I’ve been absent for a few weeks of Roswell, New Mexico reviews but I had to return for the Malex of it all. It’s been a very slow burn for three seasons now. Going into Season 3, there was a strong sense of this fan-favorite ship officially setting sail, but even then, Alex and Michael only had two scenes between them in seven episodes. Episode 8, “Free Your Mind,” makes up for lost time tenfold. Some of the plot things are still struggling to cohesively come together, but this episode is one for the shippers.
We love a good love declaration but every scene between Michael and Alex in Seasons 1 and 2 turned into melodramatic nonsense. It was juicy and emotional, but the longer it went unaddressed, the more it felt like Malex was never going to get back together. What’s more, the two never actually talked about anything—it was always “you’re my family” or “we’re cosmic” or “I never look away” with no follow-up or reconciliation to sort out their actual issues. Every single scene had them declaring their love for each other without saying the words, and then talking to someone else about it. It was frustrating and hilarious, and so damn fun.
At a certain point though, something’s gotta give. Intention must be prominent. The angst is only good when there’s a payoff—that’s why everything from Seasons 1 and 2 ultimately feels ridiculous. From the very beginning of Season 3, Malex felt viable. A real thing. It was in the small moments—Michael going to meet Alex at the bus stop, fixing his hair in the shop window. Alex let go of Forrest pretty easily to join Deep Sky for Michael. How their relationship and how they felt about each other was brought up by Isobel, Eduardo, and Sanders, instead of just existing between them or contained in the scenes that only featured them. Sure, Maria and Kyle know and have mentioned it to them, but there’s something about two side characters noticing that made it feel real. Finally, after all of the intense scenes between them, they existed outside each other too, in words, in actions, in nuances. They were tangible.
While the pacing of their interactions this season is widely off-balance (from 0-60 in 40 minutes compared to the amount of screen time they’ve had this season), their coming together works because they take the opportunity while tracking down Jones to communicate to each other. Not just epic love declarations (though Alex gets some of those in too), but they also open up to each other about their fears and their whys. We’ve seen their growth individually; now they’re ready to heal together.
It’s their smiles at the end that really seal the deal. Before, anything that wasn’t a flashback was so serious. Here, after Michael kisses Alex at the end of their Deep Sky debrief, they’re more settled. No drama, no doubts. It just is.
There are still five episodes to go, and next week’s synopsis says Michael is worried about Alex. But if they can survive 2 and a half seasons of cosmic misunderstandings, then they can survive anything.