Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

No Tomorrow starts to move beyond the honeymoon period

Jonathan Langon, Tori Anderson, Joshua Sasse
Jonathan Langon, Tori Anderson, Joshua Sasse / Diyah Pera, CW

There’s always a tipping point when you like a new person, whether romantically or even just as a new friend, where you figure out what it is about them that is slightly less cool, whether it’s their unfortunate taste in music, an annoying laugh, or an inability to distinguish between your and you’re. On No Tomorrow, Evie knows from the start what Xavier’s weird thing is, but it’s finally starting to sink in just how hard it’s going to be to accept. His wacky apocalypse theory isn’t just a theory to him. It seeps into every moment of his life, from getting tased trying to get his theory verified to, alarmingly, how he interacts with new people he meets.

His suggestion that Evie is a bigot for not understanding his beliefs is clearly too strong, but the basis of his concern is not. This is important enough to him that he’s not OK with her asking him to hide a vital aspect of who he is. As he puts it, “It’s all part of the package. You don’t get to cherry pick.” And at base level, that’s something that any relationship goes through in its early stages. You don’t get to look at a person and select the things you like about them, then ask them politely never to acknowledge in public that they like the Patriots. Or whatever it might be. Despite the unusual nature of Xavier’s big flaw, the show is doing a very good job of showing the degree to which it impacts his relationship with Evie in the same way any quirk would, while still demonstrating that it’s really not a normal quirk, and it’s not something she can brush off.

Xavier is fun and charming and apparently a very good height for kissing, and in the honeymoon period of a relationship, that’s enough. But even as his surprise birthday party for Evie is going really well, it’s clear that her efforts to separate him from the rest of her life will fail. Just as she literally compartmentalizes her highlighters, she’s trying to make a Xavier part of her life and an “everyone else” part of her life. And while the weird highlighter thing may work, it’s not a principle to be applied elsewhere. This clearly won’t be the last time his beliefs are an issue, but the way she’s dealing with them both doesn’t let him off the hook for having them, and lets her figure out a path to still loving him.

His carpe diem philosophy also turns out to be very popular, even after everyone learns the truth about him. Evie’s dad quits his job, Kareema starts her own list, and Deirdre and Hank take a step forward in their relationship. There are also starting to be some parallels between quite a few of the relationships on the show. Deirdre and Hank are starting to mesh well in a similar way to how Evie and Xavier did—two oddballs who just need to admit to themselves that they can make things work even though one of them thinks the world is ending. And it’s not clear if the show will go there, but there’s just a tiny hint that Kareema and Timothy could be almost a mirror image of Evie and Xavier. She gets him to start living his life more adventurously, and he secretly understands her pretty well. Evie and Timothy were both not experiencing life to the fullest, and Kareema and Xavier live their lives so fully they’ve both been arrested.

The show, for now, sidesteps the issue of whether or not Xavier’s right. Evie could easily take his research to another astronomer, but she chooses not to, nor does she tell him the truth about where his research ended up. There may come a point where the two of them have to deal with a huge difference between them—she can acknowledge that he might be right without wanting to know the truth. It would suggest an even deeper philosophical divide between them than what’s already out there. Xavier is obsessed with everyone coming to terms with the truth, whereas Evie can be OK with either version of the asteroid, and still live by the principle that there’s no reason not to check things off your to-do list now rather than later. For all his efforts to prove how free he is, she’s a lot more flexible about life.

Stray observations

  • The show’s commitment to its own running jokes is impressive this early in its run. Evie really wants to make “thang” work, and Xavier will never get any newcomers to pronounce his name right.
  • “I like that you really thought about your word choice there and then you went with rigamarole.”
  • It’s going to come up again that Xavier has no internet presence, right?
  • Hank’s tendency to give Timothy nicknames (such as T nasty) that are the direct opposite of his personality is cute.
  • Beginning to worry that Xavier has depth perception problems, as he seems to have a real problem buttoning up the last few buttons on his shirts.
  • Tip of the hat for that amazing Bechdel test joke.