Sunday, February 19, 2012

roswell recap - season 1 - pilot

I am actually following through with my promise (to myself, who else would care?) to re-cap every episode of the show Roswell, a little gem I found on Netflix. To learn more about my ridiculous love of teen soaps and now, Roswell, read this post. Also, this site is where I snaked the screenshots from. So, big ups to them.

Season 1, Episode 1 – Pilot (super clever title!)

So, the show starts with a cute brunette writing a journal entry about how 5 days ago she died and then things “got really weird.” Oh, teens!


Then we see the same girl, Liz, working in a ridiculous alien waitress uniform, messing with the head of some tourists concerning a fake alien photo. The tourists look like cartoon characters from the cartoon Doug.  Another waitress tells her that a hot guy named Max is checking her out again and she’s all NO WAY, but he totally is. Max is the Luke Perry of the show as he looks like a 30 year old playing a 16 year old. Thanks to Wikipedia I see that he was around 26 when this show was on, so not too far off there. I digress. The other waitress is Maria. Based on her name and the fact that she suddenly starts speaking Spanish, my guess is that she’s going to be the wacky Latina best friend on the show. Nice of the WB not to play into stereotypes. One other thing: she has really terrible hair. 

Two burly dudes argue over something(probably who had more fries) and they have a gun! People in Roswell are serious about their diner food, yo. The gun goes off and Liz goes down, so I guess she got shot. Hot Max runs to her, much to the chagrin of his spikey haired friend. He rips her uniform open and at first I’m like what the whaaat, but then he puts his hand over her gun shot and heals her, while seeing flashes of each other when they were kids. I guess he’s pretty much been stalking her since they were 5. Seriously, though, the wound is gone, so that's pretty nuts. He breaks a ketchup bottle and tells her she broke it when she fell. Then to be real cool and secretive, he and his friend run out of the crowded restaurant IN FRONT OF EVERYONE and peel out in a jeep. Yup, non-suspect and playing it real cool.

Can I digress for a moment about the sheriff?

Thanks to Wiki I found out the actor who played him went to the same college as i did, which I find awesomely strange as it is a pretty small and obscure college. The difference, aside from the fact that he went 30 years before I did, is that he went on to Cornell and became semi-famous. I didn't and now I write a blog that no one reads. Yeah, pretty big diff. In any event, I think he's supposed to be a dick, but I'm forever on his side. Blue Knights for life, son.

The police come and the cartoon tourists from Doug tell them that some CRAZY things happened that they just can’t explain, ie. where the eff is the bullet from the fired gun? I guess the police don’t care, because they believe the ketchup story. Back in her room that night, Liz checks out the bullet hole and is all WTF? 

The next day in bio class, Max is late and he’s Liz’s lab partner. So convenient! I feel like I have seen this before(on every teen movie/tv show ever). They have to take a swab of their inner cheeks and check out the results, but Max is all nervous looking and peaces on class, but not before leaving a pencil he was chewing on sitting on the desk for Liz to check out. She sees some crazy green cells. They are supposed to be red. Max is totally an alien. She corners him in a music room where they run into Kyle, who is sorta Liz’s boyfriend. Kyle is the sheriff's son, which you can infer because he wears the same aviators. Kyle leaves and Liz is all YOU’VE GOT SOME ‘SPLAININ’ TO DO. Max doesn’t make up a crazy story and is just all, ‘yup, I’m an alien.”  I love when she asks where he’s from and he points up, so she says, “Up north?” He points higher up and I wanted her to say, “Canada?” but I guess she put two and two together. She has a mini panic attack (he is an alien) and before she leaves Max tells her she CAN’T tell anyone. 

Maria is chatting up a dude who seems like the dorky guy of the show named Alex. In real life the actor is Tom Hanks’s son. So, there’s that. Then we meet Isabel who is Max’s alien sister. She’s high maintenance and played by Katherine Heigl. So, there’s that, too. Spikey Hair from the restaurant is named Michael and he’s the third alien. He lives in foster care, so he has emotional issues. Then the Sheriff pulls them over for no reason, I guess. He is about to let them go and notices a Tobasco bottle by Max’s foot (he noticed the same things at the shooting). Tabasco is pretty much alien cocaine. He smells a rat, bro.

Later that night, Kyle sees a silver hand print that Max left on Liz and she runs inside. I guess she lives above the restaurant and her family runs it or something. Max calls her down and they chat it up again and have some flashes, which I think is the way Max excuses being able to touch Liz’s face from three inches away. They have a moment! She thinks he can read her mind, but Liz, this isn’t Twilight. Kyle told his dad about the handprint on Liz, which I guess is something they found on dead bodies back in the 50s. Liz tells him it isn’t there, but he makes her show him, which I think is illegal. Either way, it has disappeared. The Sheriff then name drops Max Evans and Liz says he wasn’t there the day of the shooting. Then we find out he has her dress with the bullet hole in it and she’s read to PASS out. 

She has another thing with Max and we get some back story about Max being in an incubation pod for 20+ years. I don’t really get it and I'm guessing it will be easier to understand in further episodes. Anyways, she asks who else knows and he tells her she’s the only human and when she asks why, he says, “It was you.” And every teenage girl watching this show in 1999 is immediately jealous of Liz Parker. Then Liz says the Sheriff is putting it all together. Max flips his shit and decides that he and the aliens have to leave Roswell. Max is so dramatic!

So, Maria tells Liz that if she doesn’t tell her the truth she’s going to the sheriff and telling him everything she knows. Sweet best friend, there. I guess Liz tells her and she runs away screaming. No, seriously. AWESOME job keeping that secret, Liz. You lasted less than 24 hours. SOLID. Afterwards, Maria babbles a lot and then calls herself the “wacky friend”. Hilarious, as I called that earlier in this review. Teen soaps are so interesting and hard to figure out!

Liz tells the alien gang she has a plan to help them stay. It is some kooky thing that involves a car accident and Maria laying on the ground with a painted on silver hand print on her chest. Take note of the Crashdown Festival gear: Maria is in glittery green and Isabel in silver latex. Even the dudes are wearing wacky costumes/masks and then, there’s Max. I guess he’s from Men in Black. I’m not complaining, as he looks smoking hot, but I think this foreshadows his character flaw of being woefully boring. And hot. Did I mention he's hot?

The Sheriff is almost fooled, but the paint was still wet (sloppy execution of that ten minute plan) so he pretty much starts beating on Max. Then he stops because he doesn’t want to get sued by Max’s parents or something, but warns Max that he’s on his radar. Not great, Max, not great.

The episode ends with a metaphor of burning aliens at the fest post the “crash down”. Then, Max and Liz are chatting in the desert while a Dave Matthews tune plays in the background and they stand oddly close to one another, but you know they can’t kiss yet. They need to keep you tuned in for half a season of will they or won’t they action. I learned that in Teen Soaps 101. Liz thanks Max for saving her life and he says, “Thank you,” with an emphasis on you. He’s so dreamy.

Post Show Thoughts: I make fun of it, but I actually think this is one of the better pilots I’ve ever seen. It set up so many story lines and moved at a wicked fast pace. I’m still confused why Max and Michael would flee a crime scene in such a public way when they are supposedly pros of low key living, but hey, I have to remember this show is probably aimed at 14 year olds who might not think about these things. I’m sure it will be good for a few episodes and then slowly begin a death that lingers on during all three seasons of the show. And be sure to come back as I re-cap every last one.