Monday, December 21, 2015

Season 2, Episode 11


In the courtroom Cole is recounting how Noah was choking Scott and Scott couldn't breathe. He pulled Noah off of his brother.He thought Noah was going to kill Scott. Noah's lawyer asks what Cole sees when he looks at Noah. Cole says he feels nothing and I'm glad about this. I don't think it's a lie. It's the truth, that there's no rage there. The lawyer asks doesn't he hate Noah for sleeping with his wife. Cole says ex-wife. Alison is just in the audience looking nervous and, at one point, averting her eyes from Cole and that bothers me. I wish her loyalties were clear. Or to the extent that they aren't clear and aren't with Cole, I wish they were.

I was surprised when the episode opened with Cole, his appearance was so fulfilling last week in Alison's story, that this is an embarrassment of riches. He and Luisa are driving and the fact that she has her shoes off and her feet on the dashboard works in her disfavor for me.

They are on the way to meet his mother and that annoys me, too, because her need to be a part of the family that he is rightfully distancing himself from is not only misguided but hurtful. She knows about Scott's drugs. I don't know if she realizes the mother's lie and Cole himself may not know how manipulative Cherry can be outside of his presence, but I think you should respect your mate enough to honor the boundaries he has set in parts of his life that predate or don't concern you.

Cole tells her that no matter what his mother won't like her and that she will tell her that they're cursed immediately, so she might not want to bring up the fibroids. I am glad they can joke about what was a painful subject and I'd like to know how they worked themselves past the night of the fire -- the fire itself.

She gets a phone call from her boss and Cole pulls over to give her better reception. She answers questions about what to do with the meat and we see she is a competent business woman and Cole defers to her job, which is unlike what he had with Alison.

He is walking on the beach, looking at the closed Lobster Roll, contemplating.

They are at a hotel. He is kissing her so much that she eventually says she has to go take a bath. Josh has tamped down his scenes significantly. He has less overt sex than the other characters and I have no complaints about that. She goes out to ask for some soap and Cole recognizes the housekeeper's voice. It is Cherry. Luisa is embarrassed and Cole is stunned and saddened to see his mother pushing the housekeeper's cart and humbled, although it's good medicine for her and she can't act like a raging evil psycho while at work, which may ward off the crazy a little longer. They say they will see Cherry later and, a bit shame-faced she says they will.

Later she is showing them pictures and she says she wishes they could have kept the ranch a little longer for Luisa's sake. Cole is surprised and dismayed to learn that she sold Cora's breakfront (?) and she says that he was gone for a long time and wasn't exactly around to give input.

Scott comes in and starts trying to get Cole to invest again. To Scott's credit, he hasn't spilled the beans about the baby to get the loan he wants so badly. I'm not sure why. Maybe he is doing it because there's some decency lying underneath, still. But that decency should be looking out for his brother's interests, not Alison's. Scott says he has $38,000 and needs half a million more. I don't know who Scott's other investor is and it might be interesting to find out. Not Max, I hope.

Cole tells Scott he looks awful and Scott says that Cole doesn't. I guess Cole doesn't look like a drunk anymore, but I don't like his pants. They tighten around his waist in a way that makes him look pudgy and poor, if sober. Josh could bring on the sexy more in different pants. A nice pair of jeans would do it.

Cole tells Scott it's absurd to think he can buy the lobster roll with $38k and then is shocked to learn that Cherry has been giving him money that she doesn't have. He tells Scott he needs to use that money to get sober. He tells Cherry and Luisa they need to leave.

They are having tea at Margaret's house with Luisa's mother. Margaret wants to know when the wedding is, so she can tell the landscapers. Cole is puzzled. Margaret has asked them to have the wedding at her house. Luisa practically grew up there and the house is empty now. They all stammer in a way that makes me mad. Spit out the truth about why that's not a good idea or don't. You don't have to give this stranger a reason. Cole says this is a Lockhart - [who knows Luisa's last name] wedding and it's a small private affair. Lockhart? Margaret asks. Is he the one who impregnated her granddaughter? No, Cole says tightly. That would be Scott.

Is he the one who shot her son-in-law. Cole doesn't answer, but kind of grabs his mother's arm and says they need to leave and I like the way he takes charge. I am waiting for Margaret to say that shooting Noah was a good thing, but she says that she has learned as she gets older that forgiveness is important and they can have the wedding there if they want.

Later, he says they can elope. Luisa doesn't want to. They can go to Vegas. She thinks that's a terrible idea. He suggests they marry at the Lobster Roll. She says it's falling apart, is he crazy? He says they should buy it and fix it up. She says they don't have any more money than Scott does. He says he has his money from Alison's house. She thought he didn't want to touch it. He doesn't, but he would, for this. It costs $2,000,000. He'd only have about half.

He says that Alison has the other half. He's pretty sure she hasn't touched her money. Why would he think that? And she was supporting Noah at one point. Did he pay her back? I guess since he later says he paid for her to go to med school.

