Sunday, November 29, 2015

Season 2, Episode 8


Helen and Whitney are touring a campus and Whitney is putting her mother's profile up on Tinder. Helen keeps remembering her time on campus there. How her dad used to work in the restaurant and she and Uncle Max would go in and have him give them meat balls. Whitney says she wishes she'd stop calling him "Uncle Max." Helen wants to know why and Whitney just gives her a look, letting Helen know that she knows they slept together.

Whitney says Helen only has 5 good years left and she wants to see her with someone. It's sad and telling to hear her talk, Whitney says, because she only looks back on the good times she had with Noah on that campus and is living in the past, rather than the present. She tries to get her to flirt with a man who is passing by with his student son and says that Helen doesn't look half bad, she is already getting Tinder pings. Helen is embarrassed. When they go to eat Whitney tells her that she is not going to college. She will be a model. She met a photographer, an older man. Helen is beside herself. She shouldn't waste her life. Whitney says she probably won't get into school. Yes, she will, both her parents went and that shouldn't matter but it does. Also, Whitney inherited her father's insane charm (um?) and that will win them over in admissions. But Whitney doesn't want to go. She doesn't even want to spend a night on campus. She says she'll probably get bedbugs and it's a waste of time. As they exit the restaurant, they see Noah across the street with Eden, his publicist. They are all surprised to see each other, except Eden who knew that Whitney and Helen were touring the campus that weekend, but didn't bother to tell Noah, because she doesn't think his personal life has any importance. He will be going to a book signing on campus. Now, I guess people don't sign books 2 nights in a row, but it seems to me that he and Helen had two different evenings, not variations on the same one. So, I would prefer to think she attended two different book signings of his, but that's not the way Treem works. She doesn't want to tell different parts of the same night. She doesn't want to tell different nights. She wants to tell the same night, with the people who shared an evening together remembering absolutely nothing in common. She wants to alienate her audience with what she thinks is cleverness.

Whitney asks Noah if she can stay in his suite, because she doesn't want to spend the night in a dorm room. Noah doesn't blame her. He says they can both get a room in his hotel. Eden can arrange it. Helen tells him that she needs his support, especially since Whitney thinks he can do no wrong, no matter what and is always mad at Helen, on the other hand.. She needs him to back her up on this. He backs down and says he will. But before they can settle where Whitney will sleep that night, she is walking away chatting animatedly to a campus guide that she had been trying to avoid before. Helen and Noah agree that neither of them understand him.

Noah asks Helen if she wants to attend his book signing. She says no and turns away and he walks away in the other direction.

Still, Helen finds herself at the book signing store and can't believe that all of those people are there to see him. She is impressed. She looks up at him on the balcony and he smiles, glad she is there and gestures as if to say, "can you believe this crowd?" She sits in the audience while he reads. It's a passage about her. He recalls what a beautiful, wild girl she was. When they got together they had no money and he was happy, but when she got pregnant, he couldn't stand to see her worried because they were living in near poverty and that's when he finally agreed to take the loan from her parents (but why is he agreeing to take the loan from first Max, $50,000, and then Allison now? He is not threatened with poverty anymore).

He wonders when Helen changed, in the passage he reads and Helen listens thoughtfully, seeing things from his perspective and wondering what happened to her -- instead of just being sure she married a jerk.

He can't believe she hasn't talked to her mother in months. She says she through her out of the house. She sent an email a few weeks ago but her mother never answered.

She tells Noah that Whitney wants to model. He is not happy that the photographer is an older man, but he thinks it's good for Whitney to take some time off between high school and college. It would be a learning experience. And why is it impossible for her to be a model. She's beautiful. She's too short Helen says and she is too smart to be a model (oh, so that sounds like a dig towards Diane Kruger). She says that Whitney needs to be reined in. Noah asks if she remembers herself at that age. She wanted to go to exotic places. She was a rebel, a protestor. Zany. Maybe she was Helen says, but she never did go away. NO she didn't and does she remember why, he prods. it comes back to her slowly. Because her parents didn't let her. She starts banging her head on the table, realizing what a hypocrite she's been. how she's become her mother. How she is pushing Whitney away by doing so and stifling her daughter's dreams like she did NOah's and her own. She just keeps banging her head and, rather than telling her to stop or not to beat herself up, NOah just seems glad he made his point.

Hearing about that side of Helen makes it seem not so crazy that she took that pot candy and got incredibly loopy at the hairdressers. Maybe it wasn't out of character so much as it was out of repression.

Afterwards they are walking together. He asks if she wants his hat and she says no, she's fine. he says she's not. She is freezing. He gives her his hat. She says it will be too big for her. He says it looks charming. She asks if he is hungry and he says he is starving. They go to an old place they visited as college students (all of my college haunts are surely gone from Ann Arbor) and she tells the waitress about something she used to order there. He tells her that was 25 years ago. She tells the waitress how to make it and says to order him one too.

She tells him she's sorry that she wasn't understanding about his book and made him move into the brownstone to support their family. She says that she was glad when his first book failed, not because she didn't think it was great, because she did, but because she thought he'd finally give up his dream of writing and spend more time with her and the children and just be happy with what he had. She didn't realize what giving up his writing meant to him as a person. Now she does and she is happy for his success. She's proud of him.

He looks modest. When they leave he asks if she wants to come to his hotel. She can sleep on the sofa. NO, he'll sleep on the sofa and he'll give her his bed. She says no. He says he'll have Eden call her a taxi. He motions to her and it's like he is gesturing for her to come closer for a kiss, but then he says "my hat" and the mood is broken. I think it's kind of crummy that he asks her for his hat back. I mean, he's not going to die without it and it's not the last time he'll ever see her. He can get it back later. but it's not played as a tacky move on his part. Just an ending to this bonding they'd been doing that looked like they were realizing why they'd loved each other back when they were college students themselves. She says that she has changed her mind. She'll walk back after all. Again, I'm thinking that he could have walked her himself, but I guess all in all it's a tender scene.

In the present, Helen is telling the lawyer that she will do anything to save Noah, the father of her children. She is at a game with him watching Martin play and he has the baby in the stroller. When he gets up to go to Martin, the baby drops its pacifier and Helen picks it up. She takes it to the lawyer, but she doesn't want to give it to him, even when she is reminded that Allison is the woman who stole her husband (no, your husband jumped into her purse. She didn't have to shoplift).


Noah and Eden are reveling in his book's success. Eden reads the good reviews to him. There is only one bad one and it is written by some college student for the school paper. It still makes Noah mad. How dare the man say that his book is a cheap romance and not literary fiction. Eden tells him that nothing is ever going to be perfect and is annoyed that he is kvetching over that insignificant review when he got so many great ones. He hopes to win a book award. He is in the lobby looking at a pretty woman who is reading a book. When he sees the cover, he's mad that it's not his book she was reading.

He does a skype call with Allison. He is not there for her 5th month check up. He is telling her about his book. He got a glowing review from the New Yorker and Allison says that even she knows who they are. It's annoying that they are again telling us she's not a reader and doesn't know anything about that world. She tries to seem interested in his book, but can't wait until he finishes talking about it so she can show him the nursery. Ooooh. He says, politely. Now, he should have known she was skyping from his office all along. It's not like they have an unlimited amount of rooms in the joint. but it's not until she shows him the crib that he says, "Is that my office?" Y-yes Allison stammers. Where's his desk? It's in the hall. Well, where'd he expect the baby to sleep, I'd like to know. He takes a call, trying to see what is happening with that award he hopes to win. he knows he is on the shortlist and wants an update. Allison can see he's clearly distracted. She's as wimpy in this story as she usually is in her own POV.

Noah goes to the book signing (I guess this is the only one and he and Helen did not share two nights together). He begins to read a steamy passage about Allison from his novel, but then sees Helen in the audience in big hoop earrings and gets shy, as she looks angry. He reads the passage about her instead. Now, I don't think Helen would forget that he started to read about Allison (if he did). I think that prick to her ego would resonate in her memory longer than the fact that he eventually read a passage about her. The hurt would last longer than the salvage move, in her mind. When Treem makes these memories different, they aren't different in ways that are in character or real to what the person is going through. They're just different for the sake of being divergent and surprising.

Noah takes questions afterwards. One is from the writer who panned his book. Noah is bristling, but holds it in check. The writer tells him he did not win the award he was hoping for. Noah masks his disappointment and says the writer who won deserved it. Someone asks him whether love can last and he says that it takes trust and when you betray that trust, the love begins to fail. You have to have faith in the other person and when you break it, the whole thing falls apart. That's why they call infidelity being "unfaithful". His words make it seem like he is taking the blame for destroying Helen's trust and she seems to appreciate them.

Later when he is signing books, a pretty woman gives her his number and he pockets it.

