A Roswell Episode Guide

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Season One

The Pilot - Who Are These People And Should We Care?
Liz Parker, SWF, a waitress who enjoys long talks and writing in her journal. Seeking a young mysterious alien to relate to, take to costume parties, and be supernaturally resuscitated by when she gets a big bloody gunshot wound.
Enter Bachelor #1 (out of, oh, 1) Max Evans, who risks his secret to save her life. There's two more aliens as well, Michael and - wait, hang on, oh! there they... no, too late, you missed them - Isabel. And there's Sheriff Valenti, a mildly creepy human who is very dedicated to finding them. And there's Maria, Liz's best friend, who is told Max's secret IMMEDIATELY, even though she was specifically mentioned by name when Max listed people Liz cannot tell the secret to. And there's Jonathan Frakes, in a nice semi-obtrusive cameo.
I'm liking it so far. You?

The Morning After - Save a Prayer
Michael goes AWOL (tm Isabel) but he just needs TLC. Miss Topolsky might be FBI, as opposed to UFT. Liz's bf witnesses a possible BJ and then goes MIA. Maria makes me LOL. TBC.

Monsters - You Think The Ears Are Terrifying? Next Year He's Doing Half-Naked Pull-Ups
Maria doesn’t trust the aliens. Isabel doesn’t trust Maria. Michael suggests killing her. Hee. Then Maria remembers how cute Michael looks in a tux, how nice Isabel is to her mom, how much she likes Liz, and most of all - how mildly creepy Sheriff Valenti is. So she’s back on their side. The end.

Leaving Normal - Grandma Claudia, We Hardly Knew Ye
Liz's favorite relative gets a stroke and she wants Max to save her, but Max reminds us all that he is not God (tell that to the Behrians). Meanwhile, Kyle Valenti's annoying friends beat the crap out of Max. Michael pulls some half-assed pranks to get back at them (like, he melts Kyle's locker shut. dis.) In the end, Max does some kind of... I don't even know exactly what he does, but he uses his powers to let Liz talk to her grandma before she dies. It's all very weepy. I'm not made of stone.

Missing - Trust Me, You're Not Missing Very Much
Unless you’re a Polarist, that is. Otherwise, this is alls I remember: Liz loses her journal. Michael draws a dome. Max reads books about aliens. And Topolsky talks to some men in black. And Kyle likes Moby.

285 South - Road Trip, Baby!
Who's your favorite Roswell writer? Thania St. John. What's your favorite candy flavor? M&Ms. What's the best thing that ever happened to the gang? Marathon, TX.
Michael kidnaps Maria. Liz, Max, and Isabel follow them. Kyle, Sheriff Valenti , and Topolsky follow them. There are surveys and nookie motels and breakdowns and people getting punched out and a few near-kisses along the way. It’s all very fun.

River Dog - Hey-ah Ho-ah, Hey-ah Ho-ah
Um, did anything happen in this episode besides the Michael/Maria kiss? I didn't notice. Oh yeah, there are Native Americans and caves and alien writings. And there's Sheriff Valenti and Agent Topolsky coming on to each other, which I know there weren't too many fans of, but I always thought it was pretty interesting. Until the Michael/Maria kiss. At which point, I stopped noticing other stuff. See next week's major commentary...

Blood Brothers - No Michael/Maria Kissing Whatsoever
But here's what we DO get: Liz and Max take a little pleasure trip, but it ends in quote-unquote "tragedy" and Unconscious Max is rushed to the hospital. There we get a better look at Liz's friend Alex (beyond "What on Earth is Tom Hanks's kid doing in the opening credits?") Alex spills blood a few times, gets lied to and ignored, and bangs his head into a locker. I love poor Alex already. Because I'm evil. Also because the boy hacks into FBI files and I can barely set my VCR.

Heat Wave - Everyone Says I Might Kind Of Want To Maybe Like You A Little. I Think.
Maria gets too close to Michael and he freaks. Isabel dreamwalks Alex and he crushes. Jim Valenti and Maria's mom re-meet cute. Max and Liz take fiftysomething minutes to kiss. Kyle gets a girlfriend too, but no one really cares. All this plus a rave at the old soap factory, booze & Jell-O, hot slug sex, prison time, and Alex's first exposure to the ambiguous 'Up North' signal.

