In a nutshell, Noah and Alison each confess their affair, to Helen and Cole, for very different reasons. Noah is being blackmailed by Oscar about the affair, and Alison tells Cole the whole truth - after a partial truth - because Cole wants to know if the guy Alison was sleeping with stole Cole's drugs.
It was great night for both Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson, who each put in their best performances in the series so far. Jackson as Cole was especially remarkable, after seeming like he cared about more the loss of his drugs than he did about Alison, but pivoting into the warmest and deepest we've seen him so far this season.
Noah, as he does often, comes out the worst in the two accounts, including his. At very least, he's insensitive to Cole about the loss of Cole's son, and his closing the curtains in his Brooklyn brownstone to Alison, standing outside, was a low moment. Alone and vulnerable, however, Alison is now more open to a re-uniting with Cole.
The series - or this season of the series - could well be heading to aftermath territory, in which the affair in over, and Alison and Noah repair their marriages, with the greatest threat coming from the detective, whose most interesting appearance is at the beginning of Noah's episode, reading Noah's book. But the marriages are not quite equal. Noah and Helen have four children, which gives them more reason to stay together. But Cole seems to have gotten over what Alison did far more than Helen with Noah. And I have a feeling we've not seen the last of Alison and Noah together by any means - if not this season, then likely next.
The series story has moved into the end of the summer, or the beginning of the Fall, and in our world it's taking off a week for Thanksgiving. I'll be back here in two weeks with another late night review.