What's your biggest fear?
It's a central question that has permeated this entire series when you think about it. Each character, at some point or another, has been faced with a fear that threatens to cripple them from the inside out if they don't stand up against it.
But even though so many of them have lived in a constant state of fear, Roswell, New Mexico Season 4 Episode 12 is the hour that exaggerates those fears. It forces them to make tough decisions that could have far-reaching consequences that they must be ready to accept.
All this to say, it was a very heavy penultimate installment.
As we've become accustomed to over the past two seasons, things move very fast in Roswell when each episode constitutes only a day. It raises the stakes, and it makes for a breakneck pace.
The pocket dimension storm meant that time was of the essence for Michael, Dallas, and Bonnie, who were using their time to plan a makeshift wedding.
Michael and Alex's entire relationship has been a rollercoaster ride, so it seems on point for them to have a somewhat unconventional wedding.
With a proud 'Malex Forever' sign hanging up behind them, they prepare to pledge themselves to one another for whatever amount of time they have left, and it's a swoon-worthy moment for even the most ardent anti-shippers. But it doesn't go as planned because, for Michael, it feels a bit like giving up.
I can understand both men's perspectives here because they're both operating from that aforementioned place of fear.
Alex is dying, and it's a slow and painful death, which in and of itself is scary. So, naturally, he wants to spend whatever time he has left committing himself to the love of his life. It's heartbreaking but also incredibly moving.
Alex's vows are so simple but also so romantic. There's something about a love declaration whilst on your death bed that will never not have me teary-eyed.
Alex: Listen to me, you're letting your emotions get the best of you again. Don't let me die without marrying you.
Michael: My vow is to not let you die, period.
But Michael, on the other hand, is a bit annoyed and frustrated, not with Alex (never with Alex), but with the crappy hand he's been dealt. He finally gets the guy, and he's on the precipice of getting everything he's ever wanted before Alex is ripped away from him and brought back to him, only to get ripped away again.
It's cruel and debilitating for Michael, who refuses to give in to Alex here and instead pours himself into the mission to, at the very least, get them out of this crippling dimension so they can get married under the sunlight before his world goes to crap.
He leans into the idea of finding the fuel and putting his faith in the hope that they will get out of that dimension together.
Michael is scared to death of losing Alex, and Alex is scared to death of dying without getting to marry the love of his life. Could this Malex reunion suddenly be any sadder?
Throughout the hour, Alex pleads with Michael, and Michael pushes back, and while it could be frustrating from a viewing perspective and give a lot of 'just kiss already!' vibes, it's all just too sad to really register. Because they're both just so in love with one another and scared, the scenario so insane and relatable simultaneously.
When everything crumbles at the end, the two commiserating and apologizing really bring out the tears. Hearing Michael talk about wanting to make Alex happy, which at his core is something we've always seen and known, is everything.
It takes me back to their first kiss at the museum when Michael shyly smiles at Alex, and you can see in his eyes how desperately he just wants to bring the other boy joy. He and Alex found a home in each other when they were seventeen, and it's finally time for them to stay there together.
Their road has been rocky, but it's still their road. And it was never supposed to end like that.
Alex, the only one with zero powers and literally dying on the ground, being the one to jumpstart a plan was a nice touch. All these aliens were standing around and giving up hope, and Alex was like get it together!
Everything in the dimension worked this hour, from the wedding that wasn't to Clyde's arrival and everyone coming together to escape the storm and get to the portal.
I've said it once, and I've said it twice, Roswell's lasting memory will be in the strength of its cast. They have undeniable chemistry, and their relationships always feel lived in. It's why it's such a shame that we didn't get more of those big group moments where we could see them all just existing and working together.
In all his snarky glory, Clyde came into the dimension to get Bonnie's blood and then tried to get her to return home with him, which was such a bold move you almost had to laugh. He pushed Bonnie into another dimension where who knows what could have happened and then begged her to come home with him.
If there is one thing Clyde will always have, it's the audacity.
Clyde hasn't been the best villain, which is to say he's no Jones, but where Jones was intimidating, Clyde is much more condescending. He is so above all these humans and the aliens that love them, and the way he yelled at them in the storm about how dumb there were was comical.
At that moment, I knew Clyde was ten steps ahead of them yet again because he always has more knowledge than them. Even if they ultimately destroy him, which I'm sure they will, it will likely be just a combination of luck and sheer willpower.
Theo's storm creation was a nice way to up the ante and tie back into Dallas, who's been a bit forgotten since he entered the dimension. His whole journey leading up to that was trying to understand his father better and follow the clues, but he keeps getting all this information that's painting his father in a light he doesn't want to see him in.
