Season 1, Episode 16 (1 Mar. 2000): “Sexual Healing”
by Jan Oxenberg, David Semel

Roswell - Season 1, Episode 16

Title: “Sexual Healing”

Medium: television series episode

Original airdate: 1 Mar. 2000

Publisher: 20th Century Fox Television WB
Written by: Jan Oxenberg
Directed by: David Semel

1 characters in this story:

(Click links for info about character
and his/her religious practice, affiliation, etc.)
Pub. #
Max Evans Max Evans hero
CBR Scale: I religious
[1st app: Roswell - Season 1, Episode 1 (6 Oct. 1999)] 20th Century Fox Television Jason Katims Productions, etc. 61

This episode centers around the unusual phenomenon by which passionate kissing between Max and Liz (as well as between the series' other alien/human couple - Maria and Michael - causes each participant to see memories of the person they are kissing. This phenomenon, as well as the burgeoning affection between Liz and Max, prompts them to expand the boundaries of their physical relationship. Liz considers losing her virginity to Max. Will doing so help him find out what planet he is from?

The episode touches briefly upon the moral expectations that the parents of Liz, Maria and Max have for them. In previous episodes it has been demonstrated that Max Evans has religious belief. Both Liz and Max were raised by attentive, caring parents and were taught strong ethical values. The parents of Liz and Max, as portrayed in this series, almost certainly have tried to instill some traditional religious values and ethics in them. Neither Max nor Liz are promiscuous and, even in their late teens they are still virgins. Nevertheless, this episode seems to demonstrate that they are not devoted to postponing sex until marriage. Both Max and Liz seem to represent a fairly average 1990s Protestant American sexual ethic, which embodies some constraint but falls far short of Biblical and traditional Christian ethical standards.

Nothing in this episode suggests that Max or Liz have reservations about sexual intimacy based on strong religious convictions or current participation in Sunday School or church youth programs. There is no indication that the familes of Max or Liz are regular church-goers, although (as is often the case), the lack of evidence for such participation may be a result of the "religion taboo" and TV story-telling conventions rather than any particular decision by the show's producers regarding the churchgoing status of the characters.

There is significant contrast in the Roswell TV series between the home lifes of Liz and her best friend, Maria DeLuca. Maria's mother is single. (Maria's father left their family when she was seven-years-old. Source: Roswell Season 1, Episode 16, "Sexual Healing", timecode: 39 minutes, 25 seconds.) Maria's mother, Amy DeLuca, is portrayed as something of a "free spirit" and an aging Hippie. In fact, in this episode, Maria specifically identifies her mother as a "Hippie." Maria's mother agrees with this assessment, but also expresses her deep regret at the many moral mistakes she made when she was active in the Hippie movement and lifestyle. Maria sees her daughter beginning to experiment with physical intimacy and she urges her daughter to not make the same mistakes she did.

[Scene: The "Crashdown" diner, where Liz Parker and her friend Maria DeLuca work. In the previous scene, Liz's boyfriend Max Evans (who is an alien) came into the diner to see Liz. Liz and Max went into the kitchen in the back of the diner and kissed passionately. Liz literally saw stars. Timecode: 5 minutes, 18 seconds.]

Maria DeLuca: Liz, you do not look normal.

Liz Parker: I didn't feel normal, Maria. I-- uh-- It was the most amazing, incredible--

Maria DeLuca: Unbelievable, awe-inspiring--

Liz Parker: No, Maria. This was different.

Maria DeLuca: Different how?

Liz Parker: Um, like beyond.

Maria DeLuca: Wait.

Liz Parker: What?

Maria DeLuca: You guys didn't go, like, "beyond?"

Liz Parker: No, no, no.

Maria DeLuca: I was gonna say, you were only out there five minutes.

Liz Parker: I know. Listen, Maria, if I-- When-- When I actually do it, it is not gonna be in between a plate of kielbasa and a deep fryer.

Maria DeLuca: Hmm.

Liz Parker: I saw things, Maria. Did you see things when you and Michael kissed?

