Just when it seemed like The CW's newest superhero was getting her happy ending, things took a turn.
Courtesy The CW.

WARNING: This article contains spoilers about the season 1 finale of Naomi.

Well, that took a turn! As the season 1 finale of the CW's Naomi wound down on Tuesday night, things were looking pretty good for the titular heroine. Naomi McDuffie (Kaci Walfall) had gotten the hang of her developing superpowers, faced down her most feared enemy, and solidified relationships with her school friends. Give or take some hanging plot threads, it sure seemed like the season was all set for a happy ending.

But one of Naomi's developing powers has been her gradual retrieval of memories from her early childhood, and at the last moment she suddenly remembered something very crucial: Far from being good Samaritans who found her and took her in, her adoptive parents, Greg and Jennifer McDuffie (Barry Watson and Mouzam Makkar) stole Naomi from her birth parents after leaving them for dead.

"It really escalates quickly," Walfall tells EW. "But when you first see Jennifer, Greg, and Naomi way back in the pilot, I remember people on social media just didn't buy how perfect their family looked. They thought it was unrealistic how Naomi is perfect and everything in her life seems perfect. But throughout the season, you've seen that was all a façade — especially in that final scene, where you realize that even her whole relationship with her parents was a façade. The people that she thought she could trust the most are now basically her enemies."

Kaci Walfall in 'Naomi.'
| Credit: The CW

That's certainly a problem that Superman never had to worry about (Superman is Naomi's role model and the archetype of heroism throughout the show). After screaming at her parents to stay away from her in the finale, Naomi flies off into the sky. The season ends with a shot of her looking just like her hero — but that moment is anything but joyous.

"I wanted it to be something that wasn't triumphant," Walfall says. "I always keep a Naomi comic in my bag when I'm working, and whenever she flies in the comics she's smiling because it's a joyous thing. So we were very, very careful to make that scene in the show not look joyous. It's just the only action she has, so she has to resort to it. Her parents could be dangerous. She's not gonna superspeed away from them. Her flying and them not knowing where she's going at all, that's true power to have. When she tells her parents to stay away from her, that means she's keeping her guard up and she's ready to fight."

The revelation about Naomi's parents is one of those twists that reverberates back through the whole preceding season. Remember how scared Naomi was of Zumbado (Cranston Johnson) at the beginning of the show, even though he ended up becoming a helpful mentor? Now we can see her parents' aims in planting that mistrust.

"Back in the pilot, I always thought it was interesting that Naomi is so nice to everyone in town except Zumbado. I remember Ms. Ava said that," Walfall says, referring to executive producer Ava DuVernay. "Ms. Ava pointed out that Zumbado is one of the only Black men in town, but Naomi's parents told her to stay away from him. Now we see the true reason they told her to stay away from him was because he was the one, out of all of them, who had the most answers for her. They made him out to be this horrible criminal, which shows that they are the enemy."

So where does Naomi go from here? The show hasn't officially been renewed for season 2 by the CW yet, but clearly some very interesting seeds have been planted for future stories.

Walfall, for one, is interested to see Naomi stand on her own two feet.

"I want to see her find her independence," Walfall says. "I would love to see her own her independence as a superhero and know that she doesn't need anybody else to tell her that she is a hero when she truly feels like it." She adds, "I would also love to see the real backstory of her parents, since in episode 4 we saw a totally fake backstory for them."

Naomi is based on the DC comic of the same name by Brian Michael Bendis, David F. Walker, and Jamal Campbell.

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