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Tara Ariano

S01.E08: 8

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Helen asks Noah to represent the family at a literary award ceremony for her father. But a chance encounter with Alison and her grandmother leads to an uncomfortable truth.

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Noah's favorite book was Moby Dick.  Color me surprised/explains a lot/etc.  So Helen wanted an adoring but completely average rentboy, huh?  Geez.  No wonder their marriage is amazing.

 

Allison's version was so strange.  She's going through all of this with her grandmother and her husband is at home and has no idea? She never calls him at any point?

 

Ruth Wilson is such a great actress. I can't really say that I've ever seen her in anything else, but I never see her "acting," just the character.

 

Next week looks so good.

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So the reason Scotty was "going to the city" frequently was to see Whitney, right? And Whitney isn't bulimic, she's pregnant, right? And all of this ties directly into Scotty's death, right? Until tonight's episode, I had all kinds of complicated speculations about this show, but now I'm starting to think that it's all pretty simple after all.

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What frustrates me about Alison is that she's never clear on what she needs from Cole. She never says, "I need you to help me through this." Because she's not clear, Cole is going to respond to her in his distant way (according to Alison). Because she assumes he won't be there for her, she turns to Noah for help because she sees him as her knight and shining armor.

 

It's really hard to determine who, between Bruce and Athena, is the bigger asshole. Right now, the scale is tipping towards Athena. She's a piece of work, pushing for the DNR then leaving Alison to deal with the emotional and financial fallout of her grandmother's death.

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I am just wondering about the time jump also. In Noah's version we see the detective showing up at the book reading where they also say his book will be made into a movie. So to write a book, have it published and be on a book tour obviously quite some time has passed.

The time jump at the end of Alisons we see Scott's funeral which they say took a while. I am guessing the delay is due to the police investigation and Alison has changed her look and not sitting near Cole or other family members as far as I can tell. So divorced, just speculating.

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Jeez, these people are royally screwed. I actually believed (and still do) Noah's plea to Helen at the therapist's office. I doubt he went to Montauk in order to try to link up with Alison. His reasoning was quite simple, it's obvious Helen hadn't forgiven him and her passive aggressiveness was actually more effective than any shouting would have accomplished. So he wanted to go to Montauk, represent the family and be trusted to come back home without screwing around. Oooops.

 

Except he didn't screw around, he just displayed deeper feelings than that. At first glance their versions are quite different, and this is beginning to frustrate me more often now, especially if there's no good reason for it. But the differences were actually superficial - what they're wearing, who said "I missed you" first, etc. Where they coincided, the show opted not to show us exactly the same thing twice and those were the more significant moments: he took her to hospital, then came back for her, their conversation in the car, her grandmother passing away. He didn't have to say "I love you" in his version, he clearly simply demonstrated it.

 

I was surprised that he came off quite well in her version, and not just his clothes either. He brought her round to signing a DNR in a way Cole couldn't. Cole is supportive, and I would've said same the same thing if I was in his shoes, but it seems he couldn't reach her emotionally, or understand her enough and give her strength that she needed in order to say goodbye. Noah did. After that it seems she also, finally, got the strength to let go of her son too. That's kinda huge. After this episode, I think Noah ends up with Alison in the future. It's not as romantic as it sounds, earlier in the episode I kept willing them both to stay away from each other. Noah really needed not to wreck his marriage and Alison seemed to have lucked out in having Cole. By the end I just wanted them together.

 

The detective scenes are finally becoming more informative, rather than just a tease. Noah is indeed successful, bestseller being turned into a movie. So what's with the boat from The End? 

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"Do you ever think about her?"

"Every fuckin' day."

Substitue "five minutes" for "day", and you've got Noah's state of mind. He'd been hoping to run into Alison very time he turned a corner in Brooklyn. Mention Montauk, in any context, and his reaction would have been "legendary".

Cole and Helen are both caring, supportive spouses. Flawed, of course, but better than most. Neither deserves to be betrayed. But, as Snoop explains to a reluctant Michael about killing someone in "The Wire", "Deserve got nuffin' to do wid it." "The heart wants what the heart wants" (per a very famous film director whom I shall decline to name as it might confuse the point), and attempting to establish a completely rational basis for "falling in love" is a fool's errand. (However, Shakespeare, no fool he, provides a partial explanation of the psychological forces that drew Alison & Noah together in Othello's description of how he and Desdemona fell in love: http://nfs.sparknotes.com/othello/page_40.html - ending with "She loved me for the dangers I had passed/And I loved her that she did pity them.")

