Episode Notes and Observations by Gale Dumont

Behind the Music!

Written by Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

This week: Maria's friend First-Kiss Billy blows through Roswell on his way to New York, leaving a trail of dusty flowers and weeping Candygirls in his wake; Max admits he done a bad, bad thing -- and bashes Bob in the process, which doesn't earn him any points; Philip manages to wrest the long-dusty title of Most Evil Parent away from S1 Jim; and, much like the start of his honeymoon, Jesse fails to secure some ass. Join me, won't you?

Brief memo to Marti Noxon, re: Buffy: I like me some Alyson Hannigan, but Willow better get slapped in the face by the Threefold Law before the season's up, or while I'm in LA bitchslapping Gretchen & Aaron (and, possibly Darth, if he keeps this shit up) I'm coming after you, too. And if I get enough mochas in me, I can keep slapping for a real long time, Marti.

God. A whole hour of the song stylings of Majandra Delfino. Someone kill me now.

Seriously, people, rethink ep titles, huh? If I see something called "Behind the Music", I'd better be seeing a parody of the *actual* BtM. You know: "What could drive such promising young high school students to get involved in things like robbery, teen pregnancy, and murder-for-hire? Find out tonight on Roswell: Behind the Crap."

Five gets you ten Majandra gets to sing at some point. I also wouldn't be terribly surprised if there's also a plug for her CD before the night's over. In stores now!

Fun fact: UPN is the only network that *doesn't* have a Standards & Practices department. Explains a lot, doesn't it?

God, do we need previouslys? No! Not wedding flashbacks! I want to repress the wedding, dammit!

Please, please let Liz have no Nelly Furtado earrings this week.

Ooh! Pegboard!

Can somebody tell the camera guy to back the f**k away from Jason and Shiri's faces? I mean, I love them, don't get me wrong, but I think I could see pores.

"My whole life is up here." Well, yeah, save for the huge blocks Philip knows nothing about. Like where you got Tess pregnant, and she killed Alex, and *why* you "robbed" the convenience store, and exactly *where* Tess is now. You know, little things.

AAAGH! Flashbacks! I am sitting through Emilie flashbacks, people! Someone dies for this!

"I was going home." Oh, don't even get me started in on that, Senor Presidente.

Oh! Oh, you did *not* just take back the necklace! That was the best part about Departure, goddammit! I mean, besides Tess getting the f**k off my planet.

Where does Billy live, that he has to go through New Mexico to get to New York? 'Cause the way I hear it, if he can make it there, he can make it anywhere.

Maria yanking Kyle away. Hee! Love that! Amy and Jim need to get married, if only to see these two be adorable and step-sibling-esque on a regular basis.

"He was a little bit of a geek." And apparently, he now looks like a low-rent Jack Black. Except that Jack Black is, you know, cool.

You can almost see Billy's eyes spark with the sheer possibility of getting some ass, can't you?

"Most of it was crap, anyway." I've heard some of your original stuff, Majandra. Hate to break this to you, but it kind of still is.

Seriously, y'all, could you make conversations between Max and Michael sound less like a booty call? This is starting to freak me out.

You know it's bad when I'm rooting for *Michael*, people. *Michael*.

Jesus! Could you two quit f**king and start redecorating wherever the f**k you're currently living? God, give Isabel one piece of ass and she loses what little brain she possessed prior to getting said ass.

Look! He brought a plant! Possibly a ficus. I don't know from plants.

God, Phil. You're not what I'd call subtle, are you? Does no one on this show know how to lie decently?

I'm telling you: he's Jack Black a few years removed. It's eerie.

"That is so romantic, I could just scream." No it's not! He sounds like a college student: broke. "Hey, I found a dollar! Woo! A world of possibilities!"

Oh, God. Not food-related flirting. My stomach can't take it.

"I'm getting a blanket!" "Why?" "So we can have sex!" I am about five minutes away from crying. Darth, why do you hate me? WHY?

Great. So Isabel's hormones almost get Max killed by his father. Good one, Isabel. Christ, Michael, just blow up her head now.

"What did I just do?" Could everyone stop making me feel bad for Jesse? It's two weeks in a row, now.

"It was your late 90s Annie Lennox phase." Otherwise known as first season. Christ, I miss that show.

I think that's a deeper pit than you used to bury Pierce, for godsakes.

Oh, man. I think I just giggled over Michael's obsessive love of Metallica CDs. Christ. Christ. I think I've been drugged. I have yet to squeal with glee over the impending Candygirl torment. Also, I seem to be swearing more than usual.

