The Affair, season two, episode two, recap: We got four suspects and a double murder

Cole and alison the affair


Alison Part Three

It was always a relieve when the storyline in the Affair would switch to Alison's perspective, Noah in my book being quite unreliable. Now the story has split four ways, and we had to wait a week for Alison take, I have the feeling season two of The Affair really started yesterday.

On the day Noah goes to meet with Helen and the mediator, Alison wakes up smiling. She is in that great lake house ( cosy, woodsy will Cole say later)  It doesn't seem she suffers from the nightmares that plague Noah. The ones where he is running down a women with his car.
Noah bobs in to say goodbye. There is not enough time for a quickie, ("Yes I am the one with the insatiable sex drive." Alison jokes, and that is still a big question. Seductress, or not so much?) But there is time for one important question. "Who am I to you?" She wants to know.
" You are the best thing that has happened to me." Noah responds.

The plight of the mistress, she still suffers from it.  We know that they will get married. But for now, who is she? She is a very vulnerable position. She left everything, home and Cole, to  enter Noah's life.
She also hasn't got a lot to do. She wanders around, in this idyllic writes retreat, surrounded by framed book covers ( we get it: Falling road, Parallel, Paper plates!) when she sees the manuscript on Noah's desk. 'For Alison' is the dedication.

Let's pause for a sec. This season we have four perspectives. Four different versions. And memory sure is fickle. But these are not only four versions, and four different ways to process and retain information. These are four suspects.  Four people that may have very good reason to change their stories, to build a persona. To build somebody else's  character, mold them in a version that will exonerate them. And make somebody seem guilty.
And Scotty's murder, his death, is not the only one we have been building towards. All this will not only lead to a whodunnit of a secondary character.
It is all in Noah's manuscript. When he pitched the story and his editor said: And?' Fate was set in motion. 'He kills her.' Was Noah's answer.
Last week we saw that Noah was reluctant to proceed with this ending. He wants his protagonist and her ( the waitress?) to sit together in the end with a terrible secret between them. So the questions are: who of these four has good reason to lie? Will Noah kill her? Why?
I don't know, but he is certainly dreaming about it.

It's quite important to know if Alison has read the manuscript or not. Does she know what's in store? In the future, when they are married, the book is out, I am sure she has read it by then. But did Noah change the ending? If not, what does she think about it? As Yvonne, the owner of the lake house, later remarks.' It is terrible being with a writer. All their secret worlds, their fantasies.'

After a detour to town, Alison comes home and sees her very cute bike outside. Her face contorts, she seems scared. Cole is inside.
When she enters the house Cole is the one looking at the manuscript. Their exchange is tense and  cynical. Alison tells him he should be there.  Then we are reminded of Cole's last season big meltdown.
' You seem nervous to see me.'
' Well do you have any weapons on you?'
The whole exchange is mean and menacing till Cole decides to assert his male superiority over Noah (the dude hasn't got tools)and fix the broken toilet.
Cole leaves just when the owner Yvonne comes by with her welcome basket ( I think she raided the Preserve sale!)
'Quite intense that one.' She remarks.
And then Cole has one more manipulative move to pull, he drops off the last box that is certainly Gabriels and breaks Alison's heart all over again.

Yvonne maybe sensing that Alison is unnerved invites her to the house. There Alison manages to get offered the job of Yvonne's PA.

Yvonne has also some wisdom to impart on marriage. ' It is like a house, you have to be there for the long haul if you ever wants to see it come together.'

Let's pause another time.

In the future it's Helen that comes to Noah aid after his arrest. She is paying for a lawyer. When Alison arrives, her baby daughter in her arms, the deed is done, and Helen already staked her claim on her man. So just because Alison and Noah are together now,  it doesn't mean they will be in the end. Alison may never get the answer she wants on the question:'Who am I to you?'

For now she is happy with her new job offer, but when Noah gets home things get nasty.  Last week we saw him coming home to one of his angelic glowing renditions of Alison.
But now Noah is embarrassed and annoyed that she took the job. After his experiences with his in-laws he doesn't want to be in somebody's debt. Remember last week, where he bragged to Helen that his advance is almost 400 grand? Well here he complains that his book will not get published, that he will be broke, and asks quite aggressively if Alison is ever going to sell her house.  He notices that the manuscript is not on the desk and he becomes even more irritated.
Noah, if you don't want her to read it, why not hide it?
After this passive aggressive whining, he grabs his beer and heads outside. Alison has already drank half a bottle of wine. Not at all the romantic evening that Noah described. It doesn't end in a dance at dusk. When Noah apologize they solve their problem as they always do, by screwing against the counter. ' I just want you to be happy.'  Noah says entering her. Sex is not happiness peeps, and it will not last...
Of course she doesn't tell him Cole came by.
'To us.'  They toast that night.

Part four: Cole 

Having lost everything, Cole works now as a cabdriver. Of course we start his story, at the bottom of the pit, when the insufferable Bruce, Noah's father in law, enters his taxi. First Bruce thinks that Cole is a foreigner, than he imagines he somebody who just moved to Montauk and Bruce goes on and on, how long he has lived there and how much it changed.  Cole's face is priceless. Tell me about it, prick, it seems to say. We were here before you ever came and you people are the ones that ruined it.
Bruce has his own wisdom to impart about marriage. The other side of the coin from Yvonne's much sweeter quote: " I have been married 40 years, 40 waisted years. "
He left his wife, and that explains how she was even more aggressive than usual when Noah came to Helen's house.

Noah comes up in the conversation. Bruce explains to Cole what a loser his former son in law is. "Some people are destined to fail. Nothing you can do about it."
After the upsetting ride Cole almost hits a little kid with his cab and meets Lisa, but more on her in further episodes. She seems nice Cole, hope she saves you from the misery you are in. a
Cole lives in a dirty trailer by the house, works night and day, uses coke to stay awake, Milfs puke in his car, he doesn't see his mom and won't talk to Scotty ( who also wants to know about the sale of the house) " Scotty, I will run you the fuck down!" Is Cole's reaction. Cole's is really down and out and  I hope he will not shave his head and start speaking to himself in the mirror.
When he finds Alison's friend in his house packing her stuff he forces her to give the address to her and heads to the Hudson valley.
He arrives early, sits in a cafe and sees Noah going to the train station. He points his finger to Noah's head and pulls the trigger. This makes me think, that we will not end The Affair, with one, not two, but more deaths. But maybe not.
Soft romantic music plays when Cole enters the lake house. He doesn't look at the manuscript. Alison enters and smiles. And how couldn't she mention in her story, how awful Cole looks?
She is worried about him, thanks him and makes him eggs. Through Cole's eyes she looks so happy. And al Cole wants to know if Noah is a good guy. It is all heartbreaking.
Are you ever coming home, Cole  asks. And as he walks away she follows him and embraces him. And finally he falls asleep. In his cab. On the side of the road.

The episode ends in the courthouse. Cole arrives for the arraignment. He says hello to Alison, is sweet to her little girl. They enter the courtroom. Noah hears the charges and is lead away.
And then the camera focus on Cole. and we know why they just had to split the story four ways. Maura Tierney already was awesome last week. But Joshua jackson burns up the screen. We stay on his face. He looks at noah being carried away.and there is glee, a sense of justice, revenge and so much relishing in Noah's predicament. But as his gaze shift to Alison...well lets say Yvonne is quite right. He is intense that one. Those piercing eyes could mean anything. Nothing good, I am afraid.