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The Affair – S2E11 – 211

Previously on The Affair, ‘210’ 

Flash-Forwards

Cole has taken the stand in Noah’s trial to discuss the events of what happened in last year’s finale. The prosecution is using the incident in an attempt to paint Noah as having a long history of hatred towards the Lockharts. Noah’s lawyer flips the script however, trying to re-frame the narrative to show that Cole and the Lockharts simply want Noah to pay for all he’s done to their family – the affair with Alison and the shady secrets revealed in Descent. Like I said last week, this trial is more about Noah’s character than Scotty’s death. The prosecution introduces a last minute witness: Max. He testifies that on the night of Scotty’s murder Noah came to his vacation house in Montauk, but not to see him. Max watched Noah from a window as he washed off his car and then drove away. When Max went to inspect his driveway afterwards, he found blood. Did anyone else notice the smallest of small smirks Max had on his face after he said that? It was too funny and so well deserved.  

Cole

Luisa is going to meet Cherry for the first time and she’s nervous. Cole offers her some tips to get on his mother’s good side, but nothing could have prepared his fiancé for the unfortunate way in which the two end up meeting. When the hotel she and Cole are staying in runs out of soap, Luisa, in nothing but a blanket, asks the housekeeper for some extra. Cole overhears the conversation and notices a familiar voice. His mother is the housekeeping staff. Luisa and Cherry fumble through an awkward introduction before Luisa quickly excuses herself. Cole pauses a moment to take in the scene before him. It’s clear he feels sorry for his mother and it’s possible he’s even ashamed for not knowing how desperate things have gotten for her.

Images: Showtime

Images: Showtime

The tension remains when the ladies have a second chance to meet. Cherry wishes they still had the family ranch for the wedding but Luisa feels differently. She’s glad the ranch isn’t an option because that’s where Alison and Cole were married. “I just think it’s time for us to make our own traditions.” Before Cherry can even argue this, Scotty appears, looking like absolute shit. He’s still raving on about buying The Lobster Roll and, as he puts it, is a little amped up. Cole says what’s on everyone’s mind and tells his brother to use the money he saved to go to rehab instead.

Unable to escape familial pressure in their wedding planning, Cole and Luisa receive a strange offer from Margaret Butler. Miranda, Luisa’s mother, has worked for the Butler’s for 30 years and as a small token of gratitude for this work, Margaret offers her home for the ceremony. Obviously, Cole and Luisa dislike the idea, “this is a Lockhart-Leon wedding, and we’d like to do it ourselves.” Margaret’s ears perk up when she hears the Lockhart name, wondering if Cole is the one who impregnated her granddaughter or the one who pointed a gun at Noah. Not realizing that his transgression against Noah would make them fast friends, Cole takes Margaret’s inquiry as a sign to leave.

Despite all this tension, Cole keeps a level head and sees a clear path in front of him. He’s going to buy The Lobster Roll and they’ll have the wedding there. He still has his share of the money from the sale of Alison’s house, which he doesn’t want to use, but would to make Luisa’s dream come true. She wants to run a restaurant that means something to the people who go there, and The Lobster Roll definitely has the nostalgia factor for many Montauk residents and tourists. The one catch is Cole would need a partner, but he knows just the person with the money and the same love for that restaurant: Alison. Luisa, rightly so, thinks he’s crazy. He understands her apprehension and promises, in regards to getting back with Alison, “that’s not ever going to happen.” Which means it’s definitely going to happen.

Cole, Alison, & Scotty

Luisa must have enough faith in Cole however, because he and Alison are now the proud new owners of The Lobster Roll. Scotty is ecstatic about the news, partly because he’s wasted and partly because he believes his brother will allow him to buy in. Scotty thinks he entitled to a piece of the pie since it was his idea from the start. While it’s true that he and Alison wouldn’t have known about this opportunity if not for Scotty, Cole is not about to go into business while his brother’s health is in shambles. Furious, Scotty threatens to tell Cole something that could blow his life up – he doesn’t implicate Alison but it’s definitely about Joanie. Cole is forced to stop his brother from becoming violent and promises to let him in on the deal once he gets clean. While driving to rehab, Cole asks Scotty what could blow his life up, but he doesn’t get an answer.

Noah

With little time between his teaching job and responsibilities as a father, Noah has resorted to waking up at 4:30 am in order to work on his next novel. His new office is a makeshift desk over the sink in his washroom. I can’t even type that last part without laughing, hysterically. His latest draft is going nowhere and he needs some new material for his publisher. Harry is pressuring him to have something ready to release by Christmas; it’s important for Noah’s career momentum to have his follow-up book on sale as quickly as possible. He pushes the idea of Ascent, a sequel to Descent, which Noah is disgusted by. A serial writer is not how Noah sees himself. Harry points out maybe he wrote Descent “so quickly and so brilliantly” because that’s exactly the type of writer he is.

