‘Roswell, New Mexico’ Season 1, Episode 3 Recap: “Tearin’ Up My Heart”


Nathan Parsons as “Max” in ‘Roswell, New Mexico.’ IMDB.com.

The scientific method requires the scientist to eliminate all personal biased and outside influence. So it doesn’t matter that Max Evans saved my life. Or that ten years ago, he was the only person who made me smile after my mom left or how I feel when he looks at me now. What matters is the science.

Photos from the scene of Rosa’s death and a file marked “Confidential” lay on Liz’s bed, as she thinks over the scientific method. Eventually, Liz gathers everything, grabs a large black case, and leaves her room. As she gets in the car and heads to Max’s house, she finishes her thoughts on the scientific method with her new hypothesis: “Max Evans killed my sister.”

Max sees that Liz has arrived and exhales nervously as he opens the door to let her in. He watches as she unpacks her equipment. They discuss Max feeling sick, though he describes it as “flashes of anger or rage” rather than outright illness. Liz theorizes it could be stress, and asks Max to unbutton his shirt so she can apply electrodes to his chest for her cardiac monitor.

Meanwhile, Kyle is jogging when he meets Master Sergeant Jesse Manes, who inquires whether the patient with the handprint (Liz) is still alive. Kyle confirms they are and suggests aliens are not an enemy to humanity. Kyle pushes back when Manes demands more information, asking why he cannot call on one of his four “war hero sons,” including Alex. When Kyle still does not comply, Manes threatens him.

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Kyle states that he will not tell Manes who has the handprint, and Manes instead asks for access to his father’s old research materials.

Back at Max’s house, Liz is examining cells through a microscope and is fascinated that acetone heals Max. He corrects her, saying that it kills pain because they do not heal “super fast or anything.” Liz begins questioning Max about his past and abilities, but Max is reluctant to answer. She continues to push, asking questions about Max, Isobel, and Michael. His heart rate increases dramatically and he attempts to rip off the electrodes, but Liz reaches to stop him as she asks, “If you can heal with electricity, can you also harm?”

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Max emits a burst of electricity that causes the cardiac monitor to explode. He also inadvertently hurts Liz, who now has marks along her hand and arm where she had been touching him.

Isobel arrives with coffee and sees what Liz and Max are doing. Liz leaves, and Isobel chastises Max for allowing Liz to experiment on him. He argues that she may be able to figure out what is wrong with him. Isobel informs Max that Liz hooked up with Kyle the day after she arrived in Roswell, when Max’s handprint was still on her chest, suggesting that Max is only imagining a connection between them. Max and Isobel argue about her marriage, Liz using Max, and Max’s feelings for Liz.

Kyle is patching up Liz’s arm in her room as they discuss the way Max accidentally hurt her. Kyle argues they should turn him in to the government, but Liz is against the idea, saying she had to provoke Max for the electric output to occur. She begins to theorize about what Rosa may have done to provoke him as she spots a book on the shelf. She tells Kyle that Rosa loved to hide things, and the heart drawn on a copy of Pride and Prejudice marks it as one of her hiding spots. Inside the book, she finds marijuana.

Alex and Michael wake up after spending the night together. Isobel arrives and Alex panics. Michael tells him to stay put and he goes out to greet Isobel.

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She informs Michael that Max is letting Liz experiment on him. He is upset and says that if she knows how they are put together, she’ll know how to dismantle them. Isobel, however, has a plan to get rid of Liz.

Liz meets up with Maria at the bar, showing her the marijuana she found in Rosa’s hiding place. Liz asks Maria to tell her more of Rosa’s secrets. Maria tells her to check behind the “No Hunting” sign, where Liz discovers another heart and a CD mix tape. Liz thinks each song name corresponds to a place in Roswell that Rosa used as a hiding place, and she persuades Maria to join her in the hunt for the remaining spots.