He and Helen go out afterwards and she tries to be understanding about his losing the award. he is angry at the critic and she says why, he's just an undergraduate. He is explaining and she is trying to listen and then she says. Wait this isn't my job anymore. I don't have to be nice. That's Allison's job. Then she says she will do Allison a favor and tells him to give her that phone number that he took from the woman. He takes it out of his pocket. She reminds him that he has a pregnant fiancé at home.

He says he should apologize to her. For what? He says does she remember the fight they had in that booth back there. She smiles, self-consciously and nods that she does remember. He says that he's sorry he asked her to do it, especially now that he sees how beautiful the other four are. She says she knows. He says he still thinks about that. she is surprised to hear it. But she is touched.

When they are ready to leave, the undergraduate critic comes in and Noah wants to confront him, but she says she is doing him another favor and pulls him away. He follows her out, but when she drives off in a taxi, he enters the place again and starts a fight with the writer, who tells NOah he is drunk. Noah persists and punches him. A brawl breaks out. he goes to his hotel room and Eden knocks on the door. "Where were you all night?" Um, why is it her business. But actually they have set this up, that she and he are more the couple than he and Allison are. Eden and Noah's interests are aligned and Allison's pregnancy is not his priority. Eden made him late for Thanksgiving. "We" (he and NOah) forgot the turkey. Eden is his partner (but also his errand girl). And he is more involved in her offerings than he is with Allison, Helen or Whitney. Although Helen and Whitney seem to take priority over Allison too. Eden wonders if he has seen the news. The fight is already on YouTube. he wants to kick himself, but she says it is ok. She will spin it and say he is the bad boy writer. It will be good for his reputation. But since Hemingway died, do we really care about the reputation of writers and whether they are bad boys or not. I mean, who cares whether Dan Brown gets into bar fights? Writers are prized for their product, but they don't make the celebrity gossip pages. I've seen stories on P.K. Rowling, but she doesn't sell tabloids.

He and Eden start to make out in the hall. He doesn't pull away at all. They take it inside and she is straddling him on the bed when she is the one who pulls away and says she doesn't mix business "with this kind of pleasure." Well, what took her so long to remember that stance? Was Noah that irresistible that she had a delay before coming to her senses, she was so overcome with passion? Hard to believe. So, although he was drunk with Eden, we've pretty squarely been told that NOah would have no qualms about cheating on Allison. Is it because he loves her less than he loved Helen? Maybe doesn't love her at all? Or just because this new fame of his makes him want to explore all of his new options. Would he have acted the same way if he was still with Helen when his book made such a splash?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Season 2, Episode 7


Allison is about 5 or 6 months pregnant. She is at a book party and Noah seems to be the life of it, while she stands alone. She's ready to leave, insists that they go, but he says that although it doesn't look it, this is business for him and he needs to stay. He converses with his publishing assistant Eden who has booked him on loads of things and has a "rush, rush, rush" mentality. She finds his pregnant girlfriend a mere, occasionally irritating, nobody.

When Allison catches Noah's eye and he waves her over to meet a group he's been talking to, she doesn't have much in common with them, especially when she says she hasn't read his book. She retreats again, when Eden "steals" Noah.

She takes her shoes off and rubs her sore feet. A friendly woman comes up and inquires about the baby. Is this her first? No, it's not. She says she and Noah are not married yet, his divorce isn't final. Eden comes over and pulls her away. That woman's from Page 6, she's a gossip columnist. She tells Allison not to talk to anyone else without asking her. Then, Eden leaves and forgets Allison's existence again. Allison goes into the kitchen and asks permission to sit down. The only person who was nice to her out there was working her. She has more in common with the kitchen staff, who are genuinely kind. That's what we're supposed to take away from this, but Allison was a successful nurse and could go back to that if she tried. So, this theme that she's out of her realm if she is not waiting tables doesn't play well.

I should get satisfaction from it, since she thought she was too good for the Lockharts and now can't fit in with the intellectuals. But she does have a niche and won't seek it out, so it just makes her weak, and poor-me annoying. I guess she was independent last week, practicing yoga, but that too seemed phony. Athena's world (and a gimmicky one at that) not hers. But she felt at peace there, so why she has apparently plopped herself back into Noah's world where she repeatedly feels invisible is irritating. Some people do repeat patterns and, in doing so, are responsible for their own continued unhappiness. So, I guess what Allison is facing is realistic, but it's not good television.

The show is more truthful psychologically this season than when Treem was all "the point of view, reflects their psyche and personality" earlier, though. So, it rings deeper and is not as trite as it once was. Still, it has its moments.

Eden wants him to work on Thanksgiving. Allison is angry. Noah insists that he'll be back in time for dinner and will pick up the turkey. She accepts it.

She goes into her luxury apartment. Athena is in the lobby. The fancy doorman wouldn't let her up. Allison is self-conscious. Doesn't want to be "that girl" who puts on airs. This makes me laugh because I don't see her as a "down home" kind of person. And the shows attempt to push her as a small town girl with values is laughable, because she doesn't seem to respect much, as far as I can see. She hated Montauk and not just because that's where Gabriel died. It seemed too slow for her. She hated family too. And she wanted the millions she thought the Lockhart ranch was worth. So, when they present her as non-materialistic I don't buy it. She sure liked using up Helen's expensive shampoo!

She takes Athena upstairs and Athena raves at the swankiness. She lays down on the sofa and wonders if it's suede. Allison won't say, but Athena confirms it is. They start on Thanksgiving dinner. I did not think of Athena as the domestic type, but she is more motherly this season. She brought her mother's cookbook. It's worn, but welcome. Allison thought she'd forget. Athena says she wants a tour and there's a sign on the boys room saying keep out. Allison doesn't open it, she says they respect their privacy.

The other room is the girls', but only Stacey uses it. Whitney hasn't been there yet. The younger kids like her. The older ones don't. Well, in my experience, the younger ones wouldn't like her either, since they probably want their mom and dad back together more than anyone.

Athena really wants to see the baby's room. Allison takes her into an office. She says that Noah is only using it this way until the baby comes. Athena says that you're supposed to prepare for the baby before hand. She wonders how much this place is setting them back and by probing Allison's silence and sideways glances, she figures out that Allison paid for the apartment with money from her house. It's only until Noah gets his book money she says.

Athena can't believe that Allison sold their home. Allison says it's her home. Her grandmother left it to her. Only because Athena told her too. Allison is startled to hear this. Athena says it's true. When Allison was born, Athena told her mother to skip over her in the will. She wanted Allison to have the security that she knew Athena could never give her. She wanted Allison to keep the house so that her children could have that same security too. She shouldn't support Noah, so that he can live a high life that Allison doesn't even want herself. Noah should pay for this.

Allison says she wants to contribute. She doesn't want to live off of men, like Athena does. Athena wonders if she will spend the rest of her life just trying to be the opposite of everything she thinks Athena is, rather than doing what's best for her. I wonder if she remembers that she probably married Cole for the security his family could offer. Becoming a Lockhart meant moving away from waitressing at Oscar's -- until it didn't. So, it's not just Athena who has that history, as far as I can glimpse.

Anyway, this tells us a lot about Noah and it's something that Cole would never do. Live off the equity in her house. Although the writers made this clear of Cole from the beginning, a lot of viewers didn't see it. When he ran after Allison in NY, a lot of them on twitter (and Cody too) thought he was interested in the drugs, not in getting his wife back. It was clear to me he used the drugs as an excuse to follow her, not the other way around. I guess since he sold drugs in the first place, it was hard to see that he wasn't a hypocrite about loving the land, but it didn't seem that way to me.

Allison looks like she regretted investing her money in Noah's dreams -- and being asked to do that, but she tells Athena it's too late. The house is already in escrow.

Her friend Lucy or whatever (Jane actually) comes for dinner. They haven't seen each other in ages. Jane has finished school. Has Allison been back to Montauk since leaving. Uh, no, no she hasn't, Allison stammers guiltily, so that everyone but Jane knows she is lying. Jane wonders about the blind date that Allison has fixed her up on. Allison tells her the guy is loaded, but he's kind of obnoxious. Jane thinks loaded is enough to make up for it. Athena is glad to see her again. Again the downhome friendly people compared to the cold stock market crowd that Noah hangs out with.

Time passes and Jane and Max are on the sofa. Dinner is waiting because Noah hasn't shown up yet. Jane is tipsy and says that she and Max should marry. He is drunk too, but says they definitely should not get married. I am embarrassed for Jane, but they start making out and when Allison does nothing except look askance at Athena to interfere, it gets even worse. Athena comes to the rescue (again being more mature than she was in S2) and tells Jane to put her tongue back in her own mouth. I am annoyed that Jane had to be the inappropriate one coming on to Max. He was receptive, but not the initiator and I wish that weren't the case.

