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S02.E02: 202

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The second episode is now available on demand.

"Alison's summer with Noah is interrupted by an unwelcome guest. Meanwhile, Cole's self-destructive lifestyle causes everyone to become concerned."

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When Ivana appeared my first thought was; OMG it's Cher!  But it wasn't... 

 

Alison's memories of Cole still sound like they come from under interrogation.  Perhaps Noah's legal defense necessitates implicating Cole by painting him as violent, aggressive, and unstable.   It's also true that in both versions Alison concealed from Noah the fact that Cole showed up, and we saw in the trailer for season 2 Noah really pissed off about (apparently) that fact.  Did she conceal it because it was such a nice, warm encounter that he would be jealous, or because it was so frightening and intrusive that she was afraid Noah would try to retaliate in some way? 

 

I guess if we see Alison riding her bike to the village in future episodes (which came from Cole's truck, not his cab) or we find that chest full of their dead son's things, then we'll know there was some more truth to Alison's claims.  However, I don't see how Alison remembering Noah as blowing up at her would help his defense--unless they're trying to underline how much stress he was under, so much stress that he would flip out and speed down a road at night... 

 

But personally, I don't buy the double standard that Alison was more justified then Noah here.  The trauma he described of losing both of his parents when he was a very young teenager, being held back from life by watching his mother slowly get sick and die is very significant.  It doesn't sound like he ever truly got over it.  And it would make sense that this would be inflamed all the more when his oldest children reach the age that he was when that happened.  I think Noah's emotional journey is about much more then a "mid-life crisis" which is so often looked down upon and made fun of, and he's not worse then Alison for deciding to end his marriage.  I don't buy into the cultural shame and hatred thrown at men, as if they don't have complex emotional reasons and needs for doing what they do, just like women who are given easier justification.

 

It makes perfect sense to me that they are both so insecure still, and apparently even years later, after their marriage Alison was still wary of the Butler's reclaiming Noah as their own.  Both Noah and Alison have no family of their own, and they both married into these big families with an entrenched lifestyle that they were pulled into.  Maybe Noah felt (and was constantly told) that he was more out of place in the Butler's 1% world then Alison did in the Lockheart's ranching family.  But it's still similar, and it makes sense that the two of them would be drawn towards each other, yet also feel insecure if they are 'enough,' just them as opposed to a huge family of people.

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I agree. Women should not get free passes for cheating. Alison is just as much of a jerk as Noah for what she did.

If this show winds up vilifying Cole as the killer, I'm going to be pissed.

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That's an interesting point regarding the families Noah & Allison married into, Glade. I just dislike both characters so much (but love the actors) I think I'm unwilling to give them an inch. Especially since Allison got involved in the coke dealing & Noah seemed super comfy at the Montauk mansion.

 

I've always liked Joanna Gleason and thought she was one of those actresses who looked mature for her age when she was younger. The dark hair is fab on her and I don't think she butchered herself but I couldn't stop staring, wondering exactly what she had done. Facelift? 

 

I was fascinated with Cole's POV and the fact that it featured more clothes on Allison - I don't think anyone's version has done that. 

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Noah is an asshole in everyone's memories but his own, which I appreciate.

I guess we can add cocaine/lack of sleep and emotional distress to the reasons Cole's memories may be compromised, and I do think he was probably vaguely threatening to Allison, but there had to be a lot of truth there. He is such a sad mess even in his own memory.

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Noah seemed super comfy at the Montauk mansion.

 

See, I found him to be anything but. He seemed forever agitated, hostile and resentful.

 

I also saw him trying to build a case for his future actions with Alison by trying to find Helen so disappointing for very petty reasons.

 

I think Alison is as much to blame as he is, never bought the whole "not her marriage" argument. I do feel that the trauma she experienced as an adult definitely makes her a more damaged person that Noah. She's just as destructive and I loathe her for what she's done and the way she's done it but losing her child and not having anyone to comfort her somehow makes her seem like a person without any resources to do better.

 

Both Noah and Alison have no family of their own, and they both married into these big families with an entrenched lifestyle that they were pulled into.  Maybe Noah felt (and was constantly told) that he was more out of place in the Butler's 1% world then Alison did in the Lockheart's ranching family.  But it's still similar, and it makes sense that the two of them would be drawn towards each other, yet also feel insecure if they are 'enough,' just them as opposed to a huge family of people.

 

I am so drawn to the ideas in this post. I really relate to the way I've felt in my own marriage. My family is pretty casual about how and when we get together but really keep one another up to date on our lives. My in laws barely exchange information whether big or small but god help you if you don't attend every function no matter how opposite if may be to your religion, customs or general preferences. Non attendance is seen as very insulting. This attitude has caused years and years of arguments and bad feelings but I've never sought escape in an affair. I can honestly say I don't like them or being around them but I'm not married to them. They do make me feel bullied and overwhelmed and like there's a constant force trying to pull me in and assimilate me. 

 

After all I've seen around me, I've come to the conclusion that people are either going to have affairs or not and it has nothing to do with the circumstances of their relationship. You're either someone who will do this or you're not. Some people will stay in an unhappy relationship, others leave and quite a few I've known well would cheat as a passive way of ending things (getting caught). 

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Ruth Wilson is such an excellent actor. When I see Allison on screen, she seems so mentally disturbed in every scene, always ready to break down at any given moment. It is as if she is holding in so much that is veiled in secrecy and mystery that others should be almost afraid to be alone with her. 

