Review of “Independence Day”

This is from Scifi Ign.

Roswell, Independence Day

Review: The shape-shifting alien makes use of its special effects, er, powers.

February 18, 2000

This week, it’s all about everyone’s favorite spiky-haired David Duchovny look-alike, that brooding loner that we like to call “Dylan McKay Knock-Off,” only all the other characters on the show keep referring to him as “Michael.” As you probably remember, Michael’s foster father is an abusive jerk, and it’s Max, Isabel, and some ominous shape-shifting alien to the rescue when things take a turn for the worse.

Also, there is a plotline with the Loveline Lady, who is playing Maria’s mother, and Sheriff Valenti. OK, first of all, it trips me out that LL is Maria’s mother. She can’t be all that much older than Maria, really. That aside, the romance with her and Valenti is blech. That’s really the only way I can think of to describe it. Blech. Maybe this subplot will eventually be exploited for some kind of neato plot twist — I certainly hope so, because if the writers are just throwing that in there because they think it’s “sweet,” they are sadly mistaken.

All things considered, though, I am liking Michael much more after this episode. The scenes in which Maria comforts him and he just cries were actually very sweet and understated. Also nice to have a bit of a breather from the ever-tortured Liz/Max non-romance — though they did have their requisite Conversation in Which Nothing is Said outside of her bedroom window.

The shape-shifting alien, meanwhile, adds a nice element of mystery to the mix. I mean, it seems like he wants to help our little aliens, but he’s also pretty ruthless about killing people. Should make for some interesting stuff coming up here, especially since rumor has it that someone on Roswell is going to bite the big one before season’s end. Hmmm.

Even though this was a nice departure — a focus on one specific character who doesn’t always get the spotlight — I still wish they would pick up the pace a little bit. I mean, it wouldn’t be so horrible if we actually found out a little more about the alien shapeshifter (besides the fact that he can make a car light up and shake around — did they use the week’s entire special effects budget on that?), or if Max and Liz or Michael and Maria just got it on. Really. I promise.

No more stuff with Valenti and LL, though. I really can’t take any more erotically-charged conversations about pie.

— Sarah Kuhn wants to know who’s going to die.