You know, for all the crap Alex gets for walking away, I don’t see him get any credit for always being the one to seek Michael out. I have yet to see one instance in which Michael actively tries to come for Alex, to come to speak to Alex, to tell Alex that he wants to be with him. It’s always Alex taking the chance, always Alex coming to see him, always Alex starting the conversation.
He’s been abused and traumatized, too, and unlike Michael - and I don’t understand why everyone forgets this all the time - Alex didn’t have siblings who told him they loved him and that he was family. He had siblings, from what we’ve seen, who were not that much better from his abusive father. Yes, there were instances where I wish Alex had stayed with Michael, but being hounded on for letting Jesse get inside his head? Michael’s abuse stopped, I’m assuming, at some point in his teenage years. Alex’s has never stopped. He left the war at home to be in another war somewhere else, up until he lost his fucking leg, and that was the price of his freedom, with the fun possibility of phantom limb pain, which, in case you didn’t know, means that you experience pain in the limb that’s no longer there.
I’m going to push the horrible finale aside for a second, because in my opinion, the mistreatment of Alex doesn’t start there, not by a longshot. In the previous episodes, yes, Alex walks away, and yes, I don’t agree with the few times he does, but at least he keeps coming back, he keeps trying to push past the traumatic memory of having the one he loves maimed just because he had actually let him in. Name one time, just one, in which Michael asks about Alex. In which Michael defends Alex to someone else (and that thing of hating Max if he’d been the reason that Alex went to war doesn’t count, because that’s not a defense of Alex’s character). Alex had defended him at least three times to others, and Michael can’t give him one compliment. Instead, what does he say to the guy who he knows has been abused, both physically and mentally his entire life with virtually no one to really stand by him?
Run and tell daddy. What happened? I was pretty wasted. (Yes, I’m including that, because even though Alex had said that what had happened at the reunion could not happen again, Michael didn’t even mock disappointment. Alex’s emotions are just as fragile, how is he supposed to know Michael considers him important or worth fighting for if he always shrugs Alex off like their time spent together is nothing?) Not to mention; WHAT DO YOU WANNA SAY ALEX? (that’s great, make him feel like he’s a burden or annoying, like you’re sick of his attempt to deal with the limitations that had been placed on him every single day for the past nearly three decades). Guess you’re the guy just looking for any excuse to walk away. He actually scoffs at Alex when Alex finds out that he and Maria had slept together, and starts to want to leave (which you can’t blame him for at all, because if I took a chance and came to have a heartfelt talk to the guy I loved, only to find out that he’d just slept with my best friend, I’d feel dispensable and worthless to that person), and in the whole, says maybe two meaningful lines to Alex throughout the entire show? Two lines that everybody seems to be hooked on, as if Michael was saying them with every encounter, every episode. I never look away (which means very little when you sleep with his best friend), and Not with someone I’ve liked as much as I like you. I’m not being harsh, because this isn’t an opinion. It’s… an actual fact. He doesn’t say much to Alex’s face. Meanwhile, Alex has poured his entire heart out in at least three separate occasions, excluding the finale, which is so incredibly difficult for him to do, as he’s grown up amongst soldiers his entire life, forced to bottle everything up, and take it like a real Manes man. I’m assuming that’s the family motto.
From where I stand, nothing’s changed, Michael says, and expects that Alex live up to his view of life. Like, hello?? Where you stand, nothing in life has changed. Your views on Alex haven’t changed. But he has been to war! He flew warcrafts, killed people, and lost a limb. On top of that, he still thinks what happened to Michael is his fault; a mistake, by the way, which Michael has never once thought to correct. Never told Alex so much as a simple, What happened to my hand wasn’t your fault. I don’t blame you. So, because in your opinion, Michael - you, who had not left Roswell all this time, who spent probably your entire adult life alongside loving siblings like Max and Isobel - because you think nothing’s changed, Alex is supposed to accept that, and, what, get over his trauma?
Oh, and that moment when he tells Max that Alex made him feel like he could have a place on earth? First of all, does not count, and I’ll tell you why. The first is that, he did not say this to Alex’s face. He rarely does. It’s always to someone else, and again, it’s never in Alex’s defense, he just says it cause it’s what he feels. But what good is that to Alex when all he appears in front of him is annoyed and taunting? Because Alex really doesn’t get enough of that from his own family.
The second reason it doesn’t count, and I really, really, really don’t understand why no one’s brought this up, is because when he said that, he followed it with telling Max that he’d refused to let Max heal his injured hand because it reminded him that hope of the goodness of people, that hope of having a home and a family on earth (and yes, that means with Alex), will only lead to pain. It’s really obvious, but no one for some reason picked up on it. Michael isn’t saying something good about Alex. He’s saying that he believed Alex could’ve been his home, but now he knows better. Keep in mind, this is the episode after Alex had wanted to talk, had told Michael that he knew about the alien stuff and wanted to know about him, had seemed clearly distressed at Michael deciding to leave the planet. Michael is not a child, he doesn’t need everything spelled out for him. If he honestly says that he didn’t know Alex was upset by his decision to leave earth, he could only be classified as completely stupid.
Alex is trying, and he’s been trying, and that is more than I can say for Michael. Alex is an abuse victim just as much, if not more so than Michael. He shouldn’t have to force his way past Michael’s thick defenses so that everyone could finally appreciate his efforts. And quite frankly, if Michael can’t appreciate the fact that Alex is pushing past everything that’s been instilled in him his entire life to be with him, if he can’t take Alex during his growth, his hardest points, then he really does not deserve him at his best.