Circumstances put Theo into an impossible situation with Jones, and unfortunately, he had to weigh the very real possibility that there would be bloodshed one way or another. And the most blood was always going to come by Jones's hand, so he had to be dealt with.
The storm in the pocket dimension was a way to ensure that at least Jones would go. Isobel was right when she described it as impossible, but what other decision was there?
The pod squad, and Dallas, have all struggled with putting their parents on pedestals at one point or another, which is very easy to do with someone you don't remember. But their parents were not saints. They were doing what they could to protect themselves and those they loved, but they were not perfect.
I like how this season has explored that a bit with Dallas, and last season with Michael and Nora, allowing them to expand how they looked at their parents without the rose-colored glasses.
Speaking of Dallas, it was a very subtle moment, but Maria needing to connect with the person in the dimension she's closest to and it being Dallas, was a cute little moment. Since Gregory Manes is clearly no longer a thing on this show, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to see Maria and Dallas get a little closer in the finale.
Imagine if we'd gotten a season 5 and could see a married Michael and Alex, a newly tethered Kyle and Isobel, and Dallas and Maria trying to navigate a budding romance! That would have been so special.
Oh, and Max and Liz, too, who are back to sweeping love declarations and desert makeouts like they never left.
Liz is feeling the effects of her mist use significantly, and though this storyline has been a bit up and down (mainly due to the pacing), I like that they're showing the struggles of addiction. It's not easy, and Liz's mindset was still not necessarily ready to accept the help offered to her because she was so overwhelmed with saving the day.
Both she and Max are constantly looked upon to right wrongs and fix broken things. That's a lot of pressure and ties into the fears they both have of losing the other.
Liz's breakdown was an accumulation of years of stress and a need to be perfect, and you couple that with this sudden mental regression, and it's a wonder she could even accomplish anything that day.
Her whole life is rooted in being a scientist, and the memory loss has to be terrifying, especially when she took the mist in the first place because she thought she'd be able to save the people she loved. Now, the mist hinders her from doing the one thing she wanted.
Max's fears lay with Liz. All he wants to do is be the guy behind Liz Ortecho, right? His whole identity is Liz Ortecho and whether or not Liz loves him.
I get what the show tries to do with Max and Liz, but sometimes I feel like they go overboard trying to get us invested in their love story. And then, once they put them in a functional place, they always backtrack.
So now the past few days are wiped away, and these two are back to being entirely in sync and more in love than ever, with Max very literally using her and his love for her to fuel his newfound power.
The blue flame had a lot of potential, but I forgot about it once Max lost his powers.
When it comes back here, it's pretty damn cool, and it's the only reason the whole crew can get out of the dimension, with an assist from the fully reformed Tezca, who sacrifices herself for her favorite former student.
I've been on record as not loving the Tezca story because this season was already not doing great with the villain situation, and then they decided to turn one of them into a good guy overnight. But the writing was on the wall when they had Tezca sit in on Maria and Sonya's deep meditation for no good reason.
Sure, she ultimately hopped into the dimension, but it felt more like a way to remind us that the two women had their sorted history of body shifting, and now they were on the same team. So, Tezca got to make amends in a weird way, which is what she'd been spending the last couple of hours doing.
Helping Max reach his full potential, or at the very least helping him to tap into that potential, allows everyone to escape the dimension and land right in Clyde's lap.
With all the powers he could possibly want, Clyde should, in theory, be stronger than Jones ever was, so how in the world will they find a way to stop him?
With only one hour left in the series, we're heading into a battle with absolutely no plan! How fun!
All I know is that after Clyde is defeated, the team better get to finding a cure for Alex, we better get a real Malex wedding, and all the couples better be lovingly dancing at the reception.
It's what we deserve as a parting gift.
- Kyle and Isobel have turned being awkward into an art form. But I'm happy they just decided to take the leap and give into their feelings. They have an extraordinary bond, and it has been a long time coming.
- The Malex Forever sign was so meta.
- As Liz's sponsor, Rosa is probably a little too close to her as her sibling, but I appreciate that the show is giving this storyline time to grow and not just acting like Liz wasn't addicted to the mist.
- Where has Eduardo been? He better be back for the wedding!
- I really need to know if Kyle is on a sabbatical from the hospital. It's important to me.
- RIP Tezca. You will always be famous for your shapeshifting!
- They always give super emotional, romantic lines to Michael, and Michael Vlamis kills it every time.
Well, this is it, guys. We only have one more hour to wrap up this epic tale of aliens dropped into a small town seventy years ago and the humans who love them.
There are many different ways this could end, so drop a line in the comments and let me know how you want it to end!
Please watch Roswell, New Mexico online right now so you're all caught up before the finale!
Whitney Evans is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.