The series The Affair has turned from a love story in its first season to a crime story in the latest, third season. Noah ‒ a writer, a professor, a married father of four meets a married waitress Alison during a summer vacation. They cannot resist each other and start an affair. The second season was like a soap opera ‒ about their passion and love as well as them becoming aware that they still had feelings for their exes. At the end, because the last episode of every season is a kind of a teaser for the next one, we were left with a cliffhanger. Noah said that he was guilty in court and ended up in prison, although it wasn't his fault and was just protecting his ex-wife.
After three years Noah comes out of prison and Allison and the kids don't want to have anything to do with him. A guard from the prison where he served is chasing him, as well as that someone follows him and even attacks him with a knife. Or is it just all in his head? Also, do the viewers and other characters in the show even care? In the meantime, he starts a relationship with a French woman ‒ a guest professor at his college ‒ and after a brief and not very intimate relationship they become a couple, so we are left with material for season four. And, all of a sudden, his relationship with his oldest daughter Whitney, who until recently did not even want to look at him, starts improving greatly.
In the meantime, Alison had some psychological problems, had a several months long therapy, and is having a custody battle over her daughter with her ex-husband. Even though the baby was born during her happy marriage to Noah, he is not the father. She does not want to communicate with him and the only thing she wants from him is a divorce. How and why she had a baby with someone else, although it was made during a happy relationship, is not the focus of this season.
Noah’s first wife Helen wants something, but not even she herself knows what. She is currently in a relationship with a doctor who saved their son, but is in two minds about being with him. She still has on and off feelings about Noah. She wants to plead guilty for the crime Noah went to prison for and she paid his lawyer, and then she doesn't... All in all, we get the feeling that the writers don't know what to do with her character.
In the first season the beginning of every scene had a caption telling us whose perspective we are watching from, because main characters had a very different perception and experience of some events. Now it is not necessary because the protagonists do not even talk to each other, let alone appear in the same scene. If someone who watched only the beginning of season one was to see the end of the third, they might even think it wasn’t the same show. On top of that, who knows what awaits us in the fourth season?
In any case, if you really like some of the characters or the actors, watch the show. It looks like a show with the same cast, but each season has a different plotline and goal, as well as that there is no continuity in connection. Suffice to say there are very good shows similar to this one – the same cast, but a completely different plotline – however, this one stands out with its complexity and deep character development. I would personally recommend you check it out if you ever get an opportunity!
Starring: Dominic West (Noah Solloway), Ruth Wilson (Alison Lockhart), Maura Tierney (Helen Solloway), Joshua Jackson (Cole Lockhart)