SPOILER ALERT: Do not read if you have not yet watched “How’s It Going to Be?,” the Sept. 5 series finale of “Roswell, New Mexico.”
In May, The CW pulled the plug on seven shows, including “Roswell, New Mexico,” which was airing its fourth season. On Monday night, the drama aired its final episode — one that showrunner Chris Hollier and the writers planned on being the Season 4 finale, not the final episode ever.
During the last episode, Max (Nathan Parsons) headed off to save the world through portal — one that would allow him to return and live happily ever after with Liz (Jeanine Mason), who he still intended to eventually marry.
“There was one change afterwards where the console melted, and Liz would feel like, ‘Oh no, I just got engaged and maybe he’s trapped there forever.’ It was the only thing we removed,” he tells Variety, noting that the finale was built otherwise just “in case” the network chose to pull the plug.
Still, Hollier was prepared to do one more season.
“I loosely had to pitch [the network] and had to get them to sign off on letting me [have Max] go away. And they’re like, ‘Well, when does he come back?’ was the next question. They’re our first audience. So yes, there was a plan actually, of how to round it out assuming that the fifth season would be our last,” he says. “We had some time jumps built in to actually tell stories we’ve collapsed down into weeks. We wanted to actually stretch out and jump to three different times over the next couple of years for all of our characters.”
He adds, “I’m very fortunate for the time we had, but you always feel like we had one more bullet in the chamber.”
Luckily, the finale included key moments for some of the main characters, including Liz and Max getting engaged. Throughout the episode, Max battled with whether he should return to Oasis without her. In the end, he had to go — and there was never a plan to have him stay. Simply, it’s a TV show and there’s no drama in that.
“We left it open with a hopeful feeling that lets people’s imaginations fill in what happened next when he returned,” Hollier says.
Hollier also shed light on Michael (Michael Vlamis) and Alex’s (Tyler Blackburn) wedding, one that fans have been anticipating for a long time. After they tied the knot, Michael performed Edwin McCain’s “I’ll Be,” which was the perfect fit for multiple reasons.
“Look, we have all the ’90s to choose from! We were trying to figure out what song, trying to figure out if there was a perfect Counting Crows song,” Hollier recalls. “It was also a little bit born out of a joke when [original showrunner] Carina [Adly MacKenzie] was on the show. We kept joking if we couldn’t get a song, like, ‘I wonder what Edwin McCain’s doing right now?’ It sort of stayed in my head. I thought it was a fun way to kind of honor that as well.”
Shiri Appleby, who played Liz in the original “Roswell” and made a cameo earlier in the series, returned for the episode to help Liz Ortecho.
“This was always a plan. She’s such a huge part of the original ‘Roswell.’ We wanted to try to tell a story with her and we wanted to honor our own ‘Roswell,’ and who our Liz is. In a theme of mentorship, we thought she would be the ultimate mentor, because that she was a mentor for us,” says Hollier. “Being with both of our Liz’s in the diner was a powerful moment. When she puts on the antennas, it was a special moment on set.”