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!