Monday, August 1, 2022

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Maria, Rosa and Michael Lead the Search for What's Gone Missing in 'Missing My Baby'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 4.08 "Missing My Baby"

With missing friends and mysteries abound, Liz returns to fringe science, but in working alongside her new mentor, she's confronted with an unsettling revelation and a difficult choice. Maria uncovers the truth behind the "messages" she's been receiving. The bond between brothers is tested when Max keeps an explosive secret from Michael, putting them at odds during a critical moment. Isobel tries to pull answers out of Tezca, only to discover that the villain in her story is not as clear-cut as she may seem.

"Missing My Baby" was written by Ariana Quiñónez & Danny Tolli and directed by Antonio Negret

How far would a person go to save the ones they love? That has long been a recurring theme of this series. Drama is always happening in Roswell. Lives are put in harm's way. Drastic actions have been taken. Love has won out at the end of the day. That doesn't mean relationships continue to be stable. Liz has complete clarity regarding the science. She creates a nebulizer to reverse the effects of Bonnie's kiss. She can restore Michael and Max's powers. She doesn't understand why Max decided to lose them. She now has the option to restore all that he is capable of being. The friends need as many aliens as they can to defeat the dark triad. Those physical abilities can't compare to the value of knowledge and insight though. Isobel is a warrior. She is also an empath. She was given a clue to her past. She had to explore it. It connected her to Tezca. Mining those memories allows them to realize they were once allies on Oasis. Jones took Tezca's memories away. He transformed her into a weapon who would loyally fight for him. Jones is gone now. The stakes of this world don't have to play out the way he dictated. Max and Liz are still special. They are being targeted. Clyde remains a true believer. He can't easily be swayed either. Tezca doesn't even know if she can trust what she saw. She only offers Isobel the direction she must pursue. Clyde is seemingly armed with everything he needs to complete Jones' mission. He needs Liz in order for that to be true. As such, she is the biggest target at the precise time when she loses control over her own agency. Shivani is fighting to save her daughter's life. That's all she cares about. She will sacrifice her own well-being if it means a better future for her daughter. Right now, the science suggests death has already happened. Liz potentially has the skills to make the impossible happen. It did so for Rosa. Those were unique circumstances. And now, Shivani is no longer thinking clearly. She sees all the good Liz could spread throughout the world with her research. She has potential found a cure for all diseases. That would be miraculous and life-changing. That would dramatically reshape the entire human experience. She's simply focused on saving Max. He doesn't exactly need that saving. He's on his own path. The option to recapture his powers is now available. If he chooses to take it, then it will be his own decision. Liz isn't given that freedom. She is exposed to the same mist. Shivani needs Liz's brain to unlock all its potential. This drug is essentially corrosive to the mind. Maria escaped that dire fate. Now, it may be transferred to the one person who has created so much good to help the aliens. Liz's life is now the one in danger.

In addition to all of this, an interdimensional portal lurks in the New Mexican desert. Maria is the only one who can see through to the other side. Alex has also sent messages to his friends. No one is dead after being consumed by the mysterious quicksand. Alex, Rosa and Michael save Maria in time. They had to work together as a team. That's what made it so frustrating when Liz wanted to lie to Michael about something bad happening to Alex. She knows what it's like to be on the other side of that dynamic. She chooses to inflict the same pain. She didn't mean for that to happen. She wanted to offer hope and clarity instead of the sheer uncertainty of the situation. It still wasn't the right thing to do. At least everyone goes on that entire emotional journey in the span of one episode. Everyone gets upset and then gets over it to focus on the task at hand. It's most personal for Michael. He blames himself for getting distracted with the dark triad. He didn't notice that something happened to Alex. He could have been trying to send messages. Of course, Maria is the only alien who could see what Alex was trying to communicate. It has to be even more obvious now to get the point across. People are in danger and the aliens have to focus on that. They've been training their skills for this precise moment. Of course, their powers aren't the only ways they can be of service to one another. Max is trying to display that. He still fails because he so often does what he believes others need from him. It's not him acting as a result of his own emotions and input. In fact, the narrative can still too often come across as disjointed. So many threats have to be addressed at every single moment. That hardly leaves enough time to focus on the romantic dilemmas that plague these characters. The nature of the threats are evolving too. That wisdom is incredibly meaningful. It can be just as destructive when one person places their trust in the wrong hands. Shivani is a morally compromised character. She doesn't act with evil intentions towards Liz. That honor belongs to Clyde. She still acts in pursuit of selfish interests. Liz viewed Shivani as her mentor who had found balance in her life. Of course, her relationship has largely been one-sided. Shivani and Liz talk about Allie which provides the character dimension rather than actually seeing her onscreen. All of this creates a perilous level of uncertainty. It still radiates hope that trusted friends will save their loved ones in the nick of time. That's the pattern that has always been embraced. It's unlikely for that pattern to stop now. That results in a fair level of predictability. The emotions were simply more grounded in this episode than they have been for a majority of the season as the characters have struggled with the decisions they've made.