The subjective POV feature of this series easily lends itself to a broader discussion of the same topic. Having the producers on Twitter offers valuable insight into their creative views, biases and shortcomings. Sarah Treem's time line is interesting, in that she is constantly replying to the audience, "that's only true if you believe Alison/Noah." Every time someone complains about a plot point or line of dialogue, Treem suggests it only happened from one person's perspective and no other character should be judged based on one character's slanted viewpoint.
That's fine, but Treem overlooks the fact that the STORY has to have it's own objective point of view as well. The characters may not know the truth. The viewers may not know, but it's the duty of the writers/producers to know it. If you don't and you're just winging it, then I shouldn't invest my time. The best Rashomon plots have an objective view. So far, The Affair does not, but the longer the series continues the more desperately it needs one. I respect the gray between black and white, but you can't continually walk the line. At some point, you have to assign blame and responsibility. You can't keep kicking the can down the road by saying, "well, it may not really have happened that way." We can appreciate that Alison/Noah often delude themselves but, increasingly, I feel that the producers are deluding us and have no real answers. That's a problem.
Also, Treem seems to think "all's well that ends well" and that the when viewers consume the whole season, they will see how good Noah is in the end. No, Noah may take the fall to save his family in the next 3 episodes, but that doesn't mean that he's not self-centered and insensitive. You can't make characters bad to "surprise" us down the line. I mean, Rowling tried that to greater success with Severus Snape, but I never thought he was on evil's side anyway. Noah? I'm not so sure, he might well be a deatheater.
Right now, Treem is telling viewers that they're being too hard on Noah and insisting that he's misunderstood. Well, he seems like a jerk in both his own and in Alison's story. So, if the writer is the only one who thinks he's good, maybe she's failed to convey that in her script. Instead of accepting this, Treem concludes that viewers are just harder on men than women. That's why they sympathize with Alison and not Noah. It's a gender thing. No, I'm not particularly sympathetic towards Alison either in these last 2 episodes, but my feelings towards her are separate from my contempt for Noah and are not based on their relationship at all. They're mostly based on Noah's interactions with his own family. When you spend so much of your online time explaining what the viewers are getting wrong, perhaps it's your perceptions that are off, not theirs. Instead of telling them to keep an open mind, shape your plot differently, so that it's balanced the way you want it to be, but haven't yet achieved onscreen.
One of my big problems is that the characters often don't seem to believe their own version of events. For instance, in the pilot, Noah supposedly thought he saw Alison being raped by a man that he doesn't know is her husband. Yet, he never acts like he truly suspected rape. He treats it like a fantasy display put on for his benefit. He masturbates about it. He tells Alison that if they have a relationship, he needs to be in charge, adding that he knows that makes him sound like an asshole. Is this what you say to a woman whom you think is a victim of domestic abuse?? That you need to be in control of her? If so, you are not a good person, whether your creator wants to think that you are or not.
Similarly, in the latest episode, in Alison's story, when Cole gives Noah (correct) advice about Martin, Noah answers, "talk to me when you have a teenaged son." Treem says that we don't know if Noah really said this or not. It doesn't matter what the audience thinks. If Alison thinks he said it from her POV, then she should react accordingly. She knows she told Noah that her son died. She told him that Cole has a gigantic tattoo of the angel Gabriel representing their dead son on his back. He knows that they are grieving. He comes to their ranch and rubs that grief in their face?? Even if he spoke to Cole reflexively, forgetting that Cole's son was dead, the fact that he could forget, says something negative about him. The fact that he didn't catch himself and apologize -- or at least look self-conscious, says something worse. Yet, this comment from Noah doesn't change Alison's feelings for him at all. She still wants to run off with him. Why did she hear that line from him, if she wasn't going to react to it? She runs away from family and friends whenever they mention (or forget) Gabriel. She retreats whenever that salted wound is grazed. But Noah does it and she's still stalking him, longing for a last letter or look from their broken romance. This not only turns me off of Noah, but has me questioning the true depth of Alison's maternal loss as well.
