‘Roswell, New Mexico’ 2×09 Review: “The Diner”

There’s something to be said for television that makes you think — even more so for television that makes you doubt what you were thinking before. In a way, it keeps you on your toes. It keeps you honest. And it keeps you glued to your screen begging for more.

That’s where I found myself with Roswell, New Mexico, which managed to beautifully craft the telling of a day from different points of views and happenings in this world. But perhaps most impressive was this show’s ability to completely shock me — without having to kill someone or make someone sob uncontrollably (at least until the end with Michael.)

I appreciate television that keeps me on the edge of my seat. That makes me second guess what I’m thinking as I’m watching. That makes me understand the important of perception — in that it’s not necessarily truth but something we’ve already preconceived in our minds.

Let’s discuss Roswell, New Mexico‘s ninth episode, “The Diner.”

Worth the Risk?

The CW

For everything good in the world, there’s something bad. Specifically, for people looking to do good in the world, there’s someone out there looking to use their work for bad.

We learned of that firsthand with Charlie Cameron, who created a genetic coding invention that could save millions. But, as we learned, it could also be used to wipe out entire races with a specific genetic code — genocide.

Now, Liz finds herself in a peculiar predicament. After regenerating an alien heart — and bringing her alien boyfriend back from the dead — Liz has learned so much more than she did before. So it’s no surprise to see Liz, who wants to exact real, positive change in the world, still experimenting on alien DNA.

Liz tells Kyle that she things she might have a breakthrough — an idea about how she can use what she’s learned to save millions. Considering aliens have never been sick, Liz hypothesizes that where Max, Isobel and Michael come from, it was similar to Earth — only more evolved. Basically, their immune systems were already prepared for the influx of viruses experienced here on Earth. Liz believes she can use alien DNA to create a universal vaccine — one that cure most ailments responsible for the deaths of millions.

But at what cost?

That’s the question. And it’s an important question.

If Liz were to go public with her alien research, she would be putting herself and Max, Isobel, Michael and Rosa at risk. Although she wouldn’t let that happen. But, as we’ve seen with Charlie, you can’t exactly stop the bad guys from coming.

Although, the timing of Stef’s revelation — that she’s dying from a rare blood disease — couldn’t be better. Liz decides to play scientist, taking the straw that Stef drank from her milkshake and bagging it for future use.

Liz already said she wants to create a vaccine — one that can save Stef. But Kyle remains adamant that it’s not the best course of action. But since when has Liz ever taken no for an answer?

I can’t help but be worried for Liz that her research — that anything she might discover — will find her in a similar position as Charlie Cameron, who is being hunted for her creations.

There’s a lot that can go wrong, sure. Liz can be targeted. Max, Isobel, Michael and even Rosa can be put at risk. But is the risk worth making a world-changing revelation that can ultimately help the good of mankind?

Not All Manes Men Are Monsters

John Golden Britt/The CW

The one constant that Alex Manes has known is that, ultimately, Manes men are monsters. They’re selfish, they hurt the innocent for their own gains and they’re the reason why he can’t be with the love of his life.

Although — after this episode — I find myself more confident than ever that Michael and Alex will find a way back to each other in the end. Because this episode showed us — most importantly, showed Alex that it’s possible for a Manes man to protect and care for aliens.

Since this show introduced the 1947 flashbacks this season, we were introduced to the first hint of where Max, Isobel and Michael came from. We met their mothers — two strong, brave women that were determined to protect their children at all costs. And we met Tripp Manes, who seemed to be the worst kind of Manes man.

Until he wasn’t.

And I call that a mother-fucking revelation.

Roswell, New Mexico always manages to surprise in the most pleasant ways. It’s not always these painful cliffhangers that leave our hearts in tatters — although those are certainly plentiful. But it’s revelations that make us second guess ourselves — that prove us wrong even as we were so convinced of what we thought was true.

Learning that Tripp Manes, who we believed was determined to destroy Nora and Louise, was actually trying to help these aliens — that shit actually blew my mind.

Because I never would’ve guessed it. I’d always thought that Alex would be the one Manes man to break the cycle of violence, ignorance and hatred. But, it turns out, not all Manes men are monsters. Tripp set the trend early.

Which must really irk Jesse Manes, who idolized him growing up. He’d always believed that he was fighting for what was right — when he actually was. Although, in the Manes men’s minds, right is actually wrong.

Honestly, this entire episode — in regards to Tripp Manes — was a work of art in the importance of understanding that it’s all about perception. We all went into this episode believing that Tripp Manes was a monster. Why? Because they all were — minus Alex. So, in knowing that, we didn’t even question that — of course — he was responsible for harming Nora and Louise.

