We start where we left off in No Truer Words, with Evie confronting Xavier with an X about the hidden past that Timothy dug up while researching his article. This deep, dark past consists of changing his name from Hamish Stegner, Jr to the much cooler Xavier Holiday (wouldn’t you?), and having been arrested 8 times in 5 months for trespassing, public nudity, and disorderly conduct. Xavier explains his crimes away as normal youthful rebellion where he comes from. Honestly, it was not that unusual where I come from, either. He didn’t commit any violent crimes, it was a long time ago, and they haven’t been dating that long. I’m not sure he owed Evie every single detail he might have forgotten to mention yet. One of their first dates was helping a cousin (that Xavier had just broken out of prison) to flee the country, so I’m not sure why him having a bit of a history himself would be such a shock. Seems more like an excuse for cold feet to me.
Eventually, Evie realizes that Xavier’s arrests all happened right after his mom’s death, and he changed his name because of his issues with his father. She points out that Xavier avoids his own issues, while making everyone else confront theirs. Evie breaks up with him until he can live an honest life, be his whole self, and deal with his shit, since he lied about his debt and other things too.
Xavier is floored that Evie broke up with him. He has a hard time with consequences. But he did listen to Evie, and considers what she said. He decides to go through with it and calls his dad.
Kareema and Sofia are enjoying being engaged. Kareema realizes she needs to have good work evaluations for Sofia’s green card application. She’s worried that’s an issue because she coasts at work, but she’s never checked her evaluations. She starts trying harder at work. She becomes the most popular customer service rep at Cybermart, a Cybersiren. A woman from corporate comes to tell her that she used to be Cybermart’s most efficient customer service rep, but she’s become their worst. Kareema is shocked that the company wants efficiency instead of niceness, apparently not understanding exactly how businesses make money, or having paid attention to how heartless the company she works for is. She heads off to undo as many of the effects of her nice streak as she can, relieved she can go back to being herself.
Hank is still bitter over his break up with Deirdre. Hank, Timothy, and Evie go out drinking since they all have broken hearts. Deirdre calls Hank over to her apartment. He hopes it’s for a booty call, but, alas, she’s sick. She needs to be taken care of, and she needs him to prepare Cybermart for its fire inspection with the supertough fire chief. Hank makes Deirdre his family’s special immune system booster, but she’s allergic to the kumquat in it. Hank has to prepare for the nitpicky fire inspector by himself. When the inspector arrives at Cybermart, they try having Deirdre coach Hank through a bluetooth in his ear, but her voice is even huskier than usual because of her cold, and he can’t handle the sexiness. He cuts off her mic and flies solo. It’s a disaster, as he racks up fine after fine. Hank tries to stall the fire inspector by getting him talking about something personal. He discovers the inspector lost his eyebrows permanently not because of a fire, as is rumored, but because he has alopecia. Hank’s favorite cousin also has alopecia, and just like that, the two become friends and the $7500 in fines from the inspection is forgiven. Hank tells the inspector all about the magic act he and his cousin had. Deirdre is impressed with Hank, and also loves magic. They start talking excitedly about Hank and his cousin’s magic act, and Deirdre dating David Copperfield, until Hank cuts it off. He says it’s not fair to either of them, or Pete, to encourage this closeness as long as Deirdre’s engaged to someone else. He leaves her apartment. Deirdre stares longingly after him. My favorite couple is making progress, but not fast enough.
Timothy and Evie discuss old times, after Hank leaves them at the bar to go to Deirdre’s. Evie throws out her apocalyst to show she’s done with Xavier.
Evie has days to vet a new charity for CyberHugs, but she’s overly critical of the charities because of her anger at Xavier’s deceptions. When Evie chooses the new Cyberhugs charity, it’s a group she’s worked with in the past that feeds the homeless.
Timothy uses his newfound fame to bypass the 3 year wait list on his and Evie’s favorite game show, Grocer’s Blowout. They have a blast. Timothy wins a $200 gift certificate, while Evie gets souped. They almost kiss afterwards, and he returns her apocalyst to her, telling her she shouldn’t stop having fun just because she’s not with Xavier.
