The Affair: Season 2 (Episodes 4 & 5)

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

EPISODE 4

Now that the couple are in divorce litigation (thanks, Whitney), the gloves have come off – not only are Helen and Noah individually going for full custody, but now Noah is trying to get whatever he can of his wife’s money. Compounding the situation is the judge’s motion forbidding Alison to have any contact with Noah’s kids. This basically means that even though the lovers – or, in Jon Gottlief‘s word, “paramours” – can now afford a large enough apartment courtesy of Max‘s $50,000, they can’t live together until the divorce and custody battle has been resolved.  -Sarene Leeds (Wall Street Journal episode recap)

It’s NOT going well for Helen. The judge is blatantly unsympathetic to her case, especially once he gets wind of the fact that she and the kids live in a $3 million Park Slope brownstone that was purchased out of a family trust. Gottlief advises Helen to meet with him, Margaret, and Bruce to go over the Butler family’s assets. Helen starts chugging wine the second she gets home.

Maura Tierney as Helen and Josh Stamberg as Max in The Affair (season 2, episode 4). - Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: TheAffair_204_1777
Maura Tierney as Helen and Josh Stamberg as Max in The Affair (season 2, episode 4). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

No one’s good enough for you! – Max shouts at Helen

Max shows up w/ flowers, the news that he gave Noah $50,000, and two plane tickets to Buenos Aires. Helen tries to let him down (let him go) easy, BUT Max is NOT having it!  He lashes out at her (in a VERY harsh way); we know that he’s heartbroken.

Helen takes a pot lozenge Max gave to her a few weeks back. She acts rude to a potential customer in her store, then starts unloading on her hairstylist, as none of her friends would come with her to court.  Helen gets a call from Trevor and Stacey’s camp- she mixed up the days and they are stranded w/o a ride!

She races to the camp with foils still in her hair.  She then tells Stacey to unbuckle her seat belt to move the HUGE foil rocket ship she made at camp, b/c it’s blocking her rear view.  An elderly man is asking her to move the car; his wife uses a walker. Not helping matters in the slightest is Trevor, using his anger toward his parents’ divorce to screech at them at any given moment.

So Helen starts backing out, having forgotten that her seven-year-old daughter was not buckled in, and crashes into another car. Stacey is lucky to walk away with just a nasty bump on the head, but Helen has made enough of a scene that she attracts the attention of a couple of police officers. Things go from bad to worse when she does everything, but try to stuff her purse under her shirt in order to keep the cops from discovering the vaporizer and eighth of marijuana inside.

Trevor screams at his mother to give over her bag, going so far as to yank it out of her arms when she refuses. In their struggle, Helen knocks into one of the cops, and is subsequently arrested for officer assault (YIKES)!!!

Why are you doing this to us? -Helen asks Noah (in her POV)

Jake Richard Siciliano as Martin and Mark Margolis as Arthur in The Affair (season 2, episode 4). - Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: TheAffair_204_6401
Jake Richard Siciliano as Martin and Mark Margolis as Arthur in The Affair (season 2, episode 4). Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

We (FINALLY) meet Noah’s fam when he takes his sons on an (unplanned) trip to his sister’s house somewhere in the New York state ‘burbs.  It turns out that his dad is ALSO visiting; he sits in the living room glued to a baseball game on the TV.  Martin joins him, also providing him w/ nuts (for a snack).  There is tension and a LOT of awkwardness between Noah and his father (they can barely communicate in full sentences).  Hmmm… there MUST be more to this.

Dominic West as Noah and Jennifer Esposito as Nina and in The Affair (season 2, episode 4). - Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: TheAffair_204_7453
Dominic West as Noah and Jennifer Esposito as Nina and in The Affair (season 2, episode 4). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

Noah’s little sis Nina (Jennifer Esposito, who I was pleasantly surprised to see) tries to stay calm, BUT we soon see that she does NOT approve of the way Noah is handling his life.  They (quickly) get into a shouting match, then Noah drags the kids out.   Awww, I want to see MORE of Nina!

Later on (in the motel), we see that Martin is feeling sick- something is wrong w/ his stomach.  Noah calls Allison (who was a pediatric nurse), and she tells him to take Martin to the hospital, but the kid refuses.

