Noah Solloway: Ruining lives for 30 years.
After watching episodes such as The Affair Season 3 Episode 6, I'd like nothing better than to sit down with Sarah Treem with a glass of wine and just chat.
An interview would be nice, but far too formal. There are things about Noah that could never be discussed in such a formal setting, and nobody but Ms. Treem knows Noah like she does. I need to know what's going on with this guy.
More importantly, I need to know what Sarah Treem loves so much about Noah Solloway. Because I am admitting right now that I'm exasperated. I feel like someone has me by the feet and they're flinging me like a rag doll when it comes to understanding Noah.
After two and a half seasons, shouldn't I have nailed down an opinion on the guy? I should either like or dislike him and be able to stand by that determination.
Shouldn't I at least be able to tell if he's merely drug addled or full on mentally incapacitated?
As a matter of fact, that's what was driving Helen nuts during the hour. Well, that and the fact she doesn't have the stranglehold she used to have over the father of her children.
We've been over this before, but after everything she's been through, Helen's brought it up again. She picked the difficult guy in college. Not the one who lavished her with praise and affection, but the one that was a little disarming in a different way.
Too many girls do that as some sort of a challenge, regret it and pay for it the rest of their lives. And not just once, either, but over and over again.
Helen has an absolutely wonderful guy in Vic. A doctor who will marry her. He wasn't joking, despite his immediate drawback upon her revulsion.
Yet having a man like Vic, who does pay close attention to Helen, shows interest in her children and is there, present and accepted by her family not only turns off Helen, but sends her into the arms of the one man she has been able to count on to love her no matter what.
It really threw Helen to think Noah was so emotionally shattered when they met that he used her at the start of their relationship, and she was too self-centered to see it.
As the years went on, she probably got so wrapped up in her own world with Noah that she never even looked back at who he was when they met. Others remembered, though.
And Max had his faults, sure, but if Helen had ever asked him to stop being the party guy, stand up and fly right, he would have done it because he's been in love with her for over 25 years.
To assuage her own ego when feeling down about her ex-husband was about as low as she could go with Max. Even if she had been doing it because of Vic, it would have been more defensible.
To many people, your parents getting back together would be an amazing thing. For Helen, there was nothing worse than hearing from her father that her mother was always the one or that nobody ever knew him more than Margaret.
That only drove home the fact that Helen wasn't loved by Noah above all others, and she didn't know him more than anyone. To add insult to injury, Vic mentioned marriage, showed interest in Martin and started reading Bruce's book! The gall.
Martin showing up with the cryptic message about Noah at the lake house was all Helen needed to scurry out in the middle of the night. That leaves us smack dab in the middle of a quandary.
Is Noah breaking down due to PTSD of some sort, due to his dependence on drugs, due to a long history of mental illness or a little bit of everything combined?
My guess is it's everything combined. That makes it even more difficult to decide if it's worth trying to like the guy, or if we (I...me...me, me, me!!) should just circle the wagons and wait until we know more...like when the series ends.
I want to understand why every woman likes Noah. He's the ultimate chick magnet. But why? He's not a rock star.
He's not even particularly nice. Noah always does something stupid very quickly into any new relationship (or whatever French word you might want to call it). He wrecked Juliet's car, and still she wanted him to tie her up. What in the hell??
Juliet: I want you to tie me up.
Juliet: You wrote about it in your book. I've never done anything like that. I think I'd enjoy it.
Maybe that was just part of Noah's delusions, wishful thinking on his part. At least he had the good sense to turn her down. Who knows what the outcome could have been in his state of mind.
Noah has also had incredibly good luck after prison. If you've ever known anyone who has been to either jail or prison, coming out isn't as easy as Noah makes seems, especially getting a job and an apartment.
Yet not only is reception relatively warm for this felon, it's often celebrated. Universities invite him to teach impressionable students (who am I kidding about universities these days?) and old friends into their homes.
At least the old friends don't all kiss his ass.
Before Helen took off to find Noah, Martin found his father at the lake house because grandpa allowed him to go there for alone time.
Noah ended up there because of the talk he had with Alison during The Affair Season 3 Episode 5. The more we hear, the more it seems the entire Solloway family knew what Noah did with his mother, but let it go.
That didn't mean they let it go. Especially not his father. But Noah had been living with the pain years in and out, so they had no idea what kind of suffering she was going through.
The way Nina ripped into Helen about not understanding Noah's pain made me wonder if she and Noah ever talked about what was going on with him and Helen. Why didn't Noah try to be real with Helen if he thought he wasn't getting the chance?
Bring it up to 2016 and Noah's back in his hometown, struggling with just about everything. For the first time in 30 years he's talking to people about his mother. He's opening up. There's no statute of limitation on murder, so I sure hope he's careful with his reveals.
He has some friends in town, but others would be happy to see him burn, just like they did. Big Stevie showed up to dinner at Grant's house with the sole purpose of making the dinner miserable.
Frankly, Noah doesn't need the assist. He's already tried to kill himself. I'm still standing by my thought that he stabbed himself in the neck. He wrecked Juliet's car. Now he's thrashing about in the water, literally fighting with himself.
Whether he's trying to kill the part of himself that killed his mother or that boy is trying to kill him we'll likely find out on the next Noah/Helen episode.
Does anyone else think we'll have to wait through a Cole/Alison installment before we get to it? Good news, I peeked at the photos out for The Affair Season 3 Episode 7 and they're Helen/Noah focused, so we should get to the bottom of this.
Or back to the middle of it. Whatever is eating at Noah, this combo platter of tragedies, will take a while for him to flesh out.
What do you think of this one? How raw and damaged is Noah? Can Helen be of any help? Drop me some comments and watch The Affair online to catch up.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.