Tuesday, January 29, 2019

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Liz Delves Into Rosa's Past While Max Continues to Lash Out in 'Tearin' Up My Heart'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 1.03 "Tearin' Up My Heart"

After uncovering some unsettling information about Max, Liz runs a series of tests to see what his powers may be capable of. Michael and Isobel take matters into their own hands after learning that Liz may be getting too close to Max. Liz enlists Maria's help as she goes on a scavenger hunt across Roswell to uncover more about Rosa's final days.

In 2018, there were 495 scripted shows airing amongst the linear channels and streaming services. The way people are consuming content now is so different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, there is less necessity to provide ample coverage of each specific episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site is making the move to shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of The CW's Roswell, New Mexico.

"Tearin' Up My Heart" was written by Rick Montano & Vincent Ingrao and directed by Geoff Shotz

This show completely plays to the romantic aspect of the feelings Liz and Max have for each other. When Isobel decides to delve into Liz's mind to convince her to leave town and never return, she sees that this love is genuine. It is felt by both people. And yet, the show may actually be more fascinating if it's a look at just how toxic and destructive this kind of behavior can become from someone who can't process his emotions when the one thing he has obsessed over rebuffs those emotions to his face. Max has said over and over again how he is completely in love with Liz. He has been since the day he first saw her. He has all of these memories that carry so much weight for him even though she barely recalls a lot of things that happened in high school. She's much more interested in solving what actually happened to her sister the night that she died. She now knows that aliens were involved in some way. As such, she has to look at Max, Isobel and Michael with suspicion. The show has asked the audience to do that exact same thing since the very first episode. But again, it also wants the viewer to believe in the connection between Liz and Max. That everything that is being cryptically teased about something more nefarious going on in the past may actually just be one big misunderstanding. Sure, that would be a pretty lame reveal in order to keep the show a sweeping and emotional melodrama. However, it makes an impact in that very last scene when Max is spiraling out and immediately wreaks havoc on the entire town. Jesse Manes has been a very one-note character so far. He is a conservative military guy who is leading up this mysterious government conspiracy. Of course, no one else seems to work for him despite the influence that he has in Roswell. He notes that aliens have to be treated like terrorists in that they need to be stopped before they can commit an act of mass destruction. That's the proper way to do this job that also has parallels to real-life without any science fiction whatsoever. He believes he's right. And now, the case could easily be presented about Max being a threat to this area. He's not in control of any aspect of his life. He's a jerk for professing his feelings to Liz while also trying to keep his romantic connection with Jenna developing. Then, he continues to tell everyone that there is no problem even though he's one beat away from punching anyone he sees. And now, he bears his heart out once more only to once again be deprived of the thing he wants the most. Liz is running tests on him at the start of this hour to possibly explain and fix whatever is wrong with him. It's something that doesn't seem to make any biological sense. It's a direct result of him using his alien powers in order to bring Liz back to life. The side effects are over for her but they aren't for him. That could be a very lame way to explain why Max is becoming such a toxic and dangerous individual. Some excuse could be presented that shows that he's not really to blame for any of this. For the moment though, it remains a fascinating condemnation of toxic masculinity and the inability to properly address one's feelings and channel them through appropriate actions. Max is very codependent on Isobel and Max. When they aren't there to support him through the worst of it, something bad happens. Sure, the town may be oblivious to the true cause for the blackout for awhile. But the hints of something much more sinister are very prevalent as well. And yet, the show still wants to play both sides of this conflict which may not be very effective for a long time at all.