Episode Notes and Observations by Gale Dumont

4 Aliens and a Baby

Written by Russell Friend and Garrett Lerner
Directed by William Sadler

This week: Tess comes back, and brings the baby with her. And then she dies. Other stuff happens, too, including the revelation that the baby's name is Zan - yeah, because that's not suspicious at all - but I don't really give a flying f**k. Because Tess is dead. Tess. is dead. (Saying that? Never stops being fun.)

Previously: Hey. Where's Tess? Maybe this will be a good week after all.

No Tess. Score!

"Why aren't you taking this thing more seriously?" Because, like the rest of us, Max has just SNAPPED.

Ooh. The vest? Not loving it.

"I liked you better when you were brooding and paranoid." Yeah, but now he's got facial expressions.

Those are some cheap-ass Hazmat suits, yo.

Yeah, because reverse engineering is always a good idea. Christ, don't you guys watch movies or TV?

So the baby's on a car seat. Yeah, *that's* good parenting.

Silver material! Ooh! How alien! Except not.

Ok, seriously? Tess totally killed all those people. Killed them dead. God, can sombody get me a decent count as to how many she's killed by now? Besides Alex, I mean. Because, let us not forget, SHE KILLED HIM.

Well, that shot just sucked. (re: Tess running past and grabbing Damien)

Making out. I am watching Liz and Max make out. Clearly, I am having some wonderful dream.

Damn you, Shiri Appleby! Damn you for having my dream job!

Already, it's the best ep of the year. What with the making out. And the making out. And the out of the making.

Hey, wow, Diane. I was sure it was gonna be Maria.

Max avoiding his mom: cutest. thing. EVER. I love him! And he has stubble! And they're making out!

Hee. Studying French.

"It's ok." You can make out later.

Michael's isn't safer. Maria will walk in on y'all again.

Jesse totally looks drunken and down on his luck.

Can y'all just get divorced already? There are other things I could be doing. Like watching Max and Liz make out some more.

Bill let Max and Liz make out. I love him.

Wait, 16? So Tess has killed at least 17 people. Huh. That's a lot. Buffy would totally kill her if she'd killed 17 people.

Oh, and now she wrecks the house. Bitch.

Jim's still a cop. I love him! I love everyone! Except Tess. And Michael, and probably Maria. And Tess.

I'm having Demon Knight flashbacks. Yay! Where's Billy Zane?

And she blows a hole in the house. Bitch.

What is this, an alien intervention? Jesus. Can I slap Phil and Diane? Please? Twice?

Oh, don't look all "how could you do this to us", ok? They didn't do anything to you. They kept you out of the line of fire for, like, 14 years.

"Who are you?" Let's not start that again. God knows I have problems with *that*.

"What was that?" Your bastard alien grandchild, coming back with his murdering skank whore mother. Or maybe just the wind.

"Max!" One line, and I could cheerily see her dead.

Man, Tess looks awful. Good times.

"Please...hold him." No! Holding babies is how you bond with them! Don't bond!

"It's my son." Aaaaand here we go again. Great. Kill me. Please?

Is Tess wearing Kyle's clothes?

She named the baby Zan. Ooooh. Inconspicuous much.

Well, no, bitch. His real name is Max.

Hee! PissyMax.

"That's not what I meant to do." But you did it anyway. And you totally didn't seem to care, except that it interrupted your little "Liz is a bitch" rant.

Notice how she said "my son" first? Yeah. Way to prioritize, skank.

Well, since you couldn't kill her last year, it's a safe bet he won't do it now.

Goddammit! The baby's cute! That's not fair!

"Max is with Tess." Oh, but he's really not, Isabel. Don't even joke about that shit.

Yeah, she crashed. And killed 16 people. And Alex.

"Typical human response, I guess." *eye twitches*

And again with the "my son".

Can we kill her now? Please?

Max, technically you didn't care about her. You f**ked her. You f**ked her several times, and we had to watch, and part of me died. I don't consider that "caring about" someone.

"...and that was not a mindwarp." Dear Jason Katims: I f**kING GET IT ALREADY. Love, the Entire Viewing Audience, Plus People In China Who Have Never Seen This Goddamn Show.

You know it's a good ep when I'm swearing this much.

Not loving Jim's hair, but hey, he's doing a good job directing. Love him!

