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HERC Spoils Tonight's ROSWELL!!

Published at: Oct. 9, 2000, 7:13 a.m. CST

Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.

I must admit, I don't watch this show. I saw several episodes towards the end of last season while curled up with Seth Gekko's always lovely Little Sister, but I had no idea what was going on. Fans of the show always sound to me like I imagine BUFFY fans must sound to the uninitiated. I love that feeling when a good show comes back for a second season and really starts to figure itself out, and you feel like your faith as a fan is being rewarded. Hmmm... maybe I'll have to give this one another try. Here's HERCULES THE STRONG, who's already sold.

ROSWELL 2.2 FAQ

DANGER! COLOSSAL SPOILERS AHEAD!

THE “ROSWELL” SEASON OPENER WAS GREAT! DOES “ROSWELL” GO INTO THE TOILET WITH TONIGHT’S SECOND EPISODE?

Absolutely not! In fact, based on the first two episodes of the second season, “Roswell” is in serious contention for most improved show of the season. While it remains at its core a sci-fi soap, the cosmic elements now gracefully dominate, and the comic elements have been sharpened substantially. Now that all of the regulars, including the Valentis, are in on the kids’ alien origins, the show is moving in many new and interesting directions!

WHO’S RESPONSIBLE?

This week’s teleplay is credited to the great Ronald D. Moore, one of the chief architects of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” and late-era “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” and co-scripter of the motion picture “Star Trek: First Contact” (the one with the Borg).

WHAT’S THE BIG NEWS?

At the end of tonight’s episode, we learn the identity of an evil alien “skin,” likely the one who killed Nasedo.

IS NASEDO REALLY DEAD?

Really most completely dead. Efforts to revive him using the alien stones are not successful, and he’s literally dust by the time Dido croons the title credits.

WHAT’S THIS EPISODE ABOUT?

Max continues to evolve into his role as leader and savior of his race.

REALLY? WHAT’S GOING ON WITH MAX?

Lots. The UFO Center where Max works has been purchased by a newcomer named Brody Davis (“Go” Britisher Desmond Askew), who tells Max to stay clear of the center for awhile and not speak of “what you saw here.” Max pokes around and learns that Davis was likely lured to Roswell by the “signal” the gang received during last season’s finale. So of course the gang suspects Davis could very well be the “skin” who murdered Nasedo. Isabelle even talks the gang into killing Davis! Meanwhile, Tess explains that to Max she is the only one of the four young aliens who remembers their former lives on other planets because Nasedo taught her “memory retrieval techniques,” which she offers to share with Max someday. This begs the audience question: would somebody please ask Tess what their alien race really looks like?

WHAT ABOUT LIZ?

Despite Maria’s protests that Max doesn’t care about Tess, Liz insists she still doesn’t trust Max emotionally. Things aren’t helped when Liz and Maria spot Max innocently walking with Tess, but Maria explains that Max was probably just acting as her bodyguard (what with a murderous “skin” lurking about). At her new job (working for the best-looking member of the U.S. House of Representatives ever), Liz tells the congresswoman a lie: that her boyfriend, Agent Pierce (actually Nasedo in disguise), broke up with her via a voice-mail Liz erased. Later, the congresswoman, drunkenly pining after Agent Pierce, compares love lives with Liz, and Liz even mentions how much she hates someone named Tess. But the minute Liz exits to answer the phone, the congresswomen snaps into sobriety and ominously repeats the name “Tess.”

WHAT HAUNTS MICHAEL THIS WEEK?

Aside from disagreeing with Max about what to do about Brody Davis, Michael doesn’t like Max’s plan to have everyone to act normally and return to school. Michael feels like a sitting duck. Max feels they need to keep their heads down and “blend” because of what happened to Nasedo.

WHAT’S UP WITH TESS?

After she discovers evidence that a “skin” has been to her house, Tess moves in with the Valentis. This state of affairs precipitates some of the episode’s best scenes when Kyle, just back from football camp, wakes up to discover Tess nestled on the Valenti living-room couch, wearing one of the sheriff’s shirts as a nightie.

KYLE (calling fearfully): Dad!

TESS (waking): Morning…

KYLE: Yes, morning. What the hell are you doing here?

TESS: I live here. (She glances down at Kyle’s boxers.) Calvin Klein. (She snaps his waistband absently as she pads toward the kitchen.) I approve.

KYLE: Dad!

The next time Kyle comes upon Tess, she’s lounging on Kyle’s bed wearing nothing but his football jersey and going through his porno collection! She even finds something more surprising than “Hustler” under his bed…

HA! ANY OTHER FUNNY BITS?

Yes! There’s a very funny scene where a frustrated Maria unexpectedly begins pummeling the always-sullen Max with a textbook because he’s been telling Maria all summer how much he loves Liz, but has done almost nothing about that love since Liz’s return. It’s hilarious in part because Maria is essentially voicing and acting out the audience’s frustration. (Maria also has some very pithy observations regarding Max’s newfound identification with JFK.)

DO MAX AND LIZ PATCH IT UP?

