NO TOMORROW Review: “No Holds Barred”

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took Evie and Xavier’s relationship to a level most shows only joke about in “No Holds Barred.” Evie discovers that one of the downsides to being convinced that the world is going to end in eight months is the fact that the idea of monogamy seems a bit…pointless. When she meets one of Xavier’s casual romances, Tuesday (played by Jenna Dewan Tatum), Evie must decide if she’s going to step up (sorry, couldn’t help myself) and play the casual dating game, too.

Not surprisingly, things don’t go quite as either lovebird expects when Xavier discovers he might be more into the idea of monogamy than originally thought, and Evie realizes pushing herself to expand and breakdown her limitations is actually helping her to grow positively. By the end both have realized there might be merit in the other’s original opinion on the matter of exclusive versus open relationships. Ironically, they’re still on different pages on the subject by the end of the episode.

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The show continues to be light in tone and cute in humor. What’s striking about the series is that it’s continually defying tonal expectations and making it work. Not every show can grapple with the discussion of open and poly sexual relationships, make it seem casual and normal, and keep the tone light and endearing. In fact, I would amend that to say that only one show can do that, and you’re currently reading about it right now.

For some strange reason, despite years and years of show depictions of sex, casual and otherwise, the one silent rule unifying all of it was the depiction of monogamous sex. Not necessarily sex in a relationship, but sex solely between two people at a time. Now don’t freak out, No Tomorrow isn’t suddenly giving us elaborate or graphic sex scenes with threesomes and foursomes, but the entire episode’s subject matter was just that: open relationships, both casual and sexual. It’s a topic only the crassest of comedies tend to even joke about, because, for some reason, it’s just not typically seen as a positive subject. No Tomorrow went there, though, and it worked.

Now, perhaps the reason why this episode feels appropriately in the show’s wheelhouse and not just incredibly outrageous is because by the end, Xavier had seemed to uncover some underlying benefit to monogamy. Perhaps it was because the show wasn’t really pushing the idea that any one particular lifestyle or dating style is right. Or perhaps it was because Evie discovered something about herself that had nothing to do with relationships or sex by exploring casual relationships. Or maybe it was a combination of all of these things. But the episode made sense within the worldbuilding of this story; it seems appropriate that at some point Xavier’s desire (or lack thereof) to be only with Evie in his last eight months (or so he thinks) would need to be explained and explored.

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The episode starts with Evie and Xavier on a date, trying bone marrow. Well, Xavier is at least. Evie is a little less sure about it and has to say “No to marrow.” But Xavier wants her to make sure she’s really sucking the marrow out of life, and that’s the jumping off point for this episode.

When Evie goes to meet Xavier at his home she meets Tuesday, a beautiful woman Xavier has been casually seeing since before Evie was around. They do bare-naked yoga together. Thus the status of Evie and Xavier’s relationship comes up. Evie was under the impression that they were only sleeping with each other, but since Xavier thinks there’s only eight months left of life, he really doesn’t want to tie himself down to just one person, especially if someone else particularly attractive comes along. But he also doesn’t want Evie tying herself down, either. He says they should both keep dating other people.

Evie’s unsure how to feel about this, but when she tells her friends at work, Kareema is all for it. In fact, Kareema insists they go out that night, and she signs Evie up for a ton of dating sites. The next time Evie sees Xavier, she’s got a ton of messages from guys online, and the extra attention is starting to get to Xavier, just a smidge. But he lets it go and Evie agrees to go on a date with a hunky Russian dude from the shipping department at work. Hunky Russian dude and his brother take Evie and Kareema to a wrestling tournament, where Evie and Kareema decide to mud wrestle, and end up having a blast.

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Meanwhile, Xavier and Timothy meet without realizing who the other person is. They hit it off, and Xavier takes them to meet up with Tuesday, who introduces them to her friend. Tuesday suggests they go have a foursome in a nearby hot tub, but Xavier can’t go through with it. He realizes that because of him, Evie is now on a date with another guy and he doesn’t want to be seeing anyone else, and doesn’t really want her to want to see anyone else, either. He takes Timothy and they go find Evie and Kareema at the wrestling match, where Xavier and Timothy finally realize that they are, respectively, “the new guy,” and “the ex” that each had spent the night telling the other about.

Evie thinks Xavier has shown up at her date to ruin it for her, and she calls him out on it, and leaves with the two Russians and Kareema. With her newly gained confidence from her wild romp, Evie solves a problem at work and is commended for her initiative. She goes to Xavier’s house to make amends, and before Xavier can explain himself, Evie tells him that she’s still a little mad about the night before, but also grateful that he encouraged her to “suck the marrow out of life” because it helped her improve in ways she wasn’t expecting. So, she decides that it would be okay for them to consider their relationship open and casual. Realizing that he’s missed his chance to tell Evie how he really feels, Xavier agrees.

The show continues to be a fun watch, though I’d really enjoy a bigger serial element to it. Something to get me more invested in the success of Xavier’s and Evie’s relationship, since at the moment the only thing I’m truly curious about knowing is how Xavier reacts when the world doesn’t end. Perhaps in next week’s show. I’ll be here to find out!

TB-TV-Grade-A

Season 1, Episode 4 (S01E04)
No Tomorrow airs Tuesdays at 9PM on The CW

Read all of our reviews of No Tomorrow here. 
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Tasha is a freelance writer currently based in Los Angeles. Originally from Kansas, when she’s not writing about or watching TV, Tasha is searching for the best BBQ place in LA to fill the KC BBQ hole in her stomach.
Keep up with all of Tasha’s reviews here.

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Still quiet here.sas

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