“The Affair” Season 1 Episode 2 aired on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on Showtime. Noah and Alison each related how their affair started after that very first meeting. Read on for the recap.
NOTE: As the series is told in two storylines, the recap will be divided into Noah’s Story and Alison’s Story.
It opened with Noah Solloway (Dominic West) at the police station. He told the investigator that when he first met Alison (Ruth Wilson), he had no idea she was married, that is was never mentioned. He thought that Alison was the loneliest girl in the world and that he was bad news for her. He claimed to the police that he tried his best to avoid her after that night, when he watched her savagely having sex with a man at her garage.
This police investigation was done during the present time, years after the affair, and it was implied that Noah was already able to publish his second book. The police had it and was looking forward to reading it.
Anyway, even as Noah tried his best to not think of Alison, she kept flashing back in his mind that while taking a shower one morning, she was all Noah could think of. His wife, Helen (Maura Tierney), tapped on the shower’s door and asked if he wanted some company, but he refused, reasoning that this was his “me” time.
Helen: You know you weren't as much fun as you used to be.
Noah: I was never fun. You became more fun, and that's the problem.
The family all gathered in the kitchen to have breakfast and viewers got a glimpse of what it’s like to be in the Butler’s fancy house. Noah’s in-laws even had a maid who prepared fresh espresso for them. Helen’s mother had an “efficiency expert” train the kitchen staff, and Helen’s father was playing chess with their 10-year-old son, which he refused to get beaten by.
Helen’s mother needed flowers for the party that night, and so Helen volunteered that they will all go to the market to get some. At the market, with youngest daughter Stacey in tow, Noah spotted Alison, who was helping her sister-in-law sell jams. He approached her and said that he had been worried about her. He was a perfect gentleman, nice and cordial with her that the sister-in-law asked if they knew each other.
Next up, Helen and Noah went to the Lockhart ranch where they signed up their youngest for horse-riding lessons for the summer. They met the Lockhart brothers, both young and good-looking. When the Solloway’s other son, Martin, saw that they needed help at the stables, he presented himself for the job. And so, they also met the other brother, Cole (Joshua Jackson), whom Martin would be working for. He was the savage beast who was with Alison the other night.
Back in the present day, Noah talked to the police about how he married Helen. He was her college sweetheart, and when they were wedded, none of his family members came because by then, his parents had died. Helen’s family was all he’s got, and they were supportive of him ever since.
Back at Montauk, Noah was attempting to write his second book, but all he could type was Alison’s name on the computer. His wife chanced upon him, and so he quickly deleted his entries. He reasoned that he was uninspired and bored.
It was the night of the party at the Butler’s place, and Helen was visibly upset. The woman he knew her dad, Bruce, had an affair with was at the party, and as Noah tried to console her, she saw that Alison was one of their waitresses.
Later, as Helen, Bruce and Noah were talking, Alison came over and appeared to hand Noah a drink. Helen recognized her immediately, from the incident with Stacey at the food shack, and she was friendly towards her. She also noticed that it looked like Alison was flirting with her husband, but Helen was being candid about it. This scene also showed that there was some tension between Noah and Helen’s father.
Noah needed to get away from Bruce for a while and decided to look for Alison, who was having a break at the back of the house. She was actually smoking a joint, so Noah suggested she smoke by the beach so that no one else could smell this. Alison’s demeanor, in this side of Noah’s story, was over friendly and flirty.
Getting to the beach, Alison immediately ran in the water and invited Noah to join her, which he refused. Later, they sat down and talked about his book and his lack of inspiration, as she was caressing his hands.
Noah: I'm married. You know what that means.
Alison: Marriage means different things to different people.
Noah: No, to me that means nothing can happen between us.
Alison told him she was married too. Her family owns the ranch with the horses.
Agreeing that nothing should happen between them, they parted. In the present day, Noah told the police that he came back to apologize to his father-in-law and went home to bed with his wife. But what really happened was that Alison and him kissed before they returned to the Butler’s house.
He then asked the police why his story was relevant to what happened and was told that the police was just gathering background information to try to figure out if there was a motive to kill the victim. Noah thought the fella died in an accident.
It opened with Alison biking to the pier to get the day’s catch from the fisherman, who remarked that she was looking pretty well and that he was praying for her and Cole. The town apparently knew the tragic accident that happened to their son.
