Close Encounters - Act IV

ROSWELL: WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN - "Close Encounters" - ACT IV - 07/07/10

ACT IV

51 INT. CRASHDOWN - MAIN DINING AREA - SAME

Itís quiet, very few customers. Alex is sitting in a booth in the back. Maria, in her waitress uniform, is sitting across from him, taking a break. Liz is doing busy work cleaning up an already clean coffee area, something obviously on her mind.

LIZ

(muttering, unheard by the others)

Ancestral memory Ö that's got to be it.

MARIA

This canít be good.

ALEX

Whatís not good?

MARIA

(nodding towards Liz)

Obsessive cleaning spells trouble; M A X trouble.

ALEX

Right.

(to Liz)

Why donít you sit down and tell us whatís bothering you.

Liz sighs and relents, coming to the booth and sitting next to Maria.

LIZ

I'm probably overreacting, but Ö

(lowering her voice to a stage whisper)

I think Ed shapeshifted into Max Ö to fool me into thinking he was Max.

Maria and Alex are shocked. This is not what they expected at all, but they keep their voices low so as not to be overheard by the customers up front.

MARIA

No! What!?? Ö No way!

Cut to:

52 INT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - MICHAELíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

Max and Tess both rush to where the opening of the chamber had been and start slapping it, pounding on it, trying to use their powers to open it, calling out to Michael, to no effect.

TESS

(flabbergasted)

Whó Why would Michael do that?

MAX

(equally flabbergasted)

I havenít a clue.

Cut to:

53 EXT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - POD CHAMBERS - CONTINUOUS

Michael gives a smile of satisfaction, then closes his eyes, puts out his right hand and concentrates. A bright light surrounds him. When the light dissipates, Michael is gone and Max is standing in his place. Heís a little unsteady and leans against the rock wall, as if gathering strength.

Cut to:

54 INT. CRASHDOWN - MAIN DINING AREA - CONTINUOUS

ALEX

Whoa! Slow down, back up Ö What happened!?

LIZ

(not sure of herself)

Well, Max was behaving rather strange today.

ALEX

You too?

LIZ

Max was acting strange with you?

ALEX

No, Isabel.

Cut to:

55 EXT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - POD CHAMBERS - CONTINUOUS

Diane Evansís car pulls up and parks next to the Jeep. Isabel and Michael get out. ďMaxĒ is standing by ďhisĒ pod chamber watching them approach. Thereís a boulder next to the Jeep that Michael and Isabel look at and frown at briefly, before ďMaxĒ gets their attention.

"MAX"

(waving)

Yo, up here.

MICHAEL

So what have you discovered?

"MAX"

(pointing to the interior of ďhisĒ chamber)

Itís in the back.

"Max" steps aside to allow Michael and Isabel to enter the chamber. Our POV is of "Max" standing outside the chamber as Michael and Isabel walk past the pod and head for the back. As with Michaelís chamber, they do not have far to go. A lantern has been lit to provide some light. Michael turns towards the opening and Isabel follows suit.

MICHAEL

(calling out; puzzled)

Is this a joke? Thereís nothing back here.

As Michael is speaking, "Max" presses "his" hand on the wall of the chamber. It glows silver under "his" hand and a ripple effect appears. Michael and Isabel see the ripple effect and go from being surprised, to confused, to shocked as the doorway-like opening of the pod chamber turns back into a solid stone wall, sealing them inside.

56 INT. CRASHDOWN - MAIN DINING AREA - CONTINUOUS

ALEX

Letís just say Isabel was not ... herself. She was a little more ... uninhibited than normal. I think with this whole prearranged coupling she wanted to make sure that I didnít feel threatened by it. She wanted to assure me that no one would come between us.

MARIA

Were those her exact words? Because Michael said almost the exact same thing to me todayĖďI just don't want anyone to ever come between usĒ. And Michael was acting weird. Not normal Michael-weird, weird weird.

(to Liz)

How was Max acting strange?

LIZ

I was a little suspicious when Max was acting a little more ... playful than normal, but the clincher was his kiss. When he kissed me ... it just wasnít the same and I got flashes that were ... disturbing, and they too didnít feel like Ö Max.

