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Tara Ariano

S01.E06: 6

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I'm not sure how I feel about the drug smuggling twist.  On one hand, it feels  a bit out there.  On the other, I'm very glad they addressed how the family affords to stay in that ranch.  When I learned what it was worth last week, I admit, that did cross my mind. 

 

So that twist, plus Oscar's beef with the Lockhart family, opened up more possibilities as to why Scotty will die. 

 

So now that the affair is over, thankfully, I imagine the shit is about to hit the fan.

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Well, that escalated quickly. Thank goodness someone figured out about the affair with the quickness. Too bad he had to be such an asshole to Alison in response. Then again, I should have expected that kind of reaction from Oscar, considering how he's always harassing her.

 

I find it really fascinating how Noah and Alison imagine themselves to be the tragic romantic hero. Him, wanting to have an artist residency in Montauk so that she could go to him every night (um, I'm sure Cole would notice something like that). Her, wanting to be free of the drug smuggling and wanting to run away with Noah. Considering how cold Alison came off in the interrogation, I wonder if Noah's interpretation of the breakup is more accurate.

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This episode was hard for me to watch for some reason. The way Helen seemed forlorn and sad because she felt her husband drifting away was difficult to take. It made it clear how hurtful the affair is. Noah sort of came to his senses but it's the drugs that scared him. But then again, I really don't know how he can untangle himself from Alison now. And Max just seems like a lot of trouble, he unwittingly confirmed Noah's lie. I am pretty sure Helen is adding up all these little clues.

 

Maybe it was Ruth's demeanour that sold it but Alison is desperately unhappy. But Noah has shown her that there's hope for a clean slate. First she asked Cole to sell the ranch and get away, when he said no she asked Noah to run away with her instead. He said no, leaving her even more forlorn. Again, it was hard to watch such desperation. But it seems like Noah's rebuke of her drug dealing hit home. One view could be to interpret that romantically. 

 

Oscar is a douchebag but a clever douchebag. That ruse with the phone call was smart but did he really need further confirmation of the affair? 

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Another thing was that Alison insinuated that she would be a better mother than Helen based on Helen's concern or lack thereof for Martin.

 

Speaking of, what is Martin's problem? First the fake hanging, then the sleeping in the stable, now letting the mare run loose? That's a candidate for some serious therapy right there.

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In Noah's version, his first reaction after learning about the drug smuggling ring isn't to get Martin away from the ranch, but to confront Alison.

 

That's an interesting set of priorities.

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I'm waiting for a tie-in between the pills Allison stole from the hospital and the Lockhart drug ring.  

Both of those kids should be in therapy, and they might as well start the younger ones right away and get the jump on things.

 

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Agreed, Constantinople. Yeah, how about some concern for realizing your kid is all up in there with a drug smuggling ring? Oy. Noah looks more hypocritical each week.

I'm a little disappointed in the drug reveal. I can't help but feel it's unlikely, over-the-top, and maybe even out of character for this bedrock Montauk family. It's very at odds with the community persona they have and I suppose that's intentional, but....I don't know. No one ever wanted to blow the whistle on them before? Just Oscar. And yes to just selling part of the ranch. They're desperate to make money to save the ranch I guess, but why? Just because Cole is a traditionalist? Something about it all seems very contrived. And I think it would've been more interesting if some of the brothers were not in on the drug smuggling thing. I thought Cole might be against it and in the dark about it actually. Hence the tension between Alison and Scotty because they were keeping this secret from Cole and Ali resented being involved, etc.

It was surprising to me how quickly Cole changed his tune about Oscar's permit given his impassioned defense at the town hall meeting. Also interesting that, early on Noah's view of coal was as a more brutish guy while Alison's was more tender/nuanced, and this week, those sort of swapped.

Also Helen's concern that Noah never wants to sleep with her anymore seems...premature given what we've seen. Weren't they just having sex two episodes ago? How much time is passing? I guess a bit since the Solloways are leaving soon.

Her relationship with Max seems weirdly close, also. That kiss on the lips was a bit much.

I wonder what happened to Will? Or if that was just to add more paranoia for Allison?

Things are snowballing so quickly and next week looks like everything gets crazy!

