‘Roswell, New Mexico’ Season 1 Episode 8 Recap: “Barely Breathing”

Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 8
Jeanine Mason as Liz and Michael Vlamis as Michael in ‘Roswell, New Mexico’ season 1 episode 8 (Photo: John Golden Britt © 2019 The CW Network)

The CW’s Roswell, New Mexico season one episode eight begins with Isobel (Lily Cowles) in the psych ward at the hospital wondering how to cope with the fact there’s something unpredictable and dangerous inside of her. Noah (Karan Oberoi) patiently waits in the hall outside her door…a door that’s marked with a warning that an anti-social person is inside.

Ann (Claudia Black) pays a visit to her son, Max (Nathan Dean Parsons), and they catch up like a normal mother and son. The subject turns to Isobel and Max lies and says a combination of pills and wine caused a psychotic break. Max asks about his family’s medical history, which apparently Ann never worried about because they never got sick. As kids, neither Max nor Isobel spoke when they were first adopted. She recalls they spent a good deal of time just observing people as if taking in the language and then suddenly began talking.

Max shows her the drawing with three circles and she says that when she visited the foster home, the other child had obsessively drawn that pattern all over the walls in a red marker. She feels sorry for that child and hopes he got the attention he needed.

Kyle (Michael Trevino) brings a cactus to Liz (Jeanine Mason) in her lab, reminding her they need to talk about Isobel. “The psych ward is not a hotel for the Real Housewives of New Mexico,” says Kyle, even if she’s an alien. Liz finally reveals Isobel killed Rosa. Kyle’s justifiably angry Liz didn’t tell him earlier, and then Liz does something which you know is going to come back and bite her in the butt. She shows him the serum that might strip Isobel of her powers. She still believes the aliens will be rendered powerless, if the serum works.

Liz still doesn’t plan on using the serum, but for some reason felt it necessary to show it to Kyle before locking it away again.

Kyle, of course, confronts Isobel and she admits to killing Rosa. He plunges the syringe with Liz’s serum into her chest.

Noah visits Isobel, promising his wife he won’t give up on her. He really just wants things to be normal between them. Isobel assures him she’ll talk to the doctor to see if there’s a treatment plan.

Continuing the day filled with dysfunctional family visits, Alex (Tyler Blackburn) visits his dad, Jesse, and wants to discuss his secret project. Jesse shrugs that off as a ridiculous topic, so Alex uses his cane to knock out his dad.

Over at Michael’s place, Maria asks Michael (Michael Vlamis) to fix her bar’s neon sign. He reluctantly agrees as Max arrives with the drawing of three circles. He informs Michael that Wyatt had scribbled it in the hospital after killing Grant. Since Michael drew it as a child, Max thinks it must have some significance. Michael’s shocked his brother is finally admitting they might have had lives elsewhere before their pods opened on Earth. Max admits he doesn’t talk about where they came from, but now he thinks Isobel’s blackouts might be an alien thing. The symbol might be connected to it.

Michael thinks either the 50 year period they were in the pods wiped out their memories, or whoever placed them in the pods did. Their conversation’s interrupted when Max gets the feeling Isobel’s in trouble.

Over at the hospital, Isobel seems fine. Liz can’t believe Kyle injected her, yet she’s the one who showed him the secret serum in the first place. (What was her motivation if she didn’t want him to use it?) Kyle doesn’t understand why he did it, and Liz figures out Isobel used her power to make Kyle inject her.

Liz has an appointment and asks Kyle to text her if Isobel shows any reaction to the serum.

Meanwhile, Alex has his dad tied to a chair and is going through research files on his computer. Alex demands to know about Project Shepherd but Jesse claims it doesn’t exist. Alex reminds his dad he can hack into pretty much anything, so he might as well spill the beans.

Alex shows his dad the bizarre item he found at the Valenti cabin. He’s been stalking his dad since then, trying to figure out his dad’s secrets. Jesse claims he was just trying to protect his family, and Alex reminds him he sent him off to war at 17. He definitely wasn’t trying to protect him; he did it because he didn’t like that his son was gay.

Alex reveals his endgame now is to destroy what his dad loves. He’s hacked into his dad’s database and up pops a picture of Michael, identifying him as a terrorist. Jesse thinks Michael’s been targeting Alex for decades, and he wants his son to understand there have been years of unprovoked violence initiated by Michael and others. Alex believes his dad’s just using the operation to target people he hates.

Alex cuts his dad lose, demanding he leave town. He’ll threatens to tell the Feds about Project Shepherd if his dad ever returns. Alex is aware he’s been running the operation outside the law and that if he’s discovered, it would mean a dishonorable discharge and the end of his career.

Roswell,  New Mexico Season 1 Episode 8
Lily Cowles as Isobel, Michael Vlamis as Michael and Nathan Dean Parsons as Max in ‘Roswell, New Mexico’ season 1 episode 8 (Photo: John Golden Britt © 2019 The CW Network)

Max and Michael arrive at the hospital and Isobel swears she was trying to do the right thing. She hopes she’ll be normal and will finally be able to feel like she can trust herself. Kyle returns, frustrated he has to babysit a homicidal alien. Isobel attempts to use her powers to get Kyle to remove his shirt. Unfortunately for viewers, her power isn’t working. Isobel believes she’s fixed and that the serum worked.

Michael charges out of the room and confronts Liz outside the hospital. He calls Liz Dr. Frankenstein, but she reminds him Isobel used the serum on herself. He claims this is the same as drowning witches or gay conversion therapy. He asks if she’d be okay with someone using her lab to make her less Mexican, and Liz is outraged. Isobel murdered Rosa so that comparison is unjust. Michael informs Liz that Max and Isobel have always had a connection, an actual warm feeling that they can sense one another. When Isobel injected herself, that connection went cold.

