I certainly didn’t expect the show to reveal the victim’s identity that early on into the season (if this was Revenge, this would’ve taken about two and a half years), but while the reveal provided some compelling flash-forwards, this wasn’t a completely thrilling hour.
Alison’s part (which took place first for a change) was particularly boring. It took up over half the episode and it wasn’t as gripping as The Affair usually is. In fact, this might’ve been the first time in these five episodes that I was bored and a little worried the show might become stale even with such a powerful storytelling device. I just don’t like when characters’ estranged parents come back for one random episode (see Arrow and Grey’s Anatomy’s latest terrible episodes of similar plots).
But much like those two shows, The Affair has a powerful cast that constantly delivers top-notch performances. It was chiefly Joshua Jackson’s performance that I’ve been loving so far the most. His opening scene with Alison when he sees her all dressed up (and thus catching her in a lie) was superb: the look on his face, along with his delivery of the line “I love that dress on you”, was absolutely stunning. And similarly, Helen catching Noah in a lie about his morning run was just as perfect. The way those two scenes lead Alison and Noah into each other’s arms in the end makes you feel like you’re living this affair as well. It’s just emotionally and psychologically powerful.
Noah’s version was definitely more intriguing than Alison’s this time around. The way he cared for this random teenage girl who was suicidal was a nice touch, seeing as how Alison is starting to affect his life. And Dominic West plays the role of husband-cheater just as perfectly as he does the caring-father when he has that poignant conversation with his daughter (who is all kinds of mysterious, BTW). Moreover, the scene with him stuck in the middle of the road with a flat tire made me a bit anxious when Oscar showed up. There’s just something so unsettling about this man.
It definitely looks like Noah and Alison want to blame Oscar for the murder of Tommy—err, Scotty. They’re both painting him as this horrible asshole (while I definitely still think the biggest asshole on this show is Noah’s father-in-law), and I’m not buying it. Especially during their final questions with the detective when both Noah and Alison seemed a bit nervous and edgy. These two are hiding something about this murder, and I can’t wait to find out more.
Unfaithful Flings & Bits
– Alison keeping her maiden name Bailey is so mysterious. There’s still no telling if she’s still a Lockhart in the flash-forwards or not.
– While the show’s biggest theme is really the character study and not the murder mystery, I do find myself captivated by this story. There are so many possibilities as to who’s wedding Scotty died in, and who Alison means when she says “we left to the city right after”.
– Alison sees herself wearing a purple dress while Noah pictures her in a casual shirt and jeans. Very unusual and different than how these characters usually view one another. Why you do this to my brain, show?!
– I really loved the scene where Alison was telling Noah to text his wife about her favorite kind of bagel while they were undressing. It truly felt so real. I felt like I was lying to Maura Tierney myself!
– It makes so much sense that Scotty is the one who dies. He’s had very few scenes so far, and that’s really the way we remember the dead. But again, why is this affair important to this crime? The plot thickens.
– The show apparently received a 10 episode order for a Season two! Very exciting news. I’m interested to see what the writers have in store for us.
Whitney: How do I un-asshole myself?
Noah: Just stop doing bad things.
Athena: You deserve some joy. There’s been so much pain. This is the first time I’ve seen your life-force since we lost Gabriel. You think I’m not with you, but I am. Energetically, I am with you all the time and I know that the pain was unbearable, so you shut down your heart. Well, now it’s open. You’re allowing a vital flow of energy to flow through you to connect with someone else in a real way. That’s what life is, sweetie. It’s not about some oppressive set of rules from about 2,000 years ago about good wife/daughter/mother-ness.
Detective: Do you remember being worried at the time?
Alison: No. But I should have been.
Noah: Your words and actions have consequences. You do something mean because you’re angry or bored. It happens to someone else. It hurts them. You’re not the only person who’s real.
A slightly less compelling hour of a show that is nevertheless still captivating to watch.