Tuesday, September 24, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Affair

The Affair: Season 5, Episode 5 (B-)

It shouldn’t surprise me that yet another person is being given a perspective, one who I honestly care nothing about, even after watching her life play out from her point of view for half an hour. I do think that there’s a longer piece to be written about this show and how it’s evolved over the years, aiming to look at the many people affected by one indiscretion through an increasingly widened lens that’s narrowed thanks to each person being the one to experience the story. at the moment, I’m finding that hard to remember, since there were few truly worthwhile moments in this particular episode. What stuck with me most was how Sierra felt unsympathetic even in her own portrait of events, asking Helen for help and getting a rather unforgiving reality check from the woman whose husband she slept with before he died. Helen, naturally, saw that as a lazier, less desperate plea from someone who just didn’t want to be bothered. We also got to learn how Sierra was affected by the relationship she had with her own mother, played by Jennifer Jason Leigh, whose voice I recognized from her initial phone call and who played a character someone in between her roles on “Atypical” and in “The Hateful Eight,” leaning more towards the latter. Sierra crashing the car with her baby in it was a miserable ending to that focus, while Helen being made to feel like a horrible person by Vic’s mom for moving on wasn’t much better. It’s also clear that, while Noah is a toxic option who just won’t go away, Sasha isn’t much better, expressing such anger at his stepdaughter that seemed to visibly shake Helen. We didn’t get our expected five minutes of Joanie in the future this time, and right now no one seems headed for a happy ending.

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