And we have finally arrived. Season five will be The Affair‘s last season, and honestly, it’s time.
That’s not to say the show is dwindling in quality. Although the third season was a grave misstep, season four was absolutely jaw-dropping television in every way. But with the exit of two of the show’s original cast members (Ruth Wilson and Joshua Jackson), it feels like the right time to end the show. This season premiere is not mind-blowing, but it’s solid enough to keep me optimistic for the year ahead.
First off, let’s thank the Lord that we still have Maura Tierney. Had this astonishing actress left the show this season, then I probably would have as well. Helen is by far my utmost favorite character, so I’m ecstatic that we’ll get to see how her journey ends this year. Watching her navigate Vik’s death (which was just bone-chilling and so gut-wrenchingly portrayed), his overbearing mother, Sierra giving birth, and her conflicted feelings towards Noah means a wealth of meaty material for Helen to sift through. And Tierney? Well she juggles it all perfectly. I can’t wait to see what project the actress tackles next after The Affair comes to a close.
So where does the episode falter? Well, the flashforwards with an adult Joanie are certainly ambitious, but all the futuristic touches are just very distracting. This is a realistic, down to earth show, so it’s just jarring to see random touch screens and that bizarre indoor garden. True Blood star Anna Paquin is fine in the role, but I’ll try to reserve judgement for now as I’m eager to watch her uncover the mystery behind her mother’s death.
A compelling albeit slightly-flawed season premiere.