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S04.E09 Episode 9

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21 hours ago, Razzberry said:

This made my blood run cold -

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I would have run when he started talking like that.

And..he didn’t want Alison “bothering” him either (by telling his wife”, so...

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18 hours ago, LilaFowler said:

I have no idea why part 1 exists and I'm hoping that someone else has more insight. Right now I feel like that's the way this story would have played out if Ruth Wilson hadn't left the show, and the showrunner just wants us to know that.

I think that was Alison “rehearsing” how the evening was going to play out...what she planned to say...and what she hoped his reactions would be. She clearly thought he was a better man than he actually was...

Edited by Lozu68
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17 hours ago, yourmomiseasy said:

I think he has been a little creepy but never psycho killer cross the street if you see him coming like he was here.  Even before he was violent he was way off-balance in the second half and seemed unhinged without anything causing it.  Maybe he was already drunk before he came over?  I don't know how he could hold down his job as a mental health professional if he was so outwardly psychotic all the time.  It could be that the perspective was tinted by Alison's fear.  

Maybe someone else remembers if he was off on their boat ride a few episodes back?  I kind of remember something, but I wasn't paying enough attention when it aired.

He was already very creepy in earlier episodes...isolating her at the PTSD conference to “practice”....isolating her again on the boat (and someone else mentioned...I think that was HIS boat, this was all premeditated, that explains the “packed lunch.”) Pouring her wine on the boat, getting her to drop her inhibitions. He was clearly living a  double life, as we found out through his AA meeting with Cole. They wrote his shadiness very subtly, which I appreciated...but it was there, and I was not surprised by last nights turn of events...

Edited by Lozu68
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2 hours ago, anonymiss said:

I relate to Alison, unfortunately. Was taken in--without my prior knowledge--by a married man. Fell in love with him. Much anguish ensued. Have heard lines like, "This is your fault. You seduced me!" So this whole story has been fascinating and this episode chilling and very true-to-life for me without the fatal ending, but that's because I didn't escalate like Alison had to for the sake of the contract disputes doing her in. 

I'm very sorry to hear about the parallels between your life and Alison's, @anonymiss, but I want to address your last phrase, "like Alison had to for the sake of the contract disputes doing her in." It's true Alison wouldn't be dead now if Ruth Wilson didn't want out. But this was such a brilliant way to bring Alison's story to a close that I can't bring myself to see it as being merely dictated by necessity. Sarah Treem deserves more credit than that.

It's been said that all art arises from limitations. Another way of saying it is that all art arises from the necessity to solve problems. Ruth Wilson's leaving was a problem that Sarah Treem solved brilliantly, so much so that it's the ending for Alison that always should have been in the grand design even if it wasn't. (It occurs to me that one possibility is that it always was in the grand design, but intended for the end of season 5 instead of season 4, and they just accelerated the timetable.) If Ruth Wilson's leaving was the reason this episode happened, I still can't look at this episode as expedient; I can only see it as inspired.

Also want to thank @Pallas and @Bitsy for your brilliant (and persuasive) analyses.

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17 hours ago, DakotaLavender said:

I think she just wanted more money. 

It was also announced in the press last week that her grandmother's memoir has just been picked up by BBC.  Wilson is the executive producer and will also star.

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Ben is super creepy  in version #1 too.  He's incredibly manipulative and a very smooth liar.  He offers to show Allison (non-existent) texts from his wife, knowing that she's not confrontational enough to follow through.  (Why was the wife sending him angry texts if, as he told Allison later, the breakup was mutual?)  He agrees to leave but then offers to fix Allison's faucet in a perfect, non-threatening way that puts her at ease.

He knows how to trigger Allison (does he *really* have a son named Gabriel?) and knows that she's most vulnerable when she gets into self-blame mode over Gabriel's death, which is why he opens up to her about his accidental killing of the boy in Afghanistan (which may or may not be true...he's never told a single other person).  Unlike on the boat, Allison gives in this time and gets intimate with him.

In version #2 he was like a Lifetime Movie killer.  It was too over the top for me to find truly scary.

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9 hours ago, taragel said:

Ben suddenly being revealed as a murderer just feels very...convenient in a way. IDK. 

I hope this doesn't set up a final season where Cole and Noah are all about figuring out the truth of Alison's death, but on the other hand I don't know what S5 is about if NOT that. 

1

Unless they wrap up the "murder" next week, I don't see how S5 can be anything but the two exes playing detectives to solve the mystery.

