Roswell
Leaving Normal

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Liz Parker has a journal. And a rooftop. And a rather hefty tab on her Urban Outfitters credit card, judging from the ever-proliferating numbers of funky candles surrounding her at all times on said rooftop. And speaking of Roswell, have I mentioned that Liz Parker has a journal? And in it, she writes this: "It’s October 19th. I’m Liz Parker and this is what I’ve been thinking. Can life ever go back to normal?" Oh, drat, I think, I don’t think the new episode got recorded on this tape; I must accidentally be watching last week’s episode. Y’know, the one that began with Liz Parker sitting on her roof introducing herself to her journal? And the week before that. And the week before that. And the week before that. Sorry to argue with your police work there, Liz, but things actually seem pretty freakin’ normal to me.

Cut to the Crashdown, where we glimpse briefly the life Liz perceives as "normal," the main feature of which seems to be Liz and Maria chatting incomprehensibly while waiting on tables. They make it over to the kitchen to await some impending orders, and at one minute and twenty-nine seconds by my VCR counter, the plot is in place and motoring. Liz: "Grandma Claudia is coming on Friday." Maria responds with an enthusiasm few have seen from her since the Supercuts chain finally came to the Southwest, and Liz agrees that Grandma Claudia is, in fact, "the basis of my existence." Gleeful revelry becomes almost rampant, and I immediately know by some primal instinct that Grandma Claudia will be making an extended visit to the ol’ Reaper place down by the edge of town before this episode is over. And how do I know this? Because anything that make Liz Parker force a smile -- even the prospect of listening to an aged relative ramble endlessly about mah jongg, Boca Raton lawn furniture, and that disgusting rap music all you rotten kids are listening to these days -- cannot be long for this world.

Liz, oblivious to the hazardous effects of her own fated foreshadowing, continues on with normal. She serves a table of frightfully ogre-esque orthodontists, and the head grotesque tells Liz, "My colleagues and I were just appreciating your overbite," and requests a closer look. As Liz tilts her head back and bears her teeth in a painful facial contortion vaguely masquerading as a smile, Max walks into the Crashdown and witnesses the spectacle. He smiles. She smiles. Mr. and Mrs. Mopey threaten to share a moment bordering on actual laughter, and it becomes painfully obvious that the only way to restore the brooding status quo between them is to have somebody ACTUALLY DIE. Speaking of status quo, Liz’s voice-over burbles something about wanting things to stay normal but at the same time not wanting things to stay normal. Thus negating each other, rendering the very existence of this statement obsolete from the get-go.

Max, meanwhile, has become a bit more bold in his wooing methods. He has shown up at the Crashdown alone, not waiting for Michael, not particularly hungry, just there. Max and Liz’s little chat is intercut with shots of two chaps sitting at a nearby table, spying. And I’m really not stretching the truth for the sake of a pop-culture comparison in saying that one of these guys is the genetic clone of ‘N Sync heartthrob, Lance. It’s insane. So Lance’s friend (for the uninitiated: Justin, Chris, Joey, or JC) peeps conspiratorially at the too-happy-for-this-show duo and informs his blond-tipped friend, "That’s the guy."

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Roswell

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