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Having grown up in Roswell with only a few close friends aware of their alien origins, Max, Isabel, and Michael have finally come of age. Uncertain about what lies ahead of them after graduation, they are suddenly forced into action when it becomes clear that the incidents in which they have used their alien powers to help others have finally caught up with them. As the Air Force and FBI close in, the trio realizes that Roswell is no longer the safe haven it once was. As they prepare to leave their friends and families behind, Liz has a shocking vision which makes everyone realize that it is not only the aliens who are in danger but their human friends as well.
The sci-fi-themed teen drama Roswell begins its third and final season with Max (Jason Behr) and Liz (Shiri Appleby) back together and taking a desperate chance to find Max's son. After the many cosmic concepts of the previous season, the series dialed back the mythology to focus on the more--excuse the expression--human aspects of the characters. Roswell was often described as Dawson's Creek meets The X-Files, and accordingly Isabel (Katherine Heigel) finds romance with a lawyer (Adam Rodriguez), but struggles both with her mixed feelings about revealing her alien identity and with the aftermath of the tragedy in season 2. (The romance is later spoofed in a Bewitched-style episode.) At the same time, Max and Michael (Brendan Fehr) travel to Los Angeles in search of an alien bounty hunter that might be able to help them find Max's son. (They also find Roswell executive producer Jonathan Frakes making a guest appearance as himself.) Michael takes a night job that at first is played for laughs (in "Michael, the Gang, and the Great Snapple Caper"), then takes on threatening implications in a rousing two-parter that eventually leaves all parties not too much different from how they started. Michael also struggles in his relationship with Maria (Majandra Delfino), first when he makes new friends and later when she meets a figure from her past (Clayne Crawford) who revives a longtime music dream that might lead to bigger things. All the while, the alien trio faces the constant struggle of keeping their identities secret, even as the net seems to be tightening around them. When a key character returns in the series' penultimate episode, both the aliens and the humans they love face a critical decision.
The Dawson's Creek comparison is also valid in an undesirable way: many of the background songs that characterized the series have been replaced for DVD due to licensing expenses. Newcomers to the series, of course, probably won't notice. Four episodes have commentary tracks, two by Frakes, who has some interesting information but leaves dead air and introduces characters we already know. Better are the tracks by executive producer/writer Ronald D. Moore on the Bewitched spoof and by creator Jason Katims on the series finale. Other features are a 13-minute summary of the season and Shiri Appleby's appearance on Japanese TV to publicize the DVD release of the first season in 2004. --David Horiuchi