“Sometimes I’m worried you’re just a really great dream.”
This show has dealt quite a bit with the idea of fantasy, something certainly present not just in affairs, but also in life in general. Noah and Alison seem to be living in a bubble of their own, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the bubble won’t hold, that it is inevitable to avoid reality for too long without feeling the ramifications. The first half of the season set up Scotty’s murder through cutting between interrogations and the actual story, and “6” now utilizes solely the latter to knock over the first domino of many.
After all, everything’s starting to hit the fan. At the beginning of the episode, Noah and Alison are still living a dream, and Alison’s “I don’t want to talk about next week” is her own version of Noah’s quote at the top of this review. The thing is, though: this perfect fantasy is continuing to bleed into real life, as exemplified by the fact that they both defend each other in the presence of their spouses. In addition, Noah is forced to ask Whitney about where to score some cocaine, and it’s obvious that his lack of much parenting recently is affecting his children (considering they’re both acting out in certain ways, although some of that is just the teenager in them). Finally, it seems like Noah doesn’t even realize how emotionally and physically distant he’s been from his wife, seeing as he’s been so caught up in the fantasy.
One more thing: drugs. This is what brings it all crashing down in this episode, and once Noah becomes privy to the Lockhart drug operation, he suddenly realizes that the complications he lauded a few weeks ago are nothing compared to the real thing. He realizes the he has to end the affair. Nobody can blame him because this might be the smartest decision he’s made in a while, but this is also reality hitting him right in the center of the face.
With Alison and Cole, it becomes even clearer why they’re so distant from each other as well. When Alison brings up the topic of moving on, Cole angrily spits back, “There is no moving on!” Gabriel’s death is still driving a wedge between them, between one person who wants to move on and one person who doesn’t, and this divide seems to be one of the major factors in Alison’s infidelity. When she shows up at Noah’s doorstep at the end of the episode, she tells him that she wants to move on with him, and we can see that she and Cole will never be on the same page again.
At the end of the episode, we also get a poignant scene between Alison and Martin as the former is driving the latter home. “Do you ever do things and not know why?” Martin asks Alison, and she responds in the affirmative. The weight of inevitability is bearing down on all sides, and things are slipping out of everyone’s control.
-Showtime announced that it would be renewing this show for a 10-episode season two. I wonder how long this storyline can be stretched out, but I’m happy about the renewal (especially considering how awful the ratings are).
-There’s also the whole Oscar deal in this episode, and it looks like he’s smarter than others may give him credit for. We also see a confrontation between him and Scotty turn violent here, so we see that volatile side to him as well.
-Noah’s best friend, Max, shows up, and it seems like he serves as a cautionary tale to Noah. After all, Max has lost his wife and kids to divorce, and he cozies up to Alison right away when he sees her.
-Ruth Wilson is amazing at panicked acting.
-The “previously on” ends with Noah saying that he’s never been to The End (a bar). The episode opens with him going to The End.
Photo credit: The Affair, Showtime