This is a very special episode, and the reason behind that is simple: the bar scene between Alison and Helen paid off three seasons worth of storylines and character development and it was absolutely glorious. Everything from the two women bonding over divorcing Noah, to Helen wondering “who” Noah was with Alison (not insecure, that’s for sure), and Alison’s apology was perfect. That apology is particularly incredible because it gives Helen the chance to forgive Alison and come to terms with the part she played that lead to Noah’s affair. It’s a pity really that Helen wasn’t the episode’s second perspective as I would have loved to see her viewpoint of this interaction, but maybe that will come next week. Nevertheless, Maura Tierney and Ruth Wilson did some tremendous work here. Kudos.
This is also a notable episode for Cole, who finally comes to the realization that it’s Alison that he wants, but still decides to stay with Luisa (who is eager to start a family with him). It’s predictably destructive behavior, and it’s heartbreaking to see Luisa getting caught in the crossfire. The fact that she actually supported Alison on the witness stand? Yeah that made me love this gal even more!
This episode is also home to one unforgettable scene, and that’s Alison visiting Dr. Parry’s suicide watch patient. It’s especially enlightening as Alison reveals that she had an affair with Noah as a way to “kill herself”. This insight really puts the whole show in perspective, not to mention Alison’s turbulent actions over the course of the series. I haven’t been a fan of the character in a while, but this scene singlehandedly changed that. Wow.
Bits & Flings
– So why is it that Alison remembers bringing Cole a muffin while he remembers donuts? I might go crazy trying to figure this out.
– Weirdly enough, in Cole’s perspective, the two don’t even eat together. I would think no one forgets if they had a muffin or donut.
– It’s strange that in Alison’s perspective, the job isn’t a done deal. In Cole’s, she already accepted it.
– Can I just say that I love the idea of Alison finding a new career as a grief councilor? It’s utterly perfect. If only Cole supported that (yeah, you don’t call someone “chaos” that casually).
– The fact that Oscar could easily guess that Cole is sleeping with Alison again. Ha! Does Cole know that Alison and Oscar once slept together? I can’t seem to remember.
– In the bar scene, Alison tries to tell Helen about Scotty almost raping her but she doesn’t want to hear it. Hmm…
Helen: (to Alison) You know, I used to think that he was never really yours, that I was just loaning him to you until he’d had enough and decided to come home, even after you’d gotten married.
Helen: (to Alison) I think people see what they want to see in other people.
Oscar: She’s a fucking cunt.
Cole: Everything okay?
Oscar: Yes, I meant that affectionately.
Oscar: You know, uh, when I first met Jenny, I fell for her like the fucking Hindenburg. I mean, she was like some sort of nymphomaniac. I thought I was setting myself up for a lifetime of blowjobs.
Cole: I need you. And I want you and I miss you and I love you. And I’m tired of pretending that I don’t.
Alison: So stop pretending.
Cole: I can’t.
Cole: ‘Cause I’m not Noah Solloway.
Alison: If you leave Luisa now, you can’t play the good guy anymore. Then you’re an asshole, just like me.
Alison: But maybe you’re a happy asshole. Instead of a miserable hero.
A fascinating character-study that almost rectifies last week’s disturbing debacle.