“American Woman” is an episode full of twists and turns that finally gives fans a few answers to the mysteries surrounding our favorite Roswell residents. Of course those answers have even deeper implications for everyone involved both in our current story and the past. Let’s dive right in!
The episode opens with Tripp carrying an injured Louise into the reservation where doctors rush to her side and begin working on her. It’s revealed that Tripp had a plan in place to bring Louise and Nora to the reservation for protection, and he begs Harrison (a war buddy) to protect Louise. He wavers but ultimately gives in, “I’m only doing this because you’re family. And I’m a damn fool.”
In present day Roswell, Liz and Max have a little sexy fun time with her medical supplies, or so we think until Liz says Max’s heartbeat is irregular. Plus, Isobel is on her way to pick up Max for their “road trip” to find more answers about Louise. Liz won’t be joining in their trip as she’s taking Arturo for tests and also plans to check in on Jenna Cameron who has been suffering debilitating headaches with no idea why.
Over at the Wild Pony, Maria is presenting a CrashCon pop up bar idea to the Roswell Tourism Board, but as she is wrapping up she’s pulled into a vision that nearly ruins her presentation.
Back at Michael’s, she recounts the vision which was a memory of a fight with Mimi. Michael wonders if she should ask for the necklace back from Rosa, but Maria attempts to distract him from the “freaky flashback vision” with sex and it works until Isobel barges in ready for their road trip. We’re treated to some delightful sibling banter about calling shotgun when Michael invites Maria to come with them. She agrees and they head for the car.
Alex enters the Crashdown Cafe to pick up an order when Forrest, who is seated at the bar, comments on his limp. They start chatting and Alex divulges he’s working on song lyrics. Forrest offers to help but is cut off by Michael and Isobel looking for Alex. Alex quickly fills Forrest in that they are going to the reservation where his mother grew up. Forrest again offers to help Alex with his song lyrics, and Michael gives some serious side eye as they leave (jealous much?)
At the hospital, Liz visits Jenna who is bedridden due to her severe migraines. As they are talking about the likelihood of her burns being alien related, Jenna puts it very low on the possibilities list. The two hear arguing in the hallway. Liz walks out to find her worst nightmare, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer arguing with a nurse for access to a room. A terrified Liz walks quickly to the waiting room where she finds Arturo and they try to escape (Jeanine absolutely shines in these high stress moments, Liz’s fear is palpable.) However, an ICE officer asks for their ID and when he realizes Arturo has none, they take him into custody.
Liz tries to argue that the arrest is unconstitutional, but Arturo reminds her she can’t get in trouble too, “the little mouse” aka Rosa needs them. Liz leaves Max a message when Jenna finds her in the waiting room. She’s made some calls and there is just one detention center in the county, so they know where Arturo was taken. Jenna leaves to get dressed so they can go to the detention center together.
Max, Michael, Isobel, Alex, and Maria arrive at the reservation where Alex’s brother Gregory greets them. Alex and Maria head to the trading post while Gregory takes Max, Michael, and Isobel to visit Louise’s grave. They are shocked to see that even in the dead of winter, her grave is covered in blooming flowers. One of those flowers is the one that effects alien powers and Michael quickly picks and pockets the blooms. Next to Louise is a smaller headstone, and Gregory tells them that she was pregnant but it didn’t survive the night she was shot.
At the trading post, Maria and Alex browse jewelry when it becomes evident to Alex that Maria is looking for something specific. It takes a little prying but Maria tells him she wants to find the jeweler who made her necklace. It’s Navajo and reads “tsela” on the back. Though she hasn’t had any luck thus far, Alex offers to help with her search (he’s such a great friend!).
Michael, Max, and Isobel are drinking acetone as they process what they learned. Isobel begins to wonder whether Louise’s baby died because of her injuries or because humans and aliens aren’t genetically compatible. Isobel fills Max in on her pregnancy and when he discovers that’s why Isobel almost died, he storms off in a rage. Isobel is left to cry and wonder if she missed her only chance at motherhood, that is until Michael offers his … “alien baby gravy” as Isobel puts it, if ever she decided she wanted a child. She’s very moved by the offer and reassures him that he would make a great father.
At the detention center, Liz gives Arturo’s medication to an ICE officer, but she says even if he is there they can’t accept “contraband”. Liz’s concern only grows and Jenna has to step in when another officer threatens to arrest Liz for obstruction. Jenna explains again that they have a medical concern (literally exactly what Liz was saying) and the officer agrees to check their system. When Jenna returns she’s learned that Arturo’s green card application was denied because of Liz’s record. The misdemeanor charge from her taking the fall for Rosa’s art means that she cannot be a sponsor. Jenna suffers another migraine attack, but the ICE officer tells them that Arturo is being transferred to El Paso for his hearing so they leave.
Gregory brings the trio to visit Harrison, the same one we met at the top of the episode and the only person Louise ever spoke to, according to Gregory. Unfortunately, he is literally on his death bed and unconscious. Michael asks Gregory to take him to the trading post so Isobel and Max can use her powers to talk with Harrison. In his mindscape, Harrison tells them the plan to smuggle Louise and Nora to the reservation and shows them the night Louise arrived.
