As the third season of The Affair begins, Noah Solloway (Dominic West) is shacking up in his sister’s house. Nina (Jennifer Esposito) interrupts his deep thought and tells him it is time to leave. Noah and his sister travel to the funeral home. Moments later, Helen (Maura Tierney) arrives with the kids. While the younger children speak with their father, Martin (Jake Siciliano) refuses to do so. After the kids take their seats, Noah notices a strange man (Brendan Fraser) outside of the venue. Noah is brought back to reality when it is his time to address the crowd. He tells the group about his partial relationship with his father, before returning to his seat.
After the ceremony ends, Noah and Nina thank everyone for coming. Helen requests to speak with Noah in private. When they step away from the others, Helen complains about Noah not answering her phone calls. Helen wants to know what their new arrangements are going to be. Noah admits Stacey (Abigail Dylan Harrison) doesn’t want to be around him, because she is afraid of him. Helen tries to convince him that it will take a little time, since he has been away for 3 years. Eventually, Helen manages to conjure up the courage to inquire about their relationship. Noah unenergetically answers the question with a question. He rushes off to help carry his father’s coffin, but Martin refuses to budge.
While priest says a few words for Noah’s father, Noah begins to look around. He stares at his mother’s gravestone and has a flashback of himself running through the woods as a child. A train whistle brings him back to reality. After the ceremony ends, Helen is invited back to Nina’s place. The offer is refused, due to Noah’s standoffish attitude. Helen tells Noah about Martin’s slipping grades and an upcoming meeting with his teacher. Noah is invited to the event. He promises to try and make it. Seconds later, Martin arrives in the van to pick up Helen. He refuses to get out and say goodbye to his father. Noah is fine with it and simply waves at his son from a distance.
Back at Nina’s home, Noah is confronted by an older lady. She mistakes him for Nina’s husband. When the woman finds out his true identity, she lashes out at Noah and accuses him of being responsible for his father’s death. Nina steps in and escorts Noah outside for a smoke. Noah takes a muscle relaxer to ease his soldier pain. He is told he needs to shave his ridiculous beard. The pair speaks about Noah’s job and living conditions. Nina promises everything will get better as long as Noah remains positive. Noah lays down and winds up having a prison flashback. He pops a few more muscle relaxers and gets up. He follows his sister’s advice and shaves the beard. In the middle of the shaving session, he hears his sister fighting with her man, JP (Ed Moran).
Noah interrupts and learns his father left him his home. JP quickly lashes out at Noah and ponders why his father would do such a thing. He complains that Nina was the one, who cared for the man when he was sick. The conversation quickly escalates with JP becoming angry. He knocks something to the ground as he storms out. Nina takes Noah to work. He tells her not to pick him up, since he will find another place to stay. During Noah’s class, he stares out the window and notices the strange man once more. All the while, Audrey (Sarah Ramos) reads a segment of her writing. Noah asks what the others thought of Audrey’s work. Charlette (Jasmine Batchelor) admits he liked it, but Noah was not impressed.
Noah laughs, before harshly ridiculing the girl’s work. Noah’s harsh words send the girl from the room crying. He tells the others they need to learn to accept rejection, if they’re going to succeed as writers. On the way out, Noah spots a flyer for student housing nearby. He grabs the number and rushes over. He rents the apartment, before returning to the university and falling asleep in the chapel. