The Affair Season 2 episode 7 recap: The secrets mothers keep … and Oscar reveals another

the-affair-season-2-episode-7-cherry Lori Acken
Colin Donnell as Scotty, Mare Winningham as Cherry and Kaija Matis as Mary-Kate in The Affair (season 2, episode 7). - Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: TheAffair_207_2105

Well. And you thought your family holidays can get weird. This episode of Showtime’s The Affair spends Thanksgiving with Alison and Cole as both navigate the boundryless minefield that is their simmering emotions, their fragile family ties and what is and isn’t real in their hearts, minds and lives.

Athena reveals a touching secret — and Cherry a horrifying one — but are both revelations too late to be of any help to their children at all? And Oscar drops a bombshell that feasibly connects a few more dots in the mystery of who killed Scott Lockhart and what the real motivation might be. It’s a midseason-finale-worthy episode— and we still have five outings left to go.

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Colin Donnell as Scotty, Mare Winningham as Cherry and Kaija Matis as Mary-Kate in The Affair (season 2, episode 7). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

We begin at a swanky cocktail party at Max’s office. Noah mingles with the important — and self-important — guests while a very pregnant Alison just looks pained in every way imaginable. Other inflated heads float past the windows courtesy of the Thanksgiving parade going on below … a turkey in a pilgrim hat … Santa Claus … make-believe things. It makes a pointed backdrop.

A woman breezes past, explaining to her companion that (the also make-believe) Descent is a lot like (the actual) Endless Love by Scott Spencer. “Very same tone. Somewhere between pulp and literature.”

Even though it’s something of a backhanded compliment and possibly a toss-off detail, I’m hoping that it isn’t. In either case,  I’m thrilled at the mention. Endless Love remains one of my favorite books ever. Never mind — puh-lease never mind — the dippy Franco Zeffirelli/Brooke Shields film adaptation (and I refuse to even acknowledge last year’s remake). Spencer’s book — beloved by the New York Times when it published — is the most vivid, breathtaking, beautifully written examination of human emotion and all-consuming love that I ever hope to encounter. It killed me at 15. It still kills me at 50.

If you haven’t read the book, just read this part — the very last page. And if you don’t get goosebumps, I feel bad for you. And understand why you might feel bad for me, too.

“I don’t want to say it, I truly don’t, but if you’ve gone this far I suppose it’s obvious that what was ignited when I loved you continues to burn. But that’s of small importance to you now, and that’s how it should be. Everything is in its place. The past rests, breathing faintly in the darkness. It no longer holds me as it used to; now I must reach back to touch it. It is night and I am alone and there is still time, a moment more. I am standing on a long black stage, with a circle of light on me, which is my love for you, enduring. I have escaped — or have been expelled — from eternity and am back in time. But I step out once more to sing this aria, this confession, this testament without end. My arms open wide, not to embrace you but to embrace the world, the mystery we are caught in. There is no orchestra, no audience; it is an empty theater in the middle of the night and all the clocks in the world are ticking. And now for this last time, Jade, I don’t mind, or even ask if it is madness: I see your face, I see you, you; I see you in every seat.”

Gah!

I don’t believe anyone in this tale feels this brand of enduring, maddening love — but their obsessions abound in all forms. And no one is going to walk cleanly out of another’s life, that much is for sure.

Back to the show. Big-deal authors Philip Roth and Jonathan Franzen get name-checked, too, the former from another partygoer who opines that he like to pretend he’s a gentleman farmer, but “all any author cares about is a rave in the New York Times.”

Alison approaches the group  and tries to get Noah to leave for their family Thanksgiving. She is clearly much more comfortable serving fancy people drinks than having to make conversation with them. A fellow asks what she though of Noah’s book and she says she has yet to read  it because, “he has enough critics.” Someone asks what she does and she touches her pregnant belly and admits being pregnant is it for now.

“Is this your first?” smiles a woman. Alison blinks. No.

