Title: Roswell, New Mexico S1.E06 “Smells Like Teen Spirit”
Released: 2019

Previously: Liz gets shot at (again) and Max saves her (again) and she guesses the truth: Isobel was the one who killed Rosa, and Michael/Max covered it up for her. Isobel is also shocked to hear this news, and already isn’t having the best day after waking up in the desert without remembering how she got there. Kyle and Alex clear the air about Kyle being a royal douchecanoe in high school, and find out that Kyle’s dad was also Rosa’s dad after finding her baby photo in a (creepy) underground detox room.


Liz settles in for Max’s story time, and he starts at the way beginning. When the trio of aliens were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed preteens camping out by their cave of pods, Isobel was attacked by a random man. Max kills him and thus learns what his special power will be. Four years later, at the end of senior year, Max is planning a trip around the world and Michael just got a full-ride to UNM. Isobel is feeling left out because she apparently has no interests or aspirations to leave Roswell and flounces off.

Rosa is feeling the pressure of being a reformed drug addict and sneaks off to the roof where she meets up with…Isobel?! (But we’d already guessed that from the last episode.) Isobel shows Rosa her favorite constellation, named, you guessed it, Ophiuchus. The next day, when Rosa invites Isobel to the movies, Isobel pretends they aren’t friends—except she may not actually be pretending, as we learn she’s been having waking blackouts where she acts like a totally different person. She shows up during prom at the café and interrupts Rosa’s escape from Roswell (or, rather, escape to the underground detox room), and suggests they run away together instead. Rosa seems a bit freaked out by the intensity of Isobel’s attention, and she tells her off, but not before Isobel learns that these two girls from their class are harassing Rosa for no longer giving them drugs.

Max and Michael get a vision of Isobel in the desert and race out to find her, but it’s too late: she’s killed the two girls. Michael shows up first, in time to see Isobel offing Rosa only to then pass out. Michael and Max decide that Isobel’s been under too much strain because they’re leaving her and she’ll have no idea what she’s done, so they cover up the murders and let her think that Michael killed them because he couldn’t control his powers. Afterwards, Max and Michael agree to stay in Roswell to watch over Isobel and stop being friends because they remind one another of the worst night of their lives.

Also in the flashback sequence, we see a cute afternoon between Liz and Max, drinking beer and not doing their homework, and an almost-kiss that Liz stops because she doesn’t want to be one of those girls who changes their plans for a boy. Max invites himself along on her summer road trip, but obviously things change after Rosa’s death. We see exactly how Michael and Alex’s tryst began—and ended—and it happens pretty much like I expected: Alex offers Michael a place to crash when his foster home gets to be too much, and the two bond over music and being cute, horny teenagers. When Papa Manes finds them in a compromising position, he starts beating on Alex, but Michael intervenes and gets a hammer to his hand for his troubles. Oh, yeah, and everyone goes to prom!

Back in the present, Liz is annoyed that this trip down memory lane took this long AND that Max basically picked his sister over her own, as implicating Rosa in those girls’ deaths made the Ortecho family the town pariahs. She tells Max she never wants to see him again and storms out, leaving Max with ultimate sad-Max face.


– Michael was actually a decent person as a teenager. Too bad life dealt him a crazy alien sibling in the form of Isobel and ruined all his best-laid plans.

– On one hand, Michael’s foster parent who tried to get an exorcism performed on him: super lame. On the OTHER hand, the lady DID actually see furniture flying around the house…

– Max could have had a career as an evil genius if he tried hard enough. As Liz put it, at seventeen he managed to cover up a murder and keep it covered for ten years, plus he has the ability to kill with a touch. Missed opportunities, dude.

– I am constantly surprised by how flat the actress playing Isobel is during “emotional” scenes, like when she wakes up and sees Rosa and the girls in the car, dead, or when she blows up on Max and Michael for “leaving her” in Roswell. She just cannot pull it off.


– Little Michael was ON POINT.

– Little Isobel is the first time I’ve ever liked Isobel. Next scene where she poo-poos all over Michael’s scholarship: And it’s gone.

– WTF was happening with everyone’s faces during those first few 2008 scenes? Were they trying to do some kind of skin smoothing? Don’t EVER do that again, show. *shivers*

– Isobel’s prom getup looks like she got a bridesmaid dress from David’s Bridal.

– Alex was a little bit goth in high school!


No one. No one had a good week. Each one of the characters’ lives went to shit in high school.


[In Spanish] “If you put your hands on my daughter, I will chop your body into pieces so small vultures will eat you like potato chips.”—Liz’s dad
“I, uh…speak Spanish.”—Kyle
“I know.”—Liz’s dad

“I’m sorry you’re hurting.”—Max
“I wasn’t crying because of Kyle. I was crying because I had a tough day, and I want my mom. If she were here, she’d probably just be drunk and selfish. But I still want her here. Maybe she thinks I’m all grown up or I can take care of myself, but I’m not. I just…I’m not done being taken care of.”—Flashback Liz, at prom

“Why are you being so nice to me?”—Michael
“People don’t always have an agenda. They can just be nice to each other sometimes.”—Alex
“Not in my experience.”—Michael

“Breaking the rules is exhilarating. Screw the bio project!”—Liz
“I’m gonna do it tomorrow.”—Liz
“Yeah, me too.”—Max


– Isobel tells Max he should’ve taken Tess to prom. TESS? Are they just toying with our horrified emotions or are they, at some point, going to bring in THE Tess?

– So now we’ve learned what actually happened “that night”, but we still don’t know what causes Isobel’s blackouts. I’m guessing that will be the next big mystery that takes a few episodes to solve, in addition to how Liz will ever get over these revelations long enough to actually talk to Max again, because at this point I would not blame her for turning them all in to Sergeant Manes and washing the dust of Roswell off her boots.

– Did the trauma of being attacked cause Isobel’s split personality? Or did that weird guy, like, implant an alien consciousness into her that takes over during those missing chunks of time?

– What would Michael have majored in if he went to UNM?

Next episode: “I Saw the Sign” and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign! Oh, oh, oh—Oh! Um. Next week on Roswell, everyone starts to ask the questions about Isobel they should’ve been asking a decade ago.


Stephanie (she/her) is an avid reader who moonlights at a college and calls Orlando home. Stephanie loves watching television, reading DIY blogs, planning awesome parties, Halloween decorating, and playing live-action escape games.