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I didn't consider the drug reveal to be a twist (or that much of a reveal), because didn't we figure that out early on? We got confirmation of it this episode, but I had already been assuming that's what it was all along.

 

I found myself a tad disappointed that the detective interrogation scenes are over. I was looking forward to that, until I remembered last week, when the detective said he was done. 

 

So, are we to assume that place where Alison, Max and Noah were partying was "The End"?

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I didn't consider the drug reveal to be a twist (or that much of a reveal), because didn't we figure that out early on? We got confirmation of it this episode, but I had already been assuming that's what it was all along.

 

I found myself a tad disappointed that the detective interrogation scenes are over. I was looking forward to that, until I remembered last week, when the detective said he was done. 

 

So, are we to assume that place where Alison, Max and Noah were partying was "The End"?

Yeah, it was "The End". They showed the name of the club at the beginning of the scene. 

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So, are we to assume that place where Alison, Max and Noah were partying was "The End"?

 

I really didn't understand that at all, in the sense of "Are Alison and Noah insane" to be so public about their affair?

 

Is "The End" like that signless bar in the middle of nowhere in Soap where it was understood "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas"?

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Him telling the truth about The End would put him in the position of exposing Alison about the drug smuggling and when he knew. If he was never there, he would be *gasp* shocked to learn at what Alison was involved in.

 

I suspect, though, that either Oscar was at The End and we didn't see it or Max, being a blabbermouth that he is, said something to Oscar about Alison. Either way, I think Oscar mentioned The End to the detective.

Edited by GeminiDancer

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Yeah, it was "The End". They showed the name of the club at the beginning of the scene.

 

Thanks. I must have sneezed or something during that part, and missed it.

 

When the detective asked Noah, "So, you've never been there, then?" and Noah replied "Never" - the detective knew he was lying.  All Noah had to say was that he brought his friend Max there, when he was visiting.  That wouldn't necessarily mean he was aware of Alison's involvement with the coke, would it?

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Yeah, it was "The End". They showed the name of the club at the beginning of the scene.

But then why was there a bedroom they went into? It's  a club slash Inn? It really just looked like a Beach House. I found that such a confusing scene. Or did they decamp to Phoebe's? But it really didn't look like Phoebe's house.

 

I don't see it as contrived that they Cole in particular doesn't want to sell the ranch, or that they supplement with drug running, Oscar said it was 'fucking hereditary' and implied the family had a long history of illegal activity going back to Prohibition. Seven generations is nothing to sneeze at and he's hardly the only person to think a piece of land literally defines him (see the Middle East History), especially as he emphasized it's where Gabriel is buried. It the huge cleve between he and Allison, the Ranch, the Town, his extended family that's what allows him to cope, but all Montauk is for her is black pit of despair and reminder of what she lost.

 

It's also clear his brother's all want to sell yet Cherry allows Cole to make all the decisions, 

I really really liked Max, gave me lovely Ray Stevenson hotass vibes, I think Helen/Max definitely have an attraction that she might not hesitate to indulge if Noah is literally turning into her cheater father.

 

I can't believe how consistently awful Noah's kids are (except the youngest, she is probably the actual Alien).

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But then why was there a bedroom they went into? It's  a club slash Inn? It really just looked like a Beach House. I found that such a confusing scene. Or did they decamp to Phoebe's? But it really didn't look like Phoebe's house.

 

I just assumed they left The End and went to a motel. Might have to rewatch.

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I thought this was a pretty strong episode, and I'm relieved that the show has evolved beyond the treacley premise of Two Strangers!  In Love!  Can They Overcome the Odds Against Them?  etc

 

I had a little epiphanal flash listening to Fiona Apple crooning over the credits:  This is actually more Allison's story than it is Noah's. And Wilson was really gripping in this episode, particularly in the scene where she tells Noah, I don't CARE if I live or die.  

 

It will be interesting to see if this is really all there was to "the affair;" whether its only real significance was to set larger plot forces in action, or whether Noah and Allison will kiss and make up in Episode 7.

 

The drug stuff was certainly debated vigorously in this very forum and foreshadowed strongly enough so that I had no problems accepting it.  Also found the pseudo-paternal bond that Martin seemed to be developing with Cole a potentially interesting plot point given the relationship between Cole's wife and Martin's father, and didn't quite get how the horse escaped.  Heavy symbolism, right?  She reminds me of you, Cole tells Alison.

