Naomi: Ready or Not

Isn’t it great how I can suddenly drive when you need to go on a road trip? Wait, can’t YOU drive?

It’s been a weird season for Naomi. There are a lot of unanswered questions that show no signs of getting straightened out, and things keep getting odder. Now Naomi is being hunted by strange visitors from another planet and her allies are trying to figure out what to do next. Naomi is being pulled in a lot of different directions and she’s not sure what to do next. There are several different options for her, but time is running out in “Ready Or Not.”

The show opens with a flashback, as an infant Naomi is put in an improvised crib while figures run all around her, wonder how Brutus found them, and general chaos ensues. Things certainly don’t look good as Naomi gets moved and goes through a sequence that looks suspiciously like someone else’s origin story. In the present, Naomi wakes up from these memories with all the stereotypical panting and sitting bolt upright.

Moving downstairs, she interrupts a council about what to do next. Greg, Jennifer, Akira, Zumbada, and Dee are all in the kitchen, debating what comes next. Naomi comes in and isn’t happy about what course of action seems to be winning. There are a few things clearly being kept from each other, but an unusual confederation of characters all agree on the same thing. This is so surprising to Naomi that she grudgingly accepts it. Greg and Jennifer offer some useless parental platitudes while the others fix on a more concrete course of action.

At school later that day, Naomi is uncharacteristically alone and quiet as she pokes at her computer. Anthony runs across her and comments on how unusual this is. Things get even stranger for him when he brings up an article he’s working on for the school paper, and Naomi isn’t interested in a few of her favorite topics at once. She finally takes off and leaves a very puzzled Anthony in her wake. Apparently the school day is over, as next up we see Naomi visiting Akira’s workshop. They have a talk that ranges over many topics, including energy sources, unusual elements, and Kryptonite. I’d like to point out once again that the show seems to be utterly inconsistent on whether or not Superman is a real person or not in this world. After a bit more talk, Akira gives Naomi something and the teen ends up with a new quest.

After the babysitting we saw Annabelle do, she apparently earned herself some privileges. As she drives Naomi along, they talk about friendship, diners, and defective space jewelry. While they sort out their priorities, Anthony visits the comic shop and talks with Lourdes. She quickly figures out he has an ulterior motive, but when the two start actually talking, they start piecing some things together. After recounting a lot of the odd things they’ve seen and been through, the two take off to go talk to someone they haven’t really dealt with before. Since Lourdes is the only person we’ve seen working there in the current timeframe, I guess she just randomly closed the shop?

Having arrived at the diner, Annabelle raves about the fries and they talk over some of their earlier memories of their friendship. Naomi suddenly gets a jolt from her handy, still-developing, “detect bad buy” power and figures out they need to leave. Jennifer, Greg, and Akira have a talk in Akira’s workshop. There’s a lot of techno-babble, and tempers flare as they talk about their shared past. Akira seems to be more rational of the three, but then, she’s not the one who has been raising Naomi for the last however many years it’s been.

The bad guy Naomi’s been seeing with her new ability, helpfully called “The Assassin” in the credits, shows up at the diner, tracking his quarry and showing an utter disregard for waitstaff. Annabelle and Naomi flee, and Annabelle manages that weird constant she’s so good at, mixing deep insight with modern, fairly shallow, references. If she makes it there, Annabelle is going to grow up to be an interesting woman. Their progress is slowed by technical difficulties, and they divert to a new destination. Dee’s workday is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Lourdes and Anthony. The two teens ask a lot of questions, and it’s like a fog has cleared from their minds as they start realizing how many things haven’t been making sense lately. Again, we’re back to my theory of Naomi having some kind of influence/pheromone power, or just some really bad writing. The kids finally push their luck, and Zumbado comes out and shoos them off.

Naomi and Annabelle have ended up someplace that I really don’t think they should have been allowed in, but logic often seems to vanish on this show. Naomi frets over a lot of the pressure she’s feeling, and that’s fair enough. She has a lot on her shoulders. Annabelle, ever the optimist, counters with some of the amazing things they’ve seen and done in the last three months. Apparently, that’s how long it’s been for them since this season started. Their talk gets interrupted when Naomi suddenly senses their opponent nearby. Annabelle gets lost in a convoluted Jurassic Park analogy while Naomi takes action and sets things up so they can run. Jennifer goes back to see Akira for a much calmer discussion about Naomi and their future. Akira shares some of her own doubts and fears, and they end up at least sounding closer than they were before.

Our heroine and her trusty sidekick end up where they wanted to go, but have no idea what to do next. They try a few things and end up no closer to solving anything. Lourdes and Anthony continue their own investigation, because nothing bad ever happens with two teens, one an attractive young woman, go out in the woods looking for something weird, right? They find a lot more than they bargained for and end up in a lot of trouble. Their night gets even stranger for them when they are saved by Dee and Zumbado, and there’s no longer any doubt that those two aren’t from around here.

“The Assassin” catches up with Naomi and Annabelle, and the plucky young sidekick takes offense at being dismissed by the killer. Personally, I’d be fine if a powerful being intent on homicide wanted to ignore me. While a very worried Annabelle looks on, Naomi and the bad guy fight. There’s a series of impressive power displays, and then Naomi breaks out another new ability. The bad guy shows rare intelligence when things go weird, and takes off. Annabelle and Naomi try and figure out what just happened and what it means. In the same vein, Lourdes and Anthony have a very disjointed and confused conversation with Zumbado and Dee, questions spilling out of them as they go over what they’ve just seen. It’s a rather amusing scene, as Anthony veers towards the puzzledly dramatic and Lourdes defaults to comic books, which is what she knows best, to try and explain what’s going on.

Naomi gets another idea, and tries something new. This time, there’s an undeniable, if unexpected, result. Annabelle finally decides this is one of those things Naomi has to do alone, and will hang back and wait. Naomi goes on alone, and finds herself someplace utterly different. She’s not alone, and once again seems to be borrowing elements from someone else’s story as new developments occur. Naomi gets a few questions answered, and feels more weight on her shoulders. While Dee gets an unexpected visitor who comes to offer temptations, Naomi gets more pressure and some very unwelcome advice to end the episode.

What I liked: As I say just about every episode, Annabelle steals the scenes she’s in and is easily the most entertaining character on the show. Anthony and Lourdes made an unexpectedly interesting pairing, and I liked them together. Akira is getting more interesting as well. As far as I can tell, Dee isn’t from Earth-29 like so many others on this show, but he must be more formidable than we thought if the big bad is sending bribes his way. I was amused at the sudden departure of The Assassin.

What I didn’t: Jennifer and Greg are getting whinier as things move along. Naomi is still having far too many things break her way, and they really need to account for this at some point. The weirdness about Superman being real or not also needs to get explained.

I’ll give this a 3 out of 5. It could have been a lot better, but it could have been worse. One episode remains in the season, and we’ve been told the show will not be renewed, so hopefully they manage to get at least some of this wrapped up.