First up on the apocalysts this week: Shoot a flaming arrow, for Xavier, though you’d think he would have already accomplished that in his Galavant incarnation. And put out a fire, for Evie. Safety first, kids, even in the face of the apocalypse.
Evie enthuses to Kareema about her amazing new boyfriend. and how much he’s opened up her world. Kareema’s weekend wasn’t as exciting as Evie’s, but she did do ‘shrooms and spend the day making giant bubbles. Evie wants to put that on the lists, but shies away from explaining exactly what the apocalysts are about. Kareema wants to meet Xavier, and suggests birthday drinks for Evie the next day.
Deirdre has continued buying chair accessories for Hank as expressions of her love. His chair looks like he’s ready to drive it to Florida, but Hank hasn’t figured out what the gifts are about. Deirdre asks Evie what she should do next, but Evie doesn’t have any helpful advice.
Deirdre also lets Evie know that there’s a quality control problem. Someone is putting the wrong orders in the boxes. Evie needs to figure out who it is. Shouldn’t they have a record of who packed what orders? Oh well, it’s a TV plot moment. Evie wants to set up surveillance cameras. Hank objects, because he is against the surveillance state, and as union rep it’s up to him to protect his coworkers’ rights and privacy. Thank you, Hank. Evie, you should be ashamed of yourself. I don’t even want to know who you voted for. In reality, those cameras would already be there, but I’m going to pretend workers still have rights, and that Kareema wouldn’t have been outed for doing drugs when Cybermart’s random drug testing policy forced her to pee in a cup Monday morning. Anyway, Evie toddles off to figure out who’s screwing up the orders using good old-fashioned detective work.
Timothy is laid out on his floor, unable to move, spiraling. He calls Hank because he can’t even move 1 foot to reach his laptop. He needs Hank to order books on writer’s block, four bottles of wine, and a corkscrew. He’s very, very sad. I’m writing this in the early morning on January 21, 2017, about 13 hours after Donald Trump’s inauguration. My entire household is in this state. I think we’ve moved to this state for at least the next four years, with an option to extend the lease for another four.
Evie is turning 31 tomorrow. She can’t decide what to do for her birthday. She and Xavier discuss ideas on their way to a reading by Tyra deNeil Fields, popular astrophysicist. When the reading is done, Xavier asks Tyra to look at his asteroid theory, but she recognizes him and has him tasered instead. He tells Evie not to worry, he’s been tasered before. He’ll be fine. Evie is horrified that he’s been tasered before. This guy is a lunatic!
The night morning, Xavier crosses “spend a night in jail” off his list. Evie is still shrieking about him making a public scene and embarrassing her. She thought his little apocalypse theory was cute and fun. She didn’t realize he actually believed it and lived it. She asks Hank to research Xavier on the “dark web.” She can’t be with someone who’s crazy.
Hank can’t find Xavier on the web, so she sends them to lunch. The two conspiracy theorists hit it off. Xavier gets the Hank seal of approval.
Kareema takes Evie out for drinks for her birthday, only it turns out to be a surprise party with her entire family and everyone she knows, including Xavier. She wasn’t ready for Xavier to meet her people yet, because he might get crazy all over them.
Xavier runs around the party, telling everyone to live for today, not to put off their dreams, and making a favorable impression on everyone. Evie is filled with anxiety, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Kareema’s eyes are glowing, waiting to see how this all ends. Xavier leads them all to his house with a jazz band playing “When the Saints Come Marching In,” where he has a cake for every one of Evie’s birthdays for the rest of her life. They have a food fight, then Xavier makes a toast to Evie, on her last birthday before the asteroid hits and kills them all. The entire party comes to a stand still to stare at him. Evie is mortified, again. Shoe, dropped.
She tries to pass it off as a joke to her family. Xavier overhears her. A giant argument ensues. This is one of my favorite scenes in the entire series. Xavier’s speech gets to the heart of their relationship, and our society’s issues today. You don’t get to decide your cultural or physical difference or idea is the truth, or the right way, but the other’s guy’s is crazy, and be disrespectful or even hateful because of it. This is why I love this show so much. But I’ll let Xavier speak for himself:
Xavier: It’s not a joke.
Evie: Well, what was I supposed to say? They were upset.
Xavier: The truth is upsetting.
Evie: Maybe an asteroid is going to hit the earth, maybe it isn’t…
Xavier: It is!
Evie: But you can’t keep harping on every single person you meet. It makes you sound crazy.
Xavier: Would you believe I was crazy if I said I believed a man could turn water into wine?
Evie: That isn’t the same.
[Evie’s right, it isn’t the same. Xavier has scientific evidence to back up his claim. The asteroid is real. The dispute is whether it’s a hit or a near miss. There’s no scientific proof anyone has ever turned water into wine, only religious faith.]
Xavier: Oh, isn’t it.
Evie: No, an asteroid is not a religion.
Xavier: It doesn’t matter whether you believe my theory or not. It’s a fundamental part of my identity. Now, you wouldn’t ask someone to hide their faith. Or their sexuality. You’re a bigot.
Xavier: You’re a bigot!
Evie: I am not!
Xavier: Yeah, you are. It’s all fine when we’re having fun, but the minute someone asks why we’re having all this fun, you want me to shut up. But, it’s all part of the package. You don’t get to cherry pick.
