Monday, September 5, 2022

REVIEW: 'Roswell, New Mexico' - One Look Communicates So Much Between Max and Liz in 'How's It Going to Be'

The CW's Roswell, New Mexico - Episode 4.13 "How's It Going to Be"

Doubting her abilities, Liz calls for reinforcements. Isobel shows Max a memory, one that will put him on a new trajectory. Michael makes a promise to Alex.

"How's It Going to Be" was written by Joel Anderson Thompson & Christopher Hollier and directed by Lance Anderson

The Blue Flame can return prosperity to Oasis. The aliens on Earth haven't been on their home planet for 80 years. They have no idea what it is currently like. Some of them haven't even dreamed about returning one day. Instead, they found peace and comfort in their lives on Earth. And yet, they can't deny their destinies. Max has long been positioned as the savior. That was the name given to him because he carried this specific power. It's been a somewhat annoying narrative. It promotes his importance even though he hasn't proven to be the most engaging or powerful character. It was simply something he had to be instead of allowing it to come naturally as a result of the storytelling. That has been a series-long critique. However, Liz loves him. They are willing to sacrifice anything for their relationship. Max wanted to get engaged at the start of the season. That proposal was always going to come back at some point. It waits until the conclusion of the finale. It's all about them promising to always love each other and evolve as their paths change over the years. That's the pledge they make. Meanwhile, the actual wedding belongs to Michael and Alex. They declare their love in front of their loved ones. It's a celebration. Sure, the show casually disregards the peril it placed Alex in during the last few episodes. It's simply assumed that Kyle cured him of his severe radiation poisoning. The only thing preventing a lifetime together was the two being trapped in the pocket dimension. That reality collapsed. Michael and Alex escaped to freedom. After defeating Clyde, they could celebrate this achievement. It's what they deserve. They each finally have a family and a home to return to. That was missing from their lives for so long - even this season struggled to feature them in that security. That's what drew them together. That's what tested their trust issues. And now, they overcome everything simply by relying on that love. They aren't consequential in Clyde's defeat. All they have to do is embrace each other once more. They are more than capable of doing that. It's not even tempting for Michael to journey to Oasis alongside Max. That's the reason why Dallas can't commit to a more fulfilling relationship with Maria. He believes his purpose resides on the other side of the portal. He must explore that possibility. It's not fair to offer any more hope on Earth. It's much more heart-wrenching for Max as he makes that decision. The forces of this world continually pull him and Liz apart. They have to deal with the consequences of those actions as well. And yet, their hearts will always yearn for each other no matter where they are in the universe. That provides the easy clarity of knowing as Max departs to save a dying world. It's what he was destined to do. Liz helped him find himself in order to become that leader others need.

All of this is still wrapped up in a battle between good and evil. Clyde sees himself prevailing in a way his hero could not. He defeated Max and Liz. Jones lost against them. And now, Clyde has the ability to return to Oasis with all the powers needed to make him the dictator. He wields the Blue Flame too. He can revive the planet. He still plans on ruling it with an iron fist. That would offer nothing substantially new for the people. It would just be more of the same. That's not to say Max will have an easy job in rallying the citizens of Oasis behind his message of hope and prosperity. It's also an invitation to do better. He sees the path laid out for him so clearly. Sometimes it truly takes having everything put into context through an existential threat. Clyde abducts Rosa because he needs her powers to fix the star map. It's mostly a convenient excuse to explain why he doesn't make the jump to Oasis before Liz has the formula to restore the marking that would destroy him if he passed through. It's also incredibly convenient for Liz to reach out to Allie and she appears. That feels more like a result of Shiri Appleby's limited availability for the season. It also creates the full-circle moment of the two actresses who have played the character coming together to work the problem in the series finale. A lot has been said about Allie. As such, most of those details are left for the audience to fill in. It doesn't really matter if Allie and Shivani's marriage survives everything that occurred. It's simply better to see Liz interacting with a genuine mentor who is capable of looking beyond herself to help others. That's not the perfect mentality in every situation. It's the path Liz needs to follow in order to prevail against everything this ending has in store for her. She has to remain strong and resolute no matter how daunting the odds seem. She has the wisdom to find a solution. She has the allies to help her. She has the trust to put the plan into motion. That actually shows Max and Liz on the same wavelength for once. They understood each other just through one glance. Their connection extends beyond verbal communication. That's the strongest evidence to date about the strength of their bond. So much has been propped up by talking about how meaningful it is. In that one moment, it was easy to see them work so cohesively and seamlessly. That was incredibly strong. Sacrifices still have to be made at the end of the day. Not every relationship receives a happy and clarifying ending. But it's also fitting for all the characters to find some semblance of peace. That means different things for different people. They know their journeys aren't destined to end right now. This is the conclusion of the series though. And so, enough is resolved to leave the viewers satisfied even though some romantic closures had to be condensed along the way.