 

In the trailer for what is to come, Noah says something to Allison like: I gave up my life for you. I have a feeling Allison is going to leave Noah and for the first time he will see how emotionally unstable and erratic she really is.

Edited by DakotaLavender
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That ending scene with Cole confused me because it was like he was looking over at Allison realizing she killed his brother as opposed to Noah..

 

I don't know, it was weird to me how they panned on him looking over..

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It made me nervous, like how long is this close-up going to be, and are they going to pull some crap like Cole killed him own brother to get Allison back in his world?  I hope I'm way off.  

 

I enjoyed watching a Day in the Life of Cole Lockhart.  I loved his mostly one-sided convo with Helen's father with everything unspoken interesting.  Did that blonde woman who threw up basically say she'd pay him for sex?  His life has gone beyond in the toilet as he has lost everything and is now a taxi driver doing coke to stay awake.  

 

I actually found Cole hilarious in Allison's version of his visit even though that's the version where he's menacing.  All Allison remembers is he had a gun, while all he remembers is how sad and fucked up and alone he is.  I find it hard to believe she would be that kind to him in Cole's version.  

 

Man, I simply love Joshua Jackson.  He is very masculine and intense, the ladies got that right.  

Edited by sunflower
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The biggest tragedy of the episode (and maybe the show) is that someone thought it was a good idea to put a pregnancy belly on Joshua Jackson. ::shakes head::

 

Interesting that Cole and Allison's POVs seem far more disparate than Noah and Helen's or even Noah and Allison's for the most part. I was worried about Cole's depiction, and while he did come off as menacing briefly in Allison's, at least it was also deflated quickly by him laughing, as if it was clear he would never really hurt her. I still find it sort of weird/ridiculous that Allison views her husband that she was with since she was a teenager this way though--it just doesn't seem realistic that she would distrust him to this degree. I assume it's part of her wanting to victimify herself further -- everyone is awful to poor sensitive Allison, etc. But it makes it seem like she never really knew him at all. I wish they'd actually spent a bit more time/gave us more info on their past as a couple. Noah and Helen seem well established and like they know each other far better, in comparison--yet both couples were together a long time. I guess I'd believe Allison's version a bit more if she hadn't been with/known Cole quite as long before they got married and had Gabriel. 

 

I thought it was very sad and yet sort of predictable that he wanted to remember Allison as being kinder and happier to see him and more the girl next door that he married (hence the cable sweater instead of some provocative outfit). Drug using and dealing aside, I still feel such sympathy and affection for Cole when he turns on the vulnerability. That "you ever coming home/i just had to ask" bit was so heartbreaking. He was so blindsided. 

 

I'd also like to see the balance of the show shift a little more into showing us the intriguing future stuff, than the present...where we follow Allison around the damn house for 5 minutes while she's pretty bored. 

 

And yay Joanna Gleason! I will always love her for being The Baker's Wife. 

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Out of the four main characters, Cole is really the only one I find sympathetic. Maybe part of it is Josh Jackson's inherent likeability, but Cole has been hurt the most out of all of them (dead son, wife cheats on him, wife leaves him, financial problems) and he still seems to be a decent person at the core. I don't get that sense from the other three (especially Noah) - all seem intensely selfish and self-serving.

I'm getting a little tired of this fragmented memories schtick. It's one thing not to remember if a mediator was jolly or rude, but having SUCH wildly different memories of every.single.event. is starting to seem like all of these characters are suffering from some kind of mental illness.

I don't think Cole did it, but I think the show wants us to at least suspect that he did. 1) He told Scotty this episode that if he didn't get out of his way, he would "run [him] over". Clumsy foreshadowing or a red herring? 2) That never-ending closeup at the end of Cole's conflicted (?) face. 3) Cole's wanting to hurt/kill Noah. Framing him for murder would do the trick. But I think it's a bit convoluted and impractical.

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I am officially over Noah and Alison sex scenes. I feel like I saw more than enough of that last season to where now I'm officially over it. I don't find them hot or sexy or appealing and they seem to go on way too long. Not to mention that I feel like that's all I have ever really seen between them and yet I am supposed to believe they have this deep, true love forever love story. 

 

And as I suspected from the first promo of the season, they're clearly going to try to make it look like Cole is really the one who ran Scotty down. What with the animosity between them (and wow what an asshole that guy was), Cole's continued drinking and driving and using cocaine to stay awake for hours and making Noah take the fall for it would be a perfect way to screw Noah over. I'd love for the writers to let me know if that's where they're going with this so I can peace out from now because I'm not here for that. Watching Cole's spiral from just losing Alison was hard enough (and I loved the fake belly on Joshua to indicate Cole's heavy drinking). 

 

I find it very interesting that in Alison's memory, almost every guy was an asshole to her. From Noah's shitty attitude because he was in a bad mood, to Cole's almost threatening her and finally Noah's lawyer apparently treating her with borderline disdain, as I imagine he's clearly Helen's family lawyer. It's just interesting how Alison sees herself in relation to men in her life. The only exception was the owner of the house and I didn't really like or trust him. He and his wife seemed perfectly fine but I kept getting an uncomfortable vibe in his scenes with Alison and feeling like he was going to hit on her or something. 