I once wrote that Alison was married at the time of the investigation and that it was probably to Cole. Wrong, again. While there is still a chance she's married (wedding ring and detective's manipulative 25-year marriage story to her), the fact that she is sitting alone near the rear of the hall for Scotty's memorial suggests it almost certainly isn't to Cole.

All scenes with the detective follow soon after his interrogations of the lovers. He is on the case. Remembering the blue boat picture on his cell when Noah mentioned it during his reading prompted the detective to return to "The End" to try again. Persistent bugger.

A hit-and-run driver who takes his car to the most popular body shop in the area is too stupid to have deliberately killed someone with it. Just sayin'.

Edited by Higgs
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"Do you ever think about her?"

"Every fuckin' day."

Substitue "five minutes" for "day", and you've got Noah's state of mind. He'd been hoping to run into Alison very time he turned a corner in Brooklyn. Mention Montauk, in any context, and his reaction would have been "legendary".

 

I'm not sure about this. Did he think about Alison every day? Yes, of course he did but he meant for it to be over, I really believe that. I doubt he wanted to run into her in order to restart the affair but he wanted to to prove he was free of her hold. That he could be in the same town, perhaps in the same room, and nothing will happen. How wrong was he.

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After this episode, I think Noah ends up with Alison in the future. It's not as romantic as it sounds, earlier in the episode I kept willing them both to stay away from each other. Noah really needed not to wreck his marriage and Alison seemed to have lucked out in having Cole. By the end I just wanted them together.

 

I agree that, at some point, they separate/divorce their current spouses and become a couple. However, I still question whether they are "together" in the future that we are seeing at the book signing and at Scotty's funeral. I don't particularly care whether or not they end up together. I am more interested in the path of their relationship, how it impacts those around them and why a murder investigation is stuck in the middle of it.

 

I also like that the scenes with the detective are taking shape. When at The End, he doesn't question whether or not there was a reservation under Bailey or Lockhart, assuming perhaps that they (she) would be smart enough not to use the name of a local family. Instead, he asks about cancellations. So the reservation in question happened on a different night than what we saw. Why cancel? Why a change of mind?

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Last night 
Watching this episode I started to wonder if Noah's point of view is actually what is in his second book - that cautionary tale (or advice, perhaps) from his father-in-law really seemed like something straight out of a novel.  If that is what the novel is about, then he and Helen would definitely be separated or divorced by the time of the book signing.  It was also the first time that Alison and Noah were truly intimate in a non-sexual way - they seemed to be growing closer and revealing how deep this relationship really is (or could be).  Now I wonder if they do wind up together.  .  

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Interesting episode....as I say each basically each and every week.  

 

While it was a nice plot point for Noah to go back to Montauk in the cold of winter, I find it absolutely unbelievable that Helen would agree or consent to having Noah go there without her literally being glued to his side.  Or if she did that she wouldn't have a way for him to be under careful watch every second he was there.  

 

I agree that Whitney is probably preggers and I'd also say it's probably the now dead Scott's kid.  Of course a lot of time seems to have passed between the affair timeline and the current, so maybe she got an abortion or Scotty did something to make her lose the baby...and as a result Whitney or Noah did something in a rage that ended with being ran off the road.

 

As for the party and the hospital with Noah and Alison.  At first I thought their timelines were going to be completely different when it showed her grandmother having the heart attack early on and Cole knowing about it.  If that was the case that would have been the biggest difference to date....however, she still got the call in Alison's version and had to go because her grandmother took a turn for the worse.  In Alison's version Noah is shown as a man who is in many ways her knight in shining armor.  The anvils for this were all over the place....Athena calling him the calvery and then even Alison finding a white knight toy of her son's in the final moments.  Noah was able to do what Cole couldn't, probably because he wasn't so in the middle of it...and say the emotions that Alison was feeling about her grandmother's death being all mixed up in her still unresolved feelings about her son.  Alison's mother....she can get bent.  For all her talk about being connected with the emotions and people's auras....yeah, really?  I guess when it comes to something outside of her own selfishness...to realize her daughter signing a DNR wouldn't trigger thoughts and emotions about her child she lost and could not act to save.  Boo lady.  