Xavier’s right. She’s been embarrassed by him for the entire episode. Not just by the asteroid theory, but because she felt he wasn’t behaving in a socially acceptable manner. She’s supposed to be close friends with Hank and Kareema, but it’s clear she doesn’t really know them very well. They aren’t all that different from Xavier, as it turns out. Hank’s theories are based on paranoia and vague clues, while Xavier’s are based on his knowledge of real science. Kareema is a thrill seeker who doesn’t care when the boundaries of society are broken. Xavier is living this lifestyle specifically because of his knowledge of what’s coming, not because he’s always been this way.
The show has carefully grounded Xavier and his theory in reality, so that we don’t know if he’s right or wrong yet, we only know that he believes he’s right, and no one will listen. As a chronically ill person with several hard to diagnose illnesses, I can tell you that people assume you’re the crazy one if there’s a dispute between a regular person and an expert. Even after the regular person is proven right, some of them continue to assume you’re the crazy one. People really, really, really don’t want to accept harsh truths. They will jump through mental and physical hoops to avoid having to believe what they don’t want to believe. Spoiler alert: This isn’t the last time I feel Xavier is treated unfairly and take his side. I relate very strongly to him. Fair warning.
Evie lied her parents about Xavier because they were upset. She needed to make them feel better, to think that she and Xavier and their relationship were “normal.” Evie has a strong need to be respectable and “normal” that Xavier doesn’t share. Xavier needs the truth, for himself and everyone else. He wants people to understand what’s truly happening to them, so that they make choices that they will ultimately be happy with inside themselves. Evie only cares about what everyone else thinks about her. That’s a pretty huge difference in how they navigate the world, whether there’s an asteroid coming, or not.
Kareema: Life is crazy. Embrace the chaos. Add a little of your own while you’re at it.
Kareema: Everyone’s trying to make sense of an illogical world.
Evie decides she can have fun and live her life without Xavier. Deirdre reminds her she still needs to solve the mixed up order case.
Deirdre, Hank, and Kareema go out to trivia happy hour. They discover they have interests in common. Then Deirdre whispers in Hank’s ear. Hank yells that he has an internet girlfriend and escapes.
Evie works through her apocalyst alone, but it’s no fun. She talks to her parents. She realizes what I pointed out above, Xavier’s theory isn’t religion, it’s math and science. Which is what Xavier’s been trying to tell her for weeks, but, whatever, Evie. She wants Tyra deNeil Fields to confirm Xavier’s theory for her. Xavier can’ get within 300 feet of Tyra, but Evie can.
Evie hangs out in the restaurant Tyra is having lunch in, reading one of Tyra’s books. They strike up a conversation and have a drink together. Once Tyra’s comfortable, Evie brings up Xavier, and asks Tyra to listen to him for five minutes. Tyra gives in, then takes Xavier’s manuscript with her. Success! But, when Evie goes back for her purse, she sees Tyra throw the manuscript away. Xavier is over the moon with excitement. Evie doesn’t tell him what she saw.
Timothy gets a Zap Strap in with his book and wine order, which forces him to exercise, hard. It helps him break out of his depression, which breaks his writer’s block. He writes an article about biomimicry, when technology takes cues from nature.
When Hank tells Evie about the Zap Strap, she realizes that Kareema is the mad order switcher. Kareema says she started switching items because she was bored, but then Xavier inspired her. She decided she wanted to try helping people, so she became more targeted with her misdirected orders. Evie figures out a way to smooth things over with Deirdre.
Hank has taken to wearing ear plugs at work because Deirdre’s whisper voice gives him an eargasm. He’s avoiding Deirdre. Evie thinks Deirdre shouldn’t give up on Hank. Maybe he isn’t ready to accept his feelings yet, but he’ll eventually come around.
Evie asks for her mom’s advice about whether she should tell Xavier that Tyra threw out his manuscript. Her mom tells her that she doesn’t tell her husband the truth when all it would do is hurt his feelings. “Love is about teaming up with someone, and having their back, no matter what.” Which is a great philosophy, but there’s more at stake here than whether or not there’s too much cinnamon in the muffins. Not telling him implies she thinks he’s making the entire thing up, and that the theory doesn’t even deserve to be checked for accuracy. Having his back would mean helping him get the peer review he wants and his theory needs. But, Evie wants to forget the theory exists and have playtime with a cute boy, so lying about muffins is all she hears.
Evie said she would believe Xavier if an outside expert acknowledged his theory. But now, he thinks an expert is reviewing his theory, and she’s hoping he’ll be like a child who moves onto the next attractive toy, and not notice when he never hears back from Tyra. She’s not giving him a chance to prove that his theory is right, to her or anyone else, because Tyra threw it away, sight unseen.
Evie’s dad comes home and says Xavier inspired him to quit his job and become an actor. Her mom is not happy, but tells her husband she’s got his back.
Evie tells Xavier she doesn’t need Tyra’s approval or to know if his theory is true or not. They can be in a relationship even if they don’t believe the same things. His way of life is so positive and changes the lives of the people around him. She admires him for that. She made some fliers about the asteroid to show her support. They throw them off the roof together.
Next time, we cut loose and consider non-monogamy. And cake.
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