The Balance - They Haven't Seen This Kind Of Defamation Since Kramer Drove By With The Cigar Store Indian
Michael takes off to meet Running Bear- er, River Dog and he ends up sweating profusely inside some dead alien web thing. Everybody but Liz gets in the circle to save him. River Dog gets in the circle. Jilted Maria gets in the circle. Alex is the first one in and I don't even think he's learned everyone's name yet. But not Liz. Later, she and Max break up. That's just a coincidence though.
Also, there's more symbols, flashbacks, and intonations about someone named "Nasedo". The bad spelling of that name on forum boards everywhere commences.

The Toy House - Parents? They Have Parents?
Max saves his mother from a household fire with his powers, and he and Isabel question whether or not to tell her their secret. Max supposedly learns to trust people and let others make their own decisions, and he seems to accept that, and then he still doesn't tell his mom or listen to Isabel. But Izzy did make me tear up at the end, so I still like it. Meanwhile, Michael builds something really sweet for Maria, but then he builds his Stone Wall to negate it.

Into The Woods - Double-Meaning There On The Word "Camp"
The parents continue to amaze me with their involvement in the plot. Everyone goes on a father-son camping trip as a pretense to check out UFOs. Kyle calls his dad on it. Liz’s dad calls her on it too, only he’s thinking “check out UFOs” replaced with “buy drugs from Maria”. Mr. Evans and Alex’s dad play a round of Dense & Denser. Isabel and Alex (ahem) gaze at the stars. Michael thinks River Dog is his daddy. He’s not, but enjoy him for the moment, Mikey. This is the last you’ll ever see of him.

The Convention - We’re ALL Thinking About Mud
It’s a wacky alien convention! Max wears an alien costume and Michael wrestles (yes, literally) to save Maria’s family business. Jonathan Frakes makes several cameos. Larry and Jen (i.e. the All-Time Least Threatening Baddies) return. But then, it all takes a sudden turn for the DRAMATIC, as Max gets a gun to his head and Valenti shoots a crazy alien-obsessed old man, apparently deducing "There's not room in this town for the both of us." Have I been too mean to Valenti in this episode guide? He does rock, you know.

Blind Date - Triple-Meaning There On The Word "Blind"
Everyone wants Liz Parker. Max wants to see into her soul. Kyle wants to play with her underwear. Doug Shellow wants to ramble to her about his boring college major. But only Max has just the correct amount of alcohol in his bloodstream to win her heart.
Incidentally, I don't believe Max has ever watched an afterschool special on drinking. Or peer pressure. Or stalking. Poor boy's gotta learn it all from Kyle.
What else happens? Alex's band has creative differences with Maria, and Michael and Isabel light fires by the public library.

Independence Day - Trailer? Yes. Trash? No.
We find out that Michael is an alienated alien because his foster father beats him. Michael is wounded. Michael is wet. Michael is crying in Maria's bed. Now toss in a Bush song and my favorite Collective Soul song, add a dash of the alien-three dynamic, and end with Nasedo gettin' medieval on Hank's foster ass. I'm a happy camper. I have no snark. Take a picture.

Sexual Healing - It's Amazing How Much Less Boring They Are Without Those Pesky Shirts On
Man, the Rebels are going to kill me for this but... mmmmm. Liz discovers she gets flashes of the Home Planet when she kisses Max. They explore other ways to get flashes. The other conventional couples do it too. Well, not "it". No one does "it" on the WB, at least not in Season One. But still... mmmmm. Sorry. I'll seek professional help, I will.

Crazy - Action! Drama! Lighting! Extreme! Close! Ups!
Darla Topolsky resurfaces as a paranoid schizophrenic who was tortured by the government and, apparently, forced to wear a number of bad wigs and kerchiefs. Isabel makes a friend (more on that next week) who's saucy around Max (more on that next month) and bitchy to Alex (more on that next year).
Then Max punches Michael (uh, yeah, like he hasn't had enough of that already?) for trusting Agent Rich-Man's-Laurie-Dupree, the gang loses a glowing orb, Agent RMLD is dragged off screaming, Nasedo pops a few more pills, and... nah, we can't see the network retooling influence at all. Not one bit. Anyone have a Tylenol?