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When the detective asked Noah, "So, you've never been there, then?" and Noah replied "Never" - the detective knew he was lying. All Noah had to say was that he brought his friend Max there, when he was visiting. That wouldn't necessarily mean he was aware of Alison's involvement with the coke, would it?

Oscar's fake cell call to the cops in Noah's presence that led to the Lockhart's being tipped off gave Oscar the evidence of the affair, but could not be used to prove Noah previously knew about the drugs or that his presence at "The End" played a role, even though it occurred the previous night. The detective, along with everyone else, knows all about the affair at the time of the interrogation, but appears to still have no clue about the drugs, given the questions he does NOT ask.

It is generally believed that if a criminal defendant is caught in ANY lie, the chances of conviction are significantly increased. Noah's lie about his knowledge of or visit to "The End" appears to serve no currently apparent purpose, which suggests to me that a purpose will eventually become known, and that he will have been the one who killed Scotty, probably to protect Alison. (It is absolutely certain he and Alison were not together at the time of the murder.)

The disappearance of fisherman Will is to remind the audience that someone in the illegal drug business can be killed by anyone at any time. However, I believe it is a mere red herring in that it would severely undercut the emotional resonance of the drama to have anyone outside of the main characters be Scotty's murderer. The affair may be dead, but the emotions it aroused live on. (Thank you, James Joyce.)

Edited by Higgs
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I'm a little disappointed in the drug reveal. I can't help but feel it's unlikely, over-the-top, and maybe even out of character for this bedrock Montauk family. It's very at odds with the community persona they have and I suppose that's intentional, but....I don't know. No one ever wanted to blow the whistle on them before? Just Oscar. And yes to just selling part of the ranch.

 

Among many oceanfront towns in the Northeast, especially those with a strong fishing tradition, drug trafficking is a very real problem.  There's more temptation and demand than fish; the work is less physically demanding and dangerous, and the profits seem there for the taking.  At the cost of only a different sort of risk which to many young people, is an attraction in itself.  Meanwhile, families rich only on paper, in land, are paying escalating taxes based on the value of what they don't want to sell.  

 

I can imagine that these towns -- and generations within these towns  -- share an understanding that the drug trade is a hazard common to their own, like the temptations or frailties endemic to other communities and subcultures. And that it's their business.

 

It's also possible that the ranch can't be subdivided: the land may be zoned that way, in some arrangement struck with the town regarding taxes, or to allow the ranch to operate.  At least one acre per horse is the rule of thumb in some towns in the Northeast: more, if the horses are used commercially.   

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Oscar's fake cell call to the cops in Noah's presence...

 

I don't think it was fake. When Oscar got to the taxi depot (or whatever that place is), and knew they'd been tipped off, he said something like, "Oh great, now the cops are gonna get here, find nothing, and decide that I'm a loon."

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Considering that Scotty was hitting on jail bait Whitney, I don't know what to make of Alison's assurance that the Lockharts don't sell to kids.

 

I just hope this doesn't turn into either Body Heat or Fatal Attraction.

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I don't think it was fake. When Oscar got to the taxi depot (or whatever that place is), and knew they'd been tipped off, he said something like, "Oh great, now the cops are gonna get here, find nothing, and decide that I'm a loon."

Nothing in my arguments depends on whether the call was fake or real. Oscar's presence at the depot may have just been to further rattle their cage. The truth would have come out when the cops did or didn't show, and/or from the Lockhart's bribed officers. And even if the call was fake, it at least served as a real threat, as Cole recognized by withdrawing his opposition to Oscar's develepment request.

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The call sure looked real, and  I don't think Oscar was faking his frustration (and his relief?) when he later saw that Alison had been tipped off.  At the moment Oscar made the call, he was well beyond conniving, and even angrier -- impotently furious -- at Scotty, than he was fixated on busting Alison. Scotty had just breezily cleaned out his cash register, in front of Noah, and toyed with Oscar out in the parking lot, also in front of witnesses. Oscar couldn't stop him, or punish him, or report the seeming theft: all he could do as his ego bled out was to lash out at all things Lockhart, in the role of aggrieved citizen.  