Athena says she has something for them to do that is ladies' only. They go into the bedroom and listen to the baby's heartbeat with a stethoscope. Everyone is awed, but Allison can't find the heartbeat at first and panics a bit. Allison, the nurse. Noah comes in, finally home, and Athena asks him if he wants to listen. Sure he says, and he seems to be trying to seem eager and pleasant, more than anything else. He listens and is wowed. He says, "that gets me every time." Allison is dismayed. Since she's not a first time mother, I don't really think her reaction rings true. I mean, why would he act like it's his first time. It means more to her because she's lost a child, but why should he act like he hasn't done this four times before. Yes, it makes her feel second best, but ... well, I guess if you're selfish and the show is presenting selfishness as human and not trying to hide it that's valid. But you can be selfish and not be unrealistic. I don't think it's realistic to think that a man with 4 kids would be as neglectful of them as Allison seems to want Noah to be. In real life, some men are though. ONce they fall "in love" they forget their first families. I don't like Noah any more because he does not do this, but I guess I should not fault Allison for wanting him too, since in real life it happens. And I should credit the writers for making Allison more dimensional. She's not pretending like she wants what is best for the children and most women wouldn't. I just thought since she lost a kid, she might care more about their happiness, since we met her when she was concerned about little Stacy choking. I would think her not wanting kids to be distressed might be her thing. But not wanting Allison to be lonely is her main thing.

When Allison goes out into the living room she sees Eden. She's as disgusted as the audience is and I want her just to go off on the woman. Not only did Noah fail to bring home the turkey, but he has to leave that night. Noah is sorry about the turkey and says he'll go now. Allison says the store is closed. It can't be! They closed at six.

They sit down to dinner and Allison tries to salvage it by saying they are her grandmother's recipes, but Eden keeps interrupting with business. Noah gets a call from Helen and it seems Whitney has run off. Noah tells her Whitney is playing both of them. Sour grapes Max says that if he knows Helen she will keep Noah on the phone all night. But I like the way the audience understands Max's bitter tone, when no one else does. Noah goes into the other room, telling one of the kids that he wishes they could be together too. He returns, but dinner is not a success. Athena, Max and Jane are fed up with Eden too. Eden talks when they say the blessing, at the end when she discovers that Noah is trending. The Page 6 article about his and Allison's affair is generating interest. Neither of them are divorced yet. People are titillated. Allison says she's sorry. But Eden says this can be good for them. Noah was a nobody. Scandal can help publicity. He needs to align himself with the story in the book, Descent. He can talk about the hot affair with Allison and her abusive husband in tv interviews. "Excuse me?" Allison says. He's not really considering this is he? They begin to argue about the book and Noah says she hasn't even read it. She says she has, surprising even me. She read it and knows how he lied about everything in it.

She didn't pursue him. He pursued her. He stalked her. He watched while she was having sex with her husband (I like that she calls Cole that). He says she was having sex for his benefit. So, he didn't think she was raped? She says he didn't know he was there. He killed her in the book. That was his editor's idea. Max said that clearly they have different views (and their conversation is supposed to be a reflection of the whole POV premise of the show, which is preciously self-referential). He says but Allison has done something that no one else has she has given Noah a school teacher living off of his wife's money a personality. Harsh and it puts Noah in the same light in his friend's opinion that Athena had cast him in before, when she talked to Allison about supporting NOah. So, I'm glad about that.

Allison stalks out. Noah goes after her and apologizes. He says that he won't talk about their real life in any interviews he gives. Of course, I'd like to see her protect Cole, but she indicates she wasn't really worried about that anyway. She asks what is really bugging her, "Do you even want this baby?" He pauses in a manner I think is telling, but he kisses her stomach and indicate he is looking forward to the baby.

The doorbell rings and Noah goes to get it.

In the present, the Solloway lawyers are questioning Allison about Scott. She barely saw him at the wedding. She said they were on good terms. He wasn't happy about Cole's deal on The Lobster Roll, but he blamed Cole not her, Allison says.

Cole's Story

Cole is having sex with Luisa when she says "Te amo." He says, "what did you say?" I assume that he must not understand Spanish. He rolls over on top and then pulls away. She asks what is wrong. He goes into the living area. I'm not sure if they are still at Allison's house or not, but he wasn't living in there before. If he is now, did she tell him she wants him to stay there, or what?

He and Luisa make coffee. She invites him over for Thanksgiving. Margaret has given her mother the day off and the family is getting together. He says he's seeing his family. She doesn't believe it. They've been estranged. But he promised he would go by for Thanksgiving. She asked what just happened in there. What does she mean. "When I said I love you, you lost your erection." Pretty funny. Cole says he wants some muffins. Does she? He gets money out of his money clip and leaves.

At the story, his phone rings and it's Scott. He doesn't pick up. Scott calls out, "I'm right behind you." He bugs Cole to sell the house again. He tells him to come over for Thanksgiving. He hasn't seen the family in months. Cole said he promised Luisa he'd go to her family's. Do they even celebrate Thanksgiving, Scott wonders. So, they push every button to make him seem killable. He says he hates to tell Cole this, but Luisa tried the same thing on him. She only wants Cole to get her green card. Cole ignores this.

Oscar shows up (popular convenience store) and asks if they have read Noah's book. The family figures prominently in it. Cole seems more riled up than Scott. Scott being a hothead, I don't know why he doesn't care.

Cole goes back home. He looks at the mantel and asks why Luisa moved the picture of him teaching Gabriel how to ride. She says it was such a cute picture she was just looking at it. Well, I don't think she should have moved its position myself. He moves it back and when pressured more to talk by Luisa he says what happened to his money clip. She says she doesn't know and wasn't concerned, but then realizes that he means to accuse her. She says he better apologize right now. He says there was $150 in that clip and it was right on the table. She leaves, more hurt than angry.

I wonder if they will have Cole take out the money clip, just to prove to the audience that he was deliberately driving her away, but I guess they decide not to belabor the point. I wish we had seen more of them getting together and not just jumped from seeing them talk in the bar to having sex a few episodes later. I know Josh is only supporting, but I'd rather see him with Luisa than with a load of Lockharts who are just extras and not interesting ones at that.

He buys Noah's book (with money from the money clip?) and begins flipping through it. Next we see him going to the new, small Lockhart home with flowers. At the table, he says he's sorry that his sister-in-law lost the baby. She says that they had a ceremony for it a month ago. He says he knows and is sorry that he didn't come. Well, i'm glad he is not making excuses for not coming, but sorry gets old too. So, they're hurt that he has been away from them, but Mary Kate doesn't seem half as torn up about him as she as when stupid Allison left the family last year and she had a little betrayed outburst about it.

Cole starts reading from Noah's book and I'm not sure why. I don't think he wants the family to unite in anger over Noah. I mean you want to be with people who feel the same emotionally as you do, but his attitude is not like he needs support. It's more like he wants to goad them, but goad them into doing what? Scott and Cherry say it's just a book and I wonder if maybe they sold the rights to their family to the publisher and that's why they are not objecting. The book says they are lowlifes but they inherited it from their grandfather who earned his money by cheating others and baby killing. Cole thinks they should sue or something. Hodges stole their land, not the other way around, but there's silence and he asks why Scott and Cherry keep looking at each other. Cherry says it's true. That old grandpa hated Hodges (is that Oscar's family?) because he had an affair with his wife and she got pregnant by him and when he found out, he killed the baby and stole Hodges' land. And that's why the family is cursed. Gabriel dies and Mary Kate lost her baby and they can never have children. Well, they had children in S1. When we saw the first family dinner there were kids there and looking at them caused Allison to get all mopey -- as everything does. Now, suddenly they're a barren family. And it's stupid, because this show is not about the Lockharts and I was glad to go 6 episodes without seeing them. This is not Dallas where the Ewings and the Barnes are at the heart of the plots. It's one thing to give characters a family but giving Cole such a BIG one is a real drain. It would be better if he just had one brother or something. Three brothers is a bit much and I don't want to see Cole's scenes burdened with them. Scott gets a phone call and texts back. Cole is disgusted. Scott is still doing drugs and I know he's dying soon, but not soon enough. I don't want to hear anymore about the drug running.

The family wants Cole to come back and Cherry says she's worried about him. She says the last time she saw someone drink as much as Cole has been doing the man hung himself. I think she means old grandpa. Cole leaves and Scott catches him outside and again asks him about the house. He heard Allison sold it. I wonder if Cole is going to get any of the money and where he will live when it's gone. Whitney pulls up in a taxi. What! Cole can't believe that Scott is still seeing her. Scott asks how Whitney new where he was. She says he just texted her 10 minutes ago. He says, "that was you??" So, he apparently hadn't been trying to meet up with her. He rejects her and Cole asks where she is supposed to be. She says no where. He says he better give her a ride. She is in the taxi with him.