57 FLASHBACK TO EXT. ROSWELL DESERT HIGHWAY - DAY

Max is driving the Jeep, Liz is beside him. They are both in a good mood, the wind in their face, music playing on the radio.

MAX

I just wanted you to know, Liz, that nobody will ever come between us. Nobody.

LIZ

Tell me something I don't know.

She leans over and kisses him on the cheek.

MAX

(playful)

Well, if you keep that up, I'm going to have to pull over.

LIZ

(kittenish)

Is that a threat, or is that a promise?

Max pulls the Jeep over to the side of the road. They fall into each others arms, kissing passionately. There are black and white flashes: military swarming around a crashed spaceship, an all white room, a desolate desert scene, lightening. Liz breaks the kiss.

MAX

(self-conscious)

What?

LIZ

(forcing an awkward smile)

Nothing.

58 FLASHBACK TO PRESENT

ALEX

(concerned)

Are you all right? What did he do?

LIZ

Nothing. He seemed a little self-conscious after the flash and just drove us back to school. He hardly said anything on the way back. Itís probably nothing. Itís mostly the flash that has me suspicious ... it was so unlike Max that I felt maybe Ö

(pauses, feeling foolish for her suspicions)

Ö but what if itís an ancestral memory?

MARIA

(contemplatively)

Itís not. You said his kiss was different too, and his behavior.

(beat; shocked)

You ditched school?

Liz makes a "that's hardly the point" face at Maria then considers her previous comment.

LIZ

Maybe I was reading too much into it. Itís not like every kiss is going to give me that

(suddenly self-conscious)

um ... you know.

MARIA

Except, the same thing happened to me. I knew something was off! On top of Michael acting strange, there were no fireworks when we kissed. Besides, I think itís just too coincidental that all three are saying they ďdonít want anyone coming between usĒ, within hours of each other.

ALEX

We need to tell them.

Liz and Alex remove their cell phones from their pockets and speed dial Max and Isabel, respectively.

MARIA

(explaining)

Michael still doesn't have a cell phone.

LIZ

Max, call me as soon as you get this message.

ALEX

Isabel, call me right away.

As Liz and Alex disconnect their calls, they all exchange worried looks.

LIZ

(looking at her watch)

Max and Michael are meeting at the pod chambers. Letís start there. Alex, will you call Jen, while Maria and I change, to see if she can fill in for the rest of our shift?

Alex nods and Liz and Maria head towards the swinging door.

ALEX

Wait a minute ... does that mean I kissed a guy!?

Cut to:

59 INT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - MICHAELíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

Max and Tess are holding their cell phones.

MAX

Damn! Battery is dead.

TESS

Mine too.

ED (VO)

This is not a punishment. This is a test, a demonstration, if you will ...

Max and Tess cock their heads as if listening to something.

Cut to:

60 INT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - MAXíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

ED (VO) (contíd)

... of what you can accomplish if you work together.

MICHAEL

(with trepidation)

Did you hear that?

ISABEL

Yeah, but in my head not my ears.

Cut to:

61 INT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - MICHAELíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

ED (VO)

As you know, the chambers are keyed to the DNA of the owner.

MAX

(angrily to Tess)

What is Ed up to?

Cut to:

62 INT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - MAXíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

ED (VO)

Antarians can absorb, retain, and retrieve the DNA of others.

Isabel is holding her cell phone.

ISABEL

(perplexed)

The battery can't be dead, I just charged it.

Cut to:

63 INT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - MICHAELíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

ED (VO)

One of the ways is through a healing. When you heal another person, even a minor healing, your DNA transfers to them and theirs transfers to you.

Max is looking suspiciously at Tess.

TESS

I swear, I had no idea he was going to do this. Iím just as surprised as you are.

Cut to:

64 INT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - MAXíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

Michael tries to use his powers to blow a hole through the chamber wall, but fails.

ED (VO)

That wonít work, Michael. Not even dynamite would have any effect. All your chambers are impervious to any form of attack.

Cut to:

65 INT. VASQUEZ ROCKS - MICHAELíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

MAX

(concerned)

Heís got Michael too.

