We’re back to hearing Noah’s side of the story first. He’s at a nightclub called The End—the very same one he denied even knowing about to the police detective last week. He’s meeting an old buddy, Max (Josh Stamberg), who is in town to visit and to paaaaarty. Max kicks the festivities off by doing a little coke in the back of Hal Lockhart’s cab. As they sit at a scenic outdoor table, the old friends sit around and catch up. Their talk turns to college and Max wonders (as do I, sometimes) how Noah managed to bag Helen. Max totally doth protests too much about how totally awesome the separation from his wife is going.
Suddenly Alison appears, in a slinky red dress, pretending to be all like, “Noah who?” and joins them. Max is immediately all over her. Noah smiles a little smugly. Cut to: Noah shoving a very drunk Max into a taxi and then running back inside to where Alison is waiting. There they make-out and dance/grind lovingly to Bar Mitzvah music in public, which seems kinda nuts to me, considering this is supposed to be a clandestine affair. You can’t get away with that kind of thing in New York City, let alone a small summer town. They take it to the their hotel room. Noah gazes at Alison and says, “Sometimes I worry you’re just a really great dream.” She replies he shouldn’t wake up, and then takes off her dress. Adult activities commence. After, they take a shower. Noah raises the issue of what will happen next week when he has to go back to the city. Alison is all la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you. But Noah has a plan: He can find an artist-in-residency somewhere that would allow him to come back to Montauk for a few weeks and finish his novel and spend every night with Alison. Neither mention their spouses, though Alison calls herself his mistress. Noah prefers the word concubine. Adultery is hilarious! But the point is, Noah is most definitely looking to continue this relationship in the future.
Alison surprises Noah when she starts putting clothes on and makes to leave. Cole is returning early, she says. Noah asks if Alison and Cole are still sleeping together, which she sidesteps. He then notices she had the foresight (some might say premeditation) to bring a change of clothes. She suggests he do the same and he bitterly asks if that’s so he can home and have sex with Helen. (He does not say “have sex” but uses a more vulgar term). He wants to drive her home—drunks still being on the road and all that—but she says no. The sun is just coming up, and he watches her bicycle away, suspicions raised when she turns in the opposite direction of her home.
He tails her, watches as she picks up that awfully suspicious cooler and follows to her drop-off at the taxi dispatch. Seems like someone is putting two and two and coke together. He creeps back home and crawls into bed. Helen wakes him some time later because Martin is missing—unsurprisingly he’s at the Lockhart ranch.
Noah swims some laps and then asks a sunbathing Whitney where someone could buy cocaine. Whitney, understandably, is all, whoa Dad. Why would *I* know that? It’s for his book, he claims, he needs to know how to “score some drugs.” Whitney laughs her bikini-clad ass off at that one.
Noah is working when Helen tells him that Whitney’s therapist wants them to come in too and she doesn’t think it’s a bad idea. Helen points out that Noah has been distant, and that he seems to have lost interest in having sex with her. (She does not use the word sex but a more vulgar term. Sheesh Solloways!) Helen feels old and unwanted and asks if she’s still a good lay. She says they should plan on doing it that night. “I’m going to buy a candle!” I love a woman with a plan. Noah feels like a heel.
Surprisingly he joins his family at the Lobster Roll, where a very hungover Max shows up. Almost immediately Max busts Noah’s cover that he was out all night with Max, an explanation Noah is saved from giving (an inscrutable Helen takes it all in behind sunglasses) when Jane the waitress arrives. Max spots Alison at another table, goes over to hit on her again, and Helen (interesting that she remembers Alison’s name) tells him he can do better. Meouch. Noah is all ha-ha-ha-she’s-married (Helen silently notes that Noah knows this too) which leads to a hilarious almost story from Whitney about what Grandma did when Grandpa was in Vietnam. Sadly Helen shuts her up before we can hear the end of that. Noah takes the little one to the bathroom and when there’s a knock on the door is horrified to see Alison. Just kidding, he pulls her in and they start madly making out. Then he leaves and takes his little girl’s hand to go back to the table. Yuck. Back at the table Max has lost it and is crying about being separated from his wife and boys. Hello physical manifestation of consequences! (Don’t Helen and Max kind of seem like they’d be a cute couple?)
When Noah pays, Oscar is all huffy from the other night. Noah apologizes for the other day and tries to make it up to him (and kill time till he can get with Alison) after Helen decides to peace off with Max and go mini-golfing. As they bro bond, Alison leaves the restaurant and Oscar agrees with Noah’s silent gaze that Alison is cute and then informs Noah he took Alison’s virginity (he uses a more vulgar term). Scottie Lockhart comes in—with a sneering “you sure do have a knack for making new friends” to Noah—and confronts Oscar about money owed him. Oscar is still talking about that damn bowling permit. Scottie just goes to the cash register and takes some cash out and shoves Oscar aside before punching him in the parking lot. Oscar loses it and comes back in, and picks up the phone: “I’d like to report some suspicious activity,” he says, going on to link the fishing boats with the taxi company and drugs. Oscar further explains to Noah: duh, the Lockharts are drug dealers. “They’re dirty as dirt.” That’s dirty.
Noah goes to the ranch and immediately tells Alison he needs to talk to her. Noah comes out with it: “Have you been dealing drugs?” Alison puts up a little resistance, but then he explains he followed her that morning. She denies it all till he tells her that Oscar called the police. And then things get real real fast. Her entire demeanor changes as Noah explains the call, her face gets harder and colder. He watches her run to Cole and explain the situation: Oscar narc’d them out. Noah is grossed out by everything.
He’s so disgusted, in fact, that he rushes home and attacks Helen. He holds onto his wife like he hasn’t seen her in years and starts to take off her clothes. She’s like, what the hell dude, but then is psyched that it’s happening so rolls with it. They tell each other that they missed each other as they have sex against a mirror where we can see the reflection of Noah’s face in tears.
NEXT: Alison has had it