She is crying about Scott. She says that she loves him and he cares about her too. He says, "that's not the way it works. Just because you love someone doesn't mean they love you back." I think this line really hits home the way Josh delivers it and I think it's more quietly effective than his tears were last season. Whitney says that the last time he saw her, he shot at her. What? Cole raises a brow, but takes the accusation in stride. He says he thought he was aiming at her dad. But he's truly sorry she had to witness that, either way.

Whitney says he's in her father's book. He says he knows, but doesn't blast her dad in front of her, which shows he is a gentleman at heart. She says she's not in her father's book at all and she thinks it means he doesn't care about her. He says that maybe her father didn't want to expose her to the publicity. Gracious Cole.

He says his father hung himself when he was 10 (aha!) and he thought it meant his father didn't love him and he realized that's not what it meant. It had nothing to do with him. She is shocked at the revelation and it must make her realize that her problems are nothing compared to those who have really suffered loss. He shows up at NOah's door. She must have asked him to take her there. She stopped punishing her father with her absence because of Cole.

They ring Noah's bell (which he answered during the 1st half) and he is shocked to see them. I tense waiting for him to blame Cole angrily, but Cole just says that she was out chasing Scott and he thought he ought to bring him home. Noah appreciates it and doesn't seem to think that he needs to be concerned about having his child in Cole's custody, even though Cole supposedly shot at them. He asks Cole if he wants to come in for a drink. Cole says "no" and I am relieved. I wish he'd said "no" to Allison when she asked him to keep her company in bed. I suppose that was a humorous moment for other viewers. But I am too protective of Cole to get much pleasure out of his scenes with NOah or Allison.

Noah shows up at Luisa's door with drinks. She buzzed him in, but is sullen. Cole is at Josh's most charming. He says that it's been a long time since he had any one to care about and that's why he tried to push her away. "I was trying to hurt you. I wanted you out of my house and as soon as you walked out that door, I wanted you back." He says he promises never to hurt her like that again if she gives him another chance. He says he may not be much, but he is a man of his word and anyone will tell her that he is. She softens and tells him to come in. And one more thing, "Te amo, tambien." Swoon.

He goes in and chats with those assembled inside, eating, smiling. A contrast from the stark dinner at NOah's and the angry one at the Lockhart's, for sure.

IN the present, the defense lawyers are looking at video Oscar gave them. It's Allison on a porch with Scott. She pulls away from him angrily and the police observe she doesn't seem to be on good terms with him like she claimed. They wish they knew what they were saying. Oscar says he was nearby (isn't he always) and he heard what they were saying loud and clear. Scott is saying, "that's our baby. That's OUR baby." Oscar says you can read his lips and see that's what he said as plain as day.

Online some wrote that they thought this meant Allison slept with Scott. That never occurred to me and Treem better not suggest it. It just means that Scott is saying that the baby is a Lockhart. Cherry made a big deal about then not having kids because the family is cursed and Scott is saying that child is their family's. Plain and simple. I hope Treem didn't mean to imply anything different, even as just a red herring.

My question is, if Scott did the math and suspects, then why doesn't Cole. when he saw Allison at the courthouse he just said to her, "is this your baby?" Did he have a conversation with her before where she gave him some excuse about it not possibly being his? I'm upset that she would take the chance for Cole to be a father again away from him, after he lost Gabriel, but that wouldn't be the first time she'd been heartless.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Season 2, Episode 6


Noah is coming to pick the kids up and take them to a baseball game and no one is cooperating as Helen tries to herd them along. She even has to throw something at Trevor from her balcony to get him to stop playing around. And her mother is nagging her saying she should not allow the visit in the first place. She finally yells at her mom to just help the kids get ready, help Stacy untie her shoe, and shut up about everything else. Martin is still not feeling well, but he says he's going with Noah, because otherwise there'll be trouble if he doesn't.

When she goes out to the car to talk to Noah, she tells him to watch what Martin eats. He doesn't want parenting advice from her after her arrest and if he doesn't get them home on time, so what? She's hardly likely to call the police on him, as they aren't her friends. Margaret yells that Martin is stressed out because of Noah.

Helen frets over Martin and he insists he will be ok.

She and Margaret go for a meeting with her father. She suggests they drink on the way and Margaret doesn't think it's very funny, even though Helen says she only wants to lighten the mood. At the attorney's office when they try to figure out a way to stop Noah's custody bid, the mother and father speak over Helen's head like she's a child, whose life is still under their control. She interjects, but her efforts are weak. Like she's invisible. In the first season, she was pretty assertive against her parents even when at their home. So, "i'm not sure I buy this shrinking violet. Margaret says it's his fault that Helen used such bad judgment. The father says that Max led Helen astray by giving her that "candy." Margaret says they can say she didn't know what's in it. Did she know the father asks. Of course she knew, Margaret hollers. But they can still have Max take the blame. The father says they'll give him money, to shoulder Helen's folly. He says absently to Helen, "sorry Gumdrop," as he basically calls her an irresponsible idiot. Interesting that Max gave her candy and her dad calls her "gumdrop." With Max, she was starting to let him take the lead too and might have created a new relationship that mimicked the one she had with her parents. With Noah, she was the one more in charge.

She gets a call and runs out to the hospital, where Martin has been taken in. Her parents briefly look worried. At the hospital, they won't give her the room number and she is frantic. As she is calling him, she runs into Noah and together they rush to Martin who is on a gurney. When she finds out Martin has had popcorn and hotdogs she reminds Noah that she told him to watch what Martin eats (which I think was careless of him as well). Noah snaps back at him and the doctor tells them to shut up. He's taking Martin into surgery. He has an obstructed bowel and he'll know more once he opens the boy up. They can't believe it's happening this quickly, that it's really such an emergency situation.

Helen tries to soothe Martin. Noah rushes her along to come over so they can talk more to the doctor. I think her calming instinct was the right one. When Martin is wheeled away Noah says they can go wherever he wants for vacation next summer. He says "Hawaii" and they agree (tacitly saying they will all go together). Helen is in accord and says how great it will be. As they say goodbye to him, they say "Aloha."

As he paces the waiting room, Noah tries to call Allison. Helen wonders how many times he has tried to call her already. He says she can help. What! "She's a nurse." She's a pediatric nurse, he says and if they'd listened to him before, Martin might not be in surgery now. Helen kept saying that Martin's symptoms were psychosomatic, his fault and ignored the fact that Martin might have a real physical problem. They are still fighting when the doctor comes out. He shushes them again and, I imagine, is fed up with their immaturity.

Martin has Chrome's disease. It's very serious, but it's treatable, if they watch Martin closely and work together to monitor his diet and health needs. They agree. When Martin is out of surgery they sit by his bed, relieved, but exhausted and post traumatic. Noah gets another call on his phone and ignores it. At first Helen says nothing then she tells him to take it. She wants to stop doing this. They need to stop fighting. She'll drop the divorce papers, go back to mediation and Noah can have whatever he wants. He is stunned but says he only wants joint custody of the kids. She says she knows and concedes he's an excellent father (I don't agree with that. Reconciliation and compromise are nice, but she shouldn't go crazy).

Helen returns home exhausted. She just wants to go to bed, but Margaret, after being relieved that Martin is ok, once to press the divorce and is astounded that Helen has conceded joint custody. Helen turns on her mother and says she really hates her. She means it. She is the one that was always telling her that Noah wasn't good enough and she wants her to get out. Get out right now. I guess the audience likes having Margaret get her just rewards, but I think she only does as much as Helen lets her do and I don't think it's Margaret's fault that Helen treated Noah any way -- not that I think Helen treated him badly to begin with. I think she was supportive of him and only ridiculed him when hurt by his infidelity. By blaming her mother for it, I see Helen regressing, not growing. She can want her mother out (after using her as a babysitter for weeks), but not blame her for her own failed marriage.

The actress who plays Margaret has thinning hair and that makes her vulnerable to me. She is a caricature, too much so for me to really dislike her. I don't applaud her getting her comeuppance. Margaret stops to tell Helen that her father has filed for divorce. If she thought this would win Helen's sympathy, she was wrong. Helen says she's sorry, but hands her mom her luggage, all the same. The taxi drives Margaret away.

In the present Helen tells her lawyer that they have to get Noah off no matter what. He's the father of her children. He wonders if she even has the money to afford his defense. She says she'll sell her stuff, mortgage the house. Whatever it takes. He says that he got information from a local, who says he has evidence that could be very important to Noah. She says why doesn't he just go to the police. The lawyer says because the police won't pay him.


We see him at the house serving breakfast to the kids. He is not familiar with some of the changes they have made in the kitchen. Helen is at the hospital, because it's her turn. The kids are planning a welcome home party for Martin and they hide and surprise him when he returns with Helen. They give him presents and he argues with his brother, calls him a "little bitch." Noah says just because he almost died doesn't give him the right to call his brother names. Martin says he thinks it does. They eat dinner together. As it winds down, Helen reminds them that tomorrow is a school night, so they have to turn in. Once again, she looks like the bad guy, having to be family disciplinary. Noah says he has a place where they can stay when they come see him. It has 2 bedrooms. Whitney says she's not coming. He tries to reason with her. She refuses. Helen steps in and says that she will go away to visit a friend and Noah can come and stay in the house when it's his turn to have the kids. Really? Yes. As he leaves, when he gets to the door, he looks back at the family and misses that domesticity.

