THE AFFAIR used to be fun and exhilarating. Noah (Dominic West) and Alison (Ruth Wilson) were both jerks for cheating on their spouses, but there was some happiness that as a viewer, I was able to share when those two were on-screen together. Now, Noah is a trainwreck and so is Helen. Every scene in Sunday’s episode is more depressing than the previous. It is indeed taking a toll on me, but it’s justified.
Helen (Maura Tierney) is one selfish lady. While in Montauk visiting her parents with the kids, she reveals that she is the one who struck and killed Scott Lockhart. Her youngest daughter cries profusely; her sons are in shock; and her parents try to stop her from telling Scott’s mother. The latter is what pisses me off the most.
I can’t even begin to understand what it does to Helen when she has to keep such a secret. However, when she tells it to the people she loves that should have been the end of it. Her mother is right to smack her when she tries to bolt out of the house to tell Scott’s parents. Think about it: If she tells this publicly, then she will be prosecuted and probably found guilty. Noah would be in a heck of trouble for lying, and her parents could catch some legal hell as well. And then what becomes of the children?
As an adult, things are not as simple as they were in childhood. You know why? Because as an adult, you have way more information. Kids know nothing because they have no information. This is why they wear rose-colored glasses for as long as possible. If Helen tells this to people who can actually put her away, then she just screwed her entire family name. And Noah is not worth it.
Helen also feels guilty about keeping the truth hidden because she thinks that Noah lied for her. Nuh-uh. He did it for a number of reasons: 1. yes, Helen; 2. Alison (yep); and 3. he assisted his mother in suicide as kid. Noah is all kinds of messed up.
RE: Alison. Alison is the one who pushed Scott Lockhart into the street, causing him to be hit by that car. This blows Helen’s mind and makes her think that Alison is the sole reason for Noah taking the murder hit. I think she needed to hear this because she’s been so far up her own butt that she can’t see straight. Everything is all about her, and she needs to realize that she’s not the center of the universe. Her adolescence is over. She needs to get over it and move on. As Vic (Omar Metwally) says, “You just do”, referring to how Helen can live with that secret. Hey Helen, it’s called adulthood. Didn’t think I would say this, but at least Noah isn’t trying to screw up his kids by telling the truth. Geez.
Noah is finally realizing that he’s crazy. It’s through no fault of his own. He assisted his mother in suicide, and Gunther (Brendan Fraser) taunts him for it. In a confined space, he tries to convince Noah that he didn’t assist his mother in mercy. Rather, it was murder.
Prison is the perfect place to lord power over someone. As a prison guard, Gunther had nothing better to do than to pick on Noah, a fellow small-town guy, who made something of himself. It’s a clear case of jealousy. And although Noah has done some pretty shitty things to people, he doesn’t deserve to be mind-screwed in prison, especially because it has followed him since release.
Noah finds Gunther and attempts to stab him. That doesn’t work out so well. He ends up in a chokehold and is confronted with the fact that all those encounters he thought he was having with Gunther, were all figments of his imagination. How amazing is it that he’s now aware of his crazy? But what’s even crazier is that he reaches for a knife and proceeds to stab himself knowing good and well that it’s him doing it. The only way this makes sense is to believe that Noah suffers from the guilt of assisting his mother. And I buy this.
Isn’t it true that every one of us is trying to get over the bad crap that happened to us as kids? This is what’s happening to both Noah and Helen. And guaranteed, their kids will be trying to get over this when they’re adults, too.
Season 3, Episode 9 (S03E09)
The Affair airs Sunday at 9PM on Showtime
Jennifer spends her nights writing, her days securing insurance for TV shows, and her in-betweens blogging about the silliness and seriousness of life on her blog.
Follow Jennifer on Twitter: @reneseford
Keep up with all of Jennifer’s reviews here.
Jennifer Ford | Contributor