We want to let you know how much we appreciate your responses to our ring symbol question. We hope you won't mind discussing it a little more. As you probably deduced, Erica and I have been having a little trouble agreeing on which symbol to use in the center of the hand print on the ring: the Native American (NA) coiled spiral or the Whirlwind Galaxy (WG) spiral. It might help if we try to catch you up on what we have already discussed. :-)
First, Erica wrote the scene. I loved it the first time I read it but felt it could be even better if the coiled spiral in the middle of the hand print was replaced with something, I felt, was more connected to Max-the WG spiral. I also wasn't sure that the NA healing symbol, on its own, would generate enough suspicion from anyone who saw it, in particular Valenti, Kyle, and Larry, thinking that it would be a common symbol in that area. We established that it's not that common, even in Roswell, by contacting some Roswellian Roswell residents. But I still felt the WG symbol would be more significant, more fitting, more personal than the NA symbol.
The following is a summary of Erica's reasons/arguments for wanting to use the NA symbol, taken from earlier discussions:
"As to it not being personal enough, actually that's part of what I like about it. :) I see this as an indication of how hard it is for Max to fit in this world. Even when he should be part of things he can't. The ring is part of the world around him and what it represents is the essence of who he is but he can't wear it. He did this wonderful thing, he healed Liz, and he has to hide that fact for fear of his life. Yet the very thing he did is being celebrated by this ring. That's one of the things this episode is about. Max can't simply be himself and be accepted by those around him. There shouldn't have been a question about dating Liz. But there is and the reason there is and the reason it comes up again is because of this difference that would be taken as more significant than the fact that he's a good person. It's the complexity of the situation that the NA symbol ring evokes. The Whirlwind idea is very nice, but the reason I'm still arguing :) is that I prefer the complexity.
In my opinion, the WG ring lessens the impact of what comes next. The "It is you." Instead of saying "Max is a healer" it's saying primarily that "Max is a person from another planet" and only secondarily "Max is a healer" as the WG symbol is such a powerful one. As stated above, I prefer complexity but in this case, I think it just complicates and dilutes the original message.
Also, I wonder about Liz making something Max couldn't wear."
The following is a summary of my (Joan's) reasons/arguments for using the WG symbol taken from earlier discussions:
"The things that stood out for me when I read the scene were Liz telling Max she thinks of him as a healer and Liz wanting to give him a "private" gift. :-) I also appreciate the risk involved in his wearing something that would arouse suspicion but I don't feel the NA symbol provides that much risk. It might make people think of the healing Max performed at the Crashdown, however the only ones who might go there are Valenti, Kyle, and Larry and they already think that without the NA symbol. I think we need the risk the WG symbol would add. Valenti doesn t need to be reminded that Max did something unusual to Liz, he knows in his heart that Max is an alien, what he needs is proof. The NA symbol would not be proof nor would it lead to proof, the WG symbol, however, may lead to proof. :-)
I also don't think the WG symbol lessens the impact of Liz's line: "It is you." I think it enhances it because that's who Max is; He is a healer but he's a healer because of where he is from-the WG. :-)
And I don't see the difference between making a gift he can't wear openly and buying him one he can't wear openly. :-)"
Now it's your turn. :-):
Do you have anything to add to either of our arguments?
Does either of our arguments effect your original choice between the two versions (either cementing your decision or influencing a change of mind)?
Note: We'd appreciate it if you'd re-read the scenes, one of which we've changed in response to a beta reader's comments. Links below.
Click here to go to the original scene; note that we're only talking about scene 25
Click here to go to the alternative scene
We have illustrations:
Here are two possible designs of the NA symbol you might find in stores (particularly around New Mexico). (original scenario)
This is an example of how Liz might modify the NA symbol to incorporate the WG symbol instead. (Not found in stores.) ;)