Guest Review The Affair

The Affair 1×08 – Episode 8

“Perfect love cannot sustain in an imperfect world.”

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Now that The Affair has taken a four-month time jump since its previous episode, things definitely aren’t the same.

This wasn’t the most compelling hour of the show, but it was still one interesting ride. What amused me (and killed me as well) was how immensely different Noah and Alison’s versions seemed on this one particular night, the night where Alison’s grandma dies. It’s quite insane really, that Noah recalls being by Alison’s side alone the entire time while Alison’s version is vaguely different as she remembers her mother being there and even remembers an entire DNR story that’s completely absent from Noah’s version. There’s really no telling at this point why in the world these two have such different recollections of this particular memory—because I’m guessing we’re just looking through their memories instead of hearing them tell the detective a story—and that’s what truly had me speechless. Why are the two stories extremely different?

I found Noah’s insistence on going to Bruce’s awards ceremony more of a plot contrivance just to get him back at Montauk, and that’s okay because for some sick twisted reason I wanted Noah and Alison to cross paths again. While I stick by to my opinion that the affair itself has proven to be the kind of relationship you don’t want to root for, I was just thrilled to see Noah and Alison again at the same place, at the same time. West and Wilson both played their roles perfectly: feeling sick to their stomach and yet also invigorated when they saw each other again. Still I couldn’t bring myself to care about their proclamations of love in the end.

Another element that’s different now is the status of the two marriages. Maura Tierney gave one of her best performances in a brutally-honest-yet-stunning speech to her husband during therapy. Just like Noah, I was caught completely off-guard by her monologue. Alison and Cole’s happiness was also surprised, as I never really felt that these two had a good relationship until I saw how incredibly happy they seemed together in this episode. We’re usually treated to a silent Cole and an upset Alison, so it was refreshing to see them cuddle in bed and talk about Cole’s devilish mother (seriously, what’s wrong with this woman?).

Even the detective scenes, which sometimes feel forced and random, were a bit better placed this time around. We see Jeffries stalking both Noah and Alison, and seeing Alison sitting so far in the back at what should be her brother-in-law’s memorial made me all the more confused as to where Cole stands in her life now. These various game-changing tactics, particularly with the flash forwards, prove that the show has not suffered in the slightest.

Unfaithful Flings & Bits

– Did you notice the differences in Alison’s catering dress at the party? Of course in Noah’s head the dress is a bit slutty. Is this guy a jerk or something?

– I didn’t love Bruce (no surprise there), but I did find him a bit less infuriating after sharing to Noah that he had an Alison once too, and she was his inspiration.

– Noah’s book becomes a best-selling novel in the future. And they’re making it into a movie. Interesting.

– The camerawork was quite beautiful when Noah was telling Alison to hold her grandmother and say goodbye. Their voiceovers in the background as Alison got up and sat at her grandmother’s bedside was stunning.

– While I loved that Alison and Cole were happy while Noah and Helen seemed to be struggling, I wasn’t so sure of the two random subplots including Martin’s school problems and Whitney’s puking. Something tells me that Scotty’s regular visits to New York (as evidenced through Alison’s part) have something to do with Whitney and ultimately his death. Ugh, is this girl preggers?

Adulterous Sayings

Noah: Please, you have to forgive me. I love you. We’ve been coming here for four months. I’ve taken all your fury. I walk out of here every Friday with my fucking underwear on my head. All I want is to move on.

Noah: I think I wanted to make a mistake. I’ve never made a single fucking mistake in my whole god-damn life. A person can’t live like that.

Helen: Do you know why I married you?
Noah: Because you loved me?
Helen: I thought you were safe.

Bruce: Seems to me, this girl might have been your muse and now that she’s gone you’ve forgotten you’re afraid of the page. You got to harness that disappointment, son. If you know how to use it, you might actually produce something worth reading this time.

Conclusion
Another impressive episode that proves there’s never a dull moment on The Affair. 

Chris Rating
A-

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