Episode Notes and Observations by Gale Dumont

Secrets & Lies

Written by Russel Friend & Garrett Lerner
Directed by Jonathan Frakes

This week: Max heads out to LA to find the second shapeshifter (remember him? Yeah, me neither) as Kyle and his dad over Mentally Ailing and Suddenly Recast Grandpa Valenti; and Isabel and Jesse announce their joy to the Evanses, only to be met by a bunch of yawning. No, wait, that's me. No, wait, that's them, too. Damn. Guess everyone really *is* bored to tears by the two of them. And in other news, Max is so hot my fingers sweat. Join me, won't you?

Ok. Um. Fuck. Isn't it ten yet? Ah, hell.

Um, UPN? Roswell doesn't have holidays, other than Christmas. They do not participate in your wacky "High Voltage Halloween". Neither, for that matter, do I.

No! Not "my son" already! We haven't even hit the episode yet!

Twice! Kill me.

"It's like seeing the lights on a Christmas tree." From here, buddy, it looks like an arena. Maybe it's just me.

Oh, my god. That was a blowjob, wasn't it? Roswell just had a woman giving her cheap-ass gangster boyfriend a blowjob before the opening credits. I just. I don't. Wow.

Is that John Wesley Shipp? Ok, it's not. Good. That was a little scary for a second.

You know what this show needs? A guest appearance by Jerry Orbach. That would *rule*, yo.

I just. I can't. A blowjob. Wow. *Wow*.

So is Max officially a redhead yet? I've seen many shades of brown hair in my time, and that is not one of them. Maybe Russell and Garrett hate him too. Maybe Max just shouldn't be written by writers in pairs; things never go well for him those weeks.

Oh, and Ambiguous African-American Cop Guy? It's "homicide". How can you mispronounce that?

So, wait, is he at Michael's?

And Michael just stands there eating cereal. Bravo, Guerin.

Oh, Jesus. This armed robbery thing is going to be a theme this year, isn't it? Fuck. Darth, we gotta talk. I feel a hate crime coming on.

Since when did Liz borrow Nelly Furtado's earrings?

Although. um.

"There were two shapeshifters sent with us." AAAGH! Darth! I've seen "The White Room"! Pierce says -- unless I'm totally misremembering, but I don't think I am -- that there were *four* aliens in the crash. Two died in the actual crash, one died while in government custody, and one (Nasedo) escaped. Nobody likes a retconner, Darth. You wrote the damn ep. Refer to a damn script, pretty boy. Jeez.

Three times, now. Three times. Four!

"LA. Right." Well, if he can make it there...

Kyle, could you show up now and inadvertently pressure Max into making him take Liz with him? You did it before, you can do it again.

"I'm not sure Disneyland counts as LA." Well, no, it doesn't.

"What am I supposed to do, just go to class?" According to Ron Moore, no.

Valen-tay? What the hell is with all the mispronouncing this week? Is this a theme? 'Cause they didn't do that on Buffy.

What the hell kind of budget does this school's tech system have? Those are some damn good computers, yo.

Jim! Woo! Jim!

"I need you to go over there and deal with this." Oh my God. Yet more ranting. Christ, my fingers are gonna be tired later.

Jesse and Isabel scene. Right on cue, my eyes droop. I'm gonna have a serious bruise on my leg from poking myself to stay awake.

"You're perfect." Ok. Having one character say something -- like, say, "You're perfect" -- over and over again does not actually make it canon. From all I can see, he's got a scary-ass jaw and a unibrow, hence the nickname.

Kyle's nice to old people! He rocks!

"Liz, if you're going to start pointing out the ironies in my family, I warn you: they never stop." Hee. We missed you, Kyle.

Liz, it's a nursing home. Put the videocamera *down*.

Ok, Kyle has a whole new Grandpa. I hate recasting.

Maybe Liz just sexes up her wardrobe when Max is around. I don't look at that denim jacket and think "Take me now, O Exiled Alien King." Though the earrings are a nice step. Skintight soft black leather pants and a halter top would be a nicer one.

Dude. So Grandpa Valenti is Laurie Dupree. Good to know.

Buffy the Musical. Yes, please. James Marsters doing a kick-ass rock song. Tony Head singing anything.

"...and very friendly." Oh, please. People drive like that in Florida.

"Eventually they have to return to their base form." Isn't their base form that Grey-alien shape Nasedo shifted to briefly in "Destiny", before turning into Pierce? Darth, I'm telling you, we *do* remember this shit.

Um. Scruffy Max, in a black t-shirt and leather jacket? Want one. Want one *now*. I'd pay good money to see what kind of pants he's wearing.

"We'll talk after." Um. Very tiny hee.

"You're supposed to say action." God, did you two even bother to white-balance? Rule of Three? I take it you guys aren't in a TV Productions class.

Kyle needs to lose the sideburns.

"Well, let's find out." Liz, no! Enough with the Nancy Drew! I love Kyle and Jim, but Hardy Boys they are not.

William Sadler *rules*, yo.

"Do you have any idea what that would --" My guess is, they're talking about aliens. Just a wild-ass guess.

