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S02.E02: 202

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Yeah, I'm confused about that too. They were living in a huge NYC apartment, referenced a nanny for the baby, and a book of Noah's was being either optioned for or had been green-lit to become a movie. When Noah said "I can't afford you" to the lawyer, I was like " ... You can't?" Maybe we're supposed to forget about that, but it seems like they made a point last season of showing how successful Noah was, and then now Helen's dad says Noah lost his job and has no savings ... it's weird.

 

I kind of love that Helen's dad is leaving her mom. I also like that Cole seems to be wise now to the fact that his family is full of parasites. "Sell your house and give us the money!" 

 

I could see Cole trying to get Alison back when Noah is in jail, but I also can't see Alison going. At the end of last season she seemed pretty confident in her decision not to be with Cole, whether or not she was with Noah. And there was something about the "Are you ever coming home?" "I don't think so" exchange that made it sound that way too. With Noah, it feels more like the affair was/is a midlife crisis; with Alison, it feels like it was the catalyst to get her to realize that she was unhappy with Cole, that their marriage was over (which makes sense; most marriages don't survive the death of a child). I actually think she'd be better off alone than with either of them. As skittish as she seemed in her memory - actually, BECAUSE of how skittish she seemed in her memory - I think she'd be better off finding her footing on her own. Hell, maybe she'll have to, if Noah goes to jail. (I DO NOT CARE who killed Scotty, and I don't think I'm ever going to.)

 

The babysitter was played by Catalina Sandino Moreno, of Maria Full of Grace. Her IMDB only has her on for that one episode.

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and then now Helen's dad says Noah lost his job and has no savings ... it's weird.

 

 

This is where the timeline on this show can get confusing. I'm pretty sure this happened in the immediate months after Noah left Helen. So while he was living in the couple's beach property, trying to finish his book and just after Alison had left Cole. They weren't married yet and didn't have a child yet. 

Edited by truthaboutluv
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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.

 

 

Definitely agree with this.  Ruth Wilson is such an excellent actress that I find myself hating Alison even more than Noah.  Somehow her extreme selfishness trumps having any sympathy for her losing her child.  She still doesn't realize that Cole lost his son as well....it is only all about her.  I felt extreme sympathy for Cole seeing Alison with her daughter.  Wish he could somehow move on but he doesn't seem to have the strength of Helen.

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But the writers have changed things since last season.  It doesn't look like his book gets published now.  So I take it that everything in that last episode of Season 1 has been rewritten.  

 

There is no doubt now, that he can't afford the defense attorney and Helen has to pay for him.  


Responding to the newer posts.

 

I think the writers made a decision to make Noah poor, because they needed tension there in the relationship between Alison and Noah.  Also it keeps Helen involved in Noah's life.  It delves deeper into his dependency on Helen, which is now indubitable.  

 

If Noah had a load of money with a best selling book that is being made into a movie, then the story is over.  But if he and Allison are poor and struggling, there is a wealth of conflicts to explore.

 

As for Cole and Allison ... like I said, I think there have been things from the end of last season that have been cancelled out.  Plus, we are relying on the character's POV and Allison's POV is not 100% reliable.  

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Why do they have a nanny for one baby?  Is Allison working full time?  Is Noah working on another book that he can't take care of the baby if Allison is working? 

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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 watching that scene, all I could think about was they were literally doing it on the food they were about to eat...

 

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.

 

 

Yeah, I'm confused about that too. They were living in a huge NYC apartment, referenced a nanny for the baby, and a book of Noah's was being either optioned for or had been green-lit to become a movie. When Noah said "I can't afford you" to the lawyer, I was like " ... You can't?" Maybe we're supposed to forget about that, but it seems like they made a point last season of showing how successful Noah was, and then now Helen's dad says Noah lost his job and has no savings ... it's weird.

 

IIRC the only present version where Noah can't afford the lawyer is Helen's. In her past version, during the mediation meeting, he also couldn't afford a place to live with his children but in Noah's version it was only temporary, as he had been paid (or was about to be paid) a deposit of $ 400.000 or so. My point is that Helen probably wants to still believe that he needs her economical stability to function and that he can't be successful without her. Maybe that's why Alison is so shocked to see Helen's lawyer representing Noah in her present version -because he doesn't need Helen's money anymore. But we actually don't know -so far- if Noah can actually afford to pay that lawyer or not. Nor we have enough elements to understand why, if money is not the real issue, Noah would accept Helen's help anyway under such circumstances. Unless they're both trying to protect someone.

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I believe Alison went back to nursing based on her being in scrubs at the end of last season.

 

Even if she didn't, having a nanny AND a stay-at-home parent is very common among families with money. I'd bet Helen was raised by one too. (Like how Helen's mother can't cook - I'm sure she had people who did that even though she had ample time to learn herself. She didn't have to learn, so she didn't.) As a college student, I used to babysit for a number of NYC families with a mom who didn't work, a father who did, and a full-time, 45-hours-a-week nanny.

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I think the lawyer is really expensive and Noah didn't want to pay for his services because he's really Helen's lawyer. But he's effective, so Noah will accept him if Helen's paying. The timeline is pretty clear imo. Instead of the little Brooklyn apartment Alison hated, Noah managed to get this retreat from friends. He's still poor - hence why Helen mentioned it in the mediation - but he's expecting a $400k advance. We know he will make more than that but Helen and even Noah himself don't know that yet. 

