The Affair Season 2 Episode 2 recap

This show is already better than the great show it was last year. Including the perspectives of Helen and Cole make the show better because they are less horrible people than their respective ex-partners, and I say that as someone who fully believes and/or hopes that Cole set Noah up to take the ultimate fall. (I don’t really believe it. It’s way too obvious. But still.)

Noah is horrible because the only person who’s invested in thinking he’s not horrible, Alison, consistently portrays him in her view as a terrible, sex-obsessed narcissist who has exactly no forward trajectory, and who doesn’t see her as a person but as a vehicle for his own desires. Witness his rage when she was going to work for their landlady? Anything that makes him look less-than is intimidating as hell, of course. The question is, do you think he was always like this with Helen? Or is the freedom of the new relationship allowing him to be as bad as he always knew he could be? He even calls her a ‘thing’, albeit ‘the best thing that ever happened to me’. Maybe he doesn’t realize how terrible he really is?

Meanwhile, Alison remains much more of a cipher, just wandering in her grief, still wondering who she’s going to become. If she’s going to become someone. I really liked the landlord-and-lady, Robert and Yvonne, and it’s clear that Alison is delighted with the idea that they’re going to adopt her. But I wonder whether this job and friendship and town is something that Alison feels great about, or just a reason to get out of bed in the morning. Because (other than a random jam business that I guess belonged to her sister-in-law) what has she really done to try to move on? Nothing, in years. As though if she cares about anything, it too will leave her…

But mostly, of course, we’re here to talk about Cole. Cole who is maybe bitter enough to shove their son’s toybox at her (though Alison’s memory of the way Cole was seems over the top.  Am I right, or can I just not see straight through my love-of-Joshua-Jackson filter?). Cole who is surviving on bumps of coke and getting propositioned by ‘discreet’ decorators and driving Helen’s father. Cole who, no matter which interpretation you view him through, drove hours and hours to see Alison for a maximum of an hour. That Cole.  

“Are you ever coming home?”
“I don’t think so.”

How does that feel, when you hear the worst admission of the thing you hoped wasn’t true? What does it make you do? 

Interestingly, there were two mentions this week of ‘Alison’s house’, as though, even though he’s entitled to half, it’s not Cole’s to sell. That’s going to play into things in the very near future, while Cole talks himself more and more into being a bad guy – or so my interpretation goes. After all, it looks like the drug deals are no more, at least for now, so incomes have to be foremost in everyone’s mind.

“You should see where Mom’s living, man. It’s not pretty.”

So what would that make you do? How pressured would you have to be to manipulate a horrible situation to be more horrible? We know that the charges against Noah are not only vehicular homicide but leaving the scene of a crime so – is it really possible for Cole to have engineered all of that? Do we believe he could?

Last night showrunner Sarah Treem tweeted that next week would be an ‘old-fashioned’ Noah and Alison episode. I wonder how it will feel to be inside that relationship for a whole hour?