 

The scenes with the detective are interesting.  I do not think that Noah and Alison are together in the current/future timeline.  I also don't think that Alison and Cole are together, given where she is sitting at Scotty's funeral.  It was interesting the scene didn't show us where Cole was sitting, but we had to assume he was sitting up front, probably right next to Mama Lockhart.  

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For what it's worth, Sarah Treem has publicly stated that we're not seeing Noah's book in either of the accounts.

Well then Noah sure has an active romantic/emotional sense of memory because that whole thing played out like he was her true love and white knight.  Or maybe, being the essentially selfish writer he is, he engages in revisionist history that presents him in a good light.

 

Question: what is with that huge house that Alison and Cole are living in?  It's not their original house, which was a great location but a little funkier.  And it's not Ma Lockhart's ranch.  Anybody know?

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While it was a nice plot point for Noah to go back to Montauk in the cold of winter

Unless the lifetime achievement award was from some local group, I thought it was odd that the event was held in Montauk and not Manhattan.

I find it absolutely unbelievable that Helen would agree or consent to having Noah go there without her literally being glued to his side.  Or if she did that she wouldn't have a way for him to be under careful watch every second he was there.

I agree. It may have been a few months, but Alison still showed-up in Helen's store.

Plus, Helen probably knows this is a catered event, and thus there's a chance that Alison will be working at it (since Alison worked at Bruce's summer party).

Was Allison coat checking or serving?

Alison was serving in Noah's version, coat checking in Alison's version.

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The detective scenes are finally becoming more informative, rather than just a tease. Noah is indeed successful, bestseller being turned into a movie. So what's with the boat from The End?

It's the detective's realization that Noah lied to the detective about being at The End. I wonder if the interrogation happened before the book reading or after. If it's after, the detective wanted to see if Noah was willing to lie about it.

Edited by GeminiDancer
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Well then Noah sure has an active romantic/emotional sense of memory because that whole thing played out like he was her true love and white knight.  Or maybe, being the essentially selfish writer he is, he engages in revisionist history that presents him in a good light.

 

Actually, he is more of a knight in her version than his own. When I saw his pov first, about how reluctant to even look at her I was like like, "sure Noah, we'll se the truth when Alison tells her version." But then he was even more outstanding in her version it partially confused me. Until I realized that they are sharing mutual feelings. After their mutual ILYs, it was more like "shit, what do we do now?"

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I doubt he wanted to run into her in order to restart the affair but he wanted to to prove he was free of her hold.

What Noah "wanted" and what he felt are two different things. The conflict between duty and passion is his drama. Alison, on the other hand, is not so torn. Noah has 4 children, she has -1. Noah has his father-in-law's money and connections, she has her share of the ranch sale. Both love their spouses.

However, I still question whether they are "together" in the future that we are seeing at the book signing and at ...So the reservation in question happened on a different night than what we saw. Why cancel? Why a change of mind?

The detective would have known if they were together at the time of their interrogations and, if they had been, would never have told them two diametrically opposite stories about his own marital status.

The night of the cancellation was the night of Scotty's death. Speaking of which, what in hell was Scotty doing on foot way out on a rural road in the middle of the night after a party?

Ruth Wilson was magnificant last night.

Edited by AmandaPanda · Reason: quote tags
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What Noah "wanted" and what he felt are two different things. The conflict between duty and passion is his drama. Alison, on the other hand, is not so torn. Noah has 4 children, she has -1. Noah has his father-in-law's money and connections, she has her share of the ranch sale. Both love their spouses.

quote name="Ellaria Sand" post="632681" timestamp="1418042763"]

However, I still question whether they are "together" in the future that we are seeing at the book signing and at ...So the reservation in question happened on a different night than what we saw. Why cancel? Why a change of mind?

The detective would have known if they were together at the time of their interrogations and, if they had been, would never have told them two diametrically opposite stories about his own marital status.

The night of the cancellation was the night of Scotty's death. Speaking of which, what in hell was Scotty doing on foot way out on a rural road in the middle of the night after a party?

Ruth Wilson was magnificant last night.

She was incredible, she's really an amazing actress.  

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I thought the house that Cole and Alison were in was the same one they've been in all along:  the beach house that she got from her grandparents.  It obviously doesn't have a great heating system.

 

Sounds like Cherry was lying, or delusional, about the $6M offer for the place.  No one would be asking about when the stables were re-roofed if it was such a hot property.  And I can see Cole's insistence that the house remain standing have a big effect on the price, and that would lead to problems with his brothers.  They're clearly all expecting to get a big chunk of change.

