These are theories about Max
Max vs King Arthur
Momo has a great essay comparing Max and the “Once and Future King”
Momo’s Liz Mythology
Was someone using alien powers to influence Max's behavior?
Sure, this has been discussed on many boards and forums over the years by tons of people, but I think it is worth mentioning again.
Every time I watch the last five or six episodes of season 2 (HOM, CYN, ITL&ITB, BIY, Departure, and even parts of OTM), I am struck all over again by how out of character Max is acting. Max is argumentative, uncaring, and cruel. It always makes me think someone is influencing his behavior with alien powers. Who? Well, see if you think of anyone with motive as you keep reading.
Sure, we all know Max is a little controlling, he has had fights and disagreements with various people, but he has always been kind and caring toward his friends and family.
In the past Max always listens to Liz, he trusts her judgment, even after he thought she slept with Kyle he believed her about the Granolith. When Alex died and Liz first told him that Valenti was going to report it as a suicide, Max was in total agreement with her that it wasn't true, and was angry about the posibility, but suddenly he changes his mind and won't consider any other explanation. He doesn't believe Liz's theories about Alex's death and won't even listen to what she thinks.
He starts ordering her around and man-handling her. He accuses her of being reckless and endangering their lives with her investigation. Sure, Liz is obsessed with finding out what happened to Alex, and is asking a lot of questions, but how exactly is that putting the aliens in danger?
Liz is asking about Alex and his last days. That seems like it would be fairly normal for a good friend to want to know about. It's not like she is telling people outside the group that she thinks Alex was killed by an alien. It makes me think that someone doesn't want Alex's death investigated because of what they might dig up, and is influencing Max to stop Liz.
Max is also cruel to Isabel after learning she wants to leave for college, ordering her around, and telling her he will do anything to make sure she doesn't leave. Completely out of character for him. Sure, Isabel is making a rash decision because of Alex's death, and maybe her leaving isn't the best thing, but instead of being compassionate and caring and talking it through, Max threatens her and dictates to her exactly what to do.
He tells Isabel that they might need her and she can't go too far away, but is that really enough reason for his behavior. Or could there be someone else who needs Isabel to be around at a moment's notice? Someone who is planning on returning her to Khivar?
Even the other characters can see a change in Max, and suggest he is not being rational. Michael and Isabel point out that Liz could be right but he refuses to even listen to them. And Liz finally tells him that he needs to wake up. It is a common enough phrase, but applied to Max at that time I often wondered if Liz could somehow feel Max was being maniupated by alien powers, even if she doesn't realize it.
In those episodes, Max feels more and more alone, arguing with everyone, not listening to anyone, completely out of character. He starts thinking his alien side is a good thing, and seeing the possibility of another life on another planet as he becomes disconnected from Earth. Hmmmm, who might want him to think that?
In the strangest and creepiest scene ever, Max is rubbing Tess' feet (like a Stepford wife) while they are supposedly studying, and she asks where their relationship is going. He tells her that right or wrong, he feels like he can never go back if he does. Sure, you could say he was talking about not wanting to follow his alien side, but maybe there is more to it. I think Max is trying to fight against her influence on him. He is saying he doesn’t want to be with her the only way he can. Maybe Max can feel what she is doing to him, separating him from everyone, making him into someone he doesn't want to be and he is trying to fight against it.
And if he doesn’t want to be with her, why is he spending so much time with her, touching her and letting her touch him? He says he remembers her from their other life, but what does he remember? And if he loved her in that life, why is he resisting her now? I am pretty dang sure he didn't remember a great love from their other life. Why wouldn't he jump right into a relationship with her if he remembered loving her so much?
Another equally creepy scene is in ‘ITL&ITB’ when the four aliens are walking along a road, discussing Liz investigating Alex’s death. Isabel says again she is going to college and Max really doesn’t say anything but he walks off and Tess has her hand on his back like she is controlling a puppet or something. Sends shivers down my spine every time I see it.
He also seems to be in a sort of trance in 'Departure' when he is in the granolith chamber telling the others how the granolith works. Then when Tess touches him, he kind of wakes up.
Then Max sleeps with Tess. Ummm, did this seem completely out of character for him to anyone else? (even the writers said that Max slept with her because he wasn't really himself. they basically said that they had to make him OOC in order to do it - Coccy)
After Max and Tess did the nasty, Max is horrified about it. (I can’t believe that Rebels think this is romantic. I would never want a guy to look at me like that after we did the deed). You can see that Max regrets it and tries repeatedly to pull away from Tess, but when she feels him doing that, something convenient happens to her to pull him back.
There are several examples of this:
- At school the day after, Tess asks him if he wants to keep what happened a secret if he wants, basically telling him without saying it that he’d be a jerk if he did want to keep it a secret. And of course, Max being a good guy owns up to what happened between them, even if it is obviously one of the most uncomfortable things we have seen him do. (the strained look on his face as they walk thought school holding hands speaks volumns)
- Tess feels Max is pulling away again and then tells him she is pregnant.