 

As I said, Cole's spiral was hard to watch even though I guess if you needed a reason to drink - your kid dying, your wife leaving you for some other guy and losing your family ranch and legacy would pretty much be it. Will be interesting to see how the relationship with him and the nanny progresses (not a spoiler, just figured we met her for a reason). Speaking of the nanny, anyone know whose kid that would be? Because that was clearly Helen's parents house but Helen doesn't have any kids that young and it couldn't possibly be Alison and Noah's kid because aside from that never happening, the timeline didn't add up. I wonder if she was lying about it really being her kid for whatever reason. And wow is Helen's dad an asshole. Thing is, he and Noah are not that different even though he sees Noah as beneath him and Noah thinks he's a better person. 

 

eta: I think it's interesting how kind and happy Alison appears in Cole's memory. She's clear she's not coming back to him but she seems concerned and loving towards him and is beautiful and happy. The contrast with her memory is striking, where Cole looks nothing like the broken man in his memory, he's mean, antagonistic and she looks a mess when she sees him and there's barely a kind word exchanged between them.

 

I agree. Women should not get free passes for cheating. Alison is just as much of a jerk as Noah for what she did.

 

 

Well I personally hated and continue to hate them both. I never gave Alison the "my son died" pass to excuse all her selfish behavior. 

 

Noah is an asshole in everyone's memories but his own, which I appreciate.

 

 

That's what sad, I feel like he's an asshole even in his own memories which was what confirmed to me that yes, Noah is Grade A Douche...period.

Edited by truthaboutluv
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I wondered about the nanny as well.  She hesitated before she said that the kid wasn't hers.  Maybe this is the younger woman (she was a student of his, I believe) that Helen's dad left her mom for?  Maybe she (and her mother and child) have moved into the house already.

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I always wonder why none of these people have friends at their age. If I was going through any of this stuff my friends would be rallying. These characters are just tragically alone.

I felt absolute loneliness for Alison when Noah was being mean to her. I can't imagine blowing up my life for someone only to discover they were a terrible, mean person. To me the loneliest feeling you can ever have is when you feel lonely lying next to your spouse/lover.

I love Joshua Jackson irrationally so loved his first POV. It really hit me hard when I realized he was sleeping in the trailer instead of the house. His POV of his meeting with Alison broke my heart. He really needed a soft place to land if only for a moment.

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Yeah, I actually trust Cole's drug-hazed memory more than Allison's right now because of this: 

 

 

 

It's just interesting how Alison sees herself in relation to men in her life. The only exception was the owner of the house and I didn't really like or trust him. He and his wife seemed perfectly fine but I kept an uncomfortable vibe in his scenes with Alison and feeling like he was going to hit on her something.

 

Absolutely every dude she encountered was some form of threatening.  Even the perfectly nice guy with the bum knee had an edge of menace to him "You look like a resourceful girl" ....uh, what?  She's wearing a sundress (which was not provocative in anyway, to my eye, I thought she was actually concealing a pregnancy it was tented enough) entirely impractical, if also entirely blameless sandals not in the least fit for a long walk to town and she was stranded on a damned rock when he picked her up.  So there was a weird, predatory thing going on with him in Allison's memory too. 

 

But that fits absolutely every memory we've ever seen from Allison. Oscar was almost too gross to be believed last season, he sexually harassed the hell out of her.  Why would anyone stay in that waitressing job?  Noah's the aggressor in all of her memories, whereas she's either the nymphette or angel in his.  In his own mind he sees her as nearly angelic and focuses on dancing on the deck.  In hers, she's the dirty secret he's keeping who tells her she's not allowed to take a job she's offered.  Cole practically heaves a trunk of their dead son's toys at her, and is so hale and hardy looking that the woman who runs a publishing house tries to see if he's interested in hooking up with her niece, because he has that manly vitality, always going everywhere with a toolbox, ready to manhandle the hell out of everything.  

 

In his own, he sees himself as a broken, sick looking guy who only the drunken prostitute who claims to be a landscaping artist "very discreet" sees in a sexual fashion. 

 

I'm sure it will always turn out to be that there are shades of the truth in all the memories, but damn, Allison's specialize in her -- the tender flower, fragile, easily broken, constantly beset by oafish men being insensitive to her.  

 

It will be interesting to see what goes on here, but Cole's memory of himself as a near wreck of a human being, looking like crap and threatening women with the police if they don't hand over his ex-wife's new address had a ring of authenticity to it that Allison's didn't.  For instance, how the hell did she get home?  Walking barefoot for six miles....with fish to cook for dinner....?  I think not.  

 

Her's seems a memory defined for a defense team, whereas Cole's seems to be that of a guy who is so on the edge, he almost backs over a toddler ....whose Nanny is clearly the reason he's far less "come back to me" when he sees Allison again.  Who remembers himself as nearly causing a head-on collision and breaking the law to keep driving that cab....while looking like Death Cab for ....just plain old Death. 

 

As for that look that he gave Allison at the end, HOLY ACTING CHALLENGES....that was a seriously long take to hold and do nothing that gave the game away with....he didn't smirk, he didn't melt, he didn't stare with malicious intent but there was a LOT going on there.  Who the hell knew that Joshua Jackson was an actor with that much range?  That looks scared the hell out of me, specifically because all it told me was that he knew something about Allison he hadn't before....and it wasn't a positive thing.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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I loved the fake belly on Joshua to indicate Cole's heavy drinking).

 

The belly is likely from sitting behind the wheel of a cab all day and night.

 

The contrasts between the viewpoints have been quite drastic in these last two episodes. I don't remember them being so dramatically different in the first season. I know they were different, but it seems moreso now.

