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Roswell
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Roswell Season 1 Episode 3

"Monsters"

The third episode of Roswell continued the pattern of allowing us to get to know the characters better, this time focusing on Isabel and Maria. The show opened up with Maria driving down the road and coming upon Isabel, whose jeep has broken down. It is very evident that both these characters feel very uneasy around each other, and Maria’s discomfort is increased exponentially when Isabel uses her powers to enhance Maria’s car air conditioner and stereo system. This makes Maria so nervous that she crashes into the back of Sheriff Valenti’s car. We see once again that Sheriff Valenti makes Isabel very nervous, for obvious reasons.

Back at school, Ms. Topolski informs everyone in a class lecture on Career Week that they will be individually interviewed to see where their vocational strengths lie. Liz and Maria then talk, and Maria indicates her discomfort with Isabel. Ms. Topolski starts interviewing students, and only Liz seems to have a tangible goal in life: to be a molecular biologist. In her interview, Isabel flippantly says that she wants to be a supermodel. When Max is interviewed, however, he doesn’t articulate any specific goal for his future, but indicates that he is introverted and tends to hide from the world, like the boy shown hiding behind a tree in a picture that Ms. Topolski is using to indicate personality traits. Ms. Topolski, when writing notes about her findings on each student, indicates that Max has secrets. Ms. Topolski tries to encourage Max to come out of his shell, saying that she too, had hidden from the world for a long time, and that she started to open herself up to what the world had to offer by starting a conversation with someone she liked. Following her example, Max proceeds to shyly start up a conversation with Liz, but he loses courage, and ends up talking to her about the situation with Isabel and Maria. Liz tells Max that it looked like he wanted to say something else to her, but he demurs, retreating back into his shell. Still, though, the wealth of feeling between these two characters simply resonates in any scene they are in together.

Max, Michael, and Isabel talk about Liz, Maria, and the mysterious key that Michael took from Sheriff Valenti’s office which could hold the answer to their past, and Michael once again indicates that he wants to pursue investigating the true story of their origins. Isabel thinks that Maria is on the verge of cracking and revealing their secret. Ms. Topolski asks Liz about her ambition to be a scientist, and Liz indicates that she likes to be in complete control of her life, and that you have to have a plan for everything. Back at the restaurant, Maria confides to Liz that she lives in constant fear of Isabel, who is also at the restaurant to keep an eye on Maria. Sheriff Valenti walks in to order a soda, and Maria nervously asks him if there’s anything else she can tell him today. This arouses his suspicions, and he tells Maria that he’s here to protect her from anything. Isabel, already afraid of the sheriff, looks alarmed by Maria’s actions. Max visits the diner, and notes Maria’s nervousness. Max then goes to the UFO Center across the street from the diner to return $10.00 to a lady that Maria had accidentally shortchanged, and he asks the tour guide “What happened in 1959?” This piques the interest of the tour guide, who tells Max to return the next day. Back at home, Max and Isabel discuss whether they want to find out their past, and Max says that he feels that by always being so cautious, they’re not moving forward. Isabel asks Max if it’s the key Michael found or Liz that is making him think that, and Max replies that he’s not sure. Isabel then says she is going to invade Maria’s dreams to find out what she is thinking, and proceeds to do so. In Maria’s dream, Isabel’s worse fears are realized as she sees that Maria perceives them to be grotesque aliens, and that she seems to be on the verge of telling the sheriff the truth about them. Back at school, Ms. Topolski tries to delve into Max’s personality, telling him it’s hard to figure out your future until you can figure out your past. Max then goes back to the UFO Center and talks to the tour guide, who turns out to be as obsessed with discovering aliens as Sheriff Valenti. The tour guide tells Max that he has an extensive archive of UFO sightings in a room in the center, and he offers Max a job. In a comically ironic scene, he tells Max that some day, he feels that he will be face to face with an alien. Meanwhile, back at the diner, Sheriff Valenti presses Maria for more information, and tells her to come to his office the next day, and this scene is witnessed by Isabel. Max tells Liz in their science lab that Maria seems like she’s about to crack and reveal their secret to the sheriff, and that he’s worried. The affection between Liz and Max is palpable as Liz sweetly tells Max that she’ll make sure that everything will be fine. The loving chemistry between these two characters is truly something wonderful to behold. Ms. Topolski gives everyone their vocational evaluation, and she tells Isabel that her profile indicates that she puts family first, craves security and stability, and leans towards care giving fields. This news breaks down the apathetic flippant wall that Isabel uses as self protection, and we get to see Isabel's vulnerability, and Ms. Topolski tells Isabel that there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be normal. Liz then talks to Maria, and she tries to convince her not to reveal Max, Isabel, and Michael’s secret, but Maria chafes at this attempt, and indicates her misgivings, and she tells Liz that she has to do what she feels is right.

Liz talks to Michael and Max and indicates her apprehension about what Maria might say, and apologizes to Max, who comforts her by telling her that it was only natural that she had confided in Maria. Liz then asks Max why he had confided in her, and he replies that it was only natural for him to do that as well. This seems to represent a breakthrough for Max, as he is learning to open himself up to the world through Liz.

Sheriff Valenti questions Maria in his office, and she seems about to crack, but she doesn’t reveal her secret to him, influenced, undoubtedly, by witnessing Isabel kissing her mother goodbye as they both picked up their cars from the repair shop. Maria then sees Isabel once again broken down on the road, and she once again gives her a ride, and a truce is seemingly reached. The episode ends in school, where Liz and Maria and Max and Isabel walk off with each other in a sweetly protective and affectionate way

 
 
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