It’s revealed the baby survived and Louise asks Harrison to find a safe family to care for her. “I want her to be like him. A light in the darkness. A star on the ground.” They leave the memory but Harrison refuses to tell them where the baby was placed. He argues that Louise never spoke of a son, only daughters; Max isn’t related to Isobel or the baby. Max storms away and Harrison tells Isobel she was loved before they are pulled from his mindscape. Max storms away, angry and hurt to realize that everything he knew about himself was a lie.
Jenna wakes up in the hospital to find Liz at her bedside. Liz asked the doctors to do another test and they found out that Jenna’s headaches are spinal headaches likely from a spinal tap. Liz wants to run some additional tests and thanks Jenna for going to the center with her and using her privilege to help.
Outside, Isobel tries to help Max make sense of everything. Max argues he’s not even the healer anymore thanks to his weak heart and he again believes he is something dark. His memory of being chained feels like he wasn’t being held hostage, but that he was the thing they wanted to contain. Isobel reiterates that she believes Max isn’t evil (you tell him Isobel!), but she vows to find the thing that was evil. The thing that was chasing Louise and Nora.
Alex finds Gregory and congratulates him for getting away from their abusive father. Gregory says he’s always felt guilty for not protecting Alex who is very moved (this week’s tears brought to you by Tyler Blackburn.) Gregory thinks Alex should forgive Jesse if he thinks he can, but Gregory promises to continue hating him on Alex’s behalf. Alex invites Gregory to visit him in Roswell (we need more of this duo!) and the two share an emotional moment before parting ways.
Liz arrives at the cafe to find Arturo waiting for her, apron and all, and runs to hug him. Arturo called in a favor to none other than Diego, Liz’s ex-fiance, who is also at the cafe.
At the trading post, Max buys a belt buckle as Maria fills them in on the unsuccessful search for any jewelry with ‘tsela’. Alex tells them it is Navajo and it means “star on the ground” which immediately causes Max and Isobel to share a shocked look. Isobel asks Maria when her grandmother was born and everything falls into place when she confirms 1948 and that her grandmother was adopted. Louise’s baby was Maria DeLuca’s grandmother (welcome to the family Maria.) So we have the answer to one of this season’s biggest mysteries, how Mimi and Maria’s past connects them to the Roswell crash.
Liz sits with Diego, thanking him and his mother, a senator, for helping get Arturo out of ICE custody. Diego warns her this won’t be the last of their dealings with ICE, but the two catch up and are happy to discover they have each moved on with someone new. Liz tells him as much as she can about her research. She asks if he knows anything about butyricol, the drug found in Jenna’s blood tests. They are distracted when Max arrives searching for Liz. She assures him Arturo is fine and introduces him to Diego.
Alex finds Michael in his bunker and asks for the piece of alien spaceship back. The “code” from Tripp that Jesse has been trying to hack for 30 years is actually a sketch of the symbols on that piece. Alex’s new plan is to turn it over to Jesse and see what he does with it. Michael is more than a little concerned with this plan to turn over alien tech to the alien hunter. The two argue passionately over the real issue, Alex’s willingness to believe there is good in people vs. Michael’s anger at the world.
The argument is heated and ends with Alex storming away, spaceship piece in hand. If the fight isn’t heart-wrenching enough, things immediately escalate when Alex is knocked unconscious by an unknown person as he walks to his car.
At Max’s place, Liz sits as he apologizes again for not being with her for this horrible day. He tells her everything he knew about his past is unraveling and they nearly end up in a fight when Max again laments that Liz didn’t need him. However they talk it out and end on a very sweet moment as Liz reassures Max he is everything she needs.
Isobel and Maria sit at the Wild Pony discussing Louise’s sacrifice and determination to continue helping others for 50 years. As they reflect, Michael arrives and Isobel leaves on the terms he doesn’t propose to her great-great-grandniece. As she puts it, “The branches of this family tree are twisted enough.” Michael sits and slides a jewelry bag to Maria. Inside is a bracelet with beads made from the pollen of the flowers Michael found on Louise’s grave. He knows he can’t ‘save’ her but hopes she will make the choice to save herself. With that, she agrees to wear it and they share a kiss.
Max is drinking alone in the living room long after Liz has fallen asleep. In a sudden moment of determination he gets up, opens a box on his shelf and downs a vial of anti-toxin. Meanwhile Liz gets a call from Diego who found out that the toxin in Jenna’s system is a memory eraser used by the military as a weapon. It has no approved use outside of “violent combat”. Liz calls Alex who we see is unconscious in the back of a vehicle (we’re prepared for battle if Alex is harmed!). His crushed phone is pocketed by the kidnapper. Max’s plan works as he remembers Louise rescuing him from the room where he was chained.
Roswell, New Mexico will return Monday, June 1 at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. C on The CW.