We open with our very first Juliette perspective. This means, in my mind, that Cole got right skipped over. This does not please me.
We see her pouring over textbooks, going a little Da Vinci Code, looking for clues. She’s friendly to the librarian as she tells him she has a dinner party.
She eats her lunch on a bench, hilariously reading a copy of Descent covered in brown wrapping paper like it’s pornography which is… well fair, I think. She goes so far as to lie to a couple of students about what it is, too.
She zips around town in a little car, gets groceries and starts chopping vegetables because she’s making coq au vin because, you guys, she’s French. Her daughter Sabine, 22, calls and she tries to help cheer her up about what sounds like a bad boyfriend, but it doesn’t go well.
Next, she lazily reads Noah’s book the way I’m sure he imagined all women reading it: stretched out on a chaise lounge with her hand between her legs.
We’re back at the dinner party, but it’s a bit different than Noah told us it was: For starters, Juliette is dressed differently, as is Audrey — much more prim and Hepburn-like — and the same sort of sexual assault discussion is replayed.
This time Juliette talks sexily about b–w jobs (yes it sounds better in her accent) and how we, “all live in our version of the truth.” Thank you, show.
Of course there’s a new interesting wrinkle to discover when, in the kitchen, it becomes clear that young brash Mike has been sleeping with Juliette. Before they can start doing it on the sink, however, Audrey comes in to tell us that Noah makes her agitated and all she can do is think about sleeping with him. (She doesn’t say sleeping.)
Juliette finds Noah upstairs, where they have a little chat about how he’s not used to being around people anymore, which makes sense. She tells him a bit more about what she’s doing in the U.S., including that she has a husband back home, a big deal medieval scholar in certain circles, who was once her professor. Noah gets it.
Their talk turns flirtatious as they discuss whether the kids downstairs are having better sex than them (no) and then she kisses him and it progresses till he, like in his own recollection, bolts. Juliette returns downstairs. Audrey is still talking about bedding Noah, and Juliette manages to block that nicely with the idea that Audrey will never know what Noah really thinks of her work if she does. Heh. Juliette caps that off with what looks like not that awesome (for her) sex with young buck Mike.
After, she Skypes home, and we learn her husband is indeed much older and clearly suffering from some sort of dementia. And this is heartbreaking! She tries to speak directly to him, but it’s just no good and you see her heart continue to break. Ugh.
She sits morosely with a glass of wine and realizes that Noah forgot his jacket, which handily has his new address in the pocket. (I will spare you all my thoughts on him living in Livingston, N.J.). She gets into his place and finds him bleeding everywhere. And I mean everywhere! She gets him into an ambulance and sits dazed on the curb while covered in blood. Her daughter calls and she doesn’t say much except to agree.
NEXT: Gunther is explained, sort of…
We’re back with Noah for this half hour, and he’s having terrible flashbacks from prison — the indignities from the early days — as he drifts in and out of consciousness.
Early on the man we know only as “Fatty” Fraser lumbers over and starts apologizing for not getting there sooner. Noah is understandably confused till John Gunther, as we learn his name, is from Noah’s own Pennsylvania hometown! He tells Noah they met at swim meets back in the day and he’s been following his career. There are some Misery shades in here, and Brendan Fraser does an excellent job of treading that creep line.
Back in the hospital there’s a totally over it doctor who tells Noah his wife has been anxious. If you are curious as to where Noah’s heart truly lies, it’s how excited he looks for a second when he thinks it’s Alison. But no, it’s Helen, and she’s doing that Helen thing where she’s asking rapid fire questions and keeps asking him what happened. He doesn’t remember.
Helen, it must be said, is less awesome in Noah’s memory — which is just another thing I resent about him — and keeps answering his medical history and is shocked to learn that he’s been taking pain killers for the pain in his arm.
Afterward, he tells her she can stay if she stops talking. She tries to hold his hand, and he pulls it away. Sigh. Noah, I don’t want to be mad at you while you’re injured! Cut it out!
Another prison memory: He’s writing letters when freaky Fraser shows up with a six months in jail present. It’s a typewriter that looks more suited for Magneto, but Noah is delighted and thanks him sincerely. Gunther tells him he’s ordered Descent and Noah sort of automatically is all, let me know what you think, and this delights Gunther.
Back in the hospital some very hostile and annoying detectives come in, up in his business and making annoying noises with plastic cups. They ask about Cole, about Alison, and they seem to know an awful lot. Noah finally begs the nurse to get them away.
His sister picks him up and tells him that he’s coming home with her. He tells her no and has her drop him at Juliette’s instead. The siblings fight a bit about the past and about the house being left to Noah; poor Nina, she’s all broken up. Noah leaves anyway.
When he gets to the door, he learns that Juliette has already been talking to the detectives and yet she does not seem surprised to see him on her doorstep. She changes his bandages while she explains why she was the one who found him.
He sits on the bed and they start to make out because: Noah Solloway. Even a stab wound can’t keep him down! She sexily teases him about being a murder suspect and slips away.
Noah lies down and remembers more — like how his arm was injured. Turns out it was when Gunther asked him to sign his copy of the book and seems a bit crazed when Noah signs it to, “my old friend.” Then he taps a picture of Alison on the wall and suddenly starts being sort of strict about rules. Noah fights for his photo, and Gunther twists the holy hell of it behind Noah’s back. It is really scary. And again I would like to give it up to Brendan Fraser for being just amazingly creepy in this part.
The next morning, while looking nervously around, he calls the detective and tells him he thinks he knows who attacked him.