The Affair

The Affair 3×09 – Episode Nine

"You know he paid our dinner bill? Slipped the waiter his card when we weren't looking. Now, that is a very specific kind of class."

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I really don’t know how I feel about this one.

On one hand, I loved Helen’s perspective. The writers succeeded in making her completely unlikeable the last few weeks, so it was reassuring to see her wake up and try to rectify things. Sure she had to hit rock bottom – making your daughter cry and trapping your parents in a panic room definitely qualifies – but she ultimately comes to terms with her part in the accident and confesses to Vik (who thankfully gives her another shot). Whether she’s about to implode at her parents or opening up to Vik, Maura Tierney is reliably awesome in this episode as she capably taps into the character’s humanity.

And then of course there’s Helen’s perspective of the epic meeting between her and Alison last week. It’s shockingly different, with both Helen and Alison coming off as much more aggressive. Not only is Helen already in the bar, but Alison isn’t really sorry for what she’s done, and she gets to reveal the almost-rape at the hands of Scotty. I gave up on making sense of the differences in all the various perspectives, but I do wish big plot points wouldn’t be left out because then it’s just odd. Still, I’m rooting for more scenes between these two ladies.

And then there’s Noah’s perspective. After nine episodes of ambiguity, the show finally reveals that Noah has in fact been hallucinating the entire time. Gunther never stalked Noah after prison, and our “hero” basically stabbed himself in the season premiere, not to mention imagined the fight in Helen’s basement and all the times Gunther appeared. In addition, it seems he imagined the abuse at prison, as evident by all the flashbacks of Gunther reading out Noah’s book and constantly disappearing. Ugh. I get what the writers were going for, but it doesn’t make the rest of the season worth sitting through. I feel like this is the kind of twist that should have been revealed three or four episodes in, not at the end of the season. The threat level has disappeared, and Noah is still as unlikable as ever. At least we get the insightful revelation that Noah began the affair as a way to deal with “killing” his own mother. That definitely makes sense in the grand scheme of things… I think.

Bits & Flings

– Margaret is into Yoga now. Adorable.

– I love that Helens’ parents were so adamant about her not confessing the crime after she blurts out that she’s the one who killed Scotty. They physically drag her to the panic room. Margret even slaps her daughter. Hilarious.

– Super nifty transition to the flashback with Helen imagining Noah’s hand on hers.

– Notice that in this perspective, the waiters asks Helen (not Alison) “weird night?”. I love that they kept this line in.

– Thank God we didn’t see Cherry again. I do wonder if those pies are tasty though. Guilty Helen bought three?

– How good is Brendan Fraser with the whole family-man reveal?

– So why did Juliet get a perspective in just one episode and then play no part in the rest of the season? Not that I”m complaining (she was irritating), but more pivotal characters such as Luisa, Vik or even Margret/Bruce deserved it more.

– Gunther telling Noah that memory can be very “faulty” basically sums up the entire show.

– Super creepy flashback with a young Noah running from his dad after his mother’s death.

Adulterous Sayings

Helen: What do you need a panic room for?
Margret: For situations like this, for starters.
Bruce: And in case we get burglarized.
Helen: This is, like, where sociopaths keep women as sex slaves.

Helen: Um, I just… I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to live with this.
Vik: You just do.

Conclusion
Although this penultimate episode had a ton of bombshells, I can’t help feeling like my favorite show has somewhat lost its way this year. Fingers crossed that the finale salvages the season.

Nad Rating
B

3 comments

  1. The scene when Noah gave into the truth about his hallucinations and his guilt was a powerful piece of acting on Dominic West's part. Noah starting the affair as some kind of atonement about his mother makes his and Allison's relationship the more all tragic.

    My one question is if Noah has been hallucinating Gunther since prison, how did he imagine Gunther's physical appearance if he hadn't met him until this episode?

    Though I am not a regular watcher of The Affair, I am at a complete loss over how the show will end. The thought of Noah and Alison getting back together seems infeasible at this point. It would be like Olivia and Fitz from Scandal getting back together after all the drama and wreckage in the past. Perhaps, the ending would be Noah and Alison moving on with other people while the memory of their former relationship lingers in their minds.

  2. WORD. I don't know why but even the things that I used to find fascinating about this show in earlier seasons (like the waiter's “weird night” remark here), I'm starting to find confusing and just not good enough for me now. So sad because this was one of my all-time favorite shows last year!!

    God I love Helen's parents. BEST part about this entire season, right? And they have a panic room? So freakin' hilarious! I'm not very hopeful about the finale (I saw the promo and it doesn't look good AT ALL).

    I was on the edge of my seat when I thought Cherry might make an appearance! Hahhaha I'm secretly hoping she gets her own perspective next season. Can you imagine how horrible/hilarious that would be?

  3. Even though Noah was hallucinating Gunther since he got out of prison, the two still knew each other from childhood. That was mentioned during Noah's dinner scene with an old friend a few episodes back where they talk about Gunther and how they used to be friends way, way back.

    I have no idea how it's going to end either but it would be TERRIBLE to have Noah and Alison together again. There are so many horrible couples on this show, but these two were the absolute worst. I'm guessing even the writers sort of realized this and split them up immediately.

    And hey, I'm still rooting for Olivia/Fitz! Probably the only one out there ahhaha

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