Wednesday, February 1, 2017

No Tomorrow 1.08: "No Rest for the Weary"

“I just talked to my spreadsheet and you didn’t make fun of me.”

This particular episode of “No Tomorrow” was not one of my favorites. I appreciated the support for unions and workers’ rights, and I certainly think that there are warehouses with bad working conditions where strikes would be a good thing, but that’s not why I watch “No Tomorrow.” I have other shows that I enjoy that also have good, progressive social commentary, like “The Wire,” or “Atlanta.” “No Tomorrow,” however, is more my candy television. All I want from “No Tomorrow” is happy Evie and Xavier moments, warm fuzzies, and a smile on my face at the episode. It’s my comfort television. This episode had too much conflict between Evie and Xavier for my taste. There can be other conflicts in the show that Evie and Xavier need to address, but I prefer when they are on solid footing in their relationship. Thankfully, they are solid at the end of this episode, and Hank and Deirdre are decidedly not. Huzzah!

This episode is very much about two things: relationships and new beginnings. As I alluded to in the introduction, Evie and Xavier’s relationship is a focus of the episode. Xavier wants to go zorbing (basically running around in a big, inflatable hamster ball), but he finds Evie at Cybermart asleep at her desk. Working two jobs has her working around the clock. Xavier thinks asking Evie to do both her old job and the CyberHugs job isn’t fair and that she should quit. Evie, however, thinks she needs to work like crazy to show exactly how dedicated she is to the job. Xavier is really frustrated by this and just wants to spend time with his girlfriend, so he does the only logical thing. He decides to take a job in the Cybermart warehouse.

In other relationship news, Kareema and Sofia are still going strong. To be more specific, they’re going at it in the back seat of a car. Sofia says she has made it clear to Kareema’s brother Rohan that she only wants to marry him for a green card. Since Rohan is actually in love with Sofia, though, the fact that Sofia is having sex with his sister still isn’t going to go over well. Evie warns Kareema to break it off before things get out of hand. Also, Deirdre and Hank have to meet with HR to fill out all the necessary paperwork to get their relationship in compliance with company policy. The HR lady says they are going to have to watch a film on the subject, and they are clearly overjoyed with the prospect (that’s sarcasm, if you couldn’t tell). As soon as Deirdre realizes that Xavier is now working at Cybermart, she decides they need to watch the HR movie, too. The movie itself is a cartoon starring two dogs that tries to go through the perils of workplace relationships. It’s pretty silly.

Xavier gets bored with the drudgery of warehouse work pretty quickly. He can’t believe that all they do is load and wrap boxes all day. He starts doing his usual Xavier “seize the day” thing, which starts with a box wrapping race. And he invents a “nap sack” out of material he finds around the warehouse. Then he gathers the workers and starts asking them what they do for fun outside the warehouse. One guy says he’s an amateur rollerblader, so Xavier thinks he should do his job on rollerblades to get around faster. Another woman bakes, so she’s on afternoon snack duty. Overall, Xavier thinks that if they have fun, productivity will go up and Evie will get her life back. Deirdre is not happy when she sees all the rollerblading, nap sacks, and yoga classes, though. She tells Evie that productivity is still down, and Evie needs to fire Xavier.

Evie goes to talk to Xavier, who is in the middle of afternoon yoga on the warehouse floor. He tells her that everyone has already fulfilled their quotas for the day, which gives Evie an idea for how to save Xavier’s job. She shows Deirdre a graph that demonstrates productivity is actually up. Deidre is happy about that and says Xavier can stay, but she also decides that means the warehouse workers can handle double the quota. They now have to handle 80 boxes an hour instead of 40. Needless to say, when Evie announces this, the workers aren’t happy. They throw things and call Evie “rat lady,” because she’s been caring for a rat that the leader of a rodent rescue charity that had their CyberHugs funding cut left with her. Xavier tries to get the crowd to calm down, but he doesn’t want them to just accept Evie’s pronouncement of the higher quota. He wants them to strike.

Soon enough, the protest is going full swing. It starts with everyone sitting down as they try to figure out their demands. They settle on going back to the original quota, bringing leave policies in line with industry standards, and per Hank’s request, an “I’m not feelin’ it” day off. Deirdre isn’t having it, though. She tells everyone that they aren’t going to get paid as long as they’re striking. She also tries to recruit Hank as her spy by calling him to her office for some sexy times, but he continues to side with the warehouse workers. Evie can’t take the blaring music that the strikers are playing, so she ends up cutting off the power to the warehouse. This just leads the workers to just sing “She’ll be Coming ‘Round the Mountain” over and over, which is just as annoying. Timothy, by the way, is vlogging all of this as an audition of sorts for a job with “In Propaganda,” which seems kind of like “Vice” to me. They take if it bleeds, it leads to the extreme (I do love Vice, though). Evie and Xavier fundamentally disagree on the worth of work. Xavier thinks everyone should leave their jobs at the warehouse to better use the short amount of time they have left. Evie genuinely wants to make a difference with CyberHugs.

In other news, Rohan found a sext that Kareema sent to Sofia, so he has called off the wedding. Sofia has to go back to Venezuela since there’s no prospect of a green card, and Kareema is devastated. Evie makes the bold suggestion that if she really loves Sofia like she says she does, Kareema should marry her instead. Kareema bristles at this at first, since marriage goes against everything she stands for, but eventually she comes around. The actual proposal scene is pretty sweet. Sofia is taken aback at first, but both ladies eventually decide that defying convention is worth it to give their relationship a chance. Plus, Kareema’s never exactly been conventional anyway.

Deirdre calls Hank into her office for a report, but Hank refuses to snitch on his friends. Deirdre gives him an ultimatum: he can either have his friends or her. Hank chooses his friends, and Deirdre is clearly not happy. She goes outside to call in some scabs, and Mikhail overhears the phone call. He reports back, and the workers want to all-out trash the place in protest. Xavier tries to convince them there’s a better way. One of the warehouse workers is a Kiwi, so he gets him to teach everyone the Hakka. So they can be extra intimidating when the scabs arrive. I saw the New Zealand All Blacks do the Hakka before a rugby match in Sydney this summer – it’s no joke! Meanwhile, Evie is so stressed from trying to fix the problem of the strike that she starts hallucinating that her rat is talking to her and that she’s in a rat cage. She wakes up in a nap sack to find that the scabs have arrived, and the workers are going to Hakka their asses off.

As the situation in the warehouse is coming to a head, Evie finally has an idea to end the strike once and for all. She thinks that if management and the workers could each better understand each other’s perspective, they could come to an agreement. Deirdre has to stack boxes coming off a conveyor belt, and naturally it becomes a bit of a Lucy in the chocolate factory situation. One of the factory workers has to try and do Deirdre’s job, and she is also appropriately traumatized by the experience (the Seattle warehouse is just barely avoiding being merged with a warehouse in China). Both come out of the experience with more respect for the other, and a deal is struck. Quotas will only increase by 50%, and the I’m not Feelin’ It days are still on. Xavier decides to quit working at the warehouse, and Evie gives Deirdre an ultimatum that she can’t keep doing two jobs. Deirdre passes the QA Manager job on to Hank, and she breaks up with him, because as she puts it, by standing with the warehouse workers, he was a good employee but a bad boyfriend. Evie and Xavier, meanwhile, finally take some time off and go zorbing together.

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