Roswell – ‘Summer of ’47’
By Scott O’Callaghan
Special to SPACE.com
posted: 06:06 pm ET
24 October 2000
An officer who witnessed the Army cover-up of the 1947 crash returns to Roswell and tells Michael what he remembers, teaching a lesson in humanity in the process.
(Originally aired October 23, 2000)
Written by Gretchen J. Berg and Aaron Harberts
Directed by Patrick Norris
MARIA: I’m sorry. When humans need rides, they take Jettas. When aliens need rides, they take spaceships. So find one.
Charles Napier — Captain Hal Carver
Napier appeared in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine’s “Little Green Men” — also set in Roswell, bizarrely enough He also provides the voice of Zed in the animated Men in Black.
Isabel shows the other aliens the granolith before they have to get to school.
Maria promptly stops the boy aliens. She’s been trying to contact Michael, but he blows her off. Liz — who has been getting calls at Whittaker’s office — receives similar treatment.
Since Michael is failing history, he needs to do a special oral history project, interviewing a military veteran. A reunion just happens to be in town and one — Captain Hal Carver — seems a likely subject, especially when he starts talking about aliens. (spoilers)
Flashback episodes are fun. They give us a chance to see our cast play different roles, ideally providing fresh insight into the more normal state of affairs.
Here, the costumes are great, the situations are interesting and the characters are great! William Sadler has a chance to cut loose as a hard-assed colonel and Majandra Delfino gets to vamp it up as a sassy reporter. Both Jason Behr and Brendan Fahr look fine in military costumes, while Charles Napier lends a sure hand as the older version of Captain Hal Carver.
But this episode is more than an interesting diversion. “Summer of ’47” opens a few more plot points including, apparently, the fact that the number of aliens has doubled.
What happened to the aliens in the other sac? The four we know are all closely related: a brother — who is king — and his sister, each with a respective partner. We can only wonder how the other quartet (if they survive) will relate to the so-called “royal four.”
We also get new details about the families of Roswell at the time of the crash. The elder Sheriff Valenti — who later resigned because he believed in aliens — was at the crash site. Just what did he learn?
We also learn that the Parker family has been active in the local restaurant scene for 50 years. Could they somehow be more involved with the aliens than we first thought?
A question of momentum
We can only wonder, though, why Roswell’s creative team chose this moment for a flashback.
Recent episodes have focused on suspense, playing up the threat of the Skins. While last week’s battle between Isabel and Whittaker was decisive, the danger is not over, at least as long as Courtney is out there.
So why dig into the past instead of developing the present? Maybe the writers are laying groundwork for the future. If so, this episode is okay on its own, but will become stronger once the creative team ties its mysteries back to the present.
At least we hope it will.
WHAT WE LEARN
There were two sacs of alien children, each with four inside. Alien adults had glowing bodies and dark eyes.
Carver still has a piece of the alien metal.
Jim Valenti, Sr. was at the crash site, a deputy at the time. The Parker family owned a bar, Parker’s, in 1947.
The bartender at Parker’s was named Pete. This means there’s a “Peter Parker” in Liz’s family, although he’s likely not Spiderman.
DANGLING PLOT THREADS
Where did the other sac go? Did Nasedo keep tabs on them, too?
Were the glowing adults Nasedo and the one who was caught later? What was in Hangar 20?
ROSWELL (OR REALITY) CHECK
While Highway 70 does indeed head from Roswell toward Texas, it is not the most direct route to Fort Worth. Betty Osario should have taken Highway 380 and linked up with Route 20 in Texas.
Two privates died at the crash site. Two doctors were dead in the lab. That brings the total so far this season up to six.
TUNE IN NEXT WEEK
A long-haired Max from 14 years in the future turns up in “The End of the World” to ask Liz for a favor — break up with him forever.
BETTY: Cars are like men, Carver. Give their cable a little jiggle, and they’ll be fine ’til morning.
MICHAEL: So I want to take him around. I want to jog his memory, and to do that, I need the Jetta.