Maria DeLuca: What exactly did you see?

Liz Parker: Stars.

[End of scene.]

[Timecode: 6 minutes, 14 seconds. Cut to: Hallway of Roswell High School. Maria DeLuca walks with her friend Alex Charles Whitman (who is also Liz's close friend). Alex, like Maria and Liz, is one of the few people who knows that Max, Michael and Isabel are aliens. Perhaps this is why Maria feels comfortable passing on the information Liz shared with he about her kiss with Max.]

Maria DeLuca: I have never seen her like this.

Alex Whitman: So this was like the kiss of the millennium?

Maria DeLuca: Alex, if they actually do it, she'll probably explode.

Alex Whitman: Or maybe she'll explode if they don't do it.

[Cut to other conversation in the same high school hallway during the same break between classes. Max talks with his friend and fellow alien Michael Guerin.]

Max Evans: So, anyway, did anything like that ever happen to Maria when you two--

Michael Guerin: No. Maxwell, let me assure you, you have not experienced anything I have not experienced many times, or caused to be experienced.

Max Evans: Then how can you call yourself my friend?

Michael Guerin: Why?

Max Evans: A friend wouldn't have kept something like that to himself.

[Max smiles, indicating that he said this in jest. In actuality, Max is probably about as familiar with Michael's intimate life as he would care to be. Michael is something of a rebel and has indeed "gone farther" than Max with girls he has been with, including Maria, but Michael is also prone to inflating his "bad boy" image and implying that he has more "experience" than he really has.]

[Max enters his science class. Liz is already there. Max sits down at the bench next to Liz. As class starts, the two of them begin exchanging meaningful looks. Max drops his pencil and ducks under the bench to retrieve it. While under the desk Max touches Liz's hand in an incredibly affectionate way. The passion in their touch is so intense that Liz once again sees stars. She sees the trip through the galaxy that brought Max and his friends to Earth. Liz experiences such ecstasy that she gasps audibly. The science teacher finally takes notice and halts his lecture, calling out Liz's name. Max stands up. The teacher tersely and reprovingly utters Max's name. Max protests that he was "just retriving a pencil." The teacher tells both Max and Liz that they will stay after school in detention.]

[Next we see Maria and Michael talking during outside on the bleachers next to the football field (during gym period or perhaps during lunch). Maria and Michael wonder about these visions that Max and Liz have been experiencing while kissing, and they wonder if such a thing could happen for them, too. In an out-of-the way spot in a sports equipment room, Michael and Maria kiss passionately trying to replicate the visionary experience of their friends.]

[Next we see Max and Liz kissing passionately in the school's eraser room, a place known among students as the school's ideal "make out" spot. Liz once again sees the star-spanning journey taken by the aliens to come to Earth. She sees more detail, including the approach to Earth itself. Max sees glimpses of Liz's childhood. He sees through her eyes - sees her looking in a mirror while playing dress-up with her mother's clothes and shoes. Liz once again experiences such strong feelings during this kissing session that she gasps loudly. She is so loud that she attracts attention from the hallway, and a teacher opens the door of the eraser room and catches Liz and Max, who clearly are not simply cleaning erasers.]

[Cut to the principle's office. The mothers of Max Evans and Liz Parker have both been called into the principle's office to discuss the behavior of their children. Both mothers are extremely surprised at this sudden revelation that their children are experimenting with physical intimacy far more than they had realized. Timecode: 10 minutes, 19 seconds.]

Liz Parker's mother: What exactly is an eraser room?

Principal: Uh, it's a small room that we use to clean the erasers so that chalk dust doesn't fly all over the school.

Max Evans' mother: Wait. I'm a little lost. You mean Liz and Max were cleaning erasers when they created this disturbance?

Principal: No. They were what we used to call "making out." We're talking sexual activity here, not erasers. Why don't we go talk to them?

[The door to the principal's office opens. The Principal and the mothers of Max and Liz emerge from the office into the reception area where Max and Liz sit.]

