Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Episode 6

Well, this episode moves us away from "the affair" itself and none too soon, in my book. The expanse of scope is troubling for several reasons though, some have to do with character, but I'm also concerned about the plot. The people tuned into this show don't care about drug smuggling. That might intrigue a Miami Vice action audience, but that's not the lure of this series. I saw the creator tweeting about how exciting a scene between Oscar and Allison was and felt anxious because Oscar is neither threatening nor interesting enough to excite the average viewer. When the producers' view of a show is vastly different than the viewers, content suffers. This happened on the Dallas Revival. We watched expecting oil cartels and what we got was Mexican Drug Wars every week. Indeed, the characters spent half their time across the border. It was like having J. R. Ewing on The Bridge with Diane Kruger: too dichotomous to make good television.

I don't want to see the Lockharts and Solloways hiding cocaine. Murder is one thing. It's personal and emotional. Drug running is more about action than the people involved and I don't want that to dominate the second phase of this season. Showtime confirmed that the show has been renewed and I already see it losing focus. We met a new character, blowsy Max, and the creator gleefully pointed out that he's been signed to play a big part in Season 2. Well, I wouldn't mind having him as a suitor for Helen, but he's so broadly written that it frightens me to think he'll be a "big part" of anything. He belongs on the periphery of this show or on a network sitcom. Max animated crying scenes, women chasing and sprawling drunkenness resembled sketch-comedy, rather than acting.

Word of a second season, also made me fret that this one will be left incomplete. I'm sure we'll find out who murdered Scotty, but of more concern to me is the paternity of Allison's baby. Saving that denouement for Season 2 would frustrate me so much that I might not want to return. All mysteries introduced early in this season, need to be answered before it ends.

Noah's Story

I thought Alison would start the next three entries, but we're back to Noah. His loud friend Max is visiting from out of town and he's taken him to The End, a club Noah told the detective that he'd never been before. Lying about visiting a place that was so crowded that night was ... not even a mistake. To be that stupid, you'd have to want to be caught and both Noah and Alison have always seemed to want exposure from that first shower scene.

Max pulls Noah into his taxi, asks to borrow $40 and buys cocaine from the driver. Noah can't believe it. The driver tells Max not to use it in his car, but Max ignores him, offering some to Noah who balks.

Inside the club, Max asks how Noah managed to bag rich Helen Butler. Noah turns the table and asks him how he got Val. Whatever trick he used has worn off, because he and Val are divorced now. How is Max doing without his wife and kids? Great he claims, best thing that ever happened to him. Max asks about Noah's book, which has become a roman a clef about a visitor to Montauk having an affair and (later) stumbling upon drug trafficking.

Alison sidles up to the table in a red dress that Noah and Max would have us believe is sexy. I came to love Alice Morgan, so I love Ruth and she is pretty to me, but I know that she is not a conventional beauty, so for every man to be knocked out by her sex appeal is a bit much. She pretends to be a stranger to Noah and asks to sit at their table, while she waits for her friends. Max said, "We'll be your friends." Eventually, Noah pretends to leave. Max wants to linger and pick up Alison who he insists was flirting with them. Noah acts as if he barely remembers her and sees Max off in a taxi, before going back inside.

He and Alison laugh at their ruse and dance enthusiastically to Earth, Wind and Fire's September. Love was changing the mind of pretenders. Does this mean they are falling in love?

Back at Phoebe's, Noah joins Alison in the shower. She has a sober look on her face and I remember Cole saying how she had to be bathed by Cherry when she was still afraid of the water. In her version of the pilot, she was so depressed and contemplative when she showered that I wonder if she would really be at ease with Noah joining her. He imagines her as more open with her showering than I suspect she is.

She points out that the summer is over and he'll be leaving next week. He says that maybe he can get a job teaching their part time and they can still see each other. "So, what would I be then, your mistress?" Well, that's what you are now!

She pulls on black slacks and top. She brought a change of clothes, he asks, suggesting that she has plotted her deceptions a lot more carefully than he has. She reminds him that she Cole is coming back from out of town today and she can't go home smelling like him (perish the thought of Noah's smell). He should bring a change of clothes too. He sulks and wonders if she and Cole still act like ... "What married people?" He says never mind. And says he has to get home and go sleep with his wife. She gives him a look, more arch than hurt and he apologizes.

As she exits, he watches her out the window and sees that she bikes in the opposite direction. "Where is she going," he demands, to by great irritation. I don't like his possessiveness, but we're supposed to notice that their relationship has evolved so that he feels possessive and protective of her. He didn't even like to watch Max hit on her at The End.

He jumps in his car and follows Ali to the harbor where she gets a cooler and then goes to the taxi stand. This is the place by the docks where she picked up the container before. I didn't realize it was a taxi stand. I didn't know what the Lockharts were doing there, actually.

At home, when he crawls into bed and Helen asks how Max was, he has almost forgotten that he was ever with Max. He says that Max is .. is .. a disaster. Of course, the aimless Max is juxtaposed against Noah to show Noah (and us) what his life will be like, if he loses his wife and kids.

Helen says that Martin is missing. He only left a note saying that he was going to the ranch. What was he thinking, Helen exclaims. Noah urinates at the toilet, bathroom door open and says, "He's 14. He probably wasn't thinking." He calls the ranch and finds that Martin is there. We don't know who he talks to, but from his end, it doesn't seem like he's talking to Alison.

Helen suggests that they could benefit from going to Whitney's therapist, because Noah has been distant. It's because of his book, he says. Then why isn't he sleeping with her? He says because they have 4 kids and are staying with her parents. He pulls her into his lap and assures her that she's still attractive. Affirms when she asks if she is still a "great lay." She says she's taking the kids to eat and asks if he wants to join. He says no, but ultimately does go. He goes down to the pool and asks where kids get cocaine in that town. She says she doesn't do drugs and will never know the answer to that question. Noah says he needs the info for his book.

At the Lobster Roll with the family, Noah is surprised that Helen has invited Max. Is that a problem? No, he says. Helen and Max lock lips, playfully. He is family. He is "Uncle Max," which is why now that Sarah Treem tells us he will return next season, I expect him to be the first person Helen turns to when she learns the truth.

Max is surprised to learn that Noah didn't get home until 5. Helen had assumed that Max and Noah left the club together, so her face says that she is surprised that Max is surprised. Max looks over and sees Alison waiting tables and asks Noah is that the woman they saw at the club. Noah does a "what woman" thing and Max recalls her. Says he's going to go get her number. A fidgety Noah says she's married. They give him "how do you know that" looks. She told him so last night. Well, she didn't act married, Max notes. Stacey needs to use the restroom and Helen tells her to ask her daddy. With nudging, Noah takes Stacey into one bathroom and he enters the other. Alison comes in and they make out -- too ridiculous for words -- until Stacey knocks. Alison hides behind the door when Noah opens it, but we see her reflection in the mirror. I wonder if Stacey saw it and since Sarah Treem mentions this moment online, I'm thinking that Stacey DID see and will tell her mom, "Oh that's the lady who was in the bathroom with daddy."

Noah goes back out and Max has been crying, being around the Solloway family has made him feel the loss of his own more. Even Stacey tries to comfort him. He asks if he can tell the kids the truth about their parents and Noah and Helen say yes, not knowing what he is going to say. I think it's a nice way of showing that they trust him so much that they known it's not going to be anything bad coming from him and they trust anything he says to their children. He tells them that their parents are really aliens. They are from a fantasy world where ... people don't get divorced. Then, he starts crying again and it's like watching Lucy Ricardo sob, more amusing than moving. I suppose it moves Noah though. There but for the grace of ...

As they prepare to go, Helen asks Noah if he wants to go sightseeing with them. He says he has to work on his book. She says she figured as much and leaves with Max and the kids. Oscar gives him a hard time for their fracas at the Butler home. Noah apologizes and says he wants to make it up to Oscar. They should have a drink. Oscar pours one for Noah and Scotty comes in wanting his money. Oscar doesn't oblige and Scotty bangs open the cash register and takes what he wants. I think drug dealers are generally more subtle ... Oscar says he wants a permit from the Lockharts (for his bowling alley). Scotty shoves him away. Oscar puts up a lame fight, following Scotty outside, but returns. Noah feigns innocence. What is going on? Oscar knows that Noah is fishing for information about his "girlfriend" and eggs him on. He says that the Lockharts are nothing but thugs and their grandfather was a bootlegger. That's how he made their money. The family is all dirty. He picks up the phone, calls the police.

Noah goes to the ranch. Alison is shocked to see him. He says how could she do drugs. She denies it. Then, he tells her about Oscar's phone call and her panic gives her away. She runs to Cole and tells him. Cole says "I got it" and starts to drive off. Alison is too busy working with the Lockharts to cover their crimes to even see Noah off. His fears confirmed, Noah returns home.

How's the book coming Alison asks him, keenly aware that he hasn't been working on it. She is picking up laundry when he grabs her, starts undressing her, nuzzles her inner thighs, tells her she smells good. She protests that everyone is at home. "Let them here," he growls.

I haven't really heard Dominic West talk. I wonder if I would like Noah more if he had an English accent.

Alison's Story

She has herself taking a shower when Noah comes in. She smiles at the intrusion. He uses the bathroom and she says "Seriously?" He asks, "too soon?" And they are already a married couple, so familiar with one another. He goes out and when she exits the bathroom he is gone. "Noah?" She picks up a note from him and he comes out and grabs her, happy that he fooled her into thinking she was abandoned. She claims he didn't fool her and they giggle and roll. She says she has to go. "Do you have somewhere to be at 10 to 5," he wonders. Yes, she says.

She goes to the harbor, gets the cooler and then the taxi stand. Caleb Lockhart is there with a blond sprawled out on the sofa and Ali asks Caleb if he's sleeping with her. "Of course not," he smirks. "I'm a married man." I wonder at Alison being aghast at Caleb's infidelity. She always frowns upon cheating when talking to others, Oscar, Mrs. Margaret Butler, the other waitress ...