Or take Oscar. He has been menacing ever since he was introduced, but neither Alison or Noah ever behave as if what he did the last time they saw him has any impact on their future course of action. Oscar knew they were rendezvousing at Phoebe's from the start, yet Noah and Alison both respond to him as if he has no idea they are having an affair. Alison seems surprised when Oscar confronts her at the taxi depot, but how could she have been when he has been taunting her about Noah for the last 5 episodes?
Treem and Crew use the POV as a gimmick, but largely forget that the characters have to rely on their own telling of events. They can't only observe events happening in a certain way, but should also respond as if they happened that way and change accordingly. They don't. It's a plot driven story and the characters are just along for the ride, occasionally sharing their view of the scenery with them, but never letting that view change their course.
Noah and Helen are in a therapy session with Whitney. Feeling she has the therapist's sympathy, Whitney milks it and claims that her mother represses both her and her father and is clearly having an affair with Max. Helen and Noah both say the accusation is absurd. Whitney says it's clear that Noah is miserable. Noah doesn't exactly deny that.
Whitney's stunt proves that they need to get away from the Butlers. At the house, the grandparents are in a major fight because a Vanity Fair reporter has credited Margaret with ghostwriting Bruce's novels for him. Noah delights in the vitriol the couple throws back and forth, but viewers are meant to wonder if that's where Helen and Noah will be after 40 years of marriage. They begin packing, with Whitney complaining all the while. She refuses to gather her things. Helen starts to pack for her, but Noah insists the teen do it herself. Martin says that he needs to apologize for something at the ranch. Noah tells him to write a letter, they're more effective anyway. Helen balks and says that since they have one kid who wants to take responsibility for his actions, they should let him do so. She tells Noah to take him to the ranch. Noah balks. Helen says it will only take him 20 minutes. He goes reluctantly.
Treem thinks the audience dislikes Noah because he's weak. I don't see him giving in to Helen as weak. Helen puts up with a lot from him and, in fact, even though we only know her mostly from Noah's viewpoint, I don't see her as being as oppressive and bossy as Noah makes her, because if she was all that overbearing he wouldn't be half as annoying. Judging from Whitney's age, they must have been married for at least 18 years. He has the job he wants, wastes lots of time "researching" his next novel, doesn't seem to co-parent with her in a healthy manner (not telling her about Martin's suicide gag) and seems to think every woman on the planet wants him. With his ego, I naturally assume that he is making Helen look a lot worse than she actually is. I don't see him as weakly submitting to her as much as I see him as mostly lying. For every errand (he says) she made him run against his will, I'm sure she made two concessions for him, in return. To me, he is not a man who doesn't stand up for himself. He's a hypocrite who foists blame onto others. Even the way we saw him trying to convince the detective that Oscar was the guilty one is an example of this. Sure, Oscar has been cast as a comic book villain in this story, but I don't think Noah tried to implicate Oscar because he thought he was guilty, so much as to take the heat off of himself. Treem describes him as "weak" or submissive, but he comes off as opportunistic.
At the ranch, Martin apologizes to Cole for the mare getting loose. Cole says that was a strange thing that happened, but he says that Martin was a good ranch hand and that he can return next year, if he keeps his grades up and it's all right with his parents. He tells Martin he can say goodbye to Alison who's up front. Alone with Noah, he tells him he's got a good kid. Noah is smug about that. Cole says he thinks Martin craves attention and acts out. Noah says "what teenage boy doesn't?" Yeah, you have a troubled kid. I can understand why he'd be flip about it to Cole, his rival, but he's not concerned about Martin in private either. He doesn't even bother to ask what Martin needed to apologize to Cole about. At home, he's always complaining about wanting to raise good kids, who won't be materialistic like the Butlers, but other than taking Whitney over to apologize to the girl she bullied that time, I don't see any evidence of him teaching his kids much of anything.
