Wednesday, October 9, 2019

What I’m Watching: The Affair

The Affair: Season 5, Episode 7 (C+)

There was a moment during this episode where I thought that all of this was for something – when Whitney asked her father about his affair with Allison and why he did it. Their visit back to Montauk was saddled with other unnecessary drama, like their unfortunate visit to shop for a wedding dress where they were made to feel like terrible people for not being able to afford the absurd price tags, enabling Whitney to have a therapeutic moment of rage directed towards one of the employees. Helen not being present for any of this and then Whitney trying on her wedding dress felt wrong in a lot of ways, and the run-in with Luisa suddenly got him thinking about Joanie, the daughter he hadn’t bothered to check in with for years until the day that she and her father happened to be moving to Vermont. That was the obvious moment to transition to half an episode devoted to the adult Joanie, who naturally would take the information she learned about Ben’s apparent role in her mother’s death and go full undercover to learn more about him. Tony Plana, best known for supporting roles on “Ugly Betty” and “The Punisher,” was a good fit to play the older Ben, who initially seemed innocent enough until he revealed that he knew she was Joanie. Confessing to having killed Allison seemed rather blunt and unrealistic, but things took a turn for the much less believable when Joanie did return to have the police arrest him, only to have him concoct a crazy story about her being a patient of his. None of this needed to happen, and certainly not to demonstrate that Joanie’s response to being physically threatened would be to urge her assailant to hold her down even more forcefully. I’m not impressed.

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