Roswell came onto the scene in 1999, following Dawson's Creek in the WB lineup. The first two seasons were broadcast on the WB before the rights to the third season were picked up by UPN, which aired the final 18 episodes in the 2001-2002 television season.
I never watched Roswell while it was on television, but after reading a good review about the first season, purchased the DVD set and was hooked on the story. Both the first and second season sets were quite good and I was certainly looking forward to the third and final season when it hit DVD stands earlier this year.
Roswell follows the lives of alien-human hybrids Max Evans (Jason Behr), Isabel Evans (Katherine Heigl) and Michael Guerin (Brendan Fehr) as they try to live their lives as normally as possible in the alien-crazed town of Roswell, New Mexico. Their secrets were safe until Max used his powers to save Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby), bringing Liz and her friend Maria (Majandra Delfino) into the secret.
Over the course of the first two seasons, Sheriff Jim Valenti (William Sadler), his son Kyle (Nick Wechsler) and Alex Whitman (Colin Hanks) found out about the aliens secret. Alex was killed at the end of season two by yet another alien-hybrid, Tess Harding (Emilie deRavin) who was carrying Max's son, the heir to the throne on their home planet. All of these aspects play a part in the start of the third season.
Liz and Max, torn apart in season two by Max's relationship with Tess, are back together and in the very first episode, they are trying desperately to find a way to find Max's son. Throughout the season, that is one of the big story lines, as Max searches for the son that is rightfully his. He knows that Tess left Earth to return to her home planet, and he wants to find a way back to save his son. As the season, and the series, draw to a close, Tess returns to Earth to bring Max his son, who is 100 percent human, and Max, knowing he can't raise a son, gives him up for adoption.
The story line between Max and Liz was the main motivation in season one and it again takes center stage in season three. Liz's father forbids the two from dating, even at one point, sending her off to boarding school in Vermont. These two actors share amazing chemistry and their relationship is an incredibly believable one straight to the final episode. You really get the sense that these two love each other. When Max is supposedly killed while rescuing Valenti from a fire (and the requisite bad guys), Liz, at boarding school in Vermont, has the sudden feeling that he is dead.
Michael and Maria have quite possibly the stormiest relationship in town. Their on again, off again, human-alien relationship is put to incredible tests. Michael struggles in school, takes on another job in addition to his work at the Crash Down Cafe, Liz's parents' restaurant. All of this is tough on the relationship between the two characters, but again, as the series winds down, the viewer begins to realize just how much they mean to each other. Maria, on another note, gets her dream chance to be a singer, but the realities of the "Music Industry" send her back to Roswell.
Isabel, we find out as the season opens, is in a relationship with Jesse Ramirez (Adam Rodriquez), a lawyer in her father's firm, who is eight years older than she is. She struggles with the truth about herself and her feelings for Jesse and how the two should intertwine. A visit from beyond from Alex helps convince her that Jesse is indeed the one she should be with. The two get married, but it is only after Isabel is shot that Jesse finds out the secret about his wife, her brother and their friend. This storyline is Isabel's strongest story line of the three seasons, by far. She showed her acting chops (which can now be seen on the ABC hit Grey's Anatomy) in fine form.
Valenti and his son Kyle, as possessors of the alien secret, are always in on the goings on of the aliens, but in this season, their parts were not as great as in the first two. They both have major parts in a couple of episodes, particularly as the season drew to a close. but ultimately, the two characters were not as central to the show as they could have been. Valenti's career as a singer (he was fired as sheriff in season two) is an interesting turn of events, however.
The final episode was very well done and everyone involved should be commended for wrapping up the series in a solid way, a way that brought closure to everything. The three aliens, Liz, Maria and Kyle, all pack up after a near sniper attack at graduation, where Max saved his friends and MIchael, in turn, saved Max, and leave town. Valenti, back in a uniform as a deputy (You've got to start somewhere), helps them get out of town and we hear, like we did in the very first episode, a journal entry from Liz, as she descibes how her life is now that she's left Roswell. We see her and Max's wedding and we see her father, reading the journal, finding out just all that had happened in the last three years of his daughter's life, as the van with the six friends leaves the church where Max and Liz tied the knot, and rides off into the sunset.
As far as extras go, this set isn't bad. There are four commentary tracks, including a great one from Creator Jason Katims on the finale. The only bad thing about these tracks, is each of them features only one person, which can be a little boring, but for the most part, they are informative.
There is a featurette on the making of season three and all that went into the final chapter of Roswell, as well as a short feature on Shiri Appleby's DVD tour in Japan, where we see the actress promoting the first season on DVD in Japan.
All in all, this was a solid set. The series wrapped up in solid fashion, leaving no terribly loose ends. Anyone who tuned in from the beginning certainly should have been happy with the way things turned out. It was a fitting end.