ED (VO)

This DNA is stored in your brain and you can access it to mimic the other person, such as taking on their persona or opening DNA encoded locks. I know you have not yet learned how to do this.

Cut to:

66 INT. MAXíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

ED (VO) (contíd)

Max, I also know you have healed Michael in the past, so you both have the DNA of each other stored in your brain.

ISABEL

(anxious)

He has Max!

MICHAEL

Which means we really are stuck in here.

Cut to:

67 INT. MICHAELíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

ED (VO)

You both will need to access your ancestral memory to learn how to access this stored DNA. That's why Tess and Isabel are with you.

MAX

He has Isabel too. They must be in my chamber.

68 INT. MAXíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

ED (VO)

If you stop resisting and follow my instructions, you will see just how suited you are for each other, how beneficial and enjoyable accessing your ancestral memory can be. Iím sure you will find this to be a very pleasurable experience.

MICHAEL

(angry)

Who does he think he is, forcing us to do what he wants?

ISABEL

(desperate)

Can you think of an alternative way to get us out?

Michael thinks for a minute then spits in his hand and holds it out to Isabel.

MICHAEL

(to Isabel)

Your turn.

ISABEL

(revolted)

Are you kidding?

MICHAEL

Would you rather kiss?

Isabel immediately spits in her hand.

Cut to:

69 INT. JETTA - DESERT HIGHWAY - SAME

Maria is driving, Liz is in the passenger seat, on her cell phone; Alex is in the back, on his cell phone.

LIZ

(to Maria and Alex)

Still going straight to voice mail.

ALEX

Same here.

They hang up the phones and put them away.

LIZ

(to Maria; contemplative)

You know, Iíve been thinking; that kiss answers the question we wondered once.

MARIA

What question?

LIZ

Whether the reaction I get when I kiss Max, and you get when you kiss Michael, was just because they are alien.

MARIA

Youíre right, it does! Apparently they have to be the right alien.

ALEX

Reaction? What reaction?

Cut to:

70 INT. MICHAELíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

MAX

(analytically)

If you absorb DNA from healings, how did Ed open my chamber? He never healed me and I never healed him.

TESS

You can absorb DNA deliberately by touch. You generally do it if you want to ... take on that personís persona; "shapeshift" I believe is the Sci-Fi term.

MAX

(suspicious)

Do you absorb a personís memories at the same time?

TESS

That wouldn't happen with a minor healing, it's a different process, but yes, if the person is alive you can deliberately access some of their personal memories and fantasies (itís hard to tell the difference) by touch as well. They don't have to be alive to access their DNA. Why do you ask?

MAX

Because I never told Ed I healed Michael.

Cut to:

71 INT. MAXíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

Michael and Isabel are holding spit enhanced hands, eyes closed in concentration.

MICHAEL

(hopeful)

Anything?

ISABEL

(defeated)

Nothing.

They open their eyes and unclasp hands. Isabel looks at hers, makes a face, then wipes her hand on Michaelís shirt.

MICHAEL

(annoyed)

Any other ideas?

ISABEL

(shrugs)

We could try dancing.

Cut to:

72 INT. MICHAELíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

Max is standing with his hand on the rock wall concentrating. We see a flash of a memoryóMax healing Michael.

TESS

You're not going to kiss me, are you?

Max, frustrated by his lack of success, removes his hand from the wall in disgust and answers Tess abruptly.

MAX

No.

(pause; regretting taking it out on her)

I'm sorry.

TESS

You dislike me so much that you would rather be stuck in here than kiss me?

MAX

ďDislike youĒ? I donít even know you. You seem nice enough, but Iím in love with Liz. Kissing you would feel like a betrayal to her. I also donít like being forced to do something against my will.

Tess looks forlorn. Max has returned his attention to the rock wall, running his hands over it.

MAX (contíd)

There's got to be another way.

Tess considers this for a moment.

TESS

(disappointed; resigned)

There is.

(off Max's look)

I know how to access another person's DNA.

MAX

(excited)

So you can just tell me how!

TESS

No. These aren't memories you can explain, anymore than you can explain how you healed Liz. It's just something you know.

MAX

Then how is there another way?

TESS

What Ed doesn't know is that I healed Michael.

