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The Affair “201” Review (2×01)

4 Oct


“The sooner we figure this out, the sooner we move on with our lives.”

The season two premiere of The Affair delves into the muddy waters of divorce, taking us into the minds of the characters as they deal with the aftermath of season one’s ugly finish. This year, we’re getting the perspectives of Cole and Helen, and we see the latter’s play out alongside Noah’s in the opening hour. It is, as expected, a beautifully acted episode for Maura Tierney, and she does a nice job of conveying her emotional state as she attempts to move on with her life. Of course, the big question swirling around in her mind is: Can she move on? Sure, there’s Max and his dirty talk, but it’s clear that this whole situation has taken an immense toll on her. Her seemingly perfect–perhaps too perfect–life has been completely upended, and she’s stuck wondering how she could’ve missed the cracks in her earlier years.

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The Affair “10” Review (1×10)

21 Dec

21AFFAIR-tmagArticle“I’m my own person. I make my own decisions. I chose him.”

The concept of choice seems to be a prevalent one as we come to the end of the first season of The Affair. After all, choices made by Noah Solloway and Alison Lockhart at the beginning of the series were exactly what set into motion the downward spiral of events that brought us here. Those choices led to an affair, to disintegration of families, and to attempts to move on to new lives, and the image of Cole pointing a gun at Noah is a culmination of those myriad choices. The show asks us: What is it that causes someone to make a choice like Noah and Alison did? What happens as a result of those choices?

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The Affair “9” Review (1×09)

15 Dec


“Your pride cost him his life. It should have been you.”

For several weeks, we’ve seen Alison attempt to move on from Gabriel’s death, and we’ve seen her appeal not only to her own husband, but also to Noah, about simply starting over and building new lives for themselves. When she made this appeal to Noah while standing on his doorstep, she was rejected, the door shut in her face as he told her that he couldn’t keep the affair going. When she made this appeal to Cole, the tension immediately bubbled to the surface, and the quiet rage burst through as he stated that there was no moving on. In episode 9, Alison is once again forced to confront the past, forced to confront the day on which her beloved son left the world forever.

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The Affair “8” Review (1×08)

7 Dec


“Pure love cannot sustain in an imperfect world.”

This causes us to wonder: is there really “pure love” between Noah Solloway and Alison Lockhart, or is it merely an escape for them, an escape from the problems and people in their lives? Or, is Noah referring to the fact that their respective relationships eventually had to crumble because, well, that’s how the world is? What’s important here is that there is no clear cut interpretation, just as there is no clear cut story about the affair or about the murder in general. Reality, after all, is not always objective.

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The Affair “7” Review (1×07)

24 Nov


“If you loved me and our life, you wouldn’t have done it, because it is a DESTRUCTION.”

Well, the cat’s out of the bag. Last week’s episode set the season’s endgame into motion, and this week’s episode propels the story even further. It deals less with the affair itself and more with the ramifications of the affair, the way the summer in Montauk now takes its toll on Noah and Alison. Through them, we gain more insight into their relationships with Helen and Cole, respectively, and as a result, Episode 7 is a compelling and wonderfully acted hour that asks us what happens when the truth rears its ugly head.

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The Affair “6” Review (1×06)

16 Nov


“Sometimes I’m worried you’re just a really great dream.”

This show has dealt quite a bit with the idea of fantasy, something certainly present not just in affairs, but also in life in general. Noah and Alison seem to be living in a bubble of their own, but it’s becoming clearer and clearer that the bubble won’t hold, that it is inevitable to avoid reality for too long without feeling the ramifications. The first half of the season set up Scotty’s murder through cutting between interrogations and the actual story, and “6” now utilizes solely the latter to knock over the first domino of many.

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The Affair “5” Review (1×05)

9 Nov


” Your words and your actions have consequences. When you do something mean because you’re angry or bored, it happens to someone else. It hurts them. You’re not the only person who’s real.”

Last week brought us an episode that separated Noah and Alison from those around them, that stripped away the potential familial conflicts and troubles and disagreements and showed us an idealistic image of two people engaged in an affair. Last week’s episode involved two people learning about each other, two people clashing at times, yet growing more comfortable with each other by the minute. In “5”, though, the reality of their environment comes back around and slams them right in their faces.

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The Affair “4” Review (1×04)

3 Nov


“What do you think I see?”


When Alison and Noah head on a trip to Block Island, we know that they’re trying to escape the worlds they inhabit, the families they’re parts of, the obligations that permeate their environments. However, by escaping together, they can’t escape each other, and it becomes almost inevitable that they learn more about pasts and fears and desires and mindsets. There’s clear tension as each person delves deeper into the other, but after all is said and done, they grow even closer, even more emotionally and physically connected. The affair is really on.

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The Affair “3” Review (1×03)

26 Oct


“Don’t wake up.”

The following is said by both Noah and Alison while they’re having sex with Helen and Cole, respectively, and it nicely sums up what they’d like to be the norm with regards to the affair: they get to have it, but they also get to keep their spouses from waking up, from seeing the truth, from bringing a fantasy back down to Earth with a hard thud. This is, however, one of the few similarities in the two stories, as the show begins to widen the divide between Noah and Alison in the present while it’s bringing them closer in the past.

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The Affair “2” Review (1×02)

20 Oct

Episode 102

“Marriage means different things to different people.”

“2” does a great job of shading in more of the nuances surrounding each of the characters and the environments they inhabit, and there is a common theme–aside from differing perceptions–that seems to tie everything together nicely: water. The first scene of the pilot was of Noah swimming, and from the opening credits on, I get the idea of two people floating in the middle of a large expanse of water, moving forward and backward and side to side, desperately searching for something around them.

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