The Knick: Season 1 (Episodes 1-5)

TheKnick_S2S

I’m bing-watching this Cinemax series, directed by Stephen Soderbergh, on HBO2 today. Of course, the main draw is Brit Clive Owen, who sports a thin mustache on the show. It’s SIMPLY riveting, even if you’re a bit squeamish re: blood (like me)!  The setting is early 1900s- an important era for medical innovation. I recommend it to those who are looking for a shot (forgive the pun) of realism in their medical dramas.  ALL the actors are good- many of whom I’ve never seen before! 

 

SPOILERS: Don’t read this review if you have not yet seen or don’t want to know details from the Cinemax series The Knick.  

Episode 1

In the series premiere, the head of surgery (at The Knickerbocker, a public hospital in NYC that serves mostly poor, working-class patients) shoots himself after many failed operations on pregnant women w/ complications. The man working directly under him, Dr. John Thackery (Owen), gives an eulogy for Dr. Jules Christiansen (Matt Frewer, nearly unrecognizable w/ long fluffy beard/shaved head) in a Catholic church, then is quickly promoted to his old friend’s post.  We can tell from his tone/words to the nun after the funeral that Dr. T doesn’t put much stock in religion.

So, who will be the new Assistant Chief of Surgery?  Dr. T, who is brilliant/arrogant/confident, wants it to be the young Dr. Everett Gallenger, who has been working under him for some time.  The wealthy lady whose father currently finances The Knick, Miss Cornelia Robertson, puts forward her choice- Dr. Algernon Edwards.  He studied at Harvard, then worked in London, Paris, etc.  Dr. T is quite pissed off about this, even threatening to quit.

Dr. Edwards (Andre Holland- a theater actor who recently played Andrew Young in Selma), to almost everyone’s shock, is a black man (whoa)!  Dr. T thinks this is the last straw- he’ll only be a distraction, making the important work of the hospital even more difficult.  But he has to give way or the electricity won’t be put in.

We also learn that Dr. T is a habitual cocaine user (whoa again)!  A young nurse, Elkins, recently arrived from West Virginia has to help him out by injecting him in his house (just before a crucial surgery).

NOTES: This show is based on the life of a real, pioneering, yet quite flawed surgeon (not unlike the lead character).  Yes, cocaine was used (in small quantities) in the early days of surgery, as we see here.  Doctors created their own tools, like the metal tubing we see inserted inside patient’s stomach.

Episode 2

A young nurse gets accidentally electrocuted during a surgery.  It turns out that the wiring for The Knick is faulty.  Dr. T says that the contractor should be “beaten and tarred.”

Dr. T sits her down and calmly explains to Elkins that he has things (his drug use) under control.  He thinks she had been avoiding him; she says not at all.  The lives they have inside the hospital are different from the lives they lead outside, he says.

Dr. Edwards is in some dark, cluttered basement room (his office).  He barely gets to do any work, though he expected this type of treatment.  Dr. E searches for the black woman who had a swollen arm, then drains the liquid from her arm.  She wonders about his work.  Later, we see that he can fight (boxing) when attacked by a young/angry/jealous black man.

NOTE: Tenderloin District, where Dr. E lives, was considered to be a notorious/red light area of NYC; in modern times, it has some of the most expensive real estate in Manhattan. Wow, how times change!

Episode 3

An old flame of Dr. T’s (now married) comes to see him in his office.  Her husband (w/ whom she’d expected a “calm life”) has run off- she doesn’t know where.  When he uncovers her facial coverings, we see the VERY scary-looking effects of syphilis.  It turns out that her husband was seeing another woman on the side (who was infected).  He explains how her nose could be reconstructed; it’ll go rough though.  (Awww, it’s so sad!)

Dr. E has a secret side clinic going on the late night hours!  We learn that he is providing a much-needed service to the black population of the area.  He sees the careful stitching of a seamstress- she can work alongside him as a nurse.  We also learn that Dr. E’s mom is the long-time/beloved cook of the Robertson family!

Dr. T wants to have cadavers to practice on, but only has access to dead pigs.  The manager complained that The Knick is competing w/ Cornell, Columbia, and NYU.

Everyone is worried re: (the rapidly spreading) typhoid fever.  Rumor has it that the new immigrants carry it (yeah, blame ALL the worst stuff on poor immigrants).  Dr. T sets that right- it’s not just a disease of one’s lifestyle.