And now I've got "Unmarked Helicopters" stuck in my head, and it's cool, 'cause that song is totally about being abducted by aliens. "They said it was a weather balloon..."

"Tess is back?" I love Kyle. I love him SO MUCH.

"You did not just do that." Hee! Love him!

Jesse, what the f**k? You've never *met* Tess. Count yourself lucky on that score, my friend.

Diane, just give them the goddamn baby! God!

Yeah, ok, they're aliens! Now f**king *move* already! They've got *dogs*!

For once, Philip being a lawyer comes in handy. For all of three seconds.

"Tess, you are not here." Oh, don't I wish.

My God. Am I agreeing with Michael? Did they put something in my water again?

Oh, what, Michael's supposed to have missed you?

"Get up, bitch!" I love her! LOVE HER! If Max doesn't want to marry her, can I?

Seriously, y'all. I'm twitching over here. Best ep of the entire year. Making out! Kyle! Tess being a bitch! Liz blasting her into a wall!

Can Liz blast her again? Like, six more times? She doesn't have to kill her.

"She killed Alex." Thank you, Liz. Voice of reason, baby.

"Don't come near me." Words to live by.

"Why haven't you killed her yet?" Best question I've heard in months.

"You're lucky I didn't kill you!" What, you want a cookie for that?

"I was raised by a killer." Who, if I remember correctly - and I do - you could have told *not* to treat you like shit. And you didn't.

"And the other half?" Not human.

"I'm trying." Not terribly hard.

"She's still Isabel." Well, according to you, she's not. Pick a f**king side, Ramirez.

Since when is Maria's hair brown? Did someone spill hair dye in the water or something?

For a minute, I thought the AF guys were talking to Courtney.

"You have to make a decision." *coughHypocritecough*

I love Kyle. Just thought I'd say it again.

Hey, let's rename the kid. Something that doesn't scream "Heir to the Throne of Antar".

"Can't you breast feed?" Well, no. Not with the implants. *looks around innocently, 'cause that's just an unfounded rumor*

Those are some damn fine poker faces.

I love Russell and Garrett! Love them!

It's a pity she can't mindwarp noise, huh?

Tess continues to look bad. Who did the makeup for this one? 'Cause that person gets a fruit basket.

So, wait, are we supposed to feel bad for Tess? Because I totally don't. At all.

Isabel's hair isn't that bad this week. Wow.

They're coping with this alien thing really, really well. Maybe I don't have to hate them.

Max is very, very cute with a baby. And when it's his and Liz's baby, it'll be, like, that cute cubed.

Man, Tess looks horrible. Whoo!

"Go without me." Oh, like having a baby made you altruistic.

"Another lie?" Oooh. I'm surprised. Oh, wait. No.

Liz! Blast her again! She just practically said it was ok!

And Liz explains it in two sentences that make sense, because I used to read X-Men.

"I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy." Say, Tess.

"This is not an alien decision only." No. No it's not. Yay!

"She killed Alex." And I love Maria again! What is it this week?

"Do it. Turn her in." I love Michael Guerin. Who slipped me something?

Notice how everyone who's had sex with Tess - namely, Max and Kyle - vote for her to live. What is between your legs, skank? Magic dust? Oh my God. I did *not* just write that.

You're a better person than I am, Liz Parker.

"Liz, wake up." And blast her!

"I need a favor." So, logically, you ask Liz. Riiiiight.

Ok, so now Tess gets to be all heroic and sacrifice herself and tell Liz Max loves her, and suddenly everyone *doesn't* hate her and want her dead, and my God I've got issues with that. f**king goddamn MarySue. Though it could be a hell of a lot worse.

I don't even get to see her DIE? What the f**k? Someone owes me big, Darth, and guess who I'm looking at? Here's a hint: it's not Russell and Garrett. They're my new best friends.

"Aliens don't need sleep." Just an assload of coffee.

Honestly? I'm very low on the hate right now. Except for Tess. That never, ever stops.

Please, please tell me Max gets the kid back when he's old enough to understand. Oh, God, am I sniffling? Goddammit, Jason! Don't *do* that!

He's so cute with that kid. SO CUTE. I'm dying over here, people.

Yeah. Someone named Zan in New York. 'Cause that worked out so well last time.

Dude, give him to the Kents. They're doing a pretty good job with baby Superman a few stations over.

Oh my God. So cute. So cute. Dying over here. DYING. And the alt-rock isn't helping.