Noah explains that Alison is a nurse — no giving away his pretty, polished date as Descent’s temptress waitress here — and then his publicist, a knockout little well-dressed viper comically (at least to me, anyway) named Eden, whisks Noah away. Just for a sec. Promise. Franzen wants to talk.

Another partygoer approaches, oozing sympathy for Alison, her cumbersome belly and aching feet.  Is she Solloway’s wife? Fiancée. Huh. Book jacket says he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and four kids? Yeah, Alison smiles ruefully, the publisher pulled his bio from his first book jacket without checking first. Getting corrected in the next printing. The stranger pushes: Sorry to be nosy, but is he even divorced?

Eden swoops in and chastises the busybody, whom, it turns out, is a gossip columnist from Page Six. Whoops. Alison retreats to the safety of the kitchen and finds a seat where she can rub her aching toes. She spots a server peacefully polishing glasses and asks her if she’s read Noah’s book. Two jobs and a kid leave no time for reading says the woman. Alison smiles gratefully.

She takes another shot at getting Noah to leave, but her day just gets worse. A Nor’easter is approaching so they have to fly off to his next gig tonight, not tomorrow. No, says Alison. It’s Thanksgiving. They have guests on their way. Dinner will be served.

Noah instructs her to head home and promises he’ll be right behind her, stopping to pick up the turkey on the way. Alison rushes into their New York high-rise to find Athena in the lobby, sparring with the concierge. She notices her mother comes with an awful lot of baggage — literally, this time.

“Do me a favor and don’t look so terrified,” says Athena. Upstairs, she oohs and aahs over the swank digs, sympathizes about Alison’s troubles with Noah’s teens and takes her to task for the nursery still serving as Noah’s office, even with Alison’s belly out to there.

Then they get down to the business of making the dishes that will accompany the store-bought turkey — the latter a situation that appalls Athena. But she reaches into her bag, pulls out an ancient, fraying cookbook and hands it to Alison, who holds it reverently. Guessing this belongs to grandma. I look like that about my grandma’s cookbooks, too. Especially her handwritten notes in the margin.

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Deirdre O’Connell as Athena and Ruth Wilson as Alison in The Affair (season 2, episode 7). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

Still no Noah. And Athena is still not over how much this place must cost. Money from his ex-wife? No. His book has made that much money? Hush. Then a light bulb goes on. “You’re not paying for any of it, are you?” Athena  asks her daughter incredulously.

Alison says why shouldn’t she? She lives there after all. And so what if the money did come from the house? She’s done living there and that is that. Her mother says the famous author should be able to keep her. It sets in motion the first of several revealing exchanges.

“Unlike you, Athena, I’m not happy being a freeloader,” snipes Alison.
The barb stings.

“Jesus, Alison, how long are you going to spend seeing every decision life offers you as another opportunity to prove you’re not me?” Athena responds. “That house is your inheritance. It’s the only thing you have that has any value.”

Touché.

Alison: “No, Athena. I have him. He is valuable to me. We’re having a baby. I don’t expect you to understand. You spent your whole like bouncing from one man to the next. You never had a home.”

Yes, Athena says. She did. And she gave it to Alison, by way of her grandmother.

“I asked your grandmother to bypass me in her will and made her do it,” Athena explains gently. “I knew I wouldn’t be able to give you much else as a mother … in terms of security. It was the one way I knew how. Now it’s your turn. To protect your baby. Let Noah figure out how to pay for this. He wanted this. Not you.”

Athena asks Alison to promise her she will at least read Noah’s whole book before deciding to sell the house and Alison reveals the house is already in escrow. Athena looks slapped.

Soon enough the other guests are revealed — holiday orphans Jane and Max. Jane first. It’s been a year since the friends have seen each other and she gushes over the apartment and Alison’s belly and says that as long as the smarmy Max isn’t racist or Republican they will do just fine.