Man. Philip really needs a hobby, doesn't he?

I am sick and f**king tired of always getting the shaft on this show. No, not *that* wa- Actually, depending on what you're talking about, yeah, I *am* getting the shaft that way, and it's really starting to piss me off.

Anyone else remember Steve?

Maria, I hate to say this, but about Billy? YOU CAN DO BETTER. And yes, I just implicitly called Michael "better".

Uh, Billy? You're a houseguest. You're in no position to start interrogating people about what Maria does or does not do. You're not Philip.

Maria, look at him! Michael's trying! Michael *never* tries!

"He missed it." If by "missed it", you meant "skipped it on purpose to get some ass", well then, yeah, he missed it.

Ok, if Max is trying *not* to look like a portrait of Teenage Rebellion, he maybe shouldn't wear the studded leather jacket to talk to his dad. Remember first season, Max? Dress like that.

Um, is it silly of me to point out that selling a Jeep isn't technically a *reason* to sell it?

So does Maria play guitar? Because I don't need to hear that.

I don't care if you're a houseguest, Billy, you don't go through someone's stuff. It's rude. On the other hand, you don't seem to have any problem with that sort of thing.

Oh my God. Michael and Liz are...talking. Like people who work together, and kind of get along, and who date each other's best friends. See? We should have gotten this a while ago, and instead we're getting it now, and I can't enjoy it even a little.

"The good-looking sort of thing." Does this entire town have beer goggles on? He's not attractive! Not even a little!

Hey. 28 minutes in and no singing. Good jo -- oh, no, wait, spoke too soon. Crap.

Jesus. I totally just got that that is Alex's guitar. Man. I'm slow tonight, aren't I? f**k.

"Well, then I guess tonight's a special night." He's about five minutes away from breaking out the "good" cooking sherry and going for third base.

See? Singing. I hate being right.

God. Oh my GOD. I feel bad for Michael Guerin. This should not be happening. I'm. just. I need a hug. And some chocolate. And first season eps. They're showing the pilot next week, right? Guess what *I'm* taping again?

Um. Michael blowing out car windows and setting off car alarms to Maria's crap alt-indie-rock ballad? That was. wow. That was a decent shot. Good one, Frakes. You alone may survive this summer beating-free.

Why is this show making me hate everyone's dads this year? First Jeff, now Philip. Man, I miss Nancy being the parent no one liked.

Oh, man. NervousWakingUp!Max. Sherman Oaks flashbacks, baby.

"We're part human. We're supposed to have feelings." Oh my God. Clearly, Max, getting some of that hybrid poontang has eaten away the part of your brain that filters what comes out of your mouth.

God, that's an ugly green jacket.

"Got sick of it." Shut up! You did *not* just insult Bob. AnneB., get him!

Man. I'd pay good money to see Max at 15. No, really. No, *really*.

"I'm not spying." Well, technically, no. Your private investigator is spying.

"You're keeping secrets." Um, gee. You found him and his sister wandering naked in the desert, no one else around, unable to speak or understand English. He's got secrets? You figure?

"Don't say it like that, like I'm a kid." As much as I'm scaring the shit out of myself by liking you this week, Michael, you usually *do* act like a kid. And I don't see how getting angry and blowing shit up makes you act less immature.

"You're gonna leave me for him." Quite frankly, Michael, I can't see how that would be trading up.

"It's what I always do." Oh, don't get me started, Little Miss Co-Dependent.

Jesus, Billy, catch a f**king bus, huh?

"Maria, I missed my bus on purpose." Gasp! Shock! Surprise! Oh, wait, not at all.

God, this is every cliched "you need to run free, little bird" movie convo I've ever heard in my entire life. Or in any past lives I might have had during which movies were talkies.

Hey, anyone remember Jesse? Anyone? Is this thing on?

I'm swearing a lot this week, aren't I? Goddammit.

If taken out of context, Liz and Maria's little conversation in the bed together is almost Breen Frazier-esque. In other words, none of that for me, thanks.

Has anyone actually *heard* the lyrics for "Walk On"? Man. Whoever on the staff decided it was a good song to use at the end of Departure should be beaten with a stick.

I wouldn't call that passion, Maria. I'd call it a lack of proper dental hygeine. Bleh. Honestly, people, is anyone *looking* at Billy?

Sleeping Beauty may be trite, but at least they didn't go for the obvious R&J ref.

See? In bed together.

"It's like I've paid this huge price for knowing these aliens." At this point, haven't we all? I used to have free time, people.