When Cole leaves, Alison comes up behind Noah and asks if he's leaving just like that. He doesn't answer.
He goes to the Lobster Roll to leave a note for Alison attached to her (very public) bike basket. Oscar arrives, startling him. So, you'd think that he might not leave the note, if Oscar, their arch enemy could intercept it, right? Wrong.
Oscar says he will keep quiet about their affair for $10,000. Noah says he doesn't have that kind of money. Oscar says he better get it.
The Solloways load up the car and head home. Helen says they can go somewhere else next time. Maybe they can go camping, as long as they do so in luxury. They both want to make amends for the bad summer and you can feel the family healing, the farther they get from Montauk.
At home Helen is cursing about the way renters left the house. There's a mark on the banister. A pot is broken. Noah says that's what security deposits are for. He reminds his kids to clear their own plates, because they don't have servants at their house. They are back to a "down to earth" existence and you can tell Noah is feeling happier. He gets a message on his phone from Oscar and suddenly he's uptight again.
He visits Max and asks for the money. When we first saw Max, he borrowed $40 from Noah for cocaine, so I assume he had money problems and maybe his wife got their assets in the divorce, but Max seems to be some kind of well off corporate lawyer or manager. He says he needs to know what the money is for. Noah tells him he had an affair. Oddly, Max cautions Noah never to tell Helen about it. You can say he did that for Helen's own good, because telling her would make Noah feel bad, but only hurt his wife, but it seemed to me that Max had an ulterior motive. He writes Noah a check for $10,000.
Later, Noah goes jogging and is stricken with pain. He ends up at the hospital with Helen by his side. He is convinced it is a heart attack. Helen doesn't think so. I'm sure Noah thinks this is an example of how she minimizes his feelings, but to me it's proof of how he exaggerates them, since it turns out it's not a heart attack. It's a panic attack, probably caused by stress? Noah is puzzled. The doctor says if they have four kids, then he's under stress. When they're alone, he has something he wants to tell Helen. At first she's questioning. Then, it dawns and she's "oh s___". She can guess the worst by the growing somberness in his voice and I like the way Maura reacts before the news is even delivered, going from a light to hurt and removed mood, with only sparse dialogue.
He tells her he had an affair. With the waitress? Alison? He is surprised she knows the name, but she says she knew it all along. He says it meant nothing to him. How long did it last. 8 weeks. Then, it was the whole summer. He says that Alison was in a really dark place and came after him hard. Wow! Is this the man that Sarah Treem wants us to think is good at heart??
Obviously, you are going to minimize the affair you had to your spouse, but telling her it only happened because another woman came on to you hard, isn't really likely to make her feel better. You're faithful as long as no one pursues you. Secondly, the comment that Alison was in a "dark place" should have made him resist the affair, not give in to it. To me, it makes it sound like he took advantage of Alison -- which is not something I really think he did. The point is, most of my bad opinions of Noah come from things he said, did or said he did in his own story. The bad impressions of him are not bred in any third person's view of him.
Helen scoffs that he did this for "a waitress." Well, that's interesting, because I'm not sure that Noah ever knew that Alison was actually a nurse. "Waitress" is said like a character description. And it tells us something about Helen, who is not only a snob in Alison's POV, but in Noah's. Yet, I'm not positive that he sees Alison as more than a "waitress" epithet himself. Noah tells Helen how much he loves her. He says he just wanted to be with someone who saw him as a success, instead of just unrealized potential. Even in her anger, Helen defends his accomplishments, says his book was a success, in its way.
He points out that she had feelings for Leon too (guess we'll hear more about that later). Helen says that this isn't about feelings or fantasies, because he acted on his desire and she never did.
At any rate, I was going to complain bitterly if he gave in to Oscar's blackmailing, because it would never end with $10k. He'd come back for more. I'm glad that's over and the check from Max has been torn up.