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I am always disappointed when men or women do not stick to their guns with relationship decisions and instead cave into making bad decisions. Alison was great at first with the strength of her resistance to Ben. I thought "wow"! ... finally she's gotten it together! Then she hears his sob stories, and that is exactly why she should stick to her guns even more (an alcoholic with PTSD who has tortured his ex-wife and is susceptible to frequent episodes of extreme, bizarre moodiness). Instead she caves. I was cussing at the screen. Helen on the other hand has done a good job avoiding the irresistible Noah!

Alison pushing the buttons of the second, evil, Ben was stupid beyond belief. 

I'm tired of seeing women victimized by men on these shows. It would have been nice to see Alison, after Ben's first indication of refusal to leave, pull a gun out of a drawer, call the police, and repeat that he leave. But she's not the type to own a gun I guess.

When they showed the second Ben eating the crackers it was like they had the microphone right at his mouth and nose with the volume turned high to magnify his chewing and nasal sounds for a prolonged period. Disgusting. I do not want to hear people chewing food and snorting. Minimize it.

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12 hours ago, scrb said:

Then maybe they didn’t have to have such an abrupt ending for one of the lead characters.

Abrupt?  

But the much-despised Fiona Apple song has foreshadowed Alison's death all along.  

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At the beginning of the season, she was supposedly in a good place, financially, good with her work and having custody of Joanie.  But still she was punishing herself over her son?  And that is how Ben insinuated himself into her life, that she deserved another asshole who would ultimately kill her?

That is a pretty offensive proposition, especially in a show with a female show runner.

 

I completely understand Alison's punishing herself for the rest of her life over Gabriel's death even though she didn't deserve it and it wasn't her fault. No matter how much she achieved or how wonderful her life was, there was always going to be that huge loss. Some part of her was always going to blame herself. I think Ben insinuated himself into her life with the promise of healing and forgiveness - if she could help heal him it would be her penance for Gabriel. But he turned on her in the end. I don't find the storyline offensive at all, regardless of the sex of the showrunner.

I give them a lot of credit for killing off the character. I don't think that she would leave Joanie and I don't think Cole would agree to be an absentee father, so having her move elsewhere would have involved a lot of non-credible actions from someone. It would have felt phony.

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Ben said he hadn’t touched his wife since tying her onto the bed, but they have a one-year-old son? And Allison doesn’t question him about that?

I assumed Son #2 (if he exists) was conceived during that act.

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Nope.  At the end of version #1, Allison goes back to the sink and cuts her finger.  Version #2 doesn't start until she answers the door and Ben is standing there in the rain.  The way that they interrupted the action to put up the "Part 2: Allison" sign was very abrupt and clearly intended for a specific reason.  They wanted us to know that version #2 started RIGHT THERE

Alison hurts her finger in both versions but only puts a band-aid on it - at Ben's very noticeable insistence - in part two. I think it's a clear marker of which version "really" happened.

FWIW, I'm not sure Alison was "murdered." Legally yes (per version #2). And pragmatically, she is just as dead either way. But I don't think Ben meant to kill her. He shoved her; she was badly injured. He either didn't check whether she was still alive or he didn't care, but I think he was more concerned with covering his tracks than with killing her. In other words, I don't think there is a point (before he shoved her) in which he decided he was going to kill her. But rather things kept escalating.

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I'm tired of seeing women victimized by men on these shows. It would have been nice to see Alison, after Ben's first indication of refusal to leave, pull a gun out of a drawer, call the police, and repeat that he leave. But she's not the type to own a gun I guess.

Isn't it far more likely though? Sad but true - women are victimized by men a LOT. Alison had every reason to think Ben was an asshole. She had no warning that he was violent and certainly no warning that she was going to need a gun (and many women wouldn't keep a loaded gun in a drawer with a small child living in the home). You might be tired of watching it but the sad truth is that no matter how strong a woman is, it is most often the case that men can physically overpower women, particularly when they have the element of surprise on their side, as Ben did. 

Edited by Elizzikra
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9 minutes ago, Elizzikra said:

Alison hurts her finger in both versions but only puts a band-aid on it - at Ben's very noticeable insistence - in part two. I think it's a clear marker of which version "really" happened.

No.  I rewatched this part last night. (I'm obsessed!)  In the opening scene of version #1 she's standing at the sink with a leaky faucet.  She does not hurt her finger.

