The Affair


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Glad I didn't read your last comment till after I just watched the episode, @Gideon58 !

Yes, that was Joanie Lockhart all grown up. I couldn't figure out at first why there was all this futuristic tech (the strawberries, the oxygenation, the Alexa-mirror in the bathroom, the weird fireworks/sparkler things)... till he called her Joanie. Then, of course, the prescription bottle had her full name on it.

I suspect there are going to be plenty of time jumps in this season, since I now wonder if Joanie survives that OD attempt. We'll likely hop back to how she got to this point in the first place. And what happened to Cole ("I miss my dad"), etc. I think they're going to do all these time jumps specifically to wrap up the larger stories involved here, and we would be interested in how the upcoming generation does in the wake of the initial affair and everything that transpired after that.

Noah continues to do stupid crap, thinking he can just swoop in and be anybody's hero. He still doesn't have a clue about the ripple effect his initial bad deeds have had on everyone's lives. His kids try to telegraph that to him (as does Helen), but he just doesn't seem to really get it. He certainly doesn't agree with that assessment of himself.

I'm guessing the movie of his book is going to be some sort of epiphany for him, due to how it's interpreted.

Well, the first half of ep 2 was a mixed seems like the writers are making a concerted effort to make us hate Janelle for some reason. Though that scene between Sanaa Lathan and Russell Hornsby as Carl was superb. Not understanding why Janelle needs Carl to tell her to quit her job. Why did we need to jump another three months to the beginning of Noah's movie? That director or actor or whatever he is a total weirdo. This was the strongest part of the show, thanks to Maura Tierney's award-worthy work as Helen. OK, she showed up at Cole's old house, but still don't understand why the show feel we need to meet adult Joanie and speaking of which, where the hell is Cole? I noticed Joshua Jackson is not in the credits anymore, but I don't recall how he was written off the show, though I guess with Allison gone, they felt no need for Cole either?

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Well, Joanie does say "I miss my dad" in last week's episode... so I assume he died. Now, HOW he died, I don't think we've been told. But we clearly should be. That's a cliff hanger they'll need to address because it's not like he died of old age. At this point, I assume this is why we're seeing adult Joanie at all: to see either the after-effects of losing her mother, or to see what happened to Cole as a result of losing Alison.

OK, just wrapped episode 3 and I'm almost convinced that the writers are smoking crack because this show used to be must see TV for me, and now it's just pissing me off with each new episode. Sasha Mann is an arrogant prick and I hate the fact that he's getting involved with Helen, and the dynamics of his relationship with Noah are going to guarantee that this movie never gets made. Or if it gets made, Sasha really is going to completely re-write the script and Noah will lose any authority he has regarding the screenplay. I hate watching Noah play into these guy's manipulations, he's making Noah look like a complete idiot....waking up at the restaurant and that drunk tirade at Helen's door...seriously? Kathleen Chalfant really brought the bitchy as she tried to manipulate Helen and her family into moving back east because it's what she wants. Not getting this backward trip into the future with adult Joanie, which, at this point, seems to be telling us that Joanie is a whore like her mother. I think it would have been much more interesting to watch what happened to Cole in real time, but I'm just getting the impression that Joshua Jackson wanted out of the show and that's why they're going this route.

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I'm really missing Joshua Jackson and Ruth Wilson all of a sudden.

Instead of this season feeling like it's tying up loose ends (which it ALMOST did in the first episode or two), it's starting to feel like trying to untie two necklaces that got tangled together. Do they have an end game here? Will it feel satisfying?

I'm now pretty certain that they're going to show us Noah and Helen getting back together, maybe moving back east because nearly everybody BUT Helen wants to, and she'll knuckle just to keep her family together. And maybe she'll be happy too. Will she bring Vik's baby? Dunno. Will Sierra just give up since she didn't really plan this baby anyway?

The relationship between Sasha and Helen is merely a way for Noah to come to grips with the fact that he wants Helen back. And if/when Sasha turns into an ******* and Helen sees it, she might want Noah back, too.

And the script-changing bit will make Noah even more disillusioned with the West Coast. Helen's mom appearing and advocating for a move back east just seals it for me: they're trying to fast-track a complete full circle back to much of the original situation, with everyone wiser and more gracious.

But, this episode felt like it didn't move much of anything forward, except that it was paving the road for:

1. a reconciliation between Helen and Noah;
2. a move back east for the original family.

And I agree on the Joanie story: I'm positive now that it's trying to be a poignant way to tell us what happened to her dad, Cole (without having to show us Joshua Jackson), since we already know what happened to her mom, Alison. (How much does SHE know, though?)

And it feels like unnecessary information at this point. Surely there were other ways to tell us what happened to Cole without adding a fast-forward storyline so late in the game...