They go home and Helen is stony. The kids are glad to see him healthy. Martin makes a wise crack. Helen remains withdrawn. The three kids hug Noah. Martin remains sitting, with Helen's arm around him, separated from the others and I wonder if there is something going on with Martin. Does he know about the affair? Is there a reason he's not part of the embrace? Noah goes over to close the curtain. Helen asks what he is doing. He says he doesn't want to be an exhibitionist. She raises a brow. I don't actually guess that Alison is outside and I don't think Helen does either. It's actually a nice little moment, script wise, when we get the same incident from Alison's POV later.
Clearly, the kids' feelings for their father hit home for Helen. When you've got 4 kids, you can't just pack up and leave.
Later they are in bed together. Her hand on the blanket, wedding ring intact on her finger.
Alison is on the front porch of the Lockhart home, trying to fix the banister rails. Cole comes out and says that the whole thing is rotten and needs to be replaced, but they can't afford it. She says that it would look better if they painted it. He says, "no, it would just look painted." She leans her head on the rail in hopelessness.
Well, ok, that's a nice metaphor, but what does it really mean? It's not like Alison has been trying to fix their marriage and he has said that's it's no use. Last week she did ask him to leave Montauk and he said there was no "moving on." But I haven't been getting a "let's repair" vibe from her, in general. In fact, Cole seemed to be the one reaching out, while she pulled away in the first five episodes.
So, I'm not sure what the show is trying to say. She's been rejecting him. If she wants to change that now, let's SEE the change, don't try to make it seem like she's the one who's been trying all along. You give her a certain personality in one episode, only to flip it the next. We're told that he went to therapy with her, went to church. It seems he tried to grieve with her. If she shut him out because she blames him, tell us that. If she shut him out because she just feels numb, then explain why she's not numb with Noah. I could believe that with Noah she's not a motherless child. She can forge a new identity and doesn't have to be "that girl." I remember returning to school after summer vacation and wanting to redefine myself and be the "cool" kid, in the new school year. It never happened. I always reverted back to being my same old self immediately. I can understand if Alison gravitated to Noah because he helped her reimagine herself, but the thing is, even when he doesn't, even when he pigeonholes her or makes her feel bad, she doesn't withdraw from him, as she does with Cole.
Why is this?
I can imagine many reasons. I can accept many reasons, but I need The Affair creators to help me along by giving me some of them. If I thought she was trying to fix her marriage like she was fixing the railing, then I could appreciate the scene, but she isn't because minutes later it's clear that she's still hung up on Noah to the exclusion of all else.
At the ranch, Noah brings Martin to say goodbye. Cole tells him that Martin is a good kill, but seems to crave attention and Noah should keep an eye on him. Noah says thanks for the advice, but come back to him when he has a teenaged son. Cole doesn't really react to this and I think it bad acting on Josh's part. Alison flinches but, as ranted about above, it doesn't seem to change her view of Noah at all. She is silent as he departs.
She goes to the Lobster Roll to pick up her check. When she asks Oscar for it, he says she must be kidding. I'm not sure what he's mad about since he's the one who played the trick on the Lockharts. She says she's fine without the check and will take some pies instead. She takes two pies. Surely, her paycheck was worth more than that, but perhaps that's all she could carry in her bike. She gives the pies to Cherry who is happy to get them, while she prepares dinner. Alison puts the pies in the oven and hears the men talking. They will give Oscar the permit for his bowling happy and try to be friends with him.
Last week, I wasn't sure if Cherry knew about the cocaine, but she's 100% involved with her boys' schemes. A real Ma Barker.
She asks Alison to help her make a salad and Alison says she'd be glad to. Then, as Cherry chops, she tells her about taking Cole out in his stroller when he was just a baby. The stroller started to roll downhill and before she saw it happening, she knew it by instinct. She ran to stop the stroller, before even realizing her child was in danger, because she saw it coming. She can always see when something is going to hurt one of her boys. She asks Alison who Noah is. She found a note from him stuck on one of the pie boxes. She can't believe that Alison is having an affair after all Cole has done for her. After all they have done for her. She tells Alison the affair is over and she will never see Noah again. Alison murmurs that it was over anyway. Cherry says she will never tell Cole. Alison says she is going home now. Oh no you don't, Cherry The Enforcer commands. She's going to stay there and look happy. Alison is docile, just when you'd like her to smack Cherry silly.