 

Someone could write a dissertation on the clothes and how they change between points of view.

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My guess was that he booked while she was sleeping in the car, then changed his mind and cancelled right away. From her pov, they never even showed them stopping, so maybe she slept through that part.

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Also, did anyone notice that, in Noah's flashback of his "conversation" with Alison in her grandmother's room, she wasn't actually talking as the dialogue went on? I figured the show was allowing us a glimpse of Noah's kind of esprit d'scalier inner monologue that impacts his recall.

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This show should have simply been titled: "The Narcissists".  Because there are a slew of them on hand.  Athena, you definitely get the big crown with your 'archetypal loss'.  But really Noah, you come in a close second, well....if not for Alison.  Really.  I kept pondering if I was supposed to be feeling something in that scene where she goes through the treasure chest, but decided that Alison had all the feelings for herself.  This show is a series of monuments to the first person pronouns:  My, mine, me, myself, I, me, me, me, and a little more me.  About the only person I still like is the detective.  Whitney puking was perfect, because by the end of the episode that's pretty much what I felt like doing.  The Rashomon approach is merely magnifying how completely self centered are the two main characters in this affair.  And that "I love you."  "I love you, too" was a bastardization of the meaning of the word "love".  That's not love, you two.  

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And that "I love you."  "I love you, too" was a bastardization of the meaning of the word "love".  That's not love, you two.

 

 

I disagree with that--I thought it was the only point in the show so far in which I really believed that there was a genuine emotional connection between Noah and Allison.  I bought it, and for the first time I was actually rooting for the two of them; This episode was the only time that I've found Noah sympathetic at all, probably because (as was noted above) he came across pretty well in Allison's version, even if it lacked the hero mojo of his own. (Really?  He'd be the one to know that the grandmother was about to die, and he'd tell Alison the exact right things to say at that moment?  Color me doubtful!)

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Also, did anyone notice that, in Noah's flashback of his "conversation" with Alison in her grandmother's room, she wasn't actually talking as the dialogue went on? I figured the show was allowing us a glimpse of Noah's kind of esprit d'scalier inner monologue that impacts his recall.

That was really strange, it took me a second to process the fact that she wasn't talking.

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I would like to take a minute to thank Joshua Jackson for telling the world what DNR means. I know it's a petty complaint, but the explanation really "broke" the scene! I half-expected the "The More You Know" rainbow star would appear for a second.

I was really surprised at how both spouses (especially Cole) promptly forgave their partners for cheating on them. At least Noah apologized profusely and I really believe he does still love Helen. Their marriage is not that bad at all. Allison, on the other side, has pretty much done whatever she wanted since the beginning of the show, yet everyone has been shown to be incredibly sympathetic towards her all the time. I understand she's lost a child and Cole might be a bit more supportive, but Cole has lost a child too, and I don't see her being very supportive of him either. Most of the time she looks like she's in a sort of daze and is incapable of taking any decisions, she just goes with the flow. 

And although I enjoy the acting and the exploration of the characters, I do wish sometimes the plot would move just a tiny bit faster and reveal more clues. 

 

 

That was really strange, it took me a second to process the fact that she wasn't talking.

Okay, good, then it wasn't my laptop. What was that about? Was it intentional?

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I am interested in the timeline for the events and Scotty's death. In this interview, Sarah Treem states that there is "a crime that happens about three or four years in the future." http://www.hitfix.com/whats-alan-watching/the-affair-co-creator-sarah-treem-we-wanted-to-tell-a-story-about-two-good-people

 

The show's present - when the affair begins - is 2014. Then, Scotty's death then occurs in 2017/2018. How long after his death did the interrogations occur? Weeks? Months?

 

As we heard, the memorial was delayed for some reason, perhaps police investigation or family preference. How long has the memorial been delayed?

 

Can we assume that the timeline after Scotty's death went like this: interrogation → memorial → book reading → detective visits The End?

 

If the cancellation of the hotel room happened the night of Scotty's death, are we assuming that Noah (and possibly Alison) intended to stay but cancelled at the last minute (thanks to a very generous cancellation policy) due to the "accident." What celebration were people attending? What happened at that celebration that led to Scotty's death? And why was he on that road? Is it implied that someone followed him out of the party and ran him down?
 

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crashdown wrote (quoting me, then quoting her...)

 

 

And that "I love you."  "I love you, too" was a bastardization of the meaning of the word "love".  That's not love, you two.