"I didn't sign up for this." "Yes you did. We all did." Um, Liz? No you didn't. You signed up for knowing that Max, Michael & Isabel were aliens, and for keeping it secret. You didn't sign up for Wacky Romantic Hijinks, or Character Death Just In Time For Sweeps, or -- my personal favorite -- Watching Your Relationships Get Yanked Around Just Because It's Sweeps.

"...because without your dreams, you're just me." Ohhh, no. You did *not* just say that, Liz. The pity party stops here. C'mere. Show? You can go on without me. We're gonna be a while.

Though no Nelly Furtado earrings. Woo!

Billy's leaving. Yaaay!

"...that I go to New York with you." Yeah, because when people from Roswell, New Mexico go to New York, it always ends well.

We don't ever need to see Billy again. Or Sean, while I'm on the subject of sleazy guys hanging around the DeLuca household.

"I wish you hadn't've hidden yourself away with that guitar." Oh my God. Oh my GOD. Hi, Museum of Trite Dialogue? You've got a new exhibit debuting. Russell, Garrett, I expected better from the two of you. Shame.

I'm not digging Isabel's new Princess Leia hair-curl things.

Man, in profile, shot from far away, if you ignore his coloring, Jesse looks a lot like Max. Oh, ewww. Bad thoughts.

"I want to tell you the truth about what's been going on with Max." Oh, you bitch.

Look at Philip. He doesn't believe a word of it. I almost want to hug that man. See, now *he's* a good liar. Well, better than the rest of y'all, certainly.

"You're safe for another day." Yeah, and so are you, so shut the f**k up, Princess.

Philip? They're hiding something from you, not plotting to overthrow the government, so maybe you should ease up on the word "conspirator", huh?

"You said you wanted to talk, which usually means you're going to kick my ass, so I brought some friends." Hee. Oh, man. This needs to stop. I should in no way be giggling over *anything* Michael Guerin has to say, unless it's at his expense.

"I wanna break up." Fairly straightforward, innit?

Oh my God! You're both so f**ked up I can't believe it. Michael's bitter and has trouble showing his emotions; Maria covers up her emotions with jokes and faux wackiness. You're the poster children for a co-dependent relationship, and saying that Michael's been helping Maria through this whole "alien/human thing" is a flat-out lie. Y'all need therapy in the worst way, and I just -- no, you know what? Wait a few paragraphs. My fingers are getting tired.

"If you're trying to tell me that you're a bisexual or something, I'm cool with it." That noise you just heard? All of the credit Michael had earned with me this episode flying out the window and hitching a ride to the airport to get away from his sorry ass.

I don't believe it. I actually feel kind of bad for them. This is scaring the hell out of me.

"Things change." You should both know that. You live in *Roswell*, for f**k's sake.

Oh. Oh, man. Flowers turning to dust? Nice touch, *and* efficient.

Is this Majandra singing on the backing track? I think it is.

Enough with the profile shots! God!

No! Not a montage! I *like* montages, dammit! Ok, so it was brief, but *still*!

So Billy reawakened the music in her soul. Oh. Yay.

Uh, Mikey G? Judging from that there song, I don't think Maria's gonna be coming back to you before the last 6 eps of the season.

I think it's very, very wrong that Majandra gets to do the music credits for tonight. Honey, you're in them. You don't get to *say* them. It sounds weird if you just say Majandra. You're not Madonna; use your damn last name. And the cover of the CD is pretty f**king creepy.

Please don't ever use the tagline "Every love story has a beginning" if you've repeatedly said that you're trying to KILL said love story. That line and "happy couples are boring" do NOT mix, and quite frankly, it's not like I don't already have enough to want to brain y'all.

OBSERVATIONS:

Huh. So Michael & Maria are over. Bet *that* was a fun story meeting, huh, Darth? G&A throwing temper tantrums, trying to make deals to save their babies, offering you money and home-cooked meals and whores...points for not giving in, though. I mean, if you're going to torpedo everyone's hopes, you might as well torpedo *everyone's* hopes, y'know?

Candygirl panic attacks aside, the whole thing was handled...not badly, but it could have been handled a *lot* better than it was. I mean, EotW makes me cry like a baby -- I *still* can't listen to "I Shall Believe" without getting mildly depressed -- but this? Not so much. And it's not just because I couldn't care less about Michael & Maria if you paid me, though that's still true. It's as lifeless and lackluster as the rest of this season, and while I don't give two great big shits about either of 'em, the least they deserved was a heart-rending sendoff. Ok, you can't do time-traveling again, I get that, but at least one plate-glass window being blown out, y'know? Spend that money you just got from UPN for six more eps. God knows you're not using it on effects.