Well, if ep 3 had me getting a little disenchanted with this show, ep 4 sucked me right back in...the first half was absolutely sparkling entertainment from the bitchy Kathleen Chalfont's commentary about her dysfunctional family not behaving the way they were supposed to to Noah actually losing his mind and planting sex toys in Sasha's bedroom...that was a really stupid move. Sasha is a prick and he needs to be out of Helen's life but that wasn't the way to go about it. And speaking of Helen, when did she become this important executive who has an assistant screening her calls and taking her maiden name again? And why are the costumers for the show dressing Helen like a 1960's matron? As for Whitney, I was reminded why I never cared about her...what a flightly, pretentious, self-absorbed little diva she is...thinks it's all about her and has a solution to all her problems walk back into her life and still goes home and cuddles with Collin. Collin must have a giant schlong because the guy has no other redeeming qualities and Whitney can't seem to quit him. As for Joanie, the scene of her cleaning out the house definitely implied that Joanie seems to have a lot of unresolved resentment toward her mother, but they need to let us know why soon because there are only six episodes left...the Joanie story definitely needs a little more forward motion.

The Adventure Starts Here!
Agreed. Now that we've seen Joanie throwing away family photos (!! who does that?) and then visiting her dad in the cemetery (and we see Cole must've died fairly recently since his tombstone said 2053), I want to know what happened. MUCH more than I want to know whether Whitney dumps Colin, who has no redeeming qualities at allllll. Why are they throwing Whitney back at us at this late stage? There are so many other questions I'd rather they deal with. Like, COLE. ALISON'S MURDER. Minor stuff like that.

Isn't Helen's new "job" something Sasha secured for her? That decorating thing for his furniture-less house? And it apparently magically turned into an actual job?? And of course, she's outsourcing some of the decorating to Whitney to put art on the walls....

I thought the sex toy thing was ridiculous. Far better to just plant a bra and panties and be done with it.

Well, if the purpose of ep 5 was to make us hate Sierra, TPTB knocked it out of the park because I just want this woman to be hit by a bus now. I've only tolerated her presence because she had Dr. Vic's baby, but she is not worthy of motherhood and I can't wait until Helen takes that baby from her. I can't believe she left the baby in the car while she went in for her audition and what did she think getting in the car high on cocaine with the baby was going to solve? I am glad she got a shot of reality of Helen and LOVED Jennifer Jason Leigh as her mom. The irony of it all is that Emily Browning is a really good actress and is totally invested in this truly detestable character. Noah's groveling to Helen after everything he's done was just ludicrous and am relieved Helen didn't play into it, though it was interesting that when Sasha told Helen he loved her, she couldn't say it back. I also hope the bus that takes out Sierra does a U-turn and comes back to take care of Helen's mother-in-law...that woman is not to be believed.

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Totally agree. I'm not even sure WHY they focused half a show on Sierra, except to prep us for Helen taking her baby. (We'd need to see Sierra as a pretty crappy mother first... and we totally did.) But half an episode at this late stage? Seemed too much.

And now, of course, they're starting to play Sasha as a jerk too, for backing out of that movie and probably ruining Barry's career in the process. They keep throwing doses of why L.A. is so terrible and why Hollywood is so fake at Helen, but she hasn't taken the hint yet. And even her budding career was thrown in her face as Sasha just blurted out that she got the job as a favor to him.

I still feel they're setting us up for everyone moving back east and becoming one family again... although it seems they're taking the long way home.

If you saw the previews for next week...

WARNING: "spoilers for next episode" spoilers below
...looks like we're finally going to get around to catching up via Joanie with what might have happened to Cole, and what might still be revealed about Alison's death. Gee, wasn't that something they should have touched on by NOW this season?

Yes, they are quietly setting up what I have always believed the finale of this show is going to be...the reconciliation of Noah and Helen.

Be careful what you wish for because you might actually get it. I requested a little more forward motion in Joanie's story and they devoted the ENTIRE episode 6 to her, I could not believe it. On the positive side, Anna Paquin was up to the challenge...the actress is doing some bold and uncompromising work in this role that demanded this viewer's attention. The geneticist that she met in this episode was initially kind of creepy but I did love the way he kept referencing movies and Joanie had no idea what he was talking about. The best thing about the episode is that maybe we might finally get some resolution regarding Allison's death. I can't believe her death was documented as a suicide...did the police do any kind of investigation at all into her death? Did anyone ever talk to Benjamin Cruz? The really disturbing part though was when Joanie realized that her mother's death may have not been suicide, she really didn't seem to be the least bit interested in pursuing the matter and possibly getting to the truth. She seems to be content in being this angry, butter woman who wants to blame her mother for everything that is wrong with her life. Don't understand why she wants to lay all the blame for the wrong in her life at her mother's feet and continues to give Cole complete absolution.

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My guess is that it might just take time. As she herself said, you CAN drown in a bathtub (fall and hit your head, etc.). So, after literally decades of feeling one way about her parents, she wouldn't just reverse that in a heartbeat. It's so much a part of who she is that it'll be a while before the truth trickles down and informs her personality as an adult.

Remember that we're now seeing that she has called Luisa "Mom" all these years. She lost Alison when she was only seven and has mostly only known Luisa as a mother figure.

Also, in the handwritten police notes, I did see mention of Cruz... but not much. Looks like they did talk to him but then -- given Alison's history -- passed him over in favor of the more likely suicide assumption.