Luisa said she can't believe that he wants to go into business with his ex-wife who cheated on him. He repeats that Alison did cheat on him and says that if Luisa is worried about him getting back together with Alison, she shouldn't. He promises that will never happen [well, it probably will happen in the future and if so, I wonder why. Bonding over the baby I guess. My worst nightmare is that Scott's secret will outlast the murder trial and Luisa will find out about the baby and hide the truth, just like in the daytime soaps, so Cole will have reason to hate her, but I'll be stressed silly waiting for the prolonged denouement).

Cole says Luisa can be her own boss. No more phone calls from the crazy general manager. She says they'd be out of the frying pan and into the fire, because they'd have to deal with the crazy Scott. He says they can't do it without Scott, but not the way he is now. He will have to go to rehab. Seeing as how she used to sleep with Scott, I wouldn't want to work with him, even when he was sober, but he's right that the Lobster Roll is a great buy. You can't enter or leave town without passing it and it's been there for years. She can keep the traditions, but make it her own as well.

Luisa hesitantly asks what if she says no to the Lobster Roll. What does she mean, Cole wonders. What if she says no. Is the wedding off. What? Cole is surprised by the question. He says he'll marry her anywhere she wants. I like the way he's not bossy the way he was with Alison AND he is unfaltering in his love for Luisa -- although I haven't seen that much to love. They are showing us and her that he's not putting any conditions or demands on it. So, any insecurities she had about him just dissolve.

They are at an auction. The property sells for 1.4 million (so they should both have a little $ left over). Cole has the paddle in hand and he and Alison are sitting side by side, looking pleased as punch. Does she need a ride back to the train? No, she says she wants to go take a look at their acquisition.

Scott comes in and says that THEY won. He was waiting outside to see who had stolen his dream from him and now he learns that Alison and Cole bought it. They're in business. He gives Cole the bag of 38K that he's been carrying around with him, as if that would have been enough to win at the auction. Cole tells Scott he needs to take his money and do something good for himself. He needs help.

At first he is angry and Scott pushes back and says he could tell him something that would change his life.
Alison looks alarm and screams at Scott -- but not as if to stop him from spilling a damaging secret. But Scott goes from angry madman to wretch and begins sobbing. He stumbles to the floor and Cole picks him up and holds him and tells him to get some help. He promises to bring him into the business, if he goes away and gets help first. Scott asks if Cole really promises and Cole does. He rocks Scott in his arms and says that this has got to stop. We don't see Alison and i wonder what she thinks about this scene. Compassion for Scott or just selfish apprehension. Is she as selfish as she was last year? We haven't seen as much of her as we have of NOah and his inner workings.

Later, driving in the car with Scott, Cole asks him what he knows that could change his life. So, Cole was listening to Scott's ravings and put credit in them. Scott says nothing, pretends to nod off.


So, Noah and Cole in the same story. Does that mean we get Helen and Alison next week? Well, it could be interesting, if Helen confronts Alison about paternity.

Noah is writing in the bathroom. Alison comes in and takes a shower. She says she needs to talk to Noah. He is busy. How about tonight. He says they will make it a date night.

Noah's agent wants a book. He needs to keep Noah's name out there. It's taking Noah too long a time to write about the military guy Omar. Maybe write Ascent, a sequel to Descent. He did Descent quickly and he can knock out another one, make money and then use it to take his time to write about Omar. Noah doesn't want to be Danielle Steel. He wants to write something of value and there's so much going on at home. He seethes that he has to write in the bathroom when no one else is up, because Alison has turned his office into a NURSERY! Well, where did he expect the kid to sleep, once it was born? Alison is taking an exam and if she doesn't pass it, she won't get into medical school. He can't leave her to concentrate on his work now. And he spends an hour a day (really?) writing to Whitney asking her forgiveness and she never answers him.

He goes home and Alison's not there. The nanny is with the kids. He goes over to Alison's school, with flowers to congratulate her and learns that she dropped her class weeks ago. She didn't take any exam. He gets a call on his phone, exclaims that he can't believe who it is and meets up with Oscar.

Oscar says he went in debt after the hurricane damage and lost the Lobster Roll. Guess who bought it from under his nose? He shows him a cell phone picture of Cole and Alison. They aren't embracing, but Alison has her hand on Cole's chest, it seems. Noah can't believe it. Oscar says that lying is par for the course, for Alison. SHe's pathological. That sad look in her eye isn't about Gabriel. It was always there. You always thought she was a damsel in distress who needed saving, but he's using him, just like she did Oscar years ago.

Distraught, but skeptical about Oscar's motives, Noah goes to Max's. Max greets him warmly. They hug. It's a great beach house. He starts complaining about Alison and Max says that in the old days they would hang out together and then the next day Noah would come to him with his problems and they'd solve it and hang out again, but nowadays, Noah just comes with his problems and he never sees him anymore. He's not friends with him anymore, he's just a soundboard when he needs it. Noah says that he'll leave. No, he should stay and gripe, but then he should come back another time and actually socialize, give and take, ask Max how he is.

