The Morning After

Episode Report Card
Djb: D | 3 USERS: A
Czech, Please

Opening shot of cold, vacuous space (or -- IS IT?), accompanied by Liz Parker's equally vacuous ramblings, "I'm Liz Parker, and..." Liz's diary seems to have comes equipped with an anti-theft device that automatically erases entries written by people other than herself, so it's necessary for her to identify herself at the beginning of every entry. And speaking of sophisticated devices, Liz seems to have spent all that money she was saving up for Clinique Bonus time on a high-powered, NASA-approved telescope which has appeared, out of seeming nowhere, on her roof. And now, an excerpt from the "I'm Liz Parker and you're not" chronicles about alien beau, Max: "What is he thinking about right now? Is he also obsessed, tortured, going from one sleepless night to another wondering what's gonna happen between us?"

But to hilarious comic effect, we cut to Max's bedroom and discover the answer to be a big ol' no; he is, predictably, sound asleep, not doing his paranoid alien duty of keeping one eye open and one ear to the ground. Or something. But Max does wake up soon after, roused by scuffling at his window. He grabs for a baseball bat and stands on guard, ready for the rumble. The window opens and the intruder climbs in. Max brandishes the bat impressively, but to no avail -- the intruder is Michael. What's he doing out there? Max posits that perhaps it was an "argument with Hank," Michael's evil hick father, who lives on the outskirts of town and probably knows the definition of the word "chaw," and maybe even what to do with it. Michael says he's there because he can't sleep, and as Max unrolls a sleeping bag for him, it becomes apparent that Michael sneaks out to Max's posh digs rather frequently to seek sanctuary against his father's Appalachian ideologies. But with that white, ribbed, wifebeater tank top Max wears to bed, Michael can hardly feel sure he's escaped that trailer park at all. Max climbs back into bed, but it's clear that Michael is primed for further pillow talk. He tells Max that he finds it "amazing that you can sleep when the entire key to our existence is out there." Max finds it amazing that Michael feels so entitled to information only Valenti possesses. I find it amazing that Michael showed up to the slumber party without so much as a toothbrush. Yuck-o-la. All Michael wants to do is talk about the picture with the alien handprint that Valenti showed Liz: "It means there's someone else out there, someone who was here in 1959. That means he was here when it crashed. He knows where we come from, he knows who we are, he knows why we're here. Maybe he knows how we get back." Jeez, raise your hand if you're a downer at the sleepover. All Max wants to do is play Truth Or Dare and giggle about boys after mom and dad go to bed, and Michael has to go crying about their home planet or some such thing. Max sympathizes with Michael's turmoil, but he is realistic about the fact that the Sheriff has the picture and they don't: "We'll never see it. That would be impossible... right? Michael?" Hey, hit the theme song button, someone -- Michael's gone to sleep.

The opening credits sequence, a time-wasting luxury not afforded in the pilot, includes eerie silhouetted shots of people walking, a few clips from the Roswell Daily Record, and any number of deeply pensive glares. And I'll bet my MBTV stock options that this song is by The Cranberries, and if it is, I'm sure it's actually a protest song deriding the existence of God, organized religion, and some war in Uzbekistan that no one's ever heard of. But it serves its purpose here in this equally dramatic context.

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