Previously on The Affair, ‘206′
Ever the fish out of water, Alison is visibly uncomfortable at a literary party for Noah’s book release. His insufferable publicist, Eden, is pulling Noah in every direction but Alison’s. The first person that actually pays her any attention ends up being a gossip columnist, but before realizing this, Alison has already spilled the beans about Noah and Helen not yet technically being divorced. Which shouldn’t really matter, except Alison is noticeably pregnant, and those are the kinds of juicy details people with nothing better to do love reading about.
Noah’s behavior is somewhat forgivable, the thrill of a first major success must be a bit of a whirlwind. As an audience, however, we already know Noah is a selfish dick. So his decision to stay at the party while Alison returns home to prepare for their Thanksgiving dinner only intensifies that perception. Though their relationship hasn’t always been the best, Alison actually looks happy to find Athena waiting in her apartment’s lobby.
Athena may be a hippy at heart but she certainly loves the luxuriousness of Alison’s new digs. Remember how Noah said his new place wasn’t big? Apparently he and I have very different definitions of the word. Of course, Athena wants to know how they can even afford such an apartment and she’s hurt to find out that Alison is selling her house. All this time Alison believed that it was her grandmother’s decision to leave the family house to her, but it was Athena who made that choice. She gives Alison some pretty great advice: keep the house in Montauk as a backup just in case this new life doesn’t work out. Too late for that though, “the house is in escrow, it’s done.”
Jane is back! It was nice to see Alison spend time with an actual friend; unfortunately they weren’t given the space for any real meaningful conversation. Instead, Jane is too busy hitting it off with Max – yes, Noah’s BFF – so even in her own home, Alison is sidelined yet again. And Noah’s ass still isn’t home and he’s not answering his phone. When he finally does show up, with Eden and without the turkey, Alison’s reaction is surprisingly restrained. I have to give Alison credit for staying so calm at first because this bitch Eden would absolutely not be sitting down at my table for a meal.
Eden interrupts a surprisingly thoughtful toast from Max, with the news that Alison’s comments to the gossip columnist have been published. Which she decides to use to their advantage. Eden wants Noah to align himself as much as possible with his book, “the whole sordid story.” He’s prepared to go along with the idea, proving yet again just how selfish he is, when Alison reveals that she’s read Descent.
Alison is hurt by the way she’s been characterized in her fiancé’s book and is baffled by the notion that he would sell it as truth for financial gain. Especially after how adamantly he’s been denying that it’s anything more than fiction. If it wasn’t clear Noah’s book was based on most of the events from The Affair season one, it is now. Alison and Noah rehash a few of the incidents, which we saw from both of their perspectives last season. This moment had just the right amount of self-awareness, until Max made the way too on-the-nose comment, “I think we’re just having some minor differences of opinion about some events you both agree on.” Duh.
It’s fair for Alison to wonder if Noah even wants their baby. I mean the book does end with the Alison character’s murder. Noah says he wants them to be a family, he says he’ll cancel the whole book tour if he has to. Something doesn’t feel genuine about this, although that’s not a word I would use to describe Noah, ever. Just then, the doorbell rings.
Aside from his cleaned up appearance in the flash-forwards, Cole is looking his best so far this season. He’s finally put on a new shirt and he’s ditched the trailer for the house. The change is likely due to his growing relationship with Luisa, who’s been spending her weekends in Montauk since Cole refuses to go into the city. He’s not fully ready for a commitment however because when she drops the L bomb during sex, he immediately becomes distant. It’s clear Cole is purposely trying to push Luisa away when he accuses her of stealing his money. Serious dick move!
[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”#4a7097″ class=”” size=””]“Look, I’ve tried to understand this man. I swear to God I have and I have even tried to forgive him lately, but he is a parasite.” – Cole[/pullquote]
This first Thanksgiving away from Alison is proving difficult for Cole and it seems he just wants to be alone. He tells Luisa he’ll be spending the night with his family but when he later sees Scott, he turns down his invitation saying he’s already made plans with Luisa. He decides to spend the day reading Noah’s book, which strangely enough, was recommended by Oscar because the Lockhart family is “all over it.” He gets about halfway through when something convinces him to go see his family.