Noah is humbled and says he's just embarrassed about how they parted at that party before. Max agrees that party was a disaster. Noah wonders if Alison has been lying the whole time and Max says Noah is crazy to think so. I am rather surprised he is defending Alison. But when Noah says he paid for Alison to go to med school, because he thought it would make her happy, Max says that he is surprised that Alison was studying medicine. Why? What is he trying to imply?

Noah says he has the kids right now. Helen has a new boyfriend and is "bananas" about him. Who is is? He is the doctor that treated Martin. Max can't believe it. Are you kidding him? "I wish I was," says Noah. Why does he wish that? Does he wish Helen wasn't dating? Max asks if Helen is in love with the new guy. Noah had just been talking, but his ears perk and he observes Max's mood, constrained. Why does Max want to know if Helen is in love?

Has he been sleeping with Helen. Did you f my wife? This is strange to me, because Noah immediately goes to the sex -- and the possessive -- "my wife" and doesn't ask whether Max is in love with Helen himself. Why can't it just be hurt feelings. Why always the sex? Max says that he loves Helen and always has. Which I like because it's clear it wasn't just about the fornication for Max, but that's all Noah hears. Noah says that Max paid $50,000 to f his wife. He is ready to leave and Max says don't. Don't do that. Say something. Noah says there's nothing to say. He's not going to tell him what he did was all right. Max says that Helen was his EX wife and Noah walked away. Max didn't take her. Noah left her. But she didn't want Max. She still wanted Noah, no matter what he did.

Max says that he loves Noah. Noah says that all of this time that Max has been jealous of him, not really his friend. That's not friendship. Max's problem is that he thinks he can buy everything, but he can't. He's an empty guy and all he has is his big house and possessions.

Good contrast that Noah says Helen is his wife repeatedly, even after Max corrects him and says "ex." When we began, when the lawyer called Alison, Cole's wife, Cole said, "EX." So, Cole has moved on and Noah hasn't. Although, Cole was on the stand with a reason to distance himself from Alison, but I like the implications, just like I enjoyed the part in the Thanksgiving show when Alison said that Noah saw her having sex with her husband -- like he still was her her husband.

Noah storms out. He gets a call and meets Alison at the Lobster Roll. She says, "please don't be angry." He says he's not angry. He was angry six hours ago and now he's just tired. Why did she lie. She said she tried to talk to him and didn't have the chance. Cole just called her and she had to act quickly. I would have liked to hear that conversation with Cole. Noah says that he is not comfortable with her working with her ex and she can still give up the restaurant. It's a done deal, she says. She can sell her share. She says she can't. Why, he asks. She just looks and then he asks if she is sleeping with Cole. Now, this interests me, because what did Noah take from her look? That she loves Cole and has to do this for him? Maybe so, because he immediately says, "Are you sleeping with him again." No, she says, she knew he would ask that and she's not. Of course, she doesn't promise never to do that as Cole did. And she doesn't say she has fairly recently either.

She says that she has to do this for HER (but I want to think it's a little about Cole, too). She says that she was a Montauk girl born and raised and she doesn't belong at book parties. She feels this is right. And Scott was correct that the Lobster Roll mints money (if it did, Oscar would have been more successful, but ok). This is what she wants to do. I am glad she is resolute in this and not wavering and whining, per usual. Noah is resigned. Is she going to move to Montauk. Is she taking Joanie with her (he hopes. I hate the name Joanie. It's like their baby is as old as Erin Moran). She says she doesn't know. She had hoped they would figure it out together. If I was Noah I'd say it was too late to make it about "them" now. But he just looks like he'll give it a try.

In Court, present day, Max is on the stand. He says that he saw Noah drive to his home. Since his car was not visible, he thinks NOah thought that he was not there, but he looked out the window and he saw Noah washing something from the front of the car. When he went outside afterwards, he saw blood on the driveway. How does he know it was Noah? Because the floodlights were on and he could see pretty clearly and because he has known Noah for 30 years and recognized him.

The whole audience thinks it's pretty incriminating. And the sidelong look that Max gives Noah? Is it triumph?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Season 2, Episode 10


This entire half of the show consisted of Noah talking to his couples therapist alone. I think it was the first time I was impressed with Dominic West's talent on this series. It went on about 5 minutes too long, but it was still admirable and should definitely make an Emmy reel. The only problem is there may not be any stand out lines, taken out of context. It's the conversation alone that was the triumph.

