Happy TV Tuesday my friends! Today I’m going to be talking all about the fifth and final season of The Affair.
Here we are, the final season… how is it all going to end? I’m actually quite curious about that – I guess I’ll find out.
I feel like I say this every season but I love the way this show depicts perceptions and the way one person sees a side of the story is completely different from another. It’s so fascinating and it couldn’t be more realistic.
So this season starts on Noah’s point of view at Vic’s funeral. It’s a beautiful funeral, despite Helen arguing with Vic’s parents how he should be buried.
At the funeral, Helen is holding a baby and I was like, wait who is this baby? I forgot that their neighbour, Sierra, was pregnant with his baby. In Vic’s final days Sierra goes into labour, but since she’s all natural and everything she refuses to go to the hospital. Helen tries to be there for her as best she can, but she doesn’t get the whole natural thing. Once the baby boy, Eddie, is born and they introduce him to Vic, Vic passes. A little creepy, but nice that he got to “meet” his son. The man wanted a family so bad, too bad it was too late.
I think it’s an interesting dynamic that Helen is helping Sierra out as much as she is. Such a very strange dynamic, but it works.
So at the funeral, I don’t know why Noah brings his girlfriend – not girlfriend – Janelle, and boy is it awkward. Helen’s father miss takes her as the help and Noah doesn’t see what is wrong with that. He just chalks it up to his ex-father-in-law having dementia, when it’s clearly racism.
I’m happy we get Janelle’s point of view, I’m always excited when we get a new point of view. From Janelle’s POV we see Noah getting close to Helen, and Helen demanding Janelle help with the valet guy… who just happens to be Black… where in Noah’s POV we see that Janelle takes it upon herself to help out – see it’s all about perception.
That’s when Janelle decides to leave, oh, she was also trying to explain to Noah her deal with the school, but he doesn’t want to listen to her. So she was the principle, but the school now what’s her to co-principle the school with a white kid who is much younger than her, saying he’ll be the face of the school, while she does all the heavy lifting… for less pay… talk about bullshit.
She takes this to her ex-husband, who is a lawyer… I can’t remember if we learned this before or not… but he looks over her contract and he spells it out for her that they both know it’s bullshit and that she can sign it, but nothing is going to change… or she could do better and not sign… and then the two hook up… bye-bye Noah, but honestly good riddance.
Now she’s going to run for school trustee instead.
Aside from teaching at the school, Noah’s book… about his affair, is being made into a movie. So when he’s not teaching he’s on set or meeting with the main actor who plays him, Sasha Man. When Sasha meets Helen, he is transfixed by her and wants to be around her.
The two start hanging out, and I won’t lie I kinda like the two of them together, they be cute. She finally tells someone how she really feels about Vic dying and she really opens up to him, it’s cute. But Noah, WOAH, Noah is NOT having that. In both situations both in his POV and Helen’s he comes off as crazy and insane… what a, I don’t even have a word for him, I honestly can’t stand Noah, never could.
I can’t forget about Joanie. So, in the first episode we get a new part with new characters we’ve ever seen before. I literally rewinded to see whose part it was, but it doesn’t say. When she mentions that this is the age her mother died… I had a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with Alison.
So, now that Alison is dead, they’ve replaced her storyline with her daughter, Joanie, in the future. I have no idea why because it doesn’t exactly make any sense as of yet, but I’m hoping we find out because I’m not really caring for Joanie’s POVs.
She loves to work and be away from her family and her work has now taken her back to her hometown, Nantucket. She tries to get to her father’s place, but she can’t, so she breaks in instead. Right now her character is very two dimensional.
I love all the different POVs we’re getting in this final season, possibly to close off all storylines? Nevertheless, I like the different perspectives.
We get to see Noah and Helen’s oldest daughter, Whitney’s POV and it’s really fascinating because when the show first started, we saw her as teenager, now she’s a young woman trying to find her way in the world. Watching her struggle to not only pay rent, but to figure out who she is, felt really raw and real. She has a boyfriend, fiancé, Colin who is in the US on a work Visa that’s going to expire so he can’t work and she’s really starting to feel the pressure of supporting both of them.
Just when she thinks he’s not worth it, guess who shows up, her ex-boyfriend Furcat, or whatever his name is. He begs for her forgiveness and wants her to love him and when she slips and sleeps with him, this puts into perspective for her what Colin means to her and what she would be giving up if she lost him.
