Monday, September 6, 2021

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Liz, Rosa, Isobel and Michael Risk Everything to Stop Jones in 'Goodnight Elizabeth'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 3.07 "Goodnight Elizabeth"

Liz's plan does not go as expected, putting herself, Isobel and Michael in danger. Meanwhile, Eduardo confides in Alex.

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.

"Goodnight Elizabeth" was written by Kristen Haynes & Christopher Hollier and directed by Heather Hemmens

The season finally lets Jones be the villain. It immediately makes the character much more engaging while giving ample material to Nathan Parsons. Sure, the stakes can only escalate so much if the audience is conditioned into believing that none of the characters who face off with him will ultimately die. However, that big declaration about who he is still hits incredibly well. Jones is actually the Dictator. He conquered the alien home world as a result of his incredible abilities. He was cloned and has a son. Both Max and Michael have a personal connection to him. At first, it seemed like Max was all that Jones cared about. That's how this overall story has functioned. It built to Max letting Jones heal him. It was no longer tenable for him to avoid that inevitability. Of course, Michael has long had questions about his own identity. He felt isolated as a result of learning who his father is. And now, it's just as daunting to realize that Jones is that man. He manipulated everyone in Roswell. They always knew that he was lying to them. They could never inherently trust any information he gave. The show purposefully wanted to present Jones ambiguously. Nora and Louise locked him away for decades. They did so for a reason. And now, the aliens in the present have to make their own determination about what to do with him. They simply must do so without the knowledge and resources that their parents had. That may ultimately make Jones unstoppable. The aliens have been training. They are still no match for his powers. He can overwhelm them easily while he is psychically controlling Max and scanning Maria's mind for a crucial memory. Of course, the mystery of what he's searching for is still pronounced. It too promises to connect to everything of merit that is happening in the narrative. Right now, that connection only exists through a date. Something critical happened in October 1969. That set Eduardo on his current path with Deep Sky. Alex chooses to dive deep into what has truly fueled this organization for years. Meanwhile, Jones succeeds in taking Maria to that memory. It's all fantastical. It's all extreme. It may not make any sense in the end either. And yet, the threat from Jones is severe. The protagonists believe they know how to defeat him. Their brilliance has been spotlighted throughout the series. And yet, they still don't know enough to make a significant difference. Jones is perfectly willing and able to kill. That amplifies his powers even more. Michael and Rosa don't succeed in separating him from the alien sword for very long. Sure, that provides a meaningful training moment for Rosa. This season has truly stepped up in wanting these aliens to explore the full extent of their powers. They are capable of so much more. Meanwhile, Liz's intellect and brilliance is also vast and impressive. That skillset brings something valuable to the proceedings. Sure, it's made all the more complicated by the romantic yearning between her and Max. He has essentially been removed from the story though. His body is present. Jones is causing a lot of destruction. He can't be blamed for every bad and traumatic thing that has happened. A gang wearing alien masks has been roaming around Roswell as well. That's trivial in comparison though. Right now, the show cements Jones as the villain. With that no longer being ambiguous, the show can successfully pull the trigger on its grand ambitions for this story. It took a lot of buildup to get to this point. It still feels compelled to preserve a sense of mystery for too long as well. And yet, this episode certainly reinvigorates the proceedings. Everyone survives their first encounter with an alien who conquered his home world. That will trigger their own existential crises. That should be compelling to watch. It works when the show commits to these endeavors. That hasn't always been a clear case. But now, the show can hopefully grow in pursuit of the strongest emotional resonance it has ever had. That probably means Maria and Kyle can't spend too much more time in medical limbo. Maria at least gets to be an active part of the story. Everyone seemingly forgets about Kyle here except for Alex. That's largely because he actually has the answers. He knows that his friend is safe for the large part. Liz, Isobel and Michael immediately become more concerned about Jones. That means Kyle gets tossed to the side even though he's unconscious. He doesn't deserve that. He should have just as much agency as everyone else. He shouldn't be constantly threatened with death only for the show not to commit one way or another. Those narrative impulses are still all too present though.