Caleb says they don't have to worry about the woman on the sofa, she's out cold. He takes the container into a hidden room in the back and stores a wrapped package in a safe. Since Noah saw Max get cocaine from the taxi driver, he deduces that there was cocaine in Alison's cooler. She goes back to the ranch and Cole is unloading his new mare -- see he is just coming home from buying that mare. Last week he was already home again, so this episode is out of chronology. Yet, sequentially it doesn't seem like last week could have happened after this week. So, I do not know what the time reverse means. Cole says that he's been married long enough that he realizes it's not a good idea to compare your wife to a horse, but he still thinks the horse, Elizabeth Taylor, resembles Alison because she is stubborn and majestic. Liz Taylor also slept with Debbie Reynolds' husband, so maybe Cole is aware of that sub-consciously. Aside from her husbands and love affair with Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor is known for her love of diamonds. Does Cole think his wife has a materialistic streak? She wouldn't still be with him if she had.

I blame him for preferring to have his family live a life of crown, rather than selling the ranch. What sort of legacy is he passing onto his descendants as a coke dealer? Maybe the Lockharts were always a little crooked (although Oscar is biased and was laying it on thick for Noah anyway), but even so why would Cole give an impassioned speech at town hall and advise Oscar to open something useful like a daycare center, when he's smuggling drugs?

He later acknowledges that Oscar has a sick obsession with Alison, so whether or not he knows that Oscar probably harassed her when she was a teen and still taunts her now, he knows he's a negative presence. Why would he have Alison working for him, rather than sale. She can't afford to keep her beloved grandmother nearby, because they don't have money. Cherry's house is falling down around her. Scotty is a social menace, doing anything for cash. The hardship he is causing his family is unforgivable and it's certainly not based on integrity because (1) a drug dealer doesn't have any, and (2) a man with integrity would give up anything to protect his family, not turn away $30,000,000 to indulge his own sense of history and pride.

But Alison is responsible for her own well-being. Would she need Athena's permission to sell her home? Her grandparents paid little for it, but the land alone must be worth millions now. Why won't she sell. It can't be because she loves Montauk, because why would she and Cole bring drugs to their charming hamlet, if they cared about it so much? Even if she didn't sell her house, if Cole is forcing her to sell drugs because the ranch can't sustain itself, if she is against it, why doesn't she leave and get a nursing job in another city. She could live a decent life, wouldn't have to work with Oscar and would be free of Cole. I believe (or believed) she loved him and didn't really want to leave him, but she hasn't really shown any signs of that. So, what's keeping her in Montauk, where she faces one humiliation after the other on a daily basis?

She smiles at Cole's majestic and stubborn comment and it's a sweet moment. They find Martin sleeping in the stall. He says he just wanted to see the new mare. They give him breakfast. Alison answers the phone when Helen calls. She's too nonchalant for Alison's liking. It took her all this time to even notice Martin was gone, she fumes. Cherry says that Helen has four kids and is busy. She doesn't even care, Alison insists. If she didn't care, she wouldn't have called, Cherry counters. She didn't seem that concerned, Alison presses. Cherry says that she is busy and has a lot on her mind. No, she doesn't, Alison retorts, because she's rich. I think Alison is saying that if she had been rich she could have devoted 100% of her time to Gabriel and he wouldn't have drowned. So, I think she was working when he died or not paying attention to him, because she was preoccupied with work. But she seems to think that Helen's leisure gives her the opportunity to be a better mother than Alison was and resents the fact that Helen doesn't take advantage of or appreciate this.

At the breakfast table, Martin says his father is a teacher and is lame. Cole says maybe he's not lame because he's a teacher, but just because he's Martin's dad. Maybe, Martin says, but he doesn't do cool things like the Lockharts do. Alison tenses and I wonder if she is feeling protective of Noah, when Cole mentions him, but Cole isn't likely to slam Noah in front of his son anyway, so I suppose she's not jumpy on that score.

Cole takes Martin out to show him how to ride and lead a horse. Alison looks on. That could have been Cole with their son. I like that, because it makes it seem like she's not just grieving for herself, but for the family that she and Cole might have been. I want to know more about their past and their feelings for each other.

She goes to the Lobster Roll and has a note from Noah to meet her. At Phoebe's she is surprised to see him there already and she looks up at him first happy and puzzled, the way you look at an approaching murder in a crime movie. He says he followed her after she left and knows she's doing drugs. Drug dealer. She hates that term. He asks why she does it. Does she know what she's risking? She could go to jail for years. She says they have to, because the ranch can't sustain itself. They have no choice. He says sale the ranch. She says they can't but doesn't explain, at least I'm glad she doesn't blame Cole. He says he trusted her with his life. How can she do this and what about his son? He works at the ranch every day. Do they sell drugs around him? Of course not, they don't do drugs. They don't bring them home and they never sell to children. They have rules. Noah scoffs at that. She's tearful. She says doesn't he see that she doesn't care? It doesn't matter if she goes to jail or lives or dies. It doesn't make any difference to her. So, is that her justification for doing this, I wonder. She's been so numb since her son died that she didn't care about breaking the law anymore or maybe she wanted to break the law, be caught and be punished? Is that what we're supposed to believe? Ethically, this drug thing does much more to destroy Cole and Alison as redeemable people than failing each other as partners did. They can hurt each other without being bad morally, but selling the drugs has them turn a different corner in my mind. I knew they were smuggling something illegal, but I thought it might be jewelry. I didn't think they'd bring drugs to the town. Alison said they don't sell to children, but she's seen Scotty with Whitney and knows how ungovernable he can be. She might place restrictions on herself, but there are no restrictions on Scotty, her co-conspirator. His crimes are also hers and Cole's. The risks they are taking ethically changes my view of who they were in the first half of the series. I knew they were criminals, before, but I didn't know they were corrupt.

Noah says there is one more thing he has to tell her.

She goes to Cole and says she overheard Oscar calling the police. Scotty says he didn't see Alison at the Lobster Roll when he was there. She says she was in the back and she overheard Oscar. Cole says they've got to hide the drugs before the police get there. He'll bury them on the ranch -- she just told Noah they never take drugs to the ranch. She says that she will drive Cole. I like this, because it suggests that she would sacrifice herself to help Cole. He says no, if he's going to get caught with kilos, he wants to be alone. I hope that Cole means he doesn't want her to get in trouble too and would take the fall for everyone, rather than think he's just saying that he can work more efficiently if alone. He kisses Alison on the cheek before departing, a very tender gesture, I think. He tells her to go to the taxi stand and act like she's working dispatch, until he calls and says it's all clear.

When she gets to the dispatch, Oscar comes in. Caleb wants to fight him, the narc and Oscar feigns innocence. He hasn't called the police. He might get the idea to fake a phone call to the police, but he hasn't done that yet he declares. Before Oscar lets on that she is not the one who heard him on the phone, Alison hurriedly tells Caleb that she sees it was all a trick on his part. The police aren't coming. They freaked out for nothing. She tells Caleb to leave and she'll take care of Oscar. It's telling that they don't seem worried about Oscar physically hurting her. Caleb leaves. Oscar says that all this time he thought Alison was grieving. If she wanted someone to sleep with, she could have slept with him (has she slept with him since her marriage to Cole? Has she just been off limits since her son died?) instead of some tourist yuppy. He invades her space, but when she pushes back and tells him to get out, he does. She heaves and curses, near a melt down because of how close she thought she was to arrest. So, I guess she does care about going to jail after all.

As for Oscar, she should have at least expected that it was a prank, an unnecessary was. He could have confirmed she was having an affair with Noah by staking out Phoebe's cabin. He didn't have to play a game of telephone that depended upon him correctly guessing Noah's future conduct.

At the ranch the brothers are arguing. The others accuse Cole of being a "pussy." Cole says they need to give Oscar the bowling permit, if it will get him off of their back. Just like that, he's not concerned with preserving the cultural and architectural sanctity of the town where his wife was born, his kid was buried and he will die. He walks out of the room and is surprised to see that Alison is there and overheard them. He didn't think she was back yet. She tells him he should sell the ranch, since they are all clearly miserable. "What!" Why is he surprised. Why is he holding on to it. I can't believe Cherry hasn't insisted that he sale. And does Cherry know about the cocaine? Maybe she's the head honcho, like Ma Barker.

Alison says that they can sale the ranch, take the money and relocate. Maybe they can finally move on from ... she drifts off. Move on from what, he asks angrily? He wants to hear her say it? "There is no moving on," he barks. This is curious, because in the pilot he was telling her to try to make Gabriel's birthday a good one, like he was the one who wanted to move on, when she couldn't. Now, he seems to mock her for making the suggestion and is there blame in his voice? I know that this is Alison's subjective view, so does she hear blame? Is he telling her that he won't let her move on, because he won't forget what she cost him? Once more I ask if she was there when Gabriel died?

I take some solace in the fact that she asked Cole to go away with her. In a sense she was asking to make a new start with him and only him. She asked him first.

Cole is cursing and his brother shush him because Martin has appeared. The mare is loose. Martin opened the door and she ran out. Cole exclaims and grabs Martin by the collar. They go looking for the horse. I'm surprised that Alison doesn't object when Cole yanks Martin.

Later, Alison drives Martin home and says, "Why did you do it?" To me, she knows that he deliberately let the mare out. But maybe she just means, why did he carelessly open the door anyway. But knowing him and the suicide ploy, I think he deliberately let the mare run away and I suspect that Alison sees that and recognizes him as someone who causes trouble, to regret it later. Like she herself does. Martin says, "do you ever do things and you don't know why?" Alison laughs. Yes, all the time. But I want to know what she has done that she doesn't understand, have the affair or stay with the Lockharts and run drugs. I hope it's the affair that's inexplicable to her.

At the Butler house, Alison gets out of the car as Martin goes inside. The mansion looms large and elegant as Noah emerges. Is it his wealth and the security it affords (all of which would be stripped away if he leaves his rich wife) that influences her? She says that she's sorry about the drugs. He's right. It's wrong and she will stop. She will leave this town and begin a new life with him. Well, he never asked you Alison and if this wasn't Alison part, I would be sure that Noah just concocted this conversation in his vain head.

He said he's been thinking and after all that's happened, they can't go on. He was leaving town next week anyway. They might as well stop seeing each other now. He's cool, removed. I didn't want him to reject Alison. I wanted her to choose the Lockharts over him, not choose him after he left her no choice. Does this change her view of him, from a man she was falling for, to thinking of him as someone who was only in it for the sex all along? Of course, he will see her as the heartless one, if we ever get his version of the breakup. Well, I hope this is the break up and that they aren't reconciled next week.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Episode 5

I've got nothing else to do but just be the wave that I am and then sink back into the ocean.