Noah is driving to the address he has for Allison. It's at the Yoga place she went to after she left Noah and Cole at the train last season. It disgusts me, because I don't like Athena's character and considering that Athena's flighty beliefs were the basis for much turmoil and neglect in Allison's youth, I don't think she would embrace it. More importantly, it suggests that Allison again dumped Cole to find herself and I just don't know why she is always the one leaving. Why can't he leave?

When Noah gets to Allison's place, he is shocked to find Athena there. He obviously thought that Allison was living there alone (where's Athena's boyfriend?). He is not in the mood to engage with Athena. She says that she and Allison have been closer than they've ever been and she tells him that he was drawn to Allison's darkness and now that she's finding the light, it bothers him. Almost rolling his eyes, Noah leaves to find Allison. He sees her in the pool. From the neck up she looks nude. His face lights up, but then he sees nude guys around her and is irritated. When she rises from the water, we see that she is wearing a tube top and bikini pants. I don't know why the writers wanted to give the impression that she was nude. Perhaps that's because Noah would assume that and they are showing us she is more conservative and traditional than he understands.

She introduces him to her "friends" the nude guys on the rocks. They are familiar with her and indicate they will see her soon and Noah is uncomfortable. They go eat and Allison says she's got a job in the kitchen there are something and I wonder why she's still getting waitress jobs.

Noah is talking about their future and she wonders if there is still a "we" at all. She hasn't seen him for 6 weeks. He is shocked. They talked to each other all the time. His son was sick and he couldn't have his kids around her. But that's over now. Helen has dropped the custody dispute. They can be together. He even rented that place she wanted. He's had it for a month. It's small but it's perfect for them. He says he owes her an apology. His son almost died and he didn't realize what that meant until now. He realizes he must have been insensitive to her about Gabriel and he's sorry for that. Ok, but I think anyone who HAS a kid would be more sensitive than he was. I don't think you almost have to have your kid die to develop empathy. Allison nods in acceptance of his kind words. I would not be so understanding.

She says she read highlights from his book. She's sex and no marriage can survive her. He asks did she read the whole thing. No, but she read several different parts all the way through and they all seemed to be about sex. Is that how he sees her. No. The book is based on real life, but it's a fictionalized version and it's not even about her. It's really about him. He wants her to read it before she judges. She refuses to read it. He says they're in love and it has a happy ending. Oh really? Isn't that the part his editor wants him to change, she asks.

Allison says she's been in therapy and has learned a lot. After her son died, she didn't want to talk to anyone because no one understood (I'd like to hear her say that Cole wouldn't talk to her because Josh is always saying that in interviews. I want verification that he turned her away, rather than her not being that into him in the first place). So, she sought out reckless behavior, because it was a way to feel emotion without communicating. She says mutilating herself was reckless, sex with him was reckless. He is taken aback that she defines their relationship that way. She says she hasn't had sex in 6 weeks (so did she have sex with Cole more recently than Noah. We don't know if she saw Noah after the night with Cole -- or does Treem intend to say that was just in Cole's version of the story, like the delusional person she is?)

Allison says being here has taught her a lot and he should stay and take some classes. She keeps praising one instructor, Sebastian. He is derisive and tired of her praising this guy. She leaves him and he tries to work. He can't concentrate. He can't end his story. Later she introduces him to some author he admires,Sebastian Jung, her instructor. He's surprised. Jung respects Alison and Noah respects him. Noah says that he can't write there and Jung says a true writer can write anywhere. The writing comes out, noise and bustle can't keep it in if you're in tune. He says being in such a spiritual place has done a lot for him. This causes Noah to see the place in a new light. This is not lost on Alison, the way he takes interest when someone other than she says something.

He decides to take a Reiki class it turns out that Athena is his instructor. She says she's heard he has writer's block. He denies it. He just needs to have the right place to right. She says he needs to relax. She tells him to take off his shirt. He lays down on a table. He wonders if you have to believe in this to get any benefit and she says no. To the contrary, once you experience a benefit, you start to believe. He says he doesn't think it's working. She cuts him off. She concentrates on his body, which is very embarrassing for him. She sees tension all, especially around the groin. It's supposed to be humorous and before he can respond she tells him to flip over. Although he feels both skeptical and awkward, he begins to concentrate against his will.

He has a vision of driving at a fast speed down a dark road and almost hitting something. There's someone on the side of the road and it's Allison. He comes out of his trance with a start and angrily leaves to find Allison. She is in a yoga class and he pulls her away (being a little too physical for my tastes) and takes her outside to talk. He says he wants to be with her and it's not a priority for her. She says she's put just as much into this relationship as he is. It's the first time that she confirms that she wants to stay together and I am sorry to hear it.

They spar. She says that she doesn't belong to him. They aren't living in his book and he can't control her. As if to prove her wrong he grabs her and starts with rough kissing, then tears her clothes down and turns her against the tree and they have sex with an inordinate amount of huffing and puffing. It's very similar to the sex she had with Cole in the pilot episode, in that she didn't indicate her consent, but is clearly excited about it. To me, it's more reckless behavior and tells me that's the only way they can relate. Plus, it proves that he does see her the way he painted her in his book, as a sex partner rather than a soulmate. I see it as a negative assessment of their relationship. After the sex is over, she doesn't express renewed love or delayed indignation. Instead she gasps, "I'm pregnant." He is wide-eyed and has another trance. He is on the road, driving fast. Allison turns on the side of the road and faces her. He careens right into her. Flash to him at his typewriter, hitting the keys rapidly now that he has the perfect ending to his story. I guess that's his expression of the anger and resentment he has at her being pregnant, tying him up with new obligations, just when he was feeling free, ready to move forward with her and have a full relationship with his children who were just beginning to get over their resentment at his leaving. Now this!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Season 2, Episode 5


Alison awakes in bed. Alone. She passes a hand over the empty side. She gets dressed, realizes how late it is and curses. She rushes over to the big house. Yvonne is dictatorial, barking orders at Allison and ... reading Noah's book, which she turns over to hide when Allison walks in. Yvonne says she is having company that afternoon, her daughter and the daughter's family. Allison says let her know if there is anything she can do to help and Yvonne says, "I just did." Allison asks about Robert's physical therapy. Yeah, what about it. Well, his leg needs to be stretched. Well, Yvonne got Hugo to return to help him. But Allison says that it can't be idle. So, Yvonne grudgingly says that Allison can help Robert work out.

She goes out and helps Robert exercise, even though he'd rather skip it. She asks if she has done anything to make Yvonne mad and he says no. She says Yvonne was reading Robert's book and she hasn't yet. Robert says it's quite intense. Has he read it? Only excerpts that Yvonne read to him. He assumes it's autobiographical, in part and when she seems embarrassed he says he didn't believe all that about them meeting in the lighthouse anyway. He says he hasn't seen Noah around lately and she says he's been with his sick son and she can't go with him, because she's been told to keep away from his kids.

She asks how he and Yvonne met and he said it was when he was with his first wife. Did he cheat? He says they did. Allison then goes all TMI. Um, I blame Noah for not giving her a heads up about the contents of his book, BUT she can't go crying around town about people treating her as a sex object, when she starts sprouting off about her sex life to a man who is in a somewhat troubled marriage of his own. Yes, she feels that he is a kindred spirit, especially now that she knows he's an adulterer too. She probably thinks of him as a father figure. So, maybe she's justified to feel all Robert Palmery, "I didn't mean to turn you on." Yet, I think she's irrational and always has been.

She tells Robert that nothing with Noah was planned. He just kissed her cheek (did he? I don't remember, it starting out platonically at all) and it felt explosive. Then, they were on the beach together and it just happened. Robert grows silent and she senses that she has said too much and is about to return to their exercises, but he resists. She notices that he has an erection and backs off alarmed. He says she doesn't realize the influence she has on men.

Well, that's a theme on this show and she's not sexy, so I get tired of people reacting that way to her. Strange. I mean, even in Noah's version she's no Marilyn Monroe. The men react to her not doing much of anything.

At lunch, Yvonne is ordering Allison around again and I wonder why she would willingly work in this position. Why doesn't she try to find a job nursing that does not involve children. I blamed Cole for "making" her work for Oscar last year, but now I see this is something she imposes on herself. She puts herself in an inferior role and then feels humiliated -- which I guess is something we saw in the pilot with the sex with her and Cole. Yvonne's daughter is there, pregnant, with her son. Yvonne yells at her to get hotdogs for the kid. Of course, being around kids always makes Allison feel more bruised and crazed than usual. They are all ignoring her. She's the maid, not an "assistant." She's invisible to them, unless they want mustard.

