The Affair Season 1 Episode 9 Review: Breaking Free

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Called it!

On The Affair Season 1 Episode 9 a lot of dirty laundry aired. We even know a bit more about what has happened to the parties involved that landed them on the radar of Det. Jeffries.

The Realization - The Affair

First up, Whitney is pregnant and it's Scotty's baby. I'm pretty sure I nailed that one in the first hour. No pun intended! For one split second, when the stories of Noah and Alison didn't mesh, I believed it might have been Alison's test in the trash, but it turned out exactly as expected.

Noah has it bad. He can't stop thinking about Alison and wants to leave Helen, something he shares with her in a rather pitiful scene just moments before she realizes he slept with Alison in their bed. Ouch.

Even Max thinks Noah should rein it in. There has to be some significance to what Noah witnessed at Max's apartment; the suicide. Maybe that will play out in The Affair Season 2.

We're still seeing things from the perspective of both Noah and Alison and their stories don't mesh very well at all. I'm starting to get the idea Noah is more lost in love than Alison and she used her memory of the pregnancy test to tear her away a bit and recommit to Cole. They both may have seen the test in the trash; after all, Alison left it there. Not confronting each other about seeing it made the difference.

Their lack of communication ruffles Alison's feathers so badly she wants to erase the memory of her tryst with Noah out of her head and she does it by screwing Oscar. While that isn't the best way to go cleansing your soul, it did give Oscar an opportunity to tell her what he knows about the Lockhart farm. 

Cherry is a real piece of work. Alison has been struggling with the woman's overbearing passive aggressive behavior for years. I have no doubt she really feels like Alison recalled it; as if it's all Alison's fault Gabriel died of secondary drowning. Only 1% of drowning cases end in that way. Even a nurse wouldn't have thought it was happening.

Cherry: I told you to take him to the hospital, 'member? I said he doesn't look right. There's something wrong. But you didn't want to do it because you were a nurse and you knew better.
Alison: What are you doing?
Cherry: And I didn't push 'cause it was your decision. Because you're his mother. I have lived to regret that restraint so deeply.
Alison: Don't.
Cherry: We kept this family together through unspeakable tragedy. I took you in this house, I washed your hair, I spoon fed you, I pulled you back from the brink and this is how you repay me?

For Cherry to pull that out and wag it in front of Alison's face is atrocious. It's easier to understand Alison's pain, even if it's horrific to see her cutting herself and throwing away an otherwise loving marriage to escape her tragic memories. Her belief the boy she saw on the street arriving with his mother at the ocean was sent by Gabriel was a little bit of beauty in an otherwise dark works she's been living in.

Cherry has hiding how deeply in debt the family legacy became. All those talks with her precious boys and she was lying to their faces the entire time. There is just one lie after another with all of the families involved.

Cole doesn't want to believe it about the ranch. He's been planning around the dream of getting out of the hot water he's in financially and with the drug cartel, but it's hard to look at cold, hard evidence and not see the truth. Before Cole joins Alison on the train platform, did he tell his brothers what he learned? 

How it all comes together at the end on that platform is brilliant; Alison ready to go back to the city, come what may, but Noah already on his way back to her, unbeknownst to her. Both men looking at each other and at Alison, wondering where they stand when she just steps onto the train. I cannot wait to see who, if either man, follows her.

It seems Det. Jeffries has been screwing with both Noah and Alison with his questioning. When Noah finally calls him on it , Jeffries merely asks, "oh, did I?" Nice. Yes, Noah, it's important what kind of car you have because Scott Lockhart was run down by one. Whitney's pregnancy and the argument at the clinic don't look great for Noah, and he's not promised anonymity like his daughter. He did give the clinic fellow his name. Surely Jeffries will find that link (just saw the preview...yep!).

How can Alison tie into it? It's entirely possible Alison has been with Cole this entire time and is sharing her story as she continues her life with him and is, perhaps, protecting him and not herself or Noah; although her presence at the memorial service without Cole indicates otherwise. 

How do you think the season will end next week? With Scotty's death? Will the full investigation be the driving force for season 2, or will we merely pick up wherever we leave off? Perhaps it will be time to delve into the views of Cole and Helen. Maybe even Scotty and Whitney.

The Affair is full of empty and unhappy people making poor decisions, prompted by miscommunication, among other things. 

This installment was more tightly written than The Affair Season 1 Episode 8 and far more enjoyable for it. Did anything surprise you or give you an indication you know better in what direction things are going?

9 Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (14 Votes)

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, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Affair Season 1 Episode 9 Quotes

Alison: Why don't you just say it? You were never going to leave her. This was never real. It's just been a game to you. Just say it, just tell me the truth.
Noah: You need some fuckin' faith, Alison.

Alison, it's a temporary solution to a really complicated situation.