She hurts her finger at the *end* of version #1 when she's back at the sink.  Version #2 does not start until about 30 seconds later.   Although we actually see a band-aid go on her finger in version #2, the injury is from version #1 and would still have required a band-aid.

The changeover from version #1 into version #2 involves Allison having an emotional/panic attack at the sink (and hurting her finger).  She's standing there freaking out and it's like you can see the wheels turning in her head as she chooses to dive into this fantasy version where Ben is now a villain.  She walks over to the door and DUNH DUNH DUNH Scary Ben is standing there looking scary.  That's when Part 2: Allison abruptly comes up onscreen.

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19 minutes ago, Elizzikra said:

In other words, I don't think there is a point (before he shoved her) in which he decided he was going to kill her. But rather things kept escalating.

But he did decide to kill her when he shoved her. It’s a mute point whether that decision was made while he was eating crackers, before or after, it wasn’t an accident.

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14 hours ago, Gem 10 said:

i Usually watch episodes 2 or 3 times.  Not this time.  Ben looked scary eating those crackers and cheese on the couch.  Why would an actress leave before the end?  Many things were a first in this series.

This is not new...actors leave for various reasons all the time. It is their work...and I think they move on into new projects a lot faster than viewers  “let go” of their characters. 

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The hardest part about this episode was knowing the outcome. Alison was rehearsing her interaction with him in part 1 which makes it even sadder that she fantasized his inappropriate (at best) behavior into a justifiable happyish ending.

Even though she wasn't so called suicidal that night, Alison definitely had a death wish underlying the entire arc of her story. If Ben was suicidal, they could have made a pact but poor Alison's pecker picker is so off her death wish was answered by Ben, the puppy faced homicidal sociopath and they don't do partnerships so well. She chose while in the water to 'sink back into the ocean'.

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There are lots of possibilities here, including that both versions were some kind of fantasy on Allison's part.  But what made me realize that version #2 couldn't be true was the post on this forum that pointed out that Ben had to have told Allison the RPG story at some point.  

If version #1 was Allison were rehearsing her interaction with Ben ahead of time, she would not have known the RPG story.  She would have been told that story for the first time (a very different version of the story, but the same story) in version #2.

The only way the RPG story can work with version #2 being real is if version #1 was a fantasy Allison came up with while she was dying.  And if that were the case, it doesn't make narrative sense to show version #1 happening first.  And it's also really unlikely after her head injury that she was able to process such clear and complicated thoughts.

Edited by Bitsy
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But he did decide to kill her when he shoved her. It’s a mute point whether that decision was made while he was eating crackers, before or after, it wasn’t an accident.

I can shove someone intentionally and not mean to kill him. I think Ben shoved Alison because he was angry - not because he intended to kill her. But then seeing her injury, he had to cover his tracks and that when he either a) thought she was already dead and threw the body into the ocean or b) realized she was alive but didn't care and decided to throw her into the ocean (so yes, technically intending to kill her but not so much because he wanted her to die as much as he didn't want to get caught and that was the only way). 

I don't think he went to her apartment intending to kill her.  I'm not even sure he meant to kill her when he realized she knew about his wife. 

Regardless, she is just as dead either way.

Edited by Elizzikra
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Having been in an abusive relationship when I was a teen (now 36 years ago), this episode put me right back there feeling the panic again of being terrified the slightest thing would set him off.  Man, I could barely sleep last night - I just kept replaying the episode in my mind.  It felt like we truly watched someone be killed.  I still can't shake it.  The acting from both of them was tremendously powerful.

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Wow this broke me. I've never shipped a couple as much as I shipped Alison and Cole. Well maybe Doug and Carol from ER but ... I always thought if Alison was written out of the story it'd be with Joanie and Cole somewhere together. I understand Ruth Wilson wanted to leave and it doesn't sound like it was an amicable parting. But man ... what a gut-wrenching death, up there with Richard from Boardwalk Empire, Adriana from The Sopranos, Quinn and Brody from Homeland.

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54 minutes ago, Snewtsie said:

Having been in an abusive relationship when I was a teen (now 36 years ago), this episode put me right back there feeling the panic again of being terrified the slightest thing would set him off.  Man, I could barely sleep last night - I just kept replaying the episode in my mind.  It felt like we truly watched someone be killed.  I still can't shake it.  The acting from both of them was tremendously powerful.

I couldnt sleep either. It brought up memories of my first husband

Edited by JennyMominFL
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The money quote from Episode 9:  We tell ourselves a story about the way people treat us, and it’s not always true.

