The time has come to say goodbye to Showtime’s original series, The Affair…at least for this season. Each season hits a home run, while viewers take an emotional journey: grief, sadness, joy, anger, hurt and anticipation. If you have not watched the season finale, BEWARE, spoilers ahead. Creator Sarah Treem gives viewers a three-part POV; hence, setting the stage for possibilities of the final season.
First up to bat…Noah
The first part of the episode starts with Noah (Dominic West) and Anton (Christopher Meyers) visiting Princeton. The dynamic between Noah and Anton has a poignant twist: they both came from two different worlds, but are alike in many ways. Anton looks up to Noah which makes Noah somewhat human and less angry. Visiting Princeton, allows Anton an opportunity to network and participate in a creative writing class that Noah’s friend Ariel Hoffman (Janel Moloney) teaches.
During the introduction, Ariel mispronounces Anton’s name and the class transitions into this dialogue about awareness of the plight of African Americans. Anton participates in an assignment that describes Noah in a way that highlights his privilege and morality. At the end, Anton’s admiration for Noah does not go unnoticed.
Next up we have…Cole
The second part of the episode has Cole (Joshua Jackson) getting ready for Alison’s funeral. Jackson’s portrayal of Cole is unequivocally some of his best work. Cole is a man in battle; with himself for not getting to her sooner and not knowing what to do about his relationship with Luisa (Catalina Sandino Moreno).
The pair, along with Joanie (Savannah/Reagan Grella) make their way to Alison’s funeral; a production put on by Athena (Deirdre O’Connell). To Cole’s dismay, Athena has a beachfront funeral with Alison’s remains (Athena had her cremated) in a salmon colored vase. During the service, everyone goes around to discuss what Alison meant to them. Cole, after having enough, grabs the vase and takes off running like he was scoring a touchdown. Cole runs from the beach to the cemetery where he takes Alison. Noah and Cole have an honest moment. This was important closure for Cole and an understanding from Noah that he was wrong.
Cherry, played by the talented Mare Winningham, knows her son the most. Cherry arrived at the gravesite just as Cole was waking up from an Alison memory: it was during this point that Cole had this come to Jesus moment about his life. Cole needed to hear that he was strong and Alison’s death wouldn’t break him. He stronger than his father could have ever been and he wasn’t at fault. This was all Cole needed for his next step: confronting Luisa. Cole and Luisa decided their marriage was over and he was going to take Joanie on a trip.
And the final hitter is…
The final part was about our fierce Helen (Maura Tierney). This woman has endured a lot and still manages to put others first. Helen is dealing with Vik’s (Omar Metwally) near-death experience and his irreverent parents. To Helen’s surprise, she comes home to Whitney (Julia Goldani Telles) and her new boyfriend awaiting her return. Helen is slow to inform Whitney that Vik is in the hospital and dying. Whitney starts in on Helen and wanting a sense of normalcy until she is interrupted by Sierra (Emily Browning). As Helen deals with Whitney and Sierra, she receives a phone call about Vik that has Sierra driving her to the hospital. Sierra eagerly tells Helen about her pregnancy, to which Helen realizes Vik is the father.
Visibility upset, Helen calls Noah (Per Helen, they are not friends). It is after her conversation with Noah, that Helen realizes she does love Vik( after strong convincing from Noah) and tells him. She tells Sierra to let Vik know about the baby.
Helen goes out on the hospital roof(Not really sure how she managed) and looks out into the sky and just smiles; liberated.
This episode was all about clarity and defining moments; Noah, Cole and Helen started out the season with new beginnings; hence, the transition into a new state and mutual understanding, and ended with new beginnings. Beautifully directed and written, Treem leaves viewers with hope of what’s next for the final season of The Affair.