We also get Sierra’s POV and she’s a struggling artist too as she’s trying to be single mom and be an actress. It’s clear she and her mother don’t see eye to eye and she relies on Helen a lot to look after little Eddie.
I have to say Sierra does a lot of questionable things, first she leaves the baby in the car when she goes for the audition, she leaves the baby with a 12-year-old when she can’t find a sitter, then stays out until 2am drinking doing drugs and partying. After she picks the baby up she thinks it’s a good idea to take a trip around the block in the car… she crashes the car… is anyone surprised? I’m not, I honestly don’t think she wants to be a mother.
Speaking of being a mother, woah, Joanie. So now it makes sense why we get Joanie in the future… she’s now, 30 years later, questioning the mystery around her mother’s death. I guess the fact that she’s her mother’s age, she’s curious. So she uses work as an excuse to go back home to explore.
I thought we might get a guest appearance from Cole, but we shortly find out that… he’s dead, so that’s not going to happen.
Instead, while she’s out there she meets a guy named EJ, who is obsessed with the Lockhart family and their history. He’s been studying mental health and the probability of mental health on children when factoring their parents and their history. If the parents have trauma, how it’s passed down to their children. It’s honestly kinda interesting.
Anyways, she ends up sleeping with him and really confiding in him about her life. How she’s afraid to be alone, she spends all her time working or sleeping with other people so she doesn’t have to be with her own thoughts. When she goes home and tells her husband she’s been cheating on him, he asks her to leave. I don’t understand why she’s surprised he wants her gone, but she is… and she goes back to EJ.
One thing about those two, I hope they find the truth about Alison.
I also want to say that Anna Pacquin does a great job of playing Joanie. I find her to be very believable in the character.
When EJ and Joanie find out her father was looking into some guy named Ben… remember Ben? The guy who actually killed Alison, Joanie finds Ben and starts investigating. She finds out that he runs his own military support group and when he learns who she truly is, he tells her everything; that he killed her mother, how he did it and so on. He tells her it’s up to her what she does with that information as he’d made peace with what he’s done. When Joanie threatens him, telling him all the things she’d do to him, he uses that against her when she goes to the cops. Claims she’s one of his patients who has gone rouge.
At first I thought Ben was going to kill her just like he killed her mother… but when he starts to choke her and she asks him to choke her harder… he realizes that maybe she tried to find him so he could kill her… Joanie needs help, she has been through a lot.
We do learn that Sierra and baby Eddie are alright; she has social services on her case, but with Helen’s help things calm down.
Helen and Sasha have really become an item… and she’s really started to embrace the Hollywood life. She’s become an interior designer, I think something she’s always wanted to do, but with the kids, she couldn’t.
When Noah declares that he loves her and wants her back and she says no, I was so happy for her. Noah doesn’t deserve Helen, the amount he’s hurt her and put her through and you’re going to tell me that he won’t do it again? Nah man, this guy is incapable of being decent.
Okay, so before I dive DEEP into the really big plot of this season, I want to say that as much as I hate Noah, seeing him with his kids, he’s a good dad… why can’t he be a good man?
So, as his new book is going to come out soon, the movie is underway for his other book and now there’s a Vanity Fair article being written about him. We’re led to believe it’s about him coming back after being in jail and everything… nope this is a me too piece, and I am so not surprised.
As I was thinking about it, he claims every relationship he’s had with a woman has been consensual… but then I thought about it, and I thought about the way this show is told and when we see these interactions, we see them in Noah’s POV, so to him, they are consensual… but are they really?
I guess now we’re finding out, they weren’t. I’ve always wondered why women threw themselves at Noah… maybe they never did. Maybe that’s what Noah thinks happened.
Noah has a really great few days with Whitney in Nantucket getting her wedding together and, like I said, he was such a great dad! And when Whitney went to him about how she cheated on Colin with Furcat, she didn’t know what to do, I thought that was an interesting choice, but she thought she was starting to really build a relationship with her father, then this article comes out.
At first, Whitney wants to take her father’s side, which is understandable. But when she runs into one of the girls from the article and they have serious in-depth chat about not just her father, but about the culture and the lengths in which women have to go to, to be in seen in the world, Whitney really starts rethink who she believes.
Meanwhile, Helen thinks this is all her fault, well not everything. At first she’s pissed, but as the day goes on she learns a lot about Sasha Man… he does what he needs to get what he wants, even if it destroys everything.