And kudos to all those forum participants who instantly knew when Athena gave Alison the Shiva statue that it would be used as a murder weapon.  Maybe...

Because the problem with Alison is that she is such an unreliable narrator, that both Episode 9 scenarios could be false.  Part 1 is clearly a fantasy because she doesn't wake up the next morning in Ben's arms, but Part 2 could easily be a fantasy, too, I'm thinking.  We hear Alison's inner dialogue as she's dying:  What do you think you can do to me that I haven’t done to myself?  It's a very ambiguous bit of dialogue.

To the best of my recollection, The Affair has never done an episode before that was completely a fantasy.  When the show has featured parallel takes on the same incident, various revealing details mutate in the memories of the respective participants—but never to the extent of complete confabulation as with Alison in Part 1 of this episode.  That being the case, this episode completely shatters the paradigm.  There really is no evidence that Part 1 is fantasy, and Part 2 is real.

Although, of course, it may be.

Still.  In terms of the archetypal story arcs on this show, suicide feels like a far more authentic end for Alison that more cluttered homicide police procedural.  To me, at least.

Alison's suicidal ideation is strong in both parts of this episode.  If Gabriel hadn't died, she'd be suicidal over something else, I'm thinking:  The double whammy of an abandoning father and a flaky mother just destroyed her.  Sex and—to a lesser degree—parenting (because parenting allows her to reinvent herself as strong) turned off the suicidal thoughts.  

 

image.png

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Edited by Maximona
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I just love all of the comments and analyses. Only watched one time... but I believe the weather was clear in part 1 and stormy in part 2 which coincides with what we know about that night.

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22 minutes ago, Maximona said:

Still.  In terms of the archetypal story arcs on this show, suicide feels like a far more authentic end for Alison that more cluttered homicide police procedural.  To me, at least.

Alison's suicidal ideation is strong in both parts of this episode.  If Gabriel hadn't died, she'd be suicidal over something else, I'm thinking: image.png

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I agree.  You never know with this show because they have pulled some very whacky stuff in the past, but Allison's mental state got progressively worse all season.  She became more and more hopeless.  She had two very dramatic emotional episodes in the weeks leading up to her death.  Suicide would be an authentic place for that story to lead.  More authentic than the idea that she suddenly changed her habits and stood up for herself for the first time, but by an unlucky twist of fate it happened to be at the exact moment that a psycho had come to her house to murder her.

As for the second part, one of the best scenes on this show was when Cole told Noah that it was incorrect to blame Allison's problems on Gabriel's death.  Cole said he'd known Allison all her life and she was *always* the way she was.

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I'm all for pushing narrative boundaries, but showing us a murder that didn't take place as a way of expressing a character's suicidal ideation and then (unpresented) suicide accomplishment...would be...well...an innovation, I suppose.

ETA, related:  Mulholland Drive actually has a very simple structure, but it's not presented in a conventional way.  Also, it worksThe Affair isn't finished yet, but...

Edited by Penman61
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On 8/11/2018 at 11:51 PM, DakotaLavender said:

Oh Alison.... Alison, I know you are really Ruth Wilson and this is just a TV series but your death moved me to tears. I am so sorry you had to go like this. I am so sorry Ruth Wilson did not stay with this show for one more season so Alison could have had a future instead of a different end.

Rest in peace, Alison.... with Gabriel by your side. 

Alison was never going to have a happy ending.  That has been obvious from the beginning.

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After that nonsense with Noah being stalked by the evil prison guard and stabbed in the neck (I *still* don't know what that was all about, nor do I care to) I wouldn't put anything past this show.

They might just be trying to generate a new suspenseful storyline, but I expect that the season finale will clear up what really happened.

My expectation is that Ben will have to admit to the fact that he lied to Allison and upset her greatly, and possibly even knew or witnessed her commit suicide.  (He may have already admitted to parts of that.  I have to rewatch the scene where he gave Cole his alibi.)  That goes to the heart of the show - people wanting to believe that they are better than they are, and not being able to fully admit their shortcomings.

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It's hard to stomach but I'm liking the "suicide by creep" theory.   Surely there are easier ways if you want to die, but being murdered fits her victimology and explains why she would date a stalker.   Ben was sketchy from the get-go - so smarmy he made me cringe, but Alison was drawn like a moth to the flame.   She saw his capacity for violence and I'd like to think she was using him, probably unconsciously.  

