Whoa, this ep has surprises! Alison has been helping move drugs for her family, as we viewers may have suspected. This is a HUGE shock to Noah, of course.
Speaking of drugs… We meet Max (Josh Stamberg), a handsome investment banker and Noah’s closest friend. He plays the fun-loving party guy, but is feeling low after a bitter divorce and losing custody of his son. Max snorts coke in the taxi; Noah concludes to Helen that Max is “a mess.” Later on, Max meets and hits on Allison at The End, the club for Summer people that Det. Jeffries asks about (in the present time).
After Max leaves, Noah and Alison dance and then spend the time night together in the adjacent hotel.
We see Whitney (Julia Goldani Telles- one of the ambitious teen ballerinas on ABC Family’s Bunheads), Noah, and Helen w/ a therapist in her Summer house. The girl thinks that Helen is having an affair w/ Uncle Max (LOL- the irony)! She sensed for SOME time that knows that there was tension/unhappiness in her parents’ marriage.
Helen makes Noah take Martin over to the Lockhart ranch to say sorry/goodbye. Noah and Alison have their awkward moment. Cole is kind to Martin, taking on “a very fatherly role” (Kellie Knezovich on Afterbuzz TV). Speaking of fathers… At the Butler house, Bruce (John Doman) is majorly pissed off b/c a Vanity Fair article came out where Margaret (Kathleen Chalfant) called herself his “editor” and “collaborator.”
Oscar threatens Noah and asks for $10,000 to keep his affair secret. Noah goes to Max for money to pay off Oscar. Max can’t believe he had an affair, but asks Noah not to get all sentimental and tell Helen.
Maybe it just made me feel better to be seen as someone. Something successful. You just see me as potential unfulfilled. You’re waiting for the guy you married to happen. -Noah admits to Helen
Noah goes on a run and falls to the ground. He thinks he’s having a heart attack, but it’s a panic attack (b/c he can’t keep his secret anymore). When they get home, Noah spills his guts. (I wasn’t thinking this would happen SO SOON!) Helen always knows everything that happens to him until now, so she is confused/stunned. They have a terrible fight (of course)! When Helen goes to sleep, Noah gets a text from Oscar. He told her, so Oscar can have NO hold over him.
Back at the Lockhart house, the brothers are talking about Oscar. Scotty wants to beat him; Cole wants to make peace.
Cherry burns the note (from Noah) that was stuck at the bottom of the pies instead of giving it to Alison. She wants her to end the affair and NEVER tell Cole, b/c she’s been “selfish enough already.”
Cole, Scotty and Alison go to Oscar’s to apologize. Scotty screws it up by punching Oscar in the stomach. Oscar tells Cole the person who did see him make the call was the guy Alison’s been seeing. Scotty and Cole beat up Oscar.
Listen, I never thanked you. -Helen says to Alison
For what? -Alison asks, confused
For what you did for my daughter. -Helen replies
It was nothing. -Alison says quietly
No. It wasn’t. -Helen returns earnestly
Alison goes to NYC to see Jane (the college girl who was waiting tables at The Lobster Roll). They both go to Helen’s store, and she is there (awkward)!
Cole is at Jane’s place when Alison gets back. The brothers looked for the cocaine, but it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. Cole thinks it was whoever she’s been seeing moved it. He demands to know who it is, BUT Cole can’t believe it’s Martin’s dad!
Cole decides to sell the ranch. Cherry wants to handle it, cover it and get a loan from the bank.
When my dad died, I figured out this trick for dealing with the pain. Because it would come in waves, you know. And then, just like a wave, eventually it passed, so I’d just start to count. One, two, three, sometimes twenty sometimes a hundred. Sometimes I make it all the way up to three thousand. I knew if I could just keep on counting, that eventually it would pass. So when, when Gabriel died, I tried that again. I’d wake up in the middle of the night and I’d be sweating and I’d just feel that darkness bearing down on me and I’d try counting, but this time it just wouldn’t work because it’s too dark and I’d forget the numbers, and I’d forget what order they’re supposed to come in and the only thing, the only thing that made it better for me, made it so I could just breathe, just for a second, was you. And I thought if we could just keep on moving forward, if we could just move forward that eventually everything was gonna get better. It didn’t get better. It just got worse. Sometimes I wonder if it’s him. That this is his way of telling us if he can’t be there, then we can’t either. -Cole admits to Alison
Late that night, Cole asks Alison not to take her pill. He wants to start this part over again.
Do you know why I married you? -Helen asks
Because you loved me? -Noah replies
I thought you were safe. -She admits
Wow, the above lines are the ones that MOST stuck out for me (in the entire show so far)! Don’t they just sound so REAL!? Eps 8-10 just takes you on a journey; these are VERY well done. At the start of Ep 8, Helen and Noah are at dinner at their favorite restaurant. She coldly/quickly rejects the gift (a necklace) that Noah picked out from Tiffany’s. Noah is disappointed, we notice clearly.