- The next time when he is freaked out about the baby, Tess conveniently feels it move and Max is able to connect with the baby and tell it is a boy.
- Then Tess conveniently gets sick and something is wrong with the baby so he is dying, ensuring Max will stay close and involved with them.
Are these 'coincidences' just too much for anyone else to swallow?
You could even argue that Tess ‘pushed’ Max to do the nasty with her. He was horrified afterward, and tries to pull away from her, and even Michael mentions that Max is too smart to have unprotected sex. What happened to that condom in his back pocket?
I also find it curious that Max tells Michael that he can’t tell Tess what to do about the baby. Michael is concerned that the baby might not be human and expose all of them, endangering their lives, but Max says it is Tess’ choice.
Max hasn’t had any trouble dictating to everyone else what they should do, but he defers to Tess, letting her decide all their fates with the baby. Granted a baby is a bigger deal than the other issues, but Max was adamant that Liz was endangering them, but didn’t seem that concerned that an alien baby might also endanger them.
He also didn't even question Tess' ridiculous assertion that the baby would be born in a month. Come on. Sure they are hybrids, but he didn't think for a moment that it was suspicious that such a complex hybrid being could develop and be born in one month?
Could all of that mean that Tess is influencing his behavior about the baby?
I also find it odd that Max didn’t try to heal their sick baby. The child can’t breathe and is dying, but he doesn’t even try to do anything for it. He has his own healing powers as well as the healing stones, but it is like he didn't even think of trying to heal the child. I would think his first instinct would be to try and heal his son, but he didn’t. Why? Did Tess ‘influence’ him not to try because it was all a lie?
And Max was so desperate to translate the book, but he didn’t try to ask Larek about it. Why? Was there some reason Tess didn’t want him to have contact with Larek? Would Larek expose her lies about the baby being sick or how fast it would be born? Or maybe he would tell them not to come home because it wasn’t a safe time or something.
It is also suspicious that Max’s behavior seems to get worse to everyone else the more time he spends around Tess. It would certainly make me very annoyed being around her a lot, but it makes me think there is something more going on there, and Tess is making him mean to everyone or it is an after effect of her powers or something.
In ‘Departure’ when Max finally gets away from Tess for a while, he starts acting like himself again. He trusts Liz again and treats her like he used to. Sure, Liz has proof now that she was right all along about Alex’s death, but all of the stress and hostility seems to leave Max while he is away from Tess.
Admittedly, he was going to kill Leanna with no proof. Was that just a desperate act on Max’s part or maybe Tess ‘urged’ him to do that as well, to take the suspicion off anyone else?
You can see the real Max coming through from time to time. When he and Liz are together at his house the night before the funeral, and even though he is spending all this time with Tess, he is resistant to being with her. I think that is the last of his free will coming through. And a few times you see him when he is alone, thinking about what is happening and he obviously isn’t happy.
Obviously you can see where I am going with all of this. Tess didn't want Alex's death investigated. Tess wanted to make sure Isabel stuck around so she could take her to Khivar. Tess wanted Max completely separated from the humans, especially Liz. And she wanted Max to feel alone and cut off from his humanity and everyone so he would turn to her. Guess what, it worked.
Tess is around more and more in those episodes, not really saying very much but ‘supporting’ Max, agreeing with everything he says and does. She isn’t pushing him too much, but is slowly applying pressure on him. Or is she doing more than that? Is she silently influencing him, using her powers to amplify his feelings or create new ones in him? We know she can do that. Was she quietly taking advantage of a bad situation and making it go much, much worse?
At that point she already had the ‘destiny book’ translated and was just waiting for a chance to use it to go home. But the major obstacle to that plan is Max. No one is going back to their planet unless Max wants to, so she created a situation where he does want to go, or is forced to go.
Sure, I am putting a lot of this on Tess’ head and excusing Max for some if not all of his behavior, but it does make a lot of sense.
Could Max's hair prove he was mindwarped?
I had a friend who was convinced that every time in Season 2 that Max didn't have bangs, he was being mindwarped by Tess.
No don't laugh - it's totally true - and if you go back and look at the episodes it is a pretty good theory.
Times when Max had no bangs:
- When they tried to heal Nasedo in 'Ask Not' and he turned to dust. So maybe Tess mindwarped them to think Nasedo was dead when he really wasnt?
- At the prom when he let Liz go so easily and kissed Tess
- At Alex's house after the funeral when the gang was in Alex room talking about his death, and Max was so convinced that Alex committed suicide, he wouldn't even listen to what Liz was trying to say and was mean to her.
- When Max and Tess woke up together in the observatory
- When Tess told him she was pregnant
There is something to it - maybe a ride to the psych ward - but still...
What the hell was Future Max thinking?
In one of the episodes - I think it was Skin & Bones - Max tells Nasedo "I am not a king and we are not at war."
