Props, as always, to the forum regulars, for making the Roswell boards an almost religious experience for me. Really. I just surfed over to the MBTV dry goods department and bought myself a bumper sticker reading "I Moderate For Jesus." Now all I need is the car. Ba-dum.
Previously: L'il Hanks dies, Liz wants to know the truth, Glorified Delivery Boy gets caught in the cameo that went up a hill and just kept climbing, and Maria writes "I will not participate in woefully hackneyed opening classroom montages" five hundred times on the blackboard behind her. And she still doesn't seem to get the message.
Who wants close-ups? I do! I do! And for the love of Eastman-Kodak, I hope y'all feel the same way. An appropriately Mighty Big Glamour Shot of Alex "There's No Deadness Like Show Deadness" Whitman, looking pale and tragic and spindly and just generally post-living as it is, cuts to a table filled with dozens more photos. The camera then swoops up to show us "I'll Never Stop Saying" Maria DeLuca and Mr. "Lurch Learns To Dance" Whitman, staring down at the photos. Maria accidentally exposes the film canister marked "Subtle Narrative Exposition" to Liz's Shiny Happy Hair, making the results of those labors far too blurry to see, opting instead for the garish flash and grainy stock of Unsubtle Exposition, telling Lurch Whitman and us, "It's a two-page yearbook spread. A collage that captures, y'know, everything Alex was." Everything Alex was? That being, absent but for idle talk and living in a constant state of two-dimensions? Yup. That seems about right so far. Lurch Whitman employs The Somber Stutter that is part and parcel with the surrounded-by-death experience on TV, intoning quietly, "You guys are just, g-g-great friends to Alex. S-s-s-still." Chilly up there, Stilts McGillicuddy? He continues on, calling over to Liz "Perry Mason For Dummies" Parker, who is sitting at Ex-Alex's computer swapping shareware so her friends and family can play computer solitaire on her while she's sleeping, "Oh, and Liz, tell your folks thanks for the food they sent over." Upload's a bitch on a product-placed Mac, so Liz can barely muster the energy to distractedly respond, "Yeah, sure." She turns her head exactly one centimeter to the left and her eyes fall on a stack of cards. She picks one up and inquires, "What are these?" Never programmed to read analog. For shame. They'll have to keep that update in mind as a possible improvement for the new mainframe, L.I.Z. 2.0, for which the new server should be arriving soon. Lurch Whitman responds from deep space, "Condolence cards from the floral arrangements. You can take a look at them if you'd like." She flips the one conveniently in her hand: "The Olsens?" Awww. That was so sweet of Mary-Kate and Ashley to find the time between filming their new straight-to-video madcap ride Tweens, Scenes, and Training Bras: The Olsen Twins and their Disturbing, Ill-Timed Pubescence and their confessionals for The Bob Saget E! True Hollywood Story ("And, in 1984, he still sucked. And, in 1985, he still really sucked. But it was in 1986 that, no, still sucking…") and their drawing up of the prenup for their eventual dual marriage to Aaron Carter to find time to send the very best to this nice, fictional stranger on the low-rated alien drama. Lurch Whitman seeks to set the record straight: "They were Alex's host family in Sweden." Wait, I didn't know the Olsen Twins live in Swe…oh, never mind. Lurch Whitman laments the fact that "Gloria and I didn't even think about contacting them." Cheap bastards who don't know how to dial down the center. And Alex's mom's name is "Gloria"? Liz asks who could have contacted them, and Lurch Whitman notes it must have been someone from the school, seeing as the "entire trip was organized through the guidance office." Which is a reassuring statement, at least, considering the continuity it implies about The World's Most Comprehensive Guidance Office maintained since way back in the days of Renee and trust-building games and string-tie Kyle and supermodel Isabel and the writerly hubris of me, shamelessly referencing old recaps like that time I noted, "In my high school, our guidance counselors would call each student in, determine we were free of drugs and head lice, and we were off to college" way back in "Monsters." Lurch Whitman realizes that Maria and Liz are going to be loitering in the alleged police crime scene for some time, and takes his leave, saying, "I'll order a pizza." Maria tells him not to worry. Lurch Whitman holds up a hand, nearly burning it on the rays of the sun in doing so and states, "I-I-I-I-I-it's nothing," before folding himself in half on his trip through the normal-people door. Brrrrrr.
Alone now, Maria turns to Lizbot and chides, "You're being rude." Liz registers the old "403: You are forbidden from access to that emotional server" and instead continues the communing with her buddy Mac, who really understands her. She barks back without looking up, "Alex put every single thing about his entire life in this computer. There has gotta be something in here to help us figure out what really happened." Maria retorts that they're there just to look for photos for the yearbook spread, and that to pry in his personal belongings would be "immoral." Liz shoots back, "What's ee-moral is that someone murdered Alex." Wha? Immoral? Amoral? Paramoral? Pick one and stick with it, sister. The only letter you've uncovered so far on your Wheel of Fucked-Up Speech Patterns is the hard "k," so I'm afraid you can't afford to buy any vowels today. Immoral. Soft "i," not hard "e." Liz continues that the only clues they have are the binary food receipt and the chopped up Back to the Future shot of Swedish Svetlana and the non-head portions of Alex's body. After refusing to search through his desk drawers, Maria turns the topic a little awkwardly to ask if Max knows she's doing all this. Liz doesn't think Max is interested. Tell Max the line forms to the left. Maria throws herself down on a couch in a new corner of Alex's ever-biggening room, fretting, "It's like this chasm has formed between everybody since…" She trails off and Liz picks up the slack, "Since I said aliens were responsible for Alex's death." Maria starts to explain that they shouldn't be doing this without the Alien Four knowing, trying to make Liz's hard metal frame feel anything at all when she continues, "As it is, Michael and I haven't even talked to each other in days." Liz doesn't give so much as a crap -- she has a sophisticated environmentally-friendly, hypo-allergenic waste-disposal system for that, which is really a recap for another time -- as she has just made the discovery that there is a locked file (helpfully labeled "Locked File") on Alex's hard drive. Liz turns to Maria and asks what Alex's security code is. Maria can't hide the truth. It's "I The Stud." That's so sad. That's the sadness level of finding out that a suddenly-lost loved one was a charter member of the KKK, or had six wives all in different states, or was a computer dork with the password "I Am Stud." It's heaps like that last one, actually. The computer whirs to Global Thermonuclear War life with just about the same high level of lowly level of DOS effects. The words "Leanna is not Leanna" print out on the screen over and over and over again as Maria and Liz look on. The V.I.L.E. Henchman has been located! You now have a warrant to arrest Leanna Olson! She is in Oslo! Where the chief export is textiles!
Opening credits: But he's still in the credits. This bodes spoiler-ish. Or it bodes show-too-cash-strapped-and-exhausted-to-recut this late in the season's run. And did I mention cash-strapped? Come come, sweet UPN!