And it wasn't only that his delivery was good. It's that the dialogue worked. Even in the theater, when a character talks this much, for this long, it sounds unnatural. For the most part, Noah seemed human, not monologue-y and staged. And being a writer and teacher and a self-obsessed nut, it seemed believable that he would put this much thought into his feelings. People accuse Lindsey Buckingham of sounding like he's had a psychotherapy overdose when he introduces one of his songs. In this case, Noah WAS with his psychotherapist and his talk still didn't sound forced or unrealistic. I hate it when someone explains their reaction to something and diagnoses their own emotions, i.e. Howard Stern saying, "I went into radio because it was the only way I could get my father's attention. He loved listening to the radio and blocked everything else out, so I started broadcasting, because then I knew he would be forced to listen to me." That's too self-aware and precious, as if the derivation of our every act can be easily traced and expressed. It shows that the speaker has a very simplistic way of thinking, but likes to present it as deeply introspective. But Noah's words were more searching stream of consciousness than pat explanations.

He and the counselor are waiting for Allison. He calls her, but she doesn't answer (that happens to them a lot). Allison has gone back to school (it's a year after the kid's birth) to become a doctor and maybe she stayed after class to ask a question. He tries to help out as much as he can and got up with the baby last night. He got little sleep. The baby goes "Mama, mama, mama." The counselor is surprised. Is she old enough to talk? Yes, but he can't get her to say "dada" to save his life. But he loves her anyway, he says as an awkward after thought.

He says he is not going to talk about it until Alison comes and prepares to leave, but the counselor presses him. It can still be couples therapy, even if its her and him one on one and the more he starts talking, the more he reveals without intending to.

He says that he catches Alison staring at him with the baby, as if she's trying to figure things out. The doctor rather too magically says that he describes Whitney, Helen and Alison as all looking him in a certain kind of way. Helen when she found out about the affair. Whitney when he last saw her and now Alison. Isn't it important that all the women in his life stare at him??

He has to meet a student that evening. She's the smartest one in his class and is always making passes at him (isn't everyone) and he wants to sleep with her, just to bend her over his desk. The counselor pounces and says it's not the first time he's wanted to be unfaithful to Alison. He was with Helen for 20 years and made ONE mistake. Alison was his first "mistake" -- he rushes to say he doesn't consider her that. He just misspoke. But the counselor says now that he strayed once, it's easy to do it again. It's common when two people got together by having an affair for their own relationship to experience that outside desire and lack of trust. He's wanted to be with other women besides this student?

Yes, he tells her about Eden and how he sidled over to two women and it turned out to be Whitney and he ran away. He didn't stop himself from sleeping with Eden. He got shocked out of it. He left his daughter there and just as that happened with his eldest, his newest baby was being born at the same time. It has taken this whole year for Alison to forgive him for missing the birth and he has tried to make up for it, by doing chores and babysitting.

Helen and Vic are on vacation and they've had the kids. Does that bother him? No, he's happy for Helen. Vic seems to make her happy. Is Vic that doctor from last episode? I didn't get his name.

When talking about Whitney, he reveals he hasn't seen her for a year.

The thing he wanted to wait to say until Alison came was that his divorce is final. He got the papers, but didn't tell her yet. At Cloud Springs (was that the cabin they stayed at or the place where she was studying yoga with Athena) he would have married her in a heart beat. Now he doesn't know. He wants to write a third book that means something. His second did very well, but he knew he wanted to write something with significance. There's this real life guy, a war hero or something and he wants to write about him. He needs to go to Paris to finish the book, but he can't get away, can't leave Alison with the baby.

He likes being with a family and having people dependent on him and having a home, but he also wants to be with that student of his too. He talks about the subject of his book. The counselor says there are no women in this book right? Did he tell her that? No. He just said that he didn't want any characters in it that Alison might think resemble her. He didn't want to have that tension again. So, it's a war story, with all men, but then Marlene Dietrich shows up and she and the war hero have a thing. He grins slyly, clearly fantasizing vicariously as a biographer. Did he make up Dietrich. No, it really happened. They knew each other. They have been pictured together, but the affair is just conjecture.

Part of him wants to be that, to leave his responsibilities and have affairs and write great books, like Hemingway. But it's hard to do that when you're up at 3 a.m. changing diapers.

The doctor tells him that he can get a babysitter and still go to Paris. It doesn't have to be one or the other. His yearning to be a great writer, doesn't make him a bad father. She says their time is up and he's surprised it went so fast.

When he goes home, Alison is washing dishes and he says he will take over and she says no, she is almost finished. They end up doing them together. She says she was late because of class. He says maybe they have had enough counseling. After all their relationship has been repaired hasn't it? He pushes the divorce papers deeper into his jacket pocket and doesn't tell her about them.


Alison is putting the baby to sleep. She gets back into bed and says that the baby finally went down, thank heaven. She says next time it is Noah's turn. He says, "she doesn't want me, she wants her mama." He turns over and Alison tries to study.

Alison is at school, in a lecture, looking uncertain, inferior to the laughing students around her. When they take a break, she asks the teacher the last day to drop the class without getting a bad grade. He says it's tomorrow, but she shouldn't. She's a nurse right? Yes. Then this stuff isn't new to her. It's not new, but it's been a long time and she has a new baby at home. He says his advice is for her not to stop now. The longer you stay out of school, the harder it is to go back. She nods, but then leaves the lecture early when he is talking about the test they are supposed to cover tomorrow and we know she doesn't intend to take it.

