Chris Hollier serves as the Showrunner and an executive producer of Roswell, New Mexico, which premiered in 2019. You can stream new episodes of the sci-fi drama free the next day, only on The CW. This interview will include major spoilers for episode 4×13, “How’s It Going to Be.”
SERIES FINALE– Liz (Jeanine Mason) doubting her abilities, calls for reinforcements, meanwhile Isobel (Lily Cowles) shows Max (Nathan Dean) a memory, one that will put him on a new trajectory and Michael (Michael Vlamis) makes a promise to Alex (Tyler Blackburn).
We discussed what season five would have looked like, that surprising ending for Max and Liz, the significance of Alex taking Michael’s last name, Kyle and Isobel’s future, what he hopes fans of the show walk away with, and more. Keep reading for our conversation!
No one ever wants to say goodbye and trying to wrap up a beloved story after four seasons is no easy task, especially when you don’t have extra time to do so. Is there anything Chris Hollier wanted to add in? “Oh, about season five worth,” he started. “I think that there were things that we talked about layering in to continue that we ended up holding back at the moment. We wanted to do a little bit more home planet stuff as well, but ultimately, we made the decision of thinking about where we think the fans wanted to spend the most time, so we actually made the conscious decision to stop the plot where we did and still give us like two or three acts to go.”
The series ends with a heartbreaking yet promising goodbye between Liz and Max, but if the Showrunner knew this would be the last time we see them, would he have still chosen this path? “If we would have known earlier, I might have passed the story earlier. I did different places a few episodes earlier, but we got the feeling that it was going to be the end so we thought that this gave them an ending but it still left room to come back and it also left people’s imaginations to fill in some of the gaps,” he answered.
Despite them going their separate ways, for the time being, they did get engaged. You might be surprised to find out there was even a possibility of Liz going with Max to his home planet, Oasis. “We debated a lot of that too,” he explained. “We thought about maybe that was one of the final images, was her going but we talked about season five, her having to go for a moment, and how we advance that relationship.”
When starting the third season, there was a small time jump, which is something the writers wanted to do again for the next season. “We actually wanted to skip time in season five, three different jumps: one six months later, a year later, and then to end the whole series, we thought maybe it’s five years later,” Hollier told me.
So what would the core relationships look like in five years? Would Malex have kids? “I think we would have started to lean into what their legacy would have been and that would have been the next step for a lot of our couples, right? If they started as lost children, what are the goals for their own? And so, we would have started playing with some of those themes in season five,” he added.
Michael and Alex started season four by moving in together and ended it as husbands. The Showrunner opened up about that choice: “We knew at the beginning, we wanted to have that sort of ruined proposal and we thought that because we planted a flag there that people would be tracking what happens in a proposal with Max and Liz. So we thought a surprise twist was to have that come from somewhere else. Also, a proposal promises a wedding — well, we gave them one, just not the one that they probably thought in episode one that they’d see.”
He continued to say, “We didn’t have the marriage [planned] at the end of season three, we had the proposal shape and it was gonna go slightly different. Then the discovery was to do the proposal right in front of the portal at the end. We actually did shoot… I mean, you saw Shiri, we shot all of those scenes actually in episode nine at the same time, so we did a little stitching together.”
One major scene in the episode is Alex saying he is going to take Michael’s last name. Considering the weight the character was constantly forced to carry because of the Manes name throughout the entire series, it’s very significant for their future. “One of the times earlier on, we made such a big deal about the Manes Man idea and how he rejected those ideas,” he expressed. “At first he was gonna hyphenate, we had a joke there then I just pinned it down to he never really liked that anyway, so it was a call back from his initial feelings of his father, family, and everything else.”
When fans realized that Alex was sick and possibly even dying after being in the pocket dimension, the handprint theory was born. I had to mention it to Hollier and get his reaction: “Michael’s handprint… wow, I should read the internet more. We didn’t actually go there, no.”
After a lot of longing as well as back and forth, Kyle and Isobel are officially endgame. So what would have been next for them? “We talked about where do we start our three prime couples and where do they end, and we would stagger the life divisions as they’re at, right? So we started the season one couple’s big talk about getting married, where another couple is getting married, and another couple is in denial that they should be together, right? And so that’s where we started. Then the end ultimately was to have them play out more like the ‘are we gonna get together’ stuff, you know? What people write pop songs about,” he said. “We’re still waiting for Max and Liz, we were actually gonna jump in, and there might have been a baby involved and things like that. So it’s like, again, it would have been about reshuffling where all of our couples were and the Venn diagram of how they’re similar but different.”
In honor of the penultimate episode, I spoke with Tyler and Michael, which of course led to us talking about a Malex movie. They’re apparently not the only ones on board with the idea. “I’m ready, start writing The CW. I’m available to write one so let’s do it,” the Showrunner agreed. “We can do a little two-hour Roswell wrap-up.”
As for what Hollier wants fans of the show to walk away with, it’s simple: “I hope they walk away hopeful and open to all of the possibilities that the universe brings us. This is a story of inclusion, love, and learning and celebrating people’s differences. That was some of the joy I got to experience every day is telling these stories and learning from lots of people that can help me help specific stories better.”
As for the actual finale, there were a few moments that stood out to him. “Actually seeing a Malex kiss at that reception was a huge moment for me. I think actually seeing them drive down like, the ‘Just Married’ sign was a key moment for me,” he shared. “Sanders hugging Michael might have been a great moment for me, like all the stuff around that.”