Tuesday, March 22, 2022

REVIEW: 'Naomi' - Naomi Wants to Keep Her Loved Ones Safe From the Imminent Threat Zumbado Fears in 'Fellowship of the Disc'

The CW's Naomi - Episode 1.08 "Fellowship of the Disc"

Naomi must take special care to protect her identity after Jacob shares obscure information with her and Annabelle. Greg and Jennifer celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary while also giving serious consideration to their future and how best to protect Naomi. Dee and Zumbado disagree on how Naomi should be trained for a larger, very imminent threat. Nathan and Anthony choose the comic bookstore for their class volunteer project, but Lourdes finds their presence to be more of an intrusion into her private life.

"Fellowship of the Disc" was written by Gussie Roc and directed by DeMane Davis

A dangerous threat is imminent. Naomi must be trained more deliberately because there isn't much time left. Zumbado wants everyone to be aware of that at all times. Her powers are attracting these threats from other dimensions. She must control them so she can defeat whomever arrives next. Her recent encounters with the bounty hunter and Dr. Bell underline the severity and urgency of this moment. Naomi is doing well with Dee's training. He is purposeful with every teaching. She is learning to control her mind and body. Her emotions can still be erratic. Dee fears that. He knows she can still be incredibly volatile. Zumbado believes that must be harnessed because the threat is coming whether Naomi is ready or not. Using her powers right now may be the necessary risk to handle what's coming. Of course, the show itself isn't eager to unravel that threat. It continues to just be big pronouncements made by Zumbado. That certainly has a place in the narrative stakes. It causes Naomi to worry. Everyone is planning their futures based on how to best protect her. Greg and Jennifer can't celebrate their wedding anniversary because they have to plan for the possibility of having to move away from Port Oswego. That may be the only way to protect Naomi. They are willing to sacrifice anything if it means keeping her safe. That love is so powerful. Naomi doesn't want them to make that sacrifice. They have been doing so for her entire life. They knew the truth could be revealed at any moment and break up this family. They remain strong even with the truth out there. They are all working towards the same collective goal. Naomi wants to protect others as well. She feels the same impulse as her parents. She feels strong because of her powers. She can protect herself no matter what comes. However, she fears the lives potentially lost of those closest to her. She doesn't want Annabelle to get hurt simply because she must join her on every adventure. Naomi is desperate for answers about her true identity. She wants to know the world she came from and the essence of her powers. That may bring these threats to people who can't defend themselves. Jacob looks through the wreckage at STAR Labs and nearly dies because the building is unstable. Of course, that reveals Naomi's true reality to him. That too highlights how the narrative struggles to carefully balance the demands of each of these characters.

Jacob becomes a more interesting and vital part of the ensemble after he learns Naomi's true existence. No one is ever made more safe by being kept in the dark. The truth being exposed allows for more storytelling potential to emerge. When Naomi and Jacob can speak candidly, they actually make a lot of progress in discovering some of the alien secrets in town. Sure, it all leads to the revelation that someone at the party is an alien. Dee and Zumbado aren't there. As such, the show is preparing another massive reveal. It's only interesting if the twist pertains to a character the audience already knows. That may mean Naomi isn't the only alien amongst her friend group. That may provide them with a new instant connection. That may also further complicate her romance with Nathan. She is more seriously engaged with that dynamic now than before. She is willing to put in the work. However, the teenagers are mostly distracted with their own interests. Naomi has her own investigation going on while trying to keep her friends out of danger. Meanwhile, Nathan and Anthony try to help revitalize Lourdes' comic book store. That's an incredibly tangential storyline. It even plays into the idea that Lourdes has so far only existed as another love interest for Naomi. With Naomi committing to Nathan, that left Lourdes without much to do. As such, the show needs a way to pivot her dynamic in relation to the other characters. Nathan and Anthony have proven to be much more efficient as friends than as romantic rivals. Lourdes has been brought into that fray as well. Not everything can be solved from one basic gesture. It simply proves that friendships are the bedrock of this community. This is a special place that fosters prosperity for those willing to put in the work. Naomi and her family shouldn't want to leave it. That may be the reality they are forced into though. They may have no other choice if the looming threat is as serious and dangerous as Zumbado says it is. The narrative claims he is being completely forthcoming now. He is a friend too. Annabelle and Jacob are surprised by that sudden change. However, the viewer may still be weary given how the narrative presented him for so long as mysteriously looking after Naomi for his own selfish pursuits.