Josh Stamberg as Max and Nicolette Robinson as Jane in The Affair (season 2, episode 7). - Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME - Photo ID: TheAffair_207_10123
Josh Stamberg as Max and Nicolette Robinson as Jane in The Affair (season 2, episode 7). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME – Photo ID: TheAffair_207_10123

And they do, flirting and kissing while the group waits for a still absent Noah. Athena breaks up the canoodling with a gentler activity. The three woman head into another room and listen to Alison’s baby’s heartbeat. “Remember,” Athena tells her daughter. “There are two of you now.” Not three. Not seven. Two.

Then Noah shows up, explaining that Franzen took him for drinks. Eden’s there, too. The turkey, unfortunately, is not. And now Dean & DeLuca is closed. Well anyway, says Athena, have a listen to your baby’s heart.  Noah says it gets him every time.

Eden bangs away on her cell during dinner and Noah gets a phone call, too. Helen, wondering if Whitney’s there. While he deals with the situation and talks to the other kids, Alison proudly tells her guests that she and Athena made the rest of dinner from, yes, her grandmother’s cookbook, which was first published in 1927.

Then Max toasts to Noah’s success and happiness and Alison’s considerable role in that. They set about eating the turkey-less dinner and Eden’s phone goes off again. Seems Alison’s inadvertent chat with the Post reporter has hit the web and instead of Eden being livid, she’s actually thrilled. Any publicity is good publicity after all, and now Noah can align himself with the story he told in the book.

“Reviews are great, but they don’t sell books,” she crows.”Personalities sell books, and thanks to her, you have a personality.”

Oprah made Franzen, but Franzen isn’t making you, buddy. The sexpot in your story is. Except the sexpot is pissed. “So you were going to say this book is true?”Alison stammers. “I mean, that’s insane.”

And at last the opposing viewpoints converge: Alison seduced Noah. No, Noah followed Alison home. Alison had sex with Cole to titillate Noah. No, Alison had no idea he was even there. And about his riding to Alison’s rescue at the hospital when her grandmother was dying? He just barged in.

“Nothing is sacred to you,” she seethes. “Nothing. And then you killed me. You killed me. At the end of your book. Did that happen, Noah? Am I remembering that part correctly?”

Silence.

She leaves the room. Noah follows. She tells him to go away. He doesn’t. He tells Alison she has every right to be hurt. But Harry wouldn’t accept the book unless he wrote that ending, and he wants to be able to provide for their family. He will not promote the book as truth, he swears.

“The book is just a story,” he says, kissing her gently and laying his hands on her belly. “This is real. This is my real life.”

The door bell rings.

Cut to the now, where Gottlief and his cohort are questioning Alison.  She confirms that she told Jeffries she left the wedding before Scotty. Didn’t notice anything strange about him. They barely spoke. Were on OK terms. He wasn’t happy about what happened with the Lobster Roll, but that was between him and Cole. Will she have to testify?

Gottlief says only  as a character witness for Noah. Alison exchanges a small smile with the underling.

Cole’s turn.

He and Luisa are engaged in some lusty bedroom Olympics, during which she whispers what sounds to me like Tim, but could possibly be “te amo.” She loves him. In either case, he is brought up short — and soft — by whatever it is she whispered. So much for that.

Afterward, a distinct chill in the air, she invites him to her family Thanksgiving in Queens, but he says he’s going to see his mom. She didn’t know he was communicating with his family. “You don’t know everything about me, do you?” he chides.

No. But what she does know is that she told him she loved him and he lost his erection. She knows that much. He escapes to go get muffins. At the store, his phone rings. Scotty. He doesn’t take the call. No matter. His brother is standing right behind him.

Scotty tells Cole that he knows Alison’s house was sold. And he knows Cole and Alison are still not divorced. Then he shows his brother some fresh ink on his forearm — his proposed logo for Lockhart’s. All they need now is that cash to make it real. So the house is sold? But not to Scotty? Huh.

