We first encounter the Crashdown Café as the place in which Max Evans saves Liz Parker from a stray bullet. With it’s alien-centric theme it is a popular tourist spot and throughout Roswell’s run it becomes one of our central sets. Both Liz and Maria work there, as later does Michael Guerrin. It becomes an unofficial headquarters for our protagonists, one of a handful of places where they can talk in confidence about the problem of the moment.
As the show progresses so does our sense of the Crashdown. When we first encounter it in the pilot it is busy, bustling with tourism as the commemoration of the alien crash-landing approaches, and provides an ideal cover for Max’s healing of Liz. By season 2 episode We are Family however, we have begun to see it as a haven. Throughout the episode we are repeatedly exposed to the Crashdown by night as an anxious Max arrives late to look in on Liz, and as later does Sean DeLuca. Notably though as the episode evolves the absence of a crowd persists into daytime shots and we increasingly get the sense that this has become one of a few safe havens our protagonists have. By the time we reach season 3’s A Tale of Two Parties the show is all but textually treating the Crashdown as a familial space as Jeff Parker takes down breakfast orders not only for Liz but all of our protagonists.