Monday, September 13, 2021

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Secrets of the Past Are Uncovered While Delving Into the Depths of Maria's Mind in 'Free Your Mind'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 3.08 "Free Your Mind"

Liz needs Rosa's help. Maria learns what Jones wants from her. Michael and Alex team up to help save Max.

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.

"Free Your Mind" was written by Ashley Charbonnet & Joel Thompson and directed by Ben Hernandez Bray

Liz will do what she always does: save Max Evans. That's the pattern of her life in Roswell upon knowing that aliens are real. Now, the series has done a good enough job distinguishing the threats against Max each season. It's still an overwhelming storytelling pattern that can grow monotonous because of how similar the stakes are each year. And yet, Max's life isn't the only one in danger. He has never truly been the sole carrier of consequences in these stories. But now, Kyle and Maria's lives could end too. Of course, the show is hoping that telling the audience previously that Kyle is in stable condition is enough to keep us from worrying too much about him right now. The threats against Maria and Max take precedence. That's largely because they are more connected to the grand alien mythology. Kyle plays an important role in all of this too. Alex and Liz are both inspired by his friendship. That helps guide them in their current actions. It also means Alex is operating with more information than his friends at the moment. He has that advantage because of the files given to him by Eduardo. He has previously delved into the mysteries of the Lockhart machine. And now, it can take more of a priority because the aliens view it both as a phone to their home world as well as the keeper of vast genetic secrets. It holds the key to unlocking the science of cloning. That's what Jones seeks in all of this. He requires that data to be unlocked so that he can maintain his immortal existence. Max isn't unique because he is a clone. He is one of many. Jones has jumped from body to body to maintain his autocratic grip on power. He craves that. He seeks out information that Maria and company aren't even aware that they have. They are still just barely putting the pieces together about the past. They believe they operate with a firm understanding of the sacrifices their family lines have made. All of that is flipped on its head here with the reveal that Patricia was helping with the experiments at Caulfield. That's torturous for Maria. She thought she understood the pain inflicted on her grandmother. And now, she sees the participation she took within it. It was all in the pursuit of helping the prisoners at this facility. She gave her life for that cause. She wanted to help Nora. The mysteries are still lost for decades though. The importance of this mission outlasts both of them. It falls onto their descendants to put the pieces together and carry the responsibility forward. It would be so much easier for everyone involved to run away. Walking this path through the past may ultimately lead Jones to what he wants. It's risky. It carries personal significance for everyone involved though. They must do it. They must confront the truth. It reveals new depths of strength and resolve in each of them. It's not done for the ultimate goal of defeating Jones and saving Max. He remains too powerful. He can't be vanquished. The protagonists simply need leverage against him as well as the ability to defend themselves from this alien invader. It takes awhile for Liz to create a scientific solution to help Maria fend off this infection. She succeeds because she relies on the people around her. She is prone to pushing others away. She has always been reluctant to embrace this life in Roswell. It's not where she was hoping to end up. Her ambitions extend far beyond this place. And yet, her scientific brilliance is still on display in what she is capable of doing for her friends when they face these otherworldly threats. That is integral to their survival. This is exactly where she is suppose to be. She finally finds peace in that. She finally learns to stop running. She must be truthful about who she is and what she wants. That may only reaffirm some basic plot ambitions for the overall series. However, this episode does a phenomenal job in securing character relationships where it's easy for the audience to root for their further success. This threat may still turn lethal at some point. That foreboding sense comes from just how significant Maria's vision was for the start of the season. The friends are reunited for the large point though. Plus, Alex has a path back to the machine that holds so many answers. He is willing to extend a part of himself to Michael once more. That relationship has been awkwardly handled for the entire run of the show. It somehow feels easy and relaxed here. That's magical and wonderful. It's clear that the show has properly calibrated its ambitions and learned how to tell honest stories with these characters. They may still make mistakes. They will still be required to make sacrifices. However, it hits the audience much harder than ever before because of the investments of the last few episodes. That's strikingly apparent now in a way that sets up a rewarding path for the future. Hopefully, the execution continues to hit that target especially as Jones' wrath is bound to get even more extreme.