4:00 pm EDT, August 12, 2016

‘Roswell’ season 3: The bad, the ugly, and the redeeming

I won't leave, I can't hide, I cannot be until we talk about Roswell season 3.

What is there to say about Roswell season 3 that hasn’t been said already? A few positive things, perhaps?

Going into Roswell season 3 during my Hypable reader-approved binge, I knew it was going to be rough. Nobody spoiled me per se, but it was sort of like a Veronica Mars situation where I knew going in to the series that the last season was going to be tough. Knowing that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of the first two seasons nor did it give me a negative opinion of the final season before watching it, but I knew.

And now that I’ve come out the other side, I agree that it wasn’t the best. I also agree that there were some pretty painful things that happened during the third season that made me long for simpler times in the show. But, unlike a lot of reviews I’ve read and been told about Roswell season 3, I came out of the season with a few positives in mind. (Crazy, right?)

So, let’s balance the bad with the good. Like I did for Roswell season 1 and Roswell season 2, I’ve rounded up the best moments of the third season for us all to fondly look back on and reminisce. But, in order to get to the good times, let’s first go through some of the worst aspects of the season. (Going through the bad first will help us really appreciate the good!)

‘Roswell’ season 3 missteps

Roswell season 3 wedding

The wedding stuff

Why did Isabel have to get married? Why? The whole plotline was such a snooze and borderline irritating. Her fiancé wasn’t awful, but he was just so bland (as was their rushed “romance”). I get wanting to give the character something of her own, but Isabel became so isolated from everything else that was going on that it was such a struggle to get through all of her scenes.

Liz/Max weirdness

I understand that the main people can’t be together all the time. I get it. But the weird dance they were doing during the third season was more obnoxious than tantalizing. They just seemed more whiny than they should’ve been and there wasn’t a really good reason for them not to be together. I can see what the writers were going for, but they never really achieved it.

What happened to actually going to school?

So, in most high school dramas, “school” is really just a setting. That’s fine. But in Roswell season 3, school isn’t even that. It used to keep the characters grounded and remind us of their age, but then, when it disappeared in season 3, it sort of felt like the kids were just adults with no jobs who could run around and do whatever.

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Liz gets dumbed down

One of the best things about Liz (especially in the first season) is how intelligent she is. She’s presented as the inquisitive, scientific type who has a good head on her shoulders. It seems like that whole characterization gets thrown out the window in Roswell season 3, with her making dumb decisions and getting sidelined easily. I think if Liz had been a stronger character in season 3, the whole season would’ve benefited from it.

Roswell season 3 awful parents

All parents suddenly become the literal WORST

Ugh, the parents storyline. Sure, it was definitely about time for them to be curious and maybe even suspicious of all of the weird things that have gone on. But was it really necessary for them to go all stalker and borderline violent? (Don’t tell me that you didn’t brace yourself for some sort of torture too.) These parents were barely involved in their kids’ lives for the first two seasons and now they’re pulling a 180? I don’t think so. Not a fan.

No mention of future!Max or the fallout from that storyline

So the episode with future!Max and Liz is one of my favorites of the whole series, not just season 2. And it had some pretty big implications for the whole season. Yet, there’s no mention of it at all past season 2. At all. It seemed so important and like it could change things, but it was just dropped. Big disappointment.

Fun is nowhere to be found

Aside from an episode or moment here and there, Roswell season 3 is relatively joyless. It doesn’t seem to know what fun is. It’s all drama and high stakes all the time. At least in the first two seasons, the show could poke fun at the fact that they were dealing with aliens. There was practically none of that in the third season. Without that same sort of joy, everything just fell a little flat.

Redeeming qualities about ‘Roswell’ season 3

Roswell season 3 security guard Michael

Michael as a security guard

Whoever imagined Michael as a security guard needs to get a pat on the back. I loved the idea of Michael taking on the responsibility of a day job, but I think I love the fact that he became a security guard more. The hijinks he and his crew (including my love, Michael Peña) got up to and the seriousness with which he handled his job sometimes really made for some entertaining television.

Michael and Maria break up (but for a good reason)

Michael and Maria are meant to be together forever and ever. That’s been pretty clear from the get-go, just because of the insane amount of chemistry they have together. But I really enjoyed the plotline where these two break up in season 3 because it was just so real. Though their relationship wasn’t always the healthiest, they broke up for a great reason. Self-discovery and self-love is important and I was happy to see Roswell acknowledge that.

Michael and his Snapple

Those fricken Snapple bottles. I still don’t understand the obsession with Snapple (though, to be fair, I was kind of addicted to the stuff in high school too), but it made for fun scene Easter eggs. That and the whole plot where Michael got a guy fired over Snapple was so over the top but definitely incredibly entertaining. I’ll never look at or think of Snapple the same way again.

Roswell season 3 sitcom episode

The sitcom episode

I’m not the biggest fan of Isabel (or her whole normal life/marriage plot line), but the sitcom episode was definitely a high point of Roswell season 3. It isn’t trying to be all that serious and it allows the characters to really have fun with themselves and each other. The mirroring between real life and the sitcom was both entertaining and insightful. It was just really well-done and served as a reminder why I liked the show to begin with.

More for Maria to do than just act surprised

Maria has always been a great secondary character but, for a while there, it seemed like that was all that she was ever going to be. She was really just there to act surprised or react to situations. But I love that she got her own plotline and much more attention in season 3. Maria finally took charge of her own life and really became a main character in her own right. You go, girl. It was about time.

The final episode

The episodes where the gang works together are the ones that work the best. That’s why the series finale really works for me. Though the rest of the season was lackluster, the final episode really incorporated all of the show’s best aspects and strengths into one final story push. Yes, it was over-dramatic and a little extreme (what with everyone basically going on the run in the end), but it really worked for this show. Watching these characters work and ban together one final time was the perfect send-off for the show. Do I wish there was another season? Of course. But this episode was a pretty satisfying finale (especially in comparison to other series finales).


How do YOU feel about ‘Roswell’ season 3?

Related: The top 5 reasons to watch Roswell

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