Plots are converging a lot smoother in these last four episodes of Roswell, New Mexico Season 3 than they did at the tail end of Season 2. Even with the introduction of a new alien, Episode 10 “Angels of the Silences” is less crowded and more focused, confident in where it’s headed. Supported by powerful performances from the entire cast, but specifically Michael Vlamis and Quentin Plair as Dallas, this episode is strong with character deep dives and a forward-moving plot that fit together nicely. Props to writers Danny Toli and Onalee Hunter for the show’s best episode here, and the direction from Lauren Petzke.
We begin on a young Heath and Dallas—the Lockheart Machine is about to go off, and in an effort to help his friend, Heath explains that much like in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry submerged the mermaid egg underwater and their message became clear, dunking himself underwater should silence the machine’s loud screeching inside Dallas’ head. Heath and Dallas’s friendship is clear right off the bat, but it’s also obvious these two have no idea what’s going on with Dallas. The truth about aliens won’t be clear to them until years later.
Max and Liz seem to be on the same page when it comes to the larger alien plot now, but they’re still unsure about each other when it comes to them. Liz spends so much of her time trying to save Max, it’s weird seeing them together on a more emotional level again. As much as I’m enjoying the Jones plotline, especially Nathan Dean’s performance as Jones, Max is a stranger to me. We’ve seen so little of him lately that it’s odd remembering he’s supposed to be our main character. We’ll come back to this point later.
It’s lovely to see Michael and Alex working together, and for multiple episodes in a row! After Alex’s close call with the machine last week, we’re back at Alex’s place where Michael’s dropping off breakfast and theories. There’s a lot of science talk here but essentially: Michael’s figured out that thousands of lightning storms resulted in an electromagnetic wave, growing and combining until they created a repeating atmospheric heartbeat. That heartbeat is Earth’s fundamental resonant frequency, which the machine was meant to “pulse” a message onto, but Jesse Manes’ interference caused it to only go off every 47 days. They’ll need Dallas to figure out the machine’s message before Jones gets his hands on the science first.
This scene also sets up the first of two of the episode’s emotional centers. The show briefly touched on Michael’s childhood growing up in the foster care system—after being separated from Max and Isobel, he bounced around the system for a few years in various abusive households until he ended back in Roswell, where eventually he would live out of his truck. He usually brushes it off with a shrug, but of course, there’s more to it. Alex points out that Dallas’ file is very similar to Michael’s—he too bounced around the system, until he was taken in by the church and eventually met Heath. Again, Michael shrugs Alex’s point off like that connection is not important. Oh, Michael. Make all the Doctor Who jokes you want. That emotional catharsis is still coming for ya.
Isobel and Anatsa are hanging out, playing some archery, almost kissing. It’s very cute. Anatsa is also thinking of staying in Roswell and has an interview at the local newspaper she has to get to. It’s been a while since she’s made progress with why she came to Roswell in the first place—to cover the racial profiling of the police department. The Anatsa who’s dating Isobel and the one who investigates don’t feel entirely connected. So far, Anatsa hasn’t been around enough for this story to make a lot of impact, so hopefully, she’ll continue to stick around and appear more often so we can deal with this town’s awful sheriff.
A member of the pod squad finally remembers they haven’t seen Kyle in a while. Isobel meets him at a diner to consult with him on Dallas’ brain scans they found at Heath’s—looks like the machine is causing some acute traumatic deficits in Dallas’ temporal lobe. Isobel, armed with her newfound calling to “help other people” is excited about meeting a new family member, but Kyle warns that telling a preacher he’s an alien might cause an existential crisis they don’t have time for. Take note of Kyle’s warm glances at Isobel.
There’s some nice camera work in “Angels of the Silences.” We see Dallas preaching to his congregation outside in a field (probably leftover from COVID?). He’s talking about the town’s history of hatred when the camera moves behind him, facing the crowd, then pushes in to eventually reveal Michael and Isobel in the back, really looking like they don’t belong. Michael definitely doesn’t want to be there, but Isobel insists this might be good for him. Liz also appears, hoping to speak with Dallas about Heath’s whereabouts. When Isobel’s attempt to mindwalk Dallas results in her fainting off the bench, Dallas appears to know more than he’s letting on, especially when it’s obvious he notices Michael and Isobel talking to each other psychically. Eventually, Dallas sends Liz to Heath’s cabin, thinking he might be there while Isobel and Michael lure Dallas to the junkyard in order to try to explain his alien heritage. This is definitely not a great plan!
Suspicious of the break-in at Max’s house, especially since it resulted in four homicides and two missing persons, Sheriff Taylor’s number one suspect is Max. Of course, we know she’s technically correct in a way that’s also very wrong. People have been murdered, including one of her deputies, but it’s also very interesting to see her suddenly care about finding the truth when she was rallying up innocent people and giving power to racist alt-right militia groups at the start of the season. This plotline continues to be a blight on the season, as it keeps bumping into the sci-fi nature of the show, ultimately leaving very little impact.
There’s plenty of tension between Michael and Dallas at the junkyard, and it works on multiple levels. Michael’s clearly uncomfortable with Dallas’ profession (for reasons we can guess, and confirmed later in the episode) while the layers to Dallas keep unraveling. He’s easygoing, and easy to talk to, and knows his way around a car. Michael’s also dancing around the revelation that Dallas is an alien, caught between not wanting to explode his worldview and wondering if he already knows. Michael catches on that Dallas can hear their psychic conversations and warns Isobel when she finally appears at the junkyard. We can also infer that Michael is wary of how similar their upbringings were, and might not be ready to confront that particular emotional baggage quite yet.
