I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas gift this year.
The Affair has been one hell of a rollercoaster, but not in the sense that it had its ups and downs in terms of quality and material—but in the fact that it has taken us on an emotionally engaging, mind-blowing ride (this is where Ellis Grey would say “the carousel never stops turning”), and the season-one finale was no exception.
From the opening moments with Noah swimming at the indoor pool (similarly to how the first episode began), I had a sense this was going to be a game-changing hour. We immediately get an understanding of the resolution to last episode’s cliffhanger as we see Noah banging every woman that walks or breathes in front of him. We soon realize that it’s been four months since Noah, Alison and Cole stood in front of a train with surprising faces, and since then Noah hasn’t changed: i.e. he’s still an asshole that’s hard to care for.
I did, however, love the montage of him writing his book in detention. It was a surprising well-tuned sequence that’s very different from the show’s tone, and I loved it. Even if it ended with Noah receiving a note that said “you are my hero”. Similarly entertaining is what Alison had been doing for four months: meditation. It’s a nice change of pace for a character that was having random frustrating sex with Oscar once, and obsessing about Noah at other times.
In fact, the whole episode was fully compelling and entertaining (minus Whitney’s annoying appearances), but it was only the final few minutes where the biggest bombshell was delivered, confirming our fears of Noah and Alison being together in the future and having a child and even hiding something about Scotty’s murder. The beauty (and equally frustrating thing) about that scene is that we had no time to process all of it because Detective Jeffries spoiled their fun night at home by barging in and arresting Noah.
It’s a surprising move by The Affair not to accurately reveal Scotty’s real murderer in the season finale, but telling us that Noah and Alison are together in the flash-forwards is so maddening and similarly astonishing that it makes Scotty’s murder feel less interesting than Noah and Alison’s relationship for once. No one really came to this show looking for an intriguing murder-mystery but I did become invested in that story as the show progressed and the clues became harder, so that’s why I’m glad the shift has now been turned to Noah and Alison and how we’re going to get to where they are in the flash-forward (and who that damn baby is). I can’t possibly tell how the next season will take off and where it will take us, and that’s a good thing.
There’s no other way I would have loved this season to end. It had a good amount of answers (even if less than expected) and a captivating new story to look forward to in the next season. This has been an incredible first season to one of the year’s best shows, and season two can’t come soon enough.
Unfaithful Flings & Bits
– If there’s one thing I didn’t like about the episode, it’s how different the two points of view were when it came to Cole pointing a gun at them. It didn’t make the hour any less amazing, but it did boggle my mind and made little to sense at all.
– I found Whitney extremely irritating (I’ve come to hate her just as much as I hated Dana from Homeland, the character that made me stop watching mid-season 3). Her only good line here was when she retaliated to Noah about sleeping with Alison.
– I love how happy Noah seemed about seeing his book for half a million dollars, especially since we know that the detective will use that book to uncover clues for the murder in the future.
– So the detective is actually gay? He is one confusing fella.
– Alison and Cole blaming each other for their son’s death was so heart-breaking yet beautiful to watch. It’s sadly too late to root for these two.
– Noah choosing to stay with Alison rather than going with his wife and daughter (after they were all held at gunpoint) really bothered me. Let’s conclude he won’t be winning any Father Of The Year awards anytime soon.
Helen: I want you to come home. I miss you. I can’t do this alone. I hate my life without you. You know, you used to like me because of how I am, I thought you chose me for the way I am. You did, you did! You wanted a certain life and I gave that to you. You were tired of being poor. You wanted a big family. I could have stopped that too. I didn’t need to have four kids to make up for the wasteland that was my childhood. You never gave me a chance. You never said, “I’m different now. I want something else.” You just took it all away.
Helen: I was so afraid of marrying my father, I never realized I was marrying my mother.
Alison: I look at you and I see his face.
Cole: People survive this, you know that. It’s incredibly hard, but they heal. They heal, together.
Alison: I don’t want to. It’s too hard, I don’t want to do it.
Whitney: So were you really screwing my dad?
Whitney: Why? He’s so old and your husband’s so hot.
A compelling end to an amazing first season. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.