Compiled by TeeJay
This guide focuses on events that happened during Roswell's first season. To understand this guide, it would be good for you to know who the characters are; I will not describe them in detail. To learn about them or refresh your memory, I suggest you read Joan's Roswell Guide which focuses on the main cast and general background information on the show.
This guide is unofficial, unauthorized and is in no way connected to The WB (or its affiliates), UPN (or its affiliates), Jason Katims Productions (or its affiliates) nor Melinda Metz and Pocket Books. It is my own personal interpretation of the show and its characters.
The aliens and their quest to find out where they came from
The aliens are led to the first real clue by a hidden key Michael finds in Sheriff Valenti's office. As soon as Michael touches it, he has a powerful vision that at first he can't interpret. As time progresses, he finds out it's a geodesic dome, a type of building with a semi-circular roof, which was the residence of a well-known UFOlogist and author named James Atherton. The aliens and two of their human friends break into the dome and use Michael's key in a lock they find inside, revealing a hidden room in the basement. Taking files, photos and papers with them, they flee, narrowly escaping capture by undercover FBI agent Kathleen Topolsky, who was hot on their heels.
The box with papers and photos is stolen from Max's and Isabel's house; the only thing they are left with is a necklace Isabel found in the dome that bears a symbol which may very well originate from their own home planet. The symbol leads them to a Native American named River Dog, who lives in the Mesaliko Reservation outside of Roswell. After Max involuntarily reveals to River Dog that he is an alien, River Dog discloses to Max and Liz that he once knew another alien he called Nasedo, after the Mesaliko word for "visitor". He also tells them that Nasedo knew Atherton and gave him that necklace. He informs them that Nasedo possibly killed Atherton in November 1959 and that he has not seen him since. River Dog shows Max unusual symbols that Nasedo left behind on the wall of a cave, which seem familiar to Max. Neither Max nor River Dog know what the symbols mean, however.
After participating in a Native American ritual, Michael becomes deathly ill. When River Dog learns of Michael's illness, he recognizes the symptoms--the same illness had befallen Nasedo. He tells Max and Liz to bring Michael to him immediately. At the cave, using five crystal-like healing stones that Nasedo left behind, River Dog teaches Michael's friends how to employ an alien ritual to restore Michael's "balance". During his illness, Michael hallucinated about the symbols Nasedo had left on the cave wall. When Michael recovers, he takes the stones from his friends and places them in cavities among the actual alien symbols. Once in the wall, the stones begin to glow. Without explaining how he knows, Michael states that the V-like configuration they form, is a map.
The apparent sighting of a UFO in Frazier Woods stirs up some activity in Roswell. Max and Isabel decide to investigate during a well-timed school camping trip to Frazier Woods. With the help of Maria and Liz, Max and Isabel, along with Michael and River Dog who joined them later, find the site of the UFO sighting. There they discover a symbol burned into the grass which resembles one from the cave and also the symbol on Atherton's necklace. When the aliens put their hands over the symbol, it starts to glow. They don't know what it means but speculate that it could mean Nasedo has come back.
During an international UFO Convention, Max meets a shadowy individual named Everett Hubble, who claims his wife was killed by a shapeshifting alien. Ever since, Hubble has been hunting this shapeshifter and now thinks he has found him. Mistaking Max for the shapeshifter, Hubble attempts to kill him, but is shot and killed by Sheriff Valenti before he can succeed. Max fears that the shapeshifter Hubble says killed his wife is Nasedo.
Later, when Max's infatuation with Liz and his jealousy over her blind date gets in the way of his focus to find out about all things alien-related, Michael turns to Isabel to help find more clues to their heritage. Michael had found out that the V-shaped constellation was Aries the Ram, which is directly over Roswell in April. He compared it to a map of Roswell and determined that all the symbols were locations in Roswell. Michael and Isabel burn a rope, laid out in the shape of the library symbol on the front lawn of the library, as a signal to Nasedo. Michael had been hoping that it would lead Nasedo to them; he is discouraged when no one shows up. After Isabel and Michael leave, a man in a trenchcoat walks up to the remains of the symbol in front of the library, reignites it, burns a photo of Max, Michael and Isabel in it and walks away.
The most recent clue linked to the aliens' past and their origins, is a metallic orb that they found in the desert, imprinted with the same symbol as the one on Atherton's necklace, which they have learned from their science teacher is the symbol for the Whirlwind Galaxy. What the meaning or the function of the orb is, none of the aliens know. Yet ...
Max and Liz
The relationship between Max and Liz is a focal point of the story. Max has been in love with Liz for years and years, though Liz only found out recently when Max saved her life after she was accidentally shot. Even though Liz has the same feelings for Max, they agree they cannot be more than "just friends" because they don't know enough about the compatibility of their different species and later because Max realized that he fears that Liz would get hurt. They are still drawn to each other but keep at a distance, especially as Liz is in a casual relationship with the Sheriff's son, Kyle Valenti. Later Liz realizes that Kyle is not the partner she wants to be with, so she breaks up with him.