"She died of a...freak lightning strike." And then a tiger got her.

Simple, clear and fearless. Jesse's a big Tony Robbins fan, isn't he? I bet he plays the tapes in his car.

I feel really, really bad for Diane. Isabel? Not so much. Iz, do you even know where your brother *is*?

Oh, Max. Please lose the little hat.

"For the record, Michael and I disapprove of you wandering around LA." Oh, fuck you, Isabel. Fuck you and the Latino lawyer you rode in on. And fuck Michael and Maria, too, while I'm at it.

They're just letting Jason wear his own wardrobe into work, aren't they? I recognize those shirts from behind-the-scenes pics.

"Let's talk Tom Cruise. Let's talk Keanu Reeves." Oh, let's not.

"What, are you from Kansas?" No, that's Clark Kent. He's a few channels over. Feel free to drive by, mock, and come back.

Ok, I've never actually met an agent. Are they actually *that* annoying? Help me out here, people.

Oh. Heavens. Shapeshifters never kill people in Roswell. Never. Nuh-uh. Oh, except for Nasedo, about fifteen times over the years. But other than that, no.

"In Roswell? There are no coincidences." Just really, really crappy plots. And sometimes alien babies, but I'd really rather not go there right now.

"...the sooner you can come home." And ravish her! Make her a woman, Max! What? I'm bored, and we're nearing sweeps.

Seriously? I'm getting a little tired of people pointing guns at Max. No! You're supposed to be pointing them at *Michael*! Or, in a pinch, Isabel. Not that they would wound her; her breasts would deflect the bullets.

"The cops said he was hit by lightning." And then a tiger got him.

Ok, maybe this is a bit dull, and has hackneyed dialogue, and a bad Isabel B-plot, but it's got a lot of Jason Behr looking soulful, and it's going by pretty fast. Snaps.

"This is the place. I, uh..." Blew him! Just say it, for fuck's sake! You gave Joey a blowjob! God, I'm obsessed with this, aren't I?

This chick's like a trashy Sarah Jessica Parker. Oh, wait.

Grandma? Please stop saying "hottie". It's just wrong.

Max should always drive while talking on a cellphone. Dang, he's cute when he's flustered.

See? Liz isn't sexy at all when Max isn't there. She's totally dressing for her man, yo.

"What are dailies?" Max, do you live in a box? *I* knew that.

"I'm really glad that she's so helpful." Hee.

"God, I love you." Oh! And the little smile! Christ, they're so cute. So very cute. Someone write me fanfic with LA/Roswell phone sex, pretty please. Wait, what am I talking about? *I* do that.

For the record, if Max Evans appeared on my doorstep, looking all soulful and using The Voice and telling me I should stay out of danger, I would listen to him. And possibly whimper.

"A guest shot on Enterprise." "A major network." Oh. The hilarity. My sides.

So, wait, is Frakes actually during an ep of Enterprise? Fucking meta statements. Between those and sleeping through Isabel and Jesse scenes and giggling over the fanfic I have now talked my brain into plotting, I'm getting confused. I hate this.

This ep? Not sucking. Very little suck, actually. And no Maria. Coincidence? Ah, but in Roswell, there are no coincidences.

Now Jesse has an accent. Because he's Latino. Thanks, guys. I totally didn't catch that at all last week. Oh, wait.

"Max was Adam Ant." Bwa! I want to see pictures of this.

Anybody else think Isabel is wearing the necklaces and kerchiefs and what-not to distract from her godawful new hair?

Liz, lose the fake tan. Actual sunlight works just as well.

Kyle? Jim? Hie yourselves to a family therapist, and *now*. Two lines, no waiting.

Aw, man. I just had Summer of '47 flashbacks with the picture of Grandpa Valenti, and they didn't even make me hurt or see trails.

Bill Sadler. Kicks. ASS. I will hear no argument, y'all. Not one word. He so needs a decent plot. Where's Diane Farr?

I want to know what show the guy in the lobster suit and the nun were going to be on. Anybody else think The Hughleys?

Frakes totally doesn't remember Max at all, does he? Hee. I want to see behind-the-scenes for this.

God. Max cannot act. He's so utterly bad. I love him. No, really, I do.

"And if not, there's still Buffy." Hey! And also, good idea. Though maybe not for you guys. Y'all have no idea how many Billy Fordham jokes you'd have to sit through.

"Max, what do you see?" A dude with really big teeth. Big, white, shiny teeth. Ow. Temporarily blind, over here.

Dude, it's Joe Pantoliano! How the fuck did Roswell get Joe Pantoliano? Who did Darth have to blow to get him? And can he blow somebody else to get James Marsters?

Alien guy? Hello? Hi. You're supposed to be protecting Max. *Protecting* him. Not knocking him across the room and setting stuff on fire.

Isabel! Jesse! Wouldn't care if you paid me to!

Ig! Max! Hollywood hair! Dark clothes! Cannot stop using exclamation marks!

OBSERVATIONS:

That was a blowjob, right? Tell me that was a blowjob. I'd hate to think I'm hallucinating plots for this damn show now.

