I found this to be another engaging episode of Roswell, as we saw Isabel Evans come into her own to face a powerful enemy and save the life of one her fellow visitors. I thought that the show did a terrific job of combining dramatic tension and a palpable sense of impending danger with lighthearted moments that were simply hilarious, but mostly due to the lack of interaction between my two favorite characters, Max and Liz, and the too early elimination of one of the enemies of the "Royal Four," I found this episode to be a bit of a let down from last week's wonderful show.
I didn't particularly like how they showed a traumatic scene that occurs later in the show as the opening scene of the episode, because although it set up the peril that Isabel and Tess would soon be facing, in my humble opinion, it sort of ruined the element of building suspense that's the normal hallmark of these episodes, and as a result, the earlier scenes seemed almost anti-climatic in comparison. I loved the tender scene between Max and Isabel as Isabel walks in on the surprise party that Max had planned for her, and the love and devotion between these two very special siblings was wonderful to see. I was very disappointed, however, that Isabel, after telling Alex that she couldn't get involved with any guy, would date Grant Sorenson. To me, that seems very hypocritical and totally unfair to Alex, who clearly cares about Isabel deeply. On another level, however, I see this as indicative of Isabel's burning desire to have a normal life, and fit in with everyone on her adopted planet, and perhaps the fact that Alex knows her secret factors into her decision to somewhat back away from any type of romantic relationship with him.I also suspect that the way that Isabel is apparently drawn to this mysterious stranger could have other implications that will undoubtedly be explored in episodes to come. I also thought this dichotomy came through when Max demanded that she not see Grant Sorenson any more, and Isabel bridled at this ultimatum, as Isabel's desire to be truly human and experience an ordinary life that could include things other teenagers take for granted conflicted with Max's desire to protect them all. To me though, Grant Sorenson seems suspicious, and I guess we'll find out what his true identity is, and what his true intentions are, in future episodes. I was both amused and touched to see Max and Michael give Mr. Sorenson the "cold shoulder," along with Mrs. Evans, who was looking out for her little girl, like all mothers do. I thought that Isabel's visions were truly harrowing, as they became more and more intense as the show progressed, and it was interesting to see the juxtaposition of these visions with what was currently happening around Isabel, as moments of joy intermingled with moments of sheer terror, as Isabel correctly sensed that Tess was in grave danger, and she came to the realization that she alone was the only one who was ultimately capable of helping her.I also thought that Isabel and the others' statements acknowledging that they hadn't been very nice to Tess were very true, but given Tess' duplicitous nature, it's very understandable why they regard her with suspicion, especially Max. I was amused when Max referred to his relationship with Tess as "complicated" when Sheriff Valenti questioned him about it, and the Sheriff answered "Oh she wants to jump your bones, huh?" I really like Sheriff Valenti's new role as the group's ally instead of being the enemy obsessed with exposing them, and I think his value to the group will continue to increase in future shows. I liked seeing Liz dance around in Congresswoman Whitaker's office, but I was alarmed at the manipulative way that the insidious Ms. Whitaker invited herself along to the party. I was glad that Liz acted on her suspicions about Congresswoman Whitaker, and in so doing helped all of her friends, but I was disappointed that Liz played such a small role in this episode, other than to help cover for Isabel when she had to leave, and I was especially disappointed that she had virtually no interaction with Max. I enjoyed seeing everyone talking at the party, especially when Kyle told Michael about Tess and her "Fredrick's of Hollywood" lingerie, and how he complained about how she was taking over in his house, and his remark that "if some chick is going to complain about keeping the toilet seat down, she'd be at least be doing me," was hilarious, and it was also very typical of something a guy would say to his friends, and it was especially amusing when Kyle realized that Mrs. Evans was there, and he tried to weasel his way out of a very embarrassing situation.I thought that Alex's strip tease was uproariously funny, and his embarrassed reaction to seeing Mrs. Evans was even more comical. I think this scene also revealed how much Alex cares for Isabel, because he's been shown to be basically shy and reserved by nature, so the fact that he would perform a burlesque routine to make Isabel happy shows the depth of his feelings for her. I really got a kick out of the way he loudly complained to Maria and Courtney about how humiliated he felt, and they basically ignored him, and I thought the funniest moment in the entire episode came when an hilariously overwrought Alex asked them "Do you have any idea how it feels like to walk around all day with a thong up your ass?" and both Courtney and Maria answered "yes," giving a very telling and droll view of the differences between men and women. It also struck me in that scene that it's very obvious that Colin Hanks has inherited his father's comic flair, and I hope we get to see more of this underused character and actor in future episodes.It's very obvious that the devious Courtney, who was revealed as a "skin" last week, is "after" Michael, using her feminine wiles to try to seduce him, but I felt sorry for Maria any time she saw them together. I thought the competitive tension between Maria and Courtney was clearly evident in their scene together, and it will be interesting to see how Courtney will reveal herself in future episodes, as she may try to force a wedge between Michael and the others. Several people pointed out to me in e-mails last week, and correctly so, that she's not the only "skin," as we learned later in the episode, and she's also not the "skin" that killed Nasedo, but obviously, she's here for some type of nefarious purpose, so it will be intriguing to see precisely what that purpose is. I was glad to see Isabel take charge and organize everyone to help save Tess, since she knew that Tess was in clear and immediate danger, and that Max and Michael weren't able to help her at that moment, and I thought that she clearly came into her own in the way that she used both her powers and her ingenuity to figure out where Tess was and rescue her.
I was completely shocked that the devious Congresswoman Whitaker turned out to be a "skin," and that she was the "skin" that had killed Nasedo, and her revelation about the granolith that apparently held the key to their survival, and her revelations about Isabel, were equally shocking. I was riveted when Ms. Whitaker revealed that Isabel, as "Vilondra" on their home planet, had betrayed her family, and sacrificed everything for her "great love," and that history was bound to repeat itself. One thing that alarmed me in that statement was the strong attraction that Isabel has for Grant Sorenson, and I suspect that he may turn out to be the reincarnation of the "great love" that ultimately caused the downfall of Isabel and her people in another life. I was truly excited to see Isabel turn the tables on this murderous enemy though, as she used powers that she didn't even know she had to destroy Congresswoman Whitaker.
I thought that they killed off Congresswoman Whitaker way too early though, as her relentless pursuit of the "Royal Four" in the guise of a powerful government official definitely added to the tension on the show. I thought that the scene at the end was harrowing, but a bit overdone, as Isabel expressed her anguish at the place where it all had started for them, and I could empathize with her torment as she "talked" to her mother, and she then discovered the granolith that apparently holds the key to the survival of all the visitors to our planet, and which Congresswoman Whitaker had demanded she reveal the location of to her. Overall, I enjoyed this episode, although I missed the romantic tension between Max and Liz, but it was very interesting to see the role that each one of the "Royal Four" will play in upcoming episodes, as their past is starting to collide with their present and future, and each player in this saga is beginning to realize, and fulfill, the destiny predicted for them at the end of Season One