 

Max is surely going to cross paths with Scotty and/or Cole, isn't he?  With Noah, Helen, Alison and especially all the Solloway kids, he's like a 21st-century version of "Uncle" Max in The Sound of Music.

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I didn't notice the absence of the flash-forward police interrogation scenes at all until I was just thinking about it now, so I guess it shows we're beyond needing those every ep. 

 

Interesting to see some of the supporting cast's observations affect the two lead's perceptions of each other. Helen's comment at the Lobster Roll that Max could "do better than that" when he attempted to hit on Allison again seemed to hit home with Noah, who grimaced. We also had Oscar telling Allison that she doesn't need to be "some married yuppie's summer slut" in the process of pawing at her. I was a little heartbroken for Allison in that final scene, when that label must have felt like it was confirmed. 

 

There were some major differences in the two narratives yet again and I'm not sure if it's deliberate distortion or not. In Noah's memories it always seems like he acts with absolute urgency on everything (does he perceive himself as a man of action?) so he seems to turns up at the Lockhart ranch promptly after over-hearing Oscar on the phone to the cops. This doesn't make a whole lot of sense as it's a pretty risky thing to do in terms of exposing their relationship. But then the matter in question is urgent, so maybe...In Allison's memory he's left a note to meet him at Phoebe's house and he confronts her there, and from her perspective it's more of an in depth relationship discussion than an angry "how could you be a drug dealer, I don't know you" freak out like it is in Noah's memory. The feeling I'm getting at the moment is that when she looks back at their relationship from the present it's with less bitterness and recriminations than he does. Does he blame her for something in the future?

 

Also it was amusing that Allison was dressed all in black when she was on her drug trafficking errand in Noah's memory presumably denoting the change in her status in his memory to something darker and more sinister, but she was in totally normal clothes in her own memory. 

Edited by Misty79
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This is a tricky structure to work with, and I think the writers are very deliberate about their choices.  I thought it was interesting that Allison looked harder in this episode, at least up until Noah shut the door in her face.  I'm becoming more sympathetic to Allison and less to Noah as the season progresses.   Allison seems genuinely trapped in her situation while Noah's feeling of entrapment is there, but his trap too cushy to give up so easily.  I wasn't even sure if he was really dumping Allison for the drug dealing or if he just used it as a very convenient excuse. 

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I didn't notice the absence of the flash-forward police interrogation scenes at all until I was just thinking about it now, so I guess it shows we're beyond needing those every ep. 

 

Following on from my conclusion that everything we see is told to the cop, events in this episode certainly wouldn't be part of the interrogation.  That's why the detective scenes weren't there.

 

In Noah's memories it always seems like he acts with absolute urgency on everything

 

 

To me this was very interesting. As the episodes have rolled on, Alison seems to portray Noah in a softer light. In this episode, she even kind of understands (forgives?) his reason for breaking up with her. It's like she's more sympathetic to his situation. Similarly, when he told her to stay away from drugs, she took that advice to heart (so far at least). She seems to  value him more that Cole. When Martin talked down his father's job as a teacher, Alison certainly took that as an affront. I think she's falling for him in more real ways; whilst for him she's still a dream that he's expecting to wake up from. One minute he's promising to take time off work and come see her, the other he's closing the door on her. She's not yet real enough to make his promises binding. 

 

To be fair to him though, I think guilt was also eating him up. Max was a reminder of how badly losing your family can affect you. Helen was getting angsty about lack of sex. Oscar last week and Max this week almost gave him away to Helen. And Alison being a drug dealer is a big enough shock on its own. So I cut him a little slack because I just know he hasn't properly broken up with Alison yet but he's not fully committed to his family either, like he was in the beginning. He's in a cheater's no-man's-land. "Should I stay or should I go?"

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Oh, I think the writers are making very deliberate choices here.

 

Yeah, there's no question the writers are making deliberate choices. I'm just not sure sometimes when there are really quite big differences in narrative between the two if it morphs beyond selective memory into something else. But there was no interrogation scene this week so it makes it less likely, I think, that it's a product of outright lies?

 

I think in the case I was talking about it's just selective. It might be about Noah's male ego, perhaps incorrectly recalling himself having free reign over Cole's territory. 