Principal: Uh, Miss Parker. Mr. Evans. [Referring politely and calmly to his students, Liz Parker and Max Evans.]

Liz Parker: This . . . is [light scoffing sound] completely wrong.

Principal: What did I get wrong, Liz?

Liz Parker: Well, i-- it's just wrong that we're here. I mean, any of us.

Principal: Well, then, perhaps you and Mr. Evans should have been less noisy.

Liz Parker's mother: You know, I think I've heard enough. [She is clearly agitated at her daughter.]

Liz Parker: Mom, this is not what you're thinking right now. Don't you believe me?

Liz's mother: What is it?

Liz Parker: Mom, it's just a mix-up.

Principal: They also cut two academic classes. Now, Liz and Max are honor students. I think we'd all like to keep it that way.

Max's mother: Well, I'm sure there's an explanation for it. I'm certain that Max wouldn't miss any of his classes unless there was a good reason . . . Max?

[Max says nothing. He stands silently, as he often does. Cut to the high school hallway. Liz continues protesting to her mother, who walks impatiently.]

Liz Parker: Mom, this is no big--

Liz's mother: Deal, right? You said that.

Liz Parker: Mom, it's not like I've never kissed a boy before in my entire life.

Liz's mother: You know, I don't think it's the kissing, but the actual volume that's the issue.

Liz Parker: This is being totally blown out of proportion.

Liz's mother: Okay, we'll talk about this later tonight. Okay, I want you to come straight home from school. Is that agreed? Hmm?

Liz Parker: No, I can't. I have detention.

[School bell rings indicating it is time to go to the next class.]

Liz Parker: Look, Mom, I gotta go, okay?

[Liz and her mother hug each other. Liz's mother clearly loves her daughter, but she is concerned about her.]

Liz's mother: Okay.

Liz Parker: Bye.

[As Liz turns from her departing mother to head to her next class she sees her friend Alex. Alex asks about what is going on and Liz starts to tell him. End of scene. Timecode: 11 minutes, 56 seconds.]

[Timecode: 14 minutes, 48 seconds. Scene: That evening, at the home of Liz Parker. Liz is doing homework in her room, although her mind is distracted. Liz's mother enters the room. Liz's mother knocks on the opened door before speaking.]

Liz's mother: Honey?

Liz Parker: Yeah?

Liz's mother: Um-- You really have strong feelings about this boy, don't you? Max, I mean.

Liz Parker: Mom, I have, like, a really hard time talking to you about this kind of stuff.

Liz's mother: I have to talk about it. So if you can't talk right now, can you at least just listen?

[Liz's mother fully enters the room and sits down next to Liz.]

Liz Parker: Yeah.

Liz's mother: Don't ever have sex. Don't ever leave this house. Don't ever stop being my baby girl.

[Liz's mother delivers this line in a rapid, rehearsed way, saying this in such a way that it is clear that she knows what she is saying can't be taken totally seriously, but that she is expressing what is in some way in her mother's heart, and not what she knows actually makes sense in any real-world way. Liz gets it. She understands at least a little bit where her mother is coming from with this. She knows her mother loves her. Liz smiles. Liz's mother exhales audibly, relieved at having said what she wanted to say, but was very nervous about saying.]

Liz's mother: Okay.

Liz Parker: Mom . . . I'm not having sex with him.

Liz's mother: That's good, because, um . . . once you enter that world -- you know, sexual intimacy -- everything changes.

Liz Parker: Mom--

Liz's mother: I want you to know that you don't ever have to lie to me about this. Really. Okay?

Liz Parker: Okay.

Liz's mother: Okay. [Chuckles lightly, awkwardly. Stands up to leave the room. Looks back at her daughter. Pauses.]

Liz's mother: Um.

Liz Parker: What?

Liz's mother: Just, one moment I look at you, you're my baby girl . . . and the next minute, you're a young woman.

Liz Parker: Thank you.

[Liz's mother leaves the room. End of scene. Timecode: 16 minutes, 12 seconds.]

