Monday, August 2, 2021

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Jones Shares Details with Isobel and Michael About Their Home World in 'Give Me One Reason'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 3.02 "Give Me One Reason"

Jones fills Michael and Isobel in on bits from the past as they look for a way to save Max's life. Meanwhile, Maria goes to extremes to try and stop a murder. In order to move forward in her research, Liz will have to face her past.

In 2020, the television industry aired 493 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.

"Give Me One Reason" was written by Eva McKenna & Deirdre Mangan and directed by Lance Anderson

This show embraces long-form mysteries in its storytelling. In the first season, it was driven by solving who was responsible for Rosa's death. The second season was similarly interested in learning how what happened to Michael and Isobel's mothers informs the present for the aliens. It's an admirable way to tell stories in this medium. It's featured this year too with who is dead in Maria's visions. However, it's pleasant when the show is more upfront with answers than it typically is. In the past, the show would enjoy teasing the nature of Michael's lineage and abilities even more. It's just now dawned on someone to comment on how he never seems to deal with side effects after using his powers. In hindsight, that could retroactively be true. Or it could simply be a way to embrace something new with him in examining his own identity. According to Jones' story, the Dictator took over the home world for the aliens. He was gifted with powers that seemingly made him indestructible and immortal. That's why families escaped to seek refuge elsewhere. And now, Michael is revealed to have the same abilities. He too isn't burned when he puts his hand through fire. He discovers this new power. That too shows how the aliens have long been comfortable with the rules they have always operated within. For so long, they were in denial about just how far they could push themselves. They are each capable of so much more. And yet, the love they share for each other has long kept them safe and protected. Sure, it means they are once again repeating patterns. Everyone is now consumed by the need to save Max from near certain death. It's easy to get sucked into that drama. Many people risked everything to achieve that once. The fact that they have to do so again is exhausting. Max doesn't necessarily want that. It also takes him longer to accept that he too needs to talk with Jones about who he truly is in this world. When Jones was first discovered, he only shared that Max was a clone. More information is given in that regard. It too is part of the conflict between the Dictator and the leaders of the resistance. Of course, the narrative is conditioning the audience into being skeptical of what Jones says. He can't be trusted. He was imprisoned for a reason. He insists that he is a savior. He broke Max out of confinement. That recognition was formerly given to Nora and Louise. And now, everyone has reason to doubt the answers that were previously uncovered. Nora and Louise were much more complicated than their story already suggested. Of course, that was a given. Only so much clarity can come from the few details the aliens have collected. It makes them question everything. That's not helpful when they need to be focused on deciphering what to do with Jones. Isobel is essentially in charge of that decision. Jones recognizes that in a way Michael and Max do not. He plays to her ego as well. It's not notable when Michael or Max lash out and cause various things around them to explode. It's significant when it happens to Isobel. It showcases how she doesn't have control. She needs that in order to thrive. She knows that Jones is playing her and succeeding at doing so. She and her siblings are struggling to handle it all while trying to save themselves too. It's all complicated. It's meaningful storytelling though. It also highlights how disposable Liz has become amongst all of this too. She has spent the season so far in Los Angeles. She only returns to Roswell here to collect bacteria that may have survived the fire. Her agenda has led her elsewhere. Plenty of people have expressed a desire to escape this town. The tide is seemingly turning against this community as well. It's embracing more hate and violence. It no longer resembles the niceness that people long held onto. It was always a community with discrimination though. It was never the noble ideal that some believed. A change is noticeable though. It brings newcomers in. People can change in an instant. The show needs to be flexible in that regard too. It must do so without repeating itself. The potential is absolutely there. The execution continues to embrace what is known and comfortable. It needs to push itself with new challenges. That can be obtainable. It may not work within a rigid sense of what works in this narrative. The show has the time to develop further. It's clear that it wants to be more forthcoming with answers. It wants to delve further into the mythology. But it also wants to introduce a new covert organization that has operated within Roswell. Alex is recruited. He has a new mission. The only difference from the old one is that it doesn't seem connected to the military. That attempt at nuance is present. It just continues to come across as more of the same without pushing the boundaries necessary to make progress within these characters. Plus, no progress is made in revealing who has died in Maria's visions. That story also keeps her in a box that seems driven by pain and torture. That shouldn't be seen as bearable and acceptable as it is right now.