 

I've leant not to get bogged down by the differences, a majority of them are minor (different furniture) due to the fallibility of memories. The truth is always somewhere in between. I find it more productive to chart the emotional journey: Noah came back home highly strung because he's had a difficult, emotional day facing the reality of divorce. And Alison knew that, so she forgave him really quickly, not to mention her own secret to keep. Cole is obviously devastated by Alison leaving him enough to blow off his family. But is he vengeful enough to frame Noah? For me this is tractable, I can possibly find an answer to this question, rather than getting hooked up on who is a "better" person.

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Cole is obviously devastated by Alison leaving him enough to blow off his family. But is he vengeful enough to frame Noah? For me this is tractable, I can possibly find an answer to this question, rather than getting hooked up on who is a "better" person.

 

I can't believe that of Cole.  I think it had to be someone who has a bad and selfish character, like Whitney or her grandmother.

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I can't believe that of Cole.  I think it had to be someone who has a bad and selfish character, like Whitney or her grandmother.

 

Me too. Besides offing your own brother for any reason is beyond the pale. Unless it was an accident, which is where anyone can be implicated, from Noah to Alison, or even Whitney and Helen, not to mention Cole himself. Anyone is fair game at this point. Especially if Scotty and Whitney are still seeing each other on the down low. There's also a wedding to look forward to on the night Scotty died and I don't think it's Alison and Noah's ...

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My immediate thought both when Noah recognized the lawyer last week and said they couldn't afford him and also when Alison recognized him with disdain is that he's some Johnny Cohran (RIP) type as-seen-on-TV defense lawyer, which some people could have a visceral negative reaction to. But after sleeping on it, maybe divorce mediation didn't work out and Helen hired him as her divorce attorney, who raked Noah over the coals--maybe losing custody--and that's why Alison was so angry at his existence. Noah's reaction that he can't afford him in Helen's memory could have just been in response to yeah, this guy f'ed me over, but he's good at his job! Now, of course in the real world, family law and criminal defense are completely different specialties, but TV rules at play here.

Having trouble quoting on my phone but re the comment above about the lack of water glasses, that's funny because I was also taken out of a scene over a coffee cup. First, how could Noah climb a ladder holding a hot mug of coffee? But then when he went to sit on the edge of the bed, he completely tipped the (empty) coffee cup sideways! Really?!

Funny how in Noah's memory last week he and Alison didn't even talk at all about their days(!), yet in Alison's memory, they not only go over the details--they have a huge fight over it! And of course this mirrors her impression with Cole where she's threatened, but in his they're having a pleasant chat over coffee and eggs. This also is similar to Noah and Helen's differing views over the mediator last week: she remembers the guy being surly and he thinks he was pleasant with his corny jokes. I almost feel like they were going "stereotypical woman remembering every little slight"--while the "stereotypical emotionally clueless guys" are like what's the problem?!

I think the timelines are off between Alison and Cole's arrivals at the house. Allison was eating dessert in town (so let's approximate as noon), then she had to buy her sole and walk 2 hours back home, which could place her back around 2:00 with enough time to shower/change for tea at 3:00. But Cole left while it was still dark, driving 4 hours, and arrived at the diner to see Noah leave on the train a little after 7:00 (the time he woke up Allison and left), and then went to Alison's soon after, having coffee and eggs for breakfast there.

Edited by JenE4
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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. 

I was never a Joanna Gleason fan, she always looked like she was afraid her face would crack, which today is a sign of Botox injections which weren't available in 1988. She has always had those big apple cheekbones which helps hold up the face from sagging. She's 65 years old now and even though the camera didn't get too close to her face, she still looks pretty much the same as she did in 1988. She probably has had some work done but since she had a 'frozen' looking face back in 1988, it still looks natural for her to still have a frozen looking face in 2015.

 

https://youtu.be/3TRbHsBQPh8?t=1m33s

 

It was pretty funny in Cole's recollection that he was depressed, had a pot belly, was getting coked up, dressed like a cat pissed all over him,  he was sleeping in the little trash trailer on their property and his hair and beard were all hobo. Then at the end of the episode he shows up in court with his hair neatly combed and styled, his beard trimmed, he was all bright eyed and he had no more pot belly. So my guess is that the woman at the estate where he almost backed over that little boy (whose kid anyway) probably made a new man out of him. He was a total mess and only a woman could turn that around.

Edited by HumblePi
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But after sleeping on it, maybe divorce mediation didn't work out and Helen hired him as her divorce attorney, who raked Noah over the coals--maybe losing custody--and that's why Alison was so angry at his existence.

 

 

This is where I leaned towards the moment I saw the exchange with the guy and Alison. And he didn't necessarily have to represent Helen in court because like you said, criminal law is different than family law but maybe just advised her as a family friend, which Noah was aware of. And I could see Noah bitching to Alison about every slight and drama that came up per Helen's following this lawyer's advice. Hence Alison's "I know who you are" even though it's clear they'd never met and it would explain his disdain for her, even if they'd never met because in his eyes, "she's the homewrecker who slept with and stole Helen's husband's and broke up their family."

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I think it's also possible that Noah and Alison's lifestyle was financed mainly on the promise of upcoming income as opposed to existing income, if that makes sense.

