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What Is Wrong With the Ending of Roswell Season 2?

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Cecelia has researched H.P. Lovecraft and fairy tales. Working with kindergartens, Cecelia became interested in speech development.

Roswell Television series 1999-2002

Roswell was a television series which ran from 1999 to 2002. It was based on the premise that aliens survived the alleged crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The most important are four clones of the “Royal” family from their home planet.

The clones were stored in pods, which began to develop on a delayed timeline after the crash, eventually hatched and were adopted by human families. Max and Isabel were lucky to get the Evanses as their parents. Michael was not so lucky, he had a trailer-park drunk as his guardian until he applied for official emancipation.

This unlikely, but creative premise allows the Roswell aliens to masquerade as contemporary teenagers in 1999. The show was created by Jason Katims, although there are some credit references to a book series entitled “Roswell High” by Melinda Metz.


"Great Millennium Productions"

When Roswell was on television, it seemed slow-moving, but with the advent of the new genre of ‘television on DVD’ which became increasingly popular as technology advanced, I concluded Roswell was very watchable.

I would view the DVD releases as one of the great cultural products of the turn of the millennium – that unique period spanning from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, when people seriously believed the world might change on December 31, 1999.

Some people believed we might never see January 2000. Or alternately, if we did see the New Year, it would be with all electrical equipment and other machinery fried because of programming which was unable to interpret dates without an assumed 19__ in the front.

This was an interesting, very speculative period culturally speaking. A second similar emotional crisis occurred in 2012 when the prophecies of Nostradamus and the Mayan calendar carved into rocky walls were assumed to come to an end.

(If you are interested in this sort of thing, check my references.)

The Problems With Season 2: The Toxic Relationships Continue.

The Season Two finale is disappointing for a number of reasons, one of which is the glorification of toxic relationships. The Romeo and Juliet star crossed lovers theme appealed to teens the world over and helped the series acquire a following. However, the dysfunctional pairings became truly tedious toward the end of Season 1.

1) Max And Liz

  • Max is dark and dangerous, being hunted by killers and unable to offer Liz a ‘normal’ future. A healthy girl with a good self-concept would eventually choose another partner.
  • However, the couple swing back and forth endlessly – they can’t be together – they love each other so much – they can’t be together – oh no, the corpse is not dead yet – they want to be together again. MOVE ON LIZ!
  • Liz bizarrely claims she “saved herself for Max”. In “The Departure” (S2, Ep21, aired 21 May 2001), Max makes an unnecessary stop to tell Liz he is going to his home planet, and by the way, he got his wife pregnant. Liz, whose trouble-making has been tedious for a while, coughs out the claim that Max had betrayed her because she “saved herself” for him.
  • Not only does Liz lack any understanding of what moving on is all about, she clearly does not have a clear understanding of what saving herself for someone might entail as she has been making-out with Sean de Luca! Liz has also dragged Sean so far into her schemes that he has been arrested for breaking into the school and violating his parole. (S2, Ep18, “It's Too Late and It's Too Bad”, aired 30 Apr. 2001). Sean has to do extra community service and in “Off the Menu” (S2, Ep20, aired 14 May 2001) took a knife wound protecting her. Oh thanks Sean, you are not Liz’s alien obsession, she would just like to use you for a while…

2) Maria And Michael

  • The diamond in the rough bad boy tries to be a good boyfriend theme also wears thin after a while.
  • Maria clearly wants more than Michael can give, but if she cannot accept him the way he is, she should also consider moving on.
  • Has anyone noticed how nagging Maria can be? Even when Michael does nice things like polish up a new bumper for her car in “A Roswell Christmas Carol”, (S2, Ep10, aired 18 Dec. 2000), she doesn’t appreciate him. Oh, it is cute that Isobel has smuggled an alternate gift of pearl earrings into his room to give Maria, but romantic tokens aren’t everything.
  • How can a girl look at a major item like a car part and ask where her real gift is? Why wouldn’t a boyfriend stand up for himself over this? (Come to think of it, whose car is it anyway? Maria has begun to refer to it as hers…but occasionally it is still reclaimed by her mother.)

3) Max Has No Sense Of Adventure.

  • This is Science Fiction, right?
  • Max ought to be curious about his homeworld and eager to find his planet. Occasionally he approaches this mood, but too often this is left to Michael – and even Michael is developing too many ties to earth.
  • If this show is to blossom and turn into real science fiction, we must have at least a visit to the home planet. Max ought to go, see and conquer. He can choose Earth again as his permanent home if the producers want to send the message that earth is great!
  • A friend said to me “it is about where the space-ship crashed, not where they came from”. Well, I tell you, that space ship didn’t just crash – it got thoroughly bogged.
Image from Wikimedia commons

Image from Wikimedia commons

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4) No One Has Fun In Vegas.

  • In Season 2, Episode 15, “Viva Las Vegas”, (aired 26 Feb. 2001) Michael is having nightmares and decides he needs a holiday. He asks Max to go to Vegas. Well, the rest of the gang find out and all insist on joining the trip.
  • Michael cheats at dice using his powers and ruins the fun. Alex does the math and loses everything on the first bet. Maria auditions to be a stripper (which is truly comic) and Isabel gets to be some random person’s bridesmaid. Liz and Tess are rejected from the gaming room because they appear young, while Max and Michael fight.
  • The money runs out and they are almost glad when the Sheriff appears to shepherd them all home again.
  • The only good thing is that Max tells Liz he would never marry her in Vegas “in this lifetime”. Maybe Liz got her Vegas dance, but I would rather have seen Max accidentally marry Tess in Vegas!

