Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Pilot

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OK, I'm convinced. 

I didn't think it was possible, but when a show works, it works.

As someone who has been against the increasing amount of reboots hitting the air, I was prepared to write off Roswell, New Mexico as a wasted attempt to cash in on a show that is still beloved by its fans many years after it originally aired. 

Returning Home - Tall - Roswell, New Mexico

Thankfully, Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 1 does not pale in comparison to the original Roswell and is a solid series that perfectly encapsulates the values of a WB drama from back in the day. 

It has a similar setup to the original series, but the execution is different enough to rule this a whole different show and not a reboot.  

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Probably helping things is the fact that the high school years have been left in the rear view mirror. Oh yes, TV Fanatics, we're picking up with this love story after a ten-year hiatus, and I'm here for every single minute of it. 

Max: So, where have you been?
Liz: Denver, working on an experimental regenerative medicine study. We were on to something special, but of course, we lost funding because someone needs money for a wall. And now I'm here, wearing an antenna and sharing a shake with my high school lab partner.
Max: Oh, are we sharing?
Liz: Yeah.

I'm calling it now: Liz and Max are going to be the breakthrough 'Ship of 2019. There's something about the way they look at each other that convinces me to hell and back that they're going to become the next big TV couple. 

That chance meeting at the top of the pilot perfectly introduced viewers to a love story that's going to burn bright. 

Despite never really professing their love to each other, Liz felt comfortable with Max in the diner. Jeanine Mason and Nathan Parsons turned in convincing performances as the two characters who clearly just want to cut the bull, get married, and live happily ever after. 

But this is TV, and there's no such thing as happily ever after ... at least until the series finale rolls around. 

Max's decision to save Liz when she was shot was not surprising. He wanted the love of his life to live another day. 

You know, I used to think about what I would say if I ever saw you again.


Max was consumed by love when he decided to remove the bullet and the wound from Liz's body that he never stopped to think about the consequences of his actions. 

The ketchup was a good trick, but I'm glad it didn't stop Liz from being confused about the whole thing. The hole in her clothing right where the scar was on her body was a dead giveaway. 

An Old Friend - Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 1

Liz was a standout character from the get-go. She stands up for what she believes in, so I did suspect that she was going to steal a DNA sample from Max with the milkshake. 

The issue here for Liz is that her mother and sister were mentally ill, and she desperately wanted to prove to herself that she wasn't following the same trajectory. 

Related: Roswell, New Mexico Poster: A New Love Story Takes Flight

In any case, it's not like she could really open up to her father or even Maria about it. Given her family's past, it would be easy for anyone to say that Liz is suffering from mental illness if she's talking about anything supernatural. 

Twenty years of you, me and Michael keeping this secret, and now in one moment, you've thrown that all away.


Max revealing the truth about himself, Isobel, and Michael was surprising. It was the type of storyline you would expect midseason ... not in the freaking series premiere. 

If the pilot wanted to prove one thing, it's that it's a different show from the original. That's likely why some of the plots were burned through. 

Isabelle and Michael Argue - Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 1

Brushing them under the rug to move on to more original storylines is not a bad idea, so long as the pace does not suffer from it in the coming weeks. 

Isobel and Michael were right to be pissed at their brother for lifting the lid about them to Liz. He single-handedly put their well being on the line. 

In this day and age, it's fair to assume that anything that came from out of this world would be tested vigorously and locked up for the rest of its existence. 

I hope Max wasn't getting close to Rosa before her death because that would be plain weird given his connection to Liz. 

My best theory for why Isobel resorted to making Liz leave town all those years ago is that Rosa got close to another alien we've yet to meet, and maybe that alien was one of the bad ones that Jesse mentioned. 

Isabelle Wants Answers - Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 1

Jesse was the typical government agent who was all about throwing other beings under the bus, and I hope Kyle doesn't work with him for too long because that's going to cause a whole host of problems for my new favorite aliens. 

Related: Roswell New Mexico Adds The Originals Grad Riley Voelkel

Let's hope Kyle does not have feelings for Liz because it means he will stop at nothing to throw Max under the bus if he gets the chance. 

Now that we know there were a whole bunch of aliens that crash-landed in 1947, there has to be more out there, but there also has to be a reason why Max, Isobel, and Michael didn't awaken until 50 years later. 

It's entirely possible that Max kept some information to himself here, and the series will expand on it as it continues. 

Alex Struggles With the Past - Roswell, New Mexico Season 1 Episode 1

Then there were Michael and Alex. As with Max and Liz, there was a lot of chemistry here from the get-go. 

Going from the little we learned, Alex wanted Michael to get the heck out of town and make something of himself. 

Alex comes across as a self-loathing man who is holding on to the past. The moment he and Michael kissed at the reunion, it was evident they wanted to do that since they laid eyes on one another outside the Air Stream. 

What's juicy about that storyline is that Alex's father is the one who is trying to round up all the aliens and sentence them to a life of being dissected. 

Alex likely knows all about the findings in 1947, but it will be interesting to see how he reacts to the man he has such strong feelings for being an alien. 

Roswell, New Mexico perfectly blends sci-fi fare with humor, action, and romance. It's the show you don't want to miss this season. 

Other tidbits from the episode:

  • Isobel leaving her boyfriend bound to the bed and claiming he had to grin and bear it was comical. Lily Cowles is perfection in the role. 
  • Small towns hold grudges, and it sucks that everyone hates on the Ortechos because of something that happened ten years ago. 
  • How long will it be before Arturo's undocumented status comes back to haunt him?

Okay, TV Fanatics. 

What are your thoughts on Roswell, New Mexico?

Hit the comments below. 

Roswell, New Mexico continues Tuesdays on The CW. 

Pilot Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 3.4 / 5.0 (87 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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