So his book was a success and sold a lot of copies and they used that income to get the apartment ....and a substantial mortgage that would come with it if they purchased it....when his book was optioned for a movie, retaining him as the screenwriter for the script.  Noah was talking to actors, so the movie wasn't in production yet, but apparently had been green-lit and casting had started.  

 

The lifestyle Noah and Alison were living was aspirational as well as a result of their actual means.  Counting on the profits  from the film to continue supporting it. Because it isn't unusual for a highly sought-after book -- which this would have to be for Noah to be involved in the casting process -- to include a percentage of profits as part of the payout.   

 

Maybe Allison went back to nursing so that she could not simply sit around and stare out those windows all day.  To feel useful, because it's a calling as well as a profession and her salary -- which they weren't using to support themselves -- was paying the Nanny. 

 

It's really, really not in the least unusual for people to live far beyond their means in a city like New York, or particularly in the entertainment industry.   So it's possible for Noah to have made bank....bought a substantial condo, with a hefty down payment that ate up a lot of the book sale profits, and more towards furnishing, to be anticipating (not unrealistically) huge profits from a much anticipated film adaptation*  and living in accordance with those anticipations but still be cash poor enough to not be able to even afford that lawyer's retainer.  

 

Also, it isn't just in Helen's memory that she is involved in the paying capacity....because no way could Schiff's character be SO RUDE to Alison if someone other than Noah was footing the bill.   Presumably the part that Helen's memory alters is Noah saying, "I can't afford you (right now)...." Helen saying she's paying....and Noah replying, "Thank you.  I'll pay you back." 

 

* wonder how much Gillan Flynn made off book sales vs that movie?  A lot more off the movie and Gone Girl was a huge success as a book, but the big money is from movie adaptations.  Here's a link to an article about Flynn.  How much she was paid for her screen adaptation of her own book and how that would increase as hers was the final shooting script too.  As well as how book sales increased from the moment it was announced it would be a film.   So having a successful book is great, but it would not finance that lifestyle we saw Noah and Alison living.  The screen adaptation and being paid to do it?  Yeah, that would start to get you there.  Profits on the movie would secure it though.  

 

ETA:

 

Hence Alison's "I know who you are" even though it's clear they'd never met and it would explain his disdain for her, even if they'd never met because in his eyes, "she's the homewrecker who slept with and stole Helen's husband's and broke up their family."

 

The Famous Ass Criminal Litigator is more likely, because if there was a bitter divorce fight after all, chances are good Alison would have met the lawyer at some time.....but mostly, at that level lawyers tend to specialize.  A criminal defense shark is not likely to also be a Divorce and Marital Asset Division Shark too.  At that level it's like doctor's specializing.   

Edited by stillshimpy
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It was pretty funny in Cole's recollection that he was depressed, had a pot belly, was getting coked up, dressed like a cat pissed all over him,  he was sleeping in the little trash trailer on their property and his hair and beard were all hobo. Then at the end of the episode he shows up in court with his hair neatly combed and styled, his beard trimmed, he was all bright eyed and he had no more pot belly. So my guess is that the woman at the estate where he almost backed over that little boy (whose kid anyway) probably made a new man out of him. He was a total mess and only a woman could turn that around.

I did wonder, since the babysitter was played by someone relatively famous, if we'd be seeing her again as a love interest for Cole.

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I was never a Joanna Gleason fan, she always looked like she was afraid her face would crack, which today is a sign of Botox injections which weren't available in 1988. She has always had those big apple cheekbones which helps hold up the face from sagging. She's 65 years old now and even though the camera didn't get too close to her face, she still looks pretty much the same as she did in 1988. She probably has had some work done but since she had a 'frozen' looking face back in 1988, it still looks natural for her to still have a frozen looking face in 2015.

No dog in this fight - i have no feelings about the actress one way or another. Botox has been around forever, and it was in the 80's that it started to be used as a cosmetic fix, so Gleason might very well have been getting injections in the late 80's.  

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Even if she didn't, having a nanny AND a stay-at-home parent is very common among families with money. I'd bet Helen was raised by one too. (Like how Helen's mother can't cook - I'm sure she had people who did that even though she had ample time to learn herself. She didn't have to learn, so she didn't.) As a college student, I used to babysit for a number of NYC families with a mom who didn't work, a father who did, and a full-time, 45-hours-a-week nanny.

 

Allison wasn't raised with a nanny, AND her own child died, so I guess I'm surprised she would want a nanny instead of raising the baby herself and being with her every minute if they don't need the money from her job.

 

I think the lawyer is really expensive and Noah didn't want to pay for his services because he's really Helen's lawyer. But he's effective, so Noah will accept him if Helen's paying. The timeline is pretty clear imo. Instead of the little Brooklyn apartment Alison hated, Noah managed to get this retreat from friends. He's still poor - hence why Helen mentioned it in the mediation - but he's expecting a $400k advance. We know he will make more than that but Helen and even Noah himself don't know that yet.

 

At the time Noah was arrested and in need of a lawyer, I thought his book had already become a best seller and the movie was greenlighted.  So they do know as much as we do about his finances at that point he was in jail.  He and Allison are in their NY apartment, and have a child already at that time.

 

These flashbacks are very confusing for the timeline.

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Glad to see that others are confused about the timeline. Here is what I understand and please correct me if I am wrong and please fill in the gaps of missing information as it pertains to the murder investigation.