5) Liz’s Twisted Sense Of Destiny Stiffles The Possibilities For Kyle.

  • I don’t remember exactly which episodes, but Liz keeps saying Max is her destiny.
  • No! Four alien pods were hatched and Max was a married man. Maybe Isabel and Michael don’t have to get together; they were only engaged and there are indications Isabel had other relationships... However, Max and Tess did love each other and were happy in their previous incarnation.
  • I would say Liz’s destiny was meant to be Kyle. They were dating before Liz met Max, and Kyle certainly has all the goods – clean living, muscled school sporting hero, etc... A guy who would just like to make his girlfriend happy.
  • At the end of season one, Kyle almost gave his life for the group, despite their generally excluding him from their activities. Max healed Kyle, and as Liz observes when she asks Kyle to pose in bed with her as a ‘favour’ to shock Max, they have both been brought back from the dead by aliens. This plot-line could have been exploited and their special status made into a major bond.
Image from

Image from

6) Everyone Turns Against Tess.

  • Things were getting better. The Sheriff practically adopted Tess and in “Heart of Mine” (S2, Ep16, aired 16 Apr. 2001), Kyle realised he perceived her as his sister. Did my ears delude me or did I hear Tess finally call the Sheriff “Dad” near the beginning of “The Departure” (S2, Ep21, aired 21 May 2001)?
  • Despite all this, as soon as Liz suggests Tess killed Alex and mind-melded Kyle, everyone hates her.
  • These are people who were supposed to have taken her into their hearts, but they can just turn around and revile her on the spot! No one says, ‘but she is my sister/daughter/lover’ and defends her.
  • At least Max allows her to take their baby home. He doesn’t shout or hit her either, but he does deny everything they had together and go running straight back to Liz. Not even a proper mourning period for the break-up, if that is what it is!

7) The Killer Had Already Been Found!

  • Remember the trail in Season 2, Episode 19, that led to the University in Santa Cruz instead of Sweden? And the Swedish girlfriend who coincidentally attended that University instead.
  • The photographs had clearly been Photo-Shopped, but the person was there - and acting suspiciously.
  • Remember the creepy abandoned, cottage looking ready for demolition… computer, monitoring equipment & a red glowing pyramid? Rival aliens have followed them before, some of them even looked like human girls.
  • Later, Liz says Tess was to blame, but Tess was sweating on the couch almost losing her baby. Max used his healing powers to scan the baby, so it is clear she is not faking her illness.
  • I was very fond of Alex, he was my favourite human character, but the aliens could heal – so if there had been no cover-up, and Alex was healed immediately he would have survived.
  • What made even less sense was that Alex always used his technical skills to help his friends, and if Tess had asked him to use the supercomputer to decode the alien guidebook, he would have done so willingly. All the aliens wanted to understand the symbols, so Tess had no need to hide this from the other three.

8) No One Listens To Future Max

  • “The End of the World” (S2, Ep5, aired 30 Oct. 2000) is many people’s favourite episode.
  • In this well-crafted and beautifully filmed episode, Max returns from 2014 to tell Liz that she has to cease hanging onto present Max.
  • Future Max and Liz had followed their desires to their ultimate culmination in a seedy Vegas chapel and hastened the end of the world.
  • Future Max tells Liz that the aliens need Tess because she has the most essential powers and without her, they are helpless against future events. And without a relationship with Max, Tess will abandon them, changing their ultimate fate.
  • Now this may be personally disappointing to Liz, however, she has a number of choices about how to go about breaking up with Max. The first speech is okay and has some basis in truth, her desire for self-preservation and a normal family life. Max should listen. However, he doesn’t, so she asks her bitter, but otherwise extremely obliging human ex-boyfriend Kyle to strip off and get into bed with her, without completing the act, just so they can get caught.
  • Now here’s an alternate plan? Liz could have told Max the TRUTH. (Shock, horror, rarely done on television.) Present Max and future Max cannot meet without consequences, but Liz can speak to both. Why not tell present Max he needs to treat Tess with more respect?

Watch the Drama

9) Only Tess Goes To The Home Planet.

  • This is the ultimate disappointment in Roswell Season 2.
  • The space capsule has its engines all revved up to go, discovery and adventure await… even a visit to their home planet would have made the science fiction element of this saga more satisfying.
  • It was meant to be Science Fiction remember? I remember when I had this episode on VHS tape, I edited it so that they did all go to their home planet…

10) Worth Watching Season 3 Anyway...

  • Now I am going to contradict myself and say that Roswell on DVD is worth watching. (It has always been a bit rarer and harder to obtain.)
  • The alien boys grow rougher and tougher; Liz’s father acts as the voice of reason, reminding everybody why Max and Liz really don’t work, and Max has not completely forgotten his son. A few viewers don’t like Isabel’s ‘normal’ marriage, but I think it works…


"The Mayan Calendar", (2008) Calendars through the Ages, Web Exhibits,

"Roswell (TV series 1999–2002)", IMDB

"Roswell High", wikipedia,

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2017 Cecelia

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