Honestly, one of the reasons I had problems with the breakup was the reasoning behind it. Michael hasn't been helping Maria through "this alien/human thing"; if anything, he's been a hinderance. The two of them are poster children for Co-Dependent Relationshippers Across America. You both come from iffy backgrounds -- Hank the Abusive Asshole (remember Hank? Drunk guy, we only saw him, like, twice, Nasedo killed him? Yeah, that guy), and the Case of the Mysteriously Missing Mr. DeLuca. Michael's never made any pretense of disguising his bitterness with everyone and everything around him; Maria covers up her emotions with jokes and humor and the role of the "wacky best friend". As soon as the two of them got together, everyone (read: Candygirls) assumed everything was great between them, and you know what? It wasn't. It was good *at times*, yeah, but Max and Liz also had good moments (two weeks' worth. I think I know them all by heart, actually), and Alex and Isabel...ok, so Alex and Isabel had, like, three of 'em. But you see what I'm saying.

We can't forget that for every good moment, M&M had about 15 not-so-good ones. Michael habitually lied to Maria -- or neglected to tell her information, which is the same goddamn thing. He used his home life growing up (which, admittedly, was shitty) as an excuse to not get close to her. He came about ten minutes from cheating on her with Courtney -- and don't give me that line about trying to get information, unless by "information", you mean "ass". He didn't sleep with Maria until the night before he thought he was going to leave the planet forever, thus making it a booty call. He frequently ignores her, dismisses her to other people (remember when he told Hal that the "beer" was hers, thus implying she was a teenage alcoholic? Yeah, me too), and treats her best friend like shit for no reason than that Liz didn't have the good grace to go ahead and die and keep their secret safe. Maria, for her part, showed absolutely none of the vaunted backbone I keep hearing about. One look from him, and she was at his side -- lying for him, going across state lines, yelling at her best friend and accusing her of being paranoid (when in fact, Liz was right. God, I love saying that). She constantly defended him to anyone and everyone. It's a thin line between being loyal and enabling, and Maria never seemed to get that. She never confronted him once, never so much as gave him an ultimatum. And I'm supposed to feel like the great, grand romance of the century has ended, and weep for six hours, and walk around like someone clocked me in the head with a 2x4 for a week? No. No way. I did that after EotW. I'm not doing it again.

This is one of the rare instances when I can understand *why* the Writers have made M&M the Majandra and Brendan arc; watching the two of them play off of each other is interesting, in a painful and voyeristic way. I can understand why, as they've admitted, their relationship is on-again/off-again, and why (to the best of my knowledge, anyway) they're not seeing anyone else. I'd call it good acting, except that A) what acting there is isn't that good, and B) the good, painful parts were less because of acting and more because we were seeing an actual destruction re-enacted on-screen, and that's a little creepy. But in a good way. I...dear God,

(That said, I still think it's utterly stupid of Brendan to say he's "never going to do TV again", and I *still* think he's a pigheaded schmuck whose ego is actually bigger than his hair -- ooh, scary -- and Majandra needs to stop suffering from Katie Heigl Syndrome, AKA "But What Does This Have To Do With MEEEEE?"-itis. But that's just me.)

Oh, right. There were other people in this week's ep, too.

Philip...dude, I hate to say it, but it's cool. Ok, yeah, it's utterly cornball ("conspirators"? Phil, step away from MS Word Thesaurus and back away slowly, 'kay?), and he's not what I'd call subtle -- except that he *is*. He hasn't learned how to school his facial expressions, but he's getting better at the art of sounding sympathetic and believable while he's spouting utter bullshit, and that's way better than anyone else in this damn town is doing. Also, it's about time he started asking questions, even if he is doing it in such a manner as to clearly make the audience hate him. Oddly enough? Not working on me, except for his use of the word "conspirators", as mentioned above. Max *has* been acting weird lately, and it *does* make sense (albeit paranoid sense) that he'd enlist his sister to lie for him to throw his parents off the track. I want to see what happens with this. That scares the hell out of me.

Billy's from the Sean DeLuca School of Not Impressing Me Very Goddamn Much. He has no concept of privacy; he's working that "jaded musician" cliche for everything it's worth; he plans on going to New York to work on his art. Oh, kill me. Better yet, kill him. He's so scuzzy, Maria *must* have wanted to kiss him. 'Cause as we all know, Maria has shitty taste in men. Seriously, he's a deus ex machina, created by the writers to reawaken Maria's artistic inspiration (read: let Majandra sing, plug her album, and hopefully shut up her f**king whining about not having as much screen time this season. Hey, go back and rewatch last season and count how many scenes Shiri was in. *Then* we'll talk) and break up her and Michael, and it's sloppy. It's so sloppy, I can't help but wonder whose grand idea he was. Ron's? Darth's? Who can I blame this one on? No, really, who? Because I had to sit through this guy saying things like "I wish you hadn't've hidden yourself away with this guitar." Someone dies for that, people.