I listened to the words of the theme song for the first time tonight. A wave forms, crests, causes trouble, sometimes takes life and then it collapses into nothing, as if was never there, after having changed everything. In a way, this is good news to me, because I'm hopeful that whatever the outcome for the Lockhart marriage that Noah and Alison as a pair will wreak havoc, then melt away and become nothing.

Did a wave come and take Gabriel? I still think that Cole will have a surfing accident, before all is said and done.

Alison: Part One

I had just been wondering if the sequence of POV presented would change. I figured that after half the shows had aired, then Alison would go first, but her version starts the fifth episode. I predict that she will start episodes 4-8 and then the 9th episode might be an objective point of view.

As with last week, the story is less compelling when Noah and Alison are alternating and taking consecutive turns telling the story, than when they are giving us two different version of the exact same events. I realize that the writers feel Rashomon gets repetitive after a while and impedes plot progession. Yet, the domestic tale is a familiar and mundane one. It's the storytelling gimmick that spiced things up. If the writers think they've gotten to the point where the soap opera can intrigue all by itself, they're wrong. This isn't the Lifetime channel.

Alison's tale starts with her in bed. A man comes up behind her, wearing a wedding band and I’m relieved that it’s Cole. For a second. He asks her if she wants to come and watch him surf [I still think he’ll have a surfing accident, before the season is over]. She says she didn’t get any sleep last night and wants to catch up. He asks why she didn’t sleep and she doesn’t answer.

He kisses her goodbye and says, “OK, Stinko.” She answers, “You’re Stinko,” good naturedly. As soon as he is out the door, she jumps up and puts on a dress. He returns and is puzzled to see her out of bed. She looks awkward but says nothing. He says, “I forgot my wax.” He retrieves it from the dresser. His brow is furrowed. You think he might say something angry or accusatory, but he only mutters, “I love you in that dress,” his voice thick. She still says nothing, face guilty.

I had just said last week that, uncharacteristically, even though she was cheating on my beloved, I didn’t want him to find out and dump him hard. I still wanted the two kids to work it out. Well, all of that changed. The minute he didn’t challenge her, but just soaked in the hurt and she didn’t repent, I began to want him out of that relationship.

He’s flawed and frustrating, to be sure, but she should leave him. To stay and cheat is bad enough, but to stay and lie repeatedly is worse. Walking out is a single injury, lying every day is a thousand deaths. Many pinpricks vs. one stab. If she EVER loved him, she wouldn’t do that. It doesn’t matter what he’s done and what they’ve lost or who fault it is. She doesn’t have to love him now, but if she loved him once, she wouldn’t lie and sneak and make many breaks, where one would suffice.

And it doesn't help that the "dress" comment reminds me of Peter Bishop complimenting Olivia in her evening gown.

Back to the Affair, I don't know how soon after the last episode that this one is. I hope it's not the next morning. It was interesting to me that Alison was sleeping on Cole's side of the bed, clutching his pillow. Assuming that that wasn't where Noah lay when she had him over at her house, her being on Cole's side -- literally -- is an intimate marital gesture.

To destroy that fantasy, I hate it that Alison really has never displayed guilt. She’s hesitated, but her face has never really been suffused with guilt, shame or regret. The closest she came was standing in that closet, in the nondescript shift that he said he loved. But as soon as he was gone, she hopped on her bike and ran to a house. She hurriedly dusted, preparing for Noah. He gets there and they claw each other’s clothes off.

She says the home belongs to her friend Phoebe. She’s a folk singer and travels around the country. Noah asks if she ever thinks of leaving. In the preview, I thought the question was if she ever thought of leaving Cole, but Noah is asking if she ever thought of leaving Montauk. She says yes. She wanted to become a doctor. A doctor, he questions, but not as if he thinks she’s not capable of it. He respects her more now than he did in the beginning.

She says they didn’t have the money. Her boards weren’t high enough for a scholarship. He knows what that’s like. She turns away. He says, “You think I’m rich don’t you?” “What?” Doesn’t she? She admits that she does. I don’t know why. He said his in-laws were rich and when he did it was as if their wealth was foreign to them. He doesn’t strike me as particularly cultured and he already told her he married his wife because she was artsy, rich and beautiful and he wanted to be those things, so I don’t know why Alison assumed his status. He says his family was hard working. His mother was a waitress. A waitress? She questions. Yep. He went to school on a swim scholarship. Well …. I guess that’s why we have to constantly see him swimming.
She gets a call from the nursing home. Her mother is there, trying to take her grandmother off of her medication. She dresses hurriedly. Noah asks to see her again and she says she has to work, but maybe at 5:30 when she gets off. He says he’ll take it.
At the nursing home, everyone greets her, tells her she looks good. Oh, love has turned her into a new woman? Gag.

She sees her mother in a corridor. New Age woman. New and Aging woman, in flowing garb. Maybe they’re striving for Shirley MacLainesque She says the grandmother is on too much medication and doesn’t recognize her. Alison said she was fine when Alison was there last week. “You only come once a week?” Alison says she needs the medication, because when she’s not on it, she realizes that she’s losing her mind and it terrifies her.

When she goes into the grandmother’s room, the grandmother recognizes her instantly, but not the mother, Athena. Grandma says she used to have a daughter named Shelly who was a nurse. Athena says she’s Shelly and changed her name and she’s not a nurse, but a healer. Alison soothes the old woman and says that she is the one who went to nursing school, tells her she was right. When they leave Athena says that being a proxy for Grandma may be too much for Alison and Athena should take over. Alison wonders if she is kidding.

Athena wants to spend time with her, but Alison says she is going to Cherry’s tonight and she knows Athena hates Cherry. Then, can they get together after work? They can’t because Alison has to watch the house for her friend Phoebe. As Alison gets in her car, she can’t believe that Athena is going back into the nursing home. Athena snaps, “Well, I WANT to spend time with MY mother.” Alison has to go, but tells Athena not to upset grandma any further.

Alison rushes into work and she’s late. The other waitress covers for her. Oscar wants to know what she is up to. Is she still house sitting for Phoebe. Yes, she says. This maddens me, because she is telling everyone that she is at Phoebe’s and Oscar’s intent to cause trouble is transparent. She WANTS to be discovered. Again, I’d much rather she leave Cole than make such a fool of him.

Oscar is looking for Scotty and wants her phone. Alison says she will message Scotty herself and shows Oscar the text telling Scotty that Oscar is looking for her. I thought that Oscar was always a boor, but online, people speculate that Oscar is high. Scotty might be his dealer, but Alison and Cole are smuggling too and I don’t think they’d bring drugs into Montauk and spoil the city. They want to preserve it. At least, I think Cole does and Alison always speaks with fondness of the grandfather who raised and taught her so much. For his memory, I don’t think she’d want to start running drugs in Montauk. So, I don’t know how they’re making money, but I don’t think they’re doing drugs. Who knows what Scotty is up to.

Oscar tells the other waitress she can leave and Alison wonders why, since her tables are done and the other waitress has 2 more. “Because you came in late and she covered for you. So she can leave early.” “Who told you that?” The waitress says that she didn’t say anything. Oscar laughs and says that Alison just told him herself, because he had only guessed that’s what happened until she confirmed it.

So, he’s clearly on to her and hates the Lockharts and would like nothing more than to expose her to Cole. Is that ground for caution on her part? Nope!

She rushes back to Phoebe’s to steal a few more stolen moments with Noah. He talks about the places he wants to take her, Sonoma, California. At first she tells him not to discuss that, but then she listens, as if she imagines himself in those distant cities. With him. She tells him he’s so hot (oh brother; he’s so not) and he wonders which part of him she likes best. Pulls her over his lap, swats her bottom. They’re just having a grand time. He asks if she's using some protection. She says it's a little late for that question but "of course." She asks if he has STDS and he says, current or past? I'd like her pregnancy to be with Cole, of course, but I also wish it was planned, not accidental. That won't happen. I still think she may have been pregnant in the pilot and that's why she threw up when upset over Stacey choking.

He asks if she considers herself a good person. She says no. She doesn't think anyone is a "good" or "bad" person. Everyone just does what they can in the situation.

When Noah leaves, he meets Athena in the drive. Alison clumsily introduces them. He says that he’s a friend of Phoebe’s. Athena wonders if he calls HIS mother “Mom”. He says his mother is dead, so he doesn’t really call her anything, but Athena has made her point with Alison. Who changes her name to Athena if she doesn’t want to be called that?

Noah drives off and Athena says she knows they’ve had sex. Alison denies it. Athena can tell and says that Alison has opened up her heart again since “we” lost Gabriel. She could feel Alison being shut down. Even when she’s far away, she’s still near Alison in her heart. She approves of her finding someone to open up with. I grow perplexed and depressed. She closed her heart to protect herself from pain. Did she stop loving Cole? If so, why not just leave him. Is she staying because she can’t support herself alone. Later, her mother says she always wanted the security. So, is she saying because that’s the safe choice? I guess I could buy that, if there didn’t seem to be love there and if there is, I don’t know how she can do this. I’d judge her less for cheating if they had NOT lost their son. But the tragedy should make her more sensitive, not less so.

Athena says she has changed her mind and will go to Cherry’s. At the Lockharts, the boys are removing stuff from upstairs. I think that Cherry is having the garage sale that she promised, but they had a roof leak. Cole says she thought she would get it fixed, but she says that would be $50,000. Mary Kate calculates that’s about 6000 bottles of jam. Mary Kate wants Athena's advice about feeling her energies. Athena lies her prostrate and waves a hand over her stomach. She says that Mary Kate was sexually blocked and that it's a problem for a lot of people in that region. Mary Kate undulates, says she can feel the energies flowing now. Alison looks on. She's partly disgusted, but also looks like she could be in Mary Kate's place. I thought Noah was "unblocking" her. Maybe she should have gone to a spiritualist, rather than have an affair.

Cherry says she got another offer. How much? Larger than before. It’s $30,000,000. One brother says it’s $6 million for each of them. Cole says they are not selling the ranch. Alison argues back that it’s Cherry’s decision. Cherry says that it’s her boy’s inheritance and it’s up to them. Cole says no way. His brother says, “you’re not our father”. Cole says that the brother would just blow the money. He says, maybe he’d go back to school and they yell.