When she gets to her apartment Scotty is there, looking half crazed and hyper. He says he wants money to buy Oscar's Lobster Roll and he knows she has it because he knows what her house sold for (so it didn't burn to the ground). She is surprised when he tells her that Oscar is going into foreclosure. He says he doesn't sell drugs any more. He was forced into stopping and he's obviously bitter about it. She says he looks like he still USES drugs though. She says that she can't help him. He becomes angry and says, sure she can, look at her swanky digs. She's a success. He already has one partner. He just needs her money to make it happen. She is backing away when the nanny comes up with her daughter, Joannie.

Scotty looks at the kid and is suddenly interested. The nanny says that people say the kid looks like Alison, but she thinks she looks like her daddy. Scotty peers into the stroller and says, "Oh I think she looks like her daddy too." His manner goes from desperate to cocky and jocular. He tells Alison it's been a great visit and heads off. Alison is zoning out and hardly hears the nanny asking if she's ready to go upstairs. She falters and then asks the nanny if she can stay until 4.

Then, I guess time has elapsed, but it looks like Alison has just turned the corner. She goes into a bar where Cole is sitting at the counter looking dreamy (sigh). He rises to greet her and says, "What do we do? Do we hug." She nods in a manner that is more friendly than awkward. I feel that she is really glad to see him in a way and he her, but not with longing. I like that, that he seems over her. I don't know if she blamed him for burning down the house and if Treem will revisit what happened or if she is just happy to have skipped forward a year and ignore all the unfinished plot points leap frogged over by time (like the direct aftermath of Alison and Cole sleeping together and how they parted after that happened). Maybe we'll never know why the house wasn't a total loss.

Alison says she heard Cole was living in Green point, Connecticut and couldn't believe it. He says yes. He does some construction jobs. Does he really have to? He has his share of the money from the house. He says he's not going to touch it, it belongs to her. She says she took HER half of the money out of the bank and if he doesn't touch his share, it will remain there forever. She won't take it out (I love her for that, especially since she was so hot for his ranch money last year and it made me hate her). He just shrugs.

He is surprised that she orders a Blanton neat. I don't know why or what that is. Is it more sophisticated than what she drank in the past? More expensive. The bartender fixes Cole's regular and Cole recommends the olives to her. She says that he seems to come here often. Well, Luisa's bar is across the street. It's not hers, but she manages it, so he hangs out here often, so as not to get in her way too much. I like that he does it to be near the woman he loves and not because he's a big alcoholic, drowning his sorrows. But maybe that's part of it too. I'll have to see more of him and Luisa together, to see what he's repressing in that relationship, aside from the childlessness of it. I saw this episode after the Kruger/Reedus scandal, so it did seem to mirror real life too closely, as I watched.

He says she'll get to meet Luisa and he says that he can speak a little Spanish. She doesn't believe it and tells him to say something in Spanish. he thinks for a minute and looks so earnest. Ack! Joshua is too gorgeous and gentle for words, sometimes. He says something in Spanish (reminding me of Peter Bishop saying that greek saying about being a better man than his father) and she asks what it means. He says he's going to be married. Oh, wow. She seems surprised and genuinely happy. She congratulates him.

He asks about her. Her baby is almost a year old now. Pain flickers across his body, as he lowers his head, lids drop over his eyes. Josh is so good in those seconds when he reacts to her second maternity. I am biased, but he is as amazing in those few moments of screen time as Dominic was in his 20 minutes of what was basically narration.

Then he says, "what is it you wanted to see me about, Alison?" I'm glad he's the one that decided to get to the point. Did anything bad happen? He still has concern for her. She says that Scotty came to see her this morning. He seemed like he was still on drugs and wanted to borrow money to buy the club. Cole's face goes from friendly to grim and says that Scott has had that plan for a long time. Is that what she wanted to see him about. He seems stern that he was called here for this and I'm glad he can still get mad at her, like he'd rather not see her if that's all she has to talk about. He doesn't seem hurt that she didn't want to visit with him for himself, just annoyed at having to talk about Scott. He says that the best thing he has done is leave his dysfunctional family behind. She says Scott said Oscar was in foreclosure. Hmmm. Cole didn't know about that either.

They talk about going into a bar when they were teens. How did they even get in? Did they break in, he wonders? No, she had the key. She worked there in the daytime when she was 16 and then they came back after it closed at night, with her key and drank. Oh yeah, he'd forgotten. He says remember when Scott burned his hand. NO, she didn't and he reminded her of how Scott burned his hand badly at the restaurant. She'd forgotten that. Their shared history can't be divorced or undone is the feeling. It was something to escape before, but now it's a bond, as, with time, the good memories, come back into as strong perspective as the bad ones. They laugh and Luisa comes in.

