‘Tiny’ meta on the guitars in Roswell New Mexico
Because I hate this show and it’s dumb.
So recently I was trying to figure out what kind of guitars Alex has, for fic reasons, and I had the brilliant idea to look at both of the guitars in 1x06 and the guitar Michael plays in the Wild Pony at the end of 1x13.
Unfortunately for me, you, and everyone, what I discovered is that the guitar Michael steals from Alex when they initially meet is the same guitar that he plays in the bar. (A Läg guitar, if you are interested, likely an occitania model of some sort. Interesting historical footnote: Neil Diamond also play(s/ed) this brand.)
For those interested, there are a total of five guitars show in the series so far: Alex’s Läg, the guitar Michael has in the photograph from 1x02(likely the same guitar Rosa is playing in the pilot), the guitar Alex gives to Michael in the toolshed in 1x06, and the two in Alex’s house in season 2(2x05+2x11).
So my meta/headcanon here is that when Alex leaves for Iraq, he gives Maria the guitar for safekeeping - since it’s likely he would know it wasn’t safe at his house. She keeps it, sometimes using it at the Pony for performances and as a backup guitar for impromtpu jam sessions. The only time we see it at the Pony there is also a drum kit set up.
During 1x13, Michael tells Isobel that he’s had the realization that his relationship with Alex isn’t healthy, that lately it ‘just hurts’ and ‘feels like a crash landing’; to which Isobel gives him the advice ‘Maybe Max is right. Maybe it’s time we stop looking back and start looking forward.’
For me this is a big reason why he goes to the Wild Pony later, rather than meeting Alex and talking about their entangled past together. Michael is trying to move forward.
And just like Alex will in Season 2, the best way for him to start to do that is through music. (Which...tfw your coping strategies and healing rituals are the same....COSMIC.)
Now that his hand is healed (however non-consensual the act itself) Michael actually has that chance to try and heal himself. It isn’t the magic remedy Max hoped his healing powers would be. (’To heal this, you’ll have to reopen the wound in your mind. All the pain you’ve hidden there.)
To really heal from grief, one of the key components is that you have to let go of the expectations and hopes that you wanted from whatever isn’t possible anymore. And Season 1 has a really interesting progression showing Michael starting on that journey. And in this moment in the finale he has the same chance Alex will get in Season 2: to say goodbye to the person he was and the relationship that could have been and all the hurt that he’s held onto because of that, and start trying to move forward.
So, Michael goes to Maria at the Wild Pony, and sees The Guitar. The same guitar that he ‘borrowed’ from Alex eleven years ago that started them on the path to where they are now.
He wants to be with Maria, he agrees with Maria that they need to talk. But first, he has to say goodbye to what he’s been holding onto with Alex.
By playing the same guitar that brought them together.
(The way he looks at the guitar in this moment reads so much more tender to me than just him being able to play music again. Yes, this is something he’s been hindered from doing for ten years, but Maria doesn’t seem overly surprised to hear Michael playing. She is only surprised when she notices his hand is healed. Moreso, I think that - especially since in the in-between scene is Liz talking to Rosa’s grave, wishing for all the things Rosa never got to experience - that this is Michael connecting with his grief in a way he hasn’t been able to, and reckoning with his own hopes for the past.)
Like he’s momentarily transported somewhere else.
And I don’t think this is coincidence. There are multiple guitars and to use *this one* - the one that started it all - feels significant.
It feels like a signifier that Alex still is and always will be an important part of Michael’s life. Even if he’s playing this guitar in Maria’s presence, even if he in this moment is choosing Maria, Alex is always, *always* going to be a part of him. (And we could do a whole *other* meta on how music is the language through which Michael and Alex - oh wait I already did that. But, regardless, music is a large part not just of how Michael finds peace, but how he connects to himself. And Alex is always going to be a part of that.)
(You could, if you chose, also see this as yet more foreshadowing of the three of them having a role in each other’s lives and healing journey, or you could not, but the fact that it is *Alex’s* guitar that Michael plays I think is undeniabley significant.)
Even if the relationship that he has with Alex right now hurts, Michael isn’t throwing the whole thing away. He might be forming a new relationship with it, but what he has with Alex is...well...you know.
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