 

Finale of S1 (summarizing, of course)

  • Noah is living apart from Helen in a small apartment and is having sex with every woman in NYC. He loses his teaching job (how?/why?) and gets sent to one of the "rubber rooms" where he gets inspired (how?) and finishes the first draft of his book. He meets with his literary agent (Harry) who loves the book and promises him an advance.
  • Alison is back in Montauk after a 4-month hiatus with her mom and wants to discuss the state of their marriage with Cole.
  • Helen and Noah go to the Lockhart ranch because Whitney is there with Scott.
  • Noah and Scott *may* have gotten into a fight. Cole pulls out a gun.
  • Then - in the future/present, depending on how you view this - Noah gets annoyed with Det, Jeffries, leaves the police station and runs into the mechanic who asks for a bribe not to spill the beans about fixing Noah's car. We see that the mechanic has taped the entire conversation.
  • Then, in Alison's story, we see that Noah and Alison are married with a child, living in a swanky apt and that his book is wildly successful. Noah is arrested for Scotty's murder.

 

Season 2 (so far)

  • Noah and Alison are living in a cabin in Cold Spring, courtesy of Harry and the publishers. Noah is presumably at the editing phase with his novel. Harry doesn't like the "revised" ending and wants Noah to conclude with the murder. Noah has a day dream that appears to be foreshadowing of Scotty's murder...except that the faint image that he sees *appears* to be a woman.
  • Noah and Helen are in divorce mediation. Noah may or may not have received his "advance."
  • Cole is trying to get his life together.
  • Then - in the future/present - Noah is in a jail cell and Det Jeffries is providing him with his options. In Helen's story, she shows up with an expensive lawyer to defend him. Noah may or may not be able to afford this lawyer on his own. Then, Noah is arraigned for Scotty's murder (vehicular homicide +). And this lawyer may treat Alison dismissively. Cole shows up at the arraignment and gives Alison the evil eye.
Edited by Ellaria Sand
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Noah gets sent to the rubber room because the janitor caught him screwing someone in one of the classrooms.

 

I don't think there's any one particular POV when we're in present day. We're just focusing on the character, if that makes sense. Everything is subsequently happening in chronological order with space for the four characters to eventually converge. So it would be Noah asking for a lawyer, then Helen coming with the lawyer, then Alison's arrival to the arraignment, then Cole's arrival. 

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I assumed the time line of each narrative in S2 picks up one year after the events that went down at the Lockheart house with Scotty/Whitney/Helen/Noah/Allison. The weather looked pretty shit in Montauk, but Helen's dad asked how the "summer" was going for Cole. 

 

The flash forwards are whatever constitutes the current/real time storyline (the wedding, the murder, the arrest). I think Treem insinuated it's like 4 years elapsed between the affair and the murder,  with the idea they'll cover one year of events in each season? IDK, that was my impression. Tecnically they skipped over a year though so maybe it won't sort so neatly.

 

I really care about Cole, but I can't say he's the most sympathetic, his life is shit, but his life was already a mess before Noah walked in and Allison made it clear she was leaving him regardless of whatever future she may or may not have with Noah. I thought it was good that he finally got that when he asked if she was ever coming home? He's never accepted that their marriage more or less ended when Gabriel died. 

 

I thought it was interesting that Joanna Gleeson explicitly made a point about a house being like a marriage, and how much work Cole put into saving his family, aka MOTHERS house, and how little he put into saving his marriage, same for Allison, she abandoned him, maintaining her own bubble of grief she refused to share with him.  Of course they had the same response about their own home - neither of them had thought about their house at all, and Cole was actually living in the camper. 

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I'm having a hard time feeling either emphathy or sympathy for Noah. He appears to be dark and brooding half the time and horny as a toad the other half of the time. Even sitting down with his son outside on the steps of their Brownstone he was in a rush and let it show that he was impatient. He hurriedly told this child what the circumstances were regarding the divorce, and telling him that he loved another woman. He did it in a way that was a little too casual for such trmemdous life-changing news for a child to absorb. Divorce is traumatic for a kid that age, even more tramatic is that he was told that his father doesn't love his mother, but loves another woman. Helen's parents haven't hid the fact that they feel he's a loser and I'm beginning to think they were right all along. For a man that's a professional writer, Noah seems to be lacking in verbal communication skills. When he's being bratty to Alison, he makes up with her via sex not through communication.

 

                         Noah "what are you making?"  Alison: 'dover sole'  Noah: 'will it be fishy?'  Alison: 'well...it's fish'

 

I had to put that dialog in because it still makes me laugh. Can even Noah be that lame? On to Bruce Butler. I like the actor and I'm sure we'll find out more about the Butler-Cole family associations since both families go back 40 years in Montauk. Whether we'll see Margaret Butler get her come-uppance or not is something most people will relish seeing.

Edited by HumblePi

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It's not up yet.... it is Columbus Day and maybe it will be uploaded tomorrow. 

 

I don't think Ep 3 will be up until next Sunday (10/18). Ep 1 and 2 were available early but their "real" air dates were 10/4 and 10/11 respectively. From here on I think we get back on the real schedule and no more early episodes.

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At the time Noah was arrested and in need of a lawyer, I thought his book had already become a best seller and the movie was greenlighted.  So they do know as much as we do about his finances at that point he was in jail.  He and Allison are in their NY apartment, and have a child already at that time.

 

These flashbacks are very confusing for the timeline.