Why do you get to f—k up and I don’t?  -Helen asks Noah (in his POV)

Flash-forward: At Suffolk County courthouse, and Gottlief is pleading for a change in trial location away from the East End, refusing the prosecutor’s offer of the plea deal (“criminally negligent homicide,” which will put Noah away for one to three years) again. The judge rejects Gottlief’s motion, sets a trial date, and Noah’s future as a long-term prison resident comes one step closer to a real possibility: “Descent” is all about the people of Montauk, and let’s just say they’re not fans of his idea of “fiction.”

EPISODE 5

Ruth WIlson as Alison in The Affair (season 2, episode 5). - Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: TheAffair_205_2746
Ruth Wilson as Alison in The Affair (season 2, episode 5). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

Allison is confused out by Yvonne’s cold behavior, but then we learn that the publisher has been reading Noah’s new novel (from Robert).  Speaking of the older man…  When Allison helps him w/ physical therapy exercises, Roberts tells her more of his personal history.  It turns out that Robert cheated on his wife w/ Yvonne, who was also the best friend of the wife.  He then gets a BIT too excited when she massages his thigh- Allison is VERY embarrassed/shocked (as was a LOT of the audience)!  Looks like Robert does NOT think of Allison as a just a friend… SO disappointed by this! 

A bit later that day, Robert explains that Yvonne has chosen a young man (promising writer) to work as her personal assistant.  Allison is surprised by this, but what can she do?  She leaves messages for Noah, then quickly packs a bag to leave the cabin.

Ruth WIlson as Alison and Maura Tierney as Helen in The Affair (season 2, episode 5). - Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: TheAffair_205_2220
Ruth Wilson as Alison and Maura Tierney as Helen in The Affair (season 2, episode 5). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

…she looks at herself in the mirror through tears. All she sees is a sad woman, the furthest thing from a temptress. She heads to Brooklyn and the Solloway family brownstone in a desperate attempt to find Noah, but the only person answering the door there is Helen.  WSJ

Cole has a quickie with Tory, a blond he picked up in his taxi in a previous ep, only to be caught and punched in the face by her husband. He meets Luisa (Catalina Sandino Moreno) who is working as a nanny/housekeeper at Tory’s house.

Cole and Luisa meet yet again later in the day, on Scotty‘s boat, after Cole discovers his brother has called realtors to assess his (technically Alison’s) beachfront property.  Oscar, who has been intent on building a shopping/entertainment center, has lost his loan.  Scotty wants Cole to sell the house and give him the $1 million (so he can go in on a nightclub plan instead w/ a hedge-fund investor).

Luisa has been hooking up w/ Scotty, but she’s MAD when she notices the drug dealing.  Cole drives Luisa to her job as a cocktail waitress at The End (the upscale club where Noah and Alison had that passionate night out in S1, and it’s also where Det. Jeffries  investigated. On the drive, we learn that Luisa is undocumented.  Scotty’s ALSO her boss at The End, Luisa explains to Cole.

A casual quip from Luisa almost destroys this new relationship before it even begins: He talks about how he’s the scion of a multi-generational Montauk family, to which the Ecuadorian Luisa, unaware of Gabriel, jokes, “And your son will be Chinese.” Cole then throws a wet blanket on the evening by revealing his big secret (“My son is dead”), but Luisa, to her credit, owns up to her faux pas and persuades him to stay, buying him a drink as a small mea culpa.  -WSJ 

There is a tenderness between Allison (surprise, she’s back in their house) and Cole (who needs “something different”) as they reconnect that we never see with Noah.  Also, Cole has no idea Alison is engaged to Noah.

While sitting on the deck, Scotty approaches Cole, thinking his brother has started sleeping with Luisa. This drives Scotty to accuse Cole of being a “narcissist” and “taking everything for himself,” stopping his rant only when he sees a blanket-covered Alison step onto the deck.

Flash-forward: The lawyer approaches Det. Jeffries, boasting that he’s been in Montauk for about 72 hours and has found out that Scotty wasn’t “popular.” Gottlief suspects that the killer was “Scott’s brother,” someone “who stole Scott’s business plan right out from under his nose.”  Jeffries isn’t interested in Gottlief’s theory, so he leaves the defense attorney to be served by a name-tag-wearing Oscar, who is now a staffer. Oscar asks Gottlief if he’s “Solloway’s lawyer.” “What’s it to you?” replies Gottlief. We then see Oscar place something (we don’t know WHAT yet) on the table before the camera pans away to the new sign- “Lockhart’s Lobster Roll.”

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