She goes back to her cabin and Robert comes and tells her that there's a new writer that Yvonne will be hiring as her new assistant, so she shouldn't feel the need to come up to the house any longer. She stammers. This doesn't have to do with what happened earlier does it. No, and he goes from being polite, to being a little dismissive. Cold as if she did something wrong rather than him being the one with inappropriate feelings. He says, "Don't make this more than it is." Well, at that point, why WOULD Allison want to work for them any longer. If they are these kind of people, it can only lead to more demoralization for her. So, why doesn't she welcome the opportunity to extricate herself? Because she's a nut. I can't feel sorry for her, as if she's been victimized somehow, not when she is laying down on the road and asking the bus to run over her. No one is throwing her under.

She says to Robert, "I don't understand." He curtly responds, "I think you do." Uh? Why does he have an attitude with her? He hobbles out. She calls Noah and doesn't get a call back. Nut that she is, she goes to Yvonne's office and says, "I think there's been a terrible misunderstanding." Making me want to kill myself. She should be going there to curse Yvonne out, not to plead to be reinstated into their haughty lives.

Yvonne's office is empty and Allison reads the pages of Noah's novel. She scans through and every where her eyes land she finds passages about their sex life. She is sex defined. No marriage, no matter how strong, could survive her. So, he's saying his marriage was good and stable and she ruined it by being a vixen. The whole book is like that. She dashes the pages to the ground and angrily knocks books off of Yvonne's shelves. So, if she wasn't fired then, she sure is now.

The thing is, let's say that Noah took creative license and doesn't see Alison that way, he should still have warned her about the book because it will undoubtedly influence the way other people see her. They will think it's about her. His agent Harry already did, so that possibility is not foreign to Noah. Even before she knew the contents of the book, she was afraid of what Robert and Yvonne thought about her. She lied about how they met, now wanting to say they had an affair. He knows she's sensitive about that. So, before he let Yvonne read the book, when she is working as Yvonne's assistant (something he didn't want her to do), he should have told Alison something of what was in the book, to keep her from being surprised by the reactions of others. The fact that he is not sensitive enough to foresee the pain she might face, is one of his character flaws and one that he never has to think about changing, because the women in his life still claw after him no matter how uncaring he is.

And that's a thing. We all know physical abuse is bad. We know emotional abuse (as in verbally berating) someone is bad, but simple carelessness and callousness, not thinking of how you emotionally hurt someone and, once you've done it once, not correcting the behavior to avoid doing it again -- society doesn't judge that kind of meanness. Not on this show and not in real life. No one is held to account for not being a beast, not being a physical abuse, but just having a conscious and chronic disregard for the feelings of others. You can express this character trait continuously and not ever have to pay the consequences for it.

She goes back to the cabin and packs her meager belonging. She calls Noah again and leaves another message. She heads to NY and as she is coming up from the subway the people on the street bump into her, without saying excuse me, without noticing they've pushed her. She's buffeted about by life. I observe this and then she says the same thing to Cole later and I think it's a really good piece of direction on the PTB's part. Then again, if it was that good, maybe they shouldn't have laid it out in the dialogue later. Even so, it's not heavy handed.

So, then she heads to Noah's house, since he won't call her back. Helen answers the door, looking chic with two streaks of blond in her dark hair. Stylish to Allison, but we know how those streaks got there.

She starts off by saying she needs to see Noah and Helen says he's not there. Allison then babbles that she didn't start off to take Helen's husband.

Now, that's the problem. Allison sees herself as some sort of victim who didn't hurt anyone, but she's hurting someone NOW. What if Noah had been there. If he doesn't want to talk to her, what right does she have to go to the home of his children and the wife that he's dumped, because her pride has been hurt. Helen has lost more than her reputation, but Allison thinks her pain justifies the visit. Forget Helen, what if Martin, Trevor or Stacy had opened the door. Does Allison think she has the right to hurt them more, because she wants to talk to the dad who has left them?

How do you go to someone's house and say I am not a sex fiend, when you are there to ask your lover why he wrote about you being a sex fiend? So, I would have been happy if Helen had told her off and smacked her. On the other hand, I always say you should not blame the other person in the triangle. You should blame your own spouse. So, maybe Helen does the right thing, even if it doesn't satisfy me. She tells Allison that no matter how wonderful and understanding Noah seems now, that it will change. He will eventually start blaming her for all of his insecurities, mistakes and failed expectations. It will all be her fault. I guess Allison has learned this already. My question is, when do you ever get to see the good side of Noah. Helen says that in the beginning he seems like Mr. Wonderful and says all of the right things. I've never really known him to do that with Alison. He's always been Mr. Less Than Wonderful. She's only just noticing it now.

She stumbles away bewildered and blubbering. With no where else to go, she gets on the bus to Montauk.


He goes to a house and knocks. Luisa opens the door and he says, "what are you doing here." She says she works there. NOw, I never understood why she was at the Butler house, but as near as I can figure, she was over visiting her mother who works there and she had the little boy she babysits during the day with her. The little boy is at the house. Luisa wants to know what he is doing there, but a lady calls him from upstairs, demanding to know what is taking him so long, and he goes up. I don't know if he is as embarrassed as I am for it.

The drunk woman from his cab is waiting for him. She is naked and jumps him Of course, I feel he is being used and won't want to with Luisa downstairs, but he is pretty into it. But she keeps calling him "ranch hand" and says she knows what he used to do. What? Was he a male prostitute in the past? I guess she just means he used to run drugs, but that's irrelevant. It doesn't make him sexy. It makes him dangerous, I suppose. A "bad boy." She wants a ranch hand, someone rough and dirty. She keeps talking that way to him and he says "shhhh." Yeah, he'll have sex with her, but he tells her to shut up. She doesn't mind being bossed around. That adds to her enjoyment. But then when he is about to climax, she says he wants him to finish on her face. What! He says. So, I think he will be indignant, shamed and walk out but -- no, he is ready to oblige her. And is in the process of doing that when her husband walks in. She screeches that he was supposed to be golfing. He punches Cole, who doesn't fight back, figuring he deserved it I guess. He hops into his pants and runs off.

He goes back to his trailer, sleeps and wakes to the sound of people touring the house. His brother Scott told the realtor that it was on the market. Cole says it is not. I admire Allison for not selling it, even though it is worth a million or two, but I would like to hear why she has not done so. I know she offered it to Cole last season, but the subject hasn't been revisited, even though Noah hinted that he wanted money from the sale. So, I'd like to hear her excuse. Maybe she doesn't sell it because her grandfather built it. But I like to think of it as having something to do with Cole.

Anyway, he tells the realtor to get lost and heads over to Scotty. Scott is on the boat and I wish that Cole would read him the riot act. If he did sell the property, Scott isn't getting any of that money and I want Cole to make him aware of that. He doesn't. Scott tells him he has a business opportunity that takes 2 million and that's why he wants Cole to sell it, for the family. Family? Yeah, Scott says. There's a mother that stands yay high and four brothers. Apparently Cole has forgotten. Luisa comes out and they are surprised to see each other again. Scott is not happy that they know each other. Cole assures him that they don't really. He and Scott yell and he walks back to the cab. Two men come up and ask if he's Scott. He points them to his brother. They are selling drugs. Luisa is infuriated and runs off. Then she is cursing. She left her clothes on the boat. Cole says he will go back for them. She doesn't seem to want to take favors from him. She distrusts him. But he goes and gets her clothes. Scott is angry and accuses him of sleeping with her. Cole denies it and says to stop doing what he's doing (the drugs?) in broad daylight.

Cole brings Luisa her clothes and she barely says thank you. She is calling around to get a ride. His cab is sitting right that and after a minute he points that out to her. She doesn't want to take it and I wish he would just drive off. But she needs to get to work and has no other options, so she gets in the back seat. Cole is amused by her hesitancy. She says he must really hate his brother, since he's helping her. He asks how long she has been dating Scotty and she smirks. She's not dating him. Really?? Does he call what he did with her boss dating? "Absolutely not" says Cole, in a way that makes me laugh, like he wouldn't be caught dead with that woman. Well, she's not dating Scott either. He sees what she means.

She says she is an illegal immigrant. he is surprised. Does he have a problem with that. NO, he doesn't, he says. If she gets caught with a guy selling drugs, she will be deported. I wonder if this means he will marry her just to keep her from being thrown out of the country and I hope that doesn't come up as a reason.

She says it's bad enough she's sleeping with Scott, but he's her boss too. Her boss? Cole is shocked. Where? At The End. Scott works at The End. Yes, he's the manager. She's surprised at how out of touch he is with his own brother.

She gets dressed in the back seat and he can see her when he looks in the mirror. She is irritated. He says sorry and averts the mirror with a smile.