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It also killed me when Cole said he thought of something funny to tell Alison. That's the worst when you pick up the phone to call someone you have lost.

Edited by Miss chi chi
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That's simply because most people have to get a snack and take a restorative nap after I post, Miss chi chi.  I'm not exactly known for brevity and people need to rest up after chewing through one of meandering "How many words can this woman possibly use to describe 'he seemed angry'?  Wow.  Even more than you'd think" post of mine.  

 

I liked no children in this episode. I have a vivacious, vibrant 6 year old and these kids terrify me.

 

I loved how they managed to make even the little boy playing with a ball, at least a little bit of a jackass-in-training.  

 

Also got at least a tiny bit of a kick out of the show revisiting the tale of the great love of Helen's father.   So Grandma Gorgon is getting dumped eh?  I wonder how likely that is to actually see fruition, because I'm guessing that the glow of Barcelona will be burned away in the supernova fury that is likely to result when he tries to pull that one off.  

 

There are a couple of things that stood out in odd ways to me.  Cole, in Allison's memory is pretty much Oscar's revisited in terms of his demeanor.   I wonder if that was an intentional choice by the director, because it really was as if Allison had recast the role of Oscar with Cole.   Also, Allison presumably didn't ask her friend to mail her a bicycle -- and I couldn't quite figure out why she wouldn't simply have most of her things with her anyway -- but since the visit happened in both versions and involved Allison needing her things, I'm assuming that she might have needed warmer clothes? 

 

I did feel at least marginally sorry for Allison when Richard Schiff's character was so chilly to her he practically left frost hanging in the air, but again it fits with the theme of how Allison tends to view men:  She has her Threat Level Detection set to High for all the guys of the world.  Kudos to Schiff for managing to make his already brisk lawyer positively Polar in affect.  

 

Also, Cole was already remembering himself as being kind of a jackass to all and sundry, almost across the board.  He was remembering himself as being more than at least a little menacing in terms of seeing Noah on the street and the way he spoke to Scotty (who is apparently just a human leech in everyone's recollection).   

 

This one was a difficult one to match up for common points though.  Allison and Cole were literally dressed for different seasons in the two memories. 

 

Apparently everyone wants Allison to sell her grandmother's house so that they can get a share of it.  Boy, Cole's family is just charming, but Noah asking about it was a little startling.  Just finish the book with the original ending and have done with it.   Is this supposed to be his first or second book?  Because we already know that he had at least one successful book, when Noah was arrested at the end of last season, they were living in a nice apartment and his book was being praised.  

 

This season, apparently they are broke?  Is that part of the reason for the inclusion of the "You believe me, don't you?" from Allison last year? 

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stillshimpy, I edited my post because I didn't know if my sarcastic teasing would offend, but of course you got it.  I love your posts.  I rewatched and realized that Cole's words to Allison weren't very threatening.  It was the violent, menacing way that he said them in her POV which changed their meaning. She does play the role of the victim in her POVs that is getting pretty annoying.   

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stillshimpy, I hope you're right about Cole's memory being more truthful than Allison's. Hers rang truer to me because I just couldn't believe she would be that nice to someone who she had a rocky breakup with and who had recently been threatening with a gun. Also, Cole's memory would be affected by being on coke and not having slept for days. Not that we'll ever see the truth, although that would be awesome. It seems that the writers want to drive home the point that there is no truth, only our perception. I still think that the recollections are too different to be explained by personal bias, but I've accepted it at this point.

 

During the present day(trial) scenes I was trying to see if Cole was wearing a wedding and it looks like he was. His left hand was mostly obscured but I thought I caught a glimpse of a band a couple times. Did anyone else see it or am I imagining things?

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Grandma Gorgon's viciousness toward Noah (in his memory) may be more credible, now that we know that her own husband has looked up his much-younger "old flame" online, spent enough time with her to conclude they are both back in love (with an implied, shrugged, "I know -- at my age") and decamped with her to Barcelona over the preceding weekend. Margaret doesn't strike me as someone who would let too much of that get by her, nor does Bruce seem to be the soul of discretion. He who invited his then-mistress to a semi-formal Butler summer gathering, daring his wife or daughter to make a thing about it.  

 

So in retrospect, it looks as if Margaret had spent the night before at Helen's house, and that morning, had hustled three of the four grandchildren out the door, tended to the sorrows of the older boy (I'd like to have listened in), called her housekeeper for a recipe and instructions, ran out to the store to buy some staple she'd assumed Helen had in stock (or Margaret had misidentified when she did inventory for her housekeeper over the phone, only to discover her mistake when it came time to prepare the recipe)...all this, after receiving a blurry phone call from Helen the night before, telling Margaret that she was having a good time with Max and she'd be seeing her the following day, after mediation with Noah, and telling Margaret not to worry about getting the kids off to their activities; they could stand to sleep in and miss a day; everything was almost over, anyway...

 

So there's Margaret in Helen's too-short apron, and then enter Travis, crying, followed closely by Noah, (not) bleeding, and looking for a fight, it seems. Well. He'll find one. Starting with that ugly Le Creuset in that goddamned gaudy "flame" that anyone in their right minds knows is called burnt orange. This is what passes for a joke in France, apparently. That, and married men.