 

 

Following on from my conclusion that everything we see is told to the cop, events in this episode certainly wouldn't be part of the interrogation.  That's why the detective scenes weren't there.

 

Great point. Of course they wouldn't tell the cops about the drug running. At least I'm sure it wouldn't be something Alison would divulge. 

 

 

To be fair to him though, I think guilt was also eating him up. Max was a reminder of how badly losing your family can affect you. Helen was getting angsty about lack of sex. Oscar last week and Max this week almost gave him away to Helen. And Alison being a drug dealer is a big enough shock on its own. So I cut him a little slack because I just know he hasn't properly broken up with Alison yet but he's not fully committed to his family either, like he was in the beginning. He's in a cheater's no-man's-land. "Should I stay or should I go?"

 

I thought that final scene with Helen and Noah was great. It was so relatable - clutching at the familiar, predictable woman he loves, amazed at himself for risking it all and getting carried away by a stranger he barely knew who turned out to be something he didn't anticipate - even though that unfamiliarity was exactly what drew him in at first.

 

It was a reality check. But I suspect a temporary one. 

Edited by Misty79
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I think in the case I was talking about it's just selective. It might be about Noah's male ego, perhaps incorrectly recalling himself having free reign over Cole's territory. 

 

But if he saw Cole and the other Lockharts scurrying away to clean up evidence, then he saw it. He wouldn't have that recollection from Phoebe's house. That's the problem we face when interpreting these differences, in the future obviously Alison and Noah have talked quite a bit about these incidents, so how do we know whether it's Alison's memories bleeding through to him or whether he's lying or just feeding his ego? It's so hard for me to take Alison's versions on face value whilst dismissing Noah's out of hand, the balance is somewhere in the middle.

Edited by Boundary

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I'm not sure if it's been noted before, but the reason that the Lockharts might want to keep the ranch is that it serves as a way to launder their drug money? The drug trade would have to be worth it considering how much the land is worth. I don't know, it's just a thought.

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I'm not sure if it's been noted before, but the reason that the Lockharts might want to keep the ranch is that it serves as a way to launder their drug money.

To Cole, the ranch is the Lockhart's heritage and tradition. These are existential values to him, as can be heard in his council attack on Oscar's development proposal. The drug trade is important solely because it enables him to keep the ranch, and selling it would be a sell-out, as would be leaving Montauk with Alison.

Noah and Alison told the detectives everything they remembered? I don't think so.

http://forums.previously.tv/topic/17785-s01e05-5/?p=570435

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But if he saw Cole and the other Lockharts scurrying away to clean up evidence, then he saw it. He wouldn't have that recollection from Phoebe's house. That's the problem we face when interpreting these differences, in the future obviously Alison and Noah have talked quite a bit about these incidents, so how do we know whether it's Alison's memories bleeding through to him or whether he's lying or just feeding his ego? It's so hard for me to take Alison's versions on face value whilst dismissing Noah's out of hand, the balance is somewhere in the middle.

 

Well one presumes that the discussion between them had to happen somewhere (unless it actually took place by phone). They both recall Noah's warning that Oscar had told the cops, they just recall it happening in different places. I agree that the truth is almost always going to be somewhere in the middle - unless we ultimately find that one of the two is much more prone to self-deception. I find it interesting that I find Alison much more sympathetic and that's making me more prone to believing her version of events. It's kind of fascinating seeing how much our own bias affects whose story we prefer. 

 

Do we think that Ma Lockhart knows what her boys are doing?

 

I was wondering this too. My gut instinct is yes. There's something pretty tough under that matronly exterior. 

Edited by Misty79

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Following on from my conclusion that everything we see is told to the cop, events in this episode certainly wouldn't be part of the interrogation.  That's why the detective scenes weren't there.

 

Last week, the detective told each of them that they were done with questioning (except for those last-minute Columbo-esque "Just one more thing" questions). If the interrogations are over, that's the main reason for no detective scenes this week, isn't it? You'd think the investigation must be continuing on some level, until they have a suspect... but it makes me wonder if we'll see any more of the detective before the season is over.

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Do we think that Ma Lockhart knows what her boys are doing?

I wondered the same thing, and I'm guessing yes. Especially after the comment that illegal activity has gone on in the family for generations. 