When they get to "The End," she gets out in her flowing blue sarong, which is the "uniform" for the place. She says, "how do I look." He says, you look good. And then he really looks at her. And means it.

She asks how much she owes and he says it's on him.

She goes up the steps. greets her coworkers. Is pretty and pleasant. He sits in his car awhile and then goes into the bar. She's the bartender and he sits down and starts drinking. He said he is not his brother, but she says she drinks like him, as he orders one bourbon after another. He says he is Cole and he lives there, was born there, his grandfather was born there. his father was born there "and your son will be Chinese," she finishes.

He suddenly sobers up and gets ready to leave. It was a joke she says. she didn't mean anything by it. He begins to pay. She insists it was a joke. she didn't mean to offend him. He says, he knows. He said his son died. She understands and apologizes. She says they should start over and she owes him a drink. Her name is Luisa. She introduces herself as if it's the beginning. He sits down, smiles.

He goes home and i'm not happy that he's driving after all of that drinking. He doesn't seem like it was a "good" night and that he's on an upswing. When he gets to the house, the light is on. He goes in, is ready to use a baseball bat on the intruder. He goes into the bedroom and finds Allison asleep. I guess she looks wonderful and innocent to him. He awakens her and she doesn't startle. This makes me want to see her version and know if she is afraid of him. She just gives him a sleepy hi. He asks if she is ok.

She says, "do we have anything to drink." He scoffs. "We." She corrects herself, "is there anything to drink." I like that way of the dialogue conveying the feeling that they fall into the old routine so quickly. But it also makes me apprehensive. I don't want him to be pulled back into wanting her, when he was becoming interested in someone else. I don't want her to reject him yet again.

He says that there's nothing but his grandfather's old moonshine. Does she want that? I guess she doesn't, because I don't see her drinking any. "You aren't staying here?" She says. So, if he is staying in a place he keeps it stocked with booze? If that's the case, there should be plenty in his trailer. He says, no he isn't. I like the fact that she crawled into bed, his bed, their old bed, thinking that he was still using it.

He asks if she is ok. Did Noah do something to her. She says no, but sometimes she feels invisible, as if people don't even see her. They only think of her as a sexual object, not as a person. He says, "I don't. I don't see you that way." And I resent her, because she doesn't see him as a human who has been hurt by her, but wants people to see her as a person. She comes crying on his shoulder, oblivious to his own loneliness and tears. She says she is sorry. She says she shouldn't have come there. She shouldn't have just let herself in like that. Is he mad? He reminds her that it's her house. I like that he feels that way, even though no one else does. He doesn't consider it his and even last season before he held the gun on her, he told her he fixed it up for her to sale. He didn't want anything for himself. He says it's ok and she should get some sleep.

I am glad that he is walking away, but inevitably she calls him back (I bet she doesn't in her version) and asks him to just stay with her. He gets into the bed, just to spoon her over the covers (reminds me of Mulder and Scully in Requiem). He kisses her head. She kisses his hand. More comforting kisses, but of course they lead to more. He moves from behind to above her and kisses her. She kisses back and pulls him in.

At dawn he is sitting on the deck. I'm just relieved he's not in bed mooning over her sleeping form. He is peaceful. Scott comes and asks how he is and he says pretty good, but shoos Scott off. Scott realizes he is not alone and assumes he has Luisa there. Scott starts yelling that Luisa is his. Cole says he has the wrong idea and Allison comes out in a blanket, with a question. Cole? I hope that she heard Scott accuse him of sleeping with someone else and meant, "what's all this about" and doesn't think that Cole has just been waiting for her. But in a way it's worse, because she probably doesn't care what Cole has been doing, one way or another. Maybe the way she said, "Cole" just meant don't get into a fistfight with your brother, which, I suppose, would be rather caring and wifely on her part, so I should be satisfied with that too.

In the present, the police detective is talking to Noah's lawyer. The detective says that Cole is a suspect and they have rushed to judgment with Noah. He says that Cole stole Scott's business plan out from under him and owns the End. I am glad to hear that Cole is a success and where did Cole get the money? From Allison's house, obviously. So, either they are business partners or he accepted her offer to use the equity to invest. Either way, I like that she trusted him and that it paid off for him. The police detective angrily tells Noah's attorney to go pound sand. The waiter serving them is Oscar and the sign on the establishment says "Lockhart Lobster Roll," so Cole owns that too and is now Oscar's boss. I'm so proud. Of course, this will backfire, because Oscar gave Noah's lawyer something. I am sure Oscar is just itching to incriminate Cole. I will be satisfied to have Allison more concerned about clearing Cole than she ever was Noah, though. That would tickle me.

Now, with them sleeping together, there's the fear that he might be the father of her ugly little baby. But last year, I thought that Oscar, Noah and Cole would all be paternal possibilities and she did not get pregnant after that. So, she probably won't get pregnant this time either. And I would have a real problem if she knows that Cole might be the father of her baby -- after he's lost Gabriel as well -- and her not telling him, just to stay with Noah. Furthermore, I'd hate for Cole to be so stupid as not to count and realize he's a daddy candidate, since he knows when they slept together and will know when the kid is born. So, I have to assume that the pregnancy comes well after their night.

And I'm glad to know that Allison's current wealth probably comes from her share of the royalties and not just from stupid Noah's book. In fact, Noah's book profits are not enough for him to be able to afford a lawyer. Helen's paying for that. I think there's been a rewrite since last season ended and they are making current Noah poorer than he was last season.

Anyway, I enjoyed the episode. I don't enjoy Cole's pain though. I don't want next week to open with Allison telling a different, distant story of what happened between them. I don't want him wanting more than she is interested in giving. I want him still ready to move on. Josh mentioned "rebound" sex in an interview and I guess this is what he meant. I didn't want Cole to be the one used on the rebound.

In watching, I am so protective of Cole that I don't even notice when surprising things happen. It should have been a surprise to me that Cole and Allison had another night to me, but I can't appreciate it as a plot twist. I only see it as something that will keep Cole a lesser character and make him supporting and cast off, when I want him to be desired and stage center.

My perspective is also so skewered that I didn't even find the ranch hand scenes funny. I just kept thinking, "Oh, it must be awful for Cole to be belittled by this woman who sees him as nothing more than a handy man who is beneath her. He OWNED that ranch. He didn't just work on it." But Cole is not sharing any of my angst. He was just happy to get sex. I laughed at the Max scenes, but when Cole is in scenes that are intended to provide comic relief, I am so anxious about Josh's role on the show that I don't see it as such. It was two hours after I watched that I figured the early sex scene was supposed to be funny and not demeaning for Cole.

Still, even though watching still causes considerable pain, I am enjoying the quiet storytelling this season much more than I could last season, when I cared about Allison and Cole staying together. Now, I've been promised that Cole will have a future without Allison and I content to watch his journey towards it and also entertained by the other characters, whom I can watch with an objective disinterest I could not muster in S1. I was a bitter Josh fan last year and this year, while I still wish he had more to do, I am happy with the definition his character has obtained and pleased with his handling of the role.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Season 2, Episode 4

I didn't realize that four points of views would mean Josh would be off the show for 2 weeks at a time. He probably wants this, as I am sure that the time off he got on Fringe was for his necessities, not the script's, but it tends to marginalize any character development that Cole makes.


They're in court fighting over child custody. Her lawyer says that Noah left once, asked to come back (well, from his pov she begged him to come back), vowing his re-commitment to their family, only to leave again. And he's still lying. Whitney told Helen that Noah was living with Alison. The judge seems to be on Noah's side until the lawyer says that the kids should not visit Noah's cramped space when they have their own brownstone. This sparks the judge's interest. He wants to know how much it is worth. Helen says that it is not hers. It's part of a trust. Noah's attorney is quick to say the brownstone is worth $3 mil. I don't know why this makes a difference to the judge. Helen was focusing on the fact that she was left with four kids all by herself, but I didn't know she was claiming it was a financial struggle. The judge says that Noah can have visitation with the kids, but they can't be around Alison.

Outside, Helen tells the lawyer how much she hates NOah. It's understandable. She's hurt, but to the extent that she's vengeful, it's irritating because she is using the kids to get back at him, which is realistic and what a lot of women do in divorce, but in those cases, the woman is financially crippled by the divorce and they have an extra dose of bitterness. For Helen, she's just trying to keep Noah and for what reason? I understand that she is lonely, but being with a man who doesn't want to be with you doesn't cure the loneliness. Just the opposite. She can't be clinging to him due to pride because taking him back after all that's gone on would make her seem more pathetic than just being dumped does. So, I don't get it. I thought Helen loved her kids more than to use them to punish Noah. The little kids need and love him. Martin may resent him, but is having issues right now (more than Helen even realizes) and needs him there and Whitney -- well, it definitely takes 2 parents to handle her.

