The affair recap: 207: Leaches and love

9:40:00 AM


These past episodes of the Affair, all started rather clunky,  riffing on a cliche subject. And they all ended astonishingly, speeding up to something deep, epic and dangerous. It's a hell of a way of telling a story. Well, the Affair is about storytellers. It is about subjectivity, fiction, manipulation of the truth. And leaches. The word stuck in my head while watching Alison's part. A writer is a leach. And then Cole said it. Noah Solloway is a leach. Now this is nothing new to say about writers. If you think they are writing about you, yes they probably are. Isabel Allende said that if she had to use her own mother for a story she would. That is just how a writer functions. That is how he or she processes the world, by turning it into fiction. Don't go near them if you don't want to end up in their books.
 I write. Like every single one of those leaches, I know.
So, Noah. What is happening? That is a Descent for sure, one into an abyss of assholery. The Affair could be a great way of deterring women to sleep with married men. As Helen said two episodes ago, you sleep with them and then you are the one stuck with their bullshit. There's a lot of Noah's bullshit in Alison's version.
The episode starts at a book party, on Thanksgiving. There is a lot of obnoxious namedropping and stroking of Noah's ego going on. Alison just wants to go home to cook Thanksgiving dinner. But you cannot be the muse, the mistress, the woman that lead that man astray, and then become the pregnant wife and expect him to be at your side. This Thanksgiving vignette was about that. The woman that inspired Noah to write his masterpiece, that gave him everything, like his friend Max said at the Thanksgiving table, and got nothing in return. Nothing that she really wanted. Watching Alison's Thanksgiving you just want, at least I do, to take her hand, and say, girl, get out of here. Get away from Noah and his irritating assistant, get out of this ostentatious apartment, and why host a traditional Thanksgiving, why cook something out of your precious grandmothers cookbook, for these people? They will not appreciate it.  You are not here to share something that is sacred for you. You are there because Noah, was dried up, leading a safe life that lead to a lack of inspiration. Alison freed him from that and now she is stuck with somebody who is starting to believe all the ego BS, that surrounds his book launch.
At the bookparty Alison flees to the kitchen, where she feels comfortable. Noah promises to pick up the turkey and she goes home, where her mother awaits with a whole lot of sound advice. 'Don't sell the house,' she tells her daughter, adding that she was the one that convinced Alison's grandmother to leave it to her. Keep the house, if it doesn't work out, with Noah, you and your baby have a place to go. With all the tension that evening; Noah being late, Alison's friend making out with Max, Athena continues to put all the attention on the baby. But Alison is still in a daze. The baby room isn't ready. She is still focussing her energy on Noah. And when he finally arrives, with no turkey but with that assistant, Alison cracks and reveals that yes she read his book.
She read all of it, how he twisted everything around, how he made her out to be the instigator of The Affair. How he killed her at the end.
But she still can't resist him. When she tells him to go away, like the last episode when she told him that he couldn't control her, Noah forces himself on her again. With hollow words this time. Noah never looked more creepy than when he touches Alison stomach and says that this is his reality, and all he needs.

Reality. Well, as we suspected, the reality of that pregnancy is not what it appears to be.That is Cole's baby. It has to.
Cole's part of the episode tragically edges in that direction. Alison's part was the one with the rather obvious story, an affair becoming a real situation and turning sour. When the Affair is showing New York and book parties, like with Bruce's and Margaret's pontifications, the characters become caricatures, and we stumble on cliches. It is a brilliant irony because, the Montauk people are the ones getting ripped from their lives and turned into what ever stockfigure Noah needs in his book. But they are not the ones that are shallow. Montauk is where The Affair its at. It is so well done, the scenes there, mix a literary feel and a insightful documentary at the same time.
Cole reads the book. After he runs into Oscar, and Scotty and Oscar tells  them how Noah put everyone in his story. It's the same day, Thanksgiving, but Cole has nothing else to do. He fought with Luisa, after she told him she loved him. He still doesn't talk to his mother. So he buys the book and reads it.
When he later shows up, at his mother Thanksgiving table, he is not there to make good. He is there to shake things up, to vent. In a fantastic scene, with a that great classic feel that all the ranch and Lockhart family drama has, after drinking is grandfathers moonshine, he starts reading aloud from Noah's book.

He thinks Noah made the passage up about the family feud between the Lockharts and the Hodges. Cole thinks that the Hodges started it by burning land. But no, his mother confirms the book's version. It started with an affair. Cole's grandma slept with Oscars grandpa. Got pregnant. And when Cole's grandpa found out he drowned the baby. 'Don't you see,' his mother says, 'our family is cursed.'  Gabriel died, we just learned that Mary-Kate's baby died. Whitney's baby died. There will never be another Lockhart.
Before we circle back on that. Whitney appears outside to see Scotty. Scotty is pissed and gets away, and this spoiled brat's heart just breaks in front of Cole.
Do you remember when you tried to kill me, she gets back her groove when Cole, gives her a ride back to the city. 'I was aiming for your dad.' Cole then tells her about his father's suicide. Like so many kids of parents that committed suicide, Cole always thought that his father didn't include him, in his decision to end his life. He tells Whitney this because she laments that she is the only one that is not in Noah's book. In an episode where everybody is pissed that they are in this book, Whitney is sad she isn't.  I am just not that important to him. Like kids of parents who commit suicide, kids of divorce have that sense that it says something about their parents love for them. That is why her heart is breaking. Not because of Scotty, it was always her fathers love that Whitney was looking for.
But you cannot make people that you love, love you back.
That is the damn tragedy.
Cole brings Whitney home to Noah, and then goes to his girlfriend and tells her in spanish that he loves her very much. They kiss. It is sweet.
But love is almost never an equal situation. In this episode Alison loves Noah, but Noah loves his beginning fame. Was the baby, the three of us, the hook? She must know it is Cole's. Is it her way of solidify things with Noah? What are you doing with your life, someone asks Alison at the party. She touches her stomach. This. It it a way of bringing Gabriel back, of getting to be that mother again?
And when will Cole know?
This is a story about a boy who drowned. A woman that drowned. A man that drowned. A grandfather that drowned. It is a curse. Let's hope that Noah Solloway, is not the one, to enforce this curse.

In the end we see Oscar in Jon's office. Jon and his assistant are playing a tape of Alison and Scotty at the Lobster roll. They are clearly fighting. Oscar, counting is money, knows exactly what Scotty is saying. That is our baby.
Now I read that some people think Scotty meant that it was his. But that seems a bit farfetched. It's the Lockharts baby, that is how I interpreted it.
The baby the Lockharts never taught would come. The baby that can break a curse. The baby that is keeping Noah at Alison's side. The baby that gets Scotty killed?
Do you want to kill me, ask Alison to Noah after reading the ending. Do you want to get rid of us?

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