Then Alison went to drop off the fish to someone named Caleb and saw that he was reading a book written by Bruce Butler. She remarked that she doesn’t like the author. She also dropped by the food shack to get her check from Oscar, the person who ran the diner. Oscar told his staff that they were hired for a catering job that night at the Butler’s. Would Alison want to work? She passed.
Next, she dropped by her sister-in-law’s place to help her with the jams she would be selling at the market. While there, the sister-in-law talked about her husband wanting a threesome. The conversation seemed to suggest that Alison was not the adventurous type, sexually.
In the present day, Alison told the police that she thought she would never see Noah’s family again after that first encounter at the food shack. She thought that they were like the rest of the people coming to their town. But there he was, at the market with his family. He came by her booth and bought a lot of the jams.
The conversation they had was different from Noah’s side of the story. Here, Alison appeared to be the girl-next-door type who did a lot of errands for herself and her extended family. It was also immediately revealed that Alison was actually married, which was amiss in Noah’s side of the story. When Noah left the market, Alison’s sister-in-law sensed that he wanted to have sex with one of them. Did Alison get that vibe as well?
After the market, Alison dropped by the ranch and was greeted by Cole, who lit up when he saw his wife. Noah’s daughter, Whitney, arrived at the ranch also. She was looking for her brother, Martin, who was starting his first day working for Cole. One of Cole’s brother flirted with Whitney, but when they left, Cole warned his brother that she’s only 16. The brother was apologetic, but reasoned that he was only driving up business.
Alison’s mother-in-law came by to tell her that she has made a space for them in the house. They could move back in and try for another baby. She also told her that they were proud of how they are handling their grief together. It was a testament to their love.
Alison biked back home and told the police (via her narration) all she had left was Cole and his family.
Alison: I felt I had to be so strong for them because if they knew what I was really thinking they'd be terrified of me.
Later, she decided she would actually want to work that catering job, and so that night, she found herself with a tray on hand and feeling awkward in her borrowed skimpy back dress. She spotted Noah among the party guests and saw him arguing with his wife, Helen, who was wearing a different dress in Alison’s side of the story.
Helen’s mom approached Alison for a drink. She pointed to a woman, asking if Alison thought she was attractive. This was the same woman that Helen was upset with in Noah’s side of the story. As they talked, Helen’s mother suddenly recognized who she was — the girl who lost her baby. It was in the papers. Helen’s mother asked if she was taking care of herself. She liked Alison instantly.
Helen’s mother proposed something to her, pointing to her husband, Bruce. If she could manage to spill a drink on him, she will give him $1,000. However, when Alison approached Bruce, who was with Noah and Helen, Noah immediately took the drink from her. This part of the story was a whole lot different from Noah’s, and here, Helen wasn’t candid. She was being a bitch.
Later, Alison saw her brother-in-law with Noah’s daughter, Whitney. What was he doing with her? Noah saw this too, and whatever Whitney had planned with Alison’s brother-in-law was spoiled. Then Noah asked Alison if she wanted to get some air outside.
They walked at the beach. They were side by side but distant. Noah asked her why she was not wearing a ring if she was married. She reasoned she got better tips at the food shack without the ring.
Noah: So that guy in the driveway, he's your husband? I don't believe you. Married people don't fuck like that.
Alison: Marriage means different things to different people.
Noah: What does it mean to you?
Alison: I used to think it meant there was one person I'd put above anyone else, above myself.
Noah: And now?
Alison: Now, I just hope I won't kill him.
They talked about Noah's marriage to Helen. He said he did love his wife and still loved her, but if he had to do it again, he'd wait a bit longer and give himself time to see what he'd become. Noah asked if she had been thinking about him all week and confessed that he had been thinking about her. They kissed passionately, more passionate than in Nate's side of the story.
Back to present day, Alison told the police that whoever was the victim wasn’t killed by anyone at the party because they were all locals. The area where the victim died was a place only tourists frequented. She also told the police that after the party, she walked home, and indeed, the episode ended with Alison actually walking home by the road, as the guests’ cars left the Butler property.
That’s our recap on “The Affair” Season 1 Episode 2, which aired on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on Showtime. So, who died and what was the connection to this to their affair? We’re betting on Bruce. What do you think?
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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Dominic West/Simon Kisner