Not quite. Toward the end of the episode, Max corners Liz. “This is not about Tess,” he tells her. “This is about you and me. You think I’m going to forget about you, or get over it or something. But I’m not. I don’t care about my destiny or about my planet or anything else. All I care about is you. So just know this. I’m coming for you, Liz.” Having said his peace, Max returns to his table. Liz, mulling, enters the kitchen. And that’s where they leave it.

WHO’S THE “SKIN” REVEALED AT SHOW’S END?

That would be telling.

WHAT’S YOUR RATING FOR “ROSWELL” 2.2?

***1/2

The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

**** better than most motion pictures

*** actually worth your valuable time

** as horrible as most stuff on TV

* makes you quietly pray for bulletins

WILL WE LEARN NOT TO DEFY YOU?

You will!

I am – Hercules!





Readers Talkback

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  • Oct. 9, 2000, 7:25 a.m. CST

    I never got around to watching this show

    by GravyAkira

    I will try to get hooked sometime this year

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Nothing more than a sub-par Buffy rip-off

    by Gag Halfrunt

    the title says it all...except with some X-Files nonsense thrown in. which is all we need. this show should have been canceled after season 1.

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Damn, and I missed the premere too..

    by Lizzybeth

    Hey Herc! I know, I keep saying I'll avoid these articles until after the show, but at least I managed to skip over the most spoilery stuff. I thought this show had a lot of promise last season, but they dropped the ball with the last episode. I don't really want to see them retread the X-Files alien shapeshifter invasion ground, it's been done and done again. I was hoping for some originality here. But I'll wait and see how it goes. I didn't want to like the show, but it's really not your run of the mill Teen WB show.. it has a brain, and a heart, and not the soapy Dawson's Creek celluloid heart either. If the essential metaphor that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was based on was "high school is hell", Roswell's is "love is another world." Yeah, cheap and cheesy as it sounds, it works. [Cue the Dido song.]

  • ...I need one question answered: Does the almost preternaturally luscious Katherine Heigl have a fairly large part, and does she dress at all provocatively? I saw her on "Later" and she was dressed in sort of...conservative midwestern girl fashion. Long skirt, sweater, ya know. Tight sweater (how could it NOT be?), but sweater nonetheless. So what's the deal on this? Same deal on the show? Sure hope not...

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 2:39 p.m. CST

    buffy

    by opie-wan

    Herc, where the hell is your Buffy review? I want to hear your thoughts on all the Xander related goodness. I especially want to hear your thoughts on the end of the ep. I have a newfound respect for Riley, that's for damn sure. Also, is it just me or would Xander(sorry, I can't remember how to spell his real name) be perfect as Bruce Campbell's son in some kind of action-horror-comedy show? One more unrelated thought before I leave: everyone should watch Ed on NBC.

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 8:22 p.m. CST

    TV Shows like this are for jerkwads.

    by bickeybboy

    Where have all the good shows gone?

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 8:50 p.m. CST

    I knew that Courtney (waitress) girl was fishy...

    by zalasta

    Well, so the true identity of the skins is revealed, can't say that I didn't warn you she was suspicious :P

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 9:34 p.m. CST

    by Bigred420

    I never watch Roswell before this season and I have to say after watching the first two shows I'm hook. I have enjoyed it more than Buffy. Buffy adding a sister hasn't done anything to improve this show, its made it worst. Also the girls on Roswell are the HOTTEST on the WB!!!

  • Oct. 9, 2000, 10:55 p.m. CST

    Watch this show

    by 1816

    I got hooked on this show this summer, and even though I was worried about it taking too big a turn into sci-fi, it has found a really nice balance between the alien stuff, the relationship angle and the suspense. The second episode this season was great! It had all of the above mentioned elements in good supply, plus a good dose of comedy. I also really enjoyed the JFK subtext for Max. It helped you put his situation into perspective. Roswell is definately worth checking out if you haven't seen it.

  • Oct. 10, 2000, 5:48 a.m. CST

    Love the show!

    by Anakin Rocks

    My best buddy told me about Roswell so I am a recent "convert" and I really like it. It has become the only show other than Buffy & Angel that I never miss. (Unless you count the Babylon 5 reruns on sci-fi -- gotta say that Babylon 5 is the best show EVER MADE by leaps & bounds!) -John

  • Oct. 18, 2000, 5:29 p.m. CST

    by RoswellGurl

    DOES ANYONE KNOW WHERE I CAN FIND ROSWELL SPOILERS??? I MEAN GOOD ONES. SOMEWHERE OVERSEAS THEY GET THE SHOWS AHEAD OF THE US, BUT I FORGOT WHICH ONES...SOME COUNTRIES ARE JUST NOW GETTING THE FIRST SEASON. THERE HAS TO BE WEBSITES UP IN THESE COUNTRIES OR SOMETHING...THE WB WRITES HAVE ASKED THE CRASHDOWN NOT TO POST SPOILERS FOR THIS SEASON, AND THAT SUX...THE CRASHDOWN IS GOING TO RESPECT THE WRITERS AND NOT POST. I WANNA KNOW...PLEASE HELP...EMAIL ME AT LILPINKE-QUAKES@WEBTV.NET