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2 hours ago, Bitsy said:

There are lots of possibilities here, including that both versions were some kind of fantasy on Allison's part.  But what made me realize that version #2 couldn't be true was the post on this forum that pointed out that Ben had to have told Allison the RPG story at some point.  

If version #1 was Allison were rehearsing her interaction with Ben ahead of time, she would not have known the RPG story.  She would have been told that story for the first time (a very different version of the story, but the same story) in version #2.

That was me. :) I'm very glad my insight led to your insight, because your insight was really...insightful.

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On 8/12/2018 at 9:43 AM, GeminiDancer said:

I'm sure he did before ruling it out.

Botched police work.  Happens all the time.  They decide what happened and go down that road instead of looking at the full picture.

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23 minutes ago, Bitsy said:

My expectation is that Ben will have to admit to the fact that he lied to Allison and upset her greatly, and possibly even knew or witnessed her commit suicide.

THAT would be a really interesting twist.

Would that make him an accessory to manslaughter?

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11 hours ago, DakotaLavender said:

You may be on to something. I say this because the detective, who was seasoned and had years of experience, told Cole that Alison drowned herself. He explained it in detail. He said he had seen so many cases like this one. He said her injuries were consistent with a drowning. He said she moved her money into an account for Joanie. He said Ben had an alibi. Interesting theory, PALLAS. 

Police detectives are wrong all the time - they decide something based on one fact and then put things together to strengthen their position.  Like accepting Ben's "alibi," and apparently not checking her apartment.  Alison moving money into an account for Joanie was discussed with Athena in a previous episode - she had money from the sale of the Lobster Roll and was trying to figure out what to do with it.  Her grandparents had set up a trust for her, and she wanted to do that for Joanie.  

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17 hours ago, Lemons said:

That was annoying to me.  How do we know which one was the real one?  The second one made no sense at all.   Why would he be so enraged because she didn’t open the door quickly?  After six weeks, that type of personality would have show itself already. It was just such an extreme personality change from Alison’s view of him in all the other episodes.  Way too extreme.  Sucked.  

THIS...

16 hours ago, LilaFowler said:

Since the showrunner admitted that Allison hallucinates people, places and things in her POVs, we may never know what really happened that night. Ben is a liar and we can't know for sure if his version of events really happened the way that he said they did.

All we really know for sure is that Allison and Ben saw each other that night and at some point later, Allison ended up dead. She could have hallucinated both of her POVs and really committed suicide. I mean, with this show, who the hell knows?

and THIS. 

I wouldn't be so quick to assume without a doubt that Ben killed Allison. More so than the bandage, the faucet, the talks, the lies, the different versions of the story about the kid he killed during the war it was, like Lemon said, the radical character change we saw in second-half Ben. His rudeness, curtness and lack of interest in Allison and what she had to say all night and especially while he was eating chips on the couch was so out of character and not coherent with the way he'd been portrayed and presented to us in the last couple of episodes that actually made me think that for sure part 2 was an exaggeration of events that only existed in Allison's head.

Maybe next week we'll see other versions of Allison's last night and only at the end will we (maybe) be able to put all the pieces together, but as of now, I'm leaving all the possibilities open.

 

15 hours ago, CleoCaesar said:

How fitting that Alison the eternal victim dies as a literal victim (of a homicide).

I'm not sorry to see her go. Her constant "everyone is against me" way of going through life got tiresome very quickly. And all the things she did have an active role in were just vile: cheating on Cole, playing a part in breaking up Noah and Helen's marriage, cheating on Noah, lying to Noah about Joanie's paternity, abandoning Joanie for six months, fighting Cole and Luisa for custody, the list goes on.

Alison was a horrid, miserable person. I feel bad for Cole, Joanie and even Athena. But I'm glad we'll never have to see her "woe is me" POVs anymore.

Thank you! I don't understand the love for this character. Yes, of course she was a troubled woman, she had many issues of her own, she was chronically depressed, she lost a son and I'm sure recently finding out she was a child of rape didn't help either, but let's not forget she did wreck two marriages and acted like an immature and irresponsible victim of the circumstances more than once, and that she was capable of petty little actions like that time she was taking a shower at Helen and Noah's house and she voluntarily spilled the content of Helen's expensive shampoo just because, all the while coming and going as she pleased and inexplicably breaking hearts left, right and center. 