I disagree with that--I thought it was the only point in the show so far in which I really believed that there was a genuine emotional connection between Noah and Allison.

I will accept the genuine emotional connection, crashdown.  It's just that I define love as a series of decisions that lead to a series of actions.  After a gazillion years being married I guess I long ago decided that love is something I decide to renew each day, and long ago ceased being about emotion.  So it really is all in our individual definitions of that word, love.

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I would like to take a minute to thank Joshua Jackson for telling the world what DNR means. I know it's a petty complaint, but the explanation really "broke" the scene! I half-expected the "The More You Know" rainbow star would appear for a second.

When McNulty & Rawls are giving each other shit and you start throwing around phrases like "DNR", you want to avoid any possible confusion.

I'm assuming Wendell Pierce wasn't available to play the role of the detective.

 

Wasn't that Blair Brown (another Fringe alum) as the therapist? She's not credited on IMDB but no other actor is listed as the therapist either...

That was her, though my first thoughts tend to go to Continental Divide and Esquire magazine naming her the Thinking Man's Bombshell.

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Wasn't that Blair Brown (another Fringe alum) as the therapist? She's not credited on IMDB but no other actor is listed as the therapist either...

 

Yep, that was her.  Naturally Cole Lockhart would trust her none!  *winks*

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Yes, that was Blair Brown playing the therapist who - to my surprise - didn't seem to think it was a bad idea for Noah to go to Montauk.  I thought it was clearly a terrible idea - the wounds are too raw.

 

I completely believed the exchange of ILYs between Alison and Noah.  And I think the reason Noah was able to be so compassionate is because his own mother died when he was 17 or 18, and it affected him profoundly (earlier he alluded vaguely to marrying Helen right out of college because he was kind of rudderless as a result of his mom's death).  And I thought Alison taking the toys out of the chest was heart-wrenching.  

 

Helen telling Noah in therapy that she married him because she thought he was safe was really a twist of the knife (not that I blame her for it).  But if Noah was feeling emasculated before, what with his horrible in-laws, the jabs about his writing and the whole monetary issue, then I think Helen saying that was really the cherry on the icing.  I didn't marry you because you were gorgeous, smart, promising, the best lover I ever had, I thought you'd make a good father, I thought we were meant to be together, hell no, I married you because I thought you were safe - OUCH!!!!!,

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I thought it was interesting to me that when the detective was in Noah's book signing, Noah didn't seem to notice the detective, even with Noah facing the audience. And when the detective was in Scotty's wake, Alison immediately saw him even with the detective seated behind her, and was very uneasy. It was like she was watching out for him.

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Yes, that was Blair Brown playing the therapist who - to my surprise - didn't seem to think it was a bad idea for Noah to go to Montauk.  I thought it was clearly a terrible idea - the wounds are too raw.

But it's also Noah's version of events and he may have HEARD the therapist say that when in fact she was little more thought provoking and he took her advice a little more literally to suit his fancy.  

 

I am really struggling with this show.  On the one hand, I find it interesting and I like the Allison version of events.  But I HATE Noah with a passion so it's very hard to watch his scenes.  I want someone to smack him.

 

Noah and Helen are terrible parents.  From the first show, they've shown them to make horrible parenting choices.  

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It's just that I define love as a series of decisions that lead to a series of actions. After a gazillion years being married I guess I long ago decided that love is something I decide to renew each day, and long ago ceased being about emotion.

Alison and Noah both fell in love with their respective spouses and had marriages that worked for considerable periods of time. The couple's first-time expressions of mutual love were made on the basis of recognizing that each had the same feelings then that they had once had with their spouses, and their decision to stay together on that harrowing night gave them confidence they would feel the same and thereby be able to treat each other as devotedly in the cold light of the following morning. And the day after that? They'll decide again when they get there.

For me, Noah's most meaningful verbal expression of love was not "I love you" or even the earlier "you look so beautiful", but the spontaneous and heartfelt "that's wonderful" when Alison tells him she and Cole are trying to have a baby.

Edited by Higgs
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Noah's journey to the ILY has been more fraught than Alison's but it did feel genuine when it came. His default has been to deny what was happening. For me the significant moment was his chat with Bruce, which basically went like, "I stayed with your mother-in-law even though I loved another, for Helen". That was Noah's glimpse into the future. That's why he went back to the hospital (which was lucky because Alison hadn't bothered to call Cole).

