During these scary times our world is facing, it’s nice to have an escape in the middle of the madness. Which is why Roswell, New Mexico couldn’t have timed its season 2 premiere better.
If we have to self-quarantine for the next couple of months, at least we have Roswell, New Mexico on Mondays.
I didn’t realize how much I missed this show until the season 2 premiere. It’s easier to distract yourself with something else — other shows, sports, reality TV. But when a really great show like Roswell, New Mexico returns, you stop what you’re doing and pay attention.
And considering where we left things after the season 1 finale, there were so many questions. Questions that only grew into more questions after this season premiere.
Of the characters that knew of Max’s death — Liz, Isobel, Michael and Rosa — they each seemed to represent one of the five stages of grief — denial, anger, depression and bargaining.
Thankfully there’s no acceptance. Because that would mean saying goodbye to Max forever, which we know couldn’t be further from the truth.
Let’s break down this amazing season premiere of Roswell, New Mexico, where these characters each represented one of the five stages of grief:
Denial – Isobel
For all that everyone lost, Isobel lost her other half. Her better half. Her brother. He’s been the one constant in her life, the one that’s kept her grounded. And now that he’s not there, she’s struggling.
While Isobel has perfected the art of pretending that everything is fine with Max, she’s had an outlet through which to grieve: The death of her husband/traitor Noah. While she couldn’t miss that asshole in the slightest, the fact that she lost someone that the world believes she lost, Isobel is allowed to grieve Max.
And it’s painful as hell.
Look no further than Noah’s funeral, which for Isobel served as the closest thing to Max’s funeral. Because they haven’t told anyone that Max is dead. Merely that he’s out of town. (Isobel and Liz even plan a nasty argument in front of everyone to illustrate that Max left town because Liz broke his heart.)
But watching Isobel stand in front of everyone, there was no way she could convince anyone that she missed Noah — no matter how good an actress she could be. So, she focused her attention on Max. For a moment, Isobel let herself not be in denial. And the floodgates overtook her. She felt overcome with emotion, the kind that she felt she could never recover from.
In allowing herself to grieve Max for a moment, Isobel realized just how painful it was. The kind of pain that she didn’t know if she could survive. So, she decided to push it away and embrace the denial again. It was easier, after all.
But for all that it’s worth, Isobel refuses to believe that Max is really gone. Perhaps that’s the one thing truly saving her from going over the edge completely. This belief that, if she can harness her powers to the fullest extent, that she can bring him back. She’s giving herself a purpose, and clinging to hope that Max will return — and that she’ll be the one to do it.
But there’s one thing that Isobel can’t deny, she’s pregnant with that jackass’s baby. SON OF A BITCH.
Anger – Michael
If there’s one thing we know about Michael Guerin, it’s that he doesn’t deal with grief in the best way. When he can’t simply brush it off — or make a joke — he embraces the anger that comes with the pain. Because it’s easier to blame someone else than be forced to feel the pain of heartbreak.
Whether that’s stumbling into funerals with a near-empty bottle of booze or making out with a random girl and getting in a bar fight, Michael is doing everything he can to embrace the anger because it’s better than feeling the grief that he knows is waiting for him.
And that’s exactly what’s happening with Michael. He’s lost his best friend, but he doesn’t exactly know who to blame here.
Because for all of the blame that Michael has placed on Max for what ultimately happened — the fact that he had to play hero — the truth is, Michael feels responsible. He feels like he should’ve been able to stop Noah. He feels like he could’ve saved Max. He feels like he should’ve been the one to die.
Obviously, Max is a big boy. He makes his own choices. He knew the risk that came with going up against Noah, and he took it. For all that he was, Max was a hero, a protector. And there was nothing in the world that was going to prevent Max from protecting the ones he loved.
Still, Michael is too proud to admit that he cares sometimes. Vulnerability is a struggle for him. Almost as if it’s perceived as weakness. But it’s not. So even as Alex sees that Michael is hurting — he doesn’t know the extent at the time — he reaches out to Michael. And what does Michael do? He tries to push him away.
“I don’t think we’re good for each other, and I want to be good for somebody,” Michael tells Alex, and he 100 percent believes it. Not that they’re not good for each other — that’s a straight up lie — but that he wants to be good for somebody. Specifically, he wants to be good for Alex. Not that he can exactly tell him that.
So Michael tells Alex that he doesn’t think they’re good for each other. Because that’s what Michael thinks Alex needs to hear in order to get the message — stay away, or you could end up like my best friend: Dead.
If anything, I just want to hug everyone in this episode for all of the pain that they’re feeling.
Depression – Liz
Liz has perfected the art of pretending that she’s alright. To the outside world, she’s strong, she’s in control, and nothing affects her — even the most crippling pain.
