Coke on the Coast
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The Affair let go of the detective this hour, instead focusing on all of the elements that make everything click in terms of the mystery itself. Those elements namely involve Scotty, the Lockharts, and the replacement of Prohibition era moonshine with cocaine. The titular affair breaks down this episode, Noah terrified of what he has gotten himself into and running back into Helen’s arms quite literally. If The Affair began its journey with the central hypothesis that we truly don’t know a person, this episode doubles down on that, shredding so many relationships into the air. But it’s not just about not truly knowing someone else. It’s also about what you do know painting a portrait that in reality simply doesn’t exist and when it shatters it leaves nothing but a sharpness of absolute pain. It’s no mistake that The Affair leaves the audience with a haunting vision of Alison standing all alone at Noah’s doorstep, looking so insignificant in comparison to a home so vast that it could devour her in a single moment, her world lying in scattered shards all around her.
Noah’s existence in and of itself is so duplicitous I’m surprised that his entire life hasn’t completely collapsed by this point. Not that his life is completely together to begin with, but the arrival of his friend Max simply doesn’t help that reality. Max is on cocaine (which should provide the necessary crossover with the Lockharts), divorced, and his wife has custody of their children. Everything that he built up crumbled around him but Noah’s existence as a happy husband and father seems to become this epitome of happiness for Max and Noah can’t bring himself to lift the veil and show his best friend how hollows his walls truly are. He tells Helen that Max is a disaster, but what is he himself deep, deep down? If he think he’s anything but a disaster at that moment, he’s delusional. And he’s a liar more so than just the affair. Last week he made a point of telling the detective that he had never even heard of the Montauk night club called “The End”, which sounded duplicitous to me to begin with and rather hard to justify considering how small the town is. And here we see him partying hard there in a great sequence where him and Alison pretend not to know one another.
Alison’s account continues to be the more depressing and intriguing of the two, helped by a lack of sheer annoyance that Noah constantly exudes. At the open of the episode her drug dealing is revealed, although unsurprisingly their accounts of how the scenes went down were nearly completely different. It’s evident, her lack of enthusiasm for selling cocaine (although they do have rules) and Noah’s outburst at that element of her existence stings her quite a bit. It’s a reminder of how much she despises her existence when he points out how sheerly stupid the cocaine ring is its entirety. But it’s not a ring that exists for no reason. Slowly the reasoning becomes clear. The Lockharts are one hundred thousand dollars in debt and the proceeds from the ranch aren’t cutting it. It certainly doesn’t help that Martin let go of their new prized mare, driving them deeper into the hole. Oscar calls the cops on them and they barely escape with the cocaine, which Cole seemingly foolishly decides to bury at the edge of the ranch. Yes, Cole, go ahead and do that. That couldn’t possibly go wrong.
For Oscar, the concern about a wholesome community is evidently bull****. As far as he’s concerned, he keeps the Lockharts under the heel about the drug operation unless they relent on the bowling alley permit, which Cole acquiesces to, much to the relief of his brothers. Whether or not Oscar relents afterwards is another issue entirely. Alison is freaked after her conversation with Noah, trying to convince Cole to sell the ranch. More than thirty million dollars split between everyone else is a fairly decent amount of money. She’s miserable and wants to move on, from Montauk, from the drugs, and from the drowning of her child. “There’s no moving on,” Cole says stubbornly. He’s unable to comprehend the notion of leaving anything behind, no matter how much they might be strangled in the process of preservation. More than ever before perhaps, she’s utterly terrified. She drops Martin off, walking up to Noah and confessing that she wanted to start over, with him. But he isn’t having any, noting how their relationship was too insane to continue. Cole and Noah are both too tethered to the past to move on. And Alison is the only one trying to chase a future that’s slipping out of her fingers. She can only hope to catch it before it goes away.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“You don’t care; I don’t care…”
+“Sometimes I’m just worried you’re a really great dream.”
+Noah at The End
+“Max…Max is a disaster.”
+I’m with Whitney here. Hearing Noah say “score some drugs…” was kind of painfully hilarious
+“The therapist says it’s okay.”; “Then definitely not.”
+“Helen the Felon”
+“Can I have a Bloody Mary?”; “When I’m dead.”
+Helen’s coldness towards him at the restaurant was great
+“It’s a plague on our community, sir.”
+“Put that in your book, use their names.”
+“You’re a drug dealer?”; “I hate that word.”
+You’re going to name the horse Elizabeth Taylor?
+The conversation at the Lockhart breakfast table about teachers was brilliant
+Alison despising Helen’s aristocratic demeanor is consistent
+“I don’t care what happens to me.”
+“Sometimes I don’t know why I do anything.”
Alternative Title: The Felon
Written By: Dan LeFrank
Directed By: Carl Franklin
Image Courtesy: Showtime