Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Noah and Helen go separately soul-searching on The Affair

Photo: Showtime
Photo: Showtime

Because The A.V. Club knows that TV shows keep going even if we’re not writing at length about them, we’re experimenting with discussion posts. For certain shows, one of our TV writers will publish some brief thoughts about the latest episode, and open the comments for readers to share theirs.

  • Man, Professor SexFrench. She can save you from a stabbing, give you a car to smash up up, offer your homeless self a place to stay, and then want you to tie her up. Again, I know this is Noah’s viewpoint, but from his perception, it’s almost impossible to see what’s in this “aventure” for her.
  • Same for Vic, who seems to get little except aggravation from an ungrateful Helen. She doesn’t come off that well in her own viewpoint either, but had to laugh at Max finally growing a pair and telling her to get the fuck out of his house.
  • Nina is about the best character on this show right now, and Jennifer Esposito is amazing. Loved her trying to get Helen to take a look at just why she still cares about Noah so much.
  • Noah inches up slightly on my sliding scale for The Smiths, Replacements, and Hüsker Dü posters in his boyhood room.
  • Aw, Martin barely being able to say hi to Lila.
  • Did not appreciate the Stevie character at dinner: What kind of asshole would insult someone so much in front of their own kid like that? We already saw this personification in Gunther, showing how much Noah had to overcome to break himself out of that small Pennsylvania coal town. Maybe it’s meant to show why he latched onto Helen so quickly, as she was so far removed from all of that.
  • This season seems so odd to me. Season one was framed by the interrogation room interviews at the end of each episode, as we tried to figure out what had actually happened between all the players. Season two, at least we had expanded perspectives and one central mystery to focus on: Who killed Scotty Lockhart. Season three, we have Noah’s weirdly devolving sanity, and the mystery of who stabbed him, which is such a non-starter, I keep forgetting about it. At this point, would not be surprised if he did it to himself.
  • That said, Noah’s scene with Martin may be the most I’ve liked him all season. Martin is floundering without a father (and being a dick to the father figure he’s currently living with), so it was nice to see him get an actual valuable talking-to from his dad.
  • It’s also interesting that Helen and Noah both go on these journeys looking for validation: Helen to prove that she’s still college-level desirable to Max, and to try to find out anything about Noah from Nina. Noah because he basically has nowhere else to go, except to revisit the house where everything started for him in the first place. Helen is looking for answers from people, Noah from places. And it’s effective that the visit to this house wouldn’t have meant nearly as much without his confession to Alison last week.
  • Next week’s preview of Helen then bringing Noah home with her seems like the beginning to a bad domestic comedy. See you then!