The Affair Season 3 Episode 5 – Where are Furkat and Bruce Butler when you need them? Episode five of The Affair is pretty much all Noah and Alison episode – which is tough since they are the most insufferable couple ever brought together in a script. When there is little to cut the Noah and Alison insanity and skeeviness it makes for a tough episode. Based on what I’ve seen on Twitter most viewers loved this episode. I’m in the minority, so be warned as you read on.
Review and recap The Affair Season 3 Episode 5
Speaking of skeeviness, is it just me, or would it be reasonable to assume with confidence (even considering three years of prison) that after the season 2 hot tub encounter with his own daughter, Noah would have sworn off hot tubs forever? Anyway, back to Episode 5.
There is a wonderful compare and contrast of how Noah and Alison view their relationship. Alison sums it up as a hot mess stew of wrong motives, brokenness, vulnerability, anger, boredom, resentfulness, and self-loathing. For Noah, it was romantic, exciting and, yes, it was love. (I’ve got to go with Alison’s take on this one.) But it’s a clever microcosm of the ongoing structure of the series, as to how both perceptions are real and accurate (at least to the beholder).
Noah has barged back into Alison’s life in Episode 5. He has borrowed Professor Le Gall’s red Mini and made the trek from New Jersey to Montauk – despite Alison saying she can’t see him or it will jeopardize the custody case, despite the unanswered letters, and despite Alison asking Noah not to call – there he is.
When they meet on the street Noah says that he came to see Alison, to surprise her. She says she can’t be seen with him. Then he goes for the sympathy ploy, “I got stabbed four days ago.” When that doesn’t get the desired response, Noah threatens, “glad I ran into you on this deserted road, cause I would’ve started asking in town where you live.” He says it jovially, but they both know how damaging that would be for Alison so the threat is calculated. It’s really very creepy.
Noah manipulates his way into Alison’s house. Could she have been more forceful and insisted that he leave her the hell alone? Yes. But she does care for him and, I believe, wants to spare his dignity while at the same time desperately wanting to be done with him and not wanting to do anything to provoke him. (It reminded me of Star 80 and how Dorothy Stratton agrees to see Paul Snider one last, deadly time. Noah doesn’t shoot Alison, but there is a sense of doom.)
There are some emotional revelations from Noah about the circumstances of his mother’s death – her supreme sacrifice to allow Noah to use his scholarship and attend Williams. His part in her assisted suicide goes a long way in explaining who is today – the guilt and subsequent self-loathing that he has carried since. I do believe that he acted according to her wishes and not out of a desire to free himself from the trap of being her caregiver. But I’m certain that there is linger second-guessing and an inner voice that brings up accusations.
While it does put Noah in a slightly more sympathetic light, there are so many things he does that are clearly self-serving and cruel. Earlier, while he and Alison are on the beach dining on chicken wings, he goes on a tirade about Cole and tells Alison that she will “always be damaged goods” to Cole. I don’t think that’s true. Cole has his reservations about whether Alison has her act together, but he’s genuinely if guardedly supportive. Furthermore, Noah’s criticism of Cole, whether intentionally or unintentionally, cuts into Alison too.
Noah’s version of events involves flashbacks to his time in prison – which appears to be much worse than austere writers’ retreat he breezily envisioned when talking to Helen. He’s psychologically tortured by Gunther. At the Bed and Breakfast, he wakes during the middle of the night and looks out the window to see Gunther stalking around in the dark dock near the Bed and Breakfast. When Noah goes downstairs to get a closer look, there is no sign of Gunther.
In Noah’s version of events, they have sex. If this is accurate, we have a repeat of the circumstances that led to Joanie. Alison has slept with both Noah and Cole within roughly 48 hours and if she becomes pregnant, outside of a DNA test, it will be impossible to gauge who the father might be. This would add a further complication to Alison’s already cumbersome difficulties – not to mention Joanie, Noah, Cole, and Luisa.
Noah ultimately signs the divorce papers for Alison. But he doesn’t get out of Montauk – and out of her life. As he’s headed out of town, he believes himself to be rear-ended by another vehicle and a brief camera shot of the rear-view mirror shows Gunther in the driver’s seat of the other vehicle. As Noah, speeds up to get away, another car turns into his path and he swerves into a guardrail and drives over some posts, effectively totally Professor Le Gall’s red Mini. In addition to dramatizing how vivid Noah’s hallucinations are, the incident threatens to expose Noah’s visit to Montauk. Alison has won the battle of the divorce papers, but may have lost the war in gaining full custody of Joanie through Noah’s visit.
Other episodes of The Affair reviewed on TV Eskimo:
Characters and cast of The Affair Season 3 Episode 5 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)
Gunther – Brendan Fraser (The Mummy, Texas Rising, Bedazzled, The Quiet American)