The Affair Season 1 Episode 5 Review: Act Two

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On The Affair Season 1 Episode 5 while the lingering affects of a new partner are still apparent between Noah and Alison, things are becoming a bit grittier as real life invades their euphoria.

It appears we're at act two, where the affair starts to tarnish. Everything isn't shiny and new anymore.

Additionally, unless they somehow manage to switch things up a bit, we were give what we've been waiting for -- whose death prompted an investigation by Det. Jeffries.

An Unexpected Visit - The Affair

Other than Alison's story starting first tonight, little things in their appearances have switched based on their points of view. Previously, Alison always imagined herself casual, but here she recalled trying on special dresses to impress her new man and Cole even walked in on her researching frocks moments after she announced she would be sleeping an additional three hours.

Noah, on the other hand, always imagined himself more casual and in a dual layered shirts, for example. Here he wears a button down while he recalls Alison in jeans. As the scenes have departed from examining the same occurrences, we've gotten a deeper understanding of their lives outside of their dalliance. It's not pretty.

Alison's life was disrupted by the arrival of her mother, Athena (formerly Sherry). She not only made an impact on Alison's care for her grandmother, but her presence weighed heavily on the Lockhart family. Despite what we heard from Cole as he verbally slammed Athena for not being around during their darkest hour so his own mother was left caring for a deeply damaged Alison, Athena had good insight to offer about Alison.

Alison and Athena see their past differently (as is the pattern!). Athena remembers wanting her girl to travel the world with her; Alison wanted to just be a girl at school with friends. Athena didn't approve of Alison's early marriage to Cole and how wrapped up in their lives she became. Her guess that Alison was feeling the effects of her youthful decision after a tragic situation and with her new open heart were pretty spot on. 

Noah's own situation continued to spiral as lies he used to visit with Helen started to surface, along with intense teen situations with Whitney that made Helen realize a parent should probably be around for her come fall. Even as Noah remembered their argument, Helen didn't come off as completely nuts over money, but callous, definitely. Knowing fully well how poorly it makes Noah feel to live off of her parents's money, that shouldn't have been a part of their discussion.

As it stands, the reasons to have an affair became obvious as both Noah and Alison encountered incredibly stressful family situations. Their desire to disappear became even more intensified because of the affair. Part of the appeal of an affair is the ability for the couple involved to disappear from their regular life; the escape from everyday stresses. 

It made perfect sense, in the moment, for Noah to ask Alison to run away with him. (Kudos to the earlier shout out to Bodega Bay, which is where The Birds took place -- is this aiming for a Hitchcockian feel by way of a play?) They made a statement a while back not to discover too much more about each other. If they did share all of the ugly intricacies of their lives, would the sex be as good? Would running to someone once their sheen wore off hold the same appeal?

It's highly unlikely that the affair would be as titillating if full disclosure were coming from either party. 

I think it's a testament to Det. Jeffries investigative capabilities their recollections of events have started to change. Do you think he's really done questioning them? He confirmed to Noah that the death wasn't an accident because he doesn't believe in them. That's a stretch, but it's a good takeaway for Noah.

Jeffries got Alison to admit Oscar and the victim had an affair and he followed up with a question about Scotty. it wasn't his last mention of Scotty. Unless he's really crafty in the way he questions people, Scotty was killed. Considering the way the stories are unfolding, Alison and Noah are pointing the blame for his death at the feet of Oscar, who comes off as hotheaded drunk. 

What other reveals are coming? It was frightening learning Alison and Noah are so far gone they hadn't even thought about protection or STDs prior to entertaining in Phoebe's place. They have no regard for their spouses or each other. It's a euphoric high they're riding on now, but for how long?

Who got married? What other bad things has Whitney been doing forming her opinion of herself becoming a bigger asshole if she doesn't stop? Why on earth is Cole so stubborn that he refuses to entertain an offer of $30 million for the Lockhart farm and ranch? If they put it on the market, they could probably get an even higher bid.

Do you think Noah and Alison will run away together? Did they go back to the city with each other after the wedding? Did Cole finally accept the $30 mil bid and now they live in the city? What are your thoughts on what's coming next?

5 Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (9 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Affair Season 1 Episode 5 Quotes

Det. Jeffries: So Oscar had a relationship with the victim?
Alison: Yeah. They were friends.
Det. Jeffries: And Scotty stopped by that day because...
Alison: I honestly don't know, Detective. You asked if I remembered them being together, and that's what I remember.
Det. Jeffries: Do you remember being worried at the time?
Alison: No. But I should have been.

I love that dress on you.