Wow, I’m proud because it sounds like the Lockharts are worth as much as the Butlers. I am glad that they are rich. Of course, they have to live like paupers because Cole won’t sell. Alison couldn’t go to med school. She has to work for Oscar. Does she resent Cole for everything she’s been deprived of, because of what HE wants.

Cherry pulls Alison away and gives her her wedding ring. Says she wants her to have it. Doesn’t that make the other daughters-in-law jealous, I wonder. Cherry says that she and Cole have been so intent on being strong for each other that maybe they don’t know how to be SOFT with each other. Alison jumps, “Why has he said something?” I don’t now what she is feeling, but it’s close to making me think she might care about his pain. Or maybe she just doesn’t want Cherry to know she’s cheated and could care less about Cole, per usual. Cherry says of course Cole has said nothing, he never would, but she knows her son. Just because he acts like he doesn’t need anyone, doesn’t mean Alison shouldn’t know he DOES need her.

That’s just what I don’t want. I don’t want her to stay because of his “need.” I want her to stay because she needs or wants HIM. I don’t need Cherry to lay a guilt trip on her. I want to see Alison’s on conscience and consciousness reaffirm loyalty to Cole.

At the table, Cherry shows it to Cole. Does he recognize it. “That’s your wedding ring, isn’t it ma?” Athena scoffs. Cherry has tried to take over her daughter enough.

Cole says that it was HIS mother who was there for Alison, not Cherry. Where was she when Cherry fed Alison and held her when she couldn’t sleep and bathed her when she was still afraid to go in the water?” Of course, he yells this in front of everyone, like Alison and her feelings are not even there. Like he did at the town hall. Like he does with the tattoo. Why expose her deepest pain and weakness, to win an argument? Also, I know that he was grieving too, but why was his mother doing all of that for Alison? Where was HE? Did he hold her when she couldn’t sleep? He held her in the pilot. That’s why it’s not easy for me to see him as distancing himself from her agony, entirely, to deflect his own.

I don't know if Alison realizes this (or cares) but Noah forfeited his integrity for money. He lets in-laws he doesn't like or respect dictate large aspects of his and his children's lives, because he wants what they give him. Cole on the other hand, has let his family live in near poverty and eschewed $30 million because he wants to hold on to his heritage, his values, his view of what life should be. He has caused others to make sacrifices for his vision. It's selfish and honorable at the same time. Does he know that Oscar slept with his wife and she probably did it grudgingly, back when she was young and needed the job. If Cole is aware of this, his refusal to cash in is all the more crippling for the family that is struggling because of it. Although, I'm not sure if all of his brothers are against selling the ranch or just one. Also, if the land is worth $30 million, I can't see why they can't get a loan on it and have to live in a house that is falling down around them. Finally, if Alison married Cole for "security" as her mother later says and it was not a love match, then it serves her right that Cole didn't bestow his inheritance on her dreams. If she married him for love, that's different, then he should love her back enough to help her find fulfillment (if she's told him about her aspirations). But if she didn't love him deeply anyway, she got what she deserved.

Athena says that Cole can bully everyone else, but not her. She stayed away because Cole did not want her. Alison stands and asks where Cherry is staying. She’s going to take her home.

At the police station, she goes out and pretends to take a smoke, but she is really on the phone asking someone where they are, while she’s at the police station being interrogated. I wonder if she’s talking to Cole. I don’t want it to be Noah on the other end, but I want her and Cole to be in a better place by the finale, not still blaming each other and screaming as they do in flashbacks.

In the interrogation room, the detective thanks her and says she’s free to go. “you’re through with me?” She is surprised. He says yes, but he asks if she saw Scotty at the wedding. Of course. Was he acting strange. No, he was acting like himself. Did she see him leave. No, they left first and went back to the city. They confirm in this episode that Scotty is the one killed, but I guessed that a few weeks back.

As Alison is driving Athena home, Athena says Alison never should have chosen Cole over her. Alison says that Athena left. Athena says she would have taken Alison with her. But Alison chose to stay. She got married too young, because she always wanted security. Now, she’s older and she’s changed into a different person and perhaps she realizes that there is no such thing as security. Alison drives, staring straight ahead.

Noah: Part Two

Noah is at the Butler home and doesn’t see Whitney. He goes up and tells Helen that Whitney is missing, but she says she’s sleeping over at Ruby’s. Noah says he is anti-Ruby. He says he’s going for a run, but Helen wants him to bring back bagels. He is perturbed. She says that he can run with bagels. They’ll help build his biceps. He angrily leaves.

Downstairs Trevor wants to run with him and keeps asking until Noah yells at him, says he wants alone time and then apologizes.
When Noah gets to Phoebe’s, Alison is delighted to see him and practically skips to the door, but is not happy that he is rushing things and ripping her clothes off. He says he told them he was off getting bagels. She says that’s not enough time and he should call back and say that he’s waiting for a fresh batch of Helen’s favorite bagel to be made. He says that’s poppy. Alison says she doesn’t want the details, really and tells him to text Helen. Noah is exasperated, does she want this or doesn’t she? He wants to know. She makes him call home and then he gets texts back from Helen and he tells Alison that it’s her fault. They try to tango, but he gets a text about Whitney. He doesn’t know what the emergency is, but he has to leave.

He gets a flat, calls Triple A and runs into Oscar. Oscar says he’ll stay and keep him company, so he doesn’t look like a douche and asks questions about where he is coming from.

Back at the house, Noah learns that Whitney was bullying a girl online and the girl tried to commit suicide. He and Helen are upset, but the Butlers don’t want Whitney to admit anything. People will try to sue her to get Bruce’s money. Noah, explodes that all they care about is money. Butler says that they can stop paying for Noah’s house and private schools for his kids. Whitney begs her grandpa not to cut off the money. Bruce says they need a lawyer. Noah erupts.

Helen takes Noah outside and tells him to calm down. She’s his wife and should stand up to her parents with him. She says they don’t have to get Bruce’s lawyer, but they should see one. It’s more important to teach Whitney right from wrong than to worry about being sued Noah says. Helen says that she wants Whitney to apologize too, but maybe not in writing … NOW does he agree to get Whitney a therapist like Helen wanted? Well, Helen doesn’t even know about the fake suicide Martin attempted. She has two kids that need mental help. Again I wonder if this points to a genetic flaw on Noah’s side.

Helen says they should leave town tomorrow to take Whitney home. Suddenly, Noah backs off, has less of a sense of urgency. He doesn’t think they should leave. There are therapists here. He says he’s going to take Whitney to apologize to the girl she bullied. Whitney at first admits nothing, then says Ruby did the bullying on Whitney’s account. Noah says that makes her stupid as well as insensitive. Whitney then asks if Noah thinks she’s a bad person. He says she did a bad thing. If she keeps doing bad things, will she be a bad person? [she sounds like she’s done other things wrong, that we don’t know about]. He doesn’t say she’d be a bad person, but he does say she’d be an AH. She cries and says she doesn’t want to be one. He says that you can't do bad things just because you're angry or bored, when they can have longterm consequences for others. Of course, the lecture he is giving her about doing bad things applies totally to himself. But I don’t really long for him to run back to Alison and break off the affair, because I would like HER to be the one to do that. If he's lashing out because he's angry or bored, what motivates Alison. She has said she's angry. She hasn't said bored, but her life isn't where she hoped and she doesn't even have the freedom to pursue her dreams and fail at them (like Noah's novel), because of their money problems. Her husband is sitting on millions while she's suffering. I guess this explains why she wasn't totally on Cole's side when it came to Oscar's bowling alley plans and she is not outraged by the building going on next door to them. She thinks he's crippling them by holding onto his dream to preserve Montauk.

Yet, she minds the invasion from outsiders too. I'd like to know where she stands regarding Montauk and the small town mentality holding her back. Yet, I mind the introduction of Athena just to make observations about Alison that the script can't reveal in more subtle ways.

And I want Cole to dump her and for her to beg his forgiveness, out of love and not pity or the need for “security.”
He takes Whitney back home and tells Helen she did a good job apologizing. Oscar comes and says that Noah lost his AAA card at Ditch Plains. He sees that Noah wants him to leave and decides to cause trouble. Asks if Helen remembers him from when they grew up there. Wants to go in and say hi to Bruce and Margaret. Noah pushes him out the door. They get into a tussle. Oscar calls him a douche.

Later, Helen says she found a therapist that will see Whitney there. Helen is testing out a new natural deodorant that doesn’t work. She changes her shirt. The therapist told her they need to spend more time with the girl. Maybe she will close her store. Is she kidding, Noah asks. She loves the store. Then maybe he can take off a semester from school. He can stay at home and write and watch the kids.

It’s summer time. He can’t take the semester off in September on such short notice. How will they pay their bills. They will get money from her parents. They’ve already taken so much, he exclaims. So, what does it matter how much they take. It will all be hers some day anyway. And Noah needs to write anyway. He’ll never be successful writing one novel every ten years. He is stunned. So, he’s not a success, just because he hasn’t sold a million books. She says that’s not what she meant.

She ends up asking him why he was in Ditch Plains today, when he was supposed to be running in the neighborhood. Why was he far away with his car? He says because he had to get her bagels, because he has to get her everything she wants the minute she wants it. She curses him out and he curses her back.

In the interrogation room he says, “So, I had a fight with my wife. Do you really need to hear that?” The detective says no, it reminds him too much of the fights he used to have with his wife. Noah says that Oscar has a violent temper and that he really thinks Oscar should be looked at as a suspect. The detective tells Noah he is free to go and thanks him for his help.

Back in the past, Noah shows up at Alison’s door looking regretful and she asks what’s wrong. I think he’s going to say they can’t do this anymore, but we cut to them on the bed having sex. I resent that it’s the same position she was in with Cole in the pilot. While she didn’t always face Cole, she and Noah are breathing into each other’s open mouths as they grind. Mid-thrust, he asks if she wants to run away with him. They pause. She says yes, yes.

I assume they both know that that’s impossible and never really considered leaving together. We know what his responsibilities are, but what are hers? What keeps her tied to Montauk now that her son is gone? I’d like to hear her voice her reasons for staying and don’t want to hear that it’s obligation or gratitude to Cherry. I want to know that she didn’t just marry Cole to find security. The marriage may be in shards now, but I’d like to think it was once whole and that she felt the same affection for him that I heard in his husky voice: “I love you in that dress.”

