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The Affair recap: Truth and Consequences

People stop acting polite and start getting real

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Paul Sarkis/SHOWTIME

The Affair

TV Show
run date:
Joshua Jackson, Maura Tierney, Dominic West, Ruth Wilson
Current Status:
In Season

We begin in the gray-toned future at Noah’s trial. Cole is on the stand. He’s giving pretty damning testimony about the time Noah threw Scott Lockhart to the ground and said he would kill him. The prosecutor helpfully points out that Scott had impregnated the teenage Whitney, so Noah must be a murderous dad, right?

Lawyer Jon brings up that maybe Cole has his own complicated feelings about Noah. After all, Noah had an affair with his wife and destroyed his family’s reputation and livelihood in his novel. It’s not a bad tactic, really. Alison looks on with her typical inscrutable gaze.

But now we’re in Cole’s memory, yay! He and Luisa are driving to Montauk so she can meet Cherry for the first time. Cole’s advice is to take her shoes off and not listen to the whole our-family-is-cursed thing. Luisa’s boss — who we’re told is very demanding — calls, so Cole pulls over fatefully to The Lobster Roll. The restaurant is really in bad shape post hurricane, and Cole sees the foreclosure signs and the wheels in his mind start turning.

They continue to turn after he and Luisa have sex in their hotel room and she says she just wishes she could have her own place. He asks her the kind of place she’d want to open. “Nothing fancy, something that means something to the people that go there,” she says. She wants to take a nice post coital bath, but there’s no soap, so she wraps herself into a blanket and asks a passing housekeeper for some. And, oh boy, it’s Cherry. Well, there’s a truly horrific way to meet your future mother-in-law! It’s terribly awkward for everyone — in fact it’s hard to know who this is actually worse for. Maybe, weirdly, Cole who has the most complex look of confusion, horror, pain, and sadness on his face.

They meet up later with much more clothes and Luisa looks at old family photos. Cherry mentions she sold a bunch of family antiques and bristles when Cole raises some questions. She also tells Luisa she’s sorry Luisa and Cole can’t get married on the Lockhart ranch. Luisa, bless her, is like: Hey, didn’t you marry your last wife there? Pass!

Then Scott — looking as strung out as all get out — emerges. Even Cole is all, holy hell you look like crap. Scott’s still chattering manically away about The Lobster Roll and how he sold his boat and truck and how Cherry gave him some money (from the aforementioned antiques she sold) and he’s going off to meet that mysterious investor. Scott has scraped about $37K and Cole is like, uh you know you’ll need at least a million, right? He suggests Scott take the money and use it for rehab. Yeah, you can imagine how well that goes over. Scott stomps off, and Cherry tells Cole he can’t show up up after being MIA for so long and start bossing the other Lockharts around like he’s the king of the world and etc.

Miranda, Luisa’s mom, turns out to be the long serving worker of the Butlers. Of course! Everyone in this story must be connected, right? And here’s Margaret Butler (Hi, Margaret!) cruising in and offering to pay for the wedding and host it at her place. I was distracted during this scene by wondering how Margaret couldn’t know who Cole was — Montauk being so small and didn’t Helen ride at the Lockhart ranch as a girl? — but it’s not till she hears his last name that she puts it together. Hilariously. Like, oh are you the one who impregnated my granddaughter or pulled a gun on Noah Solloway? Cole gets up to leave and Margaret stops him. “I’ve come to a time in my life where I understand that a little forgiveness goes a long way.” Interesting.

Luisa and Cole find a nice bench to be alone and discuss elopement and then he brings up buying The Lobster Roll idea. He has enough money from the sale of the house to put up half, and, no, he does not want to involve Scott. He doesn’t want a loan, either. And here’s his big idea: He thinks they could ask Alison to go in on the other half. Luisa is all, say what dude? That’s weird. She is not into it. Cole gives his word that he doesn’t ever want to get back together with Alison. He’s being super sweet and super Cole-y in this scene and tells her that he will do whatever she wants. She’s like this is either a dream come true or the worst idea ever. With this show, Luisa? Let’s go with the latter.

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At the foreclosure auction Cole and Alison sit together grinning at each other triumphantly. It’s actually very sweet. Scott comes in wasted, wishfully thinking that Cole and Alison bought this place with him in mind. Oh, Scott. Poor, messed up kitty is out of his mind and he tries to hand over his crumpled damp money and Cole hands back some hard truths. “I’m not going into business with you like this.” Scott’s eyes go black and he starts ranting about how it was his idea that they’re stealing and how Cole takes everything that is his: first Luisa, now The Lobster Roll. He tells Cole that Alison is pathological and can’t be trusted. He says he knows something that could wreck Cole’s whole life but before he can get to that, he smashes a bottle and Cole pushes him to the ground. Scott stays in a heap on the ground and weeps. And Cole melts: He tells Scott he’s sorry and that he’ll cut him in, but first Scott needs to clean himself up. Scott promises. They have a nice brotherly hug.

Cole is driving Scott to rehab when he remembers to ask about the thing that Scott was hinting at — you know, the one that might wreck his whole life? He asks Scott what it was and Scott feigns sleep instead.

NEXT: Noah has a spectacularly bad day