The Affair TV Review

The Affair – Season 5 Episode 2

"I really don't understand my life."

Although I’m not entirely convinced that characters outside the core four should get a POV on the show, Janelle’s perspective this week is undoubtedly intriguing. Her storyline is actually a fascinating exploration of race; the discrimination she faces at Vikram’s funeral is of course amplified, and Sanaa Lathan delivers a reliably excellent turn.

Who would have thought that Helen and Sasha’s dynamic would be so entertaining? Sasha is predictably enamored by Noah’s ex, while Helen just wants to get through the day without breaking down. I loved everything about her storyline this week, from giving feedback on the actress playing her to the basketball nose incident and her extreme dislike of green tea. I’ve said it a million times before and I’ll say it again, you can give Maura Tierney any storyline and she’ll make the material engaging.

And then there’s Joanie. It looks like Anna Paquin’s subplot isn’t going to be taking up too much screen-time this season (a wise choice), but it’s still peppered with mystery and intrigue. The character is a coastal engineer who has been tasked with a Montauk project (coincidence? I think not). It’s quite harrowing to witness the effects of global warming on a setting that was such a pivotal part of the show’s fabric, and I’m definitely curious to see where the show will be heading with regards to Joanie’s character.

Bits & Flings

  • Vik’s picture at the funeral keeps changing. In the season premiere, Helen’s POV showed him as a fun loving guy sitting on the beach with a big smile on his face, while Noah’s POV showcased him as a pompous doctor. This week we can add Janelle’s POV as she sees the portrait as that of a cold expressionless man (since she didn’t really know him). I’m really going to miss all these blink-and-you’ll-miss-em-moments when the show comes to an end.
  • Seriously Sasha’s house is bonkers. Wow! I wonder who actually owns that house.
  • It’s so cringeworthy to see Janelle come to the realization that everybody is dressed in white at the funeral except her.
  • Although Whitney doesn’t realize it, she makes Janelle very uncomfortable with her wannabe-woke comments.
  • Tierney’s performance she watches Vikram’s video (urging her to enjoy her life) is just heartbreaking.
  • So Joanie’s toilet basically analyzes and blurts out the contents of everything. That’s not disgusting at all.
  • The CGI in the train scene wasn’t the greatest huh?

Barbs & Betrayals

Carl: Janelle, you’re brilliant. And I know you wanted that to protect you somehow, to lift you up and carry you above all this bullshit, and it should have. You should’ve been the one person in the world where color just didn’t matter.
Janelle: I never said that.
Carl: But, baby I’ve been telling you the same thing for 25 years. But you never want to listen. So I’m gonna tell you this one last time. After that, you’re on your own. It’s not you. It’s them.

Whitney: Hey, so that scene we just saw, was that really how it went down with you and Dad?
Helen: Pretty close. I mean, not exactly. The bra was in a different drawer.

Helen: Do you like the book?
Sasha: Yes, I do. Do you?
Helen: No, I don’t.
Sasha: Because it’s about male ego?
Helen: No, because it’s not very good.
Sasha: But so many people really like it.
Helen: Yes, but I’m not sure that they’re very smart.
Sasha: Well I just said that I really like it. Are you always this honest?
Helen: No I’m going through something. It’s really strange.
Sasha: You haven’t touched your tea.
Helen: I don’t like green tea. I think it tastes like mulch.

Helen: I don’t, uh, know what I’m doing here. You seem like a very nice psychopath.

Helen: I just wasn’t prepared for how permanent it is, you know? I get it. He made his point. He died. Now Now when’s he coming back? Death is relentless.

Conclusion

An incredibly engrossing hour with a number of powerful moments.

Nad Rating
A

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