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This page is for the 1999 TV series pilot episode. For the 2019 TV series pilot, see Pilot (Reboot).
"I prefer the term, 'Not of this earth'."
―Max to Liz

Pilot is the premiere of Season 1 on WB sci-fi series Roswell.

Synopsis

In the small town famous for the supposed UFO crash of 1947, Liz Parker learns Max Evans' out-of-this-world secret when he saves her life.

Recap

The episode opens on Liz Parker writing in her new journal about how "five days ago, I died. After that, things got really weird." We are then taken back to see Liz working in a restaurant (the Crashdown Cafe). She serves two tourists, who are in town for the Crash Festival, a sensational party in the desert based around the Roswell Crash of 1947. These tourist become enthusiastic when Liz shows them a supposed alien picture from the crash site. While Liz laughs off the encounter to her waitress friend, Maria, a heightened spat between two surly men results in one drawing a gun and inadvertently firing, which hits Liz. As the two men flee, Max Evans runs up to Liz, rips her shirt open, and lays his hand on her stomach. Inducing flashbacks, Max miraculously heals Liz's wound, opting to hide his handiwork with ketchup to hide her blood. Max then runs out of the cafe with his friend Michael. Liz stands up, alive and shocked as she watches Max and Michael speed away.

The silver handprint on Liz's things start to settle down, Sheriff Valenti shows up on the scene and seems sceptical from the start. The two tourist from before intervene, mentioning how there was no bullet and that after the gun was shot, a boy did "something" to Liz. Valenti notices empty Tabasco sauce bottles on the vacated table where Max and Michael had been. When Liz returns home, she finds a glaring silver hand print on her stomach where the wound had been. The following day, while in biology class, Liz observes some strange cell structures from a pencil that had been in Max's mouth. After class, she pulls him aside to question him. After a brief encounter with her boyfriend Kyle, Sheriff Valenti's son, the Max and Liz talk about her findings. Max acknowledge's that he is "not-of-this-Earth". She freaks out and he tells her that no one must know, that his life is in her hands.

Liz's cells (on top) and Max's cells (on bottom) Max has to tell his sister, Isabel, and his friend, Michael, that he had told Liz about his secret. It turns out that the three of them are all aliens. They discuss the possibility of leaving Roswell now that some knows about their secret. It is revealed that Max and Isabel were found together and raised together in a good home, while Michael lives with a foster father of whom he is not happy with. Liz tries to avoid Maria, but is confronted in the school bathroom by her friend who proceeds to grill her. At the same time, Max, Isabel, and Michael as pulled over by Sheriff Valenti, who happens to spy a Tabasco sause container at Michael's feet. He lets them go, but a fight ensues with Michael leaving the jeep in a huff. That evening, after Liz goes on a date with Kyle, he happens to see the silver hand print on her stomach. Sheriff Valenti questions Liz the next day, showing her pictures of a similar marking on an autopsy photo. When asked to show her stomach, it is revealed that the mark has faded. Valenti is then seen conversing with a man, most likely from the FBI, about the possibility that this has something to do with the Roswell crash. It is revealed that Sheriff Valenti's father, a previous sheriff, used to chase leads on UFO's, aliens, and such. The man finds no real validity to Valenti's claim and leaves Roswell, warning Valenti not to tread down the path his father had.

Liz confronts Max for further information after the mark has faded. He tells her that they were in "incubation pods" for a number of years after the 1947 crash. He tells her that Isabel and Michael are also aliens. He discusses some of their powers, saying: "we can connect with people ... we can manipulate molecular structures". He says that not even their parents know, that Liz is the first one outside of the three. She tells Max about the pictures and what happened with Valenti. Max makes the decision that it is time for the three of them to leave because of Valenti suspecting them.

Maria confronts Liz and demands to know the truth. Liz reveals her secret and Maria ends up flipping out. After calming Maria down, she and Liz find Max, Michael, and Isabel and convince then into a plan to get Valenti off of their tail. They end up at the Crash Festival where Valenti accosts Max. While cuffing Max, Maria gets "hit" by a car driven by Isabel and is "saved" by an alien-masked man, who leaves a silver print on her chest. Liz, Deputy Owen, Sheriff Valenti, Max, Alex, and the two tourists from the Crashdown witness the feat. When Valenti goes after the masked person, it turns out to be his son. Michael is then shown taking the same exact mask off and disposing of it in a port-o-poty. Valenti has to let Max go, but not before he warns Max that things are not over. Max, Michael, and Isabel watch the recreation of the Roswell crash sullenly while the rest of the crowd cheers loudly at the end of the Crash Festival. Max meets Liz atop a hill, telling her it is not safe for the two of them to be together. The episode ends with a voice-over of Liz writing in her journal, much like the beginning of the episode:

"It's September 24th. I'm Liz Parker and five days ago, I died. But then the really amazing thing happened. I came to life."

Cast and characters

Starring:

Guest-starring:

Co-starring:

  • Vance Valencia as Mayor Sandler
  • Joe Camareno as Paramedic
  • Yolanda Lloyd Delgado as Ms. Hardy
  • Channing Carson as Liz at 7 years
  • Daniel Hansen as Max at 7 years
  • Zoe Nutter as Isabel at 7 years

Additional cast:

  • Richard Schiff (uncredited) as Agent Stevens
  • Jonathan Frakes (uncredited cameo) as the festival host

Quotes

"I prefer the term, 'Not of this earth'"
―Max to Liz
"My life is in your hands"
―Max to Liz
"Roswell's not home. It's not even our solar system"
―Michael to Max and Isabel

Powers

Healing

Max Evans used this ability to heal Liz Parker from a fatal gunshot to save her from dying by bleeding to death.

Connecting

When Max began healing Liz he formed a connection between the two.

Clairvoyance

When Max and Liz connected he received flashes of her past and vice versa.

Trivia

  • Liz first writes in her journal on September 23rd. The story begins five days earlier on September 18th, the day Max saved her life. The episode ends with her finishing her journal entry on September 24th.
  • The episode adapts the general premise of the first Roswell High book The Outsider with the group tricking Valenti to throw him off the case, and with Max telling Liz that they need to keep their distance. There are many differences, notably that Alex isn't involved and doesn't yet know about aliens.

Music

save tonight | EAGLE-EYE CHERRY
At the Crashdown
fear | SARAH MCLACHLAN
Max heals Liz
i think i'm paranoid | GARBAGE
Liz washes and Maria comes in
boys on the radio | HOLE
In the jeep
hey man, nice shot | FILTER
Liz shows up at Kyle's
hallucination generation | HEXX
The festival
crash into me | DAVE MATTHEWS BAND
Max tells Liz they can't be together

Photos

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