Scotty tells Cole to just come to Thanksgiving, make amends and get the family back on track. And by the way? Be careful of Luisa. The girl just wants her  green card. Just then Oscar strolls up to greet his fellow “celebrities.” After all, they’re all all over Solloway’s book. It’s news to one brother, but not the other.

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Joshua Jackson as Cole, Darren Goldstein as Oscar and Colin Donnell as Scotty in The Affair (season 2, episode 7). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

“When they make the movie, I told them I want to play myself,” he grins. Oh, and by the way? Given the story that’s now out there for all to read, the Lockhart’s might want to be careful about who’s in their financial business. Just sayin’.

Returning with muffins and coffee, Cole notices that a photo of him and a toddler Gabriel has been moved. He takes Luisa to task for it. She tells him that she knows he isn’t going to his mother’s, and no matter how much of a shit he is being, she still doesn’t want him to be alone on Thanksgiving. For her kindness, Cole accuses her of stealing his money. She gives him a pair of options. Apologize … or go fuck himself. She leaves without an apology.

Cole goes back into town and buys Noah’s book. Reads some … then heads for mom’s.

During the Lord’s Prayer, Scotty minds his phone — somebody’s gotta take care of this fucking family, after all. Despite the tension and the clear change in the familial circumstance, Caleb still wants to begin the family Thanksgiving tradition. Cole’s home after all, and that’s something right there. They pass around a small bowl of Granddad’s moonshine, each taking a sip and revealing what they’re thankful for.

Cole thanks Noah for writing his book. “About Alison. About me. About all of us. Have you read it?”

He explains how the Lockharts are represented in Noah’s book. Called the Reinharts. Makes a pretty convincing case that lawlessness is the family way,  because Grandpa Silas was a bootlegger. And — get this — a baby killer. Though the family lore suggests Silas exacted revenge on the Hodges family via arson, Solloway elevated the crime to murder. In fact, this stranger from the city seems to know a whole hell of a lot about this very private family. So what gives?

And why do Scotty and Cherry keep looking at each other?

Cherry comes clean. The boys’ grandfather was a horrible person. Beat their father. Beat their grandmother. And she turned to Thomas Hodges for love. A baby was born of the union and when Silas found out the boy wasn’t his, he drowned the infant. Hodges torched Silas’ land as revenge. Their dad wanted to break the cycle of violence.

But, Cherry tells a mortified Cole, “you don’t recover from that kind of childhood.” Everything about the family is cursed. The sins of the father are visited on the sons. Cole’s son with Alison died. Scotty’s baby with Whitney. Hal and Mary Kate’s miscarried child. “Don’t you see what is happening?” she says mournfully. “There will never be another Lockhart.” Ohhhhh, methinks there will be.

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Joshua Jackson as Cole and Michael Godere as Caleb in The Affair (season 2, episode 7). – Photo: Mark Schafer/SHOWTIME

Then Cherry delivers a final blow. “You think you’re better than him?” she barks at Cole. “You’re not. The last time I saw a man as bad off as you, he hung himself.”

Cole leaves, with Scotty at his heels. Never mind what went down tonight, he tells his older brother. The family needs him — needs his money — to change the family fortune. So what the hell is Cole waiting for? Oh hey, Whitney. Nothing like a histrionic teenage conquest to break up the tension. Or add to it. Insipidly.

Scotty bolts, leaving Cole to calm the teen. “Where are you supposed to be right now?” he asks her gently. “I don’t fucking know,” she wails. Join the club, little diva. Join the club.

Cole offers to take the girl back to the city and, on the way, she reminds him of the time he “tried to kill” her. If he remembers correctly, he aimed the gun at her dad’s head, but in either case, he’s sorry she had to see it. “Well I remember that you pointed it at my head,” she exclaims. Of course you did, child. It serves your own story.

