Max in the city – Review from Space.com

From space.com:

Roswell – ‘Max in the City’
By Scott O’Callaghan
Special to SPACE.com
posted: 05:26 pm ET
28 November 2000

Max represents his home world at an alien summit in New York and makes a momentous decision there. Back in Roswell, Liz makes a discovery.

(original air date: November 27, 2000)

Written by Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Patrick Norris

GUEST STARS

Desmond Askew — Brody Davis
Miko Hughes — Nicholas

WHAT HAPPENED

Max and Tess are in an elevator heading up to the top of the Empire State Building in New York City.

He is nervous about the upcoming summit — he’s just a kid from New Mexico, who knows nothing about war and peace.

Tess reassures him. Meanwhile, Rath and Loni are waiting down on the street, sick of all the attitude and ready to put “him” in his place.

We discover that “he” isn’t Max, but Nicholas. (spoilers)

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ANALYSIS

Shakespeare wrote, “What’s past is prologue,” but in Roswell the past is becoming more and more present. What happened on our aliens’ home world has become central to their present lives.

The return of Nicholas, Kavar’s representative on Earth, signals a return to matters of kings and rulership. Nicholas leads one faction on Earth, Max the other. The alien summit in New York highlights the contrast.

The plot places enemies across a conference table, negotiating the fate of worlds. The conniving Nicholas, obviously in contact with those back home, is an insider. He knows the intricacies of what’s happening, and, as his conversation with Loni reveals, he’s playing both for his leader as well as for himself.

Max, on the other hand, has none of these advantages. He knows little from home, and most of that information comes from unreliable sources. He doesn’t even know his own former self’s full name. “Velandra” is one of the few names from home that Max — and the audience — knows.

But even though Max knows little, he rejects Kavar’s offer, and this seems like a wise decision.

What of the future?

Meanwhile, the creative team of Roswell has been calling an awful lot of attention to the past lately. The warning that history may repeat itself has been repeated several times already.

It’s time for us to start moving forward again. It’s time for our characters to move into the future, making a future for themselves and for their people.

Max must become the leader the writers have made him. Isabel must reconcile who she was on that other world with who she is now. Michael must clarify his relationship with his liege. And Tess must continue her pursuit of her love.

But what of Liz? This episode drops a bombshell into her life: Max Evans has quite literally changed who she is. What does that mean for her? What does it mean for what she can become?

Liz, too, must move forward, but what does that direction hold for her?

And what of Kyle?

WHAT WE LEARN

The “stars” in the V-shaped constellation from last season actually represent the five worlds in the aliens’ star system.

Kavar has “enjoyed” his unsteady reign for 50 years now.

The granolith is portable.

Brody Davis really was abducted. Aliens manipulate some humans like puppets, controlling them from a distance and becoming “present” through these bodies.

DANGLING PLOT THREADS

Didn’t Rath and Loni plan to do more to Max after the summit? For that matter, how much time did they have with Tess?

How did Nicholas return? Where is he now?

What is the granolith? Why is it so important? What can it do?

Liz has been changed, but how?

BODY COUNT

Nobody dies this week. We remain at 31.

WHAT’S COOKIN’ AT THE CRASHDOWN?

Brody’s favorite sandwich is a Galaxy Sub, hold the mayo. And don’t forget to add some extra pepperjack cheese.

ROSWELL (OR REALITY) CHECK

The observation deck of the Empire State Building is, in fact, on its 86th floor.

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK

We’re headed for reruns. The season begins again with “Skin and Bones”.