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Warning: the article contains spoilers for episode 1x06.

I had so many thoughts while watching episode six of The CW’s new show, Roswell, New Mexico. The whole episode was a flashback, showing the characters in their high school days back in 2008. I typically don’t enjoy watching flashback episodes, as everything could be summed up in a story during the present timeline, but I enjoyed this particular one.

What made it really great was seeing the characters as “younger” versions of themselves. Liz and Kyle looked the same, but as for everyone else…all I have to say is “wow.” Alex Manes, present-day military veteran, was an eyeliner-wearing, septum-pierced, grungy/emo teen. His outfits were iconic. Alex’s current style is vastly different from the flashback’s style. The wardrobe department tried with Max, but they just made his face smooth and had him wear a backward baseball cap. Nothing too crazy.

The light-heartedness aside, let’s take a look at how this episode fleshed out Max’s and Liz’s characters a little bit more. The episode had a lot other great moments to talk about, like the ones between Alex and Michael, but it revealed some truths that I never considered before.

From the start, we see Liz being a strong-willed, somewhat pessimistic character that is very family-oriented. She is factual and wants nothing but the truth, even if it means that Max turns out to be the bad guy. Nonetheless, Liz still has feelings for Max, even though she knows that he’s involved with Rosa’s death somehow.

Max, on the other hand, just wants to help out. He’s a sweet guy, definitely someone I wish was my high school sweetheart. Family means a lot to him as well, and there’s more at stake for him if he were to lose Isobel or Michael. If he’s not protecting his family, then Max is playing protector for someone. However, family will (almost) always win if he had to choose.

Liz figuring out that Isobel killed her sister and the other girls definitely was not the move Max wanted. He had kept that a secret, a secret so deep that it destroyed his friendship with Michael. Isobel didn’t even know that she did it, thinking Michael committed the murders, but helped to cover it up like a good sister and friend. It’s all heart wrenching, to say the least.

This episode really highlighted the parallel between Max and Liz. Not only are they star-crossed lovers, but they can understand (whether they know it or not) the pain the other is going through first-hand with this new knowledge.

In the first flashback, we see Isobel being attacked, triggering the subsequent blackout episodes. Max kills a man to save her, to be her protector. He also recognizes later that the attack “broke” something in her. The same mindset is applied in the case of Rosa and the other girls. Max didn’t want to tell her that she was the one that killed them in order to protect her. Good intentions, but was it really the best move?

We never get to see a lot of it, but Liz and Rosa were the same way. Liz had the need to be perfect, since Rosa was not, so that things would be balanced. We got to see a hint of Liz protecting Rosa when she asked Liz to lie to the “warden” about where she was going. Knowing Liz and her devotion to her sister, she probably did lie to their father.

Both Max and Liz have such a strong devotion to their family that they are willing to break some moral and ethical rules. Now, I can understand that, but as we all can see, their devotion has led to a decade’s worth of hurt and discrimination, and with the big secret out of the bag, things are going to get worse before they get any better.

The episode finishes in present-day Roswell, with Isobel finally discovering the truth about the murders. I don’t know about you, but now that I know what happened in the past, I want to know what’s going to happen next.

Paige Pennebaker

Chapel Hill '21

Paige Pennebaker is an aspiring writer who attends UNC-Chapel Hill as a Senior during the day. She enjoys writing fiction and has been published on shortfictionbreak.com. While fiction is where her heart is, Paige also has a lot to say about the real world and how to get by.
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