The Affair (S05E02) 502

This episode of The Affair is a constant reminder of the direct racism that people of color still face.  The Affair continues to execute the characters POV brilliantly. Clearly, we don’t know whose POV is the right one, since we all perceive things differently.

Janelle

Obviously, one of the biggest takeaways was Noah’s (Dominic West) inability to support Janelle (Sanaa Lathan) no matter whose point of view we were watching.  

We actually got a glimpse of how Anton (Christopher Meyer) is thriving at school.  It took me back to how reserved he was until he developed a connection with Noah.  Janelle met up with Noah at the coffee shop and was introduced to Sasha (Claes Bang).  The funny thing is Janelle had no clue who he was. 

Janelle and Noah arrived at Vik’s (Omar Metwally) funeral, only to see how they missed the memo addressing and all white wardrobe.  Embarrassed, Janelle handles the exclusion with grace.  Inside the service, Noah and Janelle make their way over to the Solloway gang.  This was definitely an awkward first introduction.  Haven’t they been dating over 8 months? After the service, Janelle was forced into finding out her fate was sealed from Joel(Adam Shapiro)—they will be co-principals.  

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Photo Credit: Showtime, L-R Dominic West, Sanaa Lathan

While at the Helen’s house, Janelle was subjected to both Bruce (John Doman) and Helen’s (Maura Tierney) stereotypical and privileged behavior.  Noah provided no support or correction to either situation.  Bruce mistook Janelle for a waitress, but could it be the fact that her and Noah were the only ones not wearing white?  Was it an honest mistake or his arrogance?   Then, Helen intimated that Janelle could get the valet to see things her way because they had a commonality—they were both African American.  Janelle was beyond pissed and made a quick exit. She then met with the school board to discuss her next steps as co-principal.  Janelle was told that Joel would be the face and she would be the brains. Basically, she would do all the work, while Joel would take the credit.  

She  to see the one person that knows her best—her ex-husband Carl (Russell Hornsby).  She may hate him the most, but in some way he is her comfort zone.  He drives home the point that she is worth so much more than Compton Academy is willing to give her. He helps her see the potential she has to continue making a difference, but in a different way. vCarl tells Janelle that she is it for him, plus, he’s becoming a better man since seeing a therapist. With him, she can finally address the tension from the day.  So, can we say that Janelle is also having an affair?

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Photo Credit: Showtime, Russell Hornsby as Carl

Helen

It’s been three months since Vik’s passing and Descent is in production.  During production, Helen and Sasha finally meet, with Whitney (Julia Golden Telles) not far behind.  Helen relives what transpired between her and Noah, while Whitney has a moment of clarity.  Whitney finally acknowledges how Helen shielded the kids from all the shenanigans and never made Noah into a monster.  Helen dealt with all the pain herself.  In this moment Helen felt appreciated.  

After watching rehearsals for Trevor’s(Jadon Sand) play, ironically dedicated to Vik, Helen decides to meet Sasha at his house to discuss the movie.    

Sasha’s ultra-luxe home has no furniture. Is that a little weird?  Apparently that’s a thing people do to live a more healthier lifestyle. Since their conversation was a little awkward, Sasha recommended playing basketball to gain a connection.  Sasha inadvertently threw the ball at Helen, hitting her in the nose.  They share a moment that enables Helen to finally start grieving. 

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Photo Credit: Showtime. L-R, Maura Tierney, Claes Bang

Sensing all the sadness, Vik’s spirit apologizes for the pain Helen is going through.  Helen has not admitted to anyone the suffering she is experiencing, but somehow, Sasha was the person who made her feel vulnerable to admit it.  After taking part in aerial yoga, Helen goes home to watch the final recording Vik left her.  Just when you think you couldn’t love Vik anymore, he goes and gives Helen the comfort she needs to live her life.  She’s always taking care of others and neglecting her life. 

Joanie

This woman is still a mystery.  Living in a high-tech world,  Joanie is up to no good in the bathroom and begging her boss to send her away from her family, yet again.  What is going on with Joanie?  She agrees to an assignment in Montauk.  Shocker! The funny thing is, on her way to Montauk, Joanie calls her husband and tells him she is staying at her dads house, but, she doesn’t have a key.  She ended up breaking into the Lockhart house.  This season of The Affair (only two episodes in) is already taking us for a wild ride. 

New episodes of The Affair airs Sundays at 9/8 ET on Showtime.