 

4 hours ago, Maximona said:

But the much-despised Fiona Apple song 

Ah, so strange! I love that song! I think it's one of the best opening credit songs I've ever seen on TV! 

Edited by stormy weather
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7 minutes ago, stormy weather said:

THIS...

and THIS. 

I wouldn't be so quick to assume without a doubt that Ben killed Allison. More so than the bandage, the faucet, the talks, the lies, the different versions of the story about the kid he killed during the war it was, like Lemon said, the radical character change we saw in second-half Ben. His rudeness, curtness and lack of interest in Allison and what she had to say all night and especially while he was eating chips on the couch was so out of character and not coherent with the way he'd been portrayed and presented to us in the last couple of episodes that actually made me think that for sure part 2 was an exaggeration of events that only existed in Allison's head.

Maybe next week we'll see other versions of Allison's last night and only at the end will we (maybe) be able to put all the pieces together, but as of now, I'm leaving all the possibilities open.

 

Thank you! I don't understand the love for this character. Yes, of course she was a troubled woman, she had many issues of her own, she was chronically depressed, she lost a son and I'm sure recently finding out she was a child of rape didn't help either, but let's not remember she did wreck two marriages and acted like an immature and irresponsible victim of the circumstances more than once, and that she was capable of petty little actions like that time she was taking a shower at Helen and Noah's house and she voluntarily spilled the content of Helen's expensive shampoo just because, all the while coming and going as she pleased and inexplicably breaking hearts left, right and center. 

 

Ah, so strange! I love that song! I think it's one of the best opening credit songs I've ever seen on TV! 

I love the song too

But I have to disagree about Ben’s behavior. PTSD often looks like that, long periods of normalcy, then a break.

Edited by JennyMominFL
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3 hours ago, Bitsy said:

No.  I rewatched this part last night. (I'm obsessed!)  In the opening scene of version #1 she's standing at the sink with a leaky faucet.  She does not hurt her finger.

She hurts her finger at the *end* of version #1 when she's back at the sink.  Version #2 does not start until about 30 seconds later.   Although we actually see a band-aid go on her finger in version #2, the injury is from version #1 and would still have required a band-aid.

The changeover from version #1 into version #2 involves Allison having an emotional/panic attack at the sink (and hurting her finger).  She's standing there freaking out and it's like you can see the wheels turning in her head as she chooses to dive into this fantasy version where Ben is now a villain.  She walks over to the door and DUNH DUNH DUNH Scary Ben is standing there looking scary.  That's when Part 2: Allison abruptly comes up onscreen.

I really love your insight, your posts have been riveting and have even prompted me to go back and re-watch some scenes.

 

So I will ask you these questions of you don't mind- what do you make of the knocking? it seems she doesn't hear the knocking for a while in version #1, I can't recall if it is the same in version #2 but does this have something to do with the continuous loop referred to? 

 

There are several things that the writers made sure were very obvious- the phones on the chargers, the faucet/cut, the weather, the knocking and her wardrobe to name a few. 

I was having a hard time deciding whether is was brilliant or BS, I am going with Brilliant. Still doesn't mean I want to watch Noah and Cole play Nancy Drew all next season. Please no.

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4 minutes ago, Gemini Gipsy said:

Still doesn't mean I want to watch Noah and Cole play Nancy Drew all next season. Please no.

They could join forces with the cast of Search Party.

Edited by Milburn Stone
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11 hours ago, Bitsy said:

Nope.  At the end of version #1, Allison goes back to the sink and cuts her finger.  Version #2 doesn't start until she answers the door and Ben is standing there in the rain.  The way that they interrupted the action to put up the "Part 2: Allison" sign was very abrupt and clearly intended for a specific reason.  They wanted us to know that version #2 started RIGHT THERE.

She put the bandage on her finger after Ben was in the apartment.

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5 minutes ago, Milburn Stone said:

They could combine with the cast of Search Party.

I just don't see what good can come of these two men, whom she effed over on such an enormous scale, throw their lives away to be come BFF's and get the sad sack of a woman justice.  For almost 4 seasons now I've had to watch this woman play the victim, I don't need her to be the literal victim for a 5th.

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18 minutes ago, bilgistic said:

She put the bandage on her finger after Ben was in the apartment.