Luisa seems a little cool about meeting Alison, but not overly so. Alison seems fairly natural. She doesn't seem like she wants Cole back (which I'd like, so much as she doesn't want to impose on his happiness). Luisa says that she probably couldn't believe that Cole was out of Montauk and that the change has been good for him. She could have meant that in a catty way (like a change from Alison), but it doesn't come off badly and Alison doesn't react weirdly. I just don't like Luisa talking about what's good for Cole, as if he's a little boy.

Alison says it's been good to see him again and he says the same. Nice to meet Luisa. Pleasant partings. Outside, Alison looks through the window at them, seated with his legs scissored around hers, intimately. He and Alison sat knee to knee, across from each other. He and Luisa sit with Cole's leg overlapping Luisa's, pulling her inside of his body frame as they smile and talk, warm and familiar. I'm glad his mind isn't lingering on his ex.

I don't blame Alison for not telling Cole at this point. She doesn't know Luisa can't have children and she kept silent mostly to leave him to his newfound happiness, rather than to keep the baby all to herself. What I want to know is why she didn't tell him when she got pregnant in the first place. She wasn't happy with Noah then and Luisa wasn't a big part of Cole's life. Why deprive Cole of a child. Then, why not tell him after the baby was born, when she was mad at Noah for missing the birth? I assume it's because a drunken Cole had just burned down her house and she didn't think he was good daddy material, but I would like to have that confirmed. Although, I don't hate her right now, I should, because a child would mean so much to him and her silence is selfish.

She goes home and the boys are in the living room playing a video game. she apologizes as she squeezes in front of them, blocking their view of the big screen. Domestic life. Later, she and Noah are having sex. As they climax she keeps saying, "I love you, I love you." As if she needs to hear it back. Does she want his love badly or, as I would prefer, is she trying to convince herself that she loves him. Finally, he says he loves her too. Then the baby says "dada" from her crib. It's as if now that Alison has accepted Noah as the father, other options having been eliminated, that Joanie (why'd they name the kid that?) telepathically accepts him too, all of a sudden.

She urges Noah to go to Joannie. He picks her up and coos at her. "Did you say DaDa?"

Flash forward into the courtroom, with NOah's lawyer telling those assembled why his client wasn't guilty.

It was a fulfilling episode, because I liked the place Cole was in. I wish I had seen more of his relationship with Luisa evolve and wonder if it is healthy. Aside from wanting to be a father, what are his other regrets?

I have to say that the writing IS good for the most part this season. And this episode gave the audience an excellent understanding of Noah's character. The thing is, we can know what makes him what he is and even appreciate the good, alongside the bad and the ugly BUT it doesn't make us like him any better and it doesn't make him more interesting either. And that's the problem. We can understand. We can relate. We can stop blaming, but it still doesn't make most of the audience care whether or not Noah ends up in jail, guilty or not.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Season 2, Episode 9

A storm is brewing. We see Allison in her kitchen, monitoring the weather, having contractions and trying to reach Noah on the phone.

Meanwhile, Helen is at a bar waiting for a blind date that never shows. Whitney has set her up on Tinder.

I realize that we are getting stories from various characters, not just 2 per episode, when we get both Helen and Alison in the first few minutes. I think it's an almost seamless transition and I watch it with the understanding that we are still seeing the central character's point of view. But maybe that's wrong. Maybe we're seeing what's happening objectively. At any rate, this is the first episode where none of the 4 interact and that's interesting.

As Helen is packing her pride and preparing to leave the bar, a man stops her. She doesn't recognize him, but he turns out to be Martin's doctor. She says she didn't know who he was out of context. He asks her to have a drink and she says no. Why would she meet a stranger on Tinder and not him, he wonders. He says that he didn't know she was divorced. Really? The last time he saw her she and her husband were fighting like animals. He couldn't guess they were divorcing. No, is that what was going on? The weather is whipping up and the waitress tells them to take their conversation elsewhere, because they are closing early.

She shoos them out, but whispers to Helen that the doctor is cute. The doctor asks for Helen's number and she says no. He doesn't know why. She says dating is so awkward. It's just an interview to see if you want to sleep with someone. Well, he asks, "Do you want to sleep with me?" Her eyes widen, but she says yes and cut to them in the basement having sex.

She comes upstairs and plays normal with her kids. She says she's going downstairs to see if the basement is flooding and they point out that it hasn't even started raining yet.

She sneaks the doctor upstairs and is put off the way he talks friendly to his patients, but then insults them as soon as they hang up. Plus, he is drinking heavily, but says he is on call. She tells the kids she just happened to run into the doctor.

