With just one episode left in The Affair Season 2 (and a third season newly confirmed by Showtime), Montauk returns to the forefront of the story. Cole and Luisa seek Cherry’s approval and a place to marry. Alison realizes there is no place like home. And Noah realizes she doesn’t mean a New York City high-rise.
But we begin in the courtroom, where Cole is on the stand. The prosecution asks him to recount the night Noah threatened to kill Scotty for knocking Whitney up, and Gottlief does his best to admit get the guy to admit he hates his former romantic rival.
Then we back up a bit and start with Cole.
He and Luisa are on the road to Montauk, Louisa asking for pointers to win Cherry over while Cole drives. They reach the post-hurricane remains of the Lobster Roll just as Luisa’s boss rings in. While Luisa talks Stephanie down, Cole takes a stroll around the joint and sees it’s in foreclosure. Later, at their hotel room, Luisa snags housekeeping for a bar of soap — and Cole realizes the woman she’s talking to is his mother. Perhaps it’s time to do something about the family’s dire straights.
Later, at Cherry’s home, the trio sift through old photos and Cherry reveals that she’s sold more of the family’s property, but she wishes that the pair could have gotten married at the same spot she and Cole’s father did before that happened. Well, Cole and Alison, too. Luisa says she’s glad they’re getting a fresh start. Before Cherry can protest, Scott appears and turns an awkward moment even more awkward. He’s disheveled, wired and rambling.
Scotty says he’s going to meet his investor about buying the Roll. He’s sold his truck and his boat and Cherry helped a little — he’s got 37 grand, and he’s pretty sure his investor will pony up the rest. Cole tells him to use the money to go to rehab and get himself right, first. Scotty tells Cole to f–k himself.
When Scotty leaves, Cole calls Cherry out on giving him the money. Per the usual, Cherry tells him to mind his own business, since he’s never around anyway.
Later, at Margaret’s, Cole, Cherry and Luisa talk about cake when the lady of the house strolls up. Since Luisa’s mama has worked for the Butlers for decades, Margaret wants to host the wedding. She’ll spring for the whole thing. Luisa and her mom have a heated discussion in Spanish, while the others look on uncomfortably. Cole interjects to says this is a Lockhart-Leone wedding, but thanks much for the offer. Margaret is stunned to discover there’s a Lockhart in her midst. Lockhart, as in the same ones responsible for Whitney’s pregnancy and Noah have a gun pulled on him?
Cole and Cherry excuse themselves, but Margaret says the offer still stands. She’s reached a point in her life where she realizes that a little forgiveness goes a long way. Wow, Margaret. Keep spinning. It’s good on ya.
Later, Cole tells his intended that they could just run off to Vegas and elope. Or … how about the Lobster Roll? They could buy it. With what? With his money from the house. Well … and Alison’s money, too. Business partners only. The place would be theirs to make their own. No Scotty involved.
Luisa, understandably, hesitates, but Cole assures her that, regardless of her decision about the business, they’re together forever. She wonders if it’s a dream come true … or the worst idea ever.
Either way, at the end of the auction, a sheepishly grinning Cole and Alison own the Lobster Roll. But the moment of victory is interrupted by a sweaty, filthy and stoned Scotty bursting in to offer his 37K cut of the new business. No, says Cole. Scotty explodes and tells Cole he has info that could blow up his entire life.
The brothers come to blows, ending with Scotty sprawled out and sobbing on the floor. Cole softens. If Scotty wants in, he gets cleaned up first. That is the only deal. Cole will drive him to rehab immediately.
On the drive … home? … to rehab? … Cole asks Scotty what he knows that would f–k up Cole’s life. Scotty passes out … or pretends to, so as not to screw up his fortunes.
He wakes before dawn, makes himself some coffee and heads into the bathroom — which now does double time as his office — to write. Good is not going well.
Alison comes in to shower and asks him for a bit of time to talk after the kids get on their way. It’s imperative. Noah suggests date night instead. He has to see Harry later and needs more to show for himself than four half-assed chapters.
At lunch, Harry says book two needs to be in stores by Christmas or Noah will lose his relevance. Noah pleads school and family responsibilities, and Harry suggests another retreat. No can do, says Noah — it’s Alison’s turn to make good on her dreams. (Well. Yes. Except.) Harry says that Alison longing to be a doctor surprises him. Harry, you’re a wise man.
Harry also thinks that now may not be the time for the Omar Bradley book, after all. How about something easier? Say, a Descent sequel. Perhaps called Ascent? He’s certain people want to know what happens next in Daniel Tapper’s story. Heh!
A Descent-related book series would buy him time to write an opus, Harry says. Trust him. He’s seen this work before. Noah should follow his heart, not his ego.
Afterward, Noah decides to surprise Alison with flowers after his final. He heads into the classroom, which is now empty but for the instructor. The guy tells Noah that Alison is his “runaway nurse.” Dropped the class six weeks ago, even before the midterm. But, hey, she can always come back in the fall!
