That was 80 minutes well spent.
The Affair Season 5 Episode 9 was the longest installment of the series to date, and they used every single minute to advance the story for the Helen and Noah and to set up the endgame.
Tying up loose ends on a series like The Affair, which is telling stories from two different timelines on The Affair Season 5, is going to be tough.
That's why it wasn't necessary to detour to Montauk of the future this time around. Zeroing in on how fractured this family is as a result of Noah's actions was the best foot forward.
Helen was worried that her life was about to change forever as a result of the Vanity Fair article, and boy, she was right.
She was finally returning to work full-time and carving out a career for herself in which she not only felt fulfilled on a career level, but she felt happy.
Noah: That took a while.
Noah: How do you like Petra?
Helen: Did you know she was going to call me?
Noah: No. What did she want?
Helen: What did you do with my wine?
Noah: I poured it out. I thought you were done.
Helen: I hate when people do that.
The pay and benefits that came with it would allow her to keep that beautiful Los Angeles home, but thanks to Noah, her hope of that career becoming anything more than a dream hit a snag.
Helen was right in her assessment that it was the fastest time she'd ever been fired.
To highlight how the loved ones of people accused of sexual misconduct in Hollywood get caught in the crossfire, Helen had to suffer.
Dropping the kids off at school to find every mom glaring at Helen from afar was her worst nightmare. Hell, she hit up Google to find out if a story had broken only the night before.
Helen thought she was getting ahead of herself, but she also wanted to enter damage control mode if the story took the world by storm.
Helen also had the children to take into consideration, and it was heartbreaking how Stacey and Trevor reacted to it.
There's no hard and fast rule on how to deal with that scenario, especially when their father is in the public eye.
Helen: She asked a lot of questions about your dating history.
Noah: That's what I mean.
Helen: Why would she care?
Noah: I don't know.
Helen: I mean, it's not turning into some kind of MeToo story, is it?
Noah: No, and even if it is, Gatleev says he can kill it.
Helen: You've been talking to Gatleev?
Noah: I just want to make sure I'm prepared.
Helen: You just said there's nothing to worry about.
Noah: There isn't, but you know, this day and age, things have a tendency to spiral out of control.
Helen: Well, why not just tell me exactly what's going on? If this is going to affect me or the kids I have to know. I mean, I have to know. We've been through too much.
Sasha hates Noah, so it wasn't all that surprising to learn that he was the one who orchestrated the effort after Helen bumped into Eden at the party.
Helen is also fiercely protective of Noah. Deep down, she knows he's not the person the media is portraying him to be, and it harkens back to his decision to do hard time for her in prison.
Helen may feel like she has to protect him in the same way he protected her, but this one is proving to be difficult, especially with six women at the center of the article.
On top of that, Helen will never be able to trust Sasha again. Regardless of whether Noah did anything of which he's been accused, the last thing Helen needed was for her children's father to get dragged through the mud.
Now that Helen knows he's responsible for the story, she's going to ice out Sasha from her life completely, and it's justified. Sasha does things out of spite that will benefit himself and piss off Noah.
We know what Noah did to the woman at the Halloween party was true, and even Helen and Sasha know about it because it was Helen's underwear that Noah tried to hide in Sasha's room.
It wasn't surprising that Audrey came out of the woodwork panning Noah to enhance her book sales. Noah was horrible to her. There's no excuse for some of the things he said.
The way he essentially said she had no talent during The Affair Season 3 was despicable. That was around the time Noah was suffering after his time in prison, and he attempted suicide.
Helen: It was pretty annoying, actually, because she said she was just fact-checking and then, she just started asking me all these questions about our divorce.
Noah: What did you say?
Helen: No comment.
Noah: Thanks for doing that.
Helen: What is the article about, anyway? I thought it was about your new book.
Noah: I don't know. She pitched it to me as my redemption story, you know, my new book, the movie, and how I'd made good. Now suddenly Petra's digging around looking for skeletons like it's some tabloid piece. I mean, honestly, I'm starting to regret agreeing to be interviewed in the first place.
Helen: Is she finding any skeletons?
Noah: Well, nothing about weddings in Montauk, if that's what you mean. And she never will.
It's still no excuse for the way he acted, but did Audrey need to write an entire book about it? Nope. It's hard to believe that she had enough material to make a substantial book.
Her side of things was always going to be difficult for anyone to take on board, mainly because of the way she has used it to further her career.
She did make some great points to Whitney about the way the world worked, though.
Whitney had every intention of making Audrey feel awful for her actions, but the conversation changed the moment Whitney realized that she wasn't all that different from Audrey.
Heck, the discussion prompted Whitney's return home to call off her wedding with Colin. She no longer had any interest in offering any part of herself to people who were using her for any reason.
For Colin, that meant she thought he was only with her to get a green card, but that couldn't have been further from the truth. It was quite the revelation that Colin hates America and wants to return home.
But all of that helped Whitney realize that she's marrying Colin for the right reasons. The meeting with Audrey also soured Whitney's relationship with her father forever.
If I'm not mistaken, the day Noah got into the pool with Whitney and the other woman was the same day he got close to Eden.
I figured Whitney would speak up and say that Eden was all over him, but instead, she threw her father under the bus. Whitney has struggled to maintain a relationship with her father since his affair with Allison came to light.
That meeting at the party was also to blame for their fraught relationship, but Noah has tried to fix things with her on a string of occasions.
It remains to be seen whether Noah can spin the last-minute spanner in the works to keep Helen on his side. But it seems Whitney is washing her hands of her father because she feels like he's the reason she got close to Furcat and that he's the source of the problems in her life.
If there's one thing we know about The Affair Season 5, it's that it has been topical. The handling of the wildfires, as well as the MeToo storyline, has been solid.
This one felt like a movie, and it's hard to believe we have only two episodes left.
Will Helen continue to support Noah after the hot tub revelation?
What will become of Noah?
Hit the comments below.
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Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.