There’s only one rule when it comes to doppelgangers—they must at some point take over our main character’s life with none of the other characters the wiser. Roswell, New Mexico took this route early in season three, with last week’s episode ending with Jones walking free and Max unconscious in the cage.
Usually what follows such a set up are dread-inducing bouts of dramatic irony, our main characters unaware there’s a spy in their midst. However, “Walk on the Ocean,” episode four of season three, doesn’t partake in this particular mischief. Instead, Jones gets a dog. And thank god, he shaves the beard. It’s a refreshing take on the mix up but then again, Jones’ motivations are still mysterious beyond “saving Max.” But if this episode’s goal was for me to root for Jones, they accomplished that when they gave him a dog who follows him around all episode.
It might seem a bit pointless that Jones just ends up back in the cage by episode’s end. However, Jones voluntarily went back. We all know it’s fishy when someone voluntarily gets themselves caught. His offer to heal Max is genuine it seems, but Max is still influenced by memories given to him by Jones. Though it appears to complete the bigger picture, factoring in Tripp’s journal, there’s still missing parts to the puzzle. Luckily, Max and Michael still don’t trust him, though with a cure for Max just out of reach, that might quickly be forgotten.
Some other things to consider: when Jones first went to Max’s house to clean himself up, he came across a photo of Isobel and Noah. He smirks at the photo—of course, it makes sense that he knew Noah, as Noah was an adult when they crashed in 1947. The laugh could mean anything—did he know Noah wasn’t a good person, and is amused that he tricked the three alien siblings? Did he and Noah hate each other? Also with the photo are drawings of the swords Max keeps seeing in his memories, and a question about The Alighting, something Noah also knew about. Jones doesn’t have as clear of a reaction to the mention of The Alighting, but he’s certainly no longer laughing.
In “Walk on the Ocean,” we get to know Jones even more, especially in his physicality. Nathan Dean gets to (literally) stretch his legs more as Jones, since we’ve mostly known him as Jones while he’s been in a cage. Jones has a certain swagger to him that is much different from Max—he’s confident, but sincere in some moments. He’s also prone to bouts of anger, which he uses a gun to express. I like the way he talks to himself too—Lucky the dog provides a great sounding board for him. His aside to Lucky while he’s reading through Max’s medical file is one particular moment that I loved. His concern for Max is clear, but he also sounds like he has a plan to fix it.
I’m still hesitant on the Wyatt and Rosa storyline. Wyatt discovers that “Rosalinda’s” cousin killed his sister (though she didn’t really) and Rosa reveals that she and Wyatt were friends in high school. The only thing that I liked about their scenes together in this episode was that Rosa directly called out Wyatt for his past behavior—shooting up the diner, attacking her uncle (father). Rosa admits that she doesn’t know why Wyatt seems different, and that she understands what it’s like to wake up one day and not recognize your life (here, she attributes that to NA, but we know she’s referring to both being dead and her addiction). Rosa’s sentiment that if people aren’t allowed to change, then what’s the point of all of this, is agreeable. I just don’t want that to be the only reason why Wyatt is absolved. For true redemption, we need to see Wyatt acknowledge those parts of himself and show some actual remorse. This can’t evolve into a romance between them, and his amnesia can’t be used as a blank slate for his redemption. For them to go down that road, it needs to be the Wyatt we’ve known for two seasons making amends. Even then, it’s best if Rosa is not involved with his journey, or the motivation for him to redeem himself.
Liz is back in LA, but she takes with her the brush off from Max and Rosa and Kyle’s points about how far she’s left the people she loves behind. She has the samples she went to Roswell for, but she’s rightly reluctant to hand them over to Genoryx. While I’m eager to see Liz back in Roswell for good, I love that the show is taking the time to really show us Liz’s thought processes. We understand her motivations and her worries as she discusses them with Heath. Throw in some dancing just because, and we finally get a Liz that is sure in her decisions. She resigns from Genoryx, pointing out that if they tried to run an underground lab with Genoryx’s funding but not their knowledge of it (lol Heath) they would eventually steal all of that research back for themselves. She’ll figure it out back in Roswell—that is, if she makes it there (more on the ending later).
Maria and Isobel continue to be the buddy-cop duo we love. Their journey together is of the psychedelic, mind wandering kind. Out in the desert, Isobel joins Maria inside her mind as they go looking for Maria’s memories of her latest funeral vision. Liz acts as their mind-walking tour guide and tells them that in order to unlock the repressed vision memory, they first must address the crowded mind space of a few particular secrets and issues they harbor.
It’s a premise designed to draw out revelations, but there are some cathartic moments that needed to be addressed between Isobel and Maria. The main two points: Isobel confesses about Jones and Max, which brings to light why Louise and Bronson are in Maria’s head. After last season’s revelation that Louise is Maria’s great grandmother and Isobel Maria’s great aunt, there’s mostly only been joke-y references to weird family trees.