Now I’m not saying that Sasha Man is in the complete wrong, the only reason he went to Vanity Fair to tell them to write a piece about all the women Noah has slept with is because he wanted Noah’s name off the movie… not because he cared about these women. So I’m not happy that Sasha did it for his own personal gain, but at least it exposed Noah for what he is.
When Helen finds out it was Sasha that started the whole thing for a writing credit, and he also cut Helen speech to the public so it made it sound like she didn’t care about these women who came forward, I hated that too! Anyways, Helen leaves Sasha to find Whitney and guess who’s already at Whitney’s… Noah. Helen claims it’s her fault because she said something about Noah sleeping with one of the girls to Sasha and Sasha ran with it. But Whitney no longer is having any of it.
She tells her father that she believes the women who came forward and that she knows how he looks at women, like they’re prey. I blocked this from my mind but I believe it was last season when Whitney was at a party in a hot tub, her father was at the same party and didn’t recognize his OWN DAUGHTER, and so Whitney has first-hand experience how her father can be towards women. UGH.
While all this is going down, this happens to be when everyone is being forced to leave that part of California due to the wild fires. Helen goes back to Noah’s in search of Whitney’s birth certificate (so she can marry Colin and he can become an American citizen) and they have an all-out war, as to be expected. Helen is pissed at Noah, but Noah is also pissed at himself; he tells her it was the worst night of his life and he’s been trying everything to make it up to Whitney. But, man you KEEP doing shitty things!! Then Noah yells at Helen saying maybe Whitney’s right, that Helen is too dependent on him. My hot take that no one asked for, is I think Helen is very co-dependent on Noah, and that’s not a bad thing to be in a marriage, but at the same time she has to look at how Noah treats women and take a step back to evaluate and see the bigger picture.
In the finale she does talk about how if this was 50 years ago she would have been congratulated for staying by his side, but guess what, this isn’t 50 years ago, things change and we don’t support abuse in the future.
Anyways, they are asked to evacuate, but Noah won’t leave, so Helen does. It takes Noah listening to himself on a recording to realize he has people to live for and so he goes and finds Helen and they mountain climb out of the city. At least it gives them a lot of time to talk a lot of things out.
Now for the finale. I HATE THE WAY THIS ENDED.
So, we jump to Whitney’s wedding where Martin (her brother) officiates it, I was happy to see him back for the finale! Noah sets up and choreographs a whole flash mob for her because she told him that’s what she really wants. I have to say Noah pretty much organizes the whole wedding, even gets Colin’s mum who missed her flight to the wedding.
It was a beautiful wedding and I like that they chose to use the wedding as the finale… or well the first part of the finale.
I feel like we needed an episode between 10 and 11 because it jumps from Noah and Helen walking in the desert to Whitney’s wedding. There’s no talk of the ramifications of the article that was written about him, or the sexual assault allegations… it’s all just dropped. After everything this show tried to showcase and then they just leave it like nothing ever happened… infuriating.
It’s through Joanie’s POV that we learn what happened to our characters. When Joanie goes to the Lobster Shack… well guess who’s working there… a very old Noah. At first he doesn’t recognize her, and neither she him. It’s actually EJ who tells her it’s Noah.
But first, I was SHOCKED when I found out who EJ was… short for Eddie James, as in Sierra’s Eddie… I was like WHAAT! But I like how they connected that.
Apparently Helen moved back to Montauk to help take care of her ailing father, Sierra went with her and the two of them helped raise him. PLUS, Helen and Noah got back together (go figure) and Noah bought the Lobster Shack after Cole left. When Cole returned he was surprised to see Noah running the place, but it seems everyone got along afterwards.
So Joanie goes back to the Lobster Shack to talk to Noah and find out all the truths about her parents she never knew. This somehow gives her the courage to go back home to her own family, which was sweet, yes.
The ending… UGH. So we see Noah go to a grave read a bit then get up and leave. We see it’s Helen’s grave, why did Helen have to die? Because this was always Noah’s story? Anyways, he takes a walk, stops and then starts to do the flash mob dance… and then it fades to black… really slowly I might add. It was the WEIRDEST ending.
I would have loved it to end on the kids leaving Whitney’s wedding in search of their father so they could all be together because that was a great ending scene, not the one they chose. But alas, I made it to the end of this weird, crazy, yet addicting show. The story telling is phenomenal – it’s so real and so raw.