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Thank you, Miss chi chi, and you're welcome to tease me whenever you like.  Unless it is about chocolate.  That is far too serious and beloved a subject for me to take a ribbing over ;-) 

 

Hers rang truer to me because I just couldn't believe she would be that nice to someone who she had a rocky breakup with and who had recently been threatening with a gun. Also, Cole's memory would be affected by being on coke and not having slept for days. Not that we'll ever see the truth, although that would be awesome. It seems that the writers want to drive home the point that there is no truth, only our perception. I still think that the recollections are too different to be explained by personal bias, but I've accepted it at this point.

 

I agree that there seemed absolutely no way that Alison could have been that warm to Cole, or that nurturing but his memory included so many negative things about himself.  Snorting coke.  Day-drinking.  Being so irresponsible as to nearly cause a head-on collision and much like Helen's memories, his are going to be clouded by a haze of impairment on multiple levels.  Plus, he remembers himself threatening to run Scotty over if he doesn't get out of the way.   

 

His own memories are fairly damning towards himself and he remembered himself looking like absolute crap.  

 

In Alison's memory, it is the super-exaggerated aggression that makes something really kind of odd:  Why in the world doesn't Alison call the police rather than leave him alone in there to fix the toilet?  Plus, Cole just keeps a toolbox in his cab?   I think it was testimony that Alison gave, giving a particularly menacing spin to everything, if it wasn't for the detail of meeting the land-lady, etc.  

 

But there's something funny too:  Their recollections of the others appearance are completely reversed.  Alison remembers herself as being in a sweat-stained sundress, barefoot, flushed....looking not her best, whereas she remembers Cole as looking daisy fresh, handsome, fit and alert enough to be purposefully snide.   Cole remembers Alison as looking her absolute best, in a light sweater, hair nicely done, makeup fresh talking of reading and wandering. 

 

It also really depends on whose memory of the way that gun was pulled is closer to true as to whether or not she'd view him as a threat.  In her own, he pulls it and points it at pretty much everyone in turn, but ultimately at his own head.   I can actually see why that might cause more of a "How are you?" reaction....because he was having a breakdown of epic proportions there, if that was true, but was ultimately most threatening to himself.  

 

But at the end when he sees her with her little girl, he presumably isn't high, isn't sleep deprived and is again, greeted as closer to a friend than an enemy....but that look that he remembers giving her at the end?  Yeah, that wasn't a warm, friendly look.  So there's emotional disparity in his feelings about Alison within his own memories. 

 

I don't know that we will ever know which one is closest to true, but in her own, Alison blameless and in Cole's?  He's weird and remembers himself as screwing up whereas he remembers her as nearly being saintly at the house and himself as pathetic.   Usually people aren't harder on themselves than someone else within the confines of their own POV. 

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Just a shallow comment here, but I really, sincerely hope Cole gets some action this season. I would love to see him get over Alison and start putting his life back together, starting with a super steamy sex session, possibly with that nanny. 

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But there's something funny too:  Their recollections of the others appearance are completely reversed.  Alison remembers herself as being in a sweat-stained sundress, barefoot, flushed....looking not her best, whereas she remembers Cole as looking daisy fresh, handsome, fit and alert enough to be purposefully snide.   Cole remembers Alison as looking her absolute best, in a light sweater, hair nicely done, makeup fresh talking of reading and wandering. 

 

I noticed this too and actually think Alison's recollection of him being put together, although also crazy and threatening, shows that her memory is not entirely accurate either because I believe that he was on coke and sleep deprived so there's no way he looked that good or acted that controlled. As you've pointed out, she is always the perpetual victim in her own mind, which doesn't ring true either. 

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Great observations about Cole and of course, Joshua Jackson (Pacy4evah!), in your post stilshimpy.

 

Cole and Helen are the most likable characters to me, and not just because they're the "victims." Cole is in the worst position of the four characters, and I really felt for him.

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It sure seems like they want us to think Cole did it. But is that just way too obvious? I would think it's a red herring if not for the fact that I'm pretty sure this show is less interested in the murder stuff than it is in the relationship stuff, so maybe it really is that simple. Plus, I don't know who else could have actually done it that would mean anything to the audience, unless it was Alison or something. But aside from one of the main four, anybody could have done it and no one would really care who the killer was, would they?

 

I mean, if it was Helen's dad, I don't think anyone would give a shit.

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Alison is a ditz.

 

If it really is 6 miles into town, then walking there and back would be about a 4 hour round trip, which was her original plan.  That would be fine except she completely blanked on fixing the toilet.  She would have completely forgotten about it if Cole hadn't asked to use the bathroom.  Don't get the toilet fixed Alison and you will literally need to get your shit together. It's a good thing Noah's kids don't visit there, though I suppose they would have reminded her.

 

And though Noah was a jackass in the way he talked about it -- natch -- I too think it's a bad idea for Alison to work for her or her boyfriend's landlady, especially since the landlady's husband is Cartaphilus from The Seventh Sign.

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If it really is 6 miles into town, then walking there and back would be about a 4 hour round trip,

 

And she was both a waitress and a nurse, two professions where you know a lot about human nature....and appropriate footwear for being on your feet and clocking miles like...whoa.  

 

Also, world's stupidest nitpick alert ho!:  I was a waitress in college and it bothered the hell out of me that Alison sat in a restaurant with a sundae glass of some kind and no water.   Then Strangely Menacing Bum Knee Landlord Dude also sat down to eat a sandwich...with not so much as a napkin, or glass of water.  

 

I get that these are likely set dressing decisions (you don't have to worry about water level or napkin placement for multiple takes) ...but since Alison was clearly just fiddling with the...whatever, Jell-o parfait or whatever that was vs. actually being called upon to eat, take after take....just have a prop water glass there for it.  