True.  The sequences of events is as follows:

1) At the end of version #1, Allison is upset and cuts her finger at the sink

2) There is repeated knocking at the door and Allison stands there deciding what to do

3) She opens the door and the storm is raging and it's Ben 

4) Sign goes up onscreen announcing that Allison's part #2 POV is beginning

5) Allison and Ben interact and he puts the bandage on her finger

The injury happened at the end of version #1.  If version #1 is real, that means Allison needed a band-aid and we just didn't see how the band-aid eventually got on her finger because it happened offscreen.  Version #2 can still be a fantasy building off of the real finger injury sustained in version #1, but how the band-aid got on her finger in version #2 is as much of a fantasy as the rest of it.

I was re-watching version #1 last night at about 2:30 am and need to go back and re-watch the whole thing tonight when I'm a little less delirious, but I'm pretty sure the basics of that are correct.

I don't know what the knocking might have been if version #2 is fantasy.  It could have been Allison's imagination.  Or the real-life storm started and something was banging against the house. Or random person like Allison's landlady stopped by and they had an interaction not relevant to the plot.

ETA: I absolutely love the Fiona Apple song and think it's perfect for the show.  My mother, who is staunchly classical music only, has told me three times that she really likes the song.  I'd only heard complimentary things about the song up until now.  I had no idea there was a contingent of people who hated it.

Edited by Bitsy
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2 hours ago, Maximona said:

The money quote from Episode 9:  We tell ourselves a story about the way people treat us, and it’s not always true.

Yes. And on third thought, I believe that each version is a fantasy. Together, the two stories and multiple Alisons are a Rorschach test that Alison leaves behind. Which story feels more real? Which story aligns with the ones we tell ourselves, about real people and events? And it's not always true. A Rorschach test for the audience. 

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49 minutes ago, stormy weather said:

THIS...

and THIS. 

I wouldn't be so quick to assume without a doubt that Ben killed Allison. More so than the bandage, the faucet, the talks, the lies, the different versions of the story about the kid he killed during the war it was, like Lemon said, the radical character change we saw in second-half Ben. His rudeness, curtness and lack of interest in Allison and what she had to say all night and especially while he was eating chips on the couch was so out of character and not coherent with the way he'd been portrayed and presented to us in the last couple of episodes that actually made me think that for sure part 2 was an exaggeration of events that only existed in Allison's head.

Maybe next week we'll see other versions of Allison's last night and only at the end will we (maybe) be able to put all the pieces together, but as of now, I'm leaving all the possibilities open.

Thank you! I don't understand the love for this character. Yes, of course she was a troubled woman, she had many issues of her own, she was chronically depressed, she lost a son and I'm sure recently finding out she was a child of rape didn't help either, but let's not forget she did wreck two marriages and acted like an immature and irresponsible victim of the circumstances more than once, and that she was capable of petty little actions like that time she was taking a shower at Helen and Noah's house and she voluntarily spilled the content of Helen's expensive shampoo just because, all the while coming and going as she pleased and inexplicably breaking hearts left, right and center. 

Ah, so strange! I love that song! I think it's one of the best opening credit songs I've ever seen on TV! 

You're certainly free to dislike Alison, but she didn't "wreck two marriages" on her own.

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Police detectives are wrong all the time - they decide something based on one fact and then put things together to strengthen their position.  Like accepting Ben's "alibi,"

The detective said they verified Ben's alibi, so they didn't just accept it.  With that alibi, neither version 1 nor 2 fits, since he was seen in public drinking when he was either #1 having sex outside with Allison, or #2 carrying her to the ocean.

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4 hours ago, Maximona said:

Abrupt?  

But the much-despised Fiona Apple song has foreshadowed Alison's death all along.  

Maybe, but you can also make the argument that she died that way only because Ruth Wilson wanted off the show.

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A couple of reviews I have read have referenced the music that was playing on Alison's stereo, songs by Jason Isbell, Cover Me Up and Live Oak, and how the showrunner has said that the lyrics figure heavily into the content of the episode. Everything we need to know is in the lyrics. Hmmm.   

 

Also, I think someone needs to talk to Ben's wife.  

Edited by cardigirl
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Count me in for a lover of the opening song. I'm partial since I am a longtime Fioana Apple fan girl.

I do see the lyrics as reflecting Alison's death but it has had many meanings throughout the seasons. Could have started out as the proverbial death of the marriages being one example. You can always find a few different meanings in songs depending on the situation and the listeners POV.  Kind of fitting considering the premise of the show.

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We also have to remember that she went to California and returned in a very bad state.  She had the breathing difficulty in the car with Noah.  It is likely that when she returned to LI she was no better which would put her in a potential suicidal state.  