Cole tells Whitney she needs to stop chasing Scotty. He doesn’t care about her and that’s just the way the world works. Just because you love someone, that doesn’t mean they’ll love you back. Besides. She’s young. Wealthy. Must have bigger plans than mooning after some small town loser. Maybe. But definitely bigger reasons to want his love.

“Do you know my dad wrote a book?” she sulks. He does.
“You’re in it. I’m not,” she pouts.
Cole says maybe her dad is just protecting her.
“Or maybe I’m not as important to him as I thought I was,” she sighs.

Cole offers a little perspective. His own dad hung himself on Cole’s tenth birthday. He used to think it was about him, but now he realizes that his dad was “just drowning” in things far bigger than a small, battered boy.

He drops Whitney off at Noah’s and Alison’s, dismisses her field trip to Montauk as “she thinks she’s in love,” and declines Noah’s offer of a drink. He didn’t much mean it anyway. Cole is cool with that. He’s got something else to do.

He shows up at Luisa’s and tells the angry woman this: “I come from a long line of unforgivable men. I think I got used to being alone. It’s been a while since I’ve had someone I cared about. I did it on purpose. I was trying to hurt you. I was trying to make you walk out of my house. And as soon as you did, I wanted you back. I can’t promise you I will be the best thing that ever happened to you, but I promise you I will never hurt you like that again. And I am good for my word. I may not be good for much, but I am good for my word.”

He has just a few more: He loves her, too.

Cut to Gottleif and his assistant watching footage of Scotty and Alison arguing behind a building. Gottlief says he would “give his right nut” to know what Scotty is saying. And there is someone else in the room. Oscar. Who was outside the selfsame building having a cig and heard the whole damn thing go down. He’d love to share that with Gottlief … for a couple more bucks. Orrrrr Gottlief could peg him for hiding evidence from the cops. Fine. “He was saying, ‘That’s our baby.’ I heard it as plain as day.”

They rewind the footage and watch Scotty’s lips. Yep. That’s our baby.

Whoa. Whose baby? Scotty’s? Or Coles, and thus, the Lockharts by default? The “another” Cherry said would never be. Given that we know Lockhart’s Lobster Roll exists, did Alison trade her house for their cooperation? And then run down her former brother-in-law to sew up the loose ends? What will Gottlief do with the info? What does it mean for the tender smile Cole gave Alison’s toddler girl earlier in the season? What does Alison have to lose far far beyond her life with Noah. Set me straight in the comments section below.

New episodes of The Affair air Sundays at 10/9CT on Showtime.

11 Comments

  1. Hey , Iyka, stop being an asshole! It’s a movie! And so what if Allison had to do what SHE HAD TO DO! Are u jealous? Kinda seems like u have major insecurity issues! Maybe daddy didn’t pay attention to you. Or maybe u weren’t the popular kid! Who cares! Grow up! Fn lame ass!

  2. The biggest revelation and the one I really can’t wait to see unfold , is Noah having ( as Helens Father relentlessly mocked ) another book in him ! He married into a sheltered middle class family lived off Helens ( fathers ) money , stay at home Dad writing a novel for a decade but it only became anything worth reading after he stumbled on a grieving lost Alison and became the ” adulterous journalist” ! more aptly named ,talentless narcissist, he’s a shell no substance barring an inflated ego , stamping his feet and sulking as he ,the novelist has to be free to screw any women he fancies ,, he must in fact how else will he pen a sequel –

  3. I think Whitney killed Scotty and Noah tried to cover it up making him look guilty. I think the baby is Coles bc she slept with him a couple weeks before she told Noah she was pregnant. I believe that Alison and Cole will sleep together again as “business partners” as well. We can all speculate but I believe the last show will come to the answer then go off air to keep everyone paying for showtime till next year lol! Merry Christmas!!

