The Affair Season 1 Episode 7 Review: Clearing the Air

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The affair is over.

What we haven't seen of the eight weeks with Noah and Alison must be plentiful, as right now it appears not only is the affair over, but there are plans on both ends to make a go of their marriages.

So what is this all about? The danger of becoming recappy is overwhelming here and I fear I will be breaking my own rule by doing so. I can conceive no other way to get what we know out in the open.

Summer Ends - The Affair

Oscar makes a mess of things by being a greedy and vindictive bastard. It's not that he has a lot of great role models on the island to keep him from dipping his toes in the cesspool, but butting his nose into other people's business is a nasty habit. It's hard not to imagine he's the dead man.

Oscar's decision to bribe Noah not only gives Noah chest palpitations, but apparently puts the fear of God into him because he decides to come clean with Helen while he's still at the hospital, just hours after he asks Max for money and his friend wisely tells him not to tell Helen

Their marriage obviously wasn't in a great place, as she admits to having feelings for someone that she never acted upon. It's easy for Helen to put two and two together since, unbeknownst to Noah, Alison pays her a visit at the store the same day he goes down on the run. 

The way the events come together works out really well. When we initially see Noah close the curtains, I foolishly think he's trying to stay out of Oscar's vengeful view. Instead, Alison is right outside the window, which also gives us an understanding of why Alison's name so easily pops into Helen's head.

Noah: She was in a very dark place and she came after me pretty hard.
Helen: Oh my God. This is disgusting.
Noah: I was feeling weak, I guess. I finally had a book published, it took ten years and it was just nothing. Nobody read it.

Blaming Alison is typical and fits entirely with what we witness as he speaks with Det. Jeffries.

Noah: Maybe it just made me feel better to be seen as someone. Something successful. You just see me as potential unfulfilled. You're waiting for the guy you married to happen.
Helen: Only because you are.
Noah: Helen, I love you so much.

Somehow, Noah manages to sway the conversation in his direction, but he does it all out of desperation. The first chance he gets, he tells Oscar it's too late. He's already shared his secret with his wife.

Allison is discovered by her mother in law, also thanks again to Oscar. He doesn't pay her final wages so she takes some pies, one of which has a note from Noah stuck on the bottom. Does it matter what is on the note? Because we don't know what it said, I can't help but assume yes. 

When Cole gets news about his wife's affair, he takes all of the blame upon himself. 

When my dad died, I figured out this trick for dealing with the pain. Because it would come in waves, you know. And then, just like a wave, eventually it passed, so I'd just start to count. One, two, three, sometimes twenty sometimes a hundred. Sometimes I make it all the way up to three thousand. I knew if I could just keep on counting, that eventually it would pass. So when, when Gabriel died, I tried that again. I'd wake up in the middle of the night and I'd be sweating and I'd just feel that darkness bearing down on me and I'd try counting, but this time it just wouldn't work becasue it's too dark and I'd forget the numbers, and I'd forget what order they're supposed to come in and the only thing, the only thing that made it better for me, made it so I could just breathe, just for a second, was you. And I thought if we could just keep on moving forward, if we could just move forward that eventually everything was gonna get better. It didn't get better. It just got worse. Sometimes I wonder if it's him. That this is his way of telling us if he can't be there, then we can't either.

Cole

They're in a good place when they head home, learning Hal is the one who took the cocaine to try to return it to the drug dealer. Cole knows they're in over their heads and wants to sell the ranch. His mother doesn't want it, but she's the only one in the family who ever wanted to keep it together so it makes sense the sale will go forward.

Det. Jeffries is seen, for the first time, out of time and place. The reason I know this is he's reading a book by Noah Solloway and it's not the same book Trevor wants to read to start the summer vacation. "Deception" must be Noah's second book, filled with clues about his affair with Alison, if we're to believe the story he initially sold to the literary agent.

Here's everything else we know now:

  • Things are crap between Helen's parents.
  • Cole is going to write a letter recommending the bowling alley for Oscar.
  • They're down $100k drug money and without drugs.
  • Scotty was seen with a young brunette.
  • Both spouses are now in the know about the who and the what.
  • Det. Jeffries is reading Noah's book (likely his second) and taking photos of a sign pointing to "The End" and looking for a time when Noah might have stayed there.
  • Cole and Alison are trying for another baby.

The only thing in this list that seems off is the young brunette. Scotty has a penchant for them and Whitney is a trouble maker who has admitted she's made more mistakes than she wants to talk about.

How on earth does this all come together? Do the drugs play a part? Max could be involved, since he bought some. Whitney could be messing around with Scotty. This could be years later if Noah's book is published and Alison has another baby. Alison has to pick her kid up from school, right? Six or seven years?

Do you think the affair picks up again later or will Whitney and Scotty somehow bring the two couples, once successfully extricated from each others lives, back into their radar? Are you as confused as I am? 

Given the damaged couples involved, it works for them to easily decide to remain together and move forward instead of chucking it all. Other than that, I'm out of fresh ideas. What are your thoughts? What do you want to see next?

7 Review

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Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Affair Season 1 Episode 7 Quotes

See? That's what happens when you don't apologize for 50 years.

Helen

Why do you keep denying my reality?

Whitey