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the Lockharts might want to keep the ranch is that it serves as a way to launder their drug money

 

My impression was quite the opposite -- they're selling drugs so that they can keep the ranch.  The ranch doesn't pay for itself; property taxes in NY are exorbitant etc etc.

 

They don't want to give up the family land because without it they have no identity.  If the Montauk Ponderosa goes away, the patriarchy disbands, no more of those insufferable group breakfasts.

 

 

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 I find it interesting that I find Alison much more sympathetic and that's making me more prone to believing her version of events. It's kind of fascinating seeing how much our own bias affects whose story we prefer. 

 

True. Which should also make discussions here fascinating. I agree though that Noah seems to have an ego thing going on, it's especially noteworthy that he hasn't really exposed himself raw. But we can't chalk up all the differences we see to his ego.

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I thought the phone call was fake.  It was so goofy and vague.  I thought it was just bad writing at first.

Edited by Morbs
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Helen's comment at the Lobster Roll that Max could "do better than that" when he attempted to hit on Allison again seemed to hit home with Noah, who grimaced.

Helen, like her parents, is an insufferable snob, and her attitudes, which include disdain for those she considers her "inferior", have been picked up by Whitney and Martin, the two children old enough to display such characteristics. Ironically, that Alison nearly made it into medical school and became a pediatric nurse, suggests that she has a superior scientific and mathematical mind than Helen. (It's not the actress. There was a time when, had I been rich, handsome, and age-appropriate, I would have flown my private jet to LA and proposed to Maura Tierney.) There's a reason Noah would have left Helen long before he met Alison, if only he had had the money that is the traditional lubricant of divorce for both genders. Edited by Higgs
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Do we think that Ma Lockhart knows what her boys are doing?

I was wondering this too. My gut instinct is yes. There's something pretty tough under that matronly exterior.

 

I think she must and I confess, it makes a lot more sense that they cast Mare Winningham as Cherry if it turns out that there's more to the character than being the matriarchal figure of the Lockharts.  Part solid citizen Matriarch, part Gangster's Moll sounds more appropriate for Mare Winningham, who is fully capable of some heavy-lifting in terms of acting.  If there's not more to Cherry then that's a serious waste of some solid talent.  

 

However, boy does it make that wedding ring scene even more loaded than it was.  First of all, I cannot escape the feeling that giving anyone your wedding ring  -- that was the ring worn throughout a long marriage to a now deceased spouse -- is anything other than wildly inappropriate in terms of boundaries.  At best, it's a goodhearted gesture, at worst it is downright creepy.  Although every now and then someone will give an heirloom ring to their intended or spouse, it's usually because it is a valuable piece of jewelry and the person who wore it for most of their lifetime isn't the person presenting it as a gift.  It's also usually the engagement ring as a wedding band has too many intimate implications.  

 

So based on the "Okay, that was borderline icky" of the wedding band gift, I'm going with Cherry knowing and doing that strange almost blood-oath gifting precisely because when you run a generations long criminal enterprise, the last thing anyone wants is to have someone in the know out and running free.   

 

This was an interesting episode in that Noah discovers the woman he's been building up as the answer to what ails him comes with an entire set of truly sticky , trap-like problems.  It's one thing to hook-up with the wife of a man who might haul off and deck you if he finds out.  Cocaine runners seem to be a lot more likely to pull a "You're screwing my wife?  Let me introduce you to my machete collection and then I can show you my wood chipper." 

 

Turns out there is something worse than having a shaming and condescending father-in-law and no one wants to visit their paramour in maximum security prisons.  Bit of a mood killer.  

 

Also, as for Helen saying, "You can do better than that"  I actually didn't necessarily interpret it as being entirely about social class.  Helen knows Max had a thing for her and may still have.  That kiss on the lips would make it a difficult thing to miss, you know?  It's really sort of understandable that Helen would then compare herself to a woman that Max was then interested in, thinking they needed to measure up to her to prove that she's actually desirable, rather than Max being lonely and a little broken.  

 

I don't know what happens with the actual affair from here on out, but the drug dealing reveal does help explain why Noah's memory always paints Alison as being a little bit predatory.  Even the way he remembers her receiving the news that he knows about the cocaine was more fitting to a hard-as-nails Madam instead of a sad- slightly broken woman who had lost interest in her own fate.  