Kyle? Jim? Kyle? I don't know. Maybe they went out for pizza. It'd be nice if they left a note, though. I get worried when the kids stay out this late without calling.

Darth? Show Emilie de Ravin without warning like that again, let alone really f**king naked, and when I go to LA to beat you, you'll be tortured first. Just a heads-up, buddy.

Isabel's on-screen for maybe four scenes this week, but that was more than enough to piss me off. She and Jesse spend half the ep f**king like bunnies (which normally wouldn't annoy me as much, except that Max and Liz *aren't* f**king like bunnies, and if there's one thing making my eye twitch convulsively this year, it's Liz's status as Last American Virgin, but that's just my thing); the other half is spent telling Max that every single idea out of his mouth is a bad one, and while I don't disagree with that sentiment, it's the *way* Isabel is saying it -- like it's a royal pronouncement, like it's written in stone and pointed to by the fiery hand of God -- that pisses me off. I'm sorry, but a girl who gets possessed by her past life and almost gets her brother and "betrothed" killed by the guy she used to f**k in said past life has absolutely no reason whatsoever to start giving Max attitude, let alone anyone else. She should play house with Jesse and shut the f**k up, since THAT'S THE CHOICE SHE MADE. *She* wanted to play housewife. *She* wanted to play Mrs. Ramirez. *She* almost got people killed. The next time I hear her say "You're safe for another day" in that snotty, condescending tone of voice, I would appreciate it if whoever she says it to just hauls off and socks her in the face hard enough to break something. You hear that, Max? You've got permission.

And speaking of Max -- you know what? I'd actually rather *not* speak of Max this week, but I've got to. I know he was under a lot of stress last May -- Tess gets pregnant; Tess reveals she killed Alex and planned to have them killed; Tess flees planet with demon spawn. But *anyone* who's ever seen a movie, or read a book, or watched American Justice on A&E, knows that there are certain things you have to do to effectively cover up a crime. He knows this; he burned Pierce's body to bones and buried it in the desert. Would it really have taken ten bloody minutes to have Michael blow the Jeep to pieces, and *then* toss the pieces in the water? Or, I don't know, scatter them over a wide radius to decrease the chance of getting caught. He could have gotten rid of Tess's stuff several months ago, unless Kyle or Jim were keeping them for sentimental reasons, and I really, really doubt that. Healing stones? Hide 'em, don't bury 'em. They're *healing* stones. They might come in *handy*. It's just sloppy behavior explaned by sloppy writing, and just talking about it now makes me tired.

Not that Max the person was annoying me any less this week, which is starting to piss me off. How am I supposed to feel sympathy for someone I want to beat over the head with a hammer? He's basically playing a big game of CYA for the fact that he *didn't* clean up after himself the way he should have, and in doing so he manages to piss me off so much I had trouble remembering that G&A *didn't* write the ep. Hi, Max? Remember first season, when you were asking Michael why he was so afraid to be human? Yeah, that doesn't really gel with New & Improved Max, who spouts off with lines like "we're part human." Well, yeah, you are, but you're saying it like the percentage is 70/30 instead of 50/50, and that's pissing me off, too. You're as much human as you are Antarian, so stop saying "we're part human" like you believe a goddamn word Tess told you. The source is a bit suspect.

Oh, and Liz? Yeah, no one twisted your arm and *made* you stay with Max. You love him; I know that. I've been paying attention for three years, after all. I get it. But no one said that being in love with Max meant having to give up on your dreams. Judging from the way this show is paced, it's gonna be a while before any of y'all get to another planet, so I imagine you're going to have time to graduate high school and get most of your requirements out of the way before it's time for a couple of semesters off. Hell, you might even have time to get your B.A. and start in on grad work (if there's grad work involved. f**k, I'm an English lit major; what do I know from molecular biology?). I don't doubt that you deserve a pity party, but not every goddamn week. Suck it up, stop poormouthing yourself, and please please please climb Max like a tree in the near future. Love, Me.

Hey, Jesse. Are those fajitas any good? Cool. Hand me one.

Next week: the pilot. Because Darth is trying to KILL ME.

Gale