 

Yes of course, by the time Noah gets arrested he's rich, his book is a bestseller and is being turned into a movie. I think he can afford any lawyer he wants, or his publisher can. Now, I happen to believe he couldn't "afford" this particular lawyer not because of money but due to whatever caused Alison's attitude to him. I also thought up the possibility of an attritional divorce, which could've easily happened if Helen's mom instigated it (and paid for the lawyer). But the criminal/family law distinction, as noted above, is valid. So maybe this guy owns a law firm that does both.

 

As for the timeline, Ellaria Sand above pretty much nailed it, except for the fact that season 1 speeded up towards the end; Noah's montage with various women and his time in the rubber room took 4 months, Alison spent the same 4 months with her mom. Prior to that, 4 months had passed between the end of the affair in the summer and when they saw each other again when Alison's grandmother died. If this is now summer, we are now about 12 months after the affair first begun. We still have some 2 or 3 years to catch up with the flashforward, the police interviews and the arrest. Last year I got the impression that Scotty's death was probably some 6 to 9 months before the arrest (need to double check). Which means we might not see Scotty's death "in real time" until next season (likely) or season 4. There was a timeline clue last season when Noah was talking was helping his son with homework but either way I don't think it'll change this timeframe.

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I thought it was interesting that Joanna Gleeson explicitly made a point about a house being like a marriage, and how much work Cole put into saving his family, aka MOTHERS house, and how little he put into saving his marriage, same for Allison, she abandoned him, maintaining her own bubble of grief she refused to share with him.  Of course they had the same response about their own home - neither of them had thought about their house at all, and Cole was actually living in the camper. 

 

This is an excellent metaphor!

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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.

I am right there with you about the sex scenes between Noah and Allison. They aren't, and we're never sexy to me either. We get it ya'll are still in the early horn dog stages of your relationship. I don't feel the soul mate/true love stuff between them either. They rarely just have a conversation or sit together. They are just constantly pawing at each other, seems like the basis and extent of their relationship. At least what we have seen so far. My guess is when the going gets tough or sex dwindles one will bail so damn fast out of this relationship!

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Well, sometimes when people do have a really strong, powerful sexual connection that they've never had with others, I guess that can be part of what makes it feel like true love for them.

 

But maybe in order to buy that you'd need the actors themselves to have a much stronger, raw sexual chemistry (an example of this for me would be the two leads on Outlander, if anyone watches that show).

Edited by Ruby25
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Watching this DVR'd episode today led me to the conclusion that I don't give a shit about any of these characters enough to try to follow the narratives or the story anymore.  I think I have one foot out the door ...  :-(

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For me, they do really have that connection.  And it's not only sexual: they initially made a connection discussing lots of stuff (like the "alternate universe" stuff they keep showing in the previouslies, rather suspiciously), and then later bonded over their respective traumatic family deaths (his mother, her son).

 

I do not at all see how they can just wipe away Noah's best selling book (about to be a major motion picture!) from last season.  That would be verging on Bobby getting out of the shower IMO.  But it is a little hard to understand why he wouldn't have the money for a good lawyer.

 

Stillshimpy takes a worthy stab at answering this question, but it's still hard for me to buy that they would be paying a nanny, own all this super nice furniture, but not even be able to come up with a retainer for this lawyer.  Are you thinking that he has already mentally processed some idea that if he's in legal trouble, his anticipated profits are not likely to materialize?  And is that even true, necessarily?

 

Boundary suggests that maybe he meant "afford" in a non-financial sense, but that is a stretch IMO.  I just don't think someone would say "I can't afford you" to a lawyer if they didn't mean finances; and Helen piped up to say she was paying.

 

My immediate thought both when Noah recognized the lawyer last week and said they couldn't afford him and also when Alison recognized him with disdain is that he's some Johnny Cohran (RIP) type as-seen-on-TV defense lawyer, which some people could have a visceral negative reaction to. But after sleeping on it, maybe divorce mediation didn't work out and Helen hired him as her divorce attorney, who raked Noah over the coals--maybe losing custody--and that's why Alison was so angry at his existence.

 

I think you might be on to something (with the second theory--I don't think the first makes as much sense, although the fact that they had never met is strange).

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Yes of course, by the time Noah gets arrested he's rich, his book is a bestseller and is being turned into a movie. I think he can afford any lawyer he wants, or his publisher can. Now, I happen to believe he couldn't "afford" this particular lawyer not because of money but due to whatever caused Alison's attitude to him. I also thought up the possibility of an attritional divorce, which could've easily happened if Helen's mom instigated it (and paid for the lawyer). But the criminal/family law distinction, as noted above, is valid. So maybe this guy owns a law firm that does both...

 

...We still have some 2 or 3 years to catch up with the flashforward, the police interviews and the arrest. Last year I got the impression that Scotty's death was probably some 6 to 9 months before the arrest (need to double check). Which means we might not see Scotty's death "in real time" until next season (likely) or season 4. There was a timeline clue last season when Noah was talking was helping his son with homework but either way I don't think it'll change this timeframe.

 

Agree about the practices of a law firm. Alternatively, this particular attorney could also be a family friend.

 

Regarding Noah's statement that he "cannot afford" this attorney, I don't think that his successful book or his generous advance are getting wiped away. I think that we should be careful reading too much into one line. Noah made that statement in anger and frustration. It could simply mean that "I don't want to have to pay your hefty fees because I am innocent of this crime." There are a lot of possible explanations that don't necessarily indicate that his book wasn't successful. And we know that this is also what Helen heard; she may want to believe that Noah is broke and, once again, needs her money.