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Episode 4

So, I was wrong about last week. It was confirmed here that Noah doesn't think he and Allison slept together on the beach. She just said he had his hands in her pants. The fingering would explain why he only had to wash his hands last week and not the rest of his body.

This week, I was rather delighted to think that Noah is separated from his family. He was talking to Trevor on the phone about his paper (did Mark Twain intend for Huck Finn to be a racist) and told "little man" that he'd call him again that evening. Then, the detective comes out and says that he has two twin boys himself and he never gets to see them because his wife got full custody in the divorce. Noah doesn't respond.

Calling Trevor that evening implies they are not living together -- or maybe the family is simply not in Montauk with Noah. Why is he in Montauk alone? I hope he doesn't live with Allison these days.

Playing head games, the detective later tells Allison that he has been married to his sweetheart for 25 years and they are still like newlyweds. So, if he pretended to be a divorced father for Noah, who is, presumably, in that position today, did he pretend to be a long-married man because Allison is still married to her childhood sweetheart as well? I can only hope.

I was thinking about when he asked Allison why Oscar was invited to the wedding and then asked why she was there. I wondered whose wedding it could be. Maybe it was Allison's own. Maybe she and Cole renewed there vows.

As a longtime soap opera watcher (Frisco and Felicia fan, here), I'm usually very protective when it comes to love triangles. I will root for a supercouple, but once one member has been unfaithful to the other, whatever they shared is tainted in my eyes and I just want the infidelity to come to light so there's a swift and permanent break up. But this time, I'm feeling differently. I'm loyal to Cole and don't want him to find out about the affair. Uncharacteristically, I don't feel vengeance towards Allison. I don't want her to be confronted (although I am itching for Noah's downfall) and my need for Cole not to be hurt outweighs my need for him not to be cuckolded. The previews reveal that other's, Allison's mother in particular, find out about Noah, but if Cole remains in the dark, that's my "happy ending."

I want Allison to cut Noah out of her life and to return to Cole as a monogamous partner, as long as her decision is based on love, not guilt, pity or resignation. I want her to come to an unequivocal realization that she doesn't want to lose him. Of course, I saw a preview where he trots out Allison's grief for display when he's telling his mother-in-law off, much like he did at the town hall meeting. I'd want to get away from a man like that, but I'd rather Allison just kill or divorce him for such behavior, rather than cheat on him.

Noah: Part One

He's on a ferry carrying coffee to Allison, but has to change course when he sees her talking to an elderly acquaintance. A woman bumps him and he spills coffee on himself. The fairy docks on Block Island. When they are alone -- not that they ever really can be in this small town -- Allison kisses him sheepishly. He says that he could be a rapist or a sociopath. She says that she'll take her chances. I still think he might be a sociopath myself. There's a light house that he wants to see. She says they should start by getting him a new shirt. At the store, she helps him pick a new one out and asks for a small tee. They don't have one, so she buys a dress. Hopefully, she didn't use the money Cole gave her when she went off to the job interview to make the purchase! She calls Noah into the dressing room to help her tie it up.

At the light house, he is still slightly holding onto the pretense that they're just "friends" doing research for his book. He says he sent the first chapter to the agent, Harry and hasn't heard back. That's not a good sign and he frets that he shouldn't have sent it.

Noah starts giving Allison background on the lighthouse and asks if she understands anything he's saying. It seems patronizing to me and I'm hoping that she will deny that this occurred in her own version of events, but she doesn't cover this incident. But though I was disturbed that he sees himself in a position to educate her (not knowing her academic background), in all his perception of her did evolve in this episode. She was no longer a sexy siren. She was insightful, firm and made him shake off the defense that he was being seduced and admit this is something that he wants as much as she does.

She says she doesn't understand his technical lighthouse talk, but it doesn't matter. She just loves to hear him speak, it doesn't matter what it's about. Vomit.

They go to a rocky beach or shore, underneath a cliff. She tells him how the Native Americans killed invaders by luring them here and pushing them off the cliff. Her grandfather brought her here. He asks if they're both dead and she says her grandmother is still alive. She has Alzheimer's. Allison can't afford to keep her in the Hamptons. But she's in a nursing home and she can visit her. Noah says "that's the worse." No, it's not the worse, she counters, but it's bad enough. When she talks about her grandmother's residence, again I'm struck by how everything she does is alone. She and Cole don't seem to make decisions as a family. He has his and she has hers and they are not joined. Whereas Noah may hate his in-laws, but his family is a part of them and so is Bruce. I wish that Cole and Allison were as much of a "couple" as Noah and Helen are, for better or for worse. But maybe discovering that they actually are is what this series finale will be about.

Noah asks about Allison's mother. Where is she? Allison says no one knows. She just shows up from time to time, when she wants.

He says he's only slept with 3 women. He met Helen early in college. What about high school? He didn't date in high school, because his mother had M.S. and he took care of her. What about Allison. How many has she had, he asks? Thousands, is the reply. I hope we eventually learn that after sleeping with Oscar, she wasn't with anyone else besides Cole.

The water against the shore is rough, wind-rocked. This is the place where Allison cut her inner thigh. She tells Noah she thinks about Peter Pan when she's here. It's Neverland. She's Tiger Lily waiting for Peter Pan to return. In his version, I think he believes it's a place she loves. In hers, it's a place where she mourns.

They go to an inn and are drinking, rather than checking in. He gets a call from Helen. She thinks her mother is ill. Take her to the hospital he says, impatiently. Well, he won't be home until 6:00. There's no ferry service. He explains to Helen he's on the island researching his book and insists that he'd told her that's where he would be. He hangs up. He says he has never been unfaithful to Helen. He's wanted to be, but he never thought it would be worth it. I find his pragmatism cynical, not faithful. It's not "worth" it, like an economic equation. I would like to think that even though she acts less committed to her husband, that Allison has never been unfaithful because she's never wanted to be before. Maybe she doesn't express that sentiment because it's supposed to come as a surprise to the viewer down the line. But I can't ignore how detached she seems towards Cole, even at the town hall meeting. It looked like she didn't really care if Oscar beat him up at all. So, my hopes that she harbors this great love for him is probably just fantasy.

Noah keeps waxing about his fidelity. He says that he'll never leave Helen and I want her to tell him the comment is presumptuous. What makes him thinks she would ever want him permanently in her life anyway? But she doesn't challenge. Just says that she's ok with them just having an affair. He asks if she has an open relationship with Cole and she says definitely not and she's never been unfaithful either. Why now? Because she likes him (at least she doesn't say love) and likes it when he touches her, wants to know what it would be like to be beneath him. If Olivia had said something like this to Peter, I would have killed myself and asked to be buried with the DVD in my casket. But Allison saying this to Noah just makes me want a lobotomy.

She becomes exasperated with him and says he is the one who arranged for them to come to Block Island. She thought he'd made up his mind. She's not here for him to push away, just to prove how much he loves his wife.

She runs off and buys a ticket to Connecticut. He asks how she'll get home from there. She says she'll manage. She has a cousin there who will drive her home. He watches her go off and then goes back in the archive and tells the woman there he is a friend of Allison's. The (nosy) woman asks how he knows her and Noah says that she's a friend of his wife's. "How'd they meet?" What? Why would you answer this woman's insane questions? He says they met in yoga. I'm waiting for the woman to say that Allison isn't into yoga, but she tells Noah that young people today should spend more time having sex and tells him he can go look at the archive for free, because a friend of Allison's is a friend of hers.

He sees a painting that depicts the native Americans throwing their enemies off the cliff, as Allison described. He leaves and gets a call from Harry who apparently liked the book chapter he sent. Noah goes back to the clothing store to buy a shirt for his daughter who is crazy for horses. Then, Allison walks in and says to the cashier, "I forgot ..." She sees Noah and he walks over to her, takes responsibility for his own desire by stating, "I've been looking for you."

They check into the hotel and it's $250. Noah doesn't want to use a credit card. Is there an ATM. How much does he need? $50. Allison gives it to him. Well, at least she is not the poor girl who is having an affair with the rich guy. He's not rich anyway: his wife's family is, which is what nags at him.

They get to the hotel room and he lays on the bed and begins kissing her rather tenderly. Too much so for my good, because it's not just lust for him. Her hair, her forehead. His touch is loving. He says she's beautiful. She tells him to stop talking.

Allison Part Two

She picks up where he left off, which irritates. I wanted to get her version of events leading to the hotel room, but what we see is them having sex. They're on the bed grunting and then he picks her up and slams her against the hotel wall -- which is unrealistic. I mean, you might start on the wall, but do you really leave the bed to go to the wall?? This acrobatic television sex would lead to nothing but injury in real life.

Allison turns around so that Noah is slamming behind her. Allison sees herself in the mirror and is suddenly distant. Becomes a statue. Noah climaxes alone. Later, he sleeps satiates and she is eager to slip out of bed and get dressed, after splashing water on her face and begging herself not to freak out in the mirror. Noah awakens and asks where she's going. She says she needs to leave and he demurs. Pats the pillow next to him and asks her to return. She does and it reminds me uncomfortably of the pilot when Cole told her to come back to bed and she says "okay." I hope she wasn't feeling this reluctant then.

In bed, Noah reaches out to her and she is unresponsive. He says, "I guess you're not a cuddler," which I find amusing.

They dress and go to the lighthouse. She asks him where he learned to swim. He says a lake near the house where he grew up. Again I wonder if she was there when her son drowned. Unable to swim, does she think she failed him. She doesn't seem to have that kind of guilt. Yet, she doesn't seem to have the anger towards Cole that I'd expect if he failed to save their drowning son. I think she would have just left him, if that was the case. So, who was with the boy when he drowned? Cherry said that she thought Alison should have more help next time and recommended she move in with family. Maybe the child was with a caregiver when he drowned.

She tells Noah that the beach is haunted. They say you can hear the voice of a child in a shipwreck calling for his mother. She says she's heard that child. Not today, but she has before. She knows he thinks she's crazy. He says he doesn't. He says he has heard his mother's voice. He still talks to her even today. He says something about feeling guilty and it reminds me of Peter on Fringe, feeling guilty for his mother's suicide. He thanks Allison for bringing him to this place and depressing him and asks her if there are any other sad sites she wants him to see, like a graveyard, perhaps. She laughs and says, "screw you" and he says he'd love to take her up on it and hoists her merrily over his shoulder.