Tess, Lies, And Videotape - And EVIL, Don't Forget the EVIL
There's something about Isabel's new friend. Maybe it's just the perm or the overboard makeup... but something's just not quite right. For one thing, Max gets all kinds of crazy flashes and porn fantasies around her, until he breaks down and kisses her (which - yay! but moving on...). And her dad Ed(sedo, but not yet) has an evil grin and an evil use of clichés and an evil tendency to bark out the occassional sentence and he eats the most evil of mashed potatoes. And her house is filled with very evil pictures of Max. Also, did you ever realize that that thing she puts together at the end is a Buddhist statue? Hee! Season Two, are you here yet?

Four Square - It Has Begun... The Femslash, That Is
Tess spends this entire episode flirting with everyone on the show. Flirting with Max, flirting with Kyle, flirting with Michael, flirting with Liz. But especially Isabel. Unfortunately, Isabel isn't feeling too open at the moment because she thinks she's pregnant with Michael's child. Meanwhile, the last scene makes Max's treatment of women in ITLAITB look like one of his good days.

Max To The Max - Well Thank God Everything Else Got Cleared Up Within the First Ten Minutes
Sing along, everybody! He made Liz think she was going to die/ Blew an innocent gas station sky high/ He showed his soulless flashes around/ And turned into a freaky clown/ We'll never forget him/ Evil Nasedo Max! (vroom vroom)

The White Room - Ouchie, The US Government Hurts
Agent Pierce uses Max to work out his latent sexual frustrations. Nasedo shapeshifts, Tess mindwarps, Isabel dreamwalks, and Michael does something to his finger that doesn't have a cool name yet. The humans wait and wait. And wait. Then Liz does something useful and tells Valenti, and the sheriff manages to get into the very secure government complex with a gun. And this is one of my favorite episodes of the season. (shrugs)

Destiny - I Told You the Backstreet Boys Are Going To Destroy The World
What the hell? (takes a deep breath) In no particular order: Valenti becomes ultra-nice, Nasedo becomes not-so-EVIL, Max and Isabel's alien biological mother becomes the Princess Leia hologram, Max becomes a King, Tess becomes a Queen, Mike and Iz become "betrothed", Pierce dies, Kyle dies, Kyle comes back to life, Nasedo dies, Nasedo comes back to life, Michael says I love you, Max says I love you, Liz says I love you, Michael and Maria break up, Max and Liz break up, Liz cries, Max cries, Valenti cries, Alex stands around doing nothing, Isabel stands around doing more nothing, and Howie Durough rocks his body five-second-cameo-style as an Evil Alien.
Get it? Neither did I.

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My Episode Guide's official mascot, Sleeping Isabel.
To adopt your own Isabel, go to Brian's Izzy Clone page

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Season Two

Skin And Bones - And Cleavage And Too Much Leather
It's been a long hot summer in Roswell, and now we're back to see the new haircuts everybody has. Liz is going for the long, smooth, shiny look of one who has totally moved on with her life. Max is stuck with his Season One bangs, too stubborn to take the hint. Michael has a rebellious shaggy 'do, all "I still don't care what anybody thinks of me". Maria has extensions, I assume to cover the bald spots left from desperately ripping out clumps of hair while talking to her new "girlfriend" Max. Tess has dreads, but I forgive her. A bunch of other stuff happens, but I figured this was easier than listing the fifty new characters we meet in the stead of the one character we lose (Nasedo... and with him the remnants of Ed and Pierce and all those other cool guys, sniffle).

Ask Not - Ich Bin Ein Cheerleader (Stalker, Cowgirl, whatever)
Dude, I thought I remembered Sheriff Valenti having a son. Didn't recall he was so cool though. The new Crashdown waitress is a Skin, Max wants to be JFK, a guy named Brody bought the UFO museum, but truly - I'm not just being biased here - this one's All About Tess. Really, even ask Ron Moore. Nasedo went and died on her, Liz and the Congresswoman hate her, Max doesn't remember her, and Kyle's kinda scared of her. So the poor girl's all alone reading porno mags.

Surprise - At Least She's Not Jailbait Anymore
Isabel turns eighteen and everyone throws her a big party. She misses her date with Grant the Geologist (who's what? thirty?) to see Alex (who's what? thirteen?) strip. Then Whitaker the Congresswoman does nasty things to Tess and Izzy blasts her (Whitaker, not Tess) into a million tiny pieces. Y'know, Isabel is still the most kickass alien chick, even in a poofy pink birthday dress. And even with a name like Vilandra.