What I found interesting about the geneticist guy is that, after only knowing Joanie for a brief time, he allows her to go full bonkers on him emotionally. Like, that's screaming HIGH MAINTENANCE! and yet he's okay with that. Either he's really desperate or he's reeeeeeeally a great guy. Or he really just wants to interview her badly.

I'm glad to see they're finally hitting this angle (Alison's death, etc.). I'm surprised there was no reaction from her when she saw "Noah Solloway" on the policeman's notes. He was at least involved in her life in those earlier years, and I'd expect her to have some opinion of him. And I'm a little surprised we've not seen him stay in contact with her over the years, either. It's like the two stories are completely separate now.

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Yes, they are quietly setting up what I have always believed the finale of this show is going to be...the reconciliation of Noah and Helen.
By the way, I paid more attention to the opening credits this time. It's mostly fade-out images of Noah, then Helen, etc. Clearly they're setting us up for this reunion. Neither one of them seems to have anywhere else to go...

Just wrapped ep 7 which was brilliant...actually had me talking back to the screen, a sure sign of a piece of entertainment that has tapped into my emotions. The Joanie story finally came to the point I been waiting for since the conclusion of last season and it did not disappoint...I couldn't believe that the writers actually seemed to be creating some kind of sympathy for Benjamin Cruz, beautifully played by the criminally underrated Tony Plana, but thank God they remembered the Benjamin Cruz that we were introduced to last season and gave us a nasty twist that I did not see coming AT ALL. I was also pleased to see that Joanie actually cared about what happened to her mother and wanted justice because I wasn't sure if she did until this episode. Solid work by Anna Paquin as well. Loved watching the relationship between Noah and Whitney move to a new level here. I'm glad Noah is actually aware of how conflicted his daughter is about this wedding. Kathleen Chalfant continues to bring the bitchy and John Doman was just heartbreaking as poor Bruce. Great episode.

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It was a very satisfying episode, I agree. And I too was caught off-guard by that twist with Cruz. The ONLY hint I caught was signing the waiver form, and him casually tossing out that she didn't need to worry about a date. I figured he was up to something, but I didn't know what.

I wondered why Joanie didn't call her new friend (can't remember his name... EJ?) to explain that she had, in fact, NOT been admitted to the facility three weeks earlier. That would have changed things, I think. But I'm okay with chalking that up to her being also completely caught off-guard and therefore flustered.

Noah and Whitney worked for me as well. I think since she cheated on Colin, she might JUST be able to get along with her dad better and understand that sometimes people make mistakes. I'm still not sure whether she's going to marry that idiot, though. Gosh, I hope not.

OK, ep 8 played like several episodes from season 1 where we're supposed to decide which version of events is what actually happened. Really enjoyed the first half with Helen, which featured some incredible work from Maura Tierney as we saw the set-up of what we all thought was going to happen anyway...Helen getting that baby. Also loved the way Sasha and Sierra's mother got right in the middle of the mess too. Jennifer Jason Leigh was terrific. I'm so over Sasha Mann. I'm so tired of this battle between him and his stepdaughter because I really don't know who I believe and frankly, I don't care. As for Noah, he's an idiot. His lawyer warned him to stay away from the woman but Noah thinks he's the smartest on the planet. Whatever happens to him now he brought it on himself. I thought Noah's part of the story was happening at the same time that Helen's was so I was surprised when Noah showed up at the end of the show without lasagna, like he did at the end of Helen's part. After 4 seasons, I should know better than to try and second guess what's going on around here.

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Wasn't there lasagna in that white paper bag he was carrying in the second version? I think she looks into the bag a minute later and says, "Lasagna?" No?

Anyway... YES, Noah just thinks he can fix everything and do anything without thinking more than a half-step ahead. He doesn't plan anything in his life, and seems to go from reaction to reaction. I just knew that the more his attorney and the publicists kept begging him to stay out of it and let them handle it, the more he was going to barge in and ruin everything.

Back in the back of my mind, I keep remembering that it was HELEN driving when they hit Cole's brother with the car in season 1. Somehow I see that sacrificial act of Noah's helping him in the end. Like, maybe even making Helen take him back or whatever.

Three episodes left... and we seem to be aligning things to happen exactly the way we've been assuming. The only story I'm unsure about is present-day Joanie's. She doesn't have either of her birth parents anymore. She's in touch with Luisa but apparently has not kept in touch with Noah. The only reason we would have initially been interested in present-day Joanie (and not present-day Noah or Helen or...) is because she's snooping around the truth of her mother's death.

Will we come full circle then and see these two sets of stories finally intersect with the truth coming out and Noah finding out that Alison did NOT commit suicide? After all, the Vanity Fair reporter touched on that suicide in her follow-up questions in last night's episode. So, the beginnings of him needing or wanting that absolution were laid last night.

I just don't see them NOT letting the two currently independent stories touch at some point. Without letting them naturally fall back together somehow, the present-day Joanie story will feel like a bit of a stretch to me. Without these stories intertwining, it seems like they spent too much time on present-day Joanie just to tell US the truth about Alison, which we already knew.