Well, we’re back in the murky waters that churn around the central mystery of The Affair. Can’t say that this episode gave a lot of new answers, but it did shed a little light on some things. Oh, and let’s give a shout out to the theme song courtesy of Ms. Fiona Apple. I like it so much, I will probably not fast-forward it. You’re welcome, show.
First up, as usual, we have Noah and his memories. Is it just me, or does anyone else find Noah more annoying in his own retelling than in Alison’s? Anyway, we hear Noah telling the police that he didn’t know that Alison was married when he first met her, and that he considered her both the loneliest girl in the world and bad news. His voice-over continues as we see Noah running through town in his Williams T-shirt (yep, that seems about right) and trying hard not to think about Alison and her cute skimpy dresses that may only exist in his brain. He claims he wanted to avoid her but, of course, we see that he actually lurks by her driveway and sees her everywhere. Interestingly, we learn that in the future/present (note: still so confused by the time/space continuum on this show) his second book exists and the detective questioning him has already picked up a copy. So, I guess he did have a second book in him after all!
Noah is most definitely thinking about Alison. Especially during his “me time” (if you know what I mean, and I think you do) in the shower, which gets super awkward when his wife wants to join him. Breakfast at the Butler mansion seems pretty intense, what with a teenage brat demanding an espresso, grandpa refusing to let a 10-year-old beat him in chess; and no one being allowed to touch anything—especially since they had an efficiency expert come to “do the kitchen.” God, it must be great to be rich.
Helen volunteers for them to go buy flowers for the big party at the house, and this leads to a car ride full of some interesting information. For starters, Whitney’s friend Ruby recently spent some time in rehab, which I’m quite certain we will be revisiting in the future. Noah is totally over hearing the same stories out of Helen (she is a lot more tolerant of his attitude that I would be, I think), but this particular tale has to do with the Lockhart farm where she used to ride and there were “four boys” who must be grown-up by now. I’ll say.
But first, the farmer’s market, where Noah and Alison see one another again at the jam stand. In this memory, Alison wears another wisp of a sundress and acts like she has no idea who Noah is or why he’d be talking to her. She ices him pretty awesomely and sells a bunch of jam in the process. Win.
The Solloway family heads to the Lockhart Ranch, where we get to meet some of the other Lockhart boys, Scottie and Hal. Each one is cuter than the next. Stacy (the choke monster) gets signed up for lessons, and weirdo Martin with absolutely zero experience gets to try his hand working for Cole (Pacey!). Noah recognizes Cole as the sex partner of his woman he’s been fantasizing about and acts like a total freak, but no one seems to notice.
We learn through voice-overs that Noah may have some issues: His mother died young, his dad was an alcoholic, and he was thrown into a panic by the idea of not having someone to love. So he proposed to Helen right after college and felt like a man. Ah, hindsight. Funny stuff.
Noah is definitely a little Alison-obsessed. Instead of writing his book, he’s just typing “Alison” like a sixth grade girl on a Trapper Keeper. And when he finds out the delicious sandwich his wife made him is due to that magical jam, his brain implodes. In case you haven’t picked up on it, Noah is really annoying me—thank your wife for making you lunch! Don’t complain about being bored! Sheesh.
At the big fancy party, Whitney is dressed incredibly inappropriately—her dress is the size of a cocktail napkin. Helen freaks out when she finds out her dad invited the woman that he once had an affair with, and it’s when Noah comforts her that he sees that Alison, clad in a tight black cocktail dress, is working the party.
There’s some horrific passive-aggressive cocktail party chatter—about Noah’s book, about being more commercially successful, about Alison’s ass in her dress. You know, the usual. It sends Noah around the bend though, so he stomps off and finds Alison smoking pot and then takes her down to the private beach (attention all burglars: the code is Helen’s birthday, which he messes up and it seems odd).
Then Alison dances around like she’s in the Madonna Cherish video and comes on real strong to Noah. Real strong. He resists, telling her that nothing can happen between them and saying all the right things about how he’s a married man. She’s all, surprise: My last name is Lockhart, and I’m married too! And that “marriage means different things to different people.” And yet, and yet…
Noah tells the cops that nothing happened that night. We learn that they’re talking to everyone who “knew the victim” (hmmm!) to see who might have wanted him dead. But then we see he’s been lying to the cops anyway because when he walked back to the house that night, he saw Alison waiting at the gate and they start making out.
Next: Let’s see what Alison remembers…