When Martin comes in he asks if he has been taking shots to his stomach that might make him feel better. He says no because they hurt and his mother's hand shakes, making it worse. The doctor says he can relieve the pain. He has a trick. He shows Martin and Helen how to pinch Martin's stomach when the needle goes in and that will make the pain lessen. This brightens Martin's spirits. When he leaves the room Helen asks the doctor who is the real him, the nice guy or the jerk? He says what difference does it make. Just take what you see. She says it matters what's inside. He disagrees. She asks him if he wants to stay until the rain subsides. The kids have "Babe" on tv and he says he'd rather be in a hurricane than watch that. She laughs, but gets emotional about being glad that he helped Martin and one thing going right when everything else is falling apart. He breaks the mood of relief by saying that it's not going to be all right for the kids because they're still the product of divorce. She runs upstairs and cries. He comes up after her, but ends up being flip again and she screams for him to get out.

Noah is driving with Eden. His phone is ringing, but it's dropped on the floor and he can't find it. Eden tells him it will be there when they get out of the party. They start talking about who will play them in the movie. Jennifer Lawrence, perhaps. They enter the house. It's a swinging producer's party, rather Hugh Hefnerish. When Noah is offered lines of coke, he doesn't even hesitate, which surprises me. I thought there'd be at least a pause. He is happy that everyone seems to like his book. He's feeling heady to be mingling with the "in" crowd. Then Max comes up and starts knocking the producer, not realizing that he's the one who is throwing the party. When Max starts suggesting stars for the movie, he throws out D-list/porn names. Noah forcefully tells Max to leave. Max says that haughty Noah still has his $50,000. Noah said that Max gave that to him. It wasn't a loan.

When Noah returns to his conversation, Eden becomes amorous. There's an announcement that the roads are being closed and everyone who doesn't want to spend the night, better leave now. He and Eden are content where they are. He says he thought she didn't mingle business with pleasure. She says now that the book tour is over anything goes. She tells him there's a bed upstairs and he should meet her there in 15 minutes. He wants to know what she needs 15 minutes for (Sarah Treem asks the same thing, so maybe it's a plot point. Is Eden setting him up) and she doesn't answer. As she slithers away, he bides away the time and takes a drug from some stranger. He takes off his clothes. Others are naked but he still has on trunks. He gets in the pool and everything is a blur. It's still blurry when he comes up. He sees some attractive women and kind of nuzzles over to them. They are making out and he seems to want to join the fun. The dark-haired one turns around and it's Whitney. "Dad!" She shrieks in horror. Get the F out. He is frozen, so she screams it again and he finds his clothes and runs out. Now, I would think he'd take his kid with him. I didn't watch a lot of Californication, but I remember the hard-drinking, wild dad on that show still carrying his kid out of a party against her will. He protected her, if not himself. Noah doesn't do that. I know Whitney is 18, but since there were drugs at the party, I'd think he'd want her to exit. He beat up a guy for impregnating her a year ago, why leave her with cocaine and naked lechers now?

I don't know if Eden knew that Whitney was there or not. Maybe she wanted them to see each other, but to what purpose? Does she want Whitney to rat on him, so that Alison will dump him. If so, why? I'm sure Eden must run into more successful and handsome writers than Noah. Why set her cap towards him?

Noah gets his car and sees his phone on the floor. He picks it up and realizes that Allison has been calling him all night. He curses and drives off crazily. He collides with a road block. The roads are closed and he can't get into the city.

Allison has taken herself to the hospital. She says the baby can't come now. It's five weeks too early. Her doctor isn't there. Her husband isn't there. She can't do that alone. The substitute doctor is young and I think it's strange for Allison to be the one to think "you're a kid, you can't be a doctor" because she's not that old herself, plus she has a medical background and must have seen doctors of all ages.

The staff asks if this is her first child. She gets that troubled look on her face and says no it's not. Second season in, I am tired of this pained look from Allison. No, I don't think you ever get over such a loss, but I think you stop flinching like that after 4 years, when someone either assumes you haven't been a mother before or asks if you have. You learn to cope. The only reason Allison is still so visibly harried is so that the audience is reminded of what she's been through, but after the first 3 episodes we didn't NEED any reminding. It's in the back of our heads. We know that's part of everything that she experiences. We can guess what's in her head, without you pushing all the unsubtle buttons you can find. Enough already.

Allison kept trying to call Noah and then she asks the doctor to do it. I think that the doctor will look in the "contact" list and find "Husband" or (well, more likely ICE) and call Cole by mistake, because Allison has yet to edit her phone list. I keep waiting all night, for Cole to show up at the hospital, but to my dismay he's too busy burning down Allison's house to do any such thing.

We cut from Allison's labor pangs, to Cole at the house. It's all packed up and Luisa is telling some boring story about her ballet class as a kid. Even if Cole wasn't depressed, I can't see it being that engaging, especially since I don't know what conversation led up to it. She tries to draw him out, but he just sulks. He says that he can't believe that Allison didn't show up to clean out the house. She's the one who wanted to sell it. Now, their time there is over and she's not there, as if it all never mattered. He says the only reason they got packed was because of Luisa. She says, if that's the case, how about a thank you?

