The CW’s Roswell, New Mexico season one episode five ended with Liz realizing neither Max nor Michael could have killed her sister, Rosa. That only leaves Isobel, and Max confirmed his sister was in fact responsible.
It’s 2004 and Max, Michael, and Isobel are kids camping out in the desert. They discuss their special skills and Michael admits his foster mom had a priest perform an exorcism on him to expel his demons. As Michael and Max talk in the tent, a stranger attacks Isobel not far away. Max, who hasn’t discovered his special skill yet, screams as he places his hand on the man’s chest. The stranger dies, and the three siblings are shocked and frightened.
Michael digs a grave simply by using the power of his mind. Isobel’s permanently scarred from the attack and subsequent murder of the stranger.
Max explains this to Liz, trying to get her to understand Isobel. She’s had blackouts since that night in 2004. Liz impatiently demands to know about the night Rosa died, but Max explains she needed to know Isobel’s backstory first.
Flashback to 2008, a time when Max thought they could be anyone and do anything. Michael (Michael Vlamis) receives a full ride to college. Max’s plan is to tutor and then travel around while writing his first novel. Isobel doesn’t have any plans post-high school.
The scene shifts to outside high school and Kyle (Michael Trevino) hugs Liz, announces he got into college, and then gets pulled away by his friends. Max watches this as does Alex. (It’s a young-looking cast so they can get by with playing their high school selves without any special makeup/hair.)
Not far away, Rosa (Amber Midthunder) is hit up by two so-called friends who demand she get them drugs for the prom. If not, they’ll ruin her life.
At the café, Liz is working on homework as Rosa and their dad argue. Rosa storms out but not before she tells Liz that she doesn’t think their mom is ever coming back. Their mom isn’t to be trusted.
Rosa meets Isobel on the roof of the café and they look at the stars. Both had horrible days, but the night’s now getting better. They hold hands as they talk about Isobel’s favorite constellation, Ophiuchus.
Michael and Alex (Tyler Blackburn) have a heart-to-heart, and Michael confirms he’s living out of his truck. Alex reveals there’s a toolshed behind his house. He stays there when things get bad with his dad.
Over at the café, Liz waits on Max and Isobel and Max is amazed she remembers his milkshake order. Rosa walks up, also busy at the family’s café, and Isobel has no idea that they’re friends or that she and Rosa had plans to watch a horror movie together. Rosa, confused and hurt by Isobel’s rebuff, stares after Isobel as she walks out of the café. Rosa turns around abruptly and runs smack dab into Liz, causing her to drop an entire order. They laugh and dance it off as Max watches – obviously in love.
Days later, Kyle picks up Liz and the two look incredible in their prom finery.
Max, Michael, and Isobel pose for the photographer on their way into the prom. They also look fabulous in their formal attire, although they’re all date-less. Max is about to turn to enter the prom when Liz arrives in her stunning red gown. Kyle’s right there so Max doesn’t linger to talk.
Despite the party and pretty clothes, Kyle and Alex get into a fist fight over an insult Kyle hurled Alex’s way. Michael pulls Alex away and Liz chases after them, telling Kyle to grow up as she hurries off.
Isobel goes from the prom to the café, which is closed and empty except for Rosa. She apologizes for acting weird and for not acknowledging their friendship in front of her brother. Isobel notices Rosa’s backpack and Rosa admits she needs a change of scenery and the help of a man who will get her through withdrawals. Isobel offers to leave with Rosa, an offer that renders Rosa speechless.
Max catches up with Liz and they talk about Kyle. She thinks his ego blew up and then confesses she doesn’t think they’ll work it out. Max is sorry she’s hurting and she admits she had a bad day and wants her mom, but her mom’s probably off somewhere drinking. She cries as she confesses she needs her mom to take care of her. She’s not all grown up yet.
Liz lays her head on Max’s shoulder and he hugs her. They stare into each other’s eyes briefly, but don’t kiss. He gets her to smile and they’re still talking when Michael runs up panicking that Isobel has vanished. Max hands her his red rose before rushing off with his brother.
Max and Michael finally track down Isobel the morning after the prom and she’s not sure what’s happened. She has red paint on her hands, and they realize she was with Rosa when they see a drawing on the side of a van. They accuse her of being on drugs, and she admits she’s just upset because they’re leaving and she’ll be stuck in Roswell without them. Max suggests she live her own life, and she runs off saying she can handle her own problems.
That night Michael’s in the tool shed Alex told him about, and Alex brings him some supplies. Michael, whipping out his guitar, admits he doesn’t know why Alex is so nice to him. Michael explains he has chaos inside him and the only thing that makes him feel quiet is playing music.
Alex moves in for a kiss, but they don’t. Instead, Michael thanks him and continues playing.
Outside of the café Rosa’s car has been graffitied. “Go back to Mexico” and “crackhead” are written in paint, and eggs have been thrown at the windshield. Isobel arrives and Rosa blames the damage on Kate and Jasmine, her friends who are angry she stopped partying. Isobel volunteers to help her clean it up, but Rosa tells her she’s “too much” and runs back inside, saying she can’t handle the situation.