 

Strangely Menacing Bum Knee was taking bites out of the Hoagie (and with that, everyone knows I started out life on the East Coast) ....and no napkin? Never.  No water?  So unlikely.   It was part of what made the memories feels surreal. 

Edited by stillshimpy
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Oh and I keep forgetting to add why this episode actually made me interested in seeing the full season so much.  

 

At the end of Noah's memories of his mediation day Noah goes home and sees Allison and they have dinner together (which was an ending he'd actually crafted for his story rather than the protagonist killing his mistress).  It was one of the few times I ever had any "well, okay sure they did a hell of a lot of damage to get there, but at least they are happy and he clearly views and remembers her as his haven."  It's drippy, but sweet when they dance on the deck (and the show drop-kicked subtlety right in the slats by having storm clouds gathering in the distance).    

 

So I had that moment of "Yup, this is as big a mess as it can be for the kids, Helen, Max....who I am pretty sure isn't going to end up getting what he wants out of this at the end of the day....his acquisition of the thing he believed he coveted...Noah's life.  However, at least they seem happy together, so someone wins."  

 

But holy crow, Alison's memory of that evening is starkly different.  He comes in....passive-aggressively criticizes what she's cooking for dinner, not-so-indirectly hints that he's thinking of the ways Alison could support them for a while, if she sells her house since his publisher has essentially said that he won't publish Noah's book without the original ending.  Is accusatory about the manuscript (and when Allison started lying there, I couldn't blame her even a little bit....but it was also what made me wonder if Allison just sees all men as potential threats...because again....change his tone on any of that and he's not actually being anywhere near the buttmunch that scene makes him out to be....he's just reacting to the day we saw him have.   Until he gets to the part where he's pretty much ordering her to not take a job (which was when I started wondering about the validity of her memories about Cole for that day....because Noah is far from being someone I like, but he's never had that abusive, controlling edge to him, at least that we've seen.  Then he apologizes, they have sex (while the Dover Sole has to be ruined because sole is freaking delicate as hell to cook) ...and in Allison's memory....the wind is actually starting to kick up on the deck.  

 

So that's actually when I realized there's sort of brilliant note in Allison's characterization.  The old thing about everyone is the main character of their own story....Allison always seems to feel she is being judged, or put on trial. 

 

In that scene with Schiff, I genuinely felt sorry for her:  She's demanding actually laughable things "Everything about my husband's defense goes through me!"  Uh...not unless Noah says it does, Schiff's character is just a hair's breadth from actually daring to looking condescending amused....and I realized that Allison's character is pretty much afraid, all the time.  Always.  

 

That part of what made her choose Noah was the same reason Helen gave:  He seemed the safer choice.  She's just someone who can't ever quite find safety in her own mind.  

 


 

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But holy crow, Alison's memory of that evening is starkly different.  Then he apologizes, they have sex (while the Dover Sole has to be ruined because sole is freaking delicate as hell to cook) ...and in Allison's memory....the wind is actually starting to kick up on the deck.  

 

 

 

 

And I am wondering why Noah's literary agent asks him if the book is about Noah and why Noah wants to keep that book so private. The versions of events are so different in some scenes that I am wondering if some of the versions are just reenactments of chapters from the book. 

 

And does anybody know why Noah's lawyer is so hostile to Alison? Is he just taking his stance from Helen who is paying him? And Alison said "I know who you are." How does she know Noah's lawyer? 

Edited by DakotaLavender
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Nooooo, not Pacey!!!!!

So glad we got Cole's point of view. Love the contrast with the way he remembered himself looking when he first visited Alison, and how he looked at the court room. But, as others have said, if it turns out that he killed his brother to get back at Noah, I'm not going to be happy.

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Yay, I am now caught up.  I wonder if they are going to keep releasing new episodes on demand on Mondays?

 

Alison needs a restraining order.

 

Wow, shitty friend, to give Cole Alison's address two seconds after saying he wasn't supposed to have it.

 

Joshua Jackson did an amazing job of looking like he was seriously sleep-deprived.  Is it the makeup department that deserves kudos, or did he do some Method acting and stay up for a long time before filming those scenes?

 

In the closing credits, there was one for "Jane Look Alike".  Any idea who that was supposed to be?

 

Out of the four main characters, Cole is really the only one I find sympathetic. Maybe part of it is Josh Jackson's inherent likeability, but Cole has been hurt the most out of all of them (dead son, wife cheats on him, wife leaves him, financial problems) and he still seems to be a decent person at the core.

 

Wow, just goes to show you how (fittingly for this show) we can all see the same set of pixels and hear the same soundwaves and come to remarkably different conclusions.  For me, the ship had sailed on Cole being a decent or sympathetic person when he brandished that revolver (on TV, this is treated as no biggie as long as you don't actually shoot anyone; but IRL that is a serious crime in its own right).  But even without that background, he did not come across well at all for me in this episode (even, as stillshimpy noted, in his own recollection).  He nearly killed a couple people with his recklessness, he treated Alison's friend menacingly, he essentially stalked Alison and trespassed in the home where she was staying, and then he either did or didn't act very threatening depending on whose perspective you buy.  

 

So then after all that, his intense stare at the very end of the episode is something that is probably ambiguous but which I interpreted in a very dark way.  As in, worrying that he would actually kill Alison and her daughter dark.

