Did Cole kill two birds with one stone?
Has introducing Cole's point of view given us the circumstantial evidence needed to link Cole to Scotty's death on The Affair Season 2 Episode 2? Should he be considered as a potential suspect by Det. Jeffries?
Noah still comes off looking poorly to pretty much all involved, but now it's entirely possible that Cole could have done the unthinkable to get Scotty off of his back and as a last ditch effort to win back the woman he loves. Or, it could have been a terrible, if fortuitous, accident.
Because let's face it, there wasn't much reason, from Cole's point of view, not to believe that the only things standing in his way from a second chance at a future with Alison were Noah and the general annoyance of his family. Even if Noah was out of the picture, if all things remained the same and his pain in the ass brother was still a thorn in everybody's side, it just might be enough to keep the door closed on a reunion.
After all, Cole himself was pretty annoyed with Scotty, who was continually thinking about money and ways to get it other than, say, working for it. That's definitely not a problem for Cole, who has even taken to driving a cab pretty much 24/7. Although that's not only a financial decision, as it's obvious he's trying to keep his mind occupied anywhere but on his problems.
And it's the addition that cab to the story, and Cole's desire to hide behind the wheel of it, that makes it a possibility he could have been the one who killed his own brother. Only time will tell if he can truly be added to the suspect list.
Taking Alison away from the Lockharts, she felt more like the character we got to know at the beginning of The Affair Season 1. She's almost instantly more likable and pleasant. There is a harshness about her that disappears.
Then again, a lot of what wasn't to like came as a result of the varying tone of the series in the second half of the first season, and I don't expect a bait and switch to that degree this time around. That said, it will be a little bit more difficult to track those changes over two hours set seven days apart for those of us watching the series as it originally airs.
I'm unsure if I would have preferred shorter, 15-minute chapters set within one hour to the longer 30-minute chapters spread over two hours or not. At this juncture, it seems I'll be rewatching (or re-reading my recaps) to prepare myself for what lies ahead each week before the next viewing. This is not a series in which nuances are meant to be missed.
Alison's story differed quite a bit in detail from Noah's. Noah recalled a much more peaceful existence and one in which Alison was happy, he was kind and there were few kinks to be ironed out between them. In Alison's view, their life was akin to a wrinkled sheet, hardly smooth sailing.
She felt uncomfortable living as the other woman in the house, hidden from others and chastised for taking a job as an assistant to the caretakers, as she's a guest at the writer's retreat. When Noah's day went poorly, in her eyes, he didn't come home looking for a shoulder to cry upon, but rather a bit of a verbal punching bag, making her presence feel even more unwelcome. As always, she viewed sex as their meeting point, the thing that makes it all better.
Proving how little faith Alison has in males in general, as well as tossing her entire perspective into question, her view of her interaction with Cole was similar. She recalls more of a combative meeting, one in which he even went so far as to practically throw her son's toy chest at her to rub their past in her face. By both of their accounts, however, Noah left the toilet to be fixed by Alison and Cole was the one to fix it.
As for Cole, he had an encounter with Helen's father in which Bruce shared that it was Noah's glorious, if annoying, discovery of happiness in the arms of another that prompted him to try it himself. He's now leaving his wife. Cole was thrown by the discussion, driving carelessly and almost killing a small boy in the driveway as he left.
That run-in and one with Scotty, in which Scotty believes Ali should sell her house because, dammit, the family needs the money, made Cole's decision to drive to Alison to deliver her belongings rather unwise. Since he was rather unpleasant with Jane, you wonder how much of the pleasantries he recalled of his visit with Alison were created in his head to further his desire to win her back.
Because it's always been clear that Cole wants Alison back. Of the two of them, it was Alison who was deeply unhappy, and not just because of their relationship, but because she appears to be an unhappy person, never quite getting over the death of her son.
Jumping forward at the end, seeing Cole and Alison meet once again at Noah's arraignment, Cole meeting Alison's daughter for the first time, it still seemed as if he's holding onto hope that they'll once again find their way back to each other.
Alison had no idea Noah had a new attorney, either, and wasn't happy about it. How did she want him to represent himself? It was clear they had no money. Did she have another attorney lines up to represent him that he turned aside for the one Helen sent? We need to know more about that, as well.
The more we see of all four perspectives, the more clear it is that each person brings their own history into their recollection of events. Having the added benefit of Helen's and Cole's viewpoints adds greatly to the story, and throws a serious wrench into Noah's guilt. There is so much more to this story, and we've only just begun to peel away the layers.
Do you think Cole capable of killing his own brother? Did anyone else get the impression Cole may have run someone down, but not Cole (such as the politician's wife that was briefly mentioned in the premiere, also a hit and run)? Does Alison inherently make all males look bad in her recollection? Hit the comments, and let's chat about it.
The Affair Season 2 Episode 3 airs Sunday, October 18, at 10/9c on Showtime.
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.