No Tomorrow Season 1 Episode 2 Review: “No Crying in Baseball”

No Tomorrow

While I thoroughly enjoyed No Tomorrow‘s series premiere (check out my review of it right here, if you haven’t already), the episode’s final scene did leave me a little concerned. Having Xavier’s cousin, Jesse, breaking out of prison and, even more so, having Xavier harbor him felt like a step too far for the series, a little too cartoony for a show that is already pretty outrageous. Unfortunately, tonight’s episode, “No Crying in Baseball,” focuses heavily on Xavier’s attempts to keep Jesse safe, and while it somewhat works on an emotional level (Xavier views Jesse as his brother and just wants him to enjoy the last eight months of his life), the insane logic behind it all took me out of most of those scenes.

Still, though, I can’t be too hard on No Tomorrow, since it asks us to buy into a character that believes the apocalypse is happening in less than a year; really, it wants us to check logic at the door for the most part. But that really only works for smaller bits of craziness, like Xavier buying nine washing machines from Evie’s dad so that he can finally win Employee of the Year (and so that Xavier and Evie can have a foam party). Xavier being so reckless with his money is easier to swallow than him taking in Jesse, knowing that if he’s caught, he’ll go to prison, too. And while Jesse ultimately ends up on a trip to Canada at the end of the episode, safely hidden in one of the boxes from Evie’s company, he detracts from the hour instead of enriching it, only serving the purpose of a plot device, as his run-in with a police officer leads to Evie and Xavier proclaiming how much they’re beginning to care about one another.

However, minus the problems involving Jesse’s storyline, “No Crying in Baseball” acts as a solid follow-up episode to No Tomorrow‘s impressive pilot. Evie and Xavier’s relationship continues to develop in entertaining and realistic ways, as Evie butts heads with him over how to best solve the Jesse problem and also gets him to open up about the death of his mother. Joshua Sasse provides real sincerity and sadness when Xavier tells Evie about the video of his mom and how he wants to jump off Dead Man’s Cliff as a way to honor and connect with her (he never jumped off the cliff with his mom, even though she had wanted him to back during their summer visits to Seattle when he was kid).

Furthermore, Sasse really does some fine work in the quieter moments of “No Crying in Baseball,” such as when Xavier’s eyes linger longingly on the tape when he first finds it in his garage, and the wave of emotion that crosses his face when he’s finally able to hold it together and finish watching the video. Both on Galavant and in No Tomorrow‘s premiere, Sasse brought charisma and comedic skills; he was charming in all the right ways. But this is the first time I’m seeing him dig deeper into a character and flex his dramatic chops, and his performance has been a very welcome surprise.

While Xavier must find the strength to re-open the wound of his mother’s death, Evie needs to strengthen her confidence before going in front of an executive panel to prove why she should remain at her position at work. Even though it’s not as intensely dramatic as what Xavier’s going through, No Tomorrow still treats Evie’s fear as a legitimate problem, and the show is all the better for doing so. Sure, there’s more laughs in this storyline, from Evie nailing a line drive into Jesse’s nose, or the flashback of her freezing up during game night; however, when it comes time for Evie to illustrate her importance to the company, she steps up and succeeds, and it’s incredibly satisfying to watch her continue to grow, thanks in large part to her relationship with Xavier.

It’s small moments like those Evie’s interview that show why No Tomorrow’s romance is worth investing in. The best relationships, both on TV and in real life, turn the two individuals involved into more complete people; the person that you’re really supposed to be with helps you become the best version of yourself. Although it’s only been two episodes, it’s pretty clear that both Evie and Xavier are bringing out the best in each other, and even problems as big as helping an escaped convict flee the country aren’t going to get in the way of that.

Other thoughts:

  • A lot of the humor in “No Crying in Baseball” comes from Deirdre’s pursuit of Hank and Evie’s attempts to help her. Deirdre struggles to find ways to express her feelings for Hank that are within the HR guidelines, which lead to many of this episode’s biggest laughs, but their story has a sweet ending to it when she’s able to “do something nice” for him by getting him a new chair to sit in at work. It might not be as good as Deirdre’s massage would have been, but it will certainly help Hank deal with the tension in his back and shoulders.
  • Hank also tries to help Timothy get Evie back in this week’s episode, but it doesn’t work out as planned. Timothy dresses like Xavier and tries to give himself a little more of an edge, but he’s just not who Evie wants to be with at the moment. I’m hoping that he’ll accept this soon and move on, because I could see Timothy’s futile attempts at winning Evie back getting very old very quickly.
  • And one last thing about Hank: it turns out he doesn’t really like music, only certain types of sound effects and noises, which seems odd since he calls himself the Beyoncé of his and Evie’s friend group.
  • One other minor complaint: for an episode titled “No Crying in Baseball,” a direct reference to the famous line from A League of Their Own, I wanted more than just one baseball scene.
  • Even though she didn’t believe the apocalypse was coming anytime soon, we can clearly see that Xavier’s mom had an impact on how he chooses to live life. In the video, she tells him “every day is a gift” and to follow his heart, which he’s certainly doing in his relationship with Evie.
  • “Hot date with Mr. Tapatio? Senor Siracha? Chief Cholula? I’m trying out nicknames for him.” More charming moments like this from Mary Anne, please. I really enjoyed her and Evie’s scenes in this episode, and not just because I’m a lover of any and all hot sauces.
  • “He is so fashion-forward. It’s like he’s in the past and in the future at the same time.”

What did everyone else think about this week’s episode of No Tomorrow? Comment below and let me know.

[Photo via The CW]

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