I'm glad that Cole stands up to Cherry, because even with him doing so, ever since he told Alison she had to come to his mom's on their dead son's birthday because his mom made lasagna, I've thought that he was too much of a mama's boy and I want him and Alison out from under Cherry's thumb. I've wanted it even before she was revealed as a full-fledged monster, in this episode.
We see how little Cherry's diatribe has impacted Alison when she asks to see Noah's note. What did it say. Cherry takes it and burns it right in front of her eyes and I'm rather glad that happened, even though I want to know what it said myself. I'm sure Cherry read it, so maybe we'll find out it happened. But Alison's reaction, grasping to try to stop Cherry showed that she has no remorse about the affair at all. Again, I'd rather she leave Cole than just hurt him without a care. It suggests to me that she never loved him that much anyway. And what have he and his family done for her? Maybe they helped her financially, but if they were real benefactors, they'd have given her the money to go to med school. Maybe they helped her save her grandparents' house, but Alison said that it was purchased back when land was still cheap, so I thought she owned it herself. I don't now why she feels beholden to the Lockharts, but I'm sorry she does, because it seems she was trapped with Cole, not estranged from him because they are in mourning. I want to know that she loved Cole. I believe that Noah, creep that he is, loves Helen. But Alison ... she seems indifferent to Cole's feelings. That saddens me. It makes me wish Cole would leave her to find someone who reciprocates his affection. Their relationship seems one-sided.
He and Scotty go over to mend fences with Oscar. Cole asks Alison if she wants to stay inside the car. She says no. I think this shows both his gallantry and his sense of their equality. He doesn't try to own her. When we saw his character outline, he was a "good old boy." A drunken rancher. One would assume that he has conservative views towards women, but I'm glad that hasn't been the case. In fact, in saying that he wondered why Alison was lying in her version of events when he read the script, Josh seems like he is less evolved and more judgmental than Cole is. Cole comes off as quite a decent fellow -- except for his irrational refusal to sell the ranch, which has caused needless hardship for his family.
Initially, I thought that the fact that Cole is portrayed as good was, itself, proof of Alison's love for him, if that's how she views him in her version of events. But now, I'm not so sure. When she continues to present him as loving, yet doesn't return that love, it makes it seem like she thinks of him as a patsy, rather than a lover or loved one. Mensch, yes. Manly? No. I don't like having Josh in that role.
Cole knocks on Oscar's door and is conciliatory. Scotty is a jerk. He ends up hitting Oscar. Cole intervenes and when they are heading for the car, Oscar yells after them that they should ask Alison how she knew he pretended to call the cops. Alison quickly hurries Cole along and tells him to get in the car. Let's go. He is obeying, but tells Oscar Alison overheard the phone conversation that Oscar had. No she didn't, Oscar taunts, but the man she's sleeping with did! Cole turns around and immediately starts pummeling Oscar, throttling him back inside his house and onto the floor. Scotty comes along and you think he might pull his brother off of Oscar. You would be wrong. Both of the Lockhart boys beat up Oscar and it's both brutal and funny. Alison looks on, not particularly worried about Oscar's safety.
Back in the car ride home, everyone is silent. Cole drives with his arm around her. It seems like a protective gesture to me, but there is no room in the cab of the truck and maybe there is nowhere else for his arm to go. But it's significant that neither he nor his brother are questioning her. They both respect that this isn't something the married couple should discuss in front of a third party.
At home, Cole pours himself a drink. His tone is terse. Do I know him? No. Is he from here? No. "Good. Then it's your problem. Deal with it." In bed, he is staring upwards. She is turned away. She says she thinks she needs to get away for awhile. He says, good idea.
