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.

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