Ok, so the kid's chubby. But he's got Max's DNA, so odds are he's gonna be pretty goddamn hot when he gets older.

Max. Liz. A baby. Max kissing the baby. Max tearing up. I just. Oh God.

Handholding! Oh, God. I'm gonna miss this, aren't I?

"I'll always be here." Oh, God. That was a flashback, wasn't it? *sniffle*

Max. Crying. Oh God. Oh great good God.

Little alien toy! Little alien toy! AAAAGH!

OBSERVATIONS

Ok, so now it's Wednesday, and I've had some time to relax and step back and try to be critical, which means if you expect me to wrote "Love her!" or "Love him!" much more, you might want to go get a mocha or something. Not that I don't love them, because I really do think this was the season's strongest ep, but I'm usually not that much of a 14-year-old girl. I must have been slipped something during Buffy.

Plotwise, the whole thing felt extremely rushed. Hurry, get Tess to the Evans'! Hurry, run, it's the Air Force! Hurry, reaction shots of Tess being back! Hurry, Tess can - what, the ep's over? Damn, that was fast. There was a lot of running around, and Act 4 just seemed hurried and rushed, which is a little annoying. If next week weren't it, I'd tell Darth and Co. to work on their pacing. But then, they've needed to do that since the show started.

And now that that's over with, we can get to the good part: characters.

We have to start with Tess, much as I really, *really* don't want to. It's nice to know that, while I didn't entirely hate Michael and Maria this week, some things *do* stay the same - namely, my violent hatred for Skanky McFakeBreasts, known to some as Tess. Yes, Tess, Max's backstabbing (and MURDERING) ex-one-night-stand, now with new and improved heir to the throne of Antar. And guess what? I still hate her.

No, really. She shows no remorse for killing the Air Force guys. I can almost sort of let that slide - much as I don't want to, what with the slaughter of innocents who were just doing their jobs - because she was protecting her child. But her only explanation for Max pointing out that she killed Alex - which, let us not forget, she *did* - is "That's not what I meant to do", followed shortly thereafter by "I was raised by a killer".

Oh, man. Where to start?

First: maybe you didn't mean to kill Alex, but you did kill him, and you don't seem too upset about mindwarping him for, like, three months *straight* to decode the book for you, and honestly, that's what killed him. You've never shown remorse for his death, other than to say that his death "interrupted [you and Max]" remembering your lives on Antar, and that really, the whole thing was Liz's fault for not having the decency to die when she got shot that time, 'cause then Max would totally have gotten over her, yo, and fallen in love with *you* like the Mommagram said.

Um. No?

Addendum to that: The explanation for making Kyle move Alex's *lifeless body*? "I was raised by a killer." Well, whoopty. People overcome shitty circumstances all the time; you don't get points for actually sliding down *into* the Gutter. Overlooking the fact that you could have kind of *ordered* Nasedo not to be a killer if you so wished - and don't tell me she didn't know she could; Tess is many things, including skanky and murdering, but stupid isn't one of them. That's the writers you're thinking of - you've never shown one shred of remorse for killing Alex. You only feel bad that you got caught several weeks later. You also show no remorse whatsoever for killing 16 people, and while I'll give you, like, half a point for protecting your child - "Zan"? The f**k were you *thinking*, woman? - you never felt bad for killing them, because they were demonstrating "typical human behavior". If that's the case, why care about the child? *He's* only human. He can't ever generate force fields, or blast Magical Ass Fire, or even blow up rocks or dreamwalk. I also totally don't buy Tess's motivations for sacrificing herself. Going-to-throw-off-the-AF-with-my-valiant-sacrifice, my shiny pink ass. She did it for her own reasons, most of which we won't ever know, and while I *do* think she did it in some small way to keep the baby - I'm sorry, I'm not calling him Zan - safe, she mostly did it to take out as many enemies as she could. Good battle strategy? Yes. Altruistic? Not so much.

Kyle - well. Kyle rocks. We don't see a lot of Buddha Boy this week, and really, I can't blame Kyle for momentarily forgetting his calm, centered Buddhist roots and instead wanting Tess dead. He did, after all, end up carting around Alex's lifeless body like luggage for the better part of an hour while her hamster-sized brain desperately tried to think of a plan, and I can't say I disagree with "why isn't she dead yet?" He manages to keep a level head for most of this, including getting a *hole* blown through his *house* (yeah, thanks for that, bitch) and trying to play catchup with a suddenly blase Jesse's "yeah, Tess and the baby are here". I *still* say the only reason Kyle voted for her to live was because having sex with Tess apparently starts to erode the male brain - and yeah, they had sex. f**king cut scenes - but other than that one eensy-weensy lapse in judgment, Kyle rocks. Did I ever really hate him? Cookie.