During an unusual December heat wave, Max and Liz are drawn towards each other more than ever before. The heat wave not only affects Liz and Max but others around them; Liz caught Michael and Maria making out late one night after hours in the Crashdown. Max and Liz themselves come close to kissing during the heat wave but are interupted each time. One night just after the end of the unseasonable weather, Max comes to visit Liz on her balcony. He apologizes to her for messing up her life. She tells him that there is no need for that because he everything but messed up her life. Max and Liz share a passionate first kiss.
Max and Liz's blissful happiness is cut short by Michael's critical, alien-related illness. After Michael recovers, Max decides that there are too many uncertainties surrounding his life and his physiology, so he tells Liz that it would be better for both of them to be apart. Max thinks he can't afford to be in as close and intense a relationship as the one he had with Liz; he feels that their relationship was not meant to be, and is afraid that if they become too close, they would both end up getting hurt. A strained distance grows between Max and Liz. Both are uncertain about how to behave towards each other and avoid talking to each other. During the camping trip to Frazier Woods, Max and Liz decide that they can still be friends, but that it cannot be more than that at this point. Liz tells Max that she is only willing to be friends if he doesn't shut her out of the alien part of his life; Max agrees to let her in.
Kyle and Max unexpectedly get to "bond", when Liz wins a blind date contest the local radio station organized. She is set up with a handsome archaeology student for a grand night out and possible romantic follow-up. It hurts Max to see Liz with another man by her side and he reluctantly agrees to take a sip from Kyle's alcoholic beverage, not knowing what effect that would have on his alien physiology. Max immediately becomes completely drunk. Uncharacteristically chatty, Max even confirms that he is in love with Liz, when Kyle asks him about it. He and Kyle bond over their mutual loss and vow to win her back. In his drunken, and not quite sane state, he reveals his true feelings to Liz for the first time, telling her that she is his dream girl, that he goes crazy when she's not there. Liz wishes for it to be true but knows that Max is drunk and might not mean it. Max tries to win Liz back by kissing her in front of a big crowd--the radio concert audience, but the intimate moment causes Max to sober up and he immediately forgets everthing.
After avoiding each other for weeks, Max and Liz finally give in to their attraction. During an intense kiss, Liz sees visions of stars that she believes may help Max solve the mystery of his past. With every kiss, their emotions grow stronger, and Liz begins to see further and further into the aliens' past and the UFO crash that might have brought them to Earth. Liz sees something being buried in the desert; she and Max drive out there and unearth a mysteriously glowing orb with the same alien symbol they saw on Isabel's necklace--the Whirlwind Galaxy. While the orb's function is not clear to Max or Liz, it may have made Max realize that it might be his destiny to be with Liz after all.
Michael and Maria
Maria and Michael became drawn to each other early in season one and they've had an on-again/off-again relationship for most of the season. At first, Maria was freaked out by the concept that aliens lived among them. She feared that they were cruel monsters that hid behind their human masks. She was especially afraid of Isabel, who didn't hesitate to use her powers around Maria if it suited her purpose. Eventually, as Maria got to know Isabel better, her fear of Isabel lessened.
Michael has always been a loner. He grew up in the foster care system until he ended up with his foster father Hank, a very seedy individual with a love for booze and the monthly check he receives to "care" for Michael. All his life, Michael has had to take care of himself and the tasks of survival have taken precedence over social skills and awareness of social rules and expectations.
Maria and Michael first start to warm to each other when Michael "borrows" Maria's car (along with her but not exactly with her consent) to drive to Marathon, Texas on a quest to find out about his alien heritage. They are forced to pass the night (platonically) in a rather sleazy motel room and discover that they have more in common than they thought they had. Later, they share a first intimate, but completely out of the blue, kiss when an impulsive Michael tries to calm Maria down during a tense situation.
An awkwardness forms between them when Michael starts avoiding Maria after their first kiss. A freak December heat wave hits Roswell, causing emotions to run high throughout the populace. Michael and Maria discover they are not immune to the rising of both temperature and emotion, resulting in a passionate make-out session late one night in the Crashdown. Although Michael wants to be with Maria, he confesses to Max that he is afraid that his relationship with Maria is getting too complicated; he is afraid he will only hurt her in the end. Eventually, Michael tells Maria that he can't get involved with anyone, that he has always been alone and that it should stay that way. Maria is visibly hurt, but puts on a facade of invulnerability, letting everyone know that she can't be hurt emotionally by men--human or otherwise.
After Michael recovers from a life-threatening condition that is connected to his alien physiology, Maria avoids Michael. Michael still cares for Maria and is bothered that she won't talk to him. Maria tells him that she is angry at him because he wouldn't even thank her for helping save his life. Michael, in turn, is confused by Maria's behavior towards him. He doesn't understand why she is mad that he didn't thank her, because he is not used to being in a position to thank someone other than Max and Isabel. Michael is still convinced that both he and Maria are better off not being in a relationship, because he can't get entangled and indebted; he has to be a "stone wall", and when he's with Maria he doesn't feel like a stone wall.