They start pulling off their clothes and he says darn, he didn't bring any condoms. She says it's ok. He asks if she's sure and he says yes. So, it's interesting to know that HE's sure it's all right to conceive as long as she is ready. He is.

After the sex, she says he is Mr. Moneybags now, with the sell of the home and half of it going to him. he says that he hasn't thought of doing anything with the money and he doesn't want a penny of it. She says it's up to him (and doesn't press him to take the dough, as Scott did), but points out that now that the house is gone, Montauk is pretty far and she can't keep coming out there as regularly as she has. Has he ever thought of relocating? Not even once, he says curtly. She looks like her spirit is dampened and he softens, says, "I love you. We'll work it out." I want to know why he's living there now, instead of out in the trailer as he had been. What made him move back in? He talks about the notches on the wall that he marked to show how tall that Gabriel was getting. Should he take the wall? He says that they might have kids of their own some day and create new notches.

She begins to stammer. There's something she should have told him before. she can't have kids. She had a large fibroid and when they removed it there was scarring and she can't 'grow a baby' in her uterus. This leads me to think that she still has good ovaries and healthy eggs. So, I don't see it as hopeless, but Cole is not of the same opinion and has a tantrum and says that his mother's curse was right. What? Luis questions. He told her that his mother was acting crazy at Thanksgiving (I'm glad he shares these things with her) and saying that the family can't have kids, because his grandfather was a baby killer. He thought she was gaga, but now he thinks she's telling the truth. They are cursed. He'll never have children now. Well, I'm glad (or Luisa should be glad) that he's committed enough to her that if she is barren, then he is (angrily) resigned to not having children and doesn't think of getting a new mate. But has this guy ever heard of surrogacy? Or adoption? For Luisa to just sit there and not bring those alternatives up makes her look dumb and the writers too.

She says she's beginning to realize that whenever he has a problem, it's always someone else's fault, never his own. Well, that's fine, but I don't like the fact that she thinks one of his "problems" is not having a relationship with his family and that's not a fault. His family was unhealthy. His brother is a drug dealer (but she compliments Scott for staying with their mother, Ma Barker, when Cole has abandoned her) and his mother is the Queen of Blaming Others. So, the fact that Luisa is lecturing him about breaking ties with her is reason enough for Cole to dump her in my book. Plus, what other problems does he blame on others? Has he spoken to her about the cause of Gabriel's death?

She says she can't fix his curse. Only he can. Plus she reminds him that she was the one with scarred uterus, not him. It's not all about him. She says she is leaving. He says he doesn't want her to go out in this rain. She says it's a short walk and she'll be ok. He says that he thinks it's best that she goes too.

When she leaves, he sees visions of Gabriel calling to him, telling him to come into the water with him. So, it's not enough that Allison wanted to drown herself, now he has these visions too. Did Gabriel ask him to join him in the water just before he drowned? Is that why we're seeing this? I do want to know Cole's version of Gabriel's death at some point.

Cole starts drinking heavily -- his grandfather's moon shine, I guess.

We intercut his scenes with Allison giving birth, pushing. She screams she can't and that she doesn't want this baby, but she keeps pushing. Even at this point, I think Cole will get a phone call and head to the hospital, but even if his phone rang, he'd be in on condition to go to the city. I think he doesn't know that Allison is pregnant or else he might conclude that something had happened to her (especially in this weather) and not that she had stood him up for the house closing. Although, why didn't she call and give him some excuse for not being there, before her contractions got heavy?

Plus, I think the fact that the baby comes early is one of the reasons he concludes he is not the father, because the (9 month gestation) math doesn't work and he doesn't know the baby was premature. He never knew when her pregnancy was announced and never knew a due date for it. So, he never thought he was a daddy candidate, even though Scott, for some reason, does.

He looks at the wall with Gabriel's height marks and tries to tear it loose. He can't and he goes crazy and finally pours liquor all over the floor and walls of the house and sets it on fire.

It bothers me, because I'd rather have Cole destroy himself than destroy a house that is not his, that Allison's grandfather gave to, built for, her and is the only financial security she has. It's like they presented him as a Montauk lover and then told us he was pushing drugs. Then, they presented him as a guy who loved Allison's house unselfishly, refurbished it for her benefit, not his own and didn't want to take any money for it. NOw, he is burning it to the ground, because he's drunk, angry and jealous and, yes, sad too.
But why can't he be sad in a way that doesn't hurt someone else or take something of theirs. After the cliffhanger last season, I thought they would redeem Cole and bring him back from the edge of sanity. That's what they seemed to be doing this season, but now they pushed him to the brink again -- which is fine, if his craziness didn't always result in him threatening someone else with harm.

From the preview next week, he is calmly saying to Allison, "you wanted to see me" and not being arrested for arson. So, I can only hope that he puts out the fire and salvages the house, but the episode ends with it in flames and him inside.

If the house does burn down, I'd just as soon he were in it. But since he had money to invest in the club, I gather the house survives, along with him.