But Maria’s issues with Isobel (some she didn’t seem to know she even had) are about how she doesn’t feel like a family member to the aliens, even though she is. With only her mother as her immediate living family member, finding a new family connection should be exciting and wonderful. But when you’re dealing with three emotionally repressed alien orphans, bridging that gap can be difficult. Though, it shouldn’t all be on Maria’s shoulders—Isobel acknowledges she hasn’t acted very welcoming to a new member of the family. Odd, too, since she also confesses that she almost thinks of Jones as family. Both Heather Hemmens and Lily Cowles really bring it in these emotional moments.
Michael Trevino and Michael Vlamis offer one of my favorite moments of the show that covers all ranges—snark, comedy, physical comedy, anger, exasperation, and vulnerability. We don’t often get Michael and Kyle scenes, but this one was worth the wait. Kyle takes his dad’s old radio to Michael to see if they can figure out why Jim Valenti’s voice is coming through it. Michael is testing more turquoise stones, so the radio is once again amplified enough to bring Jim’s voice through. Them working together to pull the radio apart brings me a lot of joy.
My guess last week about Roswell, New Mexico taking a Frequency route is way off base, I’ll admit. It was just a message Jim left for Kyle about staying out of alien business. Another reason I love this scene is that it let’s Michael and Kyle each make a point and be right about it. Kyle can’t just ignore people who need help (a point that is immediately made when he gets a text about the Lopez family needing help) and Michael suggests that sometimes, living is enough. Before Kyle leaves, he tells Michael he should go talk to Jones, which would hit harder as a last say if we hadn’t already seen Michael speaking with Jones. Though, he has been avoiding him lately, so approaching him cooled down from previous anger might be good.
For a show set in New Mexico, featuring Latina leads, season three gives us it’s first all Spanish-speaking scene. Kyle goes to the Lopez farm, an undocumented family, the husband of which was assaulted and attacked by the mayor’s son, Jordan. Earlier in the episode, we finally meet the new sheriff, a white woman who, when confronted during a public speech by Bert about how she plans on addressing the racist attacks on people of color in Roswell, says that Black Lives Matter, as do white, and blue, and red, and yada yada yada. Kyle was also in attendance at this gathering; Bert tells him that this town is really missing a Valenti, an ominous foreshadowing for the episode’s end.
The episode ends with a great sequence of intercuts between three plot lines—the vision, Liz explaining to Heath why she’s resigning, and Jordan confronting Kyle outside the sheriff’s station. Maria and Isobel make it to the vision memory, and more is revealed of the funeral scene. First, we can rule out both Bert and Michael as coffin occupants. They’re at the back of the room, Bert commenting that if the sheriff had just done something the day he called, they wouldn’t be there. Michael nods in agreement. As each reveal of who it’s not in the coffin continues, the confrontation between Jordan and Kyle escalates. At some point in the vision, a crying Rosa worries Maria that this is Liz’s funeral. But Liz appears late (to sighs of relief). But Rosa is hugging a dark-haired woman, her face turned away. Jordan and Kyle get in each other’s faces, pushing each other around. A woman approaches the coffin, unfamiliar to Maria and Isobel but we know her as Mrs. Lopez. Jordan calls Kyle’s mother a bleeding-heart liberal. Maria and Isobel approach the coffin. Jordan pushes Kyle into a protruding metal pole, going right through his stomach. The Valenti family crest (first glimpsed with radio in the scene with Michael and Kyle, then again in Kyle’s office when Jones was poking around), is etched into the coffin.
So is Kyle dead? He doesn’t look so good when Max finds him. He tries to heal him, the lights flicker, and the remnants of a handprint on Liz activates, sending Liz collapsing in front of Heath right after she resigned from Genoryx. This episode is solid all around, from the acting, writing, and the refreshing directions it takes on sci-fi tropes.
Cosmic Afterthoughts and Notable One-Liners
Isobel wanting to open a self-defense class for girls is so on point for her. Make it happen!
While I’m wary of the BLM storyline and how they handle it, this episode at least allowed for clear examples of real life talking points, especially by the sheriff, that are clearly wrong and problematic. I only mention this because with Max as a cop, they were getting a little too middle-ground on some of these things.
Jones and his harmonica and his dog. Also, watching him use his powers is really cool.
Flashbacks to Louise and Bronson reveal that perhaps it’s impossible to kill Jones without also killing Max.
There’s no Alex in this episode. A bit weird, as it leaves the cliffhanger with The Lockheart Machine hanging. However, Malex fans can rejoice in knowing that Michael seems to be doing better with the knowledge of The Dictator. In fact, he’s actually vulnerable to Max about how he’s feeling about that, and recognizes that he might not trust Jones because of what he said about his mother. That’s because of what Alex said to him last week.
A weird moment when Michael and Max approach Jones at Max’s house—in the truck, Max says Jones is more powerful than they are; when Jones offers to heal him, Max tells him Jones isn’t strong enough for that.
Pretty sure Jones could fake a memory. Max clearly hasn’t seen Inception.
“You got to be Scrooging me.”
“Lucky for us, I have a long history of fighting someone with your face.”
“I’m ready to set you free, Max.”
“I have people.”
Roswell, New Mexico season three airs new episodes every Monday, at 7 p.m. CST on The CW.