 

Personally, I minimize Alison's reaction to the expensive attorney (and perhaps that's a mistake on my part). In her own world view, people don't take Alison seriously. It would fit that - in her recall - an expensive, high powered attorney hired by Helen would be dismissive of her.

 

Regarding the timing of events, if it is two or three years forward from the events in Cold Spring and divorce mediation, a lot still has to happen. I am still intrigued by Noah's daydream that seems to foreshadow a hit and run.

Edited by Ellaria Sand
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Are you thinking that he has already mentally processed some idea that if he's in legal trouble, his anticipated profits are not likely to materialize?  And is that even true, necessarily?

 

It could be, and it depends on how close to the truth Treem is willing to stick with when it comes to a writer then adapting their own book into a screenplay:  If it isn't used as the shooting script, that can nullify the deal.  Usually when something is optioned as a film, and the writer is tasked with adapting to a screenplay,  for the deal to see fruition, the screenplay has to be the shooting script version.  Noah's never written a screenplay prior to this (and all of this is something that Treem and every writer on this TV show's set would have intimate knowledge of WGA rules) and whereas he can have sold the rights to adapt the film into a screenplay and that will carry with it a definite amount, adapting it to the screenplay and then having that used as the shooting script so that Noah will credit for it is where the profits come in.  

 

If there's a scandal, the studio could seek to distance themselves from the project, and shut down production (and if Noah is convicted of vehicular manslaughter that might happen) ....but there's such a big process involved between having a movie being optioned to be made into a film , it being shot, edited and then (pretty key to the profit scenario) distributed.   One of my friends who lived in New York and did costume work on some films that included people like Michael Rapaport worked on a total of nine films while she lived in NYC.  Literally none of them ever ended up making it all the way to release.  One of the TWoP recappers, I think it was Couch Baron, was involved with a movie (as a producer) that ended up with the name The Trouble with Bliss but started out life as East Fifth Bliss by Douglas Light ...who "co-wrote" the screenplay adaptation (which generally means his was not the final shooting script, but they preserved enough of his dialogue to give a credit....and that's usually done to give someone a profit share....in the original X-Men movie, Joss Whedon received a credit on the script, even though his shooting script was rejected and re-written, the preserved one line of his dialogue in order to give him the screen credit...and therefore a profit share....the line, oddly enough is Cyclops making Wolverine prove he is not Mystique in disguise Wolverine: You're a dick.   Cyclops:  Yeah, it's him.)  (or at least that is the legend of what was preserved from Whedon's script to still make sure he got the co-credit).  Matt Weiner with from Mad Men (and Amy Sherman-Palladino also) are both famous for taking a "final pass" on a script.  I think ASP actually would not then always have the co-written ...despite the fact that every script that ever went through her shows was co-written by her....whereas Weiner always did, even if he had do something like add a comma.  Seriously.  He did it because that way he got a share of the writer's fee.  The rules surrounding this stuff are....stuff that Treem is really, really going to know. 

 

There are movies that are shot and never released on any level.  There are movies that go through a huge number of changes and take twenty years to produce ( The Gangs of New York is infamous for the amount of time it took Scorcese to actually bring the project to fruition).   Something "now being made into a major motion picture" where they are still in the casting process?  A lot could go wrong with that and the amount of funds guaranteed to Noah is dependent on several things, within only the smaller numbers (option to be adapted fee) being guaranteed. 

 

It's actually fairly rare for a writer to become Penthouse in Manhatten levels of rich from one successful book.  If they've used the funds from the sale of the rights to be adapted as a downpayment, and then Noah's screenplay isn't the one chosen for shooting?  Yeah, he could be cash-poor but with the expectation of income that is dependent on a lot of factors.  

 

During the Writers strike in 2007-2008 one of the most frustrating things the TV writers had to deal with was the perception that they were wealthy individuals just from writing for TV or film.  But there are a lot of ways for Noah to lose potential profits and one of them would be if the studio rejects his screenplay and simply options the story out for adaptation to another screenwriter.   In the article I linked to above about Flynn, she specifically talked about how exciting it was that she was allowed to do her own adaption and then was over-the-moon because hers was chosen as the final shooting script.    In a contract for an adaptation, with someone brand-new to screenwriting, there'd just be no way Noah was given the exclusive option.  Again, that's if they are choosing to stick with reality.  

 

Usually writers are only given a lot of control over the film, script adaptation when an ongoing series has yet to be completed.  As in the case of J. K. Rowling, who had not completed the Potter series when it went it was option for a film.  She wasn't  the screenwriter, by the way.  Screenwriting is a different skill set and I guess I've been assuming that Noah was given the option to adapt his book to a screenplay, but there is still a lot that could go wrong, because the smartest deal to make is one with little money up front....and a percentage of profits from the film.  Smartest unless something goes wrong that causes production to be delayed, canceled, or the film released directly to video.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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Boundary suggests that maybe he meant "afford" in a non-financial sense, but that is a stretch IMO.  I just don't think someone would say "I can't afford you" to a lawyer if they didn't mean finances; and Helen piped up to say she was paying.

