Review: The End Isn’t Necessarily Near for THE AFFAIR

the affair

The end has already come for Noah and Alison’s eight-week summer fling, but “The Affair” has only just begun.

Now that they’ve come clean to their respective spouses, the show must decide on a new hook. I’m just not sure the writers have any idea what that hook will be. Of course, there’s an obvious one – almost too obvious – by having Alison pregnant with Noah’s baby, just after Cole has said he wants to put Gabriel and the affair behind them and try to start a family again.

But up until now, the show has been keen on doing exactly what the audience wouldn’t expect. Is expecting the unexpected too much to expect from a show without a finite end point?

No one could have predicted that the titular tryst would be put on hold after six episodes, or that after seven, Helen and Cole would be in-the-know. As soon as the show’s renewal was made public knowledge, I was all but sure the interrogations that helped shape the early part of this season would drag into season two. I was wrong.

Last night’s seventh hour brought the show back to Brooklyn, and we’re still a couple of weeks removed from the death of Scotty Lockhart. After Hal’s off-screen run-in with the cocaine suppliers, it’s not difficult to assume what becomes of his prospectively deceased brother. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that Noah and the Lockharts will eventually work together to lead Detective Jeffries in Oscar’s direction to subvert attention away from the nefarious activities that have taken place on the Lockhart family ranch; the villainous Lobster Roll owner has burnt every foreseeable bridge, sealing his fate if we assume Noah’s recollection of the $10,000 blackmail is truth.

The thing is, it’s hard to guess whether one or both Noah and Alison are telling the truth. Fans on the interwebs have been buzzing about a fan-concocted theory which assumes that Noah’s side of the story is actually his retelling of the plot of his second book, thus based on his summer affair, but exaggerated to lure more readers towards his sophomore effort. I’m not ready to assume that to be the case, but it does have me questioning whether there are details I might have missed in support of such speculation.

Whatever may come of the last three episodes of the season (beginning December 7), one thing is surely certain: things are only going to get messier as the show sets its sights beyond the posh Montauk backdrop where “The Affair” first took off.

Side notes:
I have to apologize (again) for another mistake made last week. After correcting my episode five recap regarding The Inn vs. The End, I suggested Noah hadn’t been seen at The End in episodes one through six. That’s not true. The End is actually the name of the hotel where Noah and Max partied through the night with “the girl in the red dress” (a.k.a. Alison).
Whitney’s suspicion that it was her mom having an affair with Max only reinforces my own suspicions that something’s going on there. It might be why Helen didn’t blow up the way you might have expected her to upon Noah’s “summer fling” confession, and why Max was so quick to give his college buddy a $10,000 check.
Speaking of Helen, Maura Tierney was superb last night in her meatiest episode yet. Joshua Jackson was equally fantastic. More of them, please!
At this point, I’m mostly curious why Jeffries’ trip up to Montauk is part of Noah or Alison’s recollections of a time before the interrogations, and what would bring Noah to his attention before Scotty’s demise.

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