The Affair Season 4 Episode 4 Review: Ghosts from the Past

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Alison is still making all of the same mistakes, and it's becoming increasingly difficult to watch her perspective. 

On The Affair Season 4 Episode 4, Alison attended the event we first heard about on The Affair Season 4 Episode 2, and it put her closer to Ben than ever before. 

What I liked most about the inclusion of Ben is that he helped Alison make sense of how her mind was working overtime following Gabriel's death. 

The New Couple - The Affair

It was heartbreaking to watch Alison beat herself up about that dream she had been having ever since she was a kid about being drowned. It was vivid, thought-provoking, and it sounded like a premonition. 

At the same time, the mind works in mysterious ways, and there's a good chance that the nightmare was malleable to an extent, and Alison's mind added more stuff in following Gabriel's untimely death to punish herself. 

Related: The Affair Season 4 Episode 1 Review: A Captivating Return to Form

Stranger things have happened, but people deal with grief in very different ways. For Alison, she felt like she had failed as a mother, and that could explain why she added the part on about dragging the boy out of the water. 

Conquering Her Fears - The Affair Season 4 Episode 4

From past experience, when something horrible happens, I think about all the ways I could have avoided it. That's why it makes sense that Alison would think that if she was there for one-second longer, she could have saved her son. 

There was something about Ben that was ever so charming, but I can't shake the feeling that Alison opened up to him without knowing the real him. Yes, he helped her conquer her fear of the ocean, but what do we know about him? 

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What we, as viewers know is that Alison goes missing and that Ben is not a suspect because there's no crime until there's evidence to prove otherwise. To Alison, he probably seems too good to be true, and I'm pretty sure that's what she felt about Noah initially. 

We all know how that one ended. 

The New Couple - The Affair Season 4 Episode 4

The video call between Alison and Noah at the top of the hour was particularly comical. These two characters crossed a line back on The Affair Season 1, imploded their lives as they knew them, and can still make jokes about all of the bad blood. 

It's certainly a mature way of dealing with things. Noah is lonely in California, and that's why he tried to contact Alison back on The Affair Season 4 Episode 1. Handing over the plane ticket for a "rainy day" was a decent gesture.

Related: The Affair Season 4 Episode 3 Review: Who's Dying?

But there's no getting away from the fact that they were a horrible couple who did nothing but cause problems for each other from the get-go. While it would be interesting to see them meet up to see if there is any semblance of a spark still there, it's best they stay far away from each other. 

Honey, I'm Home! - The Affair Season 4 Episode 1

For now, I want to see the road Alison travels with Ben because if everything works out, Alison is safe, and Ben has not done anything to harm her; there could be a long-term pairing on the horizon. 

My biggest issue with Ben is that he never told Alison about him still being married. Alison has been hurt enough, and the last thing she needs is to be in a relationship with someone who could still be in love with his wife and making her the other woman. 

I was not a fan of how Cole wound up in the meeting with Ben. I mean, what are the chances of that happening? It all felt a little too convenient to take seriously, and that's problematic on a show that is generally a cut above most of the others on the TV landscape. 

Looking for Purpose - The Affair Season 4 Episode 4

Cole's narrative was more fast-paced than Alison's, but it was filled with issues. The writing for Luisa was dreadful. I was advocating for the character in my review for The Affair Season 4 Episode 2 because she's having a difficult time of it. 

I get that we're supposed to believe she's desperate to find a way to stay in the United States, but the lengths she went to did not fit the character. Using Alison's mental health as a means to get a green card rubbed me the wrong way. 

Could you imagine how Alison would have reacted to that? It would destroy the progress she's made over the last few years. Why should Alison have to lose her rights on paper to help out someone else? 

Related: Who Is Phoebe Tonkin Getting Close to on The Affair?

That's not how the world works, honey. I wouldn't be surprised if her desperation were not as real in her version of events. I can't discount the fact that all of this occurred from Cole's perspective. 

Not Good - The Affair Season 4 Episode 2

If you watch The Affair online, you know that there have been distinct differences in versions of events throughout the entire series. Subconsciously, Cole could be making Luisa seem worse than she is because he still has an unbreakable bond with Alison. 

I don't know what Cole hopes to achieve by taking the walkabout from his marriage, but it seemed more like a way to send a statement to viewers that breaks are totally necessary for relationships to save them. 

This was a mixed bag of an episode. It's crazy how much Luisa's character got skewered in the space of a few scenes, and I hope we get more clarity on whether what we see from Cole's perspective is an accurate portrayal of events. 

What are your thoughts on this episode, The Affair Fanatics? 

Hit the comments below. 

4.04 Review

Editor Rating: 3.6 / 5.0
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Rating: 3.0 / 5.0 (1 Vote)

Paul Dailly is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Affair Season 4 Episode 4 Quotes

Cole: Luisa doesn't think that I love her.
Mother: Well, do you love her?

Cole: You want me to ask Alison to declare herself an unfit mother?
Luisa: Yeah.
Cole: It would break her heart.