 

That "I hate that word" in that coy manner, as if she's always been part vampire, laughing at Noah behind her hand was actually a bit sad.  Then running off to warn her fellow heartless gangsters.  It finally explained why Noah's recollections always tinge Alison with some sort of "out to get or destroy" him vibe.  

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Helen, like her parents, is an insufferable snob, and her attitudes, which include disdain for those she considers her "inferior", have been picked up by Whitney and Martin, the two children old enough to display such characteristics. Ironically, that Alison nearly made it into medical school and became a pediatric nurse, suggests that she has a superior scientific and mathematical mind than Helen. (It's not the actress. There was a time when, had I been rich, handsome, and age-appropriate, I would have flown my private jet to LA and proposed to Maura Tierney.) There's a reason Noah would have left Helen long before he met Alison, if only he had had the money that is the traditional lubricant of divorce for both genders.

 

One of things I'm really enjoying about this show is the combination of deep characterization with only giving us small new fragments of Alison and Noah's personalities each episode. I like the little surprises that throws up. So in the first episode I had a slightly less offensive version of Helen's quick assessment of Alison - i.e. a waitress approaching middle age, probably not educated to a high standard, probably from a low socio-economic background, nothing much to see here. That makes me a horrible person right? I should definitely have known better as I washed dishes in a restaurant whilst I was at law school and know what it's like to have people think you're not very bright because you're in a dead end job. I like that Alison is more complex than that. It's absolutely realistic. I too was appalled by Helen's reaction, but it was hypocritical of me to feel that way. 

Edited by Misty79
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I had a slightly different reaction to Helen's snide "You can do better than that" comment to Max.  I think that somewhere in Helen's psyche she suspects Noah of infidelity and she has honed in on Allison as being involved.  Yes, Helen is an upper class snob, but she's also bright and complex, and to me, that scene played like a lot was being said between the lines.  I thought that comment was a sly slap in Noah's face, a reminder that he has completely thrown his lot in with her family, and that a mere waitress (who Helen doesn't know happens to be a pediatric nurse and could have gone to medical school) simply doesn't measure up.  And Noah's treatment of Allison in the break-up scene seems to underscore that same attitude.  There was almost a sense of "whew! I found a way out" in his words and expressions.  

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...Helen's snide "You can do better than that" comment to Max...

was fully in line with the smug condescension she displayed toward a waitress in an early episode party at the Butler manse. Whitney is not an entitled, disrespectful, unapologetic bullying brat for nothing, and Martin's public disdain for his father's profession didn't come out of nowhere. As to Max, behind his handsome face and successful attorney's financial assets lies a coke-snorter, practiced moocher, and dumped husband. He and Helen would last a month. And as to Alison and Noah, it ain't over. He'll be back. You heard it here first.
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Among many theories about this series, there are theories that connect the words of the theme song to the plot of the story. It may or may not be but I'm just addicted to the Fiona Apple theme song

 

Edited by HumblePi
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However, boy does it make that wedding ring scene even more loaded than it was.  First of all, I cannot escape the feeling that giving anyone your wedding ring  -- that was the ring worn throughout a long marriage to a now deceased spouse -- is anything other than wildly inappropriate in terms of boundaries.  At best, it's a goodhearted gesture, at worst it is downright creepy.  Although every now and then someone will give an heirloom ring to their intended or spouse, it's usually because it is a valuable piece of jewelry and the person who wore it for most of their lifetime isn't the person presenting it as a gift.  It's also usually the engagement ring as a wedding band has too many intimate implications.

 

 

Inappropriate, boundaries, words used today that mean a lot.  Usually when someone gives an heirloom, the person it belonged to has been dead for some time, and if Cherry wanted Alison to have it, why not give it to Cole as a present to Alison.  No, Cherry gave it to Alison as if to say, "you're one of us now."  Alison's mother was right, the ring was binding Alison to the family.  I think the family has always been "in the game," in the same way the Barksdales of "The Wire" were in the game.  Family business and all.

 

I like how the drug dealing was introduced, because it didn't come out of left field.  We saw Alison delivering the goods once before, but did not know exactly what was going on, and the audience was probably too distracted by the affair. 

 

For me the show has become more interesting.

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