The opening sequence offers a pretty apt representation of how far this show has strayed from its original premise, not to mention its ostensible intention of "not sucking donkey ass." Allow me to expound, if you will: exactly thirteen wordless sci-fi-themed introductory seconds are followed consequently by a hundred and fifty-seven minutes (somehow it permeates even the commercials and ends on an entirely different network sometime during Dateline) of teenagers lasciviously fondling each other. So dust off your archived V-chip jokes and someone get Jerry Falwell on the horn, 'cause we've got an hour of TV-MA (D, L, V, general ookiness) coming your way posthaste. While you're on the phone, page the Christian Right for me, will you? They always seem to have the answers.
Fade in on aforementioned futile stab at plot coherence. A desert landscape shot reveals a collapsed radio tower of some kind, over which appear the words "February 2000, Lincoln County, NM, 2 miles from crash site" in the font Pathetic MT Condensed Season. This absolutely essential moment is accompanied by a high-pitched beeping of some kind, which I think is meant to convey a "Danger! Keep out!" kind of fever-pitch tension but whose only accomplishment is getting me off the couch at least twice in this short span of time to find out why a truck keeps backing up outside of my apartment.
Suddenly we're in school, where the new dress code at West Roswell High appears to include the strict policy "No Clothes Allowed." Inside the girls locker room, it's as if we've stumbled into all the scenes in Porky's that they're not permitted to air when they show the edited version on this very network during really off-peak hours. Like Wednesday at nine, for instance. Pan to steamy, steamy shower stalls, where the waterproof and quality-proof Good Book of "Are You There God It's Me" Liz Parker details some physiological changes afoot: "Lately, I've been having these feelinks." She goes on to clarify that these feelinks are "stronk and dangerous," looking around to discover that she's alone in the shower. Where is everyone? Well, speaking as a representative for the boys' locker room, I can pretty much answer for those who were gone in a matter of less than four seconds after class ended, wearing shorts underneath my jeans, velcro shoes so there's no precious time wasted tying, fiddling, or fumbling, and certainly not a moment squandered glancing over at the moss-encrusted and long-deserted shower stalls thinking, "Who the hell would go near those?" Give me a first-period gym class and a subsequent day of cowlicks and uncontrollable perspiration any ol' time. Just get me the hell out of the locker room, and do it now. How unfortunate for me that I didn't attend the prestigious WB Academy of Prurient Reverie and Never Clogged Pores, else perhaps this sure-footed display of nakedness at sixteen in front of all of my peers (not to mention the six remaining viewers of this show) would have been just another day at Naked High.
She's not alone for long. Liz finally appears poised to exit the shower, as her hands disappear out of the camera's perspective to turn the faucets off ("That's not what she's doing," my roommate takes a moment to observe. "That's not what she's doing at all." Yeah, Parker. Keep those hands where we can see 'em) and turns around amidst the obscuring steam to see "Cli" Max Evans sex his way into this decidedly off-limits arena. They stare lustily as the stench of series cancellation hangs heavy in the stifling locker room air. But even dreams can't come true on Roswell, and the vision is interrupted before anyone has a chance to get physical, physical, I wanna get physical, let's get into physical. The voice-over line "Nice strawberries" prompts a radical cut to the Crashdown, where a surprised Liz upsets said bowl of, er, passion fruit and sends it tumbling to the floor. Maria "If You Don't Look Good, We Don't Look Good" DeLuca joins Liz on the floor and informs her during clean-up that "you have a visitor." I'm sorry, but was that a misguided attempt at referencing aliens? If not, how about Max's more blatant response to Liz's inquiry of why Max has shown up: "I have orders from my planet to take over the earth." Oh, waka. Waka. Waka. Insipid dialogue of the "I'm sorry, Mr. Strapping Plumber Man, but the sink wasn't working before you got here" variety ensues as Max follows Liz at close range into the steamy, steamy kitchen to fill the bowl with more of those in-season sexberries everyone seems to be requesting. In the bathhouse, I mean kitchen, Max tells Liz that he wants to make sure they can still be friends, even though they haven't really talked since "that night." What night? I imagine he means the night of Liz's blind date sixty or so weeks ago, and I actually respect Max's ability to subvert the each-episode-is-an-island-unto-itself sitcom nature this show has taken on, not to mention the fact that episode cross-referencing allows for a moment of personal contemplation during which I find myself thinking, "Wow, and I thought THAT episode was bad?" Fine. So they're friends. Whoop-de-freakin-ha. Just friends? Yeah. In that spirit, Max forcibly grabs Liz and spins her around. Tongue. Everywhere. Really, it's just horrible. They back up into the bowl of sexberries, some of which trip the Pointless Slo-Mo camera feature on contact with the floor. The F/X coffers scraping bottom (most of that cash has been reallocated for the impending barrage of "catch Roswell on it's new Monday time slot" ads and filed under "Futile Expenses"), the backwards-truck beeping commences again in earnest as stock footage from The World's Shoddiest Planetarium unspools before me. Oooooh! It's a vision. A vision of Max's home planet, which from all current cues indicates that Max is an expatriate from the inside of a white chocolate Nestle Crunch bar. Oh, special effects. We barely knew ye. Mmmmm - chocolate.