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Officer Jenna Cameron hands Max a book as a gift at the police station. He is excited that it is a first edition, and then he asks her out on a date to the drive-in. She agrees, teasing about going to the malt shop after the movie on what she deems the ‘basic high school date.’

Kyle changes the light bulb for his mother, the sheriff, at her office as he asks about his father. Kyle steals a key off her key ring when she is not looking.

Liz tells Maria that she wants to get to know who her sister was as they search under the bridge for Rosa’s next hiding place. Spotting a small heart drawn on a wood panel, Liz pulls down two large rocks out of the wall to reveal an old metal lunch box. Inside are two cans of spray paint and a letter, which reads, “Dear Rosa, you will never be alone. Ophiuchus.”

Maria tells Liz that Ophiuchus is the thirteenth zodiac and controversial in certain circles. Liz remembers the lyric written on Rosa’s hand the night she was killed (“The fraudulent zodiac”). She suggests that it was not random but means something, possibly romantic. Maria says Rosa didn’t mention any romantic partners, but that she saw Rosa sneaking out of her room the week she died.

The next song on the CD, “Small Town Night,” leads them to the drive-in.

Locals and soldiers are setting up for the movie at the drive-in. Michael asks Isobel if she is going to use her powers on Liz before or after the movie. He questions Isobel’s sudden willingness to use her powers, suggesting that Isobel is scared of being replaced by Liz in Max’s life. Before she can respond, though, her husband Noah interrupts, and Michael leaves. Isobel tells Noah that she wants them to have a quiet night together after the drive-in, and he agrees.

Using the key he stole earlier, Kyle breaks into the Sheriff’s Department file room and photographs several papers of his father’s research. As he is leaving, Max sees him and confronts Kyle, threatening to arrest him for breaking in. Kyle taunts him with his hook up with Liz, and Max’s anger makes sparks shoot from the wires overhead. Jenna breaks up their argument before the fight gets physical. Max and Jenna leave together for the drive-in.

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At the drive-in Alex is confronted by his father who tells him that he should not be hooking up with Michael who is a criminal. Alex asks if Manes feels embarrassed about their relationship, but Manes tells him that, as a decorated soldier, Alex is only embarrassing himself.

Isobel thanks everyone for attending the drive-in and welcomes Manes to the stage. Maria tries to dissuade Liz from continuing her search, so Liz tells her she wanted to spy on Max and Jenna at the drive-in. Maria leaves to get them corndogs. Isobel sees Liz standing alone and attempts to use her powers and invade her mind.

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Rosa confronts Isobel, but then transitions into Liz. Isobel tells Liz to leave Roswell and not come back. Rosa reappears and says, “I wish it could always be like this.” Isobel tells her to stop, and when Liz reappears she tells her she will not leave because of Max. Isobel leaves Liz’s mind, and Maria returns with corndogs.

Isobel gets sick after using her powers and Michael brings her acetone. Isobel tries to explain why she couldn’t go through with making Rosa leave. She says that there was a rush of emotion when she mentioned Max and no longer believes it is a high school crush. “I think that she and Max might be –” she starts to say but Max arrives. Michael leaves immediately, but Max talks to Isobel about giving Jenna a chance and maybe trying to get over Liz.

They joke about the movie, but it is clear that Isobel is still concerned.

On the rooftop of her father’s diner, Liz and Maria smoke Rosa’s marijuana while bonding over shared failed romances. They talk about looking at the stars and how Maria and Rosa used to search for Pisces. Liz thinks Pisces looks like an arrow, and when Maria says that Rosa said the same thing, Liz follows the arrow to the wall where she finds another hidden letter.

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Liz interrupts Jenna and Max’s post drive-in movie make out session, demanding a private chat with Max. Hidden from sight, Liz accuses Max of sleeping with Rosa and hands him the love letter she discovered as proof.

Kyle is confronted by his mother who demands her keys back, as well as an explanation. He comes close to telling her the truth, stating that he was looking for dirt on Max because of the love triangle between himself, Max, and Liz. She informs Kyle that she holds Rosa responsible for the accident that night, and reveals that Kyle’s father almost lost an election because of the rift that the accident caused in town. Manes threw his support behind another candidate, and Kyle is surprised to hear that Manes and his father were not friends.