I mind the fact that she now feels comfortable with him because she's shared part of her nightmare and he empathized. If Cole is a blockhead and doesn't open up to her in this way, we have seen some, but not enough of that. Don't try to justify what she's doing by contrasting this man to Cole, because Cole still seems better. Although, Cole doesn't appear in this episode at all and I have to say the adulterers at the heart of the story make it drag, when the focus is purely on the two of them and not their personal baggage at home.

Back at the hotel, Noah acknowledges that Allison didn't orgasm before (because he's so sensitive, I guess, eyeroll). She says, "that's ok," but he says it's not. They start to undress and he gleefully asks to do it. He unfastens her bra and says it's a pleasure. He begins oral sex, but then wonders about the scars on her legs. She freezes up instantly and tells him to give her her dress. What ... he is befuddled. She snaps at him and says just get her dress.

Whatever is wrong, she can trust him, he stutters. How can she trust a father of four who is cheating on his wife. JUST GET ME MY DRESS. She says that he thinks she's easy to be with. A fun girl who will show him a good time and then let him return to his boring life, with happy memories. But she is not that. He needs to stay as far away from her as possible. He doesn't want this. He says he's a grown man and she shouldn't tell him what he wants, which is a contrast from his role at the Butlers, where sometimes he doesn't seem like a grown man and he's certainly not in charge of what he wants.

He does and kicks the dresser in anger, knocking a hole in it.

He walks out. She gets dressed, when a text from Cole comes in. It's a picture of him next to a horse. He says it's a beauty and he can't wait for her to see it. She looks anxious, but not drawn to her precious husband like I would like.

Noah is in the hall pushing a dresser into their room. He needs her help. He found this dresser in an unlocked room and he wants to put it in theirs, so he doesn't get charged for the damage. She says it's not fair to the people who rented that room. He says that they already checked out and Helen looks at the credit card receipts. Does she want to get caught? Then she should help him. They make the bureau switch and the craziness of it all, relieves the tension between them, brings them closer together. Well, in his version of the story he didn't even use his credit card to check in so he couldn't have been charged for the damage, but whatever ....

They ride the ferry home. She's stressed. When she gets back to Montauk, she can't unchain her bike. Her fingers fumble and she can't concentrate. He comes up and says, "Remember my wife's birthday party?" I don't know what that means. I remember he couldn't open the lock at his wife's house. This lock combination is going to figure into the murder plot somehow. There's going to be a break in or theft, I'm sure.

He tells her he doesn't know what she thinks she's hiding, but he sees her pain. He thinks she's anything but easy to be with, but he says he likes that. Anyway, Noah insists on driving her home. She objects, because he has an emergency at his house. "There's always an emergency at my house. Which means there's never an emergency." She agrees to the ride. I smirk. I (being very immature) wish that there would be an emergency and that Cole is near death while she's out traipsing around with Noah and that she feels guilty forever and ever.

She gets in the car, in nervous reverie. I was hoping she wouldn't share with him, but it's inevitable. "I had a son." Had? He drowned, two years ago. He would have been 6 years old. He would have just been learning how to read. What was his name? Gabriel. What was he like? He laughed all of the time. She would wake up and he would be at the foot of their bed laughing. He couldn't believe that grown ups slept. She still wakes up, waiting for his laugh, but it doesn't come. Her house is so quiet. You know that solitude torments her. She admits "yes" she cuts herself sometimes, because it relieves the hurt. He winces.

She says that Cole has a tattoo of the angel Gabriel on his back and it's the first thing she sees every morning. It makes her want to die. Yikes. I hate that gigantic tattoo of Cole's too and I didn't even know what it was. If she told Cole how she felt, would he remove it or, at least, wear a doggone shirt?

Thinking of Cole, why hasn't he noticed the scars on her legs. Is that why she asked him to just hold her hand in the pilot, so his fingers wouldn't explore her thighs?

As for the tattoo, well, that's the thing about Cole. He puts their son on display in many little ways, whether it's talking about the boy at the town hall meeting, after also announcing that his wife was born there. Or the way he wanted to go to his mom's house for lasagna on the boy's birthday and now that tattoo ... Maybe he got it when the kid was born, but I suspect not. He got it after the boy died, to show the world, when Allison's pain is private and, she thinks, more sacred. I can see how this pulls her away from Cole.

Noah is sympathetic. They get to her house. She is walking up the drive, but he forgot to give her her bike, in his trunk. He gets it and wants to know where Cole is. He's out of town, picking up a horse. They begin to kiss, to my chagrin. It's not said, but I know that Allison welcomes his company over the deathly quiet of her house. I guess that's why she stood outside of her house and decided to cater the party for the Butlers that night, rather than go inside alone.

They're in bed, Cole's bed. Throes of sex. Noah tells her to look at him. Her face is averted, head to the side. "Look at me," he repeats. She does. She doesn't laugh like Helen did. She looks up into his eyes, gasping, sighing, inhaling. I suppose she thinks he sees her raw, hurt and doesn't back away or tell her "let's make this a good day," like Cole did. But Cole also held her when she said she hurt. He said he knew, but didn't know how to make it stop. And she pushed him away and sought rough sex in response. With Noah she doesn't. She looks at him and welcomes the intimacy.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Episode 3

I knew contentment after this episode, only because in her version of the story, Alison still hadn't slept with Noah. I know that will change soon, though. I strongly suspect it had already changed during the episode, only Alison didn't divulge that part. That brings me to a question: what exactly are the rules in this narrative. If someone "omits" an event in their version of the story are they lying about it? Does it lack priority for them? Of course, if Alison thought the first time she met Noah was significant and the first kiss was noteworthy, there's no way the first sexual encounter wouldn't merit mention.

I could tell myself that it didn't happen and that Noah, an inveterate liar in my view, made it up, except for one detail: as soon as Noah hoisted up Alison's dress, she begin moaning in what Noah and most viewers assumed was ecstasy. When I saw her version of the story, I began to suspect that she moaned in pain. She cut herself on the beach, slicing up her inner thigh. I think Noah pressed against this open wound. In fact, the very odd way they had sex seems like it was specifically designed to pierce her thigh, really. If she cried out because of her thigh cut -- something that Noah didn't even know about -- then he must have been telling the truth about the sex that she neglected to mention.

Later, when he got home, he went to wash his hands. Now, if he wanted to clean all traces of sex from his body, I think he'd do more than wash his hands. He should have just jumped in the shower whole hog. So, I don't think he was washing away residue or odor. I also don't think it was a symbolic cleanse either, as if he was trying to absolve himself of sin. I think he was washing away blood. We didn't see blood, blood from her leg. Of course, we didn't see blood and we got a close up shot of his hands. Still, I think Alison's instant orgasm which, frankly, looked less than pleasurable and the hand washing mean something.

And while I toil away trying to find hidden clues, I like to know that I will be rewarded at the end of the season. The best Rashomon story has at least 3 points of view. One belongs to the objective narrator, someone who will tell us what really happened. We struggle to find the facts that lie between the ego and delusion that shape the two narrative. We need to be rewarded for our pains at the end. We need an answer, telling us if our conclusions were right, wrong or just as unreliable as the characters'.

In an interview, Joshua Jackson was asked if the audience would find out who was telling the truth in the end. He said he would have to punt on that question. I took his evasion to mean that the answer was "yes," but he was sworn to secrecy. Now, I've changed that opinion to think that the answer better be "yes". The more I invest in figuring the true plot out, the less I'll be satisfied with an ambiguous finale. It's much more important that we learn which character was most trustworthy than that it is we eventually discover who died and who killed him. The murder is secondary. The personalities at the heart of this story are what need to be verified. If the writers give us a Sopranos ending where those are concerned, then they will guarantee themselves fewer people committing to the second season, after having been robbed of their payoff in the first.


Once again Noah is swimming. This time he's in the Butler's outdoor pool, keeping a watchful eye on father-in-law Bruce inside. He sneaks into the house, hoping to avoid Bruce. Ostensibly, we're supposed to think he just doesn't want to spend time with a man that he loathes, but he's acting so jumpy that I suspect something else. I guess I'm hoping that he just came back from killing some pedestrian with his car and that he'll be locked up in about 7 more weeks.

But for now he just proves to be a stealthy son-in-law. His efforts to be as quiet as possible don't work. Bruce hears him and calls him into the den. Once again he asks him how the book is going. Uh, 20 people have asked him that in the last 2 days. How can he write it, if they won't leave him alone? Again, Noah says that there's not much to talk about yet. Bruce says that while Noah swims, he used to play tennis. He'd go out and play for hours against a "little Jewish guy" and then when he finished, he'd be too tired to write. Margaret, his wife, confronted him and said, "Why don't you write 10 pages and then play tennis." He did and didn't go back to the tennis court for weeks, when he did, his old (he says "Jewish" again so that Noah or the writers or both are sure that we know Bruce's mindset)partner beat the pants off him, but he had a best-selling novel.

Noah says nothing, but Bruce "is glad we had this talk." This is interesting to me, because I didn't take Bruce for someone who listened to his wife, but he does. He has a forceful wife, but he's still successful and confident. Noah has a less forceful wife, but he feels oppressed by her. He feels emasculated and in the Butler home, he's almost childlike, for reasons that I don't quite understand. Sure, being around 2 people whose values are so opposed to his own would be maddening, but Helen speaks up to her parents, I don't know why Noah doesn't as well. He doesn't strike me as shy or polite. I don't think his reticence springs from that. think he wants the Butler money. In the first episodes, I thought he wanted to be independent from in-laws he did not respect, but now I'm feeling that Helen could live without their money more easily than he could.

Upstairs, Noah slips off his swim trunks and climbs into bed, slithering the chlorine smell all over the sheets, I'm sure. I can only imagine that he reeks of chlorine. He then starts making out with his sleeping wife and when she stirs, he tells her "don't wake up." The more lifeless she is, the easier for him to pretend she's someone else. She pulls him close, drowsily, purring "Good morning."

The next morning, Helen asks him if she should choose a product that will give a portion of the purchase price to Kenyan kids or a similar product that is made from recycled goods and comes from the Brazilian rain forest. What's the price difference he wonders. Negligible, she answers. He doesn't really give her an answer. I wonder if it should pose such a quandary. If you can help children or help the environment, I think the kids would come first to a couple with four privileged ones of their own. At the very least, give to both causes. Moreover, I think Helen liked the idea of having something from the rain forest more than she wanted to recycle. The need to possess something exotic was a little greater than the need to help.