So, y'know, once we're past the damn blowjob (sorry, it's stuck in my head), we find...an episode that doesn't entirely suck. I mean, yeah, parts of it are boring as dirt, and I want to bitchslap Isabel on general principle (and we'll get to that, don't worry), and there's gratuitous cameos, but it's still...decent. I might even want to rewatch parts of this. Oh, God, I'm going soft, aren't I?

No Maria. This is not a bad thing. Also, Michael's in one scene. If it weren't for the lack of naked Max and naked Liz, post-orgasm and making eggs, I'd think Darth was actually listening. Well, that and "my son" was mentioned four times. (I want a running tally for when my head explodes.) And, of course, Isabel.

Oh, Christ, Isabel. I just...I don't have the energy for this. I don't. Thankfully, there was a lack of Michael and Maria this week, so she gets the excess ranting and vitriol. First of all, getting engaged to Jesse is a stupid idea. Yeah, you love him like you've never loved anyone before; we got that. (We also got that he's Latino, so I think you can ease up on *that* little factoid, too.) But he's 26, and you're 18, and an alien, and have a history of having your past boyfriends -- well, die horribly in a manner involving aliens or alien wackiness, and I don't know that Jesse's gonna buck those particular odds.

Second, you and Michael *disapprove* of Max going to LA? Honey, we're not back on Antar; here, he's alive, which means that *you are not in charge*. You are not the boss of him. (Neither is Michael, but he wisely shuts up after his one scene. Good boy, Mikey. Here, have a protein bar.) I'm not saying that Max going to LA is a good idea, but you are in absolutely no position to judge him. None. Not after wanting to tell Jesse last week. That would have assuredly spilled your secret; Max only runs the chance of someone in LA finding out. Pour yourself a nice warm glass of shut the hell up, and get off my TV.

The Valentis need to go into family therapy ASAP. Kyle has obviously (duh) been forced into the parental role, and when Jim tries to take it back, however little, it's so awkward I cringe inside. It's good to see them actually acting like a family, though; last year, he spent most of his time with Max, and I'm glad he's remembered he already has a son. And the stuff with Granda Valenti? Bill Sadler. Kicks. ASS. I know, I know, I said it already, but it bore repeating. I heart that man.

Liz is basically Nancy Drew this week, and that's fine; it advances the plot, and doesn't really do anything to tear her characterization down. Not a fan of the earrings, but I'm starting to notice that there *is* a marked difference in how she dresses when she's with Max versus when she's with anyone else/by herself. And I love it when spoilers are wrong -- they *haven't* broken up, thanks, he's just in LA. They're trying to keep their lurve on the DL. Me likee. Me would likee more if there was sex involved (or, in continuing with this week's apparent theme, blowjobs -- hell, let's be fair. Any oral sex at all), but it's October. We've got a whole three sweeps periods left for this season. Gotta save something for February, since we can practically smell the May-alien-pregnancy from here.

For some reason, I am really digging the idea of an alien shapeshifter, sent here to protect the Royal Four, but distracted by the glamour of Hollywood and not wanting to go back and do his duty. Maybe I just really like Joe Pantoliano. I don't know. All I know is, we ended an ep with an actual sense of menace -- baby menace, but still -- and a "to be continued" that makes me want to watch next week. Can we keep this guy?

(Darth, sidebar: We're not stupid. You may think we are, but we're not. We do actually remember things from two years ago, unlike you; in fact, we often refer to them amongst one another, usually in wistful tones of rememberance and love. Trying to retcon in the middle of S3 isn't just stupid, it's suicidal. The only thing we would possibly let you get away with would be getting rid of S2 entirely, but since you're not going to, just stop it. Sit down, work out a cohesive timeline, and stop making my brain hurt. Half your characters do that on their own; they don't need any more help. End sidebar.)

Oh, Max. My sweet little proto-outlaw. Can I have one for Yule? No, really, can I?

In all seriousness, though, I can't stay mad at Max this week. I don't necessarily think it's a great idea to head to LA -- you have school! Who do you think you are, Michael? -- and I can't dig the fact that the Antichrist was mentioned *four times* this week, but...I just *can't*, and that's probably because he was so damn hot this week. Soulful looks? Earnest, quiet voice? "God, I love you"? Black shirt. Leather jacket. Oh my God. Oh my *God*. I like him again. I still want to hit him upside the head sometimes, but it's more of a sisterly, good-natured chuffing than a severe beating with the bumper of the Chevelle. I'm getting Dreamer vibes again. I'm not hating Max.

I'm not hating Max. Wow. Behold *that* sentence.

Maybe it's my lack of sleep talking, or the fact that there was so much Jason Behr and Bill Sadler (and so little Brendan and Majandra), but this is easily the best ep of the season so far. Keep it going, guys. I smell a distinct lack of suck.

Next week: Of course, this could all be for naught, as Gretchen and Aaron send me to my own personal level of Dante's Hell: the Mostly Isabel and Michael Discussing Her Wedding Plans And Her Mother's Distinct Lack of Joy About Them ep. That's how it looked from the scenes, anyway. But there's also Hollywood!Max, and I just. um. Ow. "Control", Nov. 6. See you then.

Gale