 

I am thinking it was a doublespeak. Literally speaking, Noah can afford this lawyer (cash, bond, sell some assets, etc.) - alternatively his publisher could pay up - but he won't do that, especially if it's Helen's lawyer or it doesn't agree with his principles or something. So he can't "afford" the lawyer in both senses. It is a stretch indeed.

 

OR maybe it is what it is. Noah and Alison have a comfortable lifestyle but they simply can't afford a super expensive lawyer, not unless they sell their apartment.

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Also, we don't know how much of Alison and Noah's wealth comes from the sale of Alison's old house, which is a one time payment. I doubt they could have afforded that apartment based solely on Noah's earnings from his book. I'm sure Noah could technically afford that lawyer by taking out a second mortgage or selling the apartment but he might not be willing to do that. Or maybe he couldn't. Who knows how financially responsible they are? There are tons of people who live a lifestyle they can't afford and it does eventually catch up to them. Or perhaps they could afford their lifestyle so long as no emergency came up.

Edited by glowbug

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I am thinking it was a doublespeak. Literally speaking, Noah can afford this lawyer (cash, bond, sell some assets, etc.) - alternatively his publisher could pay up - but he won't do that, especially if it's Helen's lawyer or it doesn't agree with his principles or something. So he can't "afford" the lawyer in both senses. It is a stretch indeed.

 

If Helen says, 'I'm paying' and Noah accepts that as a satisfactory answer, then ....it pretty much can't be doublespeak. His publisher would not have any reason to pay his legal fees unless he's one of their more wildly successful authors instead of the "Two books, one a hit" guy that Noah is.  

 

I'm going to go back to using Flynn as an example because if she had rundown someone, they'd have no dog in that hunt.   They own the rights to however many printings she agreed to.   Something being optioned into a film does make more books more likely (so more profit for the publisher) , but a scandal makes production seeing fruition less likely.  

 

If Bruce, in the story, who is supposed to a wealthy author, with several best sellers were involved in a scandal?  Yeah, a publishing house might intervene, but it isn't realistic to think that they'd stick their necks out for their One Hit , Upcoming Author....because they aren't going to have anyway of knowing whether or not he's guilty.  Do you see the difference?  If they fully back him and he's guilty and convicted, it tarnishes their publishing house....but doesn't necessarily impact book sales negatively if he's convicted.  

 

The publishing house is a "sit back and wait and see" position because they get to profit either way and with as little cash outlay as possible is the best way to get that done.   

 

 

 

Also, we don't know how much of Alison and Noah's wealth comes from the sale of Alison's old house, which is a one time payment.

 

That is a very likely scenario.  Cole clearly isn't still camping in their driveway and if Allison sold it, she likely had a nice chunk of money from that.  They've made mention of it already.   But particularly in the days when anyone can epublish on Amazon for a tiny fee, there's a glut of written material.  

 

So many people have aspirations of being a writer and I know several people who make their living at it, but it is usually in the writing they do outside of their fiction.  It's actually very, very difficult in this day and age to become wealthy as a writer.   When Noah told Helen about his 400k advance and did she think that would be enough for an apartment with four bedrooms?  The reality is....uh....no. In Manhattan it's not.   Have some fun with Zillow.  400k in NYC?  Dude, I live outside of St. Louis.  that's not even enough for a great condo in St. Louis.  

Edited by stillshimpy
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But it is a little hard to understand why he wouldn't have the money for a good lawyer.

There's "good" lawyer and "$1,200-an-hour-good" lawyer. I don't think it's impossible that even a successful writer wouldn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on his own legal defense.

(I'm using $1,200 an hour as an example. But it's not an impossible amount for a high-caliber lawyer.)

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There's "good" lawyer and "$1,200-an-hour-good" lawyer. I don't think it's impossible that even a successful writer wouldn't have hundreds of thousands of dollars to spend on his own legal defense.

 

 

I agree I think Noah meant I can't afford this SPECIFIC lawyer who is employed by a man who has been raking in millions for 30 something years via his books v. Noah who has had one book that sold well and has been optioned. Noah is not equal to Bruce Butler in terms of absolute wealth and what he can afford to pay for his own defense.  

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You guys make some good points (and it sounds like stillshimpy has been listening to the Scriptnotes podcast a lot longer than I have, lol). But it's funny that the roles seem to have reversed and I'm having more trouble with this while you guys are cutting the show some slack on this front.

I still think that even though these explanations make sense, they require too much from the viewer. I like sophisticated storytelling where not everything is spelled out, but I still think showing someone in a New York City penthouse apartment at and then having them say they can't afford a certain lawyer is weird storytelling.

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(and it sounds like stillshimpy has been listening to the Scriptnotes podcast a lot longer than I have, lol)

 

Heh.  I have never listened to Scriptnotes, by the way. 

 

I agree I think Noah meant I can't afford this SPECIFIC lawyer

 

Succinctly put! There's a difference between "I can't afford you" meaning:  I can't afford legal representation.  And "I can't afford you."  Meaning that particular lawyer. 

Edited by stillshimpy
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When Noah told Helen about his 400k advance and did she think that would be enough for an apartment with four bedrooms?  The reality is....uh....no. In Manhattan it's not.

 

It's nowhere near enough to buy a 4 bedroom apartment in NYC!  But, they might be renting.  We don't know that he bought the place.

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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.

 

 

When Luisa was talking to Cole, an older woman came to the door and gestured for the kid to come inside, Luisa said something like "Yeah, mama" to her. I'm pretty sure that was Miranda, the Butler's cook (or housekeeper?) from last season.