This conversation the episode keeps having about religion and aliens is an interesting direction to take, and I’m not sure if they will continue to dig through this conflict. I hope they do since Dallas explains away his abilities as “hearing people’s prayers,” and in direct conflict with the actual truth, which he’s presented with when Isobel floats some metal scraps in the air.
But it’s the Lockheart Machine that really gets to Dallas—when Alex and Michael drive up with it and start to turn it on, Dallas freaks out, screaming at them to keep the machine away from him, and drives off in his car. Michael’s at his breaking point, wanting to be done with this Lockheart mystery, so down in the bunker, he urges Alex to turn the machine on, not caring how it will affect Dallas, even if he drives off the road. Alex and Michael’s communication skills continue to improve as Michael divulges why he’s so pent up—Dallas’ file scares him. It’s too similar to his own past, so that when he finally gets what he’s wanted all his life—answers about where he came from and a connection with another alien—he pushes it away. Alex gets him to change his mind, though, and off Michael goes to find Dallas.
Liz and Max break into another of Heath’s properties, where they discover his progress on the science that Jones wants and Heath needs to heal Dallas. While here, they each express how they feel like this situation is all their fault, and they each take turns comforting and reassuring each other that no one could have predicted a Heath and Jones team up, so they are doing the best they can. This Max is familiar, and I wish we got to keep him.
Kyle continues to have bad days. First, Heath and Jones break into his office to steal Liz’s bag, then Sheriff Taylor arrests him in his own office when he can’t answer what happened to him the night of the break-in. The catalyst for his arrest comes when the sheriff starts to question Isobel, intent on getting Kyle to hand over his files on Isobel and Max. He sets them on fire and ends up in handcuffs. This delays him from meeting Isobel to explain everything to Dallas, resulting in Dallas’ freak out and Isobel’s vulnerability that she’s not as good at helping people as she thought. Outside the police station, Kyle and Isobel have another scene together, and it’s here that it’s very obvious that Kyle likes her. When she questions him on what provoked him to go against the sheriff, Kyle pointedly does not mention that Sheriff Taylor started suspecting Isobel. The look on Michael Trevino’s face is priceless as he lets the confession go. Later, he’ll look wistfully on as Isobel and Anatsa get cozy again at The Wild Pony.
Another flashback shows an older Heath and Dallas hanging out on a dock, discussing the lengths they would go to for each other. Heath has just been kicked out of John Hopkins and Dallas has been told by a doctor there’s something wrong with his brain. More great camera work and editing transition us from this flashback to the present, where Dallas sits in the same spot, contemplating his existence as a man of faith and an alien, not sure where God fits into all this when Michael finds him.
This is where Michael unloads the things about his past I’m not sure he’s revealed before, at least with this much vulnerability. One foster family exorcised him when the revelation of his powers sent a kid through the window, leaving Michael feeling very alone in the years that followed. Dallas was kicked out of three foster homes until he met someone he could really trust. This is some deep, honest stuff happening on the screen, handled beautifully by Vlamis and Plair. It’s a scene I feel like we haven’t really gotten from Roswell, New Mexico before—not with the level of care and connection. The closest one I can think of is Isobel’s abortion scenes in Season 2, and while that was a highlight for Lily Cowles performance-wise, watching two characters connect over a shared trauma, and realizing they can help each other because of it is the kind of writing I want to see more of in this show.
Dallas then is the second emotional center of this episode, and in the scenes following, the show gets more personal and more sci-fi than I’ve seen the show get before. Talk of triads goes through the roof and the opening of the Lockheart Machine and a holograph of Dallas’ father delivering his message to his son reveals that Michael, Isobel, and Dallas were meant to be a triad. And even though we’ve only known Dallas for a short time, having him connect with Michael about his upbringing makes his conversation with his dad all the more special. Again, Plair is amazing in this scene. More great camera work frames most of this conversation straight on Dallas and his father, with Michael and Isobel behind Dallas, completing the points of the triad. It’s also wonderful to see a lot of people in this bunker scene, with Michael, Isobel, Alex, Kyle, and Dallas all working together.
The episode ends with Liz finally getting Heath to understand that Kyle and the rest of the squad can help him and Dallas. As they’re making their escape from the lab, Liz realizes that Jones has switched with Max at some point, and takes Heath, Liz, and Sheriff Taylor hostage. At The Wild Pony, Dallas reveals to Kyle that his father had more to his message than just an equation—if they can’t separate Max from Jones, it’ll be up to Dallas to kill Max. God, do we have to with this?!
Michael and Alex end the episode with a callback to Alex’s song at the end of Season 2. What a moment.
Jones is still just wandering around Roswell and the squad keeps letting him!!
This episode was a lot easier to understand and follow because everyone was focused on one goal—getting the equation before Jones. I missed both Rosa and Maria, but this episode is a great example of how trimming down their plots episode by episode can do wonders for great storytelling.
“Do you think you could get the wanna-be TARDIS out of Deep Sky for a spin?”
“I’m thinking my calling is helping other people.”
“Oh, but he’s like, a cool preacher.”
“A scientist and two aliens enter a church …”
“It felt involuntary. That’s what I get for violating consent.”
“You have ice powers now?!”
“Alexander Manes, I’m home.”