Neither of the women in Noah's life at the time of Scotty's death, the women he went to prison to protect, made out all that well.
The Affair Season 3 Episode 2 gave us a peek at Helen's life a year ago and at Alison's life today. While Helen was still holding onto Noah, Alison had lost her mind and Noah, it appeared, was far from her mind.
After an entire hour devoted to Noah on The Affair Season 3 Episode 1, it was easy to lose track of the fact he's a total scumbag.
Thankfully, we checked back into reality by witnessing some of Noah's behavior at the prison. And yes, prison guards most likely treat inmates terribly. But they're in prison. Their lives suck. And if Noah had the same attitude with a prison guard he has with people in the rest of his life, what the heck did he expect?
Noah: I never understood why you were coming here in the first place. I never asked you to come. I only wanted you to come here for the kids, and the kids aren't coming. That's what I want, Helen. I want you to leave me alone. Is that too much to ask? I mean, haven't I fuckin' done enough?
Helen: I am very aware of what you have done for me. I thought you did it for...for the kids, I guess? And for...I don't know why I think you did it.
That annoyed me. Did he give up more for Helen than he did Alison? Because Helen was coming to visit him and Alison ignoring him. In my eyes, Alison is probably more culpable in Scotty's death from pushing him into oncoming traffic than Helen than running him down after a couple drinks. ANYONE would have run him down in that same situation.
Helen may not KNOW of Alison's involvement, but that's just one more crap thing Noah and Alison did as a couple, one more tarnished thing they did after merging that made them abhorrent.
They laid all of that guilt at her feet. Noah took the fall and then proceeded to dangle the guilt over Helen's head while pining after Alison. I take away any of the nice things I said about him in the premiere review.
Because Helen did find a good guy Vic, but because she was so screwed over by Noah after years of his whining during their marriage and his horrid affair and the murder she committed because of him and the love of his life that Helen couldn't even properly enjoy the gem she found in Vic.
And anybody who could sit seriously through a dinner with Whitney and Furkat, even going so far as to buy a four foot tall gaping vagina photo to hang on his wall in support of Furkat to support Whitney, well, Vic's above and beyond a good guy.
Geez. He's hot, they have amazing sex, it's so obvious how much he cares about her. But we don't see a Vic a year later when Noah's father dies. Is the writing already on the wall when Vic moves his clothing upstairs from the basement?
And what about Whitney? She's seriously screwed up from Noah, that much is obvious from Furkat. Nothing about that guy is sexy or appealing in the slightest. But he's old, seemingly older than Vic by the wear and tear on his face. At least she'll get to go to Germany.
And that guilt Helen feels?
Mom, what happened to Scotty is in no way your fault.Whitney
How could it possibly be any worse for Helen when she thinks she is the sole reason Scotty died, than to also think she's responsible for the hatred her children feel for Noah? They hated him well before they thought he was a murderer.
They hated him because he left mommy to be with dour-faced Alison.
Alison, who was not over her depression of losing Gabriel before having Joanie, who wasn't Noah's, but which apparently didn't deter Noah from still loving the two of them.
Alison, who had no love for Cole, but somehow managed to have a second child by him, which she raised for two years before saying, hey! I had your baby. Wanna be a part of her life, you and Luisa?
Alison has never been very good at communicating, but the "I was sick," baloney was getting old. I wanted to know why she dropped Joanie off like so much garbage, but all we got early on was melodrama and an angry Luisa.
Luisa can't have children of her own, so she latched right onto Joanie when Alison made yet another mistake by signing over custody to Cole while she was away.
I don't like Luisa. I don't like Alison, but what's really hard is seeing another woman telling Cole what to do. He's a great character in so many ways, but his weakness for women is terrible. He's too easily swayed and it's easy to wonder if he even knows what love is. Whether his mother, Alison or Luisa, they run his life.
The way Cole initially talked to Alison and both he and Luisa together, it seemed like they had no idea why she was institutionalized. But Oscar, of all people, had no problem at all sussing out what happened to her. She freaked out when Joanie got sick at the same age Gabriel died.
Hopefully the institutionalized stay made all the difference. It had been a long time and many poor decisions coming. If she had done it sooner, she could have saved her marriage to Cole, with whom she always seemed a lot happier than she ever did with Noah.
The thing is, it's been hard to feel much for Alison for a long time now. She lied so much and was so awful to so many people that she's not a character who begs for compassion.
While it's easy to understand where she's coming from, she's made so many questionable choices you have to wonder why anybody would give her more get out of jail free cards.
Yet Cole gave her an hour with Joanie. That's sure to wear on his marriage with Luisa. Sharing doesn't seem like it will be Luisa's favorite.
What did you think of catching up with Helen and Luisa? Which character do you care about more at this point in the game? Drop me a line.
Don't forget, you can always watch The Affair online if you need to catch up!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.