Wednesday, August 28, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Affair (Season Premiere)

The Affair: Season 5, Episode 1 (B)

There’s something about going into a show for its final season that offers a renewed sense of hope about its quality. This is also a rare case where a previously planned last hurrah isn’t shortened or postponed to some undesirable burnoff slot, with ten episodes just like most of the seasons that came before it. I really didn’t like the third season and the direction it took after being much more into the first two seasons, and the fourth offered a modest recovery with a renewed focus on Alison before Ruth Wilson departed the series. Now, this final run is taking a strange approach, which appears to follow characters in completely different time periods. There’s already been a departure from the format that so intrigued me at the beginning, which was the presentation of two perspectives of the exact same events. In this case, we saw Vic’s funeral before we saw his death, and understood just how Noah and Helen felt in those moments. When Noah was first seen talking to the director, it seemed like his life was being coopted, but then he demonstrated just how poorly he does paying attention to the woman who’s supposed to be most important in his life. Janelle was happy to be there for Helen but wasn’t eager to stay for Noah, who messed up in a big way by not bothering to correct his confused former father-in-law when he mistook her for the help. Noah’s presence felt inappropriate right after Vic died, even if he was there to make sure Sierra could introduce him to his child. Meeting Anna Paquin’s adult Joanie was interesting, but I have no idea what this season is going to be like since the characters we know are likely not around anymore in her time or at the very least will certainly look different. I’m on board since I’ve watched the whole thing, watching hopefully and optimistically for now.

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