felt like she was saying it for herself, as well. Considering the state of anger that Liz had called home for quite some time, she owed it to herself to embrace the light.
Now, let’s talk about that kiss…

I mean…the second “Iris” started playing in the background, I knew something was going down. I felt a kiss coming. But I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Hell, who am I kidding? My hopes were completely up because at this point I’ve completely given my heart and emotional stability to this show.
This felt like a full-circle moment. Where originally this kiss was going to happen amidst secrets being withheld, when Liz finally decided to kiss Max it was knowing the complete truth and having come to a place where she was able to forgive and move forward. This was Liz choosing to be happy.
Now, let’s talk about our sexy, angry cowboy and our little Alanis-in-training…

I’m going to start this off by saying that I ship Michael and Alex. Like hard. Like hard-freaking-core. They’re OTP. But there’s also a part of me that’s really confused because I also ship Michael and Maria. But at this point I’m convinced that Michael is shippable with pretty much anyone. (I know we’re not supposed to play favorites, but Michael is my favorite, just saying.)
Given the fact that during these six weeks Alex found the time to end things with Michael and Michael was setting off to Texas with Maria there, I knew that there was going to be something that went down between them. There was flirting — a lot of flirting — but there was also a genuine sense of caring that might not always be verbalized but it’s there. That much has been established.
So when Michael and Maria get lost in the desert behind this bar and Michael kisses Maria to get some peace and quiet (sure, Michael), it felt like a moment that the tension and backstory had been building to. No grand declaration of love, but it was a moment that both of them needed in a way that wasn’t them using each other for sex. It was rooted in genuine feelings. And even if they’re not meant to be forever — and I’m a firm believer Michael and Alex are — maybe they’re meant to be right now.

A New Team Assembles

There’s a sort of beauty — a cold, dark beauty — the way that Alex, Kyle, and Cameron were brought together. Each of them had been forced into their current situations. While Alex and Kyle had been forced into this alien truth through their fathers, Cameron was blackmailed into it, by none other than Alex’s father. Again, a cold, dark beauty in their team-up.
And yet, weirdly, they make a good team. They each have their own motive — for Cameron it’s protecting her sister, for Alex it’s getting to know Michael, for Kyle it’s learning what really happened to his father.
If this new trio didn’t pose a threat to Max, Michael, and Isobel, then I’d be all aboard this no questions asked. But the thing here that’s easy to overlook is that they’re trying to do the right thing. They’re trying to discover this alien mass murderer; they’re trying to bring justice to these people that were murdered; they’re trying to protect everyone.
Of course the threat here is that they take a similar path that Alex and Kyle’s fathers did. Where they get in too deep and where they push too far. But isn’t that the point of history? To learn from it? There seems to be a parallel between Alex and Kyle and their fathers, and it doesn’t feel like they’re destined to follow down the same paths as their fathers so much as it feels destined as they’re to go down a different — hopefully better — path in seeking justice. But I guess only time will tell.

A New Threat

So, let’s talk about this fourth alien. We’re all thinking Tess, right? Because that’s where my mind immediately jumped to. Though it could be because I already view her as an impending threat that’s more likely to come in season 2 (once The CW gives it to us. We’re waiting here.)
But things certainly took a more serious turn now that it appears that there’s a serial alien murder that’s been in Roswell dating back prior to 2008, which means that Isobel is clearly not it. While there were only three pods that were found in that cave, that doesn’t mean that others didn’t land elsewhere. For all we know, it could be more than one.
Don’t even begin to ask me who it is, because I’ll say Tess. It’s the easy answer. It’s the lazy answer. It’s also my cop out for not having a damn clue.

Other Random Thoughts…

  1. These writers are doing everything they can to make me want EVERYTHING. I ship Michael and Alex. But I also ship Michael and Maria. But I ship Michael and Alex more. But I wouldn’t mind some Michael and Maria for a little bit.
  2. But seriously MALEX. ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME HERE? Alex choosing not to walk away because he believes this is something worth fighting for. Michael with THE LOOK. This is OTP, ladies and gentlemen!
  3. Can we make this Karaoke thing a Roswell, New Mexico tradition? Because I thoroughly enjoyed Maria DeLuca’s angelic voice and these angsty, stressed characters getting a night to just breathe without the weight of the world on their shoulders.
  4. If it weren’t for the fact that Cameron potentially could expose/threaten Max, Michael, and Isobel then I would LOVE LOVE LOVE her. “I can break 12 bones in your body in less than a second and a half. Who you calling girl?”
  5. What does Noah plan on doing now that he knows where Isobel is? Also, why the hell was he so calm after seeing that Isobel was in a pod? That’s the scary kind of calm that never ends well.
  6. Arizona might’ve been a fraud, but Texas was certainly the real thing.
  7. If you had to pick to stay in the Jalapeno Room or the Alamo Room, which would you choose? I guess I’d have to take the peppers over the murder, if it’s me.
  8. Max reading his writings to Isobel as she “sleeps” was just GAH so cute.
  9. No, but for real, is Tess this other alien that poses this serious threat? Because she is a serious threat, well to Max and Liz. And possibly all of these people. I NEED ANSWERS.

Roswell, New Mexico airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on The CW.

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