[Liz and Max make out more, and Liz sees more detail about Max's past. She sees the crash of his space ship, and she starts to get an idea about where in the New Mexico desert the crash may have taken place. She sees U.S. soldiers approaching the site. Liz and Max decide to get together at Michael's apartment to really explore this avenue to see if they can obtain more details about Max's past. It is not entirely clear whether or not they plan to "go all the way." Scene: interior of Michael's apartment. Michael is there with fellow alien Isabel. They are discussion the visions that Liz and Max have been having while making out. Timecode: 21 minutes, 26 seconds.]

Isabel: That would mean each of us has this information in some part of us we're just not conscious of.

Michael: Or she's getting messages from somewhere or someone else.

Isabel: Nasedo?

["Nasedo" is the name that local Native Americans have given to the person that Max, Michael and Isabel think is the "fourth alien," one of their own species who emerged from the crash decades before they themselves emerged from their pods.]

Michael: I don't know. I mean, why'd she see the crash, the soldiers? Maybe it was all planned this way-- that this is how we'd find out who we really are, by connecting with humans.

Isabel: Connecting?

Michael: The more they connect, the more we find out.

[Max Evans opens the front door to the apartment and enters. He clears his throat.]

Max Evans: Uh, listen. Liz is on her way over.

Isabel: Okay. We'll leave.

Max Evans: You guys don't have to leave.

Michael: Go for it, Maxwell, for the good of all mankind, you lucky, undeserving dog.

Max Evans: Michael, that's not what this is about for me.

Michael: Don't make me beg you to do what you and Liz obviously want to do anyways. I really don't see a problem with it.

Max Evans: The problem is treating someone I care about like a thing -- to be used.

Michael: What, and that's what I'm about? Is that what you're saying?

Max Evans: The words are coming from your mouth, Michael.

Isabel: Okay, you guys, stop. Enough.

Michael: [Sighs.] Listen, Maxwell . . . You are a sensitive guy. And you have available to you one of the top three seduction lines in history with "It's gonna help me find my home planet." And you're refusing to use it. No guy's that sensitive. Use it.

[Michael and Isabel exit through the apartment door. As they do so, Isabel snaps her fings and causes the lights in the apartment to turn off, while four or five candels ignite.]

Michael: Nice.

Isabel: Mmm.

[Michael and Isabel open the door to leave. Liz Parker is there, about to knock on the door. They all look at each other.]

Isabel: Hi.

Liz Parker: Hi.

Michael: How's it goin'?

Liz Parker: Strange.

Isabel: I'll bet.

[Awkward pause.]

Michael: All right, we're leaving now . . . But I got some Chaka Khan cued up on the C.D. player.

Isabel: We're leaving. Bye.

[Isabel and Michael finally leave the apartment entirely, leaving Liz and Max alone in the dark.]

Liz Parker: So you told 'em, huh?

Max Evans: Yeah.

Liz Parker: And now everyone's just sort of cheering you on, like at a football game.

Max Evans: No. No, it's-- it's not like that . . . I mean, yes. They want us to keep going, so we can find out where all this leads. But that's not--

Liz Parker: Max. I need to find out where all this leads too...

[Max and Liz start to make out. There is a glowing spot on Liz's skin where Max kissed her previously. They talk about how they don't really know what will happen if they go further physically. Liz asks Max to take off his shirt, which he does. At one point Liz says, "And my mother, who I love, is going to kill me." After a minute of passionate kissing, the door to the apartment opens. Maria DeLuca stares at Max and Liz. She was looking for Michael, she says, but from the look of things, it is obvious he isn't there. Whether Max or Liz would have gone beyond passionate kissing at this point is unknown, because Maria's arrival has put an end to this make-out session. When Maria opened the door on Max and Liz, Liz remained fully clothed and Max was almost fully clothed (except for his shirt), but they were indeed acting passionately and clearly unsure about what they would do with each other.]

[Timecode: 26 minutes, 38 seconds. Scene: Maria drives Liz home. It is night time in Roswell.]

