Tuesday, April 14, 2020

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Time Is Running Out for Liz, Kyle and Michael to Save Max in 'I'll Stand by You'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 2.05 "I'll Stand by You"

The discovery of some complications with Max's pod forces Liz, Michael and Isobel to confront the possibility that they may not be able to save him. Elsewhere, Maria and Alex make amends.

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.

"I'll Stand by You" was written by Alanna Bennett & Jason Gavin and directed by Kimberly McCullough

Time is running out to save Max. Liz, Michael and Isobel have to reckon with the idea that Max may not even want to be brought back to life. He made the decision to save Rosa. He did so because he loved Liz. He was willing to give up his life for her to be happy. The show articulates that is the kind of heroism he abides by. Of course, some can easily see it as fundamentally selfish and annoying. It makes him come across as the person who always presumes to know what's best while robbing people of the agency to make their own choices. He wants to die because he can just sense that the dark energy swelling inside of him because he brought Rosa back will lead to him killing someone he loves. He doesn't know that for certain. He just believes he won't be able to control himself and his loved ones won't be able to defend themselves against the monster he now sees himself as. Again, that's him believing he knows the people in his life. However, everyone was willing to work together towards this common goal. Rosa may stand in their way a little bit because she is still figuring out how to exist once more. Here, she realizes that her DNA may have changed after being in the pod for a decade. She may have some of Max's electric-based powers now too. That comes in handy during the fateful surgery that will seal Max's fate. Rosa makes that choice because she believes in her sister. Max pleads with her to do whatever it takes to ensure he dies. He is monstrous in that way. It's scary to watch. This is the man who brought her back. And now, Rosa may be more scared of him than ever before. Isobel is the one willing to knock her out with a book. But Max is the one demanding her to take action without offering her the ability to think about it any other way. It's all complicated but Rosa does what she does because of her great love for her sister. Liz believes she has the ability to save Max's life. She is willing to do so even if he will only survive for a few minutes. She wants him to be comfortable but she also wants to have that time together. Isobel finds a way to communicate with her brother. It's shocking that it took her this long to think of using Rosa's psychic connection to him to have a discussion about what should be done. She respects that this is his choice to make. In the abstract though, she understands why he is making it. Being in the pod is actually torture for him. It isn't like the peaceful existence that others have experienced. That isn't the true reason though. Isobel deduces that when she actually gets to communicate with him. That conversation reveals a new layer to the situation. One that motivates her into the opposite direction believing that he is being selfish and destructive for presuming to know what's best. The aliens have long been a fractured family. They fight. They push each other away. They deflect responsibility. They can't do that forever though. They have to remain bonded against whatever threats may lurk out there in the world. They are deserving of peace and happiness too. Liz fights for that. Isobel and Michael come around to that thinking as well. All it takes is a new perspective. One that allows them to reshape how they approach this situation. It may still be dangerous because of the person that wakes up after the surgery and subsequent coma. However, these characters have already evolved from their complicated pasts. Sure, the show has probably outgrown the flashbacks to the teenage years of these characters. There is not much more that could be added to the audience's understanding of them back then. But it does make it more powerful when the various characters show up to support each other in the present despite how increasingly scary and weird their worlds are becoming. They can at least unify behind that core friendship before venturing into the next unknown. Of course, it's a forced plot point that Maria wants to respect her mother's privacy when a clue is probably hiding right there as to what happened when she disappeared. But it's also sweet and rewarding to see her show up for Liz after Max's surgery despite her still being upset that this secret was kept from her for so long by all of her friends. Growth can only happen when people are willing to have those honest conversations with each other and to be present in the actual relationships.