Jim was too busy with his new flippy hair (which, for the record, I'm not loving) to actually *be* in the episode, other than lying to the Air Force, but that's ok. Bill did a pretty good job directing - no swooping camera angles, no jarring cuts, nothing to make me yell at the TV. I still wish TPTSuck had gone through with what I'd heard from early spoilers and made Jim a private detective, but that's not really OnT. Cookie. And a haircut.

I didn't hate Michael this week. For those of you paying attention, this is about the fourth time in *three seasons* this has happened. He didn't do much besides advocate Tess being killed, and I can't help but get behind that. He was only in, like, three scenes, and he was more than ready to blow off Tess's head. f**k it, I'm easy. Cookie.

Maria, now - points for wanting her dead and for once again pointing out the whole murdering-Alex thing (because really, you can't say that enough), but no points for the whole "love Max or let him go" advice. Really, O Sage? Because you should maybe take your own advice on the Michael front before you start doling it out like it's fresh from a fortune cookie. People who have had sex totally don't get to give love advice on alien boyfriends to virgins. Half a cookie, and that's only because I'm in a generous mood this week.

Isabel. *sigh* Once again, she manages to make it All About Her. Except that, you know, it's *totally not*. Granted, the night started off sucky, what with Diane and Philip and the videotape of Isabel going all Carol-Ann-in-Poltergeist, but that was kind of her own fault. Honey, you don't have an alien-powered temper tantrum in your parents' house, especially not when your dad's been investigating y'all for, like, six months now. That's why you and Jesse have your own house. She also tries to drag the attention back onto her and Jesse during the whole Fleeing From the Big Bad Air Force debacle, which would have been annoying if I had been surprised by it at all. But I wasn't, because Isabel is a giant screentime-sucking bitch who I could gladly see thrown into a wall (Liz? You take requests?). No cookie. Not until you quit working my last good f**king nerve.

And Jesse, could you do me a favor? Could you pick a position in the Isabel, You're Not the Woman I Married/Isabel's No Different, She's Still Your Daughter and f**king *stick with it*? Jesus. No wonder the marriage isn't working. Bobbleheads don't go back and forth as much as you do. I can kind of understand it if you're trying to be supportive and all because she's your wife and you feel like you *have* to take her side, but I don't think you do. I don't know *what* you were doing, and if I can't do that, I can't accurately assess whether or not you deserve anything derived from the Keebler Elves.

The baby. I have no judgment on the baby whatsoever, except that Jason was ridiculously cute playing with him. And if little Zan - swear to God, he needs a name change *stat* - winds up looking anything like his Daddy, I may have to start scoping out playgrounds in the New York area.

Rusell and Garrett? My new best friends, since Thania and Jan have left me twisting in the wind. You've got to love two guys who start off an ep with Max and Liz making out for, like, three minutes, and ends with Tess dead. Cookie!

While Liz's "Get up, *bitch*" was utterly and completely out of character - it's *Liz Parker*, people. I love her, but I don't think she knows words like that - you should have seen me squealing into the phone to AnneM when it happened. It's OOC, yeah, but I also think that Liz would have been more than a little pissed off that Tess was back. God knows *I* was, and I'm not the one who got a dead best friend and a one-night-stand-having sort-of-ex-boyfriend out of the deal. I'm happy the powers haven't gone anywhere, not really, and that while Liz doesn't even like Tess a little, she can't bring herself to condemn Tess to death. That's in-character. I also kind of like the whole Tess-asking-Liz-to-drive-her-to-the-base bit, because Tess knew if there was one person who wouldn't pull out the "Tess, you don't have to do this!" card re: sacrificing herself nobly (*snort*), it's Liz. Also, Liz is the only one of the Pod Squad to be there with Max when he gives the baby up, for which I could cheerfully smack Michael and Isabel. On the other hand, if Isabel had been there, we probably would have had to sit through a 20-minute monologue on how Isabel just wants to have normal human babies with Jesse, and a normal life, and can't Max just leave her ALONE, so maybe it's better that Liz was the only one there. Cookie. It would have been two cookies if you'd blasted Tess again.