So, why are the writers having Helen act like this. Last year, I think it's because they wanted people to root for Noah to get away from her. But since they've acknowledged that Noah is a creep this Season, why make (or keep) Helen unlikable too? Let her hate Noah -- as she tells her lawyer (now, miraculously Noah's criminal defense lawyer) she does. Let her do spiteful things to him, but at least let her keep her kids out of the melee.

She is getting texts from Whitney saying she hates Grandma and won't go anywhere with her and one can see that she is overwhelmed. But by the time she gets home, Whitney is on the way out with Grandma. When Helen wonders why she changed her mind, Whitney says because Grandma paid her.

Helen tells her mother that the judge freaked when he found out they have money. Noah didn't want the house before, but now he is making a claim (is he? I guess he realized that looking poor makes him more sympathetic) and she wants her mother to talk to her father, because if he knows anything, it's how to protect his money. Margaret says she can't talk to the father and busies herself preparing to leave. Helen balks that her mom is so frivolous and won't take the time to help her, even though she is the one who pulled for this divorce in the first place.

Margaret says she can't talk to the father, because he left her. He ran off with his mistress. Helen doesn't say she's sorry, but she backs off and hands her mother her drink to finish off. They share knowing looks of shared pain. Max surprises Helen. He has taken the day off.

He talks again how he can't believe he has her now, the prettiest, most popular girl in school. He doesn't deserve her, but Noah didn't either and she married him. He seems a bit bitter, but talks about his own divorce and says something about how sleeping together one last time freed them and got rid of the animosity. I can only think this was said to foreshadow Noah and Helen sleeping together at some point, but they already briefly reconciled and it didn't work.

Max wants to give her her present. Doesn't she want it before or after they have sex? He is vulgar about it, but on the border between insulting and amusing. She says, how about the present first. It's a trip for the holiday. She says she doesn't even know where her life will be at by then. He says Noah can take the kids. She says that he doesn't have a place to keep them. He gave Noah $50,000. He ought to be a able to find a place to stay. What?!

She is shocked that he gave Noah money. He said that he just thinks that the sooner she and Noah divorce, the happier they will all be. She says she thought she could do this, but she can't. It's too weird. She doesn't say that although she knew Max had been Noah's best friend, she didn't know that he intended to stay that. I sure didn't. Although Max's personality can put one off enough, this 50K revelation rightly bothers her and I think her reaction is sensible.

Max's bitter side comes out. Obsessed with "f---", he bitingly says that nothing is ever good enough for her and it never has been. Not in school and not now. She coldly says, "Noah is the one who left me." He leaves. I hope they don't make up later. It was as if he dropped a façade. She may not have known that part of him was there under all the friendly bluster, but now that he's revealed it, she'd be crazy to forget. He didn't just seem hurt or rejected, he seemed malevolent. And it was not as if he wanted her because he'd fawned all of these years. He wanted her to prove something to himself, another attainment. He may have looked like a long-time admirer, but he exposed long-term jealousy and resentment. Once someone shows their true self, believe them.

In her bedroom, she looks at her gray hair. Her nails need a manicure as well. At first I forgot this was intentional by the producers. I thought it was an oversight, but they are trying to show Helen disheveled, like they did with Cole. She puts on some music and takes the pot-laced candy that Max gave her. Is this more potent than regular pot, because the way she acts is outrageous. I don't think alcohol or drugs would actually cause this behavior. It's the writers indulging themselves.

She goes to the hairdresser and talks about queefing. She asks the hairdresser if they're friends and the woman says "sure" making it obvious that she doesn't consider them close, emphasizing how alone Helen is. Helen is bothered by the woman at the next table. She feels paranoid, thinks they're laughing at her, like all of her social friends are. They are only concerned about her divorce, because they think it's contagious and might happen to them. She looks in the mirror and sees her mother's face staring back. That's fine, but I would have liked to see a little more sympathy for her mother than she's shown, in addition to the realization that she's looking at her own unhappy future. She pushes aside the melancholy, is loud and laughing, but then realizes that she thinks it is the wrong day and her kids are at school waiting to be picked up. She thought it was Noah's day. She rushes out with foil still in her hair. She stops long enough to tell the woman at the next table to stop laughing.

At the school, she is talking too much as she picks up the kids. Stacey has made a rocket and it blocks the rear window. Helen tells her to push it down. A woman is yelling at Helen to move her car, which was parked in a handi-capped space. Helen backs out. Stacey hits her head. A woman in the parking lot is almost hit. They call the police. Helen is incoherent, not cooperative. Noah comes and as Helen looks at him from the police car, he seems confident and in charge. Everything she us not. He kisses and hugs the kids. Comes towards her. Stacey wasn't buckled in. What is THAT all about. She says only At the car, "why are you doing this to us." In jail, she is crying. Mascara running down her face. The foil having bleached her hair white. In jail women are talking about their baby daddies and how one is not going to see the kid, which is the same thing that Helen was doing to Noah, but we don't know if she appreciates the comparison or feels that she has nothing in common with those women.


Noah is in court and when his lawyer lies and says that Alison is not living with him, he tries to protest and interject the truth. He wants to object when the judge says that Allison can't be near the kids. He does say that the plan was to have her leave when he had the kids, though. He definitely does not recall the judge doing an about face and being on his side as Helen did.

Alison is waiting for him for lunch. She looks fresh and happy. An oasis where he'd like to escape. She tells him about an apartment she's found that's perfect for them. It's light and airy. He tells her that the judge says he can't live with her, so they can't take the apartment. She is angry and hurt. She says maybe they should give Helen what she wants. What? is she saying that he should only be a weekend father and not pursue joint custody. Is that what she thinks. She says she doesn't know what she thinks. He says it sounds like she does.
He gets a phone call and has to go.

He goes to the school and tends to his kids. When he confronts Helen, she is more high than miserable. She asks why does he get to mess up and she doesn't. Then, she giddily keels over. He takes the kids home. Trevor tells Stacey their mom is in jail, but Noah denies it.

When he goes through the house, he sees Helen's clothes strewn everywhere and it's clear to him that she's been having sex. When the kids asks if he will be staying there, he looks at Helen's rumpled bed and says no. He tells them to pack their things. They're going some place else. We wonder where they are driving. Is he going to Alison? He tries to make small talk with Martin, who loves sports. Martin knows that Noah is faking it. When he reaches their destination in a modest suburban neighborhood, we still don't know where they are, but the man mentions that his father is inside. Noah says that if Nina'd told him that, then he wouldn't have come. So, it's his sister's place.

The kids run and play with their cousins who have a new trampoline. In the house, his father ignores him, but is happy to watch a ball game with Martin. Noah tries to watch too, but doesn't even know which athlete plays for which sport. Martin tells Noah he's blocking the view of the screen. When he sends Martin off to get nuts, the dad corrects Noah about a player playing for the NFL, not baseball. Noah says he realizes that (belatedly). The father tells Noah that when his mother was ailing with cancer, she tried to fix him up with a pretty blond, but he said no, because he loved his wife. Noah is disgusted.

He goes into the kitchen. His sister is friendly. Does he remember the first time Noah brought Helen to the house. She offered Helen wine and Helen actually made a face. Did she really? Yes, Nina mimics it. Did Helen really drive those kids when she was high. He says yes and in a way it's a great thing. He didn't have a custody chance before. Now that this has happened, he might actually make a bid for full custody (which makes him look horrible). Nina becomes hesitant. Does he really think he can raise those four kids by himself? He says he can and is angry that she doubts it. She says she's sorry, but she loves those kids and she doesn't think he's up to it, even though she and Helen have had their differences, Noah is selfish and did leave to have an affair. He is furious and says they're going. She can't believe it. "This is why I never visit" he yells. He grabs his kids. Stops a protesting Martin from watching the game, actually has to get on the trampoline and chase and pull a resisting Trevor off of it. To spoil the rest of their night after their mother has been arrested and Stacy has been in a car accident is a bit much and proves that Nina's instincts about him being an awful father are right.

He takes them all to a motel. He calls Alison and tells her where he's at. He hangs up and wonders why Martin has been in the bathroom so long. He opens the door, even though Martin is yelling for him to get out. He calls Alison. Gee, he remembers that she's a nurse. She tells him to put pressure on Martin's stomach, try to get him to hop on one leg. He tries, but Martin shrieks at him. Noah tells her that Martin won't let him touch him. Eventually Martin feels the urge to evacuate and tells Noah to get out of the bathroom. Later Martin is asleep and Noah is stroking his head.

He gets a call and Alison is down in the parking lot. She is smiling. She has brought him a pack of beer. No pressure about choosing between her and the kids. She just makes him feel good. She's being that oasis in the desert again. He goes down to her. I question his judgment about leaving his kids alone in a motel room, given the security issues. Even if he's always in sight of the room, it doesn't seem to be the safest neighborhood.