So far, “No Tomorrow” has been all about living life to its fullest — whether that means quitting your dead end job to pursue the career you’ve always wanted, or spending a lot of money on some vases only to break them later in the day with bowling balls. Why? Because who hasn’t wanted to try out bowling in their front lawns — and because sometimes, it feels nice to break things just for the sake of breaking things. How’s that “Fight Club” quote go again?
The CW’s addition to their 2016 lineup has been packed to the brim with charm, thanks to the talent of its stars, particularly Joshua Sasse and Tori Anderson in the lead roles, and the always lovable Sarayu Blue playing backup. While the series’ message of not wasting time has felt generic at times, it’s still done with enough tact to put a smile on your face.
We’re reminded especially of “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” with its casual ability to play real and grounded drama against its own premise — you could even say, between these examples and “Jane the Virgin’s” constant self-interrogation, those clever contradictions are becoming the CW’s house style.
In the Nov. 16 episode “No Debt Remains Unpaid,” however, each of the main characters had to deal with honesty in some form or another — whether that meant coming clean to their romantic partners, or getting clear with themselves.
For Kareema (Blue), that dilemma came when she began to develop feelings towards her brother’s fiancée, Sofia (Marta Milans). The two even shared a kiss, after the revelation that it is a green card marriage, to keep Sofia in the US permanently. For Kareema, this came down as permission to begin a relationship with Sofia… Until her brother Rohan (Vinny Chhibber) confessed he actually had feelings for his betrothed.
The episode ended on a cliffhanger with Kareema, as she accepted a late-night invitation from Sofia — ignoring Evie’s advice to let it go and despite the threat to their relationships with Rohan. Kareema’s built a notoriety for herself in the moral language of the show, so it’ll be interesting to see just how selfless she’s willing to be when push comes to shove.
Meanwhile, after breaking a whole lot of vases with Evie in the opening minutes, Xavier find himself on the receiving end of a letter from his estranged father — which he plans on burning before Evie intervenes and sneaks it away in her purse. At an already low point, Xavier is then subject to a complete repossession of his belongings, after having maxed out 15 credit cards and racked up $93,000 in debt.
It’s the last straw for Evie, whose shared home with her parents has put her face-to-face with the effect of her father’s “unilateral decisions” — including quitting his job to become an actor — as another consequence of the Xavier philosophy: The selfishness causes strain on her mother and their marriage ways Evie didn’t expect. Learning about the repossession, Evie goes after Xavier for keeping things from her, terrified they’ll end up like her parents.
The scene is heartfelt, and like many of “No Tomorrow’s” best moments so far, works because of the chemistry and commitment between Sasse and Anderson. When Evie follows it up by promising to help him work out his debt, thanks to her bookkeeping and spreadsheet skills, it just feels like yet another step in the right direction for this rather odd couple.
Evie’s parents (Gigi Rice & Ted McGinley) eventually work things out in the end, thanks to the kids’ sweet recreation of their first New Year’s Eve together — and Xavier eventually reads the letter after all. He doesn’t end the episode prepared to make amends with his father, of course, but it’s the little things “No Tomorrow” suggests — like even acknowledging his father’s existence again — that shows the slow progress being made in his life.
“No Debt Remains Unpaid” works because it connects every storyline back to the episode’s main theme, which despite the title is not in the end about Xavier’s past mistakes at all: It’s about how miscommunication and dishonesty are the ultimate villains in all of our relationships. A lack of honest discussion nearly tore Evie’s parents apart, Xavier’s secrecy led to a fight, and Kareema’s secrecy about her feelings will definitely come back to haunt her.
If “living for today” means putting things off that we really shouldn’t, we’re doing it wrong — especially if it’s the fear of their inevitable outcome. The delay just ends up making everything else worse in the end, and that is disrespect to yourself as well as your loved ones — you’re not making every moment count, you’re making every moment suck.
Yes, having all his belongings repossessed was embarrassing, but Xavier keeping that fact from Evie doesn’t save her another burden, and only puts more strain on a new relationship. Ignoring the letter from his father doesn’t erase the pain of Xavier’s childhood go away, it just gives it more room to bring him down.
All in all, we get a nice reminder of the flaws in Xavier’s pose of nonchalance — and get to underline its importance by seeing those consequences play out in other contexts. It’s an important lesson for our cast of characters, that may help them grow into the future (or lack thereof)… Even if it takes a little bit longer for some of them to hear it.
“No Tomorrow” airs Tuesdays at TK p.m. ET/PT on the CW.