“‘Roswell, New Mexico’ Boss on Series Finale & What Would’ve Happened Next”
For the most part, Roswell, New Mexico leaves its aliens and humans in a good place.
The series finale saw the defeat of Clyde (Andrew Lees), Michael (Michael Vlamis) and Alex (Tyler Blackburn) getting married, and Liz (Jeanine Mason) and Max (Nathan Dean) finally get engaged. However, it also ended with Max leaving Liz behind (for now) to check on his home planet, with Dallas (Quentin Plair) — just as he and Maria (Heather Hemmens) got together — tagging along.
Executive producer Chris Hollier breaks down the finale and teases what would’ve happened next.
How would the season have ended if this hadn’t been the last one?
Chris Hollier: There was one more scene after this potentially. There was a potential scene where Liz turned around and the console melted, so she was separated and stuck with no way for him to get back. The image it ends on is the thing we were driving towards for many, many episodes.
Max and Liz end the series engaged, but separated. Why have that versus say a time jump where he comes back?
We were talking about doing that. Next year would have focused on, if we could have done it, maybe multiple time jumps and told a larger chunk of the next couple years of their lives. We wanted to bring Max home and we wanted problems to follow him into Roswell — the show’s called Roswell, New Mexico, so we wanted to bring to life what might happen in that town with what he brought back with him.
Was there ever any consideration to have Liz bring up going with him, even if she couldn’t? Or to have that somehow tie into reversing the effects of the mist on Liz?
We did. We spun the wheel about literally everybody who might go or not go with Max in that iteration. And we also talked about next season having access to that world and what we would do to travel back and forth between it and how that would affect all the various characters.
Michael and Alex got married! How did you decide how you would show their wedding, with the flashbacks during the reception?
It was interesting. Some of it was a puzzle of shooting, when to film it and how, and then some of it literally became, how do we hold the kiss that we know the fans want and that ending moment to exactly the right time? So we ended up deciding on this sort of out-of-time version of it. In the same way that when we started the season, we started with a Liz and Max failed proposal, we assume that people would think there would be a wedding, but we thought it would be a nice twist that it’s not the one that they expected. Even when it came to the wedding, it was, how do we twist what’s expected of a wedding?
Alex is taking Michael’s last name, Michael’s found his home with Alex. Talk about getting them both to those points, especially after they were separated for most of the season.
Separating them was born out of some necessity. But we always knew that we were going get them back together and we had flirted with the proposal and all that. So that was living in our head for a long, long time. The Manes thing was initially actually born out of a joke I had in the writers room. I was discussing children with them and how we were going to get to them joking, which you see most of that conversation onscreen actually when they’re dancing. But ultimately it was a throwback to something that was so important in our room when we started Season 1 and 2 about talking about what it meant to be a Manes man. And we felt like we spent four years of Alex redefining and understanding who he is and he knew enough about himself to give that part up and take a new part of Guerin. So there was something poetic about it, but also powerful in the moment.
Isobel (Lily Cowles) and Kyle (Michael Trevino) are finally together and it just seemed easy for them to fall together in these final episodes?
You always plan for success in a TV show. As we sort of really unified our other core couples, we wanted a couple that was going to get to go through some of those experiences that we saw the other two go through in Season 5. So that for us was like, let’s get them together and then let’s put them through the paces of young love.
When did you know you’d be putting Maria and Dallas together, at least at some point, given he’s gone off to figure out who he is?
We had Quentin for a while. We weren’t sure how many episodes we had Quentin. And we tried a little bit earlier and then the studio and the network, they pushed back in the moment, but we wanted to try to sneak it in, especially as we felt like it was coming near the end, and so we started talking about how to bring them together in a surprising way. Actually that kiss that you see on screen, even though it was scripted, how it all came about was all improvised by the actors. So that moment plays very genuine and a surprise moment. We thought that they had so much chemistry when they were together that it was undeniable that they should probably have some sort of story that culminated that way.
And Maria seems settled in who she is and her abilities. How did you want to use that change in her abilities to get her to that place?
We are always playing with the concepts of what defines a person? What about you is something that’s core? What it something that you can trade away? And so we wanted to unmoor her a bit as she — she’s always such a confident character who continues to refine herself. So we wanted to challenge her in that way with this new loss, a long-term loss, especially as we were playing with short-term loss of people’s powers. We wanted to send someone on a longer journey and see what they would come back out the other side. She emerged stronger than ever with an even, I would argue, bigger power than what she had or an understanding of that power.
I loved the scenes with Liz and Allie (Shiri Appleby) because it was so fitting to have Allie mentor her, I loved Liz telling her “you’re the person who shaped how this brain works,” and, of course, that final conversation at the Crashdown and Shiri putting on the alien headband…
Putting on the headband was an improvised moment on set. I was down there with the director of the episode. He was talking with the actors and in the moment, we all came up with that and did that. It was great working with Shiri. We actually shot those scenes when we shot her scenes in Episode 9. So we actually wrote all those storylines out and then built the other rest of the parts of the episode around some of those other scenes. But yeah, I loved it. One of my favorite scenes of the entire series is Liz and Allie sitting together in the diner talking.
What else would’ve happened next?
I have to be careful what I say, because maybe we’ll have a Season 5 or a reboot of the reboot. I think that the next thing we would’ve done is started to explore when Max came home and how he came home different and what came with him. We wanted to bring more things from that home planet here and we wanted to explore maybe a little bit jumping back and forth in time and really bring Roswell under threat in a final season.
What would that have done to Isobel and Michael? It’s their home, too.
It’s their home, too. We would’ve explored the whole idea again of, is home a person or a place or a concept? And we would’ve leaned into the ideas of legacy. We found our three aliens as broken little kids and let them interface a little bit about what it is maybe to have their own children and the future they want to create for them.
You did a good job leaving characters in better places. And Rosa (Amber Midthunder) was left in a really good place. I was really impressed with her storyline and helping out Liz. So when did you know you wanted to tie all of that together?
Very early on, actually. The end of Season 3, we talked about the journey we sent her on and we always try to figure out, what’s a new way to shake this all up? And we thought an interesting challenge would be to watch her literally on the other side of that coin. There’s lots of people that tried to pull her up. So we were wondering what it would look like for her to try to have to pull other people up and kind of stare back at an old version of herself.
Were there any major storylines for this season that you had to scrap?
There’s nothing that we had to scrap. There are things that we, in hope of success that we were going to tell more — every season, we showed more about that home planet. We had plans to do a little bit more there, and we were going to reserve some of those stories ultimately for Season 5.
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