What I don’t get is did she arrange for Ben to come over?  If so, why?  In her mind she had already ended it after learning that he was married.  If #1 was the reality version why did she agree to have Ben come over?

In #2 Ben indicated that they were planning on going out to dinner.  I find it hard to believe Alison would have agreed to that.

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1 hour ago, Diane12251 said:

Police detectives are wrong all the time - they decide something based on one fact and then put things together to strengthen their position.  Like accepting Ben's "alibi," and apparently not checking her apartment.  Alison moving money into an account for Joanie was discussed with Athena in a previous episode - she had money from the sale of the Lobster Roll and was trying to figure out what to do with it.  Her grandparents had set up a trust for her, and she wanted to do that for Joanie.  

We don't know if any of that is true. It was presented to us but we don't know if it was accurate or that it happened.

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1 hour ago, JennyMominFL said:

I love the song too

But I have to disagree about Ben’s behavior. PTSD often looks like that, long periods of normalcy, then a break.

I think if a guy like Ben had a break in reality and an episode of rage like that it would have been with his wife, not someone he met 6 weeks ago.  There was nothing realistic about it.  Also the way he picked her up and dumped her in the ocean like she was a piece of trash.  They didn't show him with a  look of horror when she hit her head or show him checking to see if she's OK.  Just ok, she's alive but I'll just dump her in the ocean.  That's not PTSD.  That's a psychopath, a person who has never had feeling for anything.  

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4 minutes ago, Dminches said:

What I don’t get is did she arrange for Ben to come over?  If so, why?  In her mind she had already ended it after learning that he was married.  If #1 was the reality version why did she agree to have Ben come over?

In #2 Ben indicated that they were planning on going out to dinner.  I find it hard to believe Alison would have agreed to that.

In version #1, she's waiting for him, wearing a pretty dress.  Flowers and wine are involved.  It seems she agreed to the date in order to question him about his marital situation (which she already knows about) and then asks him to leave because she is through with married men.  But not really because it takes her 2 seconds to let him stay.

In version #2 in which she's wearing a non-seductive pair of jeans, he arrives unannounced and demands to know why she stood him up in Milwaukee.  Strong Allison Who Doesn't Take Any BS from version #2 definitely did not agree to a date or even to see him again.

Version #1 is closer to the Allison we've seen all along.  Ben may have wheedled his way into getting her to agree to him coming over, but she was expecting him.  Allison's POV is always messed up in terms of whether or not she's flirtatious and how she looks.  The wearing of the dress might have been a reflection of Allison's self-blame for participating in the seduction scenario.

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9 minutes ago, Lemons said:

I think if a guy like Ben had a break in reality and an episode of rage like that it would have been with his wife, not someone he met 6 weeks ago.  There was nothing realistic about it.  Also the way he picked her up and dumped her in the ocean like she was a piece of trash.  They didn't show him with a  look of horror when she hit her head or show him checking to see if she's OK.  Just ok, she's alive but I'll just dump her in the ocean.  That's not PTSD.  That's a psychopath, a person who has never had feeling for anything.  

yeah, I'm just going to let this debate go. I live with someone with PTSD and have been around quite a few others who have/ had it.  The anger and rage my husband had in the early years with this is something I recognize . He was a completely different person, sometimes a very scary one for a few years. Thats probably one of the reasons I couldn't sleep last night

Edited by JennyMominFL
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13 minutes ago, Bitsy said:

In version #1, she's waiting for him, wearing a pretty dress.  Flowers and wine are involved.  It seems she agreed to the date in order to question him about his marital situation (which she already knows about) and then asks him to leave because she is through with married men.  But not really because it takes her 2 seconds to let him stay.

In version #2 in which she's wearing a non-seductive pair of jeans, he arrives unannounced and demands to know why she stood him up in Milwaukee.  Strong Allison Who Doesn't Take Any BS from version #2 definitely did not agree to a date or even to see him again.

Version #1 is closer to the Allison we've seen all along.  Ben may have wheedled his way into getting her to agree to him coming over, but she was expecting him.  Allison's POV is always messed up in terms of whether or not she's flirtatious and how she looks.  The wearing of the dress might have been a reflection of Allison's self-blame for participating in the seduction scenario.

Right, he shows up with flowers and wine.

But in #2 doesn't he indicate that they had planned to go out to dinner and says he is hungry?  She gives him cheese and crackers as a result.  It seems like they had plans.

I guess I need to watch this again.

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