Monday, June 15, 2020

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Max, Michael and Isobel Discover the Threat That Haunted Their Parents in 'Mr. Jones'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 2.13 "Mr. Jones"

Having realized that a deadly threat has infiltrated CrashCon, the busiest event of the year, Liz realizes that she can't save everyone she loves - and with Max facing immediate danger, she and Isobel must make a heart-wrenching choice. Michael finds himself caught up in the conflict between Jesse and Alex once again, even as Maria's life hangs in the balance elsewhere. Kyle faces a moral dilemma when the enemy requires medical attention.

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 season finale of The CW's Roswell, New Mexico.

"Mr. Jones" was written by Christopher Hollier & Carina Adly MacKenzie and directed by Jeffrey Hunt

Of all the actors in this ensemble to task with the narrative burden of a dual role, Nathan Dean probably shouldn't have been the first choice. That is the shocking revelation this entire season has been building up. Yes, there are a lot of satisfying resolutions that come throughout this finale. However, that final tease is the show continuing to blow this world apart by showing just how little everyone knows about the aliens. Nora and Louise feared this stowaway from their ship. He caused the crash that has destroyed so many lives. The show itself has focused on the human stories. Some have feared the presence of aliens. Others have celebrated this incredible advancement for the understanding of the known universe. Liz's mind sees nothing but possibilities. And yet, she is thwarted from pursuing her research to the full extent of her ambition. That is frustrating to her. It means she feels hurt and betrayed by Max over and over again. He is doing everything to protect his family. But he also scares Liz with the image of trying to kill Flint Manes. So much was happening at CrashCon. It was a race to save the town and protect the aliens from being exposed. It does have a fatal conclusion. Jesse Manes is just the only character to die. It is quickly revealed that Max's heart didn't give out, Flint will survive his encounter with Max, Maria is the only alien who could have survived being close to the alien weapon, Liz deactivates the alien technology before it explodes and Michael obtains the weapon that could be used to kill every member of the Manes family. It's a lot. That was the state of the world as the penultimate episode created. After that, it is all about the personal revelations. That is a welcome development because the characters are much more entertaining and engaging than the various plot mechanics that dictate their fears and actions. But it's still building to that momentous moment in which Max, Michael and Isobel realize the mysterious Mr. Jones is actually a Max lookalike. The show has spent two seasons already highlighting the duality of Max's life. He is a romantic who is so protective of those he cares about. But he also feels this blinding rage that can lead to him killing. He feels like all of this is part of his DNA. Michael and Isobel are special because they have the answers they need about their lineages. Max is still in the dark. This twist would seemingly offer Nathan Dean the chance to go all-in as villainous. That could be a lot of fun. He has to remain somewhat grounded and torn as Max because that character still has to be seen as a valid romantic lead for Liz. That has been difficult to accept at times. Here, he destroys the lab without telling her because he fears what Diego could discover. He doesn't want to risk any of the alien secrets coming out. But he will still take the antidote that can push him further to the truth. That truth just may be a horrifying nightmare. One that defines every dark impulse he has ever felt in his life. He is an addict. Liz has been around that behavior for so much of her life. She cuts her mom off completely. She is happy that Rosa will be returning to rehab to complete the program. She ends her relationship with Max to focus on her career. She has been fighting to escape Roswell and the pressures she is continually under there. She succeeds with that dream here. She accepts an offer that is too good to be true. That may ensure that she is destined to return to this town and all of its drama. She may be unable to escape it. She wants to make an impact on the world. She does so by curing Steph of her disease. Kyle appreciates that. He can express a wide range of emotions when he interacts with Liz. Max cannot do that. He remains conflicted and confused. That doesn't make for the most engaging drama. Michael can operate in a similar way. And yet, this season has been one of profound growth for him. His relationship with Maria may end here. However, he walks away with the understanding that he has to process those emotions before embracing something that could be wonderful with Alex. It's painful but that is a moment of catharsis. Two people may belong together but the timing has to be just right to ensure they are healthy for one another. This show may feature life-or-death stakes with alien mythology all the time. But it's the personal drama that often creates the more rewarding stories. Balancing those two impulses may be a burden that always creates an unfair obstacle on the show. But it also ensures that there is always a reason to watch because these characters have grown even though the world gets more insane with each episode.