Liz rips the letter away from Max and reads from it, “I feel like I’m disappearing until you look at me, and then I’m so completely seen. I’ve never liked that feeling before. Somehow you always stand in the part of the room that the sun hits first.” Max interrupts her, saying that he wrote the letter for Liz, not Rosa, but she does not believe him. “You touch my lips and I stop breathing for a week,” she reads on. “This isn’t about us!” she accuses.

Max then recounts when Liz wiped hot sauce from his lips during their senior year of high school. He argues that Rosa must have found the letter, but Liz is adamant in her belief that he had something to do with Rosa’s death. “I know that you met her the night that she died, and I know that my sister was murdered by an alien,” she informs him. Max tries to ask how she knows, but she continues, “so was it you Max?”

Michael is about to leave when Alex confronts him about his “side hustle” that he witnessed. He confesses to stealing from the junkyard occasionally to make extra money but does not feel Alex should be concerned. Alex tells him that he cannot be with a criminal. Michael counters but ultimately accepts the break up. Alex walks away and Michael leaves.

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Max is clearly angry and hurt that Liz believes him capable of murder and adamantly denies any involvement in Rosa’s death. He tells Liz that, after he dropped her off that night, he did not go home but went to the gazebo and wrote that letter. He put it under the windshield wiper of Liz’s car, but Rosa was there and told Max to stay away from Liz. Max tells Liz he left, “I drove away. She was messed up and I knew it.”

He agrees that lying to Liz about seeing Rosa the night she died was wrong, but he says he did not want to give her any more bad memories of her sister. He then confesses his love for her.

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Liz rejects his declaration by saying this is about Rosa and Max’s lie, not about his feelings for her. He argues that, for him, everything is about his feelings for Liz. He asks her to leave the past in the past, and then he walks away.

Isobel returns home to Noah, and she puts up a happy front, but he can tell she is upset. She apologizes for being co-dependent on Max. She confesses to feeling responsible for Max’s unhappiness, and Noah asks her to let him worry about her happiness instead of her shutting him out.

He takes her outside where he has set up an outdoor movie complete with pillows and wine. Noah tells Isobel that Max called him to let him know she would need extra comfort. He then tells her that she is his “person” and asks if Isobel will let him be her “person” in return.

Back at the bar, Liz tells Maria about the letter and Max’s confession. She tells Maria that she still does not trust Max and therefore cannot return his feelings.

Kyle confronts Manes about his lie regarding Kyle’s father. Manes agrees they had only one thing in common: a desire to protect Earth from aliens. Kyle tells Manes that he believes the alien in question is innocent until proven guilty, and he will not turn them in. He gives Manes the information he requested, and tells Manes he is out of the project. As Kyle walks away, Manes tells him the “fatal flaw” with the justice system is innocent until proven guilty only works after the crime is committed.

Max is home but very upset over the altercation with Liz. He calls Isobel and then Michael, but when no one answers, he storms outside. In a fit of rage, he emits another huge burst of electricity as he slams his fists to the ground. The power surge hits Roswell, and all the city lights go dark.

Images courtesy of The CW/Warner Bros.

Roswell, New Mexico airs Tuesdays on The CW at 9 p.m. EST.

Brianna works full time in the publishing industry, passionately building books to bring to the masses. Her first fandom was Harry Potter, which she joined at age 11. Her love for books took her abroad to earn her Masters Degree at University College London, after which she lived in New York City, and now resides in Austin. She loves all things fandom including Supernatural, Doctor Who, and more. Ever the introvert, she can usually be found reading, playing with her dog, listening to music and practicing yoga. Brianna joined the Nerds and Beyond staff in 2018 where she unites her love for all things "nerd" with her passion for writing. Find her on Twitter here: @bookbag09

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