 

Is this supposed to be his first or second book?  Because we already know that he had at least one successful book, when Noah was arrested at the end of last season, they were living in a nice apartment and his book was being praised.  

 

There are some elements of the timeline I would love to see someone take a stab at clarifying, but AFAIK he has written two books.  One is called A Person Visits a Place, and was published before any of the events of the series.  We know that it got good reviews and bad reviews, and was not wildly successful--but was big enough to make his previous publisher ask him to write a second novel (a "handshake deal" that Noah blew off, probably for me the most discreditable thing he has done, but which I have never seen anyone else take note of).  That novel, a bunch of which he wrote during his affair with Alison in the summer and the rest of which he finished in the "rubber room", is titled Descent.  It is dedicated "To Alison", and by the time Noah is arrested it has become a big success and is being made into a movie.

 

And does anybody know why Noah's lawyer is so hostile to Alison? Is he just taking his stance from Helen who is paying him? And Alison said "I know who you are." How does she know Noah's lawyer? 

 

I'm wondering the same two things!  I think they are both significant, and will probably become clear(er) in time.

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To be fair, we still don't know which version of Cole pulling out the gun was accurate. He might have done in to stop Noah from killing his brother.

I'm not saying that what he did was right, but to be fair, this was RIGHT AFTER Alison said all those shitty things about wanting to forget him and that it was basically his fault their son died. I don't condone it but I don't blame him either.

I really do think Helen and Cole are the ones that are telling what's close to the actual truth, because they aren't sugarcoating the fact that they have become trainwrecks. Noah and Alison, on the other hand, keep making themselves out to be the victims.

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It is impossible to know what these characters really have or have not done. 

It is impossible to decide who to forgive, or condemn, or side with, or side against. 

It is impossible to decide what these people really want. 

It is impossible to assign a meaning to the events which may or may not be happening. 

 

I hung in to see Cole's perspective, but it seems to me to be Allison's fantasy of how crappy his life is without her. Noah is the writer, so of course he's privileged as a character with more agency and more emotions. 

 

Done.

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See, the reason that I think this season has become so fascinating is that it makes clear that there is no "this is the gospel truth of what went down in terms of emotional reception" and I think the writers did something kind of brilliant, pretty much right away by having both Helen and Cole be impaired for their own recollections.  

 

Helen gets stoned before going into that mediation, but Noah remembers her as having the blue-blooded icy-control of the Waspiest WASP to ever WASP.    

 

But by the time Cole is recalling that day, he's stone cold sober (I'm assuming, could be wrong) and looking really much scarier than in any other version because Joshua Jackson just lettered in the "Give an inscrutable look" Olympics.   

 

Presumably not every memory of either Cole or Helen will feature that "I'm remembering this through a haze of drugs, alcohol and near breakdown levels of depression", but what fascinated me so much was Alison's memory of Noah's demeanor when he came vs. his memory of her in his own recollection. 

 

I like the expanding view so that everyone is called into question in such a manner.  In interpersonal relationships is there a truer version of a situation than another?  I think there would have to be a closer to "these are the fact of the matter, the events in which things went down" but there isn't a universal truth for how things feel for anyone.  

 

So that's why I became all, "Things just got GOOD here."   

 

 

 

here are some elements of the timeline I would love to see someone take a stab at clarifying, but AFAIK he has written two books.  One is called A Person Visits a Place, and was published before any of the events of the series.

 

Thank you!! I had completely forgotten about the first book and they even had Bruce in the previously mentioning the darned thing by referring to "Everyone has one book in them, hardly anyone has two."   

Edited by stillshimpy
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In my impromptu Wiki entry on Noah's writing output, I meant to note also that his first book made it to the Montauk public library (realistic or not).

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For me, I look at the show in the vein of the old expression, "there are two sides to every story and then the truth." In other words, I don't take any of the individual accounts as fact and just figure that the truth is somewhere in the middle. So for example, in the season finale, I believe Cole brandished a gun at some point, as it shows up in both Alison and Noah's account. What exactly precipitated that and how exactly it went down, well it depends on who you ask.

 

So even as much as I loathe Noah, I can fairly say that the moment of him choosing Alison over Helen and Witney after Cole pulls a gun on them, was Alison's version of things and so who knows how accurate that was. That may just be Alison's arrogance wanting to believe and remember that in that moment, Noah chose her. So I'm always cognizant of these things. 

 

That said, there is still something to be said about how the characters choose to remember events and what it says about them and that's what, more than anything, I've used to judge them. And why I've always said that it is incredibly telling that Noah especially comes off as a tool and an asshole in his own memories and versions of the truth. Just like Alison clearly loves playing victim considering how often she's the victim in her versions of the truth. 

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And does anybody know why Noah's lawyer is so hostile to Alison? Is he just taking his stance from Helen who is paying him? And Alison said "I know who you are." How does she know Noah's lawyer?

 

All last season, Alison was being question by the police also.  I think chances are that the "I know who you are...."  is because ....she's the police's other prime suspect.  That might also explain the look Cole was giving her at the end of the episode. 

 

She was also being questioned about Scotty's death.  In this episode, Scotty seems to think Cole has some claim on Alison's house (which she inherited last season when her grandmother died, I'm assuming) and that Cole needs to use proceeds of it to help Scotty, Cherry and the pregnant sister.  