The eager/kind/idealistic doc, Bertie, and ambitious Dr. G break into a prominent surgeon’s house to get the latest medical journals.  (Wow, we’ve come a LONG way!)

Elkins assists Dr. T during the reconstructive surgery on his old girlfriend Abby’s nose.  She starts commenting on the “proper lady”- he shuts her up w/ one of his quick cutdowns.

Dr. E loses a patient- perhaps for the first time.  Later on, he takes out his aggression on a man who challenges him to fight.

Episode 4

The ep opens w/ drunken/rowdy mean stomping on rats for enjoyment.  Ugh, that just looks terrible!  (Hey, history was NOT all pretty.)  Then, another OMG scene- a grieving widow gets pig remains instead of her husband’s body!  His cadaver will be used for practice/ experiments (of course).

Dr. E freezes during a surgery, but Dr. T yanks him out of it w/ an insult.  Drs. G and E almost get into a fight (whoa); the doctors observing break into a laugh afterwards.

The self-important/burly health inspector (who we met in E1) is back.  He goes to a wealthy family’s home (w/ Miss R as a sort of liaison) whose patriarch recently died. He asks about the dead man’s “character,” staff, and then moves on to “toilet rituals.”  LOL!

Flasback: We see a Christmas party w/ Abby, Dr. T, and others- laughing, joking, and drinking.  Abby says that they should stay home, but John wants to drink/party more.  (Yes, that’s the type of behavior that made her leave him.)

Later, Abby (who is all bandaged up, but recovering) says “I should have chosen you.”  He disagrees about that- she chose the wrong husband, but HE wouldn’t have suited either.  Elkins stands outside the door and listens in on their private convo.  Hmmm… I definitely think she is intrigued by Dr. T!

Cleary, the bearded/big ambulance driver blackmails the nun (Harriet).  He somehow found out that she performs abortions on the side (illegal at that time, of course).  He wants a cut of her profits.

We meet Dr. E’s father, Jesse, the carraige driver of the Robertsons.  He formally invites his son over to the mansion for dinner, then asks about his work.  You can tell that he is proud of his son (awww).  “Can’t be more until there’s one,” his father quietly comments upon learning that his son is the ONLY black doctor in the entire city working in a white hospital. They see Dr. T walk out and Dr. E comments “I may be better.”

Dr. E’s mother wonders why her son rarely comes to see her.  He has to suffer some indignaties during the convo w/ Capt. R and the father of Cornelia’s fiance, Mr. Hobert who owns rubber plantations in South America.  Philip, Cornelia’s fiance, wants them to soon move down to Ecuador.  She doesn’t seem too pleased about that!  Dr. E looks disappointed, commenting that it’ll be tough to get her out of NYC.  (Notice how her family calls him “Algie” and he calls her “Nealie?”)

Elkins follows Dr. T to his usual opium den in Chinatown.  She sees him lying on the arms of a young Chinese woman- both are passed out.  She quickly rushes away.

Dr. G resents Dr. E, as we see in the domestic scene w/ his wife and (super-cute) baby girl.  Well, no surprise, but Dr. G says that some at The Knick call Dr. E “Dr. Darkie.”

Cleary rushes to get a young woman to The Knick.  Dr. T says that she tried to end her own pregnancy (yikes)!  Unfortunately, she dies on the operating table.  Bertie’s father watches this all, then comments to his son: “There is only poverty in poverty and struggle in struggle!”  He says he climbed out of a place worse than this hospital, and is clearly disappointed that his son works there (thinking it “romantic”).  The younger Dr. Chickering says that he wants to learn from Dr. T.

The poor girl who died came over by herself from Russia, Cleary tells Harriet by her fresh grave.  He comments on immigrant life.  The “look and terror” he saw in her eyes was too much.  He decides that he’ll find girls who are “needing her services and send them your way.”

Elkins forlornly watches Dr. T get in a hired coach to head off to his opium den.  (Yeah, she has an infatuation w/ him!)

Episode 5

OMG, an old/drunken barber sends a guy off in a cart after he can’t treat him!  Dr. E has a Cuban patient w/ a hernia, but (at first) explains it using “big words” that confuse the man.  Dr. E says he can perform surgery using a wire- the man (a cigar roller) agrees.

Dr. T is surprised when a noted gangster (owner of “cathouses”), Mr. Collier, is brought in by the manager for a rush surgery.  In the operating room, two other gangsters sit and wait, guns in their belts. We know this manager likes to gamble and spends time w/ young prostitute.

