Roswell

Season 2 Episode 19

Baby, It's You

1
Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM May 07, 2001 on The WB
9.5
out of 10
User Rating
204 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Max is hit with a one-two punch after he discovers that not only is Tess pregnant with his son, but that the baby cannot survive unless they return to their home planet. Liz, Maria and Michael work together to unravel the mysterious double life of Alex. Isabel and Kyle explore her powers as they play pranks on Max and Kyle dreamwalks with a Playmate.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Hot alien sex

    10
    This episode contains some hilarious dialog between Max and Micheal when they are taking about how the relationship between Max and Tess has advance. The words 'Hot alien sex' were delivered so perfectly by Max that I just could not stop laughing. There was also the 'point of culmination' which lasted for over an hour, so nice work Max. Other than this silly conversation that I loved, Liz and Maria finally re-established their rhythm in this episode. They went off in search of Leanna and found Nelly Furtado (such a random way to have her do a song) along the way. When Micheal shows up it also kind of classic and when he admits that he thinks they are right it shows how he has stepped into reality. I also really like Isabel in this episode because I think it is nice to see her acting selfish when she is so often expected to sacrifice herself for the group. I also love her and Kyle together, and was really rooting for them in the third season, because they have a nice sort of chemistry together. And I suppose I should mention Tess, who is pregnant and dying, which I was a little happy to hear, but what it leads to is so perfect.moreless
  • Max and Tess did it, and as everything else alien-related, something weird has to happen. Tess is already pregnant.

    9.0
    The morning after Max loses his virginity, things keep not going his way. Tess is now pregnant, Isabel is hard on him because of the whole college-thing.



    Liz continues her investigation. If Alex never went to Sweden, where was he when he wasn't in Roswell all this time?



    Max is now sick of earth and decides to take it out on his garbage. It actually sound stupid said this way, but the scenes in this episode are pretty good. Max's despair, Liz's investigation.



    Also, Nelly Furtado is in this episode as herself and sings one of her song. It's also during her show that Liz and Maria see Leanna.



    There is something incredibly lame in this episode though. Maria goes to an informatician and ask him to trace an email sent using... the email printed on paper... The authors have got to make research about how these things work before writing stuff like this.moreless
  • Overall, this episode is a bit more balanced than the previous installment, building on its strengths to bring the season-ending arc towards a thrilling finish.

    8.0
    As the season came to a close, the network penchant for unwarranted interference began to show itself to an even higher degree than in the past. It wasn’t just a question of dangling out the series’ fate anymore; it was a matter of rearranging episodes and cutting length. The end of the second season would be a primer on how quickly and methodically a network can destroy the narrative flow of an inventive writing staff.



    Originally, this would have been the penultimate episode of the season (and, as far as anyone knew at the time, the series). Everything since “Cry Your Name” gets funneled through this episode, and the tension is ramped up to a fever pitch. This should and would have led into a two-hour season/series finale, which would have covered the resolution of this arc in the same level of detail and attention.



    But the network, upon seeing the episodes themselves, decided to play a different game. The writers had been planning the Alex arc since the news of the season’s extension to 22 episodes, so the seeds were planted in “Off the Menu”, a follow-up to “Heart of Mine”. The episodes were filmed in the proper progression so that character and plot points would match up.



    The network, rather annoyed at Ron Moore’s insistence that the writers get to decide how the season would end, decided to yank “Off the Menu” from its proper place in the sequence, placing it between “Baby, It’s You” and “The Departure”. This effectively robs the final episodes of their proper context and momentum. Since the network suits had gotten to the point where they were practically rewriting entire acts and being ignored by the professionals on the writing staff, they didn’t see a problem in making this change.



    Nor did they see a problem with taking a two-hour finale and condensing it to one hour. That’s going from 88 minutes to 44 minutes. Think of how much was added to “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” and the impact on the depth of the storytelling. That’s what the network executives chose to remove from the end of the second season. Instead of going from “Baby, It’s You” into a double-length version of “The Departure”, the season ends with a mess.



    Knowing that, it’s interesting to see these episodes on DVD, because it’s easy enough to place the episodes in proper perspective. The season definitely flows better with “Off the Menu” in its proper place in the sequence. But since the damage was done, it’s worth going through the episodes in the order they were aired, since the DVDs leave them in the network’s flawed order. “Baby, It’s You” is a good place to begin tracking where things went wrong, since it was left more or less untouched.



    One of the biggest issues of the previous episode was the depiction of Liz as an obsessive and self-satisfying crusader, willing to cut down everyone in her path, but justified by the fact that she’s drawing all the right conclusions. This episode presents Liz in a more balanced light, which makes her a lot more sympathetic. In fact, the writers do a much better job of making the harsh choices of the characters sensible from their own point of view. Behavior isn’t justified, so much as placed in context, as it should have been in the first place.



