Roswell

Isabel Evans

A Character Study



Isabel Evans
Character Basicscanon or fanon
NameIsabel Evans
FandomRoswell
Born1983canon
Originally FromAntarcanon
Love InterestGrant Sorenson (deceased)
Alex Whitman (deceased)
Jesse Ramirez
Kyle Valenti
canon
canon
canon
fanon
FamilyMax Evans, brothercanon
First AppearanceRoswell Season 1, Ep 1
Pilot

Portrayed ByKatherine Heigl



plot spoilers follow


Isabel Evans has lived before, and that past life colors every aspect of her character. In this life, she was born -- or more accurately hatched -- in 1989, outside of Roswell, New Mexico. She emerged from her pod as, by all appearances, a six year old human child. Together with her brother Max, she was found wandering in the desert, and was adopted by Philip and Diane Evans.

In her previous life, Isabel was Princess Vilandra of the planet Antar, sister to King Zan. She discovers the details of her past slowly, and thanks to some manipulation of facts by various enemies of the royal family, she spends at least a year believing that she bears the direct blame for the coup that ended her brother's reign. She believes that as Vilandra, she betrayed her brother when she helped her lover, Kivar, to usurp his throne. When she learns that Kivar in fact betrayed her, it does little to ease her guilt. Traitor or dupe, Vilandra has blood on her hands.

Isabel struggles with the guilt of having caused the deaths of her loved ones in that past life. She tries to see Vilandra as a person separate from herself, but never quite manages to reconcile the person she has become with any version of her past self. Vilandra's history on Antar, added to the pain of a lifetime spent lying to cover her biological identity from her adopted parents, leaves Isabel feeling that she can never have -- and perhaps doesn't deserve -- true intimacy. Yet to love and be loved is the one thing Isabel craves above all else.

The death of Grant Sorenson, whom Isabel briefly dated, followed closely by that of her close friend and prom date Alex Whitman, further adds to Isabel's emotional burden. She believes that she killed them both simply by knowing them, but while both deaths were in fact alien related, the circumstances of both deaths were beyond her control.

Isabel's need for and fear of emotional intimacy is expressed in a variety of ways. She uses the image of a popular high school girl with perfect clothes, perfect hair, and a circle of shallow friends as camouflage, along with the claim that her dream is to live the jetset life of a supermodel. This allows her to be surrounded by people, and provides her with a steady stream of dates, while at the same time ensuring that she can keep everyone at arm's length. Her image is vital to the maintenance of this coping strategy, and she therefore values her social status. Yet when Liz Parker, her brother's not-yet-girlfriend, needs a favor in a time of crisis, Isabel shrugs off the shallow friends with a roll of her eyes, and never does bother to retrieve them.

To the outside observer, she remains, for the most part, the ice princess, yet that identity never describes the real Isabel.

Her true friends are her brother and their mutual friend Michael, also an alien. Later, the bonds she forms are almost exclusively with those who learn her secret. After the death of Alex Whitman, her closest friend becomes Kyle Valenti, who also knows her secret, and the bond between them grows as she lets him in on the new secret in her life: her romance with Jesse Ramirez, eight years her senior and a lawyer who works for her father.

Isabel knows from the start that her relationship with Jesse is ultimately doomed -- she refers to him as her one chance to be normal, and to love someone and be loved without all the alien drama -- yet she clings to the relationship even as she fears it. She breaks up with him briefly, fearing that things are getting serious. She then pushes him into proposing, turns him down when he does, and then changes her mind when she again contemplates losing him.

She does love Jesse, but there's a selfishness to her love that would horrify her if she recognized it. She marries him, and rushes the marriage, while keeping him in the dark about her alien status, and this lie of omission erodes the possibility of the true emotional closeness she really craves.

In contrast, her relationship with Kyle Valenti is completely open and honest. She can relax and be herself with him, entrust him with any secret, and go to him with any problem. She doesn't recognize the possibility of more than friendship with Kyle, or notice the depth of feeling he develops for her. Or perhaps she does, but her subconscious keeps her observations locked firmly away.

As the series draws towards a conclusion, and her marriage to Jesse barely survives the revelation of her lie, she finds that even as Jesse forgives her, she can walk away from him. She shows that she does love him enough to let him go. What remains unresolved is what she's learned from that relationship, and whether she can move on from it with Kyle, who for his part finds that even if he's not with Isabel romantically, he's committed to follow her path, regardless of the cost.



text by Spiletta42, image copyright Jason Katims Text by Spiletta42, image copyright Jason Katims Text by Spiletta42, image copyright Jason Katims text by Spiletta42, image copyright Jason Katims text by Spiletta42, image copyright Jason Katims text by Spiletta42, image copyright Jason Katims

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This transformative work constitutes a fair use of any copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. Roswell™© and related properties exist as Registered Trademarks of Regency Entertainment. No copyright infringement intended. No profits made here. © Spiletta42, March 2007.