In End of the World the fortune teller tells Liz "He chooses love. He chooses you."
Maybe Max saw it as a choice. Liz or the kingship.
Perhaps what happened to the future Max is that he refused to believe or accept that he was the king, that he had these responsibilities. He chose not to believe and not to pursuit that aspect of his life. Maybe it was because he thought he could not have both Liz and the leadership. So he chose to have Liz and ignored his other responsibilities until it was too late. He treated Tess badly because he did not want to face up to what she represented in his past life and he let her leave because she was a constant reminder of his other responsibilities - out of sight out of mind. He didn't develope his leadership or his powers and when the enemy came he was not prepared and that is why they won.
He would never have pursued the skins to Copper Summit and he would not have gone to the summit in New York. He would have been too busy denying who he is and trying to make a normal life with Liz.
So in a way the future Max was right. Present day Max needed to step back from Liz to realize that he has these responsibilities and they will not go away. They will be forced upon him no matter what he does. He needed to realize that the best way is to confront them head on. He needed to stand up and be a leader. That is what he did in both Copper Summit and New York and even though he is still learning and he has his doubts about his abilities to lead, the only way he is going to learn is to just do it.
But future Max was also wrong because he still saw it as a choice, either Liz or the kingship. The present day Max must learn that it is not a choice, either this or that, it is a balancing act. He just has to learn how he can be a leader and face up to the responsibilities and have Liz in his life.
Was Max and Tess' sex consensual or coerced?
and did it even happen?
No, I'm not just a Max appologist, I've simply always believed this was impossible.
Sure, I've heard all of the arugments before - Max is a teenage boy with surging hormones, he felt all alone because he was arguing with Isabel, Liz and Michael, he felt betrayed that Liz went against his orders and was investigating Alex's death and possibly raising questions, he felt guilty and responsible for Alex's death, he felt abondoned by Liz going to Sweden, he wanted to get revenge on Liz by sleeping with Tess, etc, etc, and Tess was the only one there for him, convenient and willing, so he slept with her.
My question is, despite all of these things, does that sound like Max?
Max who plans everything, Max who is thoughtful and kind and loves Liz more than anything. Would he have pity sex, or revenge sex, or thoughtless sex with someone he didn't love?
Not the Max I know.
The Max I know would have never slept with Tess for anything but love, unless it wasn't entirely his choice.
Some have argued that he was 'caught up in the moment' and didn't realize what he was really doing, or was so upset that he didn't really think it through. But come on. There are so many decisions that go into having sex, so many stopping points. He wasn't even drunk.
I could see him being so upset that he kissed Tess, or even made out with her, maybe even a little more, wanting some kind of comfort, but to actually sleep with her just doesn't seem possible to me.
You make a decision every time a piece of clothing comes off, your own or the other person's. You know where each piece of clothing coming off is going to lead. You are making a conscious decision to go further, and make a choice to stop or go on.
Just days before, he told her he didn't like where their kiss at the prom was taking him, and now he's okay sleeping with her?
Sure, he and Tess were hanging out and getting to be closer, but for him to sleep with her that quickly when he was so uncomfortable with only a kiss just seems completely unrealistic.
And then there is the interesting (or sickening) tidbit that from what we can see of them getting it on - Tess is on top. Kinda weird for a first time. It makes her the agressor, and makes me wonder just how much Max was actually aware or participating.
The next morning when they woke up together the look of horror, disbelief and regret on his face was enough to make me think he didn't make the decision to have sex with Tess. He certainly didn't have a look like that when he woke up with Liz. He was joyous, completely comfortable, loving.
When he woke up with Tess it was like he was waking up after a night of drunken sex. He was disoriented and upset. If he had made the decision to be with her, why would he be upset the next morning? Wouldn't he be happy they'd had sex, happy they were together, kissed her, had a big smile, cuddled? Instead, he gave Tess a strained smile which faded the moment she couldn't see his face.
Then later at home, he tells Isabel that he feels weird about it, and she asks if he needs comfort or sympathy. Not something you usually ask someone after a night of sex.
For all these reasons, I don't believe that Max had consensual sex with her, (if there was sex at all and the whole thing wasn't a mindwarp). I believe that Tess was using her powers to push him somehow to do it. There are plenty of ways she could have coerced him. Maybe she took away his inhibitions, or made him believe it was a dream, or made him see Liz, or even just amplified his own urges to a point where he was out of control.
I believe Tess was determined to sleep with Max to get 'pregnant', and systematically manipulated him to seperate him from his friends and family until she was his only supporter.
I don't think she killed Alex on purpose, but she surely took advantage of the situation and the strain between everyone to tear the group apart. It wouldn't have been hard to say a word here and there to someone at just the right or wrong time to increase bad feelings. Maybe she was even using her powers on the others to manipulate them too.
Then she made sure Max had sex with her whether he wanted to or not.
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