When Max and Isabel learn that Michael is being physically abused by his foster father, they offer to help him get out of the precarious situation. Their attempts to help cause an altercation between Michael and Hank, in which Michael uses his powers in front of an inebriated Hank. Because of this, Michael feels he can no longer live with Hank. Taking his anger out on Max and Isabel, Michael gets into an argument with them then takes off and wanders the streets of Roswell in the pouring rain, eventually finding himself in front of Maria's bedroom window, looking lost and forlorn. Against her better judgment, Maria invites him in. Michael is soaking wet from the rain; Maria towels him off. As she does, she realizes that he is crying. Without asking for information or an explanation, Maria comforts him; they both fall asleep next to each other in Maria's bed. After being yelled at by Maria's mother in the morning, Michael flees the scene. Later that day, Michael is arrested as a suspect in the case of the disappearance of his foster father Hank, who is believed to have been tortured and possibly murdered. After Maria and her mother inform the police that Michael spent the night at their house, he is released. Angry at the world, he packs his belongings and leaves town. Michael gets as far as hitching a ride out of town when he realizes that running away will not solve his problems. He returns to Roswell and, with the help of Mr. Evans in his capacity as a lawyer, becomes an emancipated minor living in his own apartment.
Maria and Michael learn that when Liz and Max were making out, Liz saw flashes of the UFO crash that apparently brought the Pod Squad to earth, and they decide to try the same thing. During one of their make-out sessions, Maria claims to see shooting stars and a sunset by the rings of Saturn. Michael, in turn, tells her he saw her as a little girl, tying her red sneakers. Later, feeling guilty Maria confesses that she faked the flashes. Angry, Michael also says he made everything up. Maria accuses Michael of being the cause of the lack of connection between them because he was always on the defensive and shut her out. Later, Maria apologizes to Michael, saying it was her fault that they didn't see any flashes. It turns out that Michael did see Maria as a child, confessing that she was right and that it was he who refused to open up and let her in. Michael then puts his arm around Maria and kisses her softly on the forehead.
Alex and Isabel
Initially, Liz and Maria keep the aliens' secret from their best friend Alex. Although Alex is becoming suspicious of their behavior, he continues to help them out of friendship. Liz pushes that friendship beyond its limits twice. The first time is when she asks Alex to donate his blood, to replace samples of Max's blood the hospital took when he was in an accident; she lets Alex believe it's to cover up a drug problem. Then again, she asks Alex to help her expose Ms. Topolsky, who turns out to be an undercover FBI agent, posing as West Roswell High's guidance counselor. He does these things for her, but when she still refuses to tell him why she asked for his help, it's the last straw; Alex tells Liz that they are no longer friends. When Alex and Liz are arrested for possesion of alcohol at an illegal teen party, Alex demands that Liz tell him the truth, otherwise he'll reveal everything he knows to Sheriff Valenti. Liz reluctantly tells him that Max, Michael and Isabel are aliens. At first he doesn't believe her, but he believes that she believes and it mends their damaged friendship. It also gives him an excuse to talk to Isabel, on whom he has a major crush. She is able to convince him with a simple demonstration of her molecular changing abilities.
For a long time Isabel was not ready to let anyone get to know the real her except for Max and Michael. She finds it hard to reveal her true nature and show that she is, in reality, not as cool and unapproachable as she appears to be. At first she saw bringing humans in on their secret as a big mistake, but Liz and Maria's continued loyalty helped to change Isabel's mind. She dreamwalks Alex to learn more about him and is pleased by what she finds out. Because of this knowledge, when Liz pushes her friendship with Alex to the point that he may reveal what he knows to Valenti, she mentions to Max that she thinks it would be better if Alex knew the truth. She feels he can be trusted with their secret.
Isabel first learns that Alex has a romantic interest in her when she dreamwalks him; she sees a romantic dinner between Alex and herself, complete with candlelight and dancing. When Alex asks her out in real life, Isabel tells Alex they can't date, but that she would like to be friends with him. Isabel doesn't respond well to Alex's repeated attempts to win his way into her heart; she tells him that she's suffocating with him constantly "stalking" her. Alex backs off.
When the news breaks that Liz was having an insight into the aliens' past by seeing flashes when she kissed Max, Alex offers Isabel to be her "test subject" to see if the same would happen if the two of them kissed. Isabel refuses the offer at first, but when Max and Liz disappear, Isabel goes to Alex's house and asks him to kiss her, in the hopes that she might get flashes that would reveal Max's whereabouts. They share a first careful kiss. The kiss does not evoke any flashes for either of them, although Alex lets Isabel know that he wouldn't mind further testing. Now Isabel needs to sort out her true feelings: did she really kiss Alex to help find Max and Liz or was she only using their disappearance as an excuse to kiss Alex. Isabel has to decide if she really has true romantic feelings for Alex that she is not ready to reveal to either him or herself, and if she is ready to take things with Alex a step further or not...