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Am I the only one that actually ship them and think that they are in love? This episode proves it, because for the very first time it's not all about sex. I only feel bad for Helen but allowing him to go to Mountauk wasn't the smartest choice. The ILY part seemed quite real to me. Ruth Wilson was superb in this ep. She gives to her charachter a certain depth.

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Helen allowing Noah to go to Momtauk was nothing compared to the middle-aged wife of a concert violinist who hired a piano prodigy played by a very young Ingrid Bergman (making her indelible Ilsa of "Casablanca" look like an old cow) to give her daughter lessons in "Intermezzo". Never trust creative or performing artists. On average, they may be the most selfish and amoral group of people in the world, because they have to be.

Edited by Higgs

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That was nothing compared to the middle-aged wife of a concert violinist who allowed a piano prodigy played by a very young Ingrid Bergman (making her indelible Ilsa of "Casablanca" look like an old cow) give her daughter piano lessons in "Intermezzo". Never trust a creative or performing artist.

I am  a creative artist and while I'm quite trustworthy, you are absolutely right- especially writers!

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That conversation with Helen was brutal to Noah. "I could've had anyone, someone more successful, someone who's not so shy they can't string a few words together. I'm with you because my friends are so envious, marrying a guy so obviously besotted to me. etc" Helen's obviously been scarred by Bruce's infidelity but she never admitted to loving Noah during that rant of hers. Just the idea of Noah, and when she got him she wanted him to be "successful", and probably thought his public school teaching job had been indulged long enough. I'm probably being too harsh but most of the things she said had nothing to do with Noah's infidelity. 

Edited by Boundary
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I'm probably being too harsh but most of the things she [Helen] said had nothing to do with Noah's infidelity.

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." I give her some slack. Edited by Higgs
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While it was a nice plot point for Noah to go back to Montauk in the cold of winter, I find it absolutely unbelievable that Helen would agree or consent to having Noah go there without her literally being glued to his side.  Or if she did that she wouldn't have a way for him to be under careful watch every second he was there.

 

I think that Helen might actually be looking for her own way out at this point.  I think there would be such pressure to forgive a spouse infidelity when you have four children together.  Also, just judging from some exchanges with her mom, there's a known history of infidelity and how it's reacted to in their family.  Whatever Helen's father thinks he pulled off with the girl he thinks about "every fucking day" we've already seen that his wife knows he has a current mistress.  Presumably he hooks up with a new "muse" each time.  It was very interesting that Helen apparently promptly told her mother, so guess who would be advising her to stay...because I don't think it would be the same woman who told Whitney in front of Noah that she told Helen not to marry Noah.  

 

Anyway, I think Helen said yes, go, because she either has her own feelings for someone else.  One the "I could have had anyone" and wants on some level to be free.  Or she's so angry with Noah she wanted him to go and further blow-up and thereby end their relationship.  

 

Looks like that might have worked out well if that was her plan. 

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Looks like that might have worked out well if that was her plan. 

 

I don't think that was her plan, she was against it when he brought it up. But she hasn't forgiven him and she might be looking for a way out. Like you said, there's pressure to forgive a cheating spouse, especially when he's constantly saying sorry, going to all the therapy sessions and devoted to his kids. But Helen doesn't want to forgive him. Ultimately he won't want to be forgiven. The Solloway marriage has such little chance of survival, especially compared to Alison and Cole's, but in truth both marriages are over. I think that's what the ILYs ultimately meant.

 

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned." I give her some slack.

 

 

I knew I was being harsh. But I was trying to explain how Noah has such little chance of salvaging that marriage. First quarter of the first episode I wondered why Noah would cheat, clearly his marriage was fantastic, better than average. Now, after 8 episodes of insight, I'm wondering why they haven't fallen apart sooner.

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I would like to take a minute to thank Joshua Jackson for telling the world what DNR means. I know it's a petty complaint, but the explanation really "broke" the scene! I half-expected the "The More You Know" rainbow star would appear for a second.

Thank you for that. That grated on my nerves as well.

 

Okay, good, then it wasn't my laptop. What was that about? Was it intentional?

Here is my take (to unpack what I said above a little)-- I think that the dialogue in that scene was stuff Noah wish he had said, things he decided he read on her face, things that he probably hoped she was drawing from him as he was with her. Memory is a tricky thing, though-- you can be wishing you said something, and somewhere down the line find yourself claiming you said it, and further down the line believing that you said it. So, I think this was a glimpse of Noah's memory building process-- a lot of stuff he remembers happening is stuff he wishes happened.