I'm not happy with Cole's role in the plot, but I do like the fact that they don't have him react like a traditional hot head. We see that he's hurt more than angry and that tears me apart. I hurt for him. I'm glad he doesn't lash out. I didn't appreciate Cherry lashing out on his behalf. But somehow, I do want Alison to suffer for hurting him. The less he blames her, the more I do.
She goes to NY and stays with her waitress friend, Jane, who left The Lobster Roll and returned to the city when the summer ended and the tourists left the area. They smoke pot and Jane revels in the fact that her friend is in love with a married professor. I resent this summary of "the affair" truthful though it may be. Alison says that she feels as if Noah is her real life and Montauk is the pretend one. I guess with him it's a form of escapism, but I just didn't see it that way, really. If Alison made Noah see him as a success in her eyes and buoyed his defeated ego, I don't know what he gave her in return. He desired her sexually, but her husband does too. I know Cole was too bored to respond when she guessed they'd had sex 10,000 times, but he said the horse was majestic and stubborn like her! He admires her, for reasons, I don't understand. But Alison is not blind to that. Noah sees her as a drug-dealing waitress who seduced him. He dropped her. How does she feel better with him?
It would be easier to believe that she wants him because he treats her like dirt. She cuts herself, because the pain gives her release. She wanted her husband to "rape" her. She wants to suffer. I can accept that Noah is another form of self-destruction for her and, sometimes, that's what the writers appear to be saying. But at other times, they suggest that she loves him because he's a dreamboat and makes her feel special. That's what I don't understand. He has never particularly treated her like she was special, so she shouldn't act as if he does.
Nevertheless, she and Jane giddily look Noah up on the internet. They find out where his wife works and go to her store. Helen recognizes her and comes over. She recognizes Alison. Alison stammers that she was helping Jane shop for a gift. Helen is kind, remembers Alison's name and says she wanted to thank her for helping Stacey that time. This is not what Alison expected. It makes her remember Stacey choking. Gabriel dying.
I just roll my eyes, because if Helen really said this, why didn't she thank her months ago when it happened. Why wait until they are both accidentally together in a different city to say, "Oh, by the way, thanks for saving my kid's life!"
Treem is online explaining to dense viewers that this encounter happened before Helen knew about the affair. Duh. They should have been able to tell this by the sequence of events. This happened in the day time, before Helen knew that Noah had a panic attack. We learn this because we see them later that evening. If I were Treem I would not explain small plot points like this to the viewer. If they can't think for themselves, then they should learn how to live with life's mysteries. But don't explain things to the point where you make them watchers.
Anyway, after the store encounter, Alison needs to go for a walk. She finds herself outside Noah's apartment, looking in at him through the window, all Fatal Attraction. In her version, the whole Solloway family is in one great group hug. Noah sees her and walks over and pulls the curtain shut.
Bereft, she goes back to Jane's and Jane urgently tells her that Cole is there. What! Jane finds an excuse to leave them alone. Cole says the drugs that he buried are gone. Her lover must have taken them. Who is he. Alison says he wouldn't do that and I can understand that pricks, hearing her take up for her lover's integrity. Who is he, Cole demands. Alison says Oscar must've taken the drugs. Cole begins shouting, Why won't she tell him who she's sleeping with. And it's not about the drugs. The drugs were his excuse to come after her. To ask what he was too proud to show he cared about before.
She jumps, like he's a bully, rather than devastated. She says it was Noah Solloway. Who the heck is... it dawns on Cole. "Martin's father?!" She nods. "Why?" He asks simply. Let me just say that Josh saying "why" was a more perfect acting job than all of his crying on the curb achieved. He's curious. He's crushed. He's perfect.
Next, they're walking along the street. More friends than splintered spouses. "Was it something I did?" His tone is casual, but you can tell her answer matters. No, she says quickly, touching his arm lightly.