Summer Of '47 - Mikey G.I.
Travel back in time to a day when "aliens" only referred to those Commie bastards. Michael gets cleaned up and stars as the army pilot who tried to expose The Crash and then saved our kids. Valenti remembers how it felt to be a threatening presence (Alex tries it out too). Kyle plays his grandpa for exactly ten seconds. Having exhausted herself last week, Isabel is pretty much a walk-on, but a brunette walk-on. Maria, Liz, and Tess all do really bad variations of the same really bad accent, and then the first two die. Max gets punched - hey, this is Michael's fantasy.

End Of The World - Can It Core an Apple, O Max of the Future? (Dad insisted I use that one)
In the year 2014, the world is coming to an end. So FutureMax goes back in time and tells Liz to get Max with Tess, so Tess won't leave Roswell. The real point is to make a melodramatic sci-fi reason for Max and Liz to be apart. (Don't believe me? Does she tell Tess? No. Does she tell Max? No. Does she fake having sex with Kyle just to break Max's heart so he'll go to the arms of another? Bingo.) Meanwhile, Courtney the Waitress Skin does a lot of back-rubbing and kissing with Michael (and I swear I thought there was a Crying Game moment when he found all the lotion in her drawer). Then Maria cries. Then Alex hurts his hand on the glory of Michael's stupid face.

Harvest - The Universal Moron League
The gang (sans Michael and Maria who stick behind and witty banter with Courtney, and Alex and the Valentis who... who?) heads for Skintown USA and sleeps over at the late Whitaker's house, with her family, who they pretty much know are their enemies. Then Isabel starts a conversation with Whitaker's evil little brother Nicholas about Vilandra. Then when they're discovered, Max and Tess all but announce, "Yeah, we're totally the King and Queen. Kill us, won't you?" Yes, I'm thrilled the fate of my planet is in these capable hands.

Wipeout! - You Wanna See Something *Really* Scary?
I saw this episode of the Twilight Zone sooo many times. Stop me if you know it - a few people leave town for various reasons and when they return, it is a very different world where everyone seems to have vanished. They must find out why they're the only people left and band together with aliens to stop other aliens. And there's Tess's big Fireball Of Hell and Maria's hijinks with the big green, um, "energy source" and Nicholas raping Max's mind and Courtney killing herself. Okay, maybe those parts weren't on the Twilight Zone. Outer Limits then.

Meet The Dupes - Totally Epic
I take back anything I said about the girls in "Summer of '47" and their bad accents. Really, this one's scary. This one involves lingo and Mohawks and my state. We learn the aliens have duplicates who grew up in a New Yawk ghetto. On the less laughable side, remember Brody? He's back and he's the most adorable threat in history to a couple I like. To be mad continued.

Max In The City - Get Outta Heah
Yeah, we've still gotta deal with King Max & his issues, the unspeakable accents, Isabelandra, and the no-did-you-really-sleep-with-Kyle plot, but then some cool people show up. Like Ava and Nicholas and two of Brody. No, he doesn't have a hardcore double, just an alien alter-ego named Larek. To be honest, Larek is pretty cheesy, but any Brody is good Brody. What else? Oh, Liz gets alien powers.

A Roswell Christmas Carol - The Ghost Of Christmas Nagging
It's a very special (and not too shabby) episode with many X-mas miracles. 1) Max cures pediatric cancer and holds hands with Liz. 2) Michael and Maria are a cute couple again, out of nowhere, just like magic. 3) Cue the snow. The only thing exactly the same is just how much I love the Valenti extended family. But all those other changes, bring 'em on!

To Serve And Protect - "Crap.... Crap.... Crap...." (tm Max Evans)
We're halfway through the season, so enter the New Characters! Crazy (but not yet) kidnapped girl underground? Check. Juvenile deliquent with a thing for Liz? Check. Old friend of the sheriff's with ambiguous motives? Check. The return of Grant Sorenson and his stubble? Check. Also, the dreamwalk sequences have turned into Baz-Luhrman-only-more-disorienting Delerium videos. Delerium. That's a good CD.

We Are Family - I've Got All My Hussies With Me
It's all about the ties that bind. Kyle gets a sister (the most coolest mindwarpingest sister on the whole darn planet), Maria gets a cousin (Sean Krakow), and Michael gets a granddaughter (our friend Laurie Dupree). And Alex returns... wait, he was gone?

