The Affair Season 3 Episode 1 – Just as Noah is a polarizing figure for viewers (I imagine) he is a polarizing figure in the third season premier of the Showtime hit drama. Helen wants him to be more a part of her and the kids’ life, the kids however…not so much. His sister, Nina, is happy to have him staying at her place, her husband however…
Review and recap The Affair Season 3 Episode 1
Noah has been out of prison for two months and, on paper at least, is doing well all things considered – his sister has provided a place for him to live (room and board free it seems) and he has a teaching gig at a local university. But he’s an emotional mess – understandably so. If his prison experience were a sort of state-mandated, involuntary writers’ retreat, it would still make for a bumpy re-entry into society. (I think of the comments Noah made when he went to see Alison at the yoga retreat center.) But it soon becomes apparent that Noah’s time at Fishkill may have been violent and terrorizing.
Noah is isolated, paranoid, and popping pills (muscle relaxers is what he tells Nina). There seems to be a man shadowing him – outside the church at the funeral, stationed at lamp post outside his classroom, and later following him into the close confines of a liquor store. Is this man real or imagined?
None of Noah’s relationships are balanced – except maybe his relationship with Nina. An interesting contrast of Noah’s emotional state can be seen in how detached he is from Helen and his children, yet how accommodating and polite he is with his wonderfully salty parole officer. Later we discover that Alison has asked him not to contact her, but he calls anyway, just to hear her voice.
Noah manages to alienate his creative writing students – which may jeopardize his chances of being hired back by the university for another semester.
In the scene where Audrey reads her work to Noah and the other students in the class – I have to believe The Affair writers were having some fun. What we hear of Audrey’s fiction is the inner monologue of one half of a couple as the narrator watches her love interest drive away. One of the other students comments that the writing is elegant and that she enjoyed the way the wind and weather were used in the story (the weather was a recurring feature of Season 2 of The Affair). Noah scoffs at the feedback, and announces that the story was “very dull, unless it was supposed to be satire…”
Another highly entertaining contrast comes when the tables are turned on Noah at Professor Juliet Le Gall’s dinner party, when the conversation pivots from rape to The Descent. One female student describes it as a “Self-help book for how to cheat on your wife and get away with it” and Audrey is able to weigh in with her review of The Descent as “a training manual for how to be an asshole.”
When Professor Le Gall describes The Descent as the account of a “courageous man…a kind of Lancelot,” I had to laugh. This has to be, at least, an embellishment of Noah’s imagination. Then later when she gives him “a tour” of the house – originally a boarding house for “wayward women” (say what?!) – and continues with her praise of the novel and her hopes that Noah continues to write, I began to wonder if this isn’t all part of a fiction Noah is writing while in prison.
The Affair Season 3 Episode 1 Odds and Ends:
While Helen appears in this episode, Alison and Cole do not.
An anonymous neighbor/relation picks up the slack in absence of Margaret Butler pronouncing Noah to be the reason his father died.
Speaking of the Butlers, I want to believe that Bruce has churned out another three or four blockbuster best sellers while Noah was in prison.
Martin Solloway is a mess. Helen reports he’s failing and at risk of being kicked out of another school.
The only thing that could possibly follow Noah’s eulogy is a congregation singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ at a funeral.
Other episodes of The Affair reviewed on TV Eskimo:
Characters and cast of The Affair Season 3 Episode 1 include:
Noah Solloway – Dominic West (300, The Wire, Chicago, John Carter, The Square, The Hour, Hannibal Rising, 28 Days)
Alison Bailey – Ruth Wilson (The Lone Ranger, Locke, Saving Mr. Banks, Luther, Jane Eyre)
Cole Lockhart – Joshua Jackson (D2: The Mighty Ducks, Dawson’s Creek, Fringe, The Skulls, Gossip)
Helen Solloway – Maura Tierney (ER, Liar Liar, NewsRadio, Insomnia, The Good Wife, Rescue Me, Primal Fear)
Luisa – Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace, Che: Part Two, American Gothic, Falling Skies, A Most Violent Year, The Bridge, Fast Food Nation)
Dr. Vic Ullah – Omar Metwally (Munich, Non-Stop, Rendition, Mr. Robot, The Slap, Complete Unknown)
Whitney Solloway – Julia Golden Telles (Bunheads, Any Other Friday, Nurse Jackie)
Trevor Solloway – Jadon Sand (The Lego Movie, Frozen, Jake and the Never Land Pirates)
Martin Solloway – Jake Siciliano (Shame, The Taking of Pelham 123, Solitary Man)
Nina Solloway – Jennifer Esposito (Crash, Summer of Sam, Don’t Say a Word, NCIS, Rescue Me, Blue Bloods)
Mike Cornwall – Guy Burnet (Ray Donovan, Hand of God, Chicago Fire)
Gunther – Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, Texas Rising, Bedazzled, The Quiet American)
J.P. – Ed Moran (House of Cards, Labor Day, Brooklyn’s Finest, The Following, BrainDead)
Audrey – Sarah Ramos (Parenthood, How to Be Single, American Dreams)
Juliette Le Gall – Irene Jacob (Three Colors: Red, The Double Life of Veronique, U.S. Marshalls, The Secret Garden)