On “The Affair,” the interrogations have come to an end, but the mystery of who killed Scotty Lockhart is only just getting underway.
At the end of the summer, Cole’s younger brother will succumb to his tragic demise, and Detective Jeffries doesn’t believe in accidents. Oscar might seem like the obvious suspect, but Noah makes a case for himself, not only by asking Jeffries why an accident had already been ruled out, but by assuring the detective that he had never heard of The Inn, the very hotel on Block Island where he and Alison first consummated their relationship in episode four.
In episode five, tensions were further escalated by the return of Alison’s aloof mother, Athena, stirring up trouble between her daughter and the Lockharts at a family dinner shortly after discovering that her daughter was having an affair. Alison despises her mother for leaving her to be raised by her grandparents so she could go off and explore the world, but Athena sees things differently. Her daughter sought security. It’s why she didn’t follow her on her travels, and it’s why she married Cole at such a young age. Now she’s starting to realize there’s no such thing as security, and Noah’s a way out of her perpetual sadness. Athena supports that, and she won’t be the one to spill the beans to an already suspicious Cole. Earlier that morning, Alison had told her hubby that she was too tired to come out and watch him surf. Moments later, he returned to see her getting dressed to go out in a dress he always loved.
Noah’s marriage isn’t as stable as it once seemed. As the weeks go by, and he delves further into the story of his summer, Helen has come off more and more like her parents, seeing money as the almighty solution to all of their problems. He resents his wife for her family’s money, and she resents him for speaking out against her parents, and subsequently belittling her suggested means of fixing their family’s problems. A part of Helen also seems to resent Noah’s approach to writing (“You’re never going to be successful if you write one book a decade”), failing to comprehend the worth of art over dollars after years of seeing her father do things his own way.
Whitney is on a downward spiral. She might not be sleeping with Scotty (yet), but she’s done plenty of bad things, including getting involved with a harassing social media account that caused a girl to attempt suicide. Helen thinks hiring an expensive therapist is the only solution, while Bruce and Margaret are keen on lawyering up against the hearsay of the victim to protect their family’s name. The best thing to come of this development, though, is the conversation between Whitney and her father. He assured her that her mistakes will impact the lives of others, and that all actions have consequences.
Pot, meet kettle!
At the end of Noah’s horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day, he asked if Alison wanted to run away. Saying ‘no’ didn’t even seem to cross her mind.
Now at the halfway point of its first season, “The Affair” is at a fascinating place. Eliminating the interrogation sequences will make for a different kind of viewing experience moving forward, especially now that we know whose murder is under investigation.