Disturbing Behavior - Oh But Liz Is A Dork And She Does Enjoy Science
Maria, Michael, and Laurie hit the open road and see all the walks of American life, from cheap diner patrons to genuine WASPs. Liz helps Max and Isabel uncover some kind of alien water-borne parasite crystals that are going to destroy the planet. Ex-sheriff Valenti strokes a baseball bat in his dark place. Amy DeLuca becomes the first over-thirty character in a while to acknowledge the fact that she has a child. And Larek and Brody are back! Larek and Brody, don't go away!

How The Other Half Lives - Diggin' The Gandarium Queen
The Hybrid Chronicles come to an end. What did we learn? Michael and Maria get really bitchy yet funny when they have money. Laurie Dupree is not really that crazy. Alex and Kyle rock the house. It's okay to let the FBI know you're aliens now. Grant has had blue crystals in his chest for some time, and he has been doing their evil bidding. No one knows how to dig a damn hole.

Viva Las Vegas - I Need Several Humorously-Named Drinks
The whole gang weasels their way into Michael and Max's trip to Vegas, and they proceed to reach into the Subplot Grab-bag: Alex and Kyle play Blackjack, Liz and Tess play pinball. Maria wants to sing nightclubs, Isabel wants to try one night stands. In Act Four, it's all a big Conventional Couple Palooza (not that there's anything wrong with that) and Valenti steals the show in one scene.

Heart of Mine - Dawson's Desert
Katims, for the love of everything holy, lose the Word A Day calendar. Anyhoo, visions of Jell-O water and bowling with felons, respectively, convince Max and Liz it's time to move on. After the year they've been broken up. Maria and Michael are pointless, then kind of cute. Isabel whines until Alex takes her to The Prom, and they get back together and everything's gonna be juuuuuust fine for them, unless you've seen next week's promo. Kyle still has annoying friends. Blink and you miss Sadler.

Cry Your Name - What, None Of Them Have Read Any Spoilers Since January?
I liked Alex, I truly did. It's just hard for me to let my grief sink in when his ghost is actually getting screen time. Seriously. I thought Alex died in, like, "Harvest". This is his resurrection.
So Alex dies in a car accident and everyone is shocked and devastated. Notably, Liz blames the aliens (no, really, she completely does and after this episode she keeps denying that she did) and Michael's default reaction, oddly, is to become Super Perfect Boyfriend and remain as such for the rest of the season. No complaints here. I really love this episode, to tell you the truth.

It's Too Late And It's Too Bad - Mean People F-[censored]
I'm sorry, but the alien thing is simply not an excuse to be a huge jerk unless you're Michael. Are you listening, Max? Let Liz get in the cab. Let Isabel go to college. Let everyone get the hell away from you. That said, the last scene? Good for Tess. Good for the whole show.

Baby, It's You - "Four Square" Part Deux...
..."This time it's personal!" Or I guess, "This time it's real!" Tess discovers that, being on a WB teen show, one night of sex has led to pregnancy. And being on Roswell, it is a very alien pregnancy that makes her go all sweaty and sick (maybe it's really The Balance Part Deux: "This time there's no web!") In other news, Isabel and Kyle do bad things to Max, which only makes me love them more. Liz and Maria investigate Alex's death until it's time to dance to Nelly Furtado. And at the end it snows in New Mexico again, but at least there's a reason this time.

Off The Menu - Larek! Brody! I Told You Two Not To Go Away!
This episode is the Key To Everything*, mostly because it was supposed to air back before The Prom. It's the Key To Why Liz Is Dating Sean (to bribe him into pretending he didn't get stabbed), the Key To Why Max Likes Tess Now (either the flashes in Antarvision or the black turtleneck), the Key To Tess's New Power (she can hint screw with people's heads hint hint to a large extent hint hint cough next cough week cough hint)
*Except for the things it is most definitely not the key to, such as: Is Valenti a Sheriff again yet? What's up with Hanson? Why in God's name is Tess wearing a watch in Antarvision?

Departure - Leanna Is Not Important
I'm sorry, but Tess did WHAT? Okay, Alex continues to not be gone, only now he's tinted yellow and in slow motion half the time. Kyle gets some really good scenes actually, so that's cool. Michael and Maria have flashes and "make love" and are just all-around fantastic, to the point where he even stays on the planet for her, all Roswell High Books. Now, other than all that, I am ignoring this episode. It was a really bad fanfic, something that doesn't exist. A mindwarp, if you will. That is my summer philosophy. (starting... now!)

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