#210 A Roswell Christmas Carol – Primer

Written by Jason Katims
Directed by Patrick Norris

As Max and Michael look for the perfect Christmas tree, they witness a man pushing a little girl out of the way of an oncoming car. As the man is then hit a crowd immediately gather, and Max makes the decision not to save the man’s life. Later at home while Isabel, the Christmas Nazi as they call her this time of year, is ranting at the pathetic tree Max picked out, he sees the ghost of the man who was hit sitting across the room. The ghost, John, then questions Max’s reasons for not saving his life. Max in turn goes to Liz telling her he needs a friend. The two then talk about why Max didn’t save the man, and Max realizes what he needs to do is restore the balance.

As the town attends the local Christmas pageant, headed of course by Isabel who reveals she knows what they call her, Maria tells Liz that while caroling she discovered Brody’s daughter, Sydney, has terminal cancer. Liz goes to Max with this information, and as Max looks over to Sydney, he gets an idea of how to restore the balance. Max later goes to Brody’s house with the intent to heal Sydney, only to discover she’s been transferred to a hospital in Arizona.

Still wanting to heal Sydney, Max tells Michael he’s going to Arizona and although he doesn’t agree with his decision, Michael goes with him in order to keep them out of further trouble. At the hospital, as Michael keeps guard, Max enters the children’s ward and heals Sydney. As he’s about to leave, he looks around to the other sick children and unable to stop himself, heals child after child until all his powers and energy are drained. Just as the hospital security are about to catch them, Michael runs in and finds an unconscious Max on the floor. We discover they escape through a hospital window, as nurses and security guards come in to find the once sick children, playing, healed.

Max later goes to Liz to thank her for telling him about Sydney, and she tells him he can’t go on healing people. She explains that maybe someone or something is planning everything that happens and it was Max who once told her that he’s not God. Liz then invites Max to midnight services, but he simply leaves her saying Merry Christmas.

Later at the Evans home, Michael comes to Max to tell him he wished he could have healed the children Max couldn’t get to. He then tells Max he has something he wants to show him. Michael takes Max to Brody’s home, where they watch Brody telling Sydney a story. Max then goes to John’s house and as the two say goodbye, John tells Max he too should be with the people he loves.

Max is then seen walking into midnight service, and as he passes his family, he sits down next to Liz who turns to him saying she didn’t think he believed in God. Max looks to Liz telling her he does believe in her, and as the snow begins to fall, the two look up to the sky holding hands with renewed friendship.

Meanwhile, Michael’s been torn over what to get Maria for Christmas and Isabel tells him to simply make it something thoughtful. Michael then comes up with the idea of a new bumper for Maria’s Jetta, which they keep wrecking, and although she is thrilled with the sentiment, Maria looks to him for her ‘real’ gift. Michael panics until he realizes Isabel left him something to give to Maria, and as Maria opens the gift, they both discover it’s a set of pearl earrings. Maria is ecstatic that Michael would spend so much money on her, but still says the best present she has is him.

Over at the Valenti house, Tess has discovered the Sheriff and Kyle don’t normally put much celebration into Christmas. She then attempts to bring them all closer by planning a dinner, and inviting Amy DeLuca whom they’d earlier ran into at the grocery store. At dinner, Kyle realizes how much time and thought Tess put into the evening.

Jason Katims Commentary with Jason Behr

“It’s a very simple story…”

(The WB added the commentary in two parts. Both are in the video clip.)

Transcribed by Paula

Katims: It is a very, very simple… simple story. It’s, in a way, much simpler than a lot of the stories we tell on Roswell. Alot of times we see on television they promo episodes…saying “a very special episode of” and I never knew what that meant.

Jason: A very special Roswell, kind of chuckling.

Katims: Ya, I never knew what that meant. I liked the fact that it’s a story about helping somebody else and it has nothing to do with protecting their own asses (I believe he said that, if not, sorry.) as aliens. I liked the fact that it’s about Max being confronted with this moral dilemma.

Jason: The idea of God and science and how, they don’t really necessarily blend very well. I think , um, when Max says that he doesn’t believe in God, I don’t think he says that to be a blatant atheist or just to be a slap in the face for religion, it’s just for himself because of who he is and what he is. I think that he has so many more questions, than he has answers.

Katims: I almost think too that he wishes he did believe. I think you’re right, it’s his perspective on it.

Jason: I think it also asks the question of, if you can just suspend your disbelief for just a moment. For those just watching the show. Some of who suspend their disbelief’s for quite awhile. (they both chuckle) But, um, the idea of someone having this gift, this awesome power, to heal people. Who chooses who lives and who dies, and how do you actually make that choice? Are you disrupting some sort of grand scheme, some master plan, that someone has out there or have you become part of the plan despite yourself? It’s just a, it’s a powerful notion I think, and this huge responsibility of who are you to decide of who lives and who stays? And how do you go about making those decisions? You can shy away from it and act like it is not there, but, yet, you know obviously the guilt will come get you.

Interviewer: How do each perceive the ending when Max takes Liz’s hand?

Katims: You know, that moment to me seems like a transedant moment, it’s the gift he gives her, it’s him thanking her for being there for him, being a friend, and it’s not a moment about them getting back together as boyfriend and girlfriend, it’s beyond that.

Jason: I thought it was, ah, the cue for the snow to fall. (Makes a cute hand gesture, both laugh.) I see my line, “I believe in you”, then the snow falls. That’s what I thought.

Katims: Right. (They both chuckle again).

Jason: I don’t understand that. (smiling and laughing) Umm, I was reading the script and reading, and, “snow in Roswell”, yes, okay. (joking and laughing, very cute!) Um, no I thought that I thought, that moment was so much more about the evolution of Max’s character of his relationship to Liz and the relationship to his family and it was so much more than just saying, “You know, ya, we’re back together now, I believe in you”, lets live happily ever after, it’s more about “without you I couldn’t become the person that I am now.” And I think, that, throughout the season, no matter what has happened, good or bad, it’s made these people who they are. I think that it’s the way with life in general, that the choices that we make in our lives and the people that we know, help us in one way or another be the people that we are. And I think in that moment he was just, sort of, thanking her for helping him to open up his eyes to it, to, a completely different world.

Katims: Right, I mean it’s funny that you’re saying that because he’s able to go to her even with everything they have been through….some…..

Jason: He need some, sort of sane voice, some sort of reasoning and I think that the person that he trusts the most is Liz, with.. who knows him better than, I think, than anybody. But I think more than anything, was just about being human and being mature and being alive.

[Katims nods his head in agreement. And that is where it ends.]