For the second straight week, I find myself asking: Where the hell do I even begin with this review?
Roswell, New Mexico’s season two finale was the antithesis of last year’s finale in all the best ways. Last season, I was sobbing at this time. Now, I feel hopeful. Even as Liz and Max & Michael and Alex go their separate ways. It feels like a fresh start. Where everyone gets to focus on themselves for a change, whereas every episode since last year’s finale has been about Max.
But this episode still did everything a finale needed to do. It dropped some bombshells, it brought the angst to our favorite ships, and it left us with a major question to be answered when season 3 picks up.
The only question I have now is: How the hell am I supposed to wait so long for the next chapter?
Let’s discuss the season finale of Roswell, New Mexico‘s second season, titled “Mr. Jones.”
The Importance of Self Discovery
There’s something to be said about the importance of individuality, of self discovery. It’s something that can certainly get lost in a relationship, as Liz discovered this season. For now, Liz and Max need to go their separate ways. Because before they can work together, they need to work individually.
Ultimately, the fundamental aspect of Liz Ortecho has been compromised from the start of this series. She is, at her core, a scientist. When this series began, it was about her remaining in Roswell to discover the truth about her sister. It was more for a selfish purpose than anything. Not to mention this entire season has been about Liz trying to help save Max. Everything was about Max, so when he finally was alive again, she allowed herself to start focusing on herself again. Now that she has Max and Rosa, she’s looking past what she can do on a small scale and how she can ultimately help people and leave her lasting impression on the world.
When it comes to Max, he hasn’t been the same person we knew since he came back to life. As his memories started unlocking, he found this inner desire to know the full truth about himself. Something that we all deserve. Much like Isobel’s quest has allowed her to grow into her full self, that’s the kind of clarity Max is searching for.
But with both Liz and Max focused on their self-discovery – Liz as a scientist and Max as his alien half – they’ve come to a place where they can’t accomplish that and still be together. Which is a harsh reality to come to grips to. These two love each other. But, sometimes, love isn’t enough.
Earlier in this episode, there was this parallel between their senior year and the present. An opportunity to run away together. To California, where Liz got an opportunity for a grant and to help her dad with citizenship. When you’re a teenager, it’s easy to believe that a love that strong is the most important thing in the world. But as you get older, you realize that you owe it to yourself to do what’s best for you.
Now, that’s not to say that Liz and Max won’t get to a place in their lives where they can be together again – because we know that’s going to happen – but right now they’re holding each other back. But once they’ve discovered themselves as individuals, they’ll be in the place where they can be with each other again. Because we’ve seen with Liz and her past relationship with Diego that the science wasn’t enough. Something was missing. Love.
We’re seeing that with Isobel, as well. While she’s come to a point in her life where she feels the most like herself that she’s ever felt in her life, she still misses being in love, being in a relationship. This season has been about self-discovery for Isobel, and it’s been an empowering journey. She’s grown so much, and she’s come out even stronger.
Now, the next step is finding someone to spend her life with. Again. Only, this time, it’ll be her choice and not some mind-controlling alien. What I love about this show is that it’s not forcing romance on anyone. Isobel had no business being in any kind of relationship this season, and she wasn’t. Which was the right decision. She needed to find inner peace first. Now, it’s a natural progression to the relationship part of her journey. And I love it.
Personally, I’m hoping Isobel ends up with Kyle, because you can’t kill that kind of chemistry. I don’t think they’ve had a scene since the episode in the club where their chemistry was sizzling off the screen. And that’s no mistake. You can try to keep characters apart, but if the chemistry is that strong, it’s going to shine through anyway. Roswell, New Mexico is a show built on slowburns. You have to earn it. And I’m willing to wait for it.
In keeping with the theme of self-discovery, Maria is taking a daring risk in choosing not to wear the bracelet Michael made to limit her alien abilities and prevent brain damage. Michael begged her not to – he didn’t want to see her wasting away – but Maria feels this instinct within her to want to protect people. While her mom may appear to be going crazy, she’s not actually crazy at all. She still continues to help people, which is what Maria wants to continue to do. Maria wants to help people with her abilities, even if that means sacrificing part of herself.
Maria’s journey is so much more than her relationship with Michael, and she understood that when she broke up with him. Right now, she needs to focus on herself and understanding these gifts that she has.