Maria DeLuca: Liz, what was going on in there?

Liz Parker: What was going on?

Maria DeLuca: Yeah, it looked like it was getting pretty serious, like, very serious.

Liz Parker: Maria, I have my mother for these lectures.

Maria DeLuca: I'm worried about you.

Liz Parker: Why?

Maria DeLuca: Because this isn't you.

Liz Parker: Yes, Maria, see, this is. This is me. I'm sitting right next to you.

Maria DeLuca: I just don't want you to go too far.

Liz Parker: I think I want to.

Maria DeLuca: Are you crazy? This is dangerous. This isn't like a game! We don't even know what could happen!

Liz Parker: Look who's talking! You were the first one to take the plunge, Maria!

Maria DeLuca: Michael and I just kissed.

[Liz shakes her head disbelievingly.]

Maria DeLuca: Okay, fine. We did a little more than kissing. But look. I wasn't getting visions, and I didn't have glowing hickeys and rashes and-- Look. Liz, the bottom line is that we don't know what this is about. All right? Female spiders can, you know, bit off the males' heads after they mate. What if they need someone to make with to get certain information, you know? And then-- [Blows Raspberry sound.] You know?

Liz Parker: What've you been trying to say? That Max is just gonna bite my head off?

Maria DeLuca: Uh, no. What I'm saying is, how do you know that he's not, like, using you?

Liz Parker: Maria, because it-- it feels right. I'm sorry. It feels right in a way that nothing has felt right in my life before.

[End of scene. Timecode: 27 minutes, 57 seconds. Cut to Liz's bedroom. She sneakily enters her room through her window, having climbed up the fire escape ladder. As soon as Liz is inside her room she sees her mother there, waiting for her. The look on her mother's face tells her that her mother is NOT pleased with her.]

Liz Parker: Hi, Mom.

Liz's mother: Do you think I'm stupid?

Liz Parker: I'm sorry.

Liz's mother: Sorry's not good enough. Where were you?

Liz Parker: Mom, will you just stop trying to control me?

Liz's mother: I am trying to keep you safe. If I need to control you in order to do-- When have I ever tried to control you?

Liz Parker: Right, Mom, because you've never had to! 'Cause I do every single thing you want and y-- you just think I'm always gonna be that way! You don't even see me.

Liz's mother: All right. Then help me to see you. Okay? Talk to me. [Touches her daughter's neck.] Oh, my God. You're so warm.

[Liz looks a little feverish. Her mother puts her hand over Liz's forehead.]

Liz Parker: Mom, no. I am fine.

Liz's mother: You're not fine. You're burning up.

Liz Parker: Mom! Just stop it! Okay? This is my body! I don't have to tell you every single thing about it!

[Liz storms out of the room and slams the door. End of scene. Timecode: 28 minutes, 51 seconds.]

[Only minutes later, Max Evans stands outside Liz's window calling to her. Liz tells Max that during the last time they kissed, she saw something. She shows him a picture she drew. Max identifies it as an old radio tower that he knows. They decide to go to it immediately. So they sneak out and drive to the site. They bring a shovel, hoping to dig up the ship or some evidence of Max's journey to Earth. But they decide that before digging, they should "look for the next clue" by making out some more. They brought a blanket, which they lay out. They lay down on the blanket and start making out (fully clothed). Before anything further happens, Max asks Liz, "Are you sure?" He is asking her if she is sure she wants to go all the way with him. Liz hears a beeping sound. She tells Max that is the beeping sound from their vision. She realizes she is very close to the crashs site. They immediately stand up and rush to the source of the beeping sound. They dig in the dirt until they uncover something that sends an intense beam of light into the sky. Max reaches down and picks up a glowing rock. It has an alien symbol on it, a symbol Max recognizes from the cave painting where they saw multiple alien writings. Timecode: 34 minutes, 8 seconds.]

Max Evans: It's the symbol from the cave painting.

Liz Parker: Is this from your home?

Max Evans: I don't know.

Liz Parker: Maybe it's a signal . . . for . . .

