This episode answers the question at the heart of the show: Is Xavier right about the impending asteroid impact, or is he crazy? It turns out, he’s been right all along, and I’m so glad they went in this direction. It legitimizes the character and his views. They’ve already shown us that his father is a well-regarded mathematician, making Xavier’s scientific and mathematical abilities plausible, no matter how much or how little college or experience he’s had. Many a maverick genius is self-educated. That would be what allowed Xavier to think outside the box and see the crucial variables that no one else was taking into account.
But, the big reveal doesn’t come until the very end of the episode. Let’s start at the beginning. Jesse and Evie are playing Jumbo tumble tower, a life-sized version of Jenga made of colorful blocks. Xavier with an X is inside his trailer (which is in the park with them, instead of under the bridge, to reflect his optimistic new view of life) trying to find a solution to the asteroid problem. Evie interrupts him to suggest they solidify their plans for their trip to Iceland, which is in three days. Xavier asks to put off the planning until the next day. Evie reluctantly agrees. She still doesn’t take Xavier’s theory seriously, and is annoyed that it’s interfering with their lives. Xavier’s frustrated because every solution he models ends with a devastating impact.
Jeff Bezos Corey Casey holds a meeting at Cybermart to tell the Seattle Cybermartians that he’s closing their facility and relocating them all to locations scattered around the world. Deirdre has been sent to Siberia, Hank to Phoenix, Kareema to Detroit, and Evie to Tacoma. The kids go to Deirdre for help, but she’s busy day drinking frozen daiquiris and contemplating life in Siberia without Hank.
Xavier finally finds a solution that will divert the asteroid impact, but it requires launching a space shuttle in 11 days. They need to find someone with a lot of money to help them save the world, fast. No time to celebrate, not even with fondue. Jesse will set up a crowd-funding site to raise $1.5 billion. He comes up with two T-shirt designs: Asteroid Never and Asteroid D-stroid. Talking to Evie reminds them that Corey Casey is a crazy billionaire who’s into space tourism, so they start making a plan for Xavier show him the asteroid threat and solution.
The Cybermartians are trying to find a way to stay together. Evie displays an actual strong emotion. Releasing a plague into the Tacoma Cybermart using trained rats is discussed, but set aside in favor of targeting individuals. They decide to use Xavier’s philosophy to get Kareema, Hank and Deirdre’s counterparts to quit so that the gang can have those jobs.
Timothy’s boss has decided to run the piece he wrote that made Xavier look paranoid and crazy. It turns out that Marlo is
filming Pitch Perfect 3 undercover in Honduras, and has been replaced by Talia, a no-nonsense, smart, sexy editor with high level connections in the science world. She thinks Xavier is typical of the post-election American, wrapped up in doomsday scenarios and panic. She can get Tyra DeNeal Fields, the astrophysicist who threw out Xavier’s theories sight unseen once before, to check over his math and debunk his theory. Timothy is very taken with Talia, and boldly asks her out. She says yes.
Evie, Hank, Deirdre, and Kareema make their move on the Tacoma Cybermart. They question and study each counterpart to find an interest to encourage the employee to turn into a new career. Each counterpart shares a remarkable resemblance to the Seattle original. They’re successful with Hank and Deirdre’s alternates, getting them started as a candle entrepreneur and a cruise ship activities director. Kareema’s alternate is more challenging. It turns out the only thing that she wants is to be with the head of Human Resources, Craig, who she’s been in love with for years. Kareema gets them together, but that doesn’t give her a job.
Xavier disguises himself as Corey Casey’s chauffeur. He needs to find out what makes Corey tick in order to get Corey to really listen to him. Corey gave up his girlfriend, Loretta, when his business took off, and still pines for her. Xavier tracks down Loretta, who’s single, and sets up a coffee date between her and Corey. Now he has Corey’s ear. Corey listens to Xavier, and sets him up to have dinner with the head of NASA.
Closing day for the Seattle Cybermart branch has arrived. Everyone is packing up, getting ready to move on. Timothy stops by to warn Evie that his story on Xavier will be published the following week. He shows Evie the results of Tyra DeNeal Fields’ review of Xavier’s theory and math, and tells her not to put off living her life, to be bold.
