As it winds down its season, No Tomorrow finally answers the question that’s been lurking behind the scenes of its romance all along: Yes, Xavier’s asteroid theory has some good science behind it. The show has never showed its cards before this; the story being told here wouldn’t really work if we thought he was right all this time. It’s a little hard to enjoy a cute love triangle if it’s about to go up in literal flames.
It’s surely going to lurch the show in odd directions. With only one episode left to go, the tonal shift that’s about to occur will really only affect the finale, which is probably for the best. No Tomorrow has always been most enjoyable when it focused in on the specificity of a bunch of oddballs trying to improve their own and each other’s lives. Government agents and the thought of an actual apocalypse don’t really mesh with a world that has featured, at various times, a grocery-based game show, an animal rescue scam artist, and one of the characters becoming a meme for falling off a stage during his faux TED talk.
Thankfully, we get one more episode in that world before everyone’s frantic efforts to prevent the end times, which are oddly timed to the inauguration. That’s probably just a coincidence. Anyway, Evie’s efforts to preserve her existing world end with the unexpected development that she quits her job, which you may recall Xavier pushing her to do in the pilot. The question of whether Evie’s altruism would be overcome by her desire to get her dream job has already been answered once this season, so of course she gives it up for Kareema, whose need is a bit more desperate than hers. And Kareema is certainly more deserving than Fern turned out to be.
And even Timothy L. Finger starts on the path to success: He’s got a big new story, and a big new romance, although I would like to throw out now that you should never, ever, ask out your boss. But aside from that romance being shoehorned in, it’s a handy way of finally getting Xavier’s theory fact checked. All along, his inability to get any expert buy-in on his idea has kept it on the backburner, and made it possible to assume he was wrong. So basically Timothy’s new editor just saved the world by getting him to call an astronomer on Xavier’s behalf.
Ignoring the possibility of Xavier’s theory being true has also allowed the show to avoid Xavier confronting Evie about her lack of interest in it. In a season full of Xavier frequently ignoring how she feels about things, the totally cavalier way in which she breaks the news about his theory being wrong was a little jarring. He’s built his entire life around the world ending—picking a fight over him not bouncing back immediately after learning her news is a bit unfair.
But it does allow her to head to Reykjavik on her own, which is the decision the season has been building towards. It became clear once the love triangle really started heating up that the biggest change in Evie’s life was ultimately going to be her making better choices for herself, even if they meant being alone. As charming as Xavier is, and as much as she enjoys being with him, she’s no longer so enamored that she’s going to rearrange her life for him.
Of course, all this personal growth is going to be pretty pointless once the Earth has become a lifeless hunk of burning rock, so here’s hoping Xavier can fix things up with his new astronomer buddy.
Earlier in the season, No Tomorrow had pleasantly slow pacing. It seemed content to take its time world-building around these people, and to be a hangout series as much as anything else. Whether the writers knew the show was likely to be canceled as they were writing these final episodes seems possible; the speed with which this episode churns through plots suggests they did. Here’s hoping the finale can slow down enough to throw in a few more quirky side journeys.
- Why is the astronomer asking Timothy whose theory that was? Xavier has been harassing her about it so much she’s afraid of him.
- This is nitpicking for a show that is telling a lot of story in only 13 episodes, but it would have been nice to see the rekindling of the Hank/Deirdre relationship.
- Hank had some classics tonight, between “One of them always had norovirus” and “Releasing trained rats is never as simple as it seems.”
- The fact that Evie is great with names is the least surprising piece of information we could learn about her.
- Shoutout to Sarayu Blue for memorizing that list of bizarre hobbies to suggest for her counterpart. I think my favorites were probably macaroni sex and catfishing Bonnie Hunt.