Max Evans: Maybe.

[Max and Liz turn to walk back to where they had parked Max's car and laid out the blanket. This night time scene fades to early morning, and we see Max Liz lying asleep on the blanket. Max's arms are around Liz in a "spooning" position, with Liz facing away from Max and Max facing Liz's back. Both are fully clothed, as if they had come to the blanket and fallen asleep soon after finding the mysterious stone with the alien symbols. As they already found the alien artifact that Liz's visions were leading to, there was no further reason for them to attempt to look for clues through physical intimacy. We know that up to the point they found the stone, nothing physical had happened between them beyond passionate kissing. Anytime things were about to go further, there was an inerruption? Did anything happen between them after they found the alien artifact? It seems to me that nothing much happened between them after they found the stone and that they remained virgins.]

[A shadow of a person falls over the sleeping bodies of Max and Liz. A Native American-style sound cue is heard. Cut to interior of Liz's bedroom. Liz's mother knocks briefly and then enters the room. She sees the room is empty. Her daughter's bed has not even been slept in. Timecode: 35 minutes, 3 seconds.]

[A few minutes later we see the man who approached Liz and Max. It is the shape-shifting "fourth alien" they know as "Nasedo," but they do not know it is him. Max and Liz wake up and see him. He tells them this is private property, they better get home. Max and Liz gather their things and go to their car and leave.]

[Timecode: 39 minutes, 35 seconds. Scene: Interior of Crashdown diner, which is owned by Liz's mother. Liz's mother and father and Max's mother and father have figured out that their respective children were out all night with each other. They have gathered here at the diner to talk and plan what to do next.]

Liz Parker's father: They're basically good kids, right? They're just using bad judgment.

Max Evans' father: Huh. Bad judgment big time.

Liz's mother: Maybe they shouldn't see each other for a little while.

Liz's father: Well, why don't we give 'em a chance to explain themselves?

Max's mother: Well, what kind of explanation can there possibly be?

[Cut to Max's jeep, which is parked outside the Crashdown Cafe. Max and Liz sit in the car, kissing each other. It appears that they haven't really done this since they found the alien artifact.]

Max Evans: Any flashes?

Liz Parker: [Chuckling] No. Did you?

Max Evans: Don't think so.

Liz Parker: Max, everything that we did, everything we felt . . . was it-- was it all just about this-- this thing? [Referring to the alien artifact that they are holding.] You know, we don't even know what it is.

Max Evans: Yet.

[Liz puts the alien artifact into her bag. Max and Liz get out of the jeep.]

Liz Parker: Max, was it ever just about us? You know, you and me? Because a person could feel like they just served their purpose. You know, like being used?

Max Evans: Is that what you think? Because you're not the only one who could worry about being used. I mean, some girls would give a lot to see themselves fly through outer space.

[Liz rolls her eyes, but smiles.]

Max Evans: You know, I'm sure it doesn't compare to other things you could be doing, like watching Kyle barf after a beer blast. [Referring to Liz's former boyfriend.]

Liz Parker: [Chuckles] I can't believe you just said that.

Max Evans: Why not?

Liz Parker: Because it really happened.

Max Evans: You're kidding me.

Liz Parker: No. I swear. Last summer. It was a really hot night--

Max Evans: You know what? No, no. Don't tell me.

Liz Parker: Okay, so what you're saying is that you saved me from a life of watching Kyle barf. [Chuckles.]

Max Evans: Liz Parker, I don't think that was ever gonna be your destiny.

Liz Parker: No?

Max Evans: No.

Liz Parker: Okay. Fine. If you know so much, then tell me, Max . . . What's my destiny?

Max Evans: I only know the part I'm hoping for.

[Max and Liz look meaningfully into each other's eyes. Then Max takes Liz's hand. They look at the entrance of the Crashdown Cafe. They walk to enter the diner, to face their parents together. As the enter the diner, their parents look at them expectantly. The door closes behind them. Cut to closing credits. Timecode: 42 minutes, 2 seconds.]