We see the head housekeeper and some staff of that big/fancy house where the health inspector and Miss R are visiting.  They are so well off that they eat ice cream each day.  Hmmm… is this making them sick?

Dr. T tries to get the board to see the importance of an x-ray machine.  Some of the men say they should move The Knick to a new location to be near the donors.  Miss R says that “almost every other hospital has moved uptown,” so the poor need The Knick even more.

Mr. Barrow (the manager) tells his favorite pro that he stole money from his employer.  A cop later approaches him about getting an introduction to Collier; he has a business idea.  Cops bring in “a lot of girls who hook for no one,” so he can bring some in to be under Collier’s “protection in a nice place.”  He has a lot of mouths to feed.  (Yes, everyone is out for something!

Cleary argues w/ a husband re: his wife’s (possible) abortion.  They argue re: religion and sin for a bit.  Later, Harriet explains that “the child was too far along- 7 months.” It’d have “been a sin” to abort this baby.

Oh no, Dr. G’s baby girl may have meningitis!  She won’t stop crying since breakfast, his wife says. They quickly head out for a hospital.

While Dr. E and a group of ladies are performing hernia surgery (using silver wire), a nurse and her beau pass through their room, so they shut off the light. They wanted to hook up- notice the mention of “French letters.”  After they leave, it’s lights on and back to work.  LOL!

Barrow and the cop (a police sergeant) bring in three girls for Collier’s brothel. One is a black woman; Collier says she should refer to herself as an “octoroon.”   They will be housed, fed, protected and regularly examined by a lady doctor.  (Hey, that’s better than fending for themselves on the street!)

Hmmm… something happened to Capt. Robertson in Nicaragua; Dr. T helped him out.  When Dr. T comments that his daughter could be running The Knick in 10 years, the financier laughs and replies that he’s expecting “a gaggle of grandchildren.”  Dr. T wonders if Cornelia knows this (hehe, he gets her).

Dr. T learns that Gallenger’s baby (Lilian) is sick.  He sees Elkins outside w/ her bike and they have a nice convo.  He comments that he “envied her freedom” when he saw her riding the other day.  Her bike is blue (like her eyes).  She offers to teach him how to ride.  Dr. T sings a little ditty as he goes for a spin on her bike.  (Oooh, I really liked seeing this light-hearted scene!)

What Kind of Film Buff Are You? by Sam Van Hallgren

The Moviegoer

Barely a week goes by that the Moviegoer has not made a pilgrimage to the local multiplex, perhaps several. This category of movie buff looks forward to watching the latest, checking out at least one new release a week and devoting section of their blogs to discussing new trailers, highlighting the latest film buzz and predicting award winners. If they can afford the time and money, they’ll go to a film festival and watch at least 20 new films, writing about as many as possible. If you want to talk about the latest hit or dud, this is the movie buff to find.

The Classicist

On the other end of the spectrum, The Classicist usually prefers his or her films in black and white, possibly 4:3 aspect ratio and has seen more films starring Bergman, Bogart, Davis and Grant than Hathaway, Pitt, Downey Jr. and Portman.  While these buffs usually hang out in the 40’s and 50’s, they often explore the decades surrounding them. These buffs prefer to dig into the treasure trove of classics that have withstood the test of time than brave the multiplex.

The Cultist

This rebellious movie buff loves exploring the more marginalized areas of cinema: sci-fi, the b-movie, horror and more. These movie lovers both love to praise the bizarre, bad and broken films for their discovered charm as well as love to hate on atrocities against humanity. A lot of cult classics and b-movies comprise their list of favorites. If a film has the title featuring the word blood, demon, world, or a random scientific terms, this is the moviegoer that has probably seen or heard of it.

The Cinephile

Exploring the other margin of cinema, The Cinephile is a globetrotter who explores cinematic gems from directors you probably haven’t heard of from countries you didn’t even know made movies. The Cinephile singing the praises of 3 hour trials in patience and films that strain the boundaries of what film is.

The Curator

Lists, bodies of works, categories. The Curator is often a completionist, looking to either watch all the films of a particular director, or check off all the films on a list. They are known for focusing in specific genres or being experts on certain directors. They are also known for making and sharing their own lists. These lists can range from genre, year, country or any other cohesive label for categorizing films.