Then there’s Rosa, who is taking her second chance seriously. While the offer to go with Liz to California and start anew must’ve been appealing, Rosa understood that she had unfinished business. And if she had any hope of getting better, she has to see rehab through.
And watching her explain that to her mother, who hasn’t been able to get better all these years, was so satisfying. Rosa finally believes that she is worthy of redemption, that she can have the kind of life she was meant to have. And that’s the most important step of all.
The Guerins and Manes are cosmically drawn together
There are no words to describe how beautiful the discovery that the Guerins and Manes are cosmically drawn together. For all that’s been made of the pain that Alex’s family has caused Michael and his family, it was so satisfying to discover that it wasn’t the case at all. So before we dive into the beauty that is Michael and Alex, let’s start with the first set of Guerins and Manes that found each other.
Watching Nora’s past journey this season has been quite a ride. On the surface, it could’ve been predictable, bland. But there were so many different intricacies of this entire alien backstory that really put us in the shoes of Max, Isobel and Michael as they were learning about it. The emotional impact was not to be taken lightly.
So as we essentially wrapped that chapter – although I’m convinced there’s more there with Nora and Tripp – seeing that Nora Guerin and Tripp Manes fell in love wasn’t really a surprise. No, because we know how easy it is for a Guerin and a Manes to fall in love.
All along, Tripp has been helping Nora. He’s helped her keep Louise safe. To keep Michael, Isobel and Max safe. He’s helped her gather parts to build her communication device. And they fell in love in the process. I was shocked how much that affected me – I cursed that they didn’t get more time, that we didn’t get more time with them. But perhaps they’ll get another chance, through their descendants.
Through all of the troubles that Michael and Alex have experienced over these two seasons, the one thing that I’ve never wavered in is that they’re meant to be. But meant to be doesn’t always mean right now. Sometimes, it takes time. Sometimes, it’s not the right time. Sometimes, you have to remind yourself of that.
It’s not Michael and Alex’s time right now, but you bet damn well that it will be.
Watching Alex sing a song that he wrote for Michael – as Michael stood there – IT WAS A FREAKING MOMENT. The fact that, even after all these years, that those same emotions resonate with both of them is a reminder that kind of love doesn’t go away. It stays with you. I don’t think we ever doubted that Michael and Alex ever stopped loving each other. Even when they used it in the past tense. That love has always been there, and it will remain there. Until they choose to act on it.
But, much like Liz and Max or Michael and Maria, they’re at a point in their lives where they can’t be together right now. They’re on their own paths. Michael knows that their story has been a sad one, and that he needs to walk away and let Alex to have a happy one – like Michael had with Maria – if Michael and Alex are ever going to have a happy story of their own.
The most important thing that came out of Michael’s conversation with Isobel at the Wild Pony was that he acknowledged that it’s not their time right now. And Isobel, girl took the words right out of my mouth when she said, “But it will be.”
“I think so,” Michael says.
The importance of that statement should not go unnoticed. Michael is someone that hasn’t let himself think of a future, let alone a future with anyone. And now, he’s acknowledging that he believes he has a future with Alex.
WHAT. A. FREAKING. MOMENT.
I’d like to revise what Michael said: “I know so.”
These slowburns will be the death of me. But when they’re finally together, it will have been so worth it.
Let’s talk about the alien twist
You know, people need to start listening to Isobel more often. You know, when she was like, let’s think about this before opening this strange alien door that could lead them to God knows who. Obviously, that’s not going to happen in a season finale. That door is going to be opened every time.
Roswell, New Mexico’s second season has been about exploring more of the origin of Max, Isobel and Michael’s alien history. We’ve gotten to learn about their crash landing on earth through the eyes of Nora (Michael’s mom), Louise (Isobel’s mom) and Tripp (Alex’s great grand-uncle). But now, we’re about to flip the page and learn the next part of this story. Specifically how it pertains to Max being “the savior” and the person behind that door that should’ve stayed shut.
Now, we’re presented with an interesting storyline regarding a parental figure. Now, obviously since the alien that was behind the door was like a carbon copy of Max, that’s his father. While Michael and Isobel didn’t get an opportunity to see their parents like this, Max does. The only thing is, Max’s dad appears to be the enemy. The stowaway on the ship that tried to hurt Louise and him, when he was younger. This was the person hunting them. And now, Max just let the cat out of the bag.
Roswell, New Mexico airs Mondays at 9/8c on The CW.