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That conversation with Helen was brutal to Noah. "I could've had anyone, someone more successful, someone who's not so shy they can't string a few words together. I'm with you because my friends are so envious, marrying a guy so obviously besotted to me. etc" Helen's obviously been scarred by Bruce's infidelity but she never admitted to loving Noah during that rant of hers. Just the idea of Noah, and when she got him she wanted him to be "successful", and probably thought his public school teaching job had been indulged long enough. I'm probably being too harsh but most of the things she said had nothing to do with Noah's infidelity. 

She thought she was better than him, she thought he knew it too, and knew the score, and figured he'd be so grateful for her and the life that her parents provided for them that he'd never think of cheating. 

 

I like Helen less and less as time goes on.  Now that I think of it, there really aren't any characters to root for, not really.

Edited by JacqaloonLaurita
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I don't think that was her plan, she was against it when he brought it up. But she hasn't forgiven him and she might be looking for a way out. Like you said, there's pressure to forgive a cheating spouse, especially when he's constantly saying sorry, going to all the therapy sessions and devoted to his kids. But Helen doesn't want to forgive him.

 

To be clear, I don't actually think it was a conscious plan, but she's definitely hasn't forgiven him and that's legitimate on her part, I think. Noah doesn't want to be, necessarily, but he's actively in love with someone else.   Not accepting his gift was very much about letting him know that he's not out of the dog house.   I do think that she may have agreed, in part, because she did want him to justify her continued anger with him, on some level that she's perhaps not acknowledging.  

 

At the restaurant, before the strained attempt at "look, I bought you a completely spontaneous token of my love! Romantic! Loving!  Good Husband Stuff Right Here!" face-plant, Helen spoke of the store being featured in the most glowing terms possible.  By the time they are at the therapists the way Helen is presenting that has changed it into a burden for her.   Whether she was seeking to justify her continued frustration or anger by spinning that as a problem to be solved, rather than the "wow, I have great news!" at dinner, I don't know.  

 

I do think that it's perfectly understandable that Helen is still angry, and that Cole chooses to remain emotionally distant on some things too.  I don't dislike Noah or Alison, but I also like Cole and Helen.  I like that there isn't anyone I can view as a villain.  

 

Although Helen's dad still seems like a jerk to me and Noah and Helen have produced a couple of true charmers in their kids, for the most part everyone -- save Athena, because wow, she was horrible at the hospital -- other than Athena, I find it easy to relate to all the characters.  

 

They all have their moments of being jerks or joys to be around.  Noah was great, helping Alison let go of her grandmother.  By the same token, Alison was pretty far into being (to my mind) in the wrong for dragging out her grandmother's suffering....but it was completely understandable why she would. 

 

I guess that's what I'm liking in this show, I may not like everyone all the time, but I find I'm able to figure out a way to understand why they might feel or act as they do.  That's a pretty successful sort of story for me.  

 

Here was something I thought was touching: Cole's inability to let go of that ranch is his form of clinging to something that needs to go for the good of all.  Alison and Cole were essentially in the same head space, it's just there's no real way to meet each other's needs there.  

 

It's a little bit the same way for Helen and Noah.  They both want to be able to actually move forward for the sake of their family, if not their personal relationship as much, but they are both engaged in some sort of "fake it till you make it" and the cracks show a lot.  No matter how good Noah's intentions were, he really was making too big of a deal about how he could go and do this for Helen.  

 

I don't know, I think they are all busy trying to talk themselves into what they wish was true, rather than what is actually true for them, at present.  All four people in that relationship sphere.  

 

The part of the story I don't have as much interest in is in the detective story.  Whatever, Intrepid Dude. There better turn out to be one hell of a story behind Scotty's death to justify why this guy is so doggedly pursuing it.  

 

 

 

She thought she was better than him, she thought he knew it too, and knew the score, and figured he'd be so grateful for her and the life that her parents provided for them that he'd never think of cheating.

 

As we've seen, memory tends to be a slippery thing that can be bent by the person to fit the present circumstances. I didn't really believe that was why Helen married him.  I did believe that she knew it would really hurt Noah for her to say that to him and that's why I think she said it.  I don't think she married him  specifically believing he was super safe and would never cheat on her.  I think she married him because she was in love with him. It's just what she's told herself is the case after he did cheat on her.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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