I can't agree with everything Max did, but I can, for the most part, understand it. He'd dearly love to blow off the top of Tess's head, but that's really Michael's job, and let's face it, Tess had him pegged: a few Skins aside, he's not a killer. He might not love Tess - and I still think "I can't believe I ever cared about you" was like holding up a big sign reading "IT *WAS* A MINDWARP" - but he does love his son, and he won't do anything to threaten the baby's life. He's happy with Liz - total 180 from last week, really, but I'm not going to complain, what with all the face-sucking - and he gets away from Isabel's rants about The State of the Evans-Ramirez Marriage, so *that's* a plus. He makes a decision - a mature one, all things considered - to give the baby up for adoption so he can have a chance at a normal life (and also so he can have one himself, without the burden of a child at the age of 19, which I don't really consider selfish), but it still hurts to let the baby go. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if, in a few years, Max tracks the kid down just to see how he's doing. He's not the kind of person to abandon the baby altogether, no matter how many kids he and Liz have. (And don't tell me he and Liz won't have kids. Let me have my dreams, ok?) He gets a cookie - and a hug, because he needs one.

(Sidebar: Really, the Max/Tess scene in his old room was a meta-rehash of Fans vs. TPTSuck.

"I can't believe I ever cared about you." = "They didn't have sex! It wasn't in character! She either mindwarped him to have sex, or there *was* no sex!"

"Well, you *did*, Max. And that was not a mindwarp." = "Look, they had sex. Get over it." (paraphrased from Kevin Kelly Brown, who, if I ever happen to grow testicles, can suck my left one)

So, much in the manner of Aaron Sorkin and the people at the Television Without Pity - formerly Mighty Big TV - posting forums, Darth is not laughing *with* us.)

And now, if I may, a brief message to Darth:

Dear Darth,

On behalf of every single person on the planet, least of all those of us who are and have been Roswell fans, even though there are plenty of things we could be doing instead, like making it a Blockbuster night and checking our email, I would like to pass along one single message:

WE f**kING GET IT ALREADY.

Ok? Tess and Max really did have sex. It wasn't a mindwarp, though it was so OOC for Max that it might as well have been Zan (the one with the tattoos and crap-ass beard, not the small child) f**king the skank. It really *did* happen. And y'all certainly went to a lot of effort to tell us that, including letting us see Emilie de Ravin's naked lower back and upper ass, while simultaneously denying us so much as a glimpse of anything above Jason Behr's kneecaps. And we have seen her back. Many, many times. Because y'all seem fit to put it in the previouslys for the last three eps of S2, and at least once this season in an episode when it made *no sense*, but *not* in this one, when it *would* have made sense, what with the baby and all.

So, yes, Max made a mistake, and he's apparently been paying for it ever since, what with the mindwarp (the one that involves the baby "needing" him) and the death and resurrection (so he really *is* Jesus, then. Good to know. I thought all those jokes in ARCC were just crude and inflammatory. Instead, I'm prescient. Woo!) and Michael being a dick (well, more of one) the whole 16 hours *he* was king. But that's *one mistake*. It doesn't give everyone else permission to piss on him for the next year, and it would be nice if you remembered that. Michael's done a few stupid things in his time - Courtney springs to mind unassisted - and God knows Isabel isn't exactly a bastion of bright ideas, so ease up on the guy next week, huh?

We've got one ep left, Darth. *One*. If I don't get to see the sex and wedding I was promised in the spoilers, someone dies. In other words, you might want to speed your loved ones and pets out of the country, and get your affairs in order. Just a heads-up because I care so much, ass.

Oh, and thanks for working "granilith" in there again. I really needed that. Bitch.

Sincerely,

Me

Final total: 4.5 out of 5. Nice resolution to the Tess Nightmare - she's dead! Yay! But it wasn't on-screen so I could get screencaps! Boo! - and it's good that Diane and Philip know now, even if it was a little rushed. Bill did a good job directing, and you totally can't tell that this was the ep where Brendan pissed his pants to win a bet. Best episode of the season, and I'll fight anyone who disagrees with me.

Next week: The FBI! The return of Madame Vivian! Utterly improbable resolutions! CGI! Max in a graduation gown! All this and so much more (and less) in the series finale, "Graduation". See you then.

Gale