Evie gives her Getters and Givers job to Kareema, and quits working for Cybermart. Kareema is so happy she cries. Evie rushes home to pack for Iceland.
Xavier tells Evie he can’t go to Iceland, because he’s going to Houston to talk to the head of NASA. Evie tells him he doesn’t have to go to Houston, and gives Xavier Tyra’s review. According to Tyra, he was wrong about the asteroid. Xavier is floored. He was so sure. Evie pressures him to live in the moment, to drop everything, and go to Iceland literally NOW, this minute. She fails the understanding girlfriend test again. Xavier needs a little time to look at the document to figure where he went wrong. Evie heads to the airport, because she can’t wait another whole year to see the northern lights. She doesn’t have time for Xavier’s stupid obsessions. Xavier and I aren’t bitter. Well, maybe Xavier isn’t. He’s a better person than I am.
Xavier takes a quick look at Tyra’s notes. He sees where she said his mistake was, and doesn’t check it any further. He doesn’t want to lose Evie, so he accepts that he was wrong, and heads to the airport with Jesse. Jesse has other ideas though. He’s drugged Xavier with horse tranquilizers, and keeps driving past the airport exit. Jesse is my hero. Assuming he understands the dosing instructions on the horse tranquilizers, and has Xavier home in time to save the world.
Timothy stops at home before his date with Talia, only to find Tyra DeNeal Fields and a couple of government goons standing in his apartment. Xavier’s math was accurate, and the asteroid is a credible threat. She changed the numbers to keep the story a secret for the time being. Tyra needs to find Xavier immediately. The fate of the world depends on it.
Wow. Xavier preaches living in the moment, forgoing attachments, but Evie’s the one who actually lives it. And it’s a frightening thing to see in practice. There’s nothing and no one she won’t abandon to serve her momentary whims. Friends, boyfriends, jobs. No matter how much she’s said they mean to her, no matter how hard she’s fought for them, sometimes mere minutes ago in episode time, she’ll walk away at a moment’s notice. Sure, she gave up her Getters and Givers job to help Kareema out, but it was also a way to get out of another situation involving a commitment that was maybe starting to feel too intense, as we’ve watched her do over and over. She walked away from the job she had created and the friend group she had worked hard to keep together. She didn’t even try another option for finding herself or Kareema a different job.
Then Evie didn’t want to give Xavier a minute to check over his math and process that a respected astronomer had finally looked at what was probably the most important work he’d ever done in his life. Had he looked closely, he would have realized that Tyra had doctored the numbers. Because, the thing is, scientific advancements are often made by guys like Xavier, sitting alone and working out their theories, and then having to fight for years before anyone will take them seriously. Mainstream scientists can get entrenched in their thinking, and refuse to consider other options until a maverick comes up with so much evidence that they can’t ignore it anymore. I can’t tell you how many scientific “facts” that I was taught as a child aren’t “true” any more.
Making him a brilliant, misunderstood scientist gives the show, and the character, new directions to explore. If they had made Xavier someone who needed a doomsday scenario to cling to in his depression it would have given them other avenues to explore that could have been equally valid, but Evie has so little patience and respect for Xavier’s scientific theories that she wouldn’t have stuck around at all had they turned out to be a symptom of mental illness, especially if it was a symptom he couldn’t shake. It’s an ugly truth, but true none the less.
By making him the one person who saw the truth, they both will have to face the way that Evie doubted him, if the series gets a second season. He also undoubtedly has other theories to explore, now that he’ll be seen as a legitimate scientist. Ironically, he probably would have been taken seriously much sooner if he hadn’t changed his name, given his father’s prominence as a mathematician. Next season could have Evie being the “live for today” person, only wanting to go from adventure to adventure, now that she’s not afraid to step outside of the middle class norms that were holding her back. Xavier could become a workaholic when he gains fame, funding and respect for his ideas. They’ll each need to spend a while at the end of the spectrum that’s been denied to them up until now before they find balance again.
Next week, we finally try to save the world. And then we go to Iceland.