The Affair Season 1 Episode 2 Review: Different Things to Different People

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This week on The Affair the differences aren't only in the way Noah and Alison recall their history.

In The Affair Season 1 Episode 2 we get a better feel for the lives of Alison and Noah through encounters at the Lockhart Ranch and the Butler estate. We also discover why, initially, Alison never made much of a fuss over their meeting.

I was sure I'd never see him again. The summer people? The come in, they leave, they barely even notice us, the ones who wait their tables or bait their lines. We might as well be traffic lights to them. Stop signs, lamp posts. We blend into the scenery. I thought it'd be the same with him. For all I knew, he was already gone.


Take a look at the photos below. The first is from Noah's perspective and the second Alison's.

Noah's Memory - The Affair Season 1 Episode 2
Seperate Lives - The Affair

I continue to be completely caught up in the storytelling method of The Affair, not just because it's two points of view, but because they are both telling the tale to the police. We know right off the bat that they are both lying, but what's most intriguing is how much they are also lying to themselves.

I find the simple things really interesting, such as the way they each dress in their respective recollections. Noah imagines Alison far more feminine than she believes herself to be and Alison sees Noah as a little more straight laced than he imagines himself. 

You can't help but wonder how much of what they recall differently is being caught by Detective Jeffries.

Noah claimed he thought Alison was bad news and wanted to steer clear of her. He had no idea she was married and went out of his way to avoid her.

Anyway, the point is I wasn't thinking about her at all.


How much is true? He was most definitely thinking of her -- a lot. So much so he preferred pleasuring himself over the pleasure of his wife. What if we learn everything they're saying is a lie to protect themselves from whatever happened that left someone dead? 

In Alison's recollection, her sister-in-law, Mary Kate, shared their marital status with Noah at the Farmer's Market. Noah's recollection of learning about her marriage comes in a much more dramatic, sexy way, when they are on the beach talking about what marriage means to them.

At Helen's parents' estate, Noah continues to feel less than. Margaret recollects how horrified she was to learn Helen was marrying an idealist and at the party Bruce inadvertently calls Noah a schmuck. It didn't seem like it was meant to be personal; Bruce is just a braggart and incapable of caring. Either way, it is incredibly emasculating, Noah's treatment at the estate, but Helen always has his back.

We got a good look at the Lockhart ranch and learned a bit more about Cole's family. His four brothers work with him to run the ranch (including Scotty, played by Colin Donnell who was Tommy on Arrow). The lives of Noah and Alison are going to collide as Noah's daughter Stacy will be taking riding lessons, Martin will be the new ranch hand and horndog Scotty took a liking to 16-year-old Whitney.

At the big party being held at the estate and Alison ends up assisting with the catering by delivering drinks. Again, the stories of Noah and Alison differ greatly, but we do discover that someone was likely hit while walking home from the party. Alison continues to lie to Det. Jeffries about events that evening when she says she drove back into the city but is shown walking down the street in her skimpy black dress.

I think that was the one item (the black dress) that both Noah and Alison recalled similarly, mainly because it was something that made Alison feel like a prostitute. I don't think it's Cole who is dead. First, it seemed it was someone at the party and he wasn't there. Alison's reaction was less than caring if it was her husband.

I just want to help you do your job. I'll do anything to help you find out what happened to him. I can't believe he's gone.


Second, Jeffries told Noah he was getting background on all the people who might have known the fella and been connected to him. That seemed a little callous if it if it was the husband of the woman with whom he was having an affair. Perhaps it was Scotty Lockhart?

Alison was reminded twice of the terrible fate of her son. Her mother-in-law caught up with her and offered to clean out her boys' rooms so that there would be room for Cole and Alison to move back in if they had another baby so she could have more help this time.

Later that night, Margaret recognized Alison from the story in the paper and recalled how tragic it was that she lost her boy. Combined, the discussions with the two women made me wonder if Alison's negligence in some way played a part in her son's death. 

The conversation that Alison recalled on the beach about their thoughts on marriage and Noah's explanation about his getting married too young helped me to understand why each might be interested in pursuing an affair. Noah's talk about going back in time to change a specific event that would create a parallel universe wherein your created a new life while your old one carried on unchanged appealed to Alison.

With the death of her son weighing heavily on her mind, that must sound like a fabulous idea. Between her loss and Noah's emasculation, their fate almost seems sealed, yet they have yet to do anything they can't walk away from. When will that change and what will change it?

Are you interested in discovering what will come next? Do you think there is deeper meaning to the method of storytelling used? Hit The Affair quotes to see the best of the best and then share your thoughts in the comments!

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Rating: 4.1 / 5.0 (21 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Affair Season 1 Episode 2 Quotes

Helen: Want some company?
Noah: Ah. Not really.
Helen: Gee, thanks.
Noah: I'm just taking some me time.
Helen: You know, you're not as fun as you used to be.
Noah: I was never fun and you've become more fun. I think that's the problem.

Anyway, the point is I wasn't thinking about her at all.