Happy TV Tuesday my friends! Today I’m going to be talking all about season one of The Affair.
So I binge-watched this season in a matter of a week at the beginning of January. Then about a month or so later I decided to write about it; I tried my best to recap everything, but I know that may have missed minor details, I write season two a lot better. I hope you still enjoy! 🙂
I am so obsessed with this show and I don’t even know why. This show is literally about an affair that takes place, and I don’t know why I enjoy it so much because I would not want that to ever happen to me. Maybe that’s why I like it so much?
I decided to watch this because Joshua Jackson, who plays Cole, was in it. I loved him in Dawson’s Creek as Pacey that I just had to see him in this. Completely different roles, but gosh Jackson can act!
So let’s jump right into it.
This show, as the title eludes to is about an affair. It has a lot of time jumps, it jumps from present, to past, to future (although future can technically be called present since it’s recapping what happened the past summer).
Also each episode is not only broken down into different periods of time (although this doesn’t happen until close to the end), but we get two different perspectives. Still with me here?
So half the episode will be Noah’s point of view, the second half will be Alison’s; sometimes vice versa. That being said it’s like watching the episode twice but with different eyes, things are completely different because each character sees things differently; that’s one of the reasons I think I like this show so much, the detail they spend getting everything right is so perfect. Who cares that it’s a mundane thing that sometimes happens in life, the creators really took a spin on it and it works.
Let’s meet our characters:
So our story starts with Noah Solloway, he’s a English teacher, but is really trying to make it as a writer. He’s writing his second book, although he keeps getting stumped. It’s the summer so he and his family, his wife Helen, his four kids, Whitney, Martin, Trevor and Stacy, and they are off to visit Helen’s parents for the summer in Montauk, New York.
Now Helen’s parents are hella crazy. Like yes they love their child, but they are so rich and so self-absorbed that half the time they don’t realize what is good for their child, or their grandchildren. They only think about how it will look on them. Yeah, those kinds of people.
It’s no wonder no one wants to go. But they do anyways, and stopping in at a diner on the way and that’s where everything starts. Alison is there waitress, and Noah can see the sadness on her. When their youngest daughter, Stacy chokes on a marble I believe it was, Alison is there.
Although I’m one version she’s helping them in another she is backing away crying. Either way both versions lead to Noah introducing himself to her and thanking her, asking if she’s okay.
So she’s also married, although she and her husband aren’t as close as they once were. Cole Lockhart and Alison lost a child, and now they have to deal with the after affects. It’s not fun, and slowly, slowly the two start to fall out of love with each other. Their son, Gabriel was 5 when he died. We learn later on in the season that he was drowning in the ocean, Cole had turned his back while Alison had gone inside to get something. He was alright, or so it seemed but he later died in his sleep, something called second drowning. It’s the most fluke thing to happen, and I’m now terrified that that can happen to a child. This show has given me even more anxiety than I already have.
This haunts Alison, and in order to feel better she needs a release, and that is cutting her inner thighs. She almost kills herself because of how bad she feels, but then realizes it as a mistake. She goes to her doctor who knows that she does this, and who works as a therapist as well as her medical doctor to talk to her tell her she couldn’t have possibly seen it coming; she couldn’t have known; it’s not her fault.
Now when she meets Noah she is vulnerable, and I believe Noah knows this, but he still wants to be with her. He is at first completely infatuated with her, which later turns to love.
But we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves here. Now that they have met, and the Salloway’s are settled in at the in laws, he can’t help but run into her everywhere he goes.
A lot of this season is the two of them having the affair, and getting away with it.
It’s when the two of them take to exploring Montauk that they reveal they both feel the same way, and so the romance begins. Using Noah’s book as an excuse to go out together for “research” the two share more than a kiss, and they get a little more personal. Noah sees her scars and that’s when she tells him about her son.
We also have a sub plot with Alison’s husband’s family. The Lockhart’s are a well-known name around the small town, and not so much in a good way.
We find out that they’re big into drug trafficking and smuggling in cocaine. It’s the only reason their ranch is still afloat. A ranch in which Noah’s son, Martin is volunteering at. Go figure.
This is also where Whitney meets Scott…
Also there is Oscar, a pain in the ass who wants to take down the Lockhart’s and wants Alison for himself. He’s slimy, even if taking them down is a good thing. He always does the wrong thing at the wrong time.
