Saturday, July 21, 2018

What I’m Watching: The Affair


The Affair: Season 4, Episode 4 (B+)

An episode like this did manage to offer two perspectives, but by not featuring the same scene experienced in two different ways, it’s actually possible to tell even more of a story as the two ex-spouses’ lives intersect rather than overlap. The opening scene with Cole, Noah, and Anton in the car confirms that this season’s big future-set mystery is the disappearance of Alison, who seems to be in the best shape we’ve seen her as she’s getting to know Ben. What this show has always been great at is portraying the allure of watching something happen to others, as Alison found herself transfixed by the demonstration of the power of the method being discussed at the conference. When Ben tried it with her, it didn’t work as well, but she did manage to create a bond with him and experience a serene day in a setting that used to terrify her. I wasn’t sure why it was that Bram was continually featured, but his presence was most helpful in uniting the plotlines, with Cole hearing and being impressed by Ben as a potential sponsor only to discover that he was proudly cheating on his wife. That eventual revelation – and the fact that Cole hasn’t spoken up – may well destroy Alison. Cole’s swift rejection of Luisa’s question about moving to Ecuador was problematic, and her equally quick acceptance of his suggestion of a walkabout to find himself – and hopefully her in the process too – means that she’s willing to give it a chance. And maybe him being gone really will create the paternal hardship needed to secure Luisa citizenship, since Cole asking Alison to relinquish her rights would indeed have hurt her in an irreversible way.