    The plot moves along fast and furious after the end of the previous episode, with Max and Tess waking up with the awkwardness one would expect. Of course, it quickly becomes something far, far more disturbing, since apparently the hybrid process also made them highly fertile with their intended mates! It’s a bit quick, but it works within the structure of the story.



    The first act follows up on all the burnt bridges from the previous episode as well. Liz comes back to Maria with something solid about Alex’s unusual “Sweden” trip, and asks her best friend for help. That’s pretty much all it takes to meld fences. Max doesn’t quite know what to think of his tryst with Tess, but Isabel has no intention of being his confidante, given his approach to exerting control over her college aspirations. Ultimately, Max decides to make his connection with Tess a matter of public acknowledgment, but it’s clearly not the kind of comfortable statement he would have made with Liz at his side.



    One welcome development is the connection that is forged between Kyle and Isabel. Isabel needs someone to show her why her life doesn’t suck, and Kyle is still looking for some sense of why being changed by Max’s healing power is a good thing. Kyle definitely wants to give Max a piece of his mind for sleeping with his “sister”, so it’s not exactly strange bedfellows. If anything, it’s somewhat unfortunate that the writers didn’t take this budding connection and make more of it in the third season, instead of introducing a rather uninteresting and poorly conceived new character.



    That said, it’s hard to imagine why Isabel would so willingly engage in Kyle’s inner porn addict. For one thing, there really is nothing that Isabel would get out of it, and does she really want to know Kyle that well? And why does it take Kyle to make the suggestion for Isabel to think of using her powers to get back at Max by making his life more complicated? She ignored the problem of openly using her powers in the previous episode, so why hold back now?



    Things go from bad to worse for Max when Tess drops the bombshell. It certainly gives him the excuse to be distracted while everyone else begins gathering evidence to support Liz’s theory of alien murder, but it also adds to his enormous personal stress. It’s not enough for him to be worried about Liz exposing them to every enemy on the planet while destroying whatever they still had between them; he also has to worry about the fact that an impulsive act, borne of yearnings he can’t understand, produced an unexpected and rather quick consequence.



    Considering where they left off, it’s no wonder that Max bites Liz’s head off, though the extent of his resentment and anger is surprising. What’s worse is that his reaction to Liz and her conversation with Tess puts him in a position to deny the truth when it is revealed, because he openly mocks Liz by essentially guessing reality. Note that Tess doesn’t deny killing Alex; she lets Kyle give an alibi, confident in her ability to keep the truth hidden.



    Maria manages to track Alex’s true location to Las Cruces, and she prepares to go there with Liz. Michael intercedes, but not for Max’s sake; he’s actually more concerned that Maria will get herself hurt by joining Liz’s crusade. It puts Michael in a difficult position, especially since he’s demonstrating his true loyalty to Max by shielding him from something that must be done against his wishes.



    Michael also has to serve as Max’s confidante in Isabel’s absence, which places them even further in the roles set down in their past lives. Michael is stunned to learn that Max and Tess have fallen so quickly and completely into the lives set forth for them in the Book of Destiny, especially since Max was the one always advising against letting those urges rule their lives. But this episode does serve as a reminder that Max has been denying a biological imperative to mate with Tess since the moment she appeared. It’s not as though he had only human teen urges to resist!



    The writers do a nice enough job of making it look like Alex was controlled ala Brody/Larek during his time at Las Cruces. More than that, they demonstrate how well the story arc is constructed by having Max and Tess break out the Book of Destiny while Liz and Maria are chasing down Alex’s translation of it, unawares. At the same time, Tess takes note of Max and his conflicted attitude about the baby and begins using the mindwarp to convince him that the baby is in jeopardy, all in the name of ensuring that Max will come to the “right” conclusion.



    One rather obvious sign of network interference is the unnecessary and contrived appearance by Nelly Furtado. It smacks of a ratings stunt, especially since it’s rather obvious that anyone tuning into the episode just for that would be rather confused by the plot (especially the next episode!). It’s not necessary for Liz and Maria to find “Leanna” under such circumstances, and once the gimmick is out of the way, the writers manage to give “Leanna” a sinister purpose. Couldn’t that have been accomplished more effectively by having Liz or Maria notice her from a distance?



    It’s not entirely clear how Liz got the professor to help her use The Matrix to uncover what Alex was doing, but it does provide for a major shock to the system. It’s sweet to see Michael trying to get Maria and Liz to protect themselves, but even he can’t overcome his excitement when he sees that Alex managed to decode the Book of Destiny! With a little contrivance involving “Leanna” and her mail, they find out that the translation was sent to a remote location, which happens to be guarded with an alien security device. All at once, Liz gets that justification, and Michael is there to confirm it.



