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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Cole proves that he is the best character on The Affair

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Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • Cole has to wait until episode four to get his first perspective of the season, which is an outrage, because he is the best person on the show. Granted, he doesn’t have a lot of competition. But after the tomfoolery of last week, heading back to Montauk and the Lockhart family comes as a blessed relief.
  • I feel like some upcoming episode has to feature a flashback to Alison’s breakdown, right? It seems to have been such a wrenching event for her. I know Alison plays the victim a lot, but it’s hard not to root for her here as she tries to get her life back on track, faced with another kid she is terrified of losing.
  • Not only that, but she’s up against Luisa, who is absolutely terrible in both perspectives. Cole and Alison grew up together, and understand each other like no one else ever will. Cole totally gets why Alison couldn’t cope (although if Joanie was sick, why she didn’t go to an ER instead of Cole’s doorstep is beyond me), and why everything from monkey bars to a pony ride is now absolutely terrifying for her. I love Joshua Jackson’s portrayal here, as Cole is sympathetic toward Alison even as he tries to keep his own daughter safe.
  • Alison is always so much dowdier in her own perspectives than anyone else’s, and Joanie’s birthday party is no exception. Cole of course, remembers coming right up to her at the party, with her hair loose and a lovely green dress. Alison remembers hanging around there for quite a while by herself before Cole approached her, her hair pulled back, less cute dress. Joanie’s fall, though, has some jarring discrepancies: Cole remembers Alison running to Joanie and comforting her; Alison remembers a panic attack and Luisa talking to her daughter. But if things didn’t happen the way Cole remembered it, what were he and Luisa fighting about?
  • It’s got to be Luisa’s insecurities that are making her act like such a monster, right? It’s obvious Alison and Cole have a lot of unfinished history, which puts Luisa’s current lifestyle at risk.
  • Still, Alison and Cole’s kiss is season three’s first actual cheerworthy moment. The kiss is a lot sweeter in Alison’s perspective than Cole’s, but in both timelines leads to a long-overdue reunion. Alison tries hard (the dollhouse) but often fails to do the right thing (would she really have gone ahead with the peanut butter?). Cole, consistently, puts the well-being of the people he cares about first and foremost, taking responsibility for his family, getting them all construction gigs, keeping the Lobster Roll running. He’s too good for her, but Alison would certainly be better off with Cole than with whats-his-name.
  • Speaking of: Of course Noah shows up at the very end, ostensibly to fuck everything up. Somebody call his parole officer and tell her that he’s fled the state.
  • Hey guys, just wanted to say thanks for pushing for these weekly posts. Going through your comments is definitely heightening the enjoyment of watching the show for me and probably a lot of us. See you next week.