  4. I think it’s “our baby: meaning It’s a Lockhart baby”. That’s why she sold the house. So Scott wouldn’t say anything. I don’t think Alison killed him though. I think Whitney kills Scotty

  5. Couldn’t it be Oscar’s baby too? Just because Oscar said this doesn’t mean he is telling the truth.

  6. It’s Scotty’s baby. Say what you want, this Allison is a slut. She’s a slut that we get to break down and examine. We get to see what makes her so easily release herself. We all know or have heard of that girl down the street or at the school or social scene, and everybody has a story. Lying to Noah about this baby and carrying on like everything is cool though? …too though?? …on top of ALL that 2 brother action? She’s the worst to me. As you age, you are presented with survivor or victim routes. She likes ‘victim’. Then she’s surprised to be one. This is a character in a fictional showtime series but there are many who act this way. They surround themselves with people who buy that behavior. I’ve never been in this situation but when you break up families for selfish reasons, remember how you got him or her. It doesn’t stop. Hence Noah’s new playmate who like to stir the pot…lol

    As far as Scotty’s killer? My bet is on Noah’s daughter. Maybe she heard that conversation too at the lobster place. I get the feeling Noah’s ex-wife know it too. She’s too free with the money. I could be all wrong but I’m glued to the TV waiting to find out.

    • I must add to this and say that I’m no fan of Noah either in the affair. He uses Allison for her sex and he’s so selfish about it. Her identity is lost in his shadow. Once she starts to feed her brain instead of her lust for him, I can’t wait to see what will be. When it comes to family, he picks is his ex-wife to me. I see him with 2 dependents when it comes to Allison and a child and he will tire of this quickly. Anyway enough of me analyzing. I’m interested to hear what you and others think too.

      • Wow! U are a fn momma’s baby! Grow a pair, idiot! Don’t give ur 2 cents when u are clearly a fuk up!

    • I agree that Whitney is the likeliest suspect for Scotty’s murder. She thinks she loves him & he loves her. Whitney is used to getting what she wants, when she wants it. So I can see her easily lashing out at Scotty if she sees him with someone else or when Scotty finally sets her straight. Whose car she’d be driving is anyones’s guess. She may have taken Noah’s at Cole’s wedding & he’s covering for her, of course.
      /
      As for Alison being a slut, she’s admitted to acting reckless. But sleeping with Scotty? No. When Scotty said, “That’s our baby,” he meant the baby was Cole’s–a Lockheart. “Ours” meant our family’s. Cherry had announced at Thanksgiving that their family had a curse on them: no more Lockhearts. Scotty caught Alison at Cole’s that one night. He figured out that Alison hadn’t been with Noah for over six weeks. Small towns are reliable that way–everyone knows your business. Scotty’s interest in the baby being Cole’s is about money: Alison’s money from the house. The baby being a Lockhart might, in Scotty’s mind, give Cole more of a percentage of Alison’s money. Or it gives Scotty a reason to blackmail Noah. In any case, now we know whose baby that is–someone that actually cares, such as Cole.

    • She’s not a slut. She’s had multiple partners, but that doesn’t make her a slut. This show is NOT about examining a “slut”. It’s about examining multiple characters and how they manipulate the truth to suit their needs, and often because memories are not perfect, so neither is the narrative we are being presented with. It’s easy to want to label someone something awful because you don’t agree with what they do, but you should really rethink the way you think about women. Because then Scotty’s a slut too, sleeping with a seventeen year old, and Luisa and possibly Allison. And Noah is also a slut, for cheating on his wife and sleeping with that woman from the pool. And Cole is a slut, for sleeping with a woman who is currently seeing his brother. And then Luisa is a slut too, for sleeping with two brothers. But no, when it comes to Allison, let’s judge the eff out of her because you’ve missed the entire point of the show (and how broken this woman is). Grow up and gain a little perspective. Nobody is perfect. Everyone does have a story. But nobody is a slut.

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About Lori Acken 1195 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.