Monday, April 6, 2020

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Michael and Alex Search for What Happened to Nora and Louise in 'What If God Was One of Us?'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 2.04 "What If God Was One of Us?"

On the verge of a breakthrough in her quest to save Max, Liz turns to Kyle for one last favor that could potentially land him in hot water. Michael and Alex's investigation into Nora leads them to a farm, where they meet a historian named Forrest. Cameron confronts Jesse Manes about her sister's whereabouts. Isobel uses her powers for good.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides 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.

"What If God Was One of Us?" was written by Steve Stringer & Christopher Hollier and directed by Shiri Appleby

Every now and again, a series has to produce an episode that just advances the various plots forward. It's annoying but necessary for the overall narrative. It doesn't have to be boring and seemingly disconnected. However, the various stories of this episode never really manage to build much momentum. Yes, they all have value and substance for what the stories have been doing for awhile now. It just feels like notes that the show has done or was expected to do. There isn't a whole lot actually being challenged. That's disappointing because the show has had a stronger focus this season. In this episode, there are flashbacks to the past and even more suspicion that something otherworldly is happening in Roswell once more. The idea of found family in times of uncertainty has been a profound element of the show. That is apparent in so many stories. Nora and Louise survive in the past because they form that bond with a local rancher on the Long land. Their history withstands time so it's easy for Michael and Alex to dig it when they go looking for it. It's probably too easy. It all feels like a story being told to the characters with no real emotional substance. Sure, it's tragic that Michael, Max and Isobel's parents wanted to take them back home and were prevented from doing so by the American government. And yet, it's a mostly hollow dynamic because it's expected at this point. The military refuses to see them as anything more than creatures that wish to destroy this world. That is still the mentality in the present day. That's what makes it strange when Jesse Manes is out of the hospital and mostly not doing much. He is fiddling with his gun and providing Cameron with whatever answers she needs about where her sister might be. He suggests that he hasn't made any moves against the Evans siblings because of some predestined story that seems to be playing out in Roswell. He has suddenly been ripped of any sense of agency. That allows the narrative to relax a little bit while it builds up steam with these various stories. It wants it to be important that Cameron is searching for her sister. A lot of time is spent talking about her. And then, Cameron is seemingly taken by the same mysterious force that took Maria's mother. Meanwhile, Maria's nowhere to be found here. That is apparently what happens when one of the characters suggests to the rest that they need space. That literally happens. That means any kind of emotional growth while dealing with these issues happens offscreen. It's referenced that Maria and Rosa are still talking. That is about it though. And then, Kyle also tells Liz that he is going to need space from her as soon as they succeed in bringing Max back to life. She is so determined to make that happen. It's her sole driving action this season. She isn't wrestling with the morality of it all knowing that Max doesn't want to be brought back. She doesn't even know that's how he feels. She just believes he's getting stronger and she has to act more boldly to ensure she's prepared when this transplant needs to occur. That is going to be soon too. But the show also suggests that Kyle has a much more easy and relaxed dynamic with Liz. With Max, it's very much a tortured romance. One that the show plays as inevitable. As such, there is never any real sense that things could happen with Kyle even though that should present as a valid option. Again, there is a lot happening here. It means things start and stop at random. Big moments happen like Arturo learning that Rosa has been brought back to life. It wouldn't be surprising if Isobel convinces the entire town next that a miracle has taken place. She could completely reshape the narrative of Rosa's life where she is no longer the villain who killed two people. She could do that in an instant. It would still showcase the immense power that aliens have over humans. And that may ultimately prove the point that these creatures simply operate with that superiority without understanding the consequences of their actions. That concern should remain centered around Isobel and expanding her abilities. But again, the progress has to be both significant and entertaining. Right now, it's just the plot points being hit to advance the story along.