Previously on Roswell: Isabel wears curtains and marries a gay man in an even gayer lavender boutonniere.
Ack! Pores! We open on a Wayne-and-Garth-esque Extreme Close-Up of the eyes of Max "Ack! Pores!" Evans. A high-drama cut to The Blackboard Of Fatherly Conspiracy cuts quickly to a close-up of the mouth of Liz "Ack! Bores!" Parker, as she asks, "You okay?" A close-up shot of Max's mouth -- framed as it is by his prepubescent bar mitzvah boy facial growth -- responds, "I can't believe this." Cut back to the eyes, and whatever it is Max can't believe goes permanently unanswered as his staggeringly girly eyelashes brush against my television's picture tube and the screen goes blank forever and ever and ever. Oh, just kidding. You all know as well as I do that nothing will kill this show. Instead, the rest of his sentence tells us, "My whole life is up here." And even though the three-by-five cards clearly spell out, "What is Max hiding?" the Lizbot's central mainframe blinks a furious "Annoy! Annoy! Annoy!" and she one-ups the title character of The What Is Max Hiding Show in concurring, "Yeah, so is mine." Cards! Cards! Cards! Max mourns in a dull (duh) monotone (duh super-sized with fries and a coke), "My own father." He looks at a card that reads, "Tess," and tests his reading comprehension by hazarding, "Tess." Pee Wee's secret word of the season having been uttered, we are treated to a best of Tess package of Tess-o-licious clips from last season. Max and Tess naked in the planetarium. Tess engulfed in Ed Wood-ian CGI as the granilith chamber achieves liftoff. The rest of the cast standing on the scoping fjords of Sandy Land and averting their eyes from such profanely Ed Wood-ian CGI. Back in Monopoly Nazi's office, Liz mistakenly believes that there are new viewers of this show who might need to know more: "He's got cards up here for everythink. Los Angeles. Utah." Utah? More "previously" clips. The Alienmobile bursts into flames and goes flying over a cliff. Why did he do that to the Jeep, anyway? Liz fields that one: "You thought you'd never need it again." So be it, but isn't that a little overzealous? I mean, I don't have any further need for long division, but you don't see me setting my fifth-grade math teacher on fire and tossing her into a dark ravine, do you? I mean, DO YOU?
Liz takes Max's hand and pulls him away from The Backstory Board. She suggests, "Maybe you should tell your father." Max looks somber and notes, "These are my parents. I can't put them in this kind of danger." Liz, however, can be put at the business end of a long-range FBI rifle for fortysomething episodes and no one opposes it for a moment, save for those of us jaded enough with her world-constantly-in-peril constitution to ask, "Yeah, well, then why in the world isn't she dead yet?" Max seals the dramatic action of this episode by noting, "They can't ever know the truth." Liz asks what he intends to do, then, and Max knows instinctively. He quietly intones, "The necklace I gave you when I thought I was leaving?" Yeah? What about it? "I need it back." Liz pulls the Zapf symbol out from in between her Aquabra and forks it back over. Somber music ambiguously plays. My fifth-grade math teacher knows her days are numbered. Shut up, Mrs. Verini. The school bell tolls next for thee.
Crashdown. Liz stage-directs some cleanliness onto a milkshake machine. I really hope the regular patrons of that diner like themselves some soap-and-dishrag-flavored shakes, because that's the only thing Liz is ever cleaning when she's allegedly doing any work in there. Maria "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" DeLuca assures Liz that everything will be "okay," and their vamp is soon interrupted by Michael "I'm Gonna Never Do Anything Remotely Resembling Washing My Hair, Thanks" Guerin, who rings the short-order bell as an introduction to plot-developing, "So when does Billy get here?" Liz interjects an ill-timed pause so drearily long that the remaining six of us exchange a brief hopeful glance and one of us even mouths the words, "Did they just cancel this show in the middle of an episode?" before finally -- FINALLY -- getting around to responding, "Billy who?" Billy Darden is how the closed-captioning spells it, and Liz elucidates that "First-Kiss Billy" is coming to Roswell. From the next stool over, a suddenly-appearing Kyle -- fresh from piling enough copies of the New Mexico yellow pages onto his chair so that he could see above the counter and sneak unsuspecting into the frame, notes, "Your ex-boyfriend is coming to visit? That's not legal." Chatter chatter about how he wasn't her boyfriend, that they kissed once when they were thirteen, and we discern that First-Kiss Billy (or, as the deep, artistic philosopher would probably prefer to be called, "FK Billy") will be staying at Maria's house while her mother is out of town. Kyle finds this arrangement unacceptable, climbing down from his stool and walking over to the counter, explaining, "Michael, Michael…" Did anyone else tack on a totally dumb and Rocky Horror-esque "Motorcycle!" at this point in Kyle's speech? You're so not alone. Kyle explains, "Here on planet Earth we have this thing called jealousy." Michael responds that he has nothing to be jealous about, and that "they were thirteen-year-old geeks at band camp." Awwww. Making fun of band camp. How quaintly 1999 and pre-war of you "writers." Maria hilariously carries Kyle back to his stool by the collar like a mother cat carries her tiny, tiny young (the cats don't have the unenviable task of completing this activity while their young pretend to be five inches taller in orthopedic shoes, which is probably what renders this gag here so "ih"). And then, there's Billy. And he's totally not a band camp geek anymore, because he carries a guitar case rather than a tuba or lute case, and Maria doesn't even recognize him all these years hence. He looks Maria right in the eyes and announces, "It's me," leaving off the additional, "Wacky cameo actor Jack Black," because the six of us who still watch this show obviously lack any kind of crap filter and we're probably the exact same six who ponied up the cash to see Shallow Hal, now aren't we? I know, it's not really Jack Black. But he's the damn "Land-of-Confusion"-video cloth-and-buttons spitting image, now isn't he? He hugs Maria and Michael looks away, a dozens eggs spontaneously bursting in their carton for as-yet-unknown reasons. Maria suggests to Hal, "Let's go this way." This way is out. They want to be alone. Meanwhile, Kyle Gass sits forlornly in the parking lot, all, "I'm way too Garfunkel to go solo now."
Opening credits: Does this Dido chick remind anybody else of a young Majandra?