 

Maybe Luisa just came over to see her mom, and brought the little boy she babysits along with her.

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It's nowhere near enough to buy a 4 bedroom apartment in NYC!  But, they might be renting.  We don't know that he bought the place.

 

I seriously had some fun (and a little bit of horror mixed in with it) looking up how much rent on  a four bedroom apartment that looked like that would be.  The good news?  Likely furnished!  Price tag?  between 25k and 65k a month.   Location dependent, of course.  Even towards the lower end of the rental market, he still needs more than the advance.  

 

But in reality, TV shows, reality and NYC real estate have a very, very distant relationship.  Last season when Bruce was talking about envisioning his Christmas , in a sad little apartment and then dutifully going home to his own rich wife (apparently Grandma Gorgon has some might purse strings).   So I'm not holding Treem to any documentary standards, it just genuinely made me laugh in the show "Do you think 400 thousand will be enough?!?"  "Uh....for a while at least...."  

Edited by stillshimpy
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Again, keeping it simple, I think we are supposed to think Noah has become successful. We don't know what kind of deal he signed but if his publisher could offer him a $400k advance, it's safe to assume that they have crunched the numbers and decided that the economics is there to support this guy. Maybe his book is Harry Potter/A Game of Thrones successful, meaning an international hit with substantial amounts coming in from overseas markets. 

 

If Helen says, 'I'm paying' and Noah accepts that as a satisfactory answer, then ....it pretty much can't be doublespeak. 

 

 

It's fair to say that Alison either has a problem with this particular lawyer or the fact that he was hired without her knowledge (or more likely both). But Noah couldn't exactly say "I don't want your services because of Alison blah blah" because that would give a future plot point away and besides there wasn't much time left in the episode to delve into it. Saying "I can't afford you" could be a shortcut to saying "no" without giving the game away. Like I said, it's a stretch but it did cross my mind. Anyway it also seems like we agree that no matter how rich Noah has become, it's possible he simply couldn't afford this particular lawyer.

 

It was very hard to judge what state Noah and Helen's relationship was in at this point. Perhaps it has thawed long enough to make it totally unsurprising that she'd offer her lawyer to him. Perhaps Helen and Alison's relationship has deteriorated to such an extent that Helen would pay for the lawyer just to gain some kind of upper hand. We don't really know at this stage. I'd guess that's going to feature in upcoming episodes.

Edited by Boundary
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Eww, did they really have apology sex on the table with their dinner and the. They ate that dinner afterwards?

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I agree that it was Helen's memory that Noah couldn't afford an attorney. Not only that, but Helen swooped in to rescue him as he was being taken advantage of by the attorney. Helen also stood by, pale and tragic, and supervised the entire event. No way would she have been allowed in there - so I automatically discount much of her version. Along with her memory of offering to set Noah up in an expensive four bedroom home, her memories make Noah financially emasculated, and unable to care for himself legally, to the extent he'd never even gotten a public defender. Which again makes me discount part of her story.

I also agree, from upthread, that all of Alison's versions show her life is about constant fear. Being afraid and "playing victim" are not the same thing. She also recalls herself as typically timid and unsure, and often powerless - all unflattering or negative, and not something to exaggerate to make yourself look better.

Cole's look at the end ....... Hm. I watched it first, and thought there was something very sinister, yet he also looked speculative. I read here and re-watched, and to me, the scene went like this:

He sees Noah being arraigned (and of course sees him looking weak and frightened, aka not manly), and as he's hearing the judge saying the bail's half a million and next court date in five days, Cole's expression is almost inscrutable until he hears what the judge says, and which point he looks pleased. He then looks at Alison in a very speculative way, and he sees her looking vulnerable and frightened. Then he looks away kind of frowning and thinking, then glances at her again, and he's clearly decided something and looks a little shaken.

Now the obvious conclusion is that he realizes Noah is covering for Alison. I don't think that's what happened, because absolutely nothing occurred to cause such an epiphany. I think Cole realizes that if Noah is convicted, Alison will be free. When he first sees her in the courthouse, he sees her as unable to handle her fretful baby, even though this is her second child. He also flatters himself by remembering that the baby tried to jump into his arms, even though she hates strangers. He then sees Alison almost broken and clutching the baby. I think he sees a situation that allows him to swoop in and rescue her. To speculate further, he could have also realized that if he kept quiet about the real killer's identity, Noah will go away for a long time. I'm not sure about that bit, but it fits in with all the meaningful looks. JJ has proved to be a better actor than I thought.

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I don't understand the timeline.

 

At the end of season 1, Noah is arrested from some posh Manhattan apt.  His book has been a success and he's together with Allison, who has short hair.  Seems like his novel was a smash hit so he's rich.

 

This was apparently after they interviewed with that black detective throughout season 1.

 

So in season 2, Noah is struggling financially, hasn't gotten his novel finished yet.  He gets a lawyer paid for by Helen.  But before he gets the lawyer, the black detective is advising him to take a plea.

 

The same detective who interviews Allison, who by this time is married and rich.

 

Yet now, Noah and Allison are not married but FF to the future and when Noah's arrested, they are married, Allison has a daughter with Noah but the lawyer Helen's paid for is condescending to Noah outside the court room?

 

So Noah is arrested after he gets rich from his novel Descent yet Helen is paying for his lawyer?

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