When she can’t attend a literary award ceremony for her father, Noah decides to go instead. He finds that Allison is working as a waitress there (yeah, it’s SUCH a small town). Allison gets an urgent call re: her grandmother (who’s VERY close to dying); Noah gives her a ride to the hospital. Noah and Allison’s accounts of that night (and what was said) differ GREATLY in this ep!
In Allison’s account, this is what happens: Noah offers to stay to take her home later, but she says no and tells him to take care. While she’s arguing w/ Athena over the DNR, Noah comes into the hospital. Noah tells Alison letting her grandmother go is an act of compassion. Later, Noah takes her home. Before she gets out of the car, Noah tells her he loves her. Alison says she loves him, too.
Seems to me this girl might have been your muse and now that she’s gone you’ve forgotten you’re afraid of the page. You got to harness that disappointment, son. If you know how to use it you might actually produce something worth reading this time. -Bruce gives some advice to Noah
I esp. liked how we got to see a more human side of Bruce in this ep! He revealed to Noah that he fell in love w/ an undergrad in Michigan when he was just starting out as a young prof. Bruce thinks about this girl everyday, BUT he went back to his wife, young child, and the comfortable life they had established together.
Please stay. -Cole begs Alison
I love you, but I’ll die if I stay any longer. I don’t want to die. -Alison replies before heading to Manhattan
Allison comes into the city and spends the good part of a day w/ Noah; he even invites her to his brownstone (yikes, that is NOT classy). I thought this was a BIG violation! Noah then shows Allison a (VERY small) apt. that needs a tenant soon; she is confused, then angered by the situation. Is she just supposed to WAIT around for him!?
Alison, it’s a temporary solution to a really complicated situation. –Noah says re: the apt. he has found
Noah’s barely 17 y.0. daughter, Whitney, is pregnant (not a BIG shock there). We’d had hints about her spending time w/ Scotty (a noted ladies’ man who’s “closer to 30 than 20”). At the Planned Parenthood office, Noah is (understandably) mad when he sees Scotty.
I love her, Max. I wasn’t lookin’ for this. I tried to get away from it, but I keep comin’ back to her. This isn’t some midlife crisis. -Noah explains his relationship to his best friend
What did you think about that (random) suicide? From Max’s high-rise patio, Noah sees a young man casually walk out on a ledge and jump off a nearby building.
Part One: Noah
Noah is right back where he started, swimming at the local pool in Brooklyn. The gal who once hit on him is engaged and he notes he’s separated. That doesn’t stop him from hooking up w/ her.
Quick cut-away scenes of Noah visiting his kids at home and at school events while getting w/ various women, including a fellow teacher. He is also writing his book.
Noah’s called into an office of some sort. He then heads into the NYC Dept of Education’s “padded room.” He’s there for disorderly conduct. The guy he’s sitting next two has been attending for two years (yes, THIS can happen folks)!
Wisely, Noah decides to write his book with his spare time. He starts on Chapter 3. The season change and he continues to write until he reaches the end of his novel. His seat buddy leaves him a message as everyone but Noah files out. “You’re my hero,” it says.
When Noah shows Harry his book, he says its extraordinary. Harry wants it in stores by next fall and offers him something in the low six figures. He goes a step further and says he’ll get his gal Friday to start a rumor that Harper Collins is looking at it so Noah can get $500k since he didn’t bother with an agent and a bidding war. Noah admits he’s recently separated; Harry is surprised (it’s almost been 4 mos.)
He lost his job, half his friends, and lives in a box. Harry thinks it sounds wonderful. When Harry asks him if he misses his wife, Noah flashes to Alison, instead.
Noah’s with Jeffries (in present time). He was called in just for questions about his car. Jeffries knows where to find him; a swanky Greenwich address or something. As he’s leaving the police station, a tow truck driver is coming in. Noah’s worried and runs toward the guy.
I want you to come home. I miss you. I can’t do this alone. I hate my life without you. You know. You know, you used to like me because of how I am, I thought you chose me for the way I am — you did! You did, you wanted a certain life and I gave that to you. You, you were tired of being poor. You wanted a big family. I could have stopped that, too. I didn’t need to have four kids to make up for the wasteland that was my childhood. You never gave me a chance. You never said, ‘I’m different now. I want something else.’ You just took it all away. But I can change. I can change! And I have been working with Dr. Gunderson two time a week and I have new tools now… -Helen begs/pleads w/ Noah
Noah is called home by Helen. Her mother hired a PI to build a case against him in divorce court. She has the video from the abortion clinic. He hasn’t told her about the school issue. She doesn’t want to divorce him (surprise there)! Helen breaks, she’s angry he left her without ever saying he was missing something in his life. They get together (he does her from behind); it doesn’t seem like a positive/happy event AT ALL.
Noah has the tow truck guy in his car, and asks what Jeffries wants from him. Noah wants the guy to lie. There’s a price- $20,000. Noah wants to give him the cash tomorrow, but the dude wants it today.
