The Affair Season 5 Episode 6 Review: What Did Joanie Discover About Alison?

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Joanie has got to be one of the most unlikable characters on all of television.

However, it's easy to admit that her storyline is by far the most interesting one on The Affair Season 5

The Affair Season 5 Episode 6 was all about Joanie, and the result was an hour focused on how the young girl we said goodbye to became a woman. 

Her Mother's Death - The Affair

Joanie is more like her mother than she would like to believe. She resented Alison for dying when she was so young because Joanie thinks that her childhood was over the moment she died. 

Even more frustrating for Joanie was that she was under the impression her mother committed suicide. Technology is advancing every day, but the nifty weather app Joanie had on her glasses was something else. 

Making Progress - The Affair Season 5 Episode 6

We already know that cold cases can be solved years later, thanks to the technological advancements. That's what made that particular development feel like a natural progression. 

Joanie: I've spent my whole life trying to be the opposite of Alison.
Luisa: But she loved you.
Joanie: I was the replacement child.

Joanie will be looking at Ben's takedown as her way of saying goodbye to the past and hello to the future. Her life has been so deeply rooted in sorrow that she was pushed to shack up with Paul and adopt children with him. 

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Her destructive side is too consuming, and she knows there's a bomb ticking in her head and that she's going to snap one day. 

Anna Paquin is killing it as this older iteration of the character. If he solves her mother's murder and finds some semblance of peace, then that will be enough to make the arc worthwhile. 

Rock Bottom - The Affair Season 5 Episode 6

Ben murdering Alison was not an isolated incident, and that could be his undoing. He went on to return to the marines, but he couldn't stop hitting women. 

For this storyline to work, we need Ben to be alive. There's nothing empowering about the truth coming out after the villain passed away. 

Related: Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 13 Review: End of the Line

He needs to be sent to prison to live out the rest of his days. However, given that the Montauk police department bailed and left all of the records, it's hard to imagine anyone associated with the law giving a shit about a death that was ruled suicide 30 years ago.

That makes me think Joanie will go on a revenge mission of her own to confront Ben. He deserves everything that's coming to him, and they do say that revenge is a dish best served cold. 

EJ Makes a Plea - The Affair Season 5 Episode 6

EJ was a surprisingly likable character. 

If you watch The Affair online these days, it's difficult to find characters in this universe who are not the worst. For some reason, that makes me think there's going to be an eleventh hour reveal that he's done some bad things. 

EJ: Your mum. She died at the jetty, right? At least, that's what it says on the police report.
Joanie: You've seen the police report?

But for now, Joanie has found someone who can bring her back from the brink of destruction. We can't forget that by the end of the episode, Joanie was having sex without needing to be choked. 

Related: The Affair Season 5 Episode 5 Review: Did Helen and Noah Reunite?

Despite the huge character flaws, Joanie is progressing. It remains to be seen what she plans to do after this mystery is solved, but it's doubtful she'll go home again. 

Finding Details of the Past - The Affair Season 5 Episode 6

Paul doesn't want to look the road she's on. He put up with so much of her crap, but her admitting to cheating was the last straw for him. 

Rightfully so. 

My mother was an irrational, unhinged, depressive, with a death wish.


Deep down, Joanie was never happy at home. That's why she constantly moves on to the next job without taking so much as a break. She hates being a mother and a wife. 

She prefers being on her own. Whether that will change down the line is unlikely, but we'll see. 

Crisis Mode - The Affair Season 5 Episode 6

It sucks that Joshua Jackson did not return in any capacity for this final season. Flashbacks of his life during the time jump would have worked very well to tell his part of the story. 

It's a shame he died alone, but it's hardly surprising. He struggled to put Alison in the past -- even when she cheated on him. 

Related: The Affair Season 5 Episode 4 Review: What Happened to Cole?

He was so blinded by his love for her that he still pined for her when he moved on with Luisa. 

The latter's return on this installment was needed. Even though Joanie and Cole left town, Luisa still kept in contact with Joanie to the point she calls her mom. 

Taking Out the Trash - The Affair

The special effects department has done a solid job of creating this older version of the character. Luisa was never a fan of Alison, primarily because she kept popping up every single time she and Cole were in a good place. 

It was interesting that Luisa told Joanie how everyone was just waiting for something to happen to Alison because of the way she was. 

It was true. Alison was erratic and struggled to cope, but she didn't deserve to die and for the killer to evade justice by making it look like suicide. 

This was hands down the best episode of the season, and part of that has to do with the lack of Helen and Noah. Their storylines were exhausted around two seasons ago, and they literally live to piss off each other. 

What did you think of this episode? 

Are you warming to Joanie?

Hit the comments below. 

The Affair continues Sunday on Showtime. 

5.06 Review

Editor Rating: 3.75 / 5.0
  • 3.8 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (8 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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The Affair Season 5 Episode 6 Quotes

EJ: Your mum. She died at the jetty, right? At least, that's what it says on the police report.
Joanie: You've seen the police report?

My mother was an irrational, unhinged, depressive, with a death wish.