Season 2 of the cult science-fiction series Roswell opens on a promisingly positive note, with the rescue of alien teen Michael (Brendan Fehr) by Max (Jason Behr) and his pals, but as soon as things settled down, new challenges threaten their existence. That was par for the course on this imaginative program, which hit its stride in its sophomore year (2000-2001) with a tighter blend of thoughtful youth drama and otherworldly action. The season's chief threats to aliens Max, Michael, Isabel (Katherine Heigl of Grey's Anatomy), and newcomer Tess (Emilie De Ravin of Lost), and Earthlings Liz (Shiri Appleby), Maria (Majandra Delfino), and Alex (Colin Hanks) are Vanessa Whitaker (Gretchen Egolf), a congresswoman with a very sinister secret agenda, and Brody Davis (Desmond Askew), the new curator of Roswell's UFO Museum, who harbors an equally unpleasant plan for the friends. The struggle between human and alien forces, both good and evil, to uncover the truth about Max and his companions leads to a pair of shocking events--a death among the group, and in the season finale, Max, Michael, and Isabel's possible return to their home planet. Other highlights from season 2 include the imaginative period piece "Summer of '47," with the series regulars assuming the roles of townspeople and government officials at the time of the original alleged UFO crash; the two-parter "Meet the Dupes" and "Max in the City," which poses the alien quartet against their physically identical doubles (with extremely different personalities); and "A Roswell Christmas Carol," which offers an unsentimental retake on the Dickens story.
As with the first-season set, supplemental features are surprisingly abundant for a relatively minor show; commentary is included on three of the 21 episodes (two by executive producer Ron Moore), while the featurette "Here with Me" has the writers, producers, and cast offering their opinions on the season. There's also another installment of the "Shiri and Majandra Show," with more lighthearted reminiscences from the actresses, as well as two additional featurettes on the program's score and the process of transforming a storyboarded scene into filmed action. A five-minute montage of clips set to music called "A Little Something Extra for the Fans" is the lightest of all the extras (and fans should note that many of the music cues featured in the original broadcasts have been replaced in this set), but Roswell aficionados will undoubtedly be happy with everything they get. --Paul Gaita