Helen says she'll be busy ordering, so it seems that she owns some type of store or business. She wants Noah to take the kids, but he says he has an interview with an agent. Bruce lights up. He said he told the agent to call Noah. Noah says, "I called him." He wants them to know he took the initiative, but what difference does that make when it's Bruce's agent and Bruce went out of his way to put them together. It would mean more if Noah had found his own agent. As it is, it really doesn't matter whether he or Bruce's agent made the first phone call. It wasn't autonomous on Noah's part.

Margaret has set Whitney up to interview as an au pair. Helen doesn't think she's responsible enough for that and Whitney is insulted. Noah says he'll cancel to be with the kids. Helen says no, she wants him to keep the appointment. She tells her dad he's on kid patrol and Bruce looks quizzical, as does his grandson.

Again, I'm struck that Bruce is basically run by the women in his home and Helen has more power over her parents than I thought she did in the first two episodes.

Meeting with the agent, he listens to the agent's lifestory and the guy says, "I don't know why I'm telling you this. You have an honest face." In my eyes, he has anything but. Did the agent really say that. Next, the agent is calling him a "young" writer and the guy is about 50. So, I have to assume that Noah is just making this stuff up. This is how he sees himself, so this is what he hears people saying to him. Either that's it or the agent is super blind.

He asks what Noah's book is about and Noah says about how Montauk is changing from being a beautiful small town to a tourist trap, stripped of all it's natural splendor. And? The agent asks. Noah tap dances and says that it's about a fisherman who falls in love with a waitress, but they're both married. The agent has heard that one before. But this one is different. How. What happens? Noah thinks fast: "he kills her." Now, this is more shocking than it probably should be and Noah was clearly scrambling to keep the agent's interest. He blurted out something as wild as possible. It doesn't make me think he has murderous tendencies, actually. I can hate him for myriad other reasons than that. I bet more than 25% of all novels contain a murder, so... The agent says, that is different. Well, no, it's not the most original plot I've ever heard actually. The agent wants to know why he kills her and Noah says he doesn't know yet. Doesn't know why, which sounds pretty stupid to me, but it makes the agent eager. He tells Noah when he has a few pages, he should let him read them before anyone else does.

Noah heads over to the Lobster Roll and asks for a pretty waitress with long brown hair. Alison is not in today, he's told. Did he want her? Alison's boss, Oscar chimes in and is amused by Noah's interest in Alison. No, Noah wasn't looking for her, he just wanted to buy his kids t-shirts. He gets 4, I think, and is astounded that they're $100, total. Well, $25 each is really not that big a deal. If you buy one at a rock concert, it'll cost $40. In Alison's version, he leaves a note for her, in his version Noah doesn't, but it was clear that he went there to see her, so I don't know why he'd lie about leaving a note.

He goes to a library and looks at his own book on the shelf. Could they make him more of an egomaniac? He reads the dedication to Helen, who makes everything good. That's when Alison pops up. If he didn't leave her a note, the only other reasons she could have been there at just that time would be to stalk him. He tells her he is not interested in a relationship because ... she supplies all of the reasons, he's married, doesn't want to spoil that, etc. He says that's right. So, she understands that they can only be friends, correct?

She says sure. And they agree that she'll help him with his book as a friend. They go to the dock and she tells him they have great fish and introduces him to Will. Will offers Noah porgy and he doesn't know what they are, but Alison says to trust her, they're good. He should buy some. Now, I wonder if this is an allusion to Porgy and Bess, the story in which Porgy wanted to rescue Bess from her drunken and abusive lover. I'd think so after the first episode, but since then I don't think Noah sees Cole in that light any longer. That reminds me how disappointed that we didn't get any Martin and Cole scenes this week.

Scotty comes up and gives Will an envelope of money. He says that the Lockharts have Will on monthly retainer. Alison is tense and hostile. Scotty is practically leering. Are things really like this between those two or is Noah making it up? I think not, because even in Alison's version when Whitney went to the ranch to pick up Martin, Alison seemed pretty shaken up by Scotty. So, I don't know what is going on there. Did Scotty rape her or did they have an affair themselves (later Cole mentions how charming Scotty is, something I wouldn't have figured out myself). Is Cole aware of whatever the undercurrent is between his wife and brother?

There's a town hall meeting and Noah says he'll go. At home, Whitney claims that the dad at the home where she babysat was checking her out. Noah says, "that's it, she's not going back." Helen says they'll see. "Didn't you hear what she said?" Noah asks. Helen says that Whitney has a tendency to exaggerate. Yeah, like her dad. Margaret tells Trevor not to stab at his peas and lectures him on table matters. Helen tells him he need not listen to Grandma. Earlier Margaret had been telling Whitney how distressed she was when her 21 year old daughter married an idealist. She insists she was physically ill on their wedding day, but Helen claims she's lying, Noah says is it so awful that they're raising their kids to be decent human beings. When Margaret says she wanted Helen to marry someone more "pragmatic" she really means money, right? Noah wants to know. He becomes irate and Helen tells him not to take the bait. No, Margaret wants to hear it. If he thinks they're so bad, why is he happy enough to spend their money on private schools and all the other luxuries they give his family. Noah snidely says they're grateful for everything the Butlers do. Helen tells her mother not to pick on her husband. Margaret takes Whitney and tells her she'll relay the rest of the story about her "idealist" father later.

When they're at dinner, Noah starts to curse and Trevor hears it and repeats, when Stacey stops him and says he can't do what daddy does, because Daddy's a grown up. Noah smiles at this statement, but why is it in the script? Because Daddy doesn't feel like a grown up when he's in the Butler house -- or maybe not ever.

Noah goes to the townhall meeting, but it's over. Oscar says that his girl is over there. Noah is startled that Alison is referred to as "his" girl. He turns and Cole and Alison are walking to the car arm in arm. They kiss and Alison waves Cole off. Even in his version, Cole and Alison seem loving. When he drives off, Alison and Noah meet and he, frustrated, asks if there is anywhere in this town where people can be alone? Alison takes him to a deserted beach and begins kissing him. He tells her that he can't stop thinking about her, even when he's having sex with his wife. She says that if it helps, she thinks about him all of the time too. It doesn't help, he retorts. At least she doesn't tell him she's thinking of him while having sex with her husband.

Won't her husband wonder where she is, Noah wonders? Probably not, she answers. They're very independent. In Noah's view, the Lockhart marriage is not a traditional one. Yet, at base, Alison seems to have much more genuine love for Cole than Noah does for Helen. His relationship seems more perfunctory than affectionate, while Alison seems troubled and stifled by the Lockharts, yes. Still, there's often a gentleness between her and Cole that's more than going through the motions.

Doesn't she remember what he said, he asks? "You didn't say it. I did," she reminds. Irritated, he repeats that he's married. She keeps kissing him and he yelps "stop, stop, stop" in a way that makes him seem quite silly, if it really happened. First of all, I just can't imagine her that desperate to have him over his complaints. Secondly, he squeals but doesn't leave. His useless objections make him seem like more of a jerk than the infidelity alone would.

He takes a firm stand telling her that she can't rush him. He knows he sounds like an asshole (no kidding) but if this happens it has to be on his terms. He has to be in charge. I guess this is his acknowledgement that he's in charge of nothing else in his life. Alison is, unrealistically, accepting of this edict. So, I think he means that they will take this affair slowly, but the next thing I know he's unbuckling and pulling her close, hoisting up her dress and hauling her aboard. That's when she instantly begins gasping, almost before anything could have happened. That's why I now think she was in pain, not delirium.

Afterwards, he goes home where Helen and two of the kids are watching tv. The dialogue seems vaguely related to what Noah's going through, but I don't really listen. He smiles at them, tries to look like the typical family man, then hustles into the bathroom to wash those hands. He looks into the mirror, anxiously. No, that's not the face of an honest man.


She's getting dressed and asks Cole how she looks. He says she looks like she needs a new dress. How old is that one? Let him buy her one. They can't afford it. Sure they can. The summer people are here. They will be flush in a few weeks. So, can he buy her a dress. She takes the money. She asks if the car has gas. Yes. What's wrong with him? He's gotten used to having her around. "I can't work for Oscar forever."

"I know. I'll just miss you is all." His voice dips and he's so sweet. I am too old to watch Dawson's Creek and Pacey is too young for me to care about, today, but if I'd known about it then ... I love Peter Bishop more than words can say. If I'd been watching Josh since Dawson's Creek, I'm sure the obsession would have killed me by now. Yum.

Cole starts complaining about the construction next door. Alison points out that it doesn't block their view. That's not the point. They're building it massive for no reason. They are only going to use it 3 months out of the year and the other 9 months, the locals will be stuck with the monstrosity. They will build and build until they can't any more, until there's nothing left. He works himself into a tither. She soothes him. They kiss goodbye.

In the first episode, I thought that Alison didn't need to work as a waitress, because they had money. While she doesn't act as if she's above her fellow waitress, she didn't see like that was her career level, even though we were told she started at the Lobster Roll when she was a teen. Now, I see that she didn't need to because she's a trained nurse. She left the job when her son died, but now she's ready to go back. The supervisor says they don't have any openings accept surgical and pediatrics. Alison will take surgical. But she's not trained for it. She thought she'd attend a few classes ... The supervisor says they need someone in pediatrics. Alison says she'll do it. Can she handle it? Sure, she declares.

She sees a child in the hall, bald with leukemia. He throws up in his worried mother's hands. The supervisor comes and takes him into a hospital room, gives Alison her keys and tells her to meet her in the cafeteria. Empathizing too strongly to sympathize, a dazed Alison goes into a supply room, takes some gauze and other items. Leaves the key on the supervisor's desk and walks out.

At first I thought she was going to take some kind of drug, but on the beach she pulls up her skirt and stabs her inner thigh with something (a shell or something she took from the hospital). Her leg bleeds and she bandages it up. Hurt is her release.

She goes to work and Oscar tells her that someone was there looking for her and left a note. Doesn't she want to read it. Alison says later, for reasons I can't understand, since the first thing she does is run to read the note. It has Noah's number and he says to meet him at the library.She asks to leave early. Oscar says that he wants to open a bowling alley and will seek permission from the locals at the town hall meeting. He hopes she backs him. Why would she want to do that, she asks.

