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.