[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#4a7097″ class=”” size=””]“I just know I want to do something. I don’t just want to be your wife or Joanie’s mother.” – Alison[/pullquote]

As usual, Noah put his career before Alison and ignored her need for an important conversation earlier that morning. Perhaps if he had listened, he wouldn’t be under the impression that she’s still in school. He tries to surprise Alison with flowers after her midterm only to find out she dropped the class six weeks ago.

While searching for his fiancé, Noah receives a text that leads him to Montauk. Oscar, ever the shit disturber, sent Noah a picture of Alison and Cole looking very happy together. While Oscar’s main motive was to spill the beans about the sale of The Lobster Roll, he ends up filling Noah’s head with ugly ideas of who Alison truly is: a fraud. Noah has always seen Alison as a project, a broken woman he could fix, and because he really doesn’t know his fiancé, Oscar’s words are easily convincing. “It wasn’t Gabriel’s death that broke her heart. She never fucking had one.”

Max

Searching for advice, Noah turns to Max. How can he be with Alison when he doesn’t trust her? Um, fuck you, you hypocrite. Max thinks Noah should have seen this coming though, their relationship did begin as an affair after all. Clearly fishing for details, Max suggests Noah should just go back to Helen. Max is surprised, and hurt, to find out about Dr. U and he pushes the subject a little too hard. Almost immediately, Noah realizes Max and Helen were an item. “Did you fuck my wife?” Thankfully, Max isn’t afraid to point out Helen is his ex-wife, who he didn’t want and would tell that fact to anyone who would listen. The two of them blow up at each other, and because Noah is Noah, he can’t see how much his friend needs him.

He can’t see past his own pain and believes Max is just jealous of him – HA! – because he doesn’t have to buy people’s love.

Noah has officially lost it. He’s driving down the same stretch of road he envisioned for the murder scene in his book, complete with the blue canoe. He hallucinates Alison walking on to the road and starts to speed up. Had it not been for the real Alison calling him right then, imaginary Alison would have bit the dust. They meet at The Lobster Roll and she comes clean about everything. He doesn’t take it well. He actually has the nerve to tell her she should have asked first and then says he can understand why her first marriage fell apart. What a turd! While she admits things should have gone differently, it all happened so fast, and this is truly what she wants right now. Noah pulls the classic, “if you love me you won’t do it” plea, but it’s too late for Alison to back out now. She hopes they can figure this out, together.

Noah & Alison

Final Thoughts & Questions

·      I get that Cole feels bad for Cherry having to work, but the way the show framed it was weird. It’s as if there was extra pity in his eyes because she’s doing a housekeeping job.

·      I guess this was glossed over in the one-year time jump from last week, but how did the sale of Alison’s house not go horribly wrong after Cole set fire to it? I guess insurance took care of it?

·      There’s no way in hell Noah has never been broken up with. Nope. I don’t believe that for a second.

·      Finale predictions: Alison or Cole killed Scotty. Joanie is Cole’s baby. Alison and Noah won’t be together much longer.

The Affair S2E11
  • 8/10
    Plot - 8/10
  • 8/10
    Dialogue - 8/10
  • 8.5/10
    Performances - 8.5/10
8.2/10

Summary

I’d like to congratulate The Affair on its valiant effort in trying to garner sympathy for Noah Solloway. If he wasn’t such a toxic garbage monster, it might have worked. Yes, Alison probably should have told Noah about dropping classes and buying The Lobster Roll sooner, but after all the shit he’s done I really can’t blame her. His attitude towards writers he perceives as less than him is insufferable, and I loved watching Harry knock him down a peg or two. In the same vein, it was a perfect illustration of how Noah can never be satisfied with what (skills, people, love) he already has.

The double male perspective this week was another great way to shake up the story structure. It was interesting to see how important a role all of the women played, even when they weren’t around – Helen wasn’t even in the episode and yet she still made a big impact. Unfortunately, it means that we’ve seen far more from Noah this season than any other character. It’s not just because I dislike him so much that I find this frustrating, it’s because I want to see a more rounded story and we can only get that with different POV’s. I really hope the finale is either from Helen & Alison’s POV’s, or it’s from everyone but Noah’s.

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About Jasmin George (185 Articles)
An avid reader of TV Guide in her youth, Jasmin has been a fan of all things television since she can remember. She’s very passionate about story, especially the kinds that use cameras and actors to convey them. When she doesn’t have her eyes glued to the tube, you can find her listening to podcasts or reading reviews about, well, TV. Yeah, Jasmin might have a slight addiction but she’s perfectly happy to coexist with it.
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