At the library, Noah is glad to see her. She goes and shows him a historical book, "there it is." She finds a picture of her grandfather, a Montauk resident, next to a giant fish. She doesn't think her grandpa caught it. He probably found it on the beach and claimed he caught it, grandma said. That's how her grandfather was. He could tell tall tales. She tells Noah he's a lot like her grandfather. I agree that he's a liar, but I don't think she realizes this consciously yet.

She says her grandparents raised her. At a desk they sneak kisses. She's girlish. She takes him to the dock. There's no will in her version. Instead, she's telling him of the volume of fish they have lost to the fishing boats with nets that just sweep the sea clean. They will take until there's nothing more left. She gives him a lecture on it, sounding encyclopedic. Is her eloquence only imagined or did that really happen. If it did and Noah forgot all about it and only remembers she told him what kind of fish to buy, that, once again, proves what a jerk he is. A rather sexist one at that.

She tells him he should go out with the fisherman as background for a story, but it can get brutal on the water. Cold. Does she think he can't take it, he inquires? He's only here 3 months for the year. He thinks their life is easy. He doesn't see the hard times. True and when he looks at her he only sees someone trying to seduce him because he's so hot, I guess, he doesn't see a person in pain and torment and even when he does sense strife (as with Scotty) he doesn't ask why.

This story is set up so that anyone who takes sides will take hers. Noah is self-absorbed and has no problems except that his in-laws are too rich and he can't break free of them. He feels neglected, but for a woman with four kids, Helen is still awfully available to him as a lover and sounding board. Alison, on the other hand, has real problems: grief, money, a harassing employer. Yet, when they first meet, she is concerned about his family and, even when he thinks she is being raped, Noah is more aroused than worried for her. For Noah, everything is about him, while Alison seems to find nothing that is. She is drowning and trying to make a last ditch effort to save and find herself. So, unless she's an artful deceiver, it's hard not to think her version of events is leaps and bounds more credible than his.

They start kissing again and almost get caught. She says they have to stop, because she lives here. He says fine. If her hands make their way into his pants, he promises he'll stop her. She doesn't laugh. He says they'll just be friends. She agrees, but as they are parting she tells him that there's a town hall meeting and he should attend, but it sounds more like an invitation than a gesture of mere friendship and I am disappointed that she makes no effort to avoid him. But she doesn't lie and tell the interviewer that she's tried to either.

Speaking of the interviewer, we learn that the interrogation scenes are out of sequence. This week Noah says that the interviewer should read his book, but last week he said that he already had and Noah humbly answered "good for you man," rather than thank you. Last week, we/I thought that when the interviewer said he wanted to talk to everyone at the party, he meant Helen's birthday party, but he was actually referring to a party that must take place much later.

Noah tells the interviewer that Oscar is someone the police should look at. Alison concedes that the feud between the Lockharts and Oscar goes way back. The suggestion that this crime had to do with someone being enemies with the Lockharts, suggests that one of them dies. Again, my guess is Scotty, but that's only because I don't know the other 2 brothers yet. The detective asks about Cole and wonders how he was at that point when his wife was having an affair. Alison counters that at that point, she wasn't having an affair. All she'd done is kiss a man on the beach. I wish she'd clarified later, after the day and night of the town hall meeting was completely over, that she still hadn't had an affair yet. I want her to contradict Noah outright, not by implication.

When Alison leaves her "friend" Noah, she warns that her husband will be at the town hall meeting. Noah agrees to be discreet.

When Alison gets to the town meeting it is already in session. She sits with her sister-in-law, takes a beer. Oscar stands up to talk about his bowling alley plan. People in the crowd seem hopeful, but then Cole rises and Alison tenses. Why is she working with Oscar if he not only propositions her every chance he gets, but is also an enemy of her husband's? Why would Cole not worry about her working there?

Anyway, Cole talks about not wanting to see Montauk ruined by new building and tourist attractions. Everyone knows he doesn't like to talk. He leaves that to Scotty, but he can't stay silent when it's something he cares about so much. He wants to preserve their heritage. I would think bowling would be for the locals, not tourists really. Who goes to Montauk to bowl?? But Oscar is planning more of an entertainment center than a bowling alley, I suppose. Cole starts speaking passionately about his love for Montauk, rallying the crowd. His wife was born here. His son is buried here and one day he wants to be buried with him. Alison stiffens and I don't blame her. You don't bring up a subject like that to raise cheers. A child's death is not a fight song. At least Cole is more educated than I'd first thought. I wish Noah had been there to see him at his most articulate.

The thing is, despite the little history lesson she gave Noah about the poor fisherman, I don't think that Alison particularly agrees with Cole. She looked like she would have backed Oscar if she didn't think it would cause family conflict.

Has Josh aged in the year since Fringe? He looks congested around the eyes and nose. Bloated even and drowsy. Sinuses? Give that guy some Claritin.

When Cole finishes speaking, the crowd is anti-Oscar, many are crying. Afterwards, Mary Kate and Scotty say they are proud of him. He turns to Alison, "What about you? Are you proud of me too?" "We'll talk about it later."

"What'd I do now?" He queries. No. That's ground for divorce. I'm sure if he cared to think about it, he would know good and well what he did. For it to be worth hurting her to make a point is bad enough, but to feign ignorance of where he went awry adds further insult. "Your son is buried here??"

"He is."

"You can't do that. You can't use him to make a statement, when you want to win a debate."

"Is that what you think," Cole begins indignantly. Well, I kind of think that too Cole. You seemed more rabble rouser than heartbroken father. I want to be buried next to my boy, Whoo hoo! Yeah, that's not going to go over well with the Mrs.

At that point, they're interrupted by an irate Oscar. Cole tells him to build something useful like a daycare center. Mary Kate says they just want something that is good for the community. Oscar says, "Listen, sweetheart," the Lockharts get angry. Alison backs up against the wall. She seems neutral at best. Oscar goes after Cole, Scotty jumps in. Cole breaks up the fight. Oscar clears out. Cole reaches for Alison.

That night in bed, Cole is asleep. The tattoo that takes up half of his back is an eyesore for me. Even though they aren't facing each other, they are pushed close together, back to back. Alison's not squished over to her side of the bed, with a sea between them. Again, the body language is intimate, loving even when outward conduct says otherwise. At least she doesn't seem to be stewing over the town hall speech.

Alison's phone buzzes. It's a text from Noah. He's sorry he missed town hall. She says, "that's ok". He wants to know what she's doing now. She texts back and I'd like to know how she responded, but we don't get to find out. Perhaps she didn't say anything salacious. Maybe she told him she was snuggling with her husband. Probably not. Those texts may return to haunt her. She puts down the phone, with a smile on her face and begins to kiss Cole, his back, his ears. He moves. "Don't wake up," she whispers. Oh, this kills me, because I don't want her motives to be the same as Noah's. They have Noah and Alison doing the same thing, but I hope, like the structure of the show itself, the similar scenes are there to show the contrasts between them, not to establish that they're equally tired of marriage and besotted with one another. Besides, physically since the male has to be more alert during sex for it to work properly, it would be harder for Alison to fantasize that a sleeping Cole was actually Noah, than for him to imagine Helen was someone else.

To me, their behavior is similar to Dorothea and Rosamond's in Middlemarch. Rosamond spends her husband into financial ruin and when he asks her to show spending restraint she says, "But what can I do, Tertius." Dorothea, on the other hand, is walled out by her cold husband, but when he is ailing still asks, "Can you lean on me, dear." With the "don't wake up" I see Noah (Rosamond Vincy) as saying, "be quiet so I can enjoy, myself" while Alison's meaning is, "Relax, let me do the work."

I don't see her as wanting him to remain still so she can imagine it's Noah. Besides, she didn't look especially lustful when she hung up with Noah. Her smile was soft. Then she was contemplative for a second, before moving towards Cole. I don't think it was guilt or desire that spurred her, so much as a need to make affectionate contact. This isn't Richard Gere and Diane Lane in Unfaithful, where she loved her husband but was attracted to another man. I (want to) see Alison as more attracted to her husband than Noah and loving Cole, while Noah maybe not at all. Yet, somehow continuing "normally" with her marriage seems like an affront to her son's memory. Disrupting it mirrors her turmoil within and gives expression to the wrongness she's feeling inside. This affair isn't exactly punishment like the self-mutilation is and I don't know how excited she is by the danger. I think her need is more subtle. She feels completely different than she was before and if she acts the same, as if unchanged by the loss, it's somehow a betrayal.

When Noah says he loves her and, judging from what he said to the agent, I suspect he will, will Alison say it back. He says he loves his wife. Alison hasn't said she loves Cole, but when they're together, the atmosphere is taut or affectionate, while with Helen, Noah feels only frustration or ennui.

He doesn't listen. He wakes up, turns her over and they engage. Both seem enthusiastic. Too much so for me to think she's seeing Noah in her mind. But who knows. Of course, I just want to think of Noah as another knife in her leg. Her punishment, not her pleasure.

Actually the scene between her and Cole reminds me of the opening scene in Fringe's Welcome to Westfield, where Peter starts out on top, but Olivia rolls him over and has him tell her that he loves her. Awwww.

Back in the police station, she tells the questioner (who would probably be getting to the truth faster if he had Kevin James there to help. I still watch King of Queens often on TV Land)that she'll need to get a sitter if she stays longer. He says if Oscar hated the Lockharts so much, why was he at the wedding. Alison says he doesn't understand. Even though they fight, they're still all family. When it comes down to it, they will support each other. Why doesn't the investigator know that. Did they bring him in from out of town? Is this a federal crime?

But her comment makes me think that the Montauk locals will protect each other and point a finger at an outsider for the crime, even if they suspect one of them did it. Maybe Alison was already trying to do this when she told the detective that locals don't use the road where the man was hit by a car. I'll repeat that my hope is,in the end, Alison will finger Noah for the crime, even if she thinks Cole might have done it. And, when push comes to shove, I guess what Alison is saying that even Oscar would support Cole and the evil Lockharts, if they needed a defense against a non-local.

So, if they're still all family, despite feuds and dissension, is that why she was at the wedding? Hmmm. So, was she separated from Cole by then and is that what would make it strange for her to attend a Lockhart wedding? That saddens me. Next question is: who got married?