Monday, August 15, 2022

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Liz Alienates Her Loved Ones as Maria and Kyle Help Michael Search for Alex in 'Down in a Hole'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 4.10 "Down in a Hole"

Max and Rosa begin to uncover what Liz has been hiding, leading her to make a rash decision. Michael and Maria struggle as their trail to locating their missing friends runs cold.

"Down in a Hole" was written by Ashley Charbonnet & Sarah Tarkoff and directed by Aprill Winney

Liz's brain chemistry was altered as a result of the alien mist. In the previous episode, it was presented as a choice between which side of her personality would return to her friends in Roswell. That allowed it be seen as a decision Liz made. She opted not to fight back against the outlaw who wanted to take over. That was a false choice though. It actually tries to alleviate the burden on Shivani for exposing Liz to the mist in the first place. Shivani expects Liz's return to the lab to be contentious. Instead, they immediately throw themselves back into the work. They believe they are close to a breakthrough for reviving organic tissue back from death. The test on the frog worked for a little bit. The animal wasn't cured of its disease. The same fate would more than likely befall Shivani and Allie's daughter. Liz disregards Shivani's mentorship because she sees her single-mindedness for her family as a weakness. Meanwhile, Liz is willing to toss away her emotional connections because they will only hold her back. Again, the show tries to make the argument that this version of Liz isn't the same character the viewer has been watching for four seasons now. That's visualized through the coin trick. She's more nefarious and cutthroat. And yet, she still loves Max. So many aspects of her personality remain the same. Liz never viewed herself as the addict in the family. That honor always belonged to Rosa. However, her sister can see the signs of addiction right away. She knows Liz is continuing to use the mist the moment she demands more blood for her experiments. Liz says a bunch of hurtful things. They absolutely could threaten Rosa's sobriety. Rosa has a clear enough mind to know that's the drug talking and not how Liz actually feels. Liz's friends aspire to help ease her out of this addiction. It's not healthy for her to abuse herself in this way. Liz is willing to justify it all because of the scientific breakthroughs she will enact. She didn't need this drug in order to perform in a way no one on Earth has done before. Jones already saw her as the only person capable of finishing the science to complete his mission. The extent of what Theo has left behind for Dallas to discover is coming into focus as well. A pathway could exist that connects Earth to Oasis. The aliens wouldn't have to travel for years to return home. They can't focus on that right now. At this moment, it's all about saving their friends. That matters to them more than anything else. Liz even says she devotes her life to the science to protect Max from himself and all the other alien threats. That's not true. It's an addiction she must constantly feed. The mist is so potent that it altered her in this way. As such, she never had control over the outcome. Despite that, her actions still have the potential to create many dire consequences.

Tezca understands that all too well. Jones took over her mind and turned her against her friends. She killed many in service to his cause. It's only through Isobel's abilities that she has regained this insight into who she once was. She has to atone for the past. It's painful and overwhelming. Killing Jones every time he appears isn't the biggest hurdle. Instead, it's all about facing what she did when she had no control. It would be easier to forget all that. That would only be living in denial. These fighters can only face these threats if they go armed with as much clarity as they can find. Clyde is still out there. He is a true believer. He wasn't tricked into the cause. He could bring about all the destruction Jones wanted for Earth. He can conquer this world just like what happened to Oasis decades ago. Everyone else is essentially trying to catch up. Of course, they have an advantage because secrets were hidden in the pocket dimension Theo created. It also happens to be a world void of color and passion. The distinction between the worlds has to be significant. It's not the most dramatically satisfying way to depict the vast emptiness of this dimension. Plus, it provides no answers as to what happened to Alex. He has been missing for the majority of the season. Rosa is a more active character now despite having reasonably left Roswell to start over in New York. She is back in the drama now. Bonnie sets off a flare. She reunites with Dallas quickly. They benefitted from entering the dimension close to one another. They didn't find Alex. He didn't immediately present himself either to explain what happens in this space. Instead, they went off on a mission left behind by Theo that only Dallas could solve. Of course, all the tools reside on both sides of the world. Michael missing a piece from the console can only keep the portal open for so long. When that fateful decision must happen, it's all done in service to finding Alex. That's the most crucial thing that must happen right now. It's a way for Bonnie to be more than a taker. She can help her friend find the man he loves. Meanwhile, Dallas believes there is more left behind for him to find. That missing piece has to be crucial in some way. Michael can embrace the stakes of this journey knowing Alex is fighting just as hard to reunite. Maria and Kyle offer their support. Again, that's the overwhelming lesson these characters have learned across the years. Their abilities and friendships may change. However, they are all working towards the same goal. They want to solve these mysteries in order for all of them to live happy lives. They are closer than ever to full enlightenment. That's scary to a certain extent. It increases the recklessness some of them are willing to take to achieve it. That creates the conflict for these final episodes even as it sometimes comes across entirely as a false choice made more out of dramatic effect.