Sunday, November 8, 2015

Season 2, Episode 5

ALLISON'S STORY

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.

COLE'S STORY

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.

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