Hell, as we saw in the revised flashbacks, it was his brother (I believe) that shot Bronson, not Tripp. While Tripp did appear to shoot Louise, we learned that he was actually saving her.

Talk about two-for-one in the shocking, flashback revelation department. Turns out, Louise — Max and Isobel’s mother — survived the raid. When Tripp shot her, he didn’t kill her. He helped her escape. And, you figure, that Tripp’s intention was to do the same thing for Nora. But, as we already know, he couldn’t save her.

Still, what does this mean about Max and Isobel’s mom? Could she still be alive? After all, Michael’s mom was alive in Caulfield before the facility exploded. Things. Just. Got. Interesting. Well, they’ve always been, but you know what I mean.

Vindicated

John Golden Britt/The CW

No one can fault Sheriff Valenti for being a smart woman. After all, her belief that Max murdered Noah is 100 percent correct. Not that she can know that. Besides, the bastard had it coming.

Still, Valenti’s belief that Max was behind it — which made him look guilty for other crimes, like the kidnappings of Mimi DeLuca and the Cameron sisters — had to be resolved. And I think we all knew the real truth wasn’t going to be that resolution.

Almost immediately, I thought this would all end with Isobel mind-warping Sheriff Valenti. Which, to be fair, is a natural reaction. Because in serious situations like this, it calls for Isobel to use her powers. The only thing is, Kyle had his mom protected from any alien happenings that could be coming — giving her perfume laced with yellow powder, which blocks alien abilities.

So, Max had to handle this situation with a truth. Not the truth — that Max killed Noah, a controlling, murdering psychopath with a bolt of lighting — but a truth that would satisfy Sheriff Valenti.

Which is exactly what Max gave her. He told her the truth about his heart problem — which we all remember, as we cried our fucking eyes out. Max told her he was unconscious at the time when Mimi and Cam went missing. Which was also true. As for why he lied about his heart condition, Max said he wanted so badly to be back on the force — at full strength — that he didn’t want to jeopardize that. He wanted to make her proud.

And, in a way, Max also came clean about Noah’s death. He told Valenti about the many deaths that Noah was linked to. He told her how Noah controlled and manipulated his sister for years. And he told her the truth about what happened to Noah — that a bolt of lightning killed (again, not wrong) and that he deserved it.

The only question now is: Will Max get his job back at the Sheriff’s office?

Other Thoughts

John Golden Britt/The CW
  • This show continues to surprise me in how it can drop bombshells that I never would’ve expected.
  • I also appreciated how we got to see how different events all led back to one place — the Crashdown diner, hence the episode title.
  • Sorry, still not a fan of Kyle and Stef — even as they’re trying to sell it. You can’t force things.
  • Speaking of not forcing things, there was more chemistry in that scene of Isobel chewing out Kyle than Kyle and Stef had that whole episode. #sorrynotsorry
  • I’m now 100 percent convinced that whole Charlie Cameron stuff was complete foreshadowing as to what’s going to happen with Liz.
  • I don’t know about Stef, but Kyle Valenti can pity kiss me anytime he’d like.
  • The fact that old man Walt was nearly brought to tears thinking back to the family he had for a year and a half — with Bronson, Nora and Louise — nearly brought me to tears.
  • Michael brought up a fair point — was his mom just here to protect Max, the savior?
  • Like, I understand his natural reaction jumping to that — Max has gotten everything he didn’t. Still, he might be on to something.
  • Or, he could be overthinking it, and his mom was worried about him, as she’s always been.
  • I LOVE that Isobel got to be in on this history lesson. While it’s been amazing to have Michael learning about his mom, Isobel deserves to learn about her mom, as well.
  • The fact that old man Walt tried to adopt Michael — the son Nora had told him about — but they wouldn’t let him, made me feel a whirl of emotions.
  • When Michael Guerin cries, we all cry.
  • MICHAEL GUERIN DESERVES TO BE LOVED.
  • HE ALWAYS HAS BEEN.
  • Props to Alex for not letting his father bring him down anymore. He’s just using him for information, and I’m here for it.
  • But, as it turns out, Jesse Manes is using his son for information, too.
  • Michael calling Alex to talk over an emotional family situation should tell you everything you need to know #endgame
  • Also, Alex is the fucking MVP of this episode.
  • He suggested perhaps Tripp had good intentions — then he BACKED IT UP WITH RECEIPTS. #legend

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

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