Edited by stillshimpy

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I love the differences in each side no matter whose memory it is. No way Allison was that nice to Cole and no way Cole was that mean to Allison. It's got to be somewhere in the middle. Details like the bike and fixing the bathroom are interesting because I figured landlady would mention seeing Cole at the house at some point later and that cause tension with Noah. Whereas if her bike was there, you would think Noah would ask how it got there.

As for the future (or present, really), I took away that Noah's car did in fact hit Scotty, it is just a matter of whether or not he was driving it. Someone else was driving it= setup, Allison was driving it=coverup, or Noah was driving=accident. The short clip we got of the car approaching Scotty definitely had screeching brakes. If it's murder, why slow down? I definitely don't think it will be Cole, that's a deliberate red herring. I hope we get another person or two thrown into the suspect pool because I don't really want it to be Noah or Allison either, too easy. I'd love for it to be Helen or the daughter.

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Helen's father says to Cole in the cab that he's been married for 40 years, but it has to have been longer than that. (Just like Helen's mother lied about her age...) I was gathering that Helen's parents didn't divorce because of How It Would Look, but I may have missed it. Helenis about 45, because Max said last week he is 45, and they were in school together. Why would her dad purposefully say 40 years twice?

Edited by bilgistic

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Cole Lockhart is a sleep-deprived, powder-snorting spurned husband with thoughts of revenge and self-loathing competing for space in his heart. He's also the most put-together of all the main characters in The Affair so far this season.

Read the story

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I need help. Why are people coming off better in the recollections of other's than in their own? Alison came off as great in Cole's part but not nearly that nice in her own. I remember thinking last week the same thing about how Helen came off in her own part compared to Noah's. They also look better in the memories of the other person. Did they put a belly on Joshua Jackson?

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Thanks, VioletMarx. It still strikes me as odd. It seems to me that he's been married closer to 50 years than 40, but I don't know why I try to make sense of anything on this show.

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I need help. Why are people coming off better in the recollections of other's than in their own? Alison came off as great in Cole's part but not nearly that nice in her own. I remember thinking last week the same thing about how Helen came off in her own part compared to Noah's. They also look better in the memories of the other person. Did they put a belly on Joshua Jackson?

This may seem a little extreme, but I think it's because Cole is not being written as a real character. What purports to be Cole is basically "Allison's" fantasy of how much Cole will regret doing her wrong. And that's why Allison is so nice in "Cole's" supposed memory, because "Allison" is the suffering hero, the child of nature caged by unfeeling beasts like Cole. And Helen is a fantasy of being a competent adult who masters everything but is still betrayed despite all her sacrifices. And Noah is a fantasy about being a writer whose struggle with inner demons calls for sacrifices and hard choices to set free the creative impulse that produces something wonderful, justifying everything that went into it. 

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I loved Cole's segment the best and I like him the best.  It seems to me the point for showing Helen and Coles point of view is to show how much they still love the spouses they lost.

I really don't care who killed Scotty Lockhart, so I was not even thinking of that at the trial.  Maybe I am wrong.  But it seemed to me that Coles look at Allison had to do with how much he still loved her.  Maybe I'm being too romantic.  But my thought was that Cole realized Noah would be in jail and Allison would be separated from Noah and may be he could get her back.  This trial was just a hearing to charge Noah with the crimes.  Unless Helen pays his bail, Noah will probably be stuck in jail.  I don't think it would be too hard for Cole to work on Allison's fears and weaknesses and win her back.

What was most insightful was how Cole had wised up to his predatory family.

I think the statement that Allison played victim to every man is quite true.  She has let men victimize her.  I'm not so sympathetic to her.  I don't call what she and Noah has "love".

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 But it seemed to me that Coles look at Allison had to do with how much he still loved her.  Maybe I'm being too romantic.  But my thought was that Cole realized Noah would be in jail and Allison would be separated from Noah and may be he could get her back.  This trial was just a hearing to charge Noah with the crimes.  Unless Helen pays his bail, Noah will probably be stuck in jail.  I don't think it would be too hard for Cole to work on Allison's fears and weaknesses and win her back.

 

That's totally how I read it too. The look was all "Oh, I guess you'll be available again if Noah goes to jail"

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I notice the wierdest things.  Like in Alison's recounting, Noah's writing chair is blue and comfy.  In Cole's it is hard and rolling.  Why? I get that they are supposed to be different, and I can even get the clothing changes' purpose, but some of the details are barely noticeable and makes me interested in the thought process.

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When we see the parts about Noah in jail and then getting charged, it is a year later than today.  We know that because Noah and Allison are married and have a baby girl.  

 

So we can deduce a few things - that Noah still doesn't have money and has to depend on Helen for money.  Which means he didn't get his $400,000 advance on the book.  Which also means that somehow he and Allison had to support themselves and pay for having the baby.  It also means that the divorces went through.  

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So we can deduce a few things - that Noah still doesn't have money and has to depend on Helen for money.

 

 

Except that was a pretty fancy apartment he and Alison were living in at the end of the first season when the police came to arrest him. And I cannot imagine he didn't get the advance on the book when it was stated at points in the first season that the book became a big hit and is apparently even being made into a film. There was a line, before the police came to arrest him, when Noah was telling Alison he had to meet with some actor or whoever at a hotel.

 

So I cannot imagine they are that destitute. Maybe that particular lawyer is just really, really pricey but it still seems odd to me that Noah can apparently live in this super fancy NY apartment, where they even have a nanny since Alison referenced her and his book was successful enough to be made into a movie and yet Helen has to cover his lawyer fees. Something seems wonky there in the writing. 

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