Evie loses her CyberHugs charity after they see the soup wasted on her by grocery busters on tv. Look, someone as judgy and unforgiving as she can be. She needs to come up with a new charity, fast, because the corporate rep she has to impress is waiting for her in the conference room. She looks at the box of returns Kareema is working on, and comes up with a plan to use Cybermart boxes to donate to community shelters and food pantries. The corporate rep loves the idea. Evie’s plucky optimism carries the day again. She and Timothy go out that night to spend the gift certificate and celebrate, then hook up at her apartment. Evie tells Timothy he’s not a rebound. She’s just living in the moment.
Xavier meets with his dad, Hamish, who brings the urn with Xavier’s mom’s ashes. Xavier’s dad abandoned them to form a new family while his mom, Tabitha, was dying, so Xavier had to watch his mom die alone. He throws his dad out when his anger resurfaces. Hamish’s mistress, now wife, shows up to explain to Xavier that they met at a support group for people with dying loved ones. They were both so torn apart watching the people they loved die that they left them for each other. WHAT? This explanation was supposed to make things better? The guy left his 20 year old kid to nurse his mother through her illness and death while he set up housekeeping with a younger woman because it hurt him too much to stay, and he’s the one they want us to feel sorry for? NO. NO NO NO NO. That’s despicable behavior, and Xavier has every right to his anger. He should process it for himself, not because his father deserves it. Both the stepmother and Hamish tell Xavier that Tabitha was Hamish’s soulmate. Oh, well, as long as he felt that way in his heart, who cares how he treated her during her last days on earth, right? So, so not okay, show. An affair is painful for the partner at any time, but to leave her for another woman at that time, and then to say it’s because he loves her too much to stay? That’s downright abusive. If he loved her, he could have waited to leave until after she died. No wonder Xavier has so many issues with love, trust, commitment, and the truth. His father taught him all of it.
Xavier accepts his father’s explanation, because his father is the only family he has left, and we live in a misogynist world. They distribute Tabitha’s ashes that night by packing them into fireworks, which they hold up high, in their hands, and light up so that they fire over a hydroelectric dam. Kids, don’t try this at home. Xavier and his father get misty at the idea that her molecules and essence will be spread through the water and the power produced by the dam, so she’ll be in every light in the city. It’s a lovely idea.
Xavier is so happy and relieved that he calls Evie to thank her for pushing him into calling his father. She’s busy hooking up with Timothy, so she doesn’t answer.
Ironically, these two characters are the opposite of who they appeared to be in the pilot, relationship-wise. Xavier seemed to be the free-spirited, no commitment, live for the moment guy. Instead, once he falls in love and makes the commitment, he’s all in. He’s been there for Evie, for her family, and for her friends. No matter what has come up, he’s been willing to work through it. Not that he’s perfect by any means, but he is committed. We found out tonight that’s consistent for him. He stuck with his mother as she was dying, even though he was young and alone. He also made good on his promise to his incarcerated cousin early in the season. Xavier may not always be honest about surface details, but when it comes to deeper truths, you can count on him.
Evie, on the other hand, has changed boyfriends twice, changed her job, and appears to have no long term friendships. In the pilot, she was in a long term relationship, had been in the same job for years, and she lives in her home town. She appeared to be stable and solid. Instead she’s flighty and a little selfish. If she broke up with Xavier for the reasons she stated, she would have been waiting to go back to him when she found out he’d connected with his dad. Instead, she went running back to the new and improved Timothy. Xavier met her conditions. But she’s already moved on to the next shiny object, just as she moved on from Fern to the volleyball squad, from Timothy to Xavier, from her quality control job to CyberHugs.
I’d be angry with the show for breaking them up, but this rift has been coming for a while. The personality flaws that brought it on have been part of both characters from the beginning. Evie values surface honesty and niceness, but doesn’t have a problem with hurting people when she’s gotten what she wanted from them. Xavier couldn’t care less about appearing nice or respectable, but he takes care of the people he cares about, no matter how difficult things get. They have the potential to balance each other out, but I don’t know how they’ll get past Evie’s need for respectability, or Xavier’s need for trust and commitment.
Next week, Xavier and Timothy compete for Evie’s love. With pianos.