Monday, August 29, 2022

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - Impossible Decisions Are Made in the Name of Love in 'Two Sparrows in a Hurricane'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 4.12 "Two Sparrows in a Hurricane"

Liz is faced with an impossible decision. Max agrees to join Isobel on a mission to save Bonnie.

"Two Sparrows in a Hurricane" was written by Jenny Phillips & Onalee Hunter Hughes and directed by John Hyams

Max doesn't need powers to make a difference in the world. Of course, it was still foolish when he decided to give them up. He was running away because he was afraid of the harm he could do. He didn't want to hurt the people he cares about. He cut them out of that decision. It was infuriating. It's even more dangerous now with Clyde gaining all the abilities Bonnie has ever taken. Moreover, Max needs to inhale the alien mist to fight against this increasingly powerful threat. Every season has strived to escalate the danger the pod squad must face. They have never been able to feel safe in their lives. Some new threat always loomed on the horizon. Bonnie has felt that way too. She has never felt secure. Michael and Dallas try to help her cope with the anxiety of the pocket dimension falling apart. The tools that work for them aren't comforting to her. She has a different lived experience. She has found a home on Earth. She has found a community to belong in without being forced. Clyde wants to live in the fantasy of things being great when it was just him and Bonnie. That was a relationship built on inherent conditions. None of it was real. It was in service to the vision Jones once laid out. He manipulated others to get what he wanted. He called on Tezca, Bonnie and Clyde to complete his mission. A dead man dictates these terms. Clyde is more powerful than ever before. He has become the new Jones. He will risk it all in the pursuit of more power. So much is informed by the past and the decisions made by those who came before. That impulse is very familiar to the citizens of Roswell. The aliens also remain haunted by the actions of their parents. They have had to accept the imperfections. The ideal of creating a better world differs from person to person. What happiness means isn't necessarily the same for everyone. And yet, they are all bonded in their quests for love. That's what unites them. When Max is trained by Tezca once more, she wants him to channel his love for Liz to create all the prosperity the blue flame is meant to provide. He's still not as powerful as he could be. He's reluctant to embrace his true strength. The situation requires him to do so. He and Isobel have to enter the pocket dimension to save Bonnie. It's all done with the inherent belief that Liz will figure out the science to open the portal to bring them all home. And yet, Max and Michael's presence is the reason why the dimension is falling apart. Their DNA triggered this outcome. They don't carry the devotion to Jones. They only share his DNA. That was enough for Theo to enable this safeguard. It's what he needed to do to keep this invention from falling into the wrong hands. Even then, a trusted ally is killed while the threat remains. Clyde holds every character of meaning hostage while Max and Isobel look on in horror. 

Furthermore, people can't inherently be trusted to fulfill the roles they have always provided for the pod squad. Liz is trusted to always understand and solve the science. She can overcome any mystery her friends face. She is now suffering from memory loss due to the alien mist. She wanted to believe Kyle created a miracle cure that removed all temptation. That wasn't true. She is tempted just like any other addict. That brings her closer to Rosa. It still leaves her defeated. She can follow instructions when Maria finally communicates with Dallas. Michael has a way to fuel the portal. He created the formula solely to deny the reality of Alex's pending death. He refused to accept that the man he loves is about to die. He never wanted to stop fighting. A cure was within reach. He simply had to hold on for as long as possible. The world is falling apart though. No one is guaranteed any amount of time to cherish these moments. Impossible decisions have to be made. Dallas must accept that about his father. Alex and Michael must accept that about their love. Liz and Max must always believe in the brilliance and strength they each have. And Isobel must acknowledge the necessity of Tezca surrendering herself so her students can prevail. It's all insanely difficult. It needs to happen. Of course, it creates the overwhelming feeling of defeat. This is the penultimate episode of the entire series. That requires Clyde to present as the most dangerous threat these characters have ever faced. That's not necessarily true. He has suddenly gained all these powers. It's still inevitable that the pod squad will find some way to defeat him. It's all to be analyzed through the prism of what they are willing to do to achieve that fate. They have to overcome their personal demons to embrace what they truly deserve in this world. Everyone is immediately accepting of Kyle and Isobel as a couple. They are better served simply by kissing instead of talking. That anxiety was too much. It's more rewarding to live in the bliss of their happiness. Everyone deserves that fate. Not everyone may achieve that. That's true no matter how hard they fight to avoid it. Alex is at peace over dying. Michael lifts him up and supports him. That's true love. It's a shame so much of their relationship was undercut through Alex's absence. He's not dead yet. Hope remains. All the unpredictability is left for the series finale to sort out. Plus, big moments can happen quickly that feel incredibly earned. That's true of Tezca's big moment of sacrifice. And so, the finale can still conclude this series in ways that are rewarding despite the many puzzling decisions made this season.