Destiny – Review from Space.com

From space.com:

Roswell – ‘Destiny’
By Scott O’Callaghan
Special to SPACE.com
posted: 06:30 pm ET
25 September 2000

Sheriff Valenti helps the teens escape from FBI Agent Pierce once and for all, we finally learn just who — or what — the aliens are.

(original air date: May 15, 2000)

Teleplay by Toni Graphia and Jason Katims
Story by Thania St. John
Directed by Patrick Norris

GUEST STARS

David Conrad – FBI Agent Pierce
Jim Ortlieb – Ed Harding/ Nacedo
Howie Dorough – Ominous Person
Genie Francis – Alien Mom
Emilie De Ravin – Tess Harding

FAMOUS FACES

Howie Durough, who makes a brief but ominous appearance at the end of this episode, is a member of the teen singing group The Backstreet Boys.

Genie Francis is best known as “Laura” from ABC’s General Hospital. She is also married to Roswell Executive Producer Jonathan Frakes.

WHAT HAPPENED

Sheriff Valenti helps Max and the others escape from the Eagle Rock Military Base. He suggests they split up and head to the Galinas silver mine separately, so the FBI agents will have trouble tracking them.

Liz and Max have a quiet moment together in her car. It’s interrupted when pursuing agents shoot out her back window.

After spinning out of control, Max and Liz flee the car on foot, running down a hill and onto a new road. Two more government cars corner them.

With no way out, Liz and Max run to the edge of a cliff and look down into a river below. They hold hands, kiss, and jump into the blackness. (more spoilers)

ANALYSIS

Roswell ends its freshman season with the promise of a new direction next year. If the first season occasionally suffered because it couldn’t decide whether to focus on teen angst or on science fiction, then that question has been answered by “Destiny.”

While interpersonal relationships are still central to characters and their desires, the science fiction elements have come to the fore in the last few episodes of the series: Who are these aliens? Where are they from? Will they ever find more of their own kind?

Those questions are now being answered. We are seeing more and more of the characters’ alien heritage that these characters, and their place on Earth is coming into sharper focus.

What’s more, the final moments of this episode reveal a world as yet unknown to us: aliens among us. As in several other WB series – including Buffy the Vampire-Slayer, Angel and Charmed – there’s a secret world hiding behind the façade of normality.

The human touch

Roswell isn’t just about the aliens and their concerns, though. In “Destiny”, Liz and Sheriff Valenti allow us to see the aliens through human eyes.

From the show’s beginning, Liz has struggled to bring together humans and aliens. While she’s fascinated by Max’s alien aspect, she wants to believe in the aliens’ humanity.

This week, she must confront their alien nature. She witnesses the message from the aliens’ true mother, and now knows the destiny that awaits them.

Liz has argued that destinies are chosen, but her belief in choice has been shattered by the message, especially since Tess apparently has a real claim on Max’s past and future. What will happen now?

Hey, he wanted to know

Meanwhile, Sheriff Valenti witnesses three displays of alien power in less than twelve hours. He sees Michael stop the FBI jeep and kill Agent Pierce, while Max heals the mortally wounded Kyle.

How will this knowledge change him? Will he remain Roswell’s sheriff? Can he help the teens? Protect them?

During the episode, we see Valenti remove his badge before he confronts Pierce. Will Valenti’s sense of the law stand in the way of his newfound loyalty to Max?

We can also wonder what role Kyle will play next season. He’s been shut out of the secret and left on the fringes of recent stories – his father’s involvement may bring him into circle or push him even farther away.

He is an unlikely figure in the middle of this story, but his presence here only suggests possibilities for the future. It is noteworthy that Max heals Kyle here in the season finale just as he healed Liz in the show’s premiere.

Roswell’s first season has come full circle. But where will they head next?

WHAT WE LEARN

Max is the leader of the aliens’ people, while Tess is his young bride. Isabel is Max’s sister, while Michael is her betrothed and also Max’s second in command. The alien teens are destined to battle enemies who have followed them to Earth, then return to free the enslaved aliens of their home planet.

DANGLING PLOT THREADS

What will they do with Pierce’s body?

How will Valenti deal with the realization that he shot and almost killed his own son?

How will Kyle react when he realizes that Max saved his life? What will the others tell him, and how much can they trust him?

TUNE IN TWO WEEKS FROM NOW

Summer reruns begin – appropriately enough – with an airing of “Premiere”. See Max and Liz stare intensely at each other again for the first time!