This week on The Affair: we have no Detective Framing Device. Goodbye, Detective! I enjoyed your lies that actually may be truths considering this mild Affair spoiler. Instead we get the return of two Alisons: such a sexpot in Noah’s eyes, and dour, braided, sister-wife dressed and dumped in her own vision.
Elizabeth Taylor, the Lockhart Ranch’s Mare’s Story: Neigh! How are you! I am a horse. My spirit human is apparently some chick named Alison. My favorite TV show was Horsin’ Around, I miss it every day, I find BoJack Horseman to be as embarrassing as the comeback of The Comeback. Prestige comedy, am I right? And why am I on a show on Showtime? What is Showtime, anyways? Is anyone ever going to win Masters of Sex? It’s that pretty lady, right? Neigh! You know what I could go for right now? Carrots. But instead all I’m gonna get are dicks.
We open at The End, the club, which Noah has TOTALLY been to and he has lied to his good friend Detective Framing Device. What a dick! He’s hanging out with his coke-banging banker friend, Max, who is recently separated from his life and is very very willing to hit on Alison, looking like a devil in a red dress and playing some weird psychosexual game of pretending she doesn’t know Noah. The End! What a crazy club! Noah puts Max in a cab, and then spends the rest of the night dirty dancing with Alison to Earth, Wind, and Fire, having sex in a motel room on the edge of the ocean. Noah has some fantasies of keeping Alison as a concubine while he’s on a writer’s retreat (abuse of the system, bro!), and then she has to cut and run in the morning.
As Noah watches, Alison is biking the wrong way, so he decides to follow her. To the docks, to the taxi stand, cooler in her bike box. He stops detectiving after awhile and heads home. Helen asks how Max was, and they both nap together. Noah swims and asks rebellious daughter Whitney where to get some coke, she has no advice. Super embarrassing, DAD. That’s like the time my brother from another mother stallion was like, hey, where are the best apples in Saratoga? I want to get mad drunk and I’m all hold it together, they’re still on the tree, they haven’t turned yet, dork.
While Noah works, Helen talks to him. He says he’s been distant, he doesn’t want to fuck her, she feels old. Noah, on the other hand, with his face carved out of rock, he looks old. Helen wants reassurance that she’s still good in bed, suggests that they “do it” that night. She’s gonna buy a sage candle just for that sexual assignation. I give this scene two hooves up. One of the few times Noah and Helen actually talk to each other. I wish Helen would be my spirit human since she seems to have some spirit despite impossible odds.
Solloway family heads to The Lobster Roll, with Max in tow. Max gets weepy about marriage and how Noah and Helen can keep it together, Noah tells him that Alison’s married. When Noah takes annoying little girl to the bathroom, Alison barges in to make out with him, blatantly. Everyone — Solloways plus Max — ditches Noah so he can write, but what he sees is Scotty Lockhart demanding money from Oscar Hodges, taking money from the register, and then scummy Oscar (who “popped Alison’s cherry,” apparently) calls the cops on the Lockhart’s drug deals.
Noah, a dork in some cargo shorts (sorry, but if this is “his memory,” wouldn’t he be wearing the kind of clothes you could ride a horse in? Real man clothes? Like Cole?) heads to the Lockhart ranch to tell Alison about Oscar’s call and to confront her about being a drug dealer. Alison and the Lockharts run off into their truck, and Noah finds his son, Martin, doing some ranchhand stuff, and he takes him home. Totally petrified, Noah goes home and jumps Helen, as he should be doing, all the time. Noah comes and maybe cries?
So boring. Time to talk about my spirit human, who instead of being some heartless temptress wench, is actually a sad sad sad modestly dressed lady in a tank top and a midi jean-skirt, nothing approaching style unless it’s how to dress like a Mormon, who’s full of pain, in her own memory. Back at the motel, Alison is showing and Noah pees in front of her. Too soon! Alison has to leave for her drug rounds, and something’s off this morning. There’s a new fisherman at the dock.
At the Lockhart Ranch, I make my first glorious appearance. I am majestic, stubborn, beautiful. Cole compares me to Alison. Stupid little Martin, doing his best Noah impression, is asleep in my stall, doing a “What the fuck did I do?” shrug like he was McNulty on The Wire. It’s kind of cute. He eats breakfast with the Lockhart family and calls his dad a lame teacher, while Alison mutters that his mother, Helen, is “ok, she’s rich.” Resentment? I sense it.
At the Lobster Roll, Alison gets a note that says meet me at Phoebe’s. It’s where Noah decides to confront her on the drug dealing, and she’s a principled drug dealer who doesn’t have a choice financially and she smokes a cigarette to indicate her distress.
When she gets back to the ranch, she tells every young man to clean up their stuff, the fuzz may be coming. One Lockhart bro says we need to bury this coke or dump it in the ocean. Cole takes a drive to get rid of a kilo. But the cops don’t show up at the taxi depot — it’s just fucking Oscar, and he knows the truth now, that Alison’s doing it with Noah.
The Lockharts decide the best way to get rid of Oscar is to let him have the permit for the bowling alley. Alison suggests selling the ranch. But oh no! What is this? I’m apparently gone, a wild mare, running free! Because Martin, who seems like his father Noah today, in his infinite teenage wisdom, let me go. The Lockhart brothers take off after me, and Alison, also a wild mare, also trying to be free, takes her lover’s son home. Martin asks “do you ever do things and you don’t know why?” He’s referring to me, because I’m like a metaphor, but Alison understands, intrinsically.
When she gets to the Butlers’ doorway, Noah is there to greet her and to say “we have to end this.” We end with Alison, very small in the frame, against the big imposing blue of the Butlers’ house. She’s dumped. Alone. Free. Finally: like a wild mare? Neigh!