“If anything happens to Isobel because your serum left her vulnerable, you’re going to be getting revenge on the wrong person because Max didn’t take your sister from you. All he ever did was love you,” says Michael.

Up in her hospital room, Isobel’s feeling better and tells Noah there won’t be any more secrets. She’s in a great mood until all of a sudden she coughs and spits up blood. She passes out in Noah’s arms.

In the lab, Liz and Kyle discover something’s happening with Isobel’s blood sample that was used to test the serum. Her cells are rotting so fast that she’ll be dead by the day’s end.

Max tries to heal his sister but it’s not working. Isobel’s dying and she tells her brother it’s hopeless because she’s not injured, she’s sick. Max is weakened by the attempt at saving Isobel’s life, but he pleads with them to keep trying to help his sister. Kyle and Liz don’t have an answer, and Kyle confesses now’s the time he would normally suggest they call the patient’s family.

Max begs Liz to create an antidote for the serum. She runs off, saying there’s not enough time.

Liz has escaped the hospital for the serenity of the rooftop of the Crash Down Café where she’s drinking wine and listening to Jagged Little Pill. Michael follows her there, demanding to know why she’s not in her lab working on a cure. Liz explains this is her process for coming up with solutions – she channels her inner Rosa.

Liz figured out Michael’s extremely intelligent and that he must know some alien science. Michael, however, isn’t about to share anything with Liz who he distrusts equally as much as Max trusts. He thinks Liz would never try and save Isobel after learning about Rosa, and that she’s just using both Max and Kyle. He doesn’t blame her, but he can’t trust her.

Michael’s about to leave and is telling Liz he can’t let Max watch Isobel die alone when Liz grabs his arm. She says, “I can’t let him watch her die at all.”

They head to Michael’s place and he uses his powers to move his trailer. Underneath is a fallout shelter that holds everything he knows about where they came from. Liz can’t believe what she’s seeing which includes parts of the UFO and other technology. Shocked, Liz realizes Michael’s trying to rebuild his ship.

Michael’s in confession mode now that he’s let Liz in on his underground facility. He reveals Isobel used her mind control ability 10 years ago and that’s why Liz left town. Max was a wreck, so they decided to send Liz away before graduation, before Rosa’s funeral, without Max.

Michael admits Max would have told her the truth, if they hadn’t sent her away. Liz believes she went of her own volition. She had planned to leave since she was a sophomore and Isobel didn’t force her out of town.

Michael shows Liz vials of a substance he extracted from their pods. It evaporates when it touches Earth’s air, but it kept them in stasis for 50 years inside the pod. Liz thinks it’s exactly what they need to cure Isobel. Liz isn’t sure there’s time to work out the formula, but Michael believes the two of them working together can figure it out.

Max is still at the hospital when his mom arrives. She has a robe and magazines for Isobel, but Max won’t let his mom see Isobel or even know what’s going on. Ann’s frustrated they’ve never let her really into their lives, and Max tries to reassure her they loved her and appreciated everything she and their dad did for them as children.

Noah’s with Isobel and he doesn’t understand what’s happening with his wife. Kyle tells him he needs to speak with Max if he wants to know what’s going on. Noah reminds Kyle he’s Isobel’s husband and deserves answers. Kyle remains close-lipped and Noah leaves the room, frustrated. He slams his fist into the glass above the sink in the bathroom.

Michael takes Liz to see the pods, believing if they can get Isobel into one they can work on the cure while she’s in stasis. They can’t figure out how to actually open a pod, and Liz sends Michael off to the hospital to retrieve Isobel so she’ll be there when they do find the solution to the pod problem.

After Michael leaves, Liz places her hand on the pod. It reacts to the silver in her bracelet.

Kyle sets up a nail polish remover drip for Isobel, hoping it will make her feel better. She wonders why he’s being so nice and he explains in a hospital it doesn’t matter what someone did before they came through the doors.

Max is at Isobel’s bedside, torn up by what’s happened to her. He’s angry she’ll be leaving him alone with Michael, and he confesses losing her will kill him. Michael arrives just then with news they can save her. Even though things could go wrong, Isobel wants to do whatever is necessary to live.

Michael arrives back at the pods with news Isobel went looking for Noah to tell him she’s going to rehab but can’t find him. She should be on her way now. Liz has better news: she melted down her jewelry and came up with a solution that will manipulate the pod’s membrane.

Max and Isobel arrive, and Michael helps his sister remain standing. Liz says it could take years to come up with the cure, but they will not stop until they find it. Max is worried Isobel’s memory will be wiped when she finally emerges from the pod, and Michael assures Isobel they’ll remind her who they are and what they mean to each other. They promise that to each other, and Isobel hands over her wedding ring to Max.

Liz helps Isobel out of her hospital gown and then coats her with the solution. She’s able to penetrate the exterior and enter the pod. They can see her inside, eyes closed and looking peaceful.

Liz and Max remain near the pod, and Liz tells him he needs to forgive his sister. “Missing her will hurt less if you aren’t angry,” says Liz. She also confesses she’s glad Isobel made her leave town because she got to see two oceans. “Besides, you and I weren’t meant to be together,” she adds before leaving Max with his sister. When he places his hand on the pod, the three-circle design briefly appears.

Jesse meets with Jenna Cameron (Riley Voelkel) one final time. He informs her he’s heading out of town but still expects her to be his eyes and ears. He also wants her to keep track of his son while he’s gone.

Michael delivers the fixed neon sign to Maria at the bar. She confesses her mother always knows her way home when she sees the sign. “Like a beacon,” comments Michael. He then pulls out the paper with the three-circle design and looks at it again.

Max makes it home and his mom has cooked dinner. He breaks down and cries as she comforts him.

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