(off Max's look)

He cut himself at his party. I have his DNA.

MAX

(acrimoniously)

And you waited till now to reveal this because Ö

TESS

(bewildered that he should have to ask, but with feeling)

Because accessing my ancestral memories is important to me.

Tess approaches the rock wall, closes her eyes and concentrates. She reaches out with her right hand and places it on the chamber wall. A ďghostĒ of Michael's hand appears over hers. The wall glows silver under the two hands, the ripple effect appears and the chamber opens. Max and Tess rush out of the chamber. Max heads straight for his chamber and Tess goes over to Ed.

73 INT. MAXíS POD CHAMBER - CONTINUOUS

Michael scrubs his face with his hands in frustration.

MICHAEL

I give up!

ISABEL

You canít. Itís your turn to think of something.

MICHAEL

Fine!

(placing his hand on the rock wall)

Open sesame.

Michael jumps back when the ripple effect appears. He and Isabel exchange astonished looks, then Max pokes his head in.

MAX

You guys OK?

Michael and Isabel exit Max's chamber. Tess and Ed are arguing over by Michael's chamber; we do not hear their conversation. The Jetta is parking next to Diane's car. Maria barely has the car in park when Liz and Alex jump out and start running towards Max, Isabel, and Michael. Maria is just seconds behind them.

LIZ/ALEX/MARIA

(simultaneously, but calling one name each)

MAX! ISABEL! MICHAEL!

LIZ

(gasping from anxiousness and the run up the slope)

Max Ö Max Ö you canít trust him.

(pointing to Ed who is now approaching with Tess)

He pretended to be you Ö he shapeshifted into you Ö

MARIA

(interrupting and pointing to Michael)

And you!

ALEX

(pointing to Isabel)

And you!

Max, Isabel, and Michael all have shocked expressions on their faces.

LIZ

And I thought he was you Ö and I kissed him Ö Iím so sorry Ö but then I knew something was wrong.

ALEX

And then we compared notes and realized heíd done it to all of us.

Max, Isabel, and Michaelís expressions run the gamut of astonished, confused, and angry. Ed and Tess have reached them at this point and all three turn and glare at Ed with a "if looks could kill" expression. The humans are wary around Ed; Liz holds onto Maxís arm and Maria does the same with Michael. Alex puts up a brave front and puts his arm around Isabelís waist.

ED

(to Max, Michael, and Isabel)

What? It was perfectly harmless. I had to know where their loyalties lie; especially since Iím sure you told them what happened at our last meeting. Granted, they donít seem to be an immediate threat, but honestly, three humans knowing ...

(shakes head in disbelief)

... the exponential possibilities of your true identity being revealed are staggering. And itís so unnecessary.

(to Liz, Maria, and Alex)

You must recognize your superfluity?

MARIA

Superflooey what?

LIZ

(indignant)

Heís saying weíre superfluous; not needed.

The glares Max, Michael, Isabel, Maria, Alex, and Liz give Ed show they take exception to his opinion.

MAX

(seething)

Harmless!? You call what you did harmless!!? You Ö you Ö

(searching for the right words and then it dawns on him)

Youíre nothing but a narrow-minded, insular pig-headed despot. You think you can come here and do whatever you want to us Ö to our friends Ö order us around like weíre just some pawns in whatever game it is youíre playing Ö

ISABEL

(interrupting)

Exactly! And you can just forget it because we arenít joining in your little reindeer games!

MICHAEL

Yeah, Iíve had enough tyrants in my life to last a lifetime! And what the Ö you actually kissed my girlfriend!

He glances at Maria who quickly nods then goes back to glaring at Ed.

ED

ENOUGH!

Ed raises his hand, but before we know what he intends to do Michael uses his powers to send an energy pulse towards Ed. Ed blocks it with the shield power weíve seen Max use. The shield causes the energy pulse to bounce back to Michael who is knocked down by the force, and since Maria is holding his arm she goes down with him. Max, Isabel, Liz, and Alex rush to help Michael and Maria. Ed is talking during all this.

ED

(to Max and Isabel)

I told you. Youíre not strong enough yet to fight me. Heís not hurt. I weakened his energy pulse before sending it back.

