"Paul Levinson's It's Real Life is a page-turning exploration into that multiverse known as rock and roll. But it is much more than a marvelous adventure narrated by a master storyteller...it is also an exquisite meditation on the very nature of alternate history." -- Jack Dann, The Fiction Writer's Guide to Alternate History

Monday, November 30, 2015

The Affair 2.9: Nameless Hurricane

A wild, nameless episode 2.9 of The Affair tonight - with no segment named for Alison, Helen, Noah, or Cole, though they all got crucial screen time.   And there was indeed a hurricane, the kind that closes down subways and highways, though that didn't have a name in the episode, either*.

The happiest encounter was between Helen and the doctor who saved Martin.  It's good to see Helen finally beginning to get a little happiness, especially because she's becoming more of an admirable character.

Noah and Cole each had a terrible night in the storm, for different reasons.   Noah just can't get a break with Whitney, to the point of seeing her in a sex den, or a Playboy-like club, he stoned and high and waiting to have sex with his publicist, and Whitney, well, with another girl.   This happens right after Max interrupts Noah's promising negotiation with a Hollywood producer - now in New York - who loves Noah's book and wants to make a movie of it, albeit with a happy ending, which of course is the way Noah first wrote it.

The parallel angsts of Noah and Cole is an important part of the bigger story.  Cole's narrative tonight looks at the beginning as if he would be like Helen, even better than Helen, and find some lasting happiness with his girl friend.  But her revelation that she can't have children ends that, at least for the time being, and we leave Cole setting his house on fire.   We know, of course, that Cole will get out of the house before it burns totally down - we saw him the courtroom, subtly responding to Noah's predicament, in the future.   But the burning house in effect is the death of Cole's earlier life, including with Alison.

But this is significant, because the scene with Alison having her baby shifts repeatedly to shots of Cole - not Noah - which strongly implies, as if we didn't suspect it already, that Cole not Noah is the father of her baby girl.   This points to the shocker in the episode before last, with Scotty telling Alison that the baby is "ours" - and it will be good to see this resolved, I hope, in the next three remaining episodes of this season.

Powerful writing and acting continue to make The Affair an outstanding piece of television drama.

*Actually, @antwittie over on Twitter tells me the hurricane was named - on the radio, at the beginning - Hurricane Aly - appropriately named.  That's what I get for not paying the rapt attention I should be to every second of this show :)

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