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No Tomorrow broadens its horizons by leaping off a cliff

Tori Anderson, Joshua Sasse, George Basil (Photo: Katie Yu/The CW)
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Having established its slightly wacky subject matter in the pilot episode, No Tomorrow wisely spends its second episode filling in the details of who these people are. Evie’s fear of singing in public is grounded in a more general fear of high pressure situations, and Xavier’s interest in the apocalypse is given a little more context, since he’s struggling to come to terms with some tragedies. Plus, the two of them faced an actual relationship dilemma, and worked it out like adults, which is a thing that people have to do even if the world is ending.

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Xavier’s cousin Jesse provides a real conundrum. On the one hand, he’s a nonviolent white collar criminal and he’s an important part of Xavier’s life. But on the other hand, being around him makes Evie an accomplice to harboring a fugitive, and Xavier’s initial refusal to see her point of view isn’t a feasible long-term situation. That he’s capable of understanding the risks for her, and changes his behavior accordingly, makes him a much more suitable prospect as a partner for her. Given the premise of the show, there’s always a risk that he’ll come off as either a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist or some sort of idealized dream guy, but proof that he can grow as a person gives the relationship between the two of them a lot more room to grow.

Evie’s problems are a bit too easily solved—a shy person does not abruptly become un-shy after jumping off a cliff—but it is a handy way of showing how her adventures with Xavier can improve her life. Their relationship isn’t just about hijinks and thrilling new activities, it’s also about Evie learning to live her own life a little better. Though it should be noted that an efficiency company that sends something like eight people to every meeting with employees is wildly inefficient.

Timothy and Hank are somewhat stranded in their plot. Making Timothy an ongoing part of the show can work, but only if he starts to have a life beyond pining after Evie, who is clearly still in the honeymoon phase of her relationship. Presumably, at some point she’s going to be tempted to return to him, but having him pull a Grease finale-style makeover is almost too goofy, even for a show about the apocalypse. Plus, he seems smart enough to know it’s both unnecessary and unhygienic to pierce your own ears at home. Every mall has a Claire’s that’ll pierce your ears for you, Timothy.

The episode also holds steady with Xavier not forcing Evie into changes she’s unprepared to make. There’s a moment on the cliff where it looks like he’s about to pull her off with him (now there’s a metaphor for you), but instead the moment ends with him giving her the choice, which she then feels ready to make. Plus, the activity is a list item for them both, which gives them more ways to complement each other. It would be nice to see the next activity tilt a little more towards her end of the spectrum, however. Also, his use of Jesse’s leftover embezzlement money to aid in the slightly random Salesman of the Year storyline at least gives him the chance to prove he can be thoughtful, even if it doesn’t quite justify the existence of the SOTY storyline. Given how excited her family was about Timothy, their eventual meeting of Xavier could go seriously awry, except for her father, who now has reason to like him.

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The Hank/Deirdre plotline moves incrementally forward, but some legwork needs to be done to suggest the two of them would actually make a good couple. All we know about Deirdre is that she’s a corporate automaton, and for now, Evie’s efforts to bring them together don’t exactly make her the best friend out there. Is there any reason Hank should want to be with this person beyond saving Evie’s job?

Still, for a show so early in its run, this episode does a nice job of suggesting what kind of world it’s building. These are all people trying to break themselves free of the ruts they’re stuck in, whether it’s losing an award every year or not knowing how to speak up for themselves.

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Stray observations

  • Hank has a flip phone?
  • Evie’s dad’s inability to place Xavier’s accent seems like a nod to the audience’s inability to figure it out either. Joshua Sasse is English, according to IMDb, but as a committed terrible identifier of accents, I had to double check. Also relevant: Evie’s dad looks like Peter Gallagher but with lighter hair.
  • “Those cornrows are the only thing I’m guilty of.”
  • I didn’t catch in the pilot that they’re pronouncing Xavier as Zavier, rather than X-avior, which makes it sound a lot more like “savior.” Innnnteresting.
  • Now that Jesse is gone, is Xavier going to get some new friends?
  • Did it bother anyone else that Evie didn’t take her necklace off before jumping?
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