The Academic

Three viewings or more later, The Academic dives into exploring a film or set of films in depth, researching theoretical topics and reading as much writings on the film as they can find. These movie viewers, while exploring, often settle down into specific areas and then hone down on very specific films or topics, devoting many hours to watching and rewatching particular films, digging deep into the details in the hope of discovering and contributing worthwhile, well-supported and deep insights about a particular film or film related subject.

NOTE: The above are only excerpts.  For the full article, go to Cinema Sights.

AFI Latin American Film Festival: How to Win Enemies (Argentina)

NOTE: This is a SPOILER-FREE review. 

como-ganar-enemigos-posterLucas Abadi (Martin Slipak), a humble/soft-spoken/kind young lawyer w/ a love for detective novels, is pulled into his OWN real-life crime story in this “neurotic thriller” directed by Gabriel Lichtmann.  The director (in a Q&A after the screening) said that his wife assisted him in writing the final version of the film.  He was influenced by the work of Alfred Hitchcock and Woody Allen, who he thanks in the closing credits.

Como ganar enemigos_brosLuqui (as he is nicknamed by those close to him) has been saving to buy his own apartment.  He’s also to be the best man at his big brother’s (and fellow law partner) wedding.  Luqui is (pleasantly) surprised when a tall/blonde/pretty secretary, Barbara, flirts w/ him, then gives him her card in a local bar.  His friend urges him to go after her.  Of course, drama (and trouble) ensues!

como-ganar-enemigos_spyingThis was a FUN, crowd-pleasing movie (as noted by critics from ALL over the world).  The leading man is VERY likable, even when he gets into shades of gray behavior (to help a needy client).  WHO could be HIS enemy, we think!?  The music suits the film also very well- it’s got a BIT of tension (when needed); that’s a nod to Hitchcock, I’m sure.  Another thing I liked- the Jewish heritage of the main characters is in the background, BUT not a big point in the story.

 

The Affair: Season 1 (Episodes 6-10)

Episode 6

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). 

The End_dancing

After Max leaves, Noah and Alison dance and then spend the time night together in the adjacent hotel.

Episode 7

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.

Episode 8

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. 

The-Affair-Season-1-Epsode-8

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.

Episode 9

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.   

Episode 10

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_meditates

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.

The Lusty Men (1952) starring Robert Mitchum

The Lusty Men_poster

One ‘o the things that’s wrong is all the books and rules on success is written by successful men.  Now that’s wrong.  Fellers like you and me’d get a lot more help if the books and rules on success was written by a failure. That’d make sense.  -Jeremiah, the humble, old, bachelor farmer who lives in Jeff’s former family house explains (in a sort of epilogue to the main story)

This is a film that seems tailor-made for Robert Mitchum; it has drama, GREAT dialogue, a love triangle, and plenty of action/thrills (involving the rodeo)!  I just learned that it was directed by the prolific Nicholas Ray (In a Lonely Place, Rebel Without a Cause, King of Kings, etc.)  After he sustains a rodeo injury, star rider Jeff McCloud (Mitchum), returns to his hometown after many years of absence. He signs on as a ranch hand, where he is befriended by fellow ranch hand Wes Merritt (Arthur Kennedy, a strong supporting man, esp. of the Western genre) and his wife Louise (Susan Hayward in a strong/engaging performance).

The Lusty Men_meeting

Louise: Wes tells me you once made three thousand dollars in one day, rodeoin’.

Jeff: That’s right.

Louise: And threw it all away.

Jeff: Oh, I didn’t throw it away. It just sorta’… floated.

The Merritts seem like a solid, happy couple, though they also have ambitions for their own little farm.  Wes thinks that rodeo winnings (fast money) could help finance it.  Wes convinces Jeff (who is a BIT reluctant) to coach him, but Louise has strong doubts.  She thinks that the couple should just keep saving slowly.  But, despite his easygoing/humble demeanor, Wes has a lust for adventure!

The Lusty Men_truceThere never was a bronc that couldn’t be rode, there never a cowboy that couldn’t be throwed. Guys like me last forever.  -Jeff says to Louise

It turns out that Wes is QUITE good in the events he signs up for in his first rodeo, impressing his new peers on the circuit.  Of course, the money is GREAT, so he decides to go on the road (BEFORE checking w/ Louise).  She is surprised by this hasty decision, BUT goes on the road w/ her husband and Jeff.  How will Wes and Louise deal w/ their new success/lifestyle?  What will become of Jeff… and his burgeoning feelings for Louise?  Watch this film to find out!