Roswell
Independence Day

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Tony Clifton's Revenge

Discredits.

In the most clich├ęd use of locomotive imagery as harbinger of evil since damsels in distress were tied to train tracks in turn-of-the-century silent movies, Max and Michael stand morosely watching a freight train separate the right and wrong sides of town. You know you've got a screwed up socioeconomic environment in a place where tacky neon diners and tourists in trailers connotes "right." Max inquires as to Michael's unfortunate run-in with his unconvincing purple stage make-up, and Michael replies that "he was drunk." Apparently, Michael's foster father (a.k.a. "Tony Clifton") has laid a hand on him before, just never this badly. Max worries that people are going to ask questions, and Michael asks Max to fix it. I think he mumbles something about trying to heal it himself, but I'm sure all he was able to do on contact was "make it really itchy," as the extent of Michael's powers has repeatedly indicated. Foregoing the "maybe we should just wait and see if that doesn't heal itself" non-bravura performance, Max heals the eye and tells Michael -- and not for the final time, I'm sure -- that "you don't have to protect him. He's not even your real father." Wow, isn't this a frighteningly sanitized perspective on the part of the WB that domestic abuse only happens in lower-class environments to adopted children? The impoverished really are savages, aren't they? Oh, Christ, look at what this show has done to me -- I'm actually grounding my evolving world view in the sociological teachings of Michigan J. Frog. So Max waves a hand or whatever he does and manipulates molecular structure once more. You know what's quaint and a little sad? That the writers genuinely believe that every time an alien works his or her mad voodoo shit, the moment can be imbued with drama enough to make us all "oooooooh." Like we've never, ever seen anything like it since, say, the last episode. Michael makes Max swear that the entire situation is between "you and me," and one can practically see the skid marks left by the Alienmobile as Max steams toward town to start breaking his promise as soon as non-humanly possible.

Michael ends the scene with the words "you and me." Maria and Liz begin the next scene with the words "you and me." Speaking of you and me, let's get the hell out of here. Because everything's about to go very, very wrong. Cut to Liz and Maria, of all places, on shift at the Crashdown. And they are talking about, of all things, how they have to stay away from Max and Michael because they know it can't work in the end and it can't be and those aliens are like a drug and blah blah blah spacecakes. Maria even invokes a cultural reference that died about three years before she was born by telling Liz that they have to "just say no" and, brandishing a frying pan, adds that "this is your brain on Max." Oh, har har har, but purely in that 1986 "Where's The Beef?" kind of way. In walks DeLucawitz, toting, for some reason, a whole lotta pies. On the word "coconut," an always-lascivious Porno sidles up with just plain carnal pick-up lines from the dating advice column in Maxim magazine, including, "That looks awful good. And so do you, Amy." For some reason, this material seems to be working. DeLucawitz flirtily chides Porno for, um, finishing too quickly on their previous two attempts at an outing, and Porno tells her that sometimes work calls. Because that was back in the day when there were alleged aliens running around this town and Porno was on the hunt to track them down. DeLucawitz counters, "But when I make a pie for someone, I expect it to get eaten." AUGH! Porno fires off an equally TV-14 comeback about eating whatever she makes, and I wonder if this scene's hidden ironic intent was to use really yummy-looking baked goods to make me physically ill by the prospect of ever eating again. Ever.

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Roswell

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