As they continue their affair, the real world still exists and they have to deal with it. Alison has to deal with her mother, who she doesn’t get along with, and Noah has to deal with his daughter Whitney acting out.
As the summer comes to an end, the two promise to break things off, and not to see each other again, or just be friends (yeah okay). Noah is asked to go back to Montauk to support Helen’s father and his book launch. Turns out Alison is working the event, because why not, and the two are obviously drawn together.
It’s that night that Alison’s grandmother passes away, and so Noah goes to be with her.
This is when the flash forwards start to happen. Noah and Alison are being interviewed; we have no idea why; all we know is something happened that summer that involves an investigation.
Everyone is back to their normal lives, or as normal as can be when Alison’s mother-in-law finds out about Noah due to a note she left for her, she threatens to tell Cole, but she tells Cole anyways. Cole doesn’t get as mad as I thought he was going to get. He just wants to put it in the past. Instead he wants to try for another baby; I did not see that coming.
Unlike Noah who has a very hard time with the guilt he feels. He gets blackmailed from Oscar. This stresses Noah out that he has a panic attack and ends up in the hospital; that’s when he finally tells his wife. She is obviously pissed, and she has every right to be. He thinks he can stop the affair, and stop his feelings but he can’t.
So to me Noah is completely ugly, and I don’t see why every woman in this show is just throwing themselves at him. This just makes Noah think he’s tough shit, and all he really is, is a pile of shit. Yes, I hate Noah, if I haven’t established that.
Alison learns of the fate of the ranch. Her mother-in-law Cherry tells her family that it is worth millions. They plan to sell it and every one of them will get a piece of the pot. But when Alison accidently (in a drunken state) sleeps with Oscar, he tells her all about how the ranch is really worth nothing because she has refinanced it too many times.
She confronts Cherry, but Cherry doesn’t want to admit to it. This is the last straw for her, and she has decided that she wants to leave with Noah.
Back with Noah he is having family issues. Thinking Helen is pregnant, we find out it’s actually Whitney.
She is planning an abortion, so when Noah goes to the clinic to pick her up, guess who shows up, Scott Lockhart. This starts a brawl, obviously. It is shortly after this he decides that he’s going to leave his wife. This actually surprises Helen a lot. He leaves to meet Alison at the station, but who else shows up: Cole.
The season ends kind of all over the place.
So it’s four months later, and Noah hasn’t talked to Alison at all. He’s single and really ready to mingle because damn does he sleep with every woman within a certain mile radius. This gets him in trouble though, as he has an inappropriate relation with a colleague, this gets him sent to the “rubber room” a place where teachers go when they are suspended.
If they go, they stay all day and get paid; if they leave they are fired. I had no idea this was a thing. This is where he finally gets the first draft of his second novel finished. He gets an editor who says his work is brilliant pretty much.
He gets a text from Alison telling him that his daughter Whitney in Montauk at the Lockhart’s house. Noah and Helen make their way there, but things get out of control fast. Whitney wants to talk to Scotty but that’s a completely bad idea. Scott shows up and Noah loses it, and beats the shit out of him; that’s when Cole shows up with a gun pointed at him telling them they better leave.
Then from Alison’s perspective we find out that she’s been living with her mother. She finally found peace with her, and I’m actually happy to see that she and her mother are finally getting along, no matter how crazy she is.
She has to go back to Montauk so that she can put the house up for sale. Cole thinks she’s come back for her, but she tells him she can’t live with him anymore, instead she gives him the house. A house he doesn’t want to sell, no matter how much money it is worth, and no matter how much his family pushes him to sell it.
Whitney shows up telling the Lockhart’s that her family is charging Scotty with statutory rape. The Lockhart’s feel they need to talk with her parents so they lead Noah there by asking Alison to call him. Since he’ll come running whenever she needs him.
Cole doesn’t like that they are there, and points a gun at them. He hates Noah, for sleeping with his wife. I don’t think Cole wants him dead, to me Cole is not a killer. He may be a very angry person, but deep down he’s a good guy. It’s Alison who talk s him down telling him Gabe wouldn’t have wanted this.
The season finishes in present/future in an apartment with Noah and Alison when Noah gets arrested. We also finally find out that it is Scott who is the one that is dead. When you look back at all the season, there are SO many people who could have done this. This show is so driven with interweaving plots it’s a little insane, but it’s also what makes it a good show, and what separates it from being another dumb cable drama.