Noah and Helen talk to Whitney. They want to press charges for statutory rape. Whitney wonders how old is Alison. Helen told the girl that Noah was a “sociopath.” Whitney thinks they’re BOTH messed up!
Later, Noah says Whitney was almost 17 and probably knew what she was doing. Helen wants to press charges, whether he likes it or not. She changes her clothes in the bathroom; Noah wonders why. He asks if he should leave, but Helen REALLY wants him to say.
Noah gets a text in the middle of the night from Alison. Whitney is there. Helen and Noah call her mom to watch the kids; Noah gets into a BIG fight w/ his mother-in-law. On their way to Montauk, Helen compares Noah to her mother.
When they arrive, Alison steps outside. Helen inquires if Scotty is inside, but Alison says he’s gone, she doesn’t know where. Helen and Noah head into the kitchen and meet Cherry. Whitney calls Alison a “traitor.” Helen wants to take Whitney home. Cherry appeals to her, saying she would have stopped Scotty if she had known. Did Helen call the police? Not yet, Noah says. Cherry begs them not to call the police.
Helen’s so annoyed she wants to leave immediately and screams at Alison to stop staring at her husband. Cherry suddenly stands up for Alison. She thinks everyone in the room did terrible things, but they should just all say goodbye.
As they’re leaving, Scotty comes downstairs. “Did you get rid of her, Mom?” Noah attacks him in the yard, strangling him. Cole shoots a pistol in the air and threatens Noah. With the gun aimed at his head, Noah looks at Helen and then looks at Alison. He looks back at Cole, who cocks the pistol.
Part Two: Alison
Alison is meditating by a lake. She appears to be at a retreat with her mother and her man (Dennis). Athena thinks she found a guy for Alison- he’s centered and there to find himself. Since she’s recovering from toxic dynamics, Dennis highly recommends celibacy. Alison is ready to leave, even though Cole is still at the house.
Alison arrives at Phoebe’s (the musician friend) and tells her all about Noah. Alison doesn’t want to go back to Cole. She’s never been alone, but she wants that now. Phoebe doesn’t recommend being alone. Alison remembers the time Noah pulled her back to him as the most perfect, erotic moment of her life. They were circling each other ever after trying to get back to that moment. Phoebe says they never can, because it wasn’t real.
When Phoebe wakes up, Mary Kate (Alison’s sister-in-law; the jam maker) has arrived for a day of surfing. She doesn’t want anything to do with Alison b/c she left her family. Alison asks for a ride back to the house. When Alison arrives, Cole comes out, unaware she’s in the car. Cole fixed up the house (it should help her when she tries to sell it).
Cole has no idea where he’s going to go. She want to sell him the house or just give it to him, so he can have something he loves. They get into an argument about being together and love and memories that can’t be erased. She hasn’t seen Noah since she last saw Cole. She doesn’t want to forget about Gabriel, but wants to forget about him. Out of the blue, she wonders why he wasn’t watching Gabriel for three minutes. He want to know why she didn’t take him to the hospital. Cole tells Alison to get the hell out and never come back again.
Mary Kate comes in with the news Whitney is at the house. Whitney says her parents want to charge him with statutory rape. Cole wants to know where Scotty is. When Cole learns she’s only 17, he admits he doesn’t know what to do. Cherry wants to appeal to her as a mother.
Cole knows if he was Whitney’s father, he’d want to kill Scotty. They ALL need to talk together. The only way it will happen is if Alison makes the call.
Skip to the tow truck guy, Jake. He recorded the conversation in the car about the payoff (we know that was true)! Jake can’t keep the money, but nobody has been turned in or anything. Jeffries is watching the same video Helen had. He’s smiling. Someone pokes her head in; Steve’s on the line, he says it’s urgent. Jeffries takes the call, “Hey babe, what’s up?” (So, he never even had a wife!)
Whitney asks why Alison was screwing her dad when Cole’s “so hot.” Cole is in the kitchen and tells Noah to get up. Cole is surprised that’s how he talks to his kid, but it makes sense, since Alison “doesn’t respond to kindness.”
Cole gets his pistol out and lays it on the table. He’s waving the gun around in the kitchen and pointing it at Noah, demanding answers. Alison finally gets him to train the gun on her. Then he puts it to his head. Maybe he should shoot himself, so she can have that issue burned into her mind for the rest of her life?
Alison calms Cole off the ledge using the memory of Gabriel. Noah realizes the pain they were both in and Cole leaves the room. Helen wants to know if he’s coming. Noah isn’t; he and Alison remain in the kitchen. Noah runs to Alison and grabs her, telling her it’s OK.
Flash to the future and Alison and Noah are in the living room together. Alison has just put down their baby girl. Noah’s book is being made into a movie. She’s proud of him. (They ALSO look and seem like NEW people- doing well, being happy together.)
There’s a knock on the door. It’s Det. Jeffries. He’s looking for Solloway. Noah’s under arrest. Alison promises to get him out of this.