He says that after his father died, when the pain would come, he knew it wouldn't last. It came and went in waves. So, he learned to stop and count, until it was over and he could breathe again. Sometimes it he counted to 10 or 100 or sometimes 3000, but the pain always receded. But when Gabriel died, no matter how long he counted, the hurt never stopped. The only thing that made it bearable for him, for even a second was her. She gasps a little. But I don't really take this as her seeing his grief for the first time, because I think she saw it in the pilot, before the sex on the car hood. She saw he was hurting and shushed him. It's not like he never let down his shield with her in the past. I don't read this scene as her seeing the real him and repenting because she misread his wall as apathy. I think she knew the pain was there, didn't care about it and didn't care about increasing it.
I don't trust her. Until she shows me that she chooses him and would stay with him not out of need and not because he's her second choice, I can't take the exchange between them in this episode as her being anything more than kind. I'm afraid she's polite and pitying and that kills me. I want future scripts to change my mind and assure me that she really loves him.
Cole sits on the curb and she stoops to join her. He stops her. "Don't sit down. Don't." He doesn't want her to get her skirt dirty. Awwww. I have to say that they show his love in small, chivalrous ways that are unique and very satisfying.
He puts a pizza box top on the ground and lets her sit on that. He says that when Gabriel died, he thought if he said nothing that that would make it better and bring them closer together, but it only made it worse. Then he starts sobbing. Oh brother. Josh doesn't blow me away here. He's no Meryl Streep. He wonders if it's Gabriel. If it's their son who is gone who doesn't want them happy here either. She says "no!" It's not him. Their sadness is not what their son wants.
So, have Cole and Alison turned a corner? I'd like to think so, but I feel that she is with him out of expedience, rather than feeling. if that's not the case, the writers need to clarify this, so I can enjoy their renewed commitment. I could pretend that she was indifferent to him, because she felt he didn't care. When he told her the affair was her problem, maybe she thought that's how he really felt. But his knee jerk reaction was to mask his sadness with brusque retorts. Now, that she realizes that, maybe her compassion for him actually makes her regret the affair. But that's only my fantasy. Given the chance, she probably would still be ruffling through Cherry's trash, trying to find the ashes from Noah's letter. I can't believe that Alison was ever unaware of Cole's love. When he told her he loved her in that dress and she rushed over to her lair with Noah, that told me how oblivious she was to Cole's concerns and this episode doesn't suggest that has changed. So, it's bittersweet to see Cole gentle and loving when, inside, the audience is moved, but his wife is not.
They are driving home and her phone rings. Oh no, something has happened to Hal. They show up at the hospital. The Lockharts are all assembled. Hal is in a coma. He has been beaten up. Instead of brow beating Alison, if Cherry has a sixth sense about her sons being in danger she should have seen this coming and saved Hal, not worried about Alison's infidelity.
It seems Hal dug up the drugs and tried to give them back. I don't know what his plan was, but even his brothers seem to think it was a stupid one. Cole says they are selling the ranch. Cherry objects. I thought she wanted want her boys wanted, but no... She wants to keep dealing the drugs! He doesn't listen. Cole says he's going home. "Your brother's in the hospital."
"I'll be back tomorrow and I'll sit with him all day ..." but right now he's going home. He take Alison's hand and they leave.
That night, she is sitting on the bed. He comes into the room. Takes off his shirt. Stares at her. I don't know what she reads in his face, but she starts to take her birth control pills. He stops her. He says they should start all over. "I want to start this part over. Let's make a baby" he says. Obnoxious. Next he'll be singing the Paul Anka tune, "(You're) having my baby." She turns, kisses his hand, they fall into an embrace.
Yes, it's moving. But it doesn't take much to bring out the romantic in me, when Josh is involved. Still, though she had her tender moments, I don't know if Alison means it or not. He's selling the ranch and that will make life easier for her. Noah's gone. So, they'll start again, but is that because she cares for Cole or, once again, is it because he's "security?"