After last week, I didn’t think The Affair could make Helen even more unlikable. I was wrong.
Seeing Helen continue to be so self-destructive this week got me thinking: I didn’t enjoy watching this episode. In fact, I was cringing the entire way through at all the incessantly deplorable acts. It’s well-made TV for sure, but it’s also pretty depressing.
Thankfully, Maura Tierney was as phenomenal as always, capably bringing to life two very different sides to Helen. In her perspective, she’s needy and constantly aching for Noah’s affection, while in his perspective, she’s the off-the-shoulder seductress who teases her ex with Vicodin. Both perspectives however come to a head in that horrifying final scene which brings me to…
Did Noah rape Helen? He turned supremely violent at the end when she asked him to stop (and later started crying). God knows that Noah has a history of is-it-rape after that disturbing forest scene with Alison in season two. Whatever this was, it was unsettling and extremely disturbing to watch. Show, did we really have to go there?
Perhaps the line that Trevor uses to describe Jane Eyre sums up the show best:“First you think it’s a romance, but then it turns into a thriller.” Honestly, The Affair has changed way too much to my liking this season, and I’m not even sure what it’s about anymore (The Miserable Life of Noah Solloway perhaps?) I still adore this captivating drama, but things are feeling a bit messy lately.
Finally, I’m really sick of the Gunther storyline. The flashbacks have gotten way too repetitive (Noah got beat up again), and Brendan Fraser is replaying the same beats over and over. Is he a hallucination or not? And was Noah raped? Because I’ve been getting that vibe since the premiere.
Bits & Flings
– It’s weird that the show decided to focus on Helen and Noah’s perspectives for the second straight week in a row, completely forgetting about Alison and Cole in the process.
– I love how different Vik was in Noah’s perspective. He was all suited up and imposing, and extremely aggressive, even offering Noah some Vicodin in exchange for his departure.
– Whitney and Furkat are back, and more hilarious than ever. I honestly found Furkat beating up Noah to be extremely satisfying. Someone should!
– So Helen didn’t answer Nina in the end? WHY?
– Gut-wrenchingly pathetic: Helen climbing into bed with a sleeping Noah.
– Amusing touch: Helen pouring sauce from a jar for a quick dinner.
– Another great touch: the cactus stinging Vik. Very real moment (just like Helen hitting her head in the beginning).
– Noah meets Gunther’s mom and she’s surprisingly sweet. Also, Gunther has a wife!
– Loved Furkat bringing up the hot tub escapade. That was traumatic!
– I’ll admit that Gunther in Noah’s room was enormously creepy.
– Notice how Whitney is dressed much more conservatively in Noah’s perspective. Still daddy’s little girl. When can we see her perspective?
– Predictably, Helen wasn’t distraught about Vik leaving in Noah’s perspective.
Vik: I’m not always a nice person, Helen. I don’t even know if I’m a good person. But I am fucking honest. And I don’t know how to live with someone who isn’t.
Helen: Okay, please, just please…
Vik: Just tell me the truth. For once. Are you still in love with him?
Vik: Then what is it? Why can’t you just let him go? (Before walking away) I’ll miss the kids.
Furkat: She doesn’t want to see you, buddy.
Noah: What are you talking about? How would you know?
Furkat: Cause I’m her lover.
Furkat: And her boss. Her lover-boss.
This was a very engrossing episode, but the bar has been set so high that I still expect more from The Affair.