(beat)

If you would just let me teach you instead of fighting me I wouldnít have to resort to force to prove my point.

MAX

All youíre proving is that we canít trust you.

Michael and Maria are standing now. Isabel is standing to Michaelís left. Maria, brushing herself off, is to Isabelís left. Isabel takes Michaelís left hand in her right hand.

ISABEL

(to Ed)

Weíre stronger than you think.

Maria sees what she is doing and takes Isabelís left hand in her right. Alex follows suit, by taking Mariaís free hand, Liz takes Alexís free hand, and Max takes Lizís free hand.

ISABEL (contíd)

Think you can take us all on?

Michael lets loose another energy pulse and Max counters with an energy shield immediately after to protect them. Ed puts up his own shield but Michaelís energy pulse, strengthened by Isabel, Max, Liz, Maria, and Alex is more powerful than Edís shield and he is knocked off his feet. Tess runs to his side and helps him up. Heís a little bruised but otherwise OK.

ED

Obviously you learn quickly, if not willingly. After all these years are you really saying, now that you have the opportunity, you donít want to learn what it is to be an Antarian?

MAX

We want to learn, we just donít like your methods.

ED

They are the only methods available.

ISABEL

We donít believe that.

ED

(accepting defeat)

I guess youíre going to believe what you want. I would just be careful not to confuse what you want to be true with what really is true.

He and Tess head back to the boulder by the Jeep. Ed passes his hand over it and it transforms back into his sedan. They get in and drive away.

Cut to:

74 EXT. LIZ'S BALCONY - LATER

Liz is sitting in a chair on her balcony, writing in her journal.

LIZ (VO)

Trust is so fragile. The least little thing can destroy it Ö the wrong word Ö the wrong action. And once broken can it ever truly be repaired or will there always be that niggling doubt in the back of your mind?

We see Max appearing, climbing over the edge. He approaches. Liz looks up, sees him and smiles. Her smile falters for the briefest of seconds, but then she recovers. It's too late, however. Max looks stricken and stops his approach.

MAX

It's really me.

LIZ

Of course.

She gets up and takes a step toward him. Max turns away.

MAX

There's no "of course" now. You were frightened when you saw me.

(softly)

Like you were when I first told you I was an alien.

LIZ

(equally softly initially then increasing in volume)

I was afraid, just for a second, but not of you; never of you.

Max is still looking away. His fists clench when she says she was afraid.

LIZ (contíd)

Max?

Max finally looks at her. His expression is haunted. Liz goes to him. She holds out her hands. He takes them in his.

MAX

I hate him for making you afraid. And he's stolen so much: my body, my memories. You can't trust me anymore.

LIZ

(tears filling her eyes)

I trust you with my life. I trust you with my heart.

MAX

But you can't trust that thisÖ

(smacks himself in the chest)

Ö is me.

LIZ

(protesting)

No. It won't be like that.

MAX

(despairing)

I told you. He could have some of my memories. I can't even prove that it's me.

LIZ

Do you remember when I first found out about your "not of this worldness", and how you showed me that you were still you?

MAX

(not convinced)

But I showed you my memories and we canít be sureó

Liz gently places her finger on Maxís lips to interrupt him.

LIZ

Max, I learned something today from Ed. He can fake your appearance and even your memories, but I know your essence. He can't fake that; I knew something was wrong. I know how I feel when you're near, and when we do this Ö

Liz takes his hands and places them on her face, then she takes his face in her hands. They look into each others eyes for a moment and we see flashes (Max healing Liz, Max setting off parking meters as fireworks, Max and Liz "glowing" scene). When the flashes end Liz pulls back slightly.

LIZ (contíd)

And when we kiss ...

Liz leans forward and kisses him; a long slow kiss. She steps back.

LIZ (cont'd)

I know how you feel. Trust me, Max, I'll know. I'll always know.

(desperation in her voice)

We can't let Ed put doubt in our minds.

Max gathers her into his arms. The camera cuts from one face to the other. We see the desperation in their eyes.

LIZ (cont'd)

We just can't.

END OF ACT IV

Potential solace for anyone who experiences distress at the very sight of the name "Tess".

Roll Credits

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