And the revelations just keep coming! When Noah heads home, hoping to find Alison there, he gets a text from Oscar instead — a photo of Alison and Cole smiling victoriously post auction and a taunt that not even Noah can keep her.
Noah meets up with a despondent Oscar, who is drowning his sorrows in a Montauk bar. Oscar fills Noah in on his misery and the cause of it. Was the money that cost him the Lobster Roll Noah’s? Because if it was, he could stop the deal from going through. Noah tells him the truth: They each have their own money. They aren’t married. But he can’t figure out why Alison would make such a huge commitment without telling him first. (Well, perhaps she tried this morning. But anyway … )
Oscar — and again, how great is Darren Goldstein in this role?? — tells Noah that he is still a tourist, here and in Alison’s life. The fact that he can’t mend Alison’s heart because she’s never f–king had one.
I’m not sure how I feel about the next part. Max is an interesting enough character, but I never feel like his appearances ring true. He’s a prop, not a person — called in when the story needs a boost in the Noah-and-Helen’s-history department. A guy with his looks and his money and his connections — to my thinking, anyway — would never have his happiness so to tethered to theirs. But maybe I’m just cranky.
Anyway, Noah heads to Max’s Montauk retreat, which apparently Noah has rarely, if ever, been to. Max calls him on it. Noah dramatically tells his pal that he’s lost Alison. Like, literally. She’s lost. He knows she bought the Lobster Roll, but that’s about it. Does Max think she’s what Oscar says she is — evil?
Max is nonplussed. Have you ever been left before, he asks Noah. Do you even know how that goes? Noah admits he hasn’t … and he doesn’t. Well, says Max, sometimes people just leave. Has nothing to do with their partner. It just happens.
Noah doesn’t want to hear it. Well what then, asks Max. Noah doesn’t know.
Well, then let Max fill the space. When they were younger, Noah’s sturm und drang was just part of the fabric of their relationship because they both had so much going on. Together. Now Noah only shows up when he has drama. How come he never asks how Max is? How come Max hasn’t seen him since the night of Joanie’s birth?
Noah is contrite. So … how’s Max? Max is good. Here, alone, a lot, which has done him good.
That appears to be enough to appease Max’ ego. What’s up with Alison, then? Noah doesn’t know. But he knows he doesn’t trust her. Max calls it like he sees it — the relationship did start as an affair, so do trust issues really surprise Noah? He could always go back to Helen. She still loves Noah, Max is sure of it.
Noah isn’t as sure. He reveals that Helen is actually “bananas” about Vic, the perfect-looking surgeon. It wounds Max much more than it does Noah. Noah’s about to find that out … and have an epic meltdown when he hears that not only did Max screw Helen, but he’s loved her all along. And it’s impacted every personal relationship he’s had since, while Noah has coasted along, loved at every turn.
Unwilling to hear the truth — and the depth of what his friend is trying to convey — Noah tells Max that, were it not for his money, he would be invisible. He’s nothing.
Driving away, Noah once again envisions running Alison down. This time with intent. Just then, she calls.
He meets her at the Lobster Roll. For the first time in ages, she looks nearly untroubled, even though a world of trouble might loom. She says she tried to talk to him this morning, to no avail. She says Montauk — this restaurant — is really her home and her dream, not becoming a doctor. There were only a few hours to make the decision to buy the place and Noah’s mind was otherwise occupied. She and Cole are only business partners. Noah is her love. With the money from the restaurant, he can quit teaching and work on his book for as long as he needs.
Noah says that if Alison really loves him, she will not do this. He’ll figure out the future. But it can’t be this. It’s already done, Alison tells him. He has to trust her. He has to let her have something for herself. Something that makes her feel like her. They can figure out the details together. Can they?
Back in the courtroom, the prosecution reveals a new witness and hands Gottlief a summation of his statement.
It’s Max. He says that on the night of Scotty’s death, Noah showed up at his Montauk house, not realizing that Max was there because his car was in the shop and the lights were all out. Noah hosed off the front of his car, then left. And in the morning, Max found blood in his drive.
So, couple things …
- Do you buy that, with Noah essentially being a house frau for a year, Alison could — and would — really hide six weeks of student-free life?
- Given the new business arrangement, could Scotty have meant the Lobster Roll when he was discussing “our baby” with Alison on Oscar’s tape?
- Did Oscar know that at the outset?
- Would a guy like Max really have gone quietly into that good night if he wanted Helen that bad?
- To whom has Margaret afforded enough forgiveness to willingly host a Lockhart wedding?
- Are you excited for a Season 3 … or too confused to care?
Sound off in the comments section below.
The Affair Season 2 finale premieres Sunday, Dec. 20 at 10/9CT on Showtime.