Max To The Max

Episode Report Card
Djb: D | Grade It Now!
Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Smirkin'

Fade in on a pre-credits sequence, the length of which just about causes the opening theme song of Roswell to aurally collide with the closing credits of the syndicated midnight exhibition of Frasier on my local WB affiliate. Picking up where we left off last week on the scoping fjords of Sandy Land, the newly-monikered Alien Four stand in frozen silence for a brief spell, until Michael decides that "they continue to stand in frozen silence. Cue closing credits. Roll over and die, quietly but for the exception of the sound of my weeping of bitter tears" no longer qualifies as acceptable plot development in this cohesion-be-damned sprint to the season finale the show increasingly seems to be adopting. And as an unflaggingly loyal (albeit financially compensated) member of the groundswelling Roswell viewing public, allow me the unmitigated honor of being the first to admit the reaction this inspires, as both a recapper and as a citizen of this island Earth: Good. For. Them. Michael breaks said frozen silence first, inquiring, "What do you mean she's one of us?" Oooh, beginning the entire episode in question form. How Beckett-esque. And also how telling of yet another of the aliens' previously unexplored mad voodoo powers. That being the one that allows them to communicate directly with that peripheral spirit universe known to us simple earthlings as the "Previously On" section. A mystical world it is, indeed. As handheld camera alacrity ensues, Max turns suddenly and runs up the scoping fjords and is followed by Michael and Isabel, all three of whom come to rest near what appears to be a giant rock which closely resembles all of the other giant rocks within a billion mile radius. He passes a hand over the big rocky wall, revealing a tell-tale silver hand print. Max matches his own hand to said print, the very movement of which inspires an off-camera production assistant to cup his hand over his mouth and pour every ounce of his ol'-time-radio-show-esque sound effects gusto into intoning "Whir! Whir! Whir! Scrooooooooonk . . ." in hopes of convincing us that this highly implausible "age-old mystery alien pod cave opening" sound effect will complement the visual impact of the world's largest gliding block of flaxen-painted Styrofoam masquerading as a giant gliding boulder. But other than all that, the moment is eerily authentic in lots and lots of other important ways. Or, as is the case here, not so much. The Alien Three look suspiciously at their new surroundings, shooting each other charged looks indicating, "Yikes. I hope no one noticed how cheesy that looked. Maybe if the WB found some real advertisers we could generate a little revenue for the F/X budget and then we could afford, like, a real rock. And that would also mean that maybe one commercial a week actually wouldn't feature the consistently non-comic stylings of the omnipresent and dangerously overexposed David Arquette. Clearly, it's a win-win arrangement for everyone involved. With the possible exception, of course, of David Arquette." Anyway, that's exactly what they're thinking.

Upon my return from the sad, lonely town of Grasping-at-straws-in-my-final-four-recaps-ville (population: me, me, a thousand times me), I come to see The Alien Three step into a cave containing the alien pods from which they once emerged, still immersed in the cosmic silly string we have seen before. Isabel, not yet privy to the twenty minute Night of the Living Pod People primer video Max borrowed from the interplanetary reserve room at the close of last week's episode, looks incredulously on and inquires, "What is this place, Max?" At which point Tesla appears at the cave opening and informs them all in her most over-enunciated (did someone in the forums say she's trying to conceal an Australian accent? Because I can totally see how she's deliberately overspeaking every one of her words in that "Graduate of the Nicole Kidman Institute of Indigenous Culture Abandonment" kind of way) delivery, "It's where we were all born." And though Isabel slips into a vision of the four of them emerging from the pods, she breaks out of it with an understandably bewildered, "No. No. No, I don't believe this." And I mean, really. If I spent the first sixteen years of my life trying to live as normally as possible among the fickle human race, only to discover that I was originally hatched from some cheesy papier maché relic fished out of a dumpster at The World's First Easter Parade that, with a splash of fresh paint and a few cardboard candles, could be wheeled into a bachelor party and leapt out of by a stripper named Candi, well, I don't think I'd be very happy about it either. No, sir, I don't think I'd be very happy at all.

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