If there’s a theme this week on No Tomorrow, it’s how hard it is to be truly honest with people. There’s the ideal world, where we’re all our most truthful selves in all our relationships, and then there’s the real world, where no matter what stage of a relationship you’re in, it’s pretty hard to come clean.
Every couple on the show is struggling with this to some degree. Timothy and Hank are trying to bluff their way through the early parts of their romances, with varying amounts of success. For Timothy, it means pretending to like things he’s not that into, and for Hank, it’s refusing to admit to Deirdre that he just wants to figure out what she’s into. But for both of them, the risks are a little lower than they are for Evie, Xavier, and her parents, all of whom have to grapple with serious issues.
Has anyone ever kept a secret for someone “to protect them” when it isn’t actually about avoiding confrontation? Xavier can pretend all he likes that he’s making Evie’s life easier by not telling her about his financial situation, but it’s clearly not a viable long-term solution, particularly since he now has zero dollars. There are times it seems like Xavier has never experienced the real world. Of course you can’t rack up all that credit card debt and hope to keep going. He may want to live in a consequence-free world, but that’s sadly not the one he lives in. And it’s another scary step for him in his relationship with Evie to admit that he needs to tell her when bad things happen.
We also finally get a glimpse of how bad Xavier’s home life was. Given the overall sunny outlook of a lot of what happens with the other characters, it seemed possible that his problem with his father would be something more minor, or some kind of misunderstanding. But from what he describes, he had pretty legitimate reasons for keeping his father out of his life, and very little reason to believe the man had changed. Evie’s family life is mostly idyllic, but for Xavier, witnessing it strands him somewhere between envy and joy.
There are things that come so easily for some people, as a happy family life does for Evie, that it’s hard for them to understand when others struggle. Is she underestimating how serious Xavier’s rift with his father is? She pushes him to get back in touch, and promises that it won’t be so bad this time because she’ll be there for him, but how does she know? Having a supportive partner certainly helps, but it’s not a cure-all. Even if Xavier’s father has cleaned his life up, that doesn’t mean the two of them will be able to find common ground again.
Evie’s parents, on the other hand, are navigating a situation that shakes up a decades-old marriage. This incarnation of truth in relationships doesn’t work quite as well as the others. For one thing, Evie’s father quitting his job happened pretty abruptly, and since we don’t know him as a character as well as we do with some of the others, it’s hard to know what that means for him as a person. Is he impulsive and thoughtless generally, or is this out of the ordinary for him? And the resolution happens so quickly that it feels like the slate is wiped clean, which doesn’t seem quite realistic for a married couple with many years of resentment and compromise to build on.
Kareema, meanwhile, finally gets an episode to shine. She tends to get more to do in the episodes when Evie and Xavier are apart, as she did in the mud wrestling episode, and again here, because then she and Evie can bounce off of each other. They make for an odd friendship (it actually doesn’t seem that surprising that the highest ranking Evie has is “second best work friend”), but Kareema goes for any port in a storm when it comes to meeting her brother’s new girlfriend. And while usually the characters on No Tomorrow find their way back to making the morally sound decision, Kareema does not. It’s hard to criticize her too harshly for this—nobody makes the most rational decisions when they’re infatuated with someone. For a person who doesn’t usually connect that deeply with anyone, it can be even harder.
The misfits of No Tomorrow may be working their various ways to maturity, regardless of their actual ages, but the road is going a lot more smoothly for some of them than others. And it seems fitting that Kareema, who most closely shares Xavier’s “live life to the fullest” philosophy, is also, like him, the one struggling to move forward in her life.
- It’s too bad Hank couldn’t be more helpful with Xavier’s “black man with scented menthols.”
- “Now what I need for you to do is find a way to take those words and put them back in your mouth, because I find them nauseating.” Mean Kareema is the best. Maybe her real true love is someone who she can be mean around, instead of pretending to be nice.
- “Balloons are for children and the terminally ill.”
- I can’t remember if we knew Xavier’s last name was Holiday before (seems likely, given the mail mishap that started the show), but it was very noticeable in this episode, and is a very on-the-nose character name choice.
- “I really think that this could be the beginning of something…not awful.” Dating! It’s the best/worst.
- Is there a fate worse than having to host a pirate-themed stationary cruise? It seems unlikely.