Tuesday, March 8, 2022

REVIEW: 'Naomi' - Zumbado Finally Shares His Past With Naomi While in a Dire Situation in 'I Am Not a Used Car Salesman'

The CW's Naomi - Episode 1.07 "I Am Not a Used Car Salesman"

When Naomi finds herself in dire circumstances, she's forced to seek help from Zumbado who knows more than Naomi could have imagined.

"I Am Not a Used Car Salesman" was written by Jill Blankenship and directed by Lisa France

Naomi and Zumbado must move quickly if they hope to escape STAR Labs alive. And yet, they stop every few feet for memories to be shared that flesh out Zumbado's past. It's a slightly weird structural device. It's the show clearly saving a big revelation for the end. It follows through on the promise for Zumbado to be more honest with Naomi about what he's doing. That's a story teased out fully across this hour. It's also cut up with segments that are also just as exciting. It can simply seem counterproductive for these memories to be shared when they are actively trying to avoid detection. They can't stop in one place for too long because they could be found. That would result in Dr. Bell torturing them. She is determined to open a portal to another dimension. Zumbado warns her that she should be ready for whatever comes back through the portal. She must be prepared for anything. She can't conduct this experiment solely for scientific advancements. It will cause more harm than she may have fully reckoned with. That may be giving her too much credit. Zumbado and Dee have separately become aware of Dr. Bell's increasingly risky experiments. Neither of them could warn Naomi away from her. She saw someone who could provide answers about her existence as an alien on this planet. Dee was busy dealing with his own private business. Meanwhile, Zumbado has never presented himself as a trustworthy figure. Naomi's perception of him changes. She sees how perilous it was for him to come to this planet. He had to give up so much for an isolating existence. One that has seemingly found new life through the birth of her powers. He can offer her answers and has refused to do so. He wants to blame her immaturity. She can't handle all that he has to share. He's the one making that decision though. He claims to know what's best for her. Naomi can handle a lot. Being in the dark has placed her in this precarious position. Her powers are growing at an immense rate. She is capable of things Zumbado has never seen before. He marvels at what she can do. He also knows how dangerous her existence is. More will come to hunt her down. She must be ready for that. That requires her to know the pain her parents wanted to protect her from. Zumbado is the only one who can share that story. It makes it so Naomi is willing to run back into the lab when Zumbado's life is threatened to achieve Dr. Bell's ultimate goals.

Zumbado is one of 29 people on his Earth to gain abilities after a meteor shower. They eventually found each other. They saved lives. They served as everyday heroes. They were capable of incredible feats. However, they never concealed their identities. They shared themselves fully with the world. And then, one person hunted them down because their power threatened his. They could all be identified through the disc. Zumbado is accused of handing it over to their enemy. He is cast out. He is running for his life all by himself. The only purpose he could find in this alternate dimension is caring for Naomi. He promised her parents he would keep her safe. Of course, she had already found Greg and Jennifer when he finally tracked her down. He has kept a watchful eye over them throughout the years. Nothing has caused much concern. He let her grow up. She could be shielded from this awful world for awhile. She still knows pain and heartbreak. She understands the discrimination that exists out there. The used car lot was the place where Zumbado could exert his own control. He isn't a used car salesman. He is much more than that. People want to see him as a cheat who is conning the community out of their hard-earned savings. He is a much more complicated figure. People have chosen to see him solely as a villain. The show has certainly projected him as such. Looking back, it's hard to say if all of his actions have been done out of love and concern for Naomi. He has a funny way of protecting her sometimes. Her powers have grown so much. She is capable of overpowering the dampening devices at STAR Labs. This building is designed around technological advancements. Behind every corridor is some new threat Naomi and Zumbado have to escape. Dr. Bell may seemingly die as a result of an explosion in her lab. That may offer too much clarity. Her fate is unknown. Zumbado believes in destiny now. He sees bright things in Naomi's future. She understands him now. He is seen for the first time in forever. He is shamed by the other exiles from his Earth. Naomi looks at him with compassion and respect. Tension still exists because Dee doesn't like him. But Naomi has people looking out for her. They will protect her and offer guidance when needed. Some secrets are probably still concealed. Her parents are never actually part of Zumbado's memories. Right now though, Naomi trusts what she experiences as the truth. That allows a deeper connection to form.