Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Affair recap: Season 2, Episode 1

Helen sitting on her stoop, having a vape, not giving AF. Nothing to see here folks, move along. The Affair is back on Showtime, and it's got us hooked at the Choco household. Again.

Now that we already know the characters so well from season one, you fall into the first episode of season 2 like your comfy old bed -- with a dirty, dirty lover waiting in it.

The first episode shows us the viewpoint of Noah first, then his soon-to-be ex, Helen.

 I won't recap the action blow by blow, but here are just a few things that stood out:

-In the mediation, it was, as always, interesting to see how much the story changed between the two shifting viewpoints. Noah sees himself as a sharp-dressed man in a suit, the mediator as way too light and jovial about it all, and Helen as a harpy. When we see Helen's view, she's much nicer, dressed a little sexier, the mediator is surly, and so is Noah, who looks like he's dressed more for a motorcycle ride than a meeting. But what struck me here is how kind Helen saw herself as being. She even offered up her parents' money to pay for an apartment for Noah so he could live near the kids and have ample space. I call bullshit, Helen! No way, no effing way, are you or your vicious parents paying jack squat for Noah. Never happened. I'm not sure how she even convinced herself of such a thing. Of course, Noah saw himself as endlessly kind and giving in the mediation, too, which probably wasn't the case. I think there was ire to go around. But the places that just didn't make sense shine through the raged wreckage of their lives much more in Helen's version.

-When Helen gets home and finds her youngest son sobbing, I couldn't help thinking she was exaggerating in her mind his reaction just a bit. But even more, I couldn't help thinking how the fact that he was crying because his father said the parents were divorcing backed up at least part of Noah's account. When Noah talked with this same kid on the stoop earlier, the boy let slip that Mom was sure they'd get back together (kids will rat you out every time). I think that must have been true, or why else would evil grandma and mom be upset that Noah said they were divorcing unless the kid had not heard that from mom before? I do think Helen wants Noah back for whatever insane reason. He's not a real treat of a husband, and he has been banging a younger woman. You're sitting on a sweet brownstone in NYC and a trust fund, you'll be fine without him.

-Speaking of the house, granny was in fine form as the evil MIL there. I don't doubt the accuracy of Noah's recollection regarding how nasty she was, either, as she was just as horrible in Helen's memory (regarding the daughter's college essay). I also believe Noah's recollection that he got the shaft on his belongings -- near the end of the episode, when Helen realized the painting was missing, you could tell it was a surprise and it hurt because it was a clear sign her husband was leaving her life. But it also meant she sure as hell hadn't taken that painting down and added it to the pitiful pile of his past life left for Noah in the basement among the other garbage no one wanted. It was painted by his father and laden with sentimental meaning, and surely something that wouldn't bring $10 at a yard sale, and yet she hadn't put it with his stuff? Which means yes, she had restricted what belongings she was letting him take, as a punishment. As much as Noah can be a Grade A selfish prick, his wife takes after good ol' mom a bit, too.

You can also see that Helen's taking the split hard by the way she self medicates with wine and vaping a bit of Mary Jane. Ok, a lot of Mary Jane. Any damn place she pleases. At least that looks more satisfying than the blah sex she had with the hot, rude rich dude.

I'd say I can't wait to see what happens next, but I already did -- next Sunday's episode is already up on Showtime Anytime. No spoilers, but you'll get to see the viewpoints of Alison and Cole. Good times!

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