Max and Michael sit down for a meal at the café and discuss what’s going on with Isobel. Max thinks she’s having blackouts, and then changes the subject to reveal he wants to ask Liz out. He thinks they had a moment. They stop talking when they notice Liz and Rosa arguing over using the car. Liz accuses Rosa of being just like their mother, and Rosa storms out.
Max volunteers to take Liz out to the desert to do their project, but Liz suggests they go on an adventure instead.
The big adventure turns out to be beers in the desert. She used a fake ID to buy the beer and they make up stories as if they’re 25, the age on her fake license. Liz says she’s a dancer and Max decides he’s a writer. He then admits he wants to write something you can disappear into, something that “wraps you up when it’s cold.”
(The on-screen chemistry between Jeanine Mason and Nathan Dean Parsons is undeniable and electric.)
Liz shows him some dance moves and they stare into each other’s eyes again. They slow dance and listen to music, closing their eyes as they sway. Liz confesses she wants to kiss him, but it doesn’t feel right. They don’t have all summer as she’s off on a road trip right after graduation. She can’t kiss him and just leave. She doesn’t want to be like her mother.
Max asks her to stay, and Liz also doesn’t want to be type of girl who changes her plans for a boy. Liz strokes Max’s face and admits their timing sucks. They smile, tease, flirt, and Max finally asks what about him changing his plans for her. He would do that for her, and they could see the ocean or the Grand Canyon or maybe even the Empire State Building.
Romance is also in the air elsewhere as Michael visits Alex and they kiss. They make it back to the tool shed and Michael reveals he’s never been with a guy before. They take it slow at first and then the passion and lust take over.
As they’re getting dressed, Alex’s dad barges in. He picks up a hammer and caresses it, warning his son that this ends now. Alex’s dad, Jesse, grabs Alex by the throat and Michael intervenes. Jesse turns his anger on Michael, slamming the hammer down on his hand.
After Max and Liz return that evening, he drops her off and leaves a note under her windshield wipers. Rosa catches him and warns him to stay away from her sister. She’s drunk and angry, and calls Isobel a mean girl. She thinks Max will leave and forget Liz, and so she pushes him and sends him away.
After Max leaves, Rosa grabs the note he left for Liz.
Michael’s in a great deal of pain as he sits in the driver’s seat of his truck, hand wrapped in a bandage and drinking alcohol to dull the throbbing. Suddenly his ears start ringing and he has a vision of Isobel alone in the desert. Max has the same vision.
Michael finds two girls dead in the desert and calls out for Isobel. He finds her in a cave holding her hand over Rosa’s mouth. Rosa drops to the ground, dead. Isobel tells Michael she did it because Rosa couldn’t be trusted.
Max arrives and Michael tells him he believes Isobel killed Rosa and the two other girls. Max freaks out and screams as Michael paces. He’s unable to heal Rosa, not quite strong enough to return her from the dead. Michael wants to call the police, but Max knows there’s something wrong with Isobel. Michael reminds him there’s evidence everywhere, and Max blames himself for not protecting Isobel and for leaving her alone. They need to cover up what she did.
Michael uses his powers to make all three bodies move on their own, inches above the ground, into Rosa’s car, with Rosa in the driver’s seat. Isobel arrives right after the girls are in place, and she has no idea what’s happened. Michael takes the blame, saying he couldn’t control his telekinesis and he accidentally killed them.
Max tries to send Isobel away, but she refuses to go. The siblings gather on the street as Michael turns the car on from hundreds of yards away and sends it speeding down the road. It passes them and they watch as it crashes.
Michael wants to leave immediately after the crash, but Isobel believes the crash isn’t enough. Max uses his powers to set the car on fire.
Back to 2019 and Max informs Liz that he and Michael changed their plans and stopped hanging out together after that night. They couldn’t bear to be around each other, but they did keep a watch over Isobel.
Liz, crying, asks why Isobel killed Rosa. Max admits they don’t know why. Liz can’t believe he allowed the town to think Rosa was drinking, crashed her car, and killed Jasmine and Kate. Liz yells at Max that he made her family a target of the town’s hatred following the crash and deaths. Max apologizes, saying he didn’t have any clue that would happen. He was scared and stupid, but Liz calls him brilliant. He covered up the murders for a decade.
Max reveals he tried to tell her a few days after it happened, but she was with her family. Liz pushes him away, telling Max she never wants to see him again. He destroyed her sister to save his own.
Elsewhere, Michael tries to convince Isobel she didn’t do it, that when she killed Rosa it was like she was a different person. Isobel wonders if killing is in their DNA. Are they just a murderous species who landed on Earth to kill people? Because Isobel just had another blackout, she believes it’s happening again. They need to face the truth.
More on Roswell, New Mexico Season 1:
- Jeanine Mason Interview
- Nathan Dean Parsons Interview
- Carina Adly McKenzie Interview
- Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 3 Recap
- Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 4 Recap
- Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 5 Recap
- Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 7 Recap
- Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 8 Recap