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The Affair 1×04 Review

I don’t believe that there are good people and bad people. Maybe sociopaths, but beyond that I think we’re all just trying to do our best to get by. (Alison)

Holy Mother of all screenwriters, what an amazing episode! Definitely, the best episode so far. And I was wrong, so wrong.

The Affair surprises us this week with an different type of episode, relying only on two characters: Alison and Noah. I’m not countingScreen Shot 2014-11-04 at 12.32.12 AM the detective, at this point, he doesn’t add anything new to the main story other than we have known so far.  Also as a premiere,  there is not an alternative (he said/she said) between Alison and Noah, but rather a sequence of tenses, if you want. Alison and Noah tell their story from where the other left it off. Their stories reach the climax, and bring to life and leave floating much more interesting questions: is Alison, la femme fatale? The black widow? Is The Affair the new noir? (interesting enough, in the present Alison is wearing a black suit, how come this detail has escaped me until now?)

“What do you see when you look at me?”

“What do you think I see?”

Taking this episode just by itself, without previous or next episode promos, you could say that it’s has the structure of a theatre play in which two characters know each other and face the truth about themselves at the end. That’ the beauty of it, sheer perfection. There’s an Italian Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 12.32.23 AMmovie I fell in love with long ago, it’s called  “The Anonymous Venetian” by  Enrico Maria Salerno which is a movie of two characters. He’s an Venetian musician suffering from an incurable disease, and she’s his estrange wife who comes to ask him for the divorce. And in the course of a day, they rediscover the life, truth and lies about themselves. I got the same feeling watching this particular episode, as it filled  me up with joy, made me cry, stirred all sorts of emotions in me. The clever dialogue revealed  and nuanced, even more so the Noah and Alison perfectly played by Dominic West (of whom I am in awe now more then ever) and the always so amazing Ruth Wilson.Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 12.32.20 AM

One other thing that surprised me quite enough was the fact that throughout the episode Noah remained constant in both stories.  Maybe, what he’s feeling for Alison – lust, infatuation, or even love – is changing him into a different version of himself. Or maybe Alison is the one who’s been right all along about him. Noah clearly gets transformed,  as we all do, when love makes fools out of us.

And Cole has this tattoo of the Angel Gabriel. It’s the first thing I see each morning. And it’s all coming back and I wanna die.

Best scene of the episode is the revelation scene, ( hands down!) where Alison confesses to Noah her burning secrets: the loss of her son and the fact that she’s been self-inflicting pain. For that particular scene I would watch this episode over and over again! Bravo! Kudos! Congrats! What a fine television achievement!


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