Scott is the only person truly happy to see him and tensions are high from the moment he arrives. Things only get worse when the family begins their moonshine tradition: say something you’re grateful for and take a shot. Cole uses this as an opportunity to bring up Descent – now we know why he was marking all those pages – and show his family what’s been written about them. It’s unclear what exactly Cole expected from this but it probably wasn’t learning that his grandfather murdered a baby.
That’s how the feud between the Hodge and Lockhart families really started. Grandma Lockhart had an affair with Grandpa Hodge, Grandpa Lockhart found out the baby wasn’t his, and then drowned the poor child. Holy shit. The family secrets don’t stop spilling out there though. It’s always been obvious the Lockhart boys had problems with their father, but it turns out he was a pretty decent dude who only became an alcoholic because he couldn’t move past what his father had done during his childhood. Cherry is worried Cole may be headed down this same path, considering the depression he’s been going through since losing Gabriel and now Alison. Cole storms out of the family dinner but he can’t quite escape the drama.
Whitney shows up – impeccable timing as usual – and is begging to see Scott. The whole restraining order thing causes Scott to flip out and he makes a run for it. Poor Whitney, I totally remember those overwhelming feelings of unrequited love. Cole drives her back to the city and it’s interesting to see how different she is in his POV. She’s still a bratty teenager, but she’s much more naïve and vulnerable than she is to Noah or Alison. Despite thinking her father doesn’t care about her, because she’s not a part of his book, she decides to go to his place instead of going home. Petty ass Noah doesn’t even thank Cole for helping Whitney.
Cole decides to make things right with Luisa and actually, his apology is pretty damn good. He’s honest about being an asshole on purpose but promises to never hurt her again. If nothing else, he says, he’s good for his word. Cole’s transparency here is a very, very good thing. Luisa accepts and he returns the “I love you.” Who among us would be able to resist that man?
Both of these scenes had a much better fit narratively this week; they actually connected with one another and the overall story. The few moments from Alison’s perspective don’t seem useful until we get to the second flash-forward. She tells Noah’s lawyer that she and Scott were on good terms the night of Cole’s wedding, but surveillance video provided by Oscar proves otherwise. It’s clear that she and Scott are arguing and though the video has no sound, Oscar heard their conversation. According to him, Scott says to Alison, “that’s our baby.”
- I think Noah lied about hearing the baby’s heartbeat. He’s honestly the worst.
- The majority of my notes for the first half of this episode were “this bitch” in reference to Eden. Her and Noah are perfect for each other.
- The “our” in “that’s our baby” refers to the Lockhart family, right? There’s no way Alison got with Scott, and we saw her sleep with Cole. It’s definitely Cole’s baby.
- Learning how Cole’s dad died – hanging himself at Cole’s 10th birthday party – was pretty rough. Cherry was kind of a bitch for throwing that in her son’s face.
- Time and space cease to exist on Thanksgiving, I guess. Cole is about to eat with his family in Montauk, then he drives Whitney to Brooklyn, and yet he’s still able to make dinner at Luisa’s in Queens.
- And as always, #TeamCole
The Affair S2E7
Another great episode. I think this show has finally found its stride and has become what it originally set out to be.
This is the second Thanksgiving episode for The Affair and it was interesting to note the connections between this year’s and last year’s festivities. Though things are not perfect between them, there’s been a lot of growth in Athena and Alison’s relationship. This time last year, Alison was with the Lockharts and on good terms with Cherry, while things with her mother could not have been worse. It was also this time last year that Alison’s nana died, so it was a nice touch that Alison would use her recipes for the dinner. The night of nana’s death is actually a topic of conversation when Noah and Alison are arguing over who’s memories are right or wrong. Now that over a year has passed by in the main storyline, connections and parallels such as these will be fun to look out for.
Speaking of time, the few months we jumped ahead worked well for Alison’s half of the story. It was important in order to maintain the momentum of all the issues surrounding Noah’s book and how she’s feeling betrayed by it. Moving the pregnancy along was also a good thing. Unfortunately, I feel like we missed out on so much with Cole and Luisa. The last we saw, Cole was in post-coital bliss with Alison back at home. I wish we could have filled in a few of the gaps between then and now because while I’m happy for him, I am basically indifferent towards his new lady. And quite a bit must have happened for them to be at the I Love You stage.