But we know better. Some of us are good at internalizing pain and hiding it from the outside world. And it doesn’t take us long to see that Liz is far from okay. In fact, she’s unhappy. And she’s hiding it from everyone, forcing herself to take on all of the pain by herself.
Why shouldn’t she be happy, Liz wonders. After all, she got her sister back. How many people get a second chance with a loved one that they lost? How many people have had someone they love give them the gift of a second chance with a family member?
It’s almost like Liz feels guilty. Because she’s not happy like she should be. Kind of like she’s acting ungrateful.
But Liz, like everyone else, needs to grieve. Even though she feels like she has to be the strong one. She sees Isobel breaking down, sees Michael’s anger and sees her sister struggling in her transition back to life. Liz feels like she needs to be the rock now that Max is gone. And it’s not fair to her to put that kind of pressure on herself.
Eventually, it comes to a breaking point in a hotel bathroom. It’s the first time she’s had alone with herself. And, out of nowhere, the grief strikes. And she can’t control it. She sobs in the bathroom, as Rosa listens, crying in the shower as water rains down on her and it’s impossible to notice what’s water and what’s Liz’s tears.
When Rosa confronts Liz about being unhappy, Liz realizes that’s not the case. It’s not unhappiness, it’s grief. She lost someone she loves deeply. She’ll never know what her life could’ve been with Max. And she’s left to wonder without him. It’s a terrifying weight, one she’s let bog her down for two weeks.
But Liz turned that depression into motivation. Motivation to defy outside expectations. The old men on boards that have told her to stay in her lane, that told her something like regeneration wasn’t possible. But she’s choosing to believe in herself. She knows she can do this.
And it was fucking beautiful.
Bargaining – Rosa
How does one react when they realize that they’ve been dead for 10 years only to be gifted with a second chance at life?
I’m not sure, but in my opinion, Rosa was doing a bang-up job of acclimating to a new world — one where aliens exist and apparently so is regeneration.
Aside from the nightmares that she’s been experiencing — that feature Noah — it seems like Rosa is doing fine. Turns out, it’s a lot harder to live if to the man that sacrificed his life so that you could live. Especially when that man was madly in love with your sister.
It doesn’t take long for Rosa to catch on to the fact that Liz is in pain. While she’s put on a brave face for Rosa over the last two weeks, even Liz can’t hide the grief that needs to come up.
Rosa wonders what makes her so special that she was spared? What did God see in her? Because she certainly doesn’t see it herself.
We soon see that Rosa has been struggling more than she’s let on. She’s struggling coming to grips with this second chance she’s been given. She wasn’t the best person before she died. When she learned that someone as noble and loving as Max exchanged his life for hers, she feels like she doesn’t deserve it.
Max should be the one still alive, she should’ve stayed dead.
But Liz reminds Rosa that this wasn’t God’s decision. Max made the trade, not God. Max wanted to do something amazing, and he brought her back to life. Max saw something in Rosa that was worth sacrificing himself for her life.
Now, Liz is going to return the favor.
Where did Maria’s mom go?
There’s nothing more chilling than watching Maria’s mom walking to the bar as “Zombie” plays and what appears to be a UFO popping up behind her.
Oh, and the fact that she disappeared — even as Maria was looking for her — is the kind of eerie stuff that’s sure to leave everyone talking.
WHERE THE HELL DID MAMA DELUCA GO?!
What’s wrong with Max?!
In the final moments of the premiere, we saw that the nightmares Rosa was having was merely Max trying to get in contact with her, seeing as they’re psychically linked.
But what was so important that Max was fighting so hard to get to her?
Apparently, Max knows that Liz is trying to bring him back to life. And he doesn’t want her to. In fact, Max begs Rosa to ensure Liz doesn’t bring him back to life. Whatever it takes, Rosa’s going to have to be the one to stop Liz.
Perhaps he didn’t want Noah’s heart. Or perhaps Max knows there’s bigger repercussions at stake here. The kind that could destroy everyone.
’90s music nostalgia was FIRE
I feel like this can’t be said enough. But the fact that Roswell, New Mexico is paying homage to the original series by playing the ’90s music of our childhoods is the kind of thing that separates this show from others.
It’s honoring the original show, staying true to the characters that grew up in that time and reminding everyone — including teenagers — that ’90s music was the freaking bomb.
I mean, just look at some of the songs that played tonight:
- “Zombie” – The Cranberries
- “Bitch” – Meredith Brooks
- “Santa Monica” – Everclear
Are. You. Freaking. Kidding. Me?!
I still have chills after that final montage featuring “Zombie.” Chills.
Roswell, New Mexico airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.