Thursday, November 6, 2014

What I’m Watching: The Affair

The Affair: Season 1, Episode 4 (B)

There’s something about a more contained, isolated universe that gives this show both the potential to be more dramatic and intense and also less full as a result. I wasn’t entirely enthused about that in this hour because of the latter effect, which made Noah and Alison’s affair seem too stark since there was no one else around to interact with them to make what they were doing seem amoral. It’s interesting to see just how unsubtly they parade around clearly affectionate for each other with no concern paid to what it might rightly look like to the average observer. What I did like a lot about this episode is that it reshaped the format of having half the episode be from Noah’s perspective and the other half from Alison’s by maintaining that schedule but not making it a repeat of the same events. Instead, it was a chronological segue into Alison’s version of events, one that didn’t feel all that different from Noah’s. Now their relationship is starting to make more sense since they’re clearly both in over their heads but also held back by a number of factors. Being told by the other that they’re more open to the relationship makes them angry, and that creates a fascinating dichotomy which, once we get back to the real world where the rest of the people are should prove useful in helping to mold them into even more developed characters. For now, kudos to Dominic West and Ruth Wilson for turning in extremely strong and nuanced performances.

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