    It seems rather interesting that Alex would be able to translate the Book of Destiny, considering the fact that there’s really no Rosetta Stone for him to use as a basis. Did Tess have some basic building blocks for Alex to start with? The alternative, suggested by the end of the first season, is that some aspects of the Book were connected to specific analogues on Earth, and that would have given Alex enough of a primer, given his computer skills.



    From a plot perspective, it seems as though Tess is trying to get Max to decode the instructions for going back to Antar, under the impression that Alex was unable to complete the translation. Otherwise, why pretend that she doesn’t know, given that she was the one who was using Alex in the first place? Is it more important to have Max work it out himself, to get himself used to the idea of going back to Antar of his own accord?



    Whatever the case, Max hits his emotional stress limit for once, and while it’s hard to watch, it’s good to see him finally let it all out. And Isabel gets to be the one to help him feel better, which is exactly what she’s supposed to do. Is this the kind of person Vilandra was, before she fell in with Kivar? Isabel is never more attractive than in this moment, when she lets down her guard and lets the better angels of her nature rule along with her heart. It’s just what Max needs, especially considering where it’s all going.



    If Isabel hadn’t calmed him down, Michael’s admission might have set him off. Instead, Max is in the mood to trust Michael as his loyal friend. And that brings the characters back to where they were at the beginning of the series: Max, Isabel, and Michael working together as a unit. If this had been the final step towards a series finale, at least that much would have been accomplished.



    The end of this episode leads directly into the beginning of “The Departure”, and there are still a number of open questions to be answered. So why would the network fail to notice this and follow up a strong ending with an episode out of continuity? It’s not like this was a weak episode with bad character development. Needless musical guest issues aside, this is a strong episode that corrects some of the excesses of the previous episode while adding new sources of tension.



    If there is a weakness to the episode, it’s the desire to give all the characters and relationships a final moment to shine. The interaction between Isabel and Kyle is a bit out of left field, though the writers do manage to bring a certain justification to it in the end. So for all that, why miss one of the more obvious relationships in need of attention: Max and Valenti? This is exactly the kind of moment where Max might want some advice from a father figure, and he certainly can’t discuss the ins and outs of his particular nightmare with Philip!



    But dealing with the full implications of the supporting cast has always been a struggle for the writers, especially since the network more or less demanded that the teens be in the forefront as much as possible. Given their restraints and the network pressure, the writers manage to deliver a strong episode under pressure, one that manages to rise above the mess that would come in its wake.

    moreless
Jason Behr

Jason Behr

'Max' Maxwell Evans

Shiri Appleby

Shiri Appleby

'Liz' Elizabeth Parker Evans

Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl

Isabel Amanda Evans Ramirez

Majandra Delfino

Majandra Delfino

Maria DeLuca

Brendan Fehr

Brendan Fehr

Michael Guerin

Nick Wechsler

Nick Wechsler

Kyle Valenti

Jeff Wadlow

Jeff Wadlow

Professor

Guest Star

Sean Dwyer (II)

Sean Dwyer (II)

Computer Guy

Guest Star

Jodi Ann Paterson

Jodi Ann Paterson

Jodi Ann Paterson

Guest Star

Michael Chieffo

Michael Chieffo

Biology Teacher

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

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  • TRIVIA (5)

    • TRIVIA: Featured music in this episode -
      -Fade Into You by Mazzy Star
      -Always In My Head by Psapp
      -Another Pearl by Badly Drawn Boy
      -Don't Run Away by Evan Olson
      -I Wanna Destroy You by The Soft Boys
      -All the Same by The 88
      -I'm Like A Bird by Nelly Furtado
      -Only One by Lifehouse
      -One Day At A Time by Athenauem
      -Wednesday's Child by Emiliana Torrini
      -Break of Day by Tina Dico
      -Atmosphere by Landing Gear

    • TRIVIA: In this episode it is shown that the aliens can affect the weather, as Isabel makes it snow.

    • TRIVIA: It's stated that alien pregnancies last only one month.

    • When Maria climbs through Liz's window onto the roof there is no chair next to Liz, but a moment later, a chair appears.

    • Liz and the "geek" at the college are staring at the Matrix screensaver when they're supposedly decrypting Alex's works!

  • QUOTES (1)

    • Max (referring to Tess & himself): Our relationship... advanced.
      Michael: Advanced? How far?
      Max: As far as it could.
      Michael: You mean you had...
      Max: Hot alien sex.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (0)

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