‘The Affair’ Recap 1×9: Women Are Like the Stock Market

affair 3

Noah in scarf weather. (Showtime)

Et tu, Detective Vague Questions?

All this time I was pretty sure that no matter how many times Noah’s and Alison’s memories or point of views or recountings differed, the detective was the person we could trust. I was adamant that the only reason that he told Alison he was happily married and Noah he was divorced was because those two scenes happened years apart. But, as it appears this week, the detective is just as much of a Liar McLiarstein as the rest of them. But to what end? 

In the one present day portion we get this week, the detective brings Noah back in for another round of questioning. The detective lets slip that he is father to girls, when before he said he had boys. “Are you fucking with me, man?” Noah asks, and I would like to know the same thing. Because if the interrogation scenes are adding another layer onto my already growing pile of what-the-fuck-is-even-happening, then most of my theories are poked full of wholes.

The only reason I can sleep soundly tonight is because I totally nailed the fact that Whitney was pregnant. To be fair, Whitney seemed like the sort of character ripe for a pregnancy plot from the moment she first appeared, and there’s not many locations more conducive for baby-making than a cattle ranch.

But is Whitney’s pregnancy enough to drive Noah to murder? He did seem pretty pissed when he ran into Scotty in the lobby of planned parenthood. (Sidenote: how often do you think people who work in the lobby of Planned Parenthood see that exact scene in real life?) But besides that one isolated incident, none of Noah’s actions really scream someone who, you know, gives two shits about his kids. He’s all talk when it comes to that. I just…I just don’t even know anymore man.

So what happened with the rest of this episode? I think the appropriate answer would be a whole crap-ton. Episode nine was all over the place, starting off with Alison having a pretty rough 48 hours or so, to say the least. Let’s run down Mrs. Lockhart’s itinerary, shall we?

Friday 11 am – around 7 pm: Meet your adultery partner in the city, sex marathon in his marital bed, shower and use ALL the shampoo, quick look at an apartment that is basically a closet for author sex. Pretty big fight with adultery partner. 7 pm – 10 pm: Get obliterated at local bar, where you meet your big douchey Lobster Roll boss. 10 pm – 10:15 pm: Misery-fuck your big douchey Lobster Roll Boss. Saturday 9 am – 10 am: pull over to the side of the road for a quick self-mutilation. 11 am – 12 pm: Go to the beach for a quick self-drowning. Finally end the day around 8, when you tell your husband, whom you have cheated with two different partners in the last couple of hours, that you are leaving no matter what he says.

Oh, real quick, somewhere in there your mother-in-law tells you she wishes you died. But cheer up, Alison, at least your kid isn’t pregnant. No, not pregnant he’s just, uh…dead.

God, this show is unrelentingly sad sometimes. If this episode was designed to wish for even 1% of happiness for Alison, mission accomplished.

Also, if the mission was to make me think Noah is the absolute worst, mission doubly accomplished. Because, if anything, having your kid die of secondary drowning while you live in a family of drug-dealers gives you a reason to be a little messed up in the head. What’s Noah’s deal? He has a lovely wife, four kids, amazing New York brownstone paid for by his father-in-law who, also, is basically guaranteeing his second book is a success by forwarding along his A+ publisher. But no, you don’t “want this life.” Um *raises hand* I’ll take it.

I think the most telling difference between Noah and Alison’s viewpoints this episode, and there were a whole lot, is what each makes the other repeat while having sex in Noah’s apartment bed. Alison makes Noah repeat “I love you.” Noah makes Alison repeat “I’m yours.” And that, ladies and gents, just sums it up. Alison is messed up, man. Life has thrown Alison a shit-party and she’s the only attendee. She’s looking for someone to love her, and Noah is the first person outside of her tainted Montauk life that showed her “love,” whether it’s the real thing or not.

Noah, on the other hand, is so over his “awful,” comfortable life that he needs a shiny distraction. Doesn’t even need to be a person, just something that belongs to him that makes him feel like he’s still cool.

It’s not his kids, or his new book, or his entire life prior to summer vacation he’s thinking of when he marches into his bedroom and effectively leaves Helen. It’s just himself, and that probably won’t end well for anyone. Especially not Scotty. Because Scotty gets hit by a car.

So, Random, Outlandish The Affair Theory of The Week, Showtime has made me hate and care for these stupid, stupid characters way too much on a show I never even planned to watch. I think that theory’s a safe bet. Damn you, Showtime.

Extramarital Observations

  • It appears that seeing someone leap to their death, and the responding officer’s strangely on-point, situation-specific words afterwards (“It’s not hard, buddy, you just make a choice”) helped Noah make his decision to leave Helen. Noah, Don’t you know you’re a character on a TV show and the suicide is a metaphor for your decisions going splat? You don’t? Oh, well, you’re still dumb.
  • “Women are like the stock market. You put your money in a high performing mutual fund and then you leave it alone.” Never change, Max. Never change.
  • Secondary drowning is a real thing? That is…absolutely terrifying.
  • In the bar, when Alison starts coming on hard to Oscar, Oscar says “Your husband will kill me.” Alison responds, “I know.” Foreshadowing or just the logical thing to say when someone’s wife starts making out with you in a crowded bar?
  • Scotty turning around without a word and running out of Planned Parenthood is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on television.
  • Was that Jeffrey DeMunn, AKA Dale from Walking Dead, as Alison’s doctor? So nice to see him with his guts inside his body.
  • Two scenes from this episode — 1) Helen finding Alison’s panties in Noah’s drawer and 2) Noah getting off the train with his puppy dog face only to find Cole and Alison standing there — were those kind of scenes, at least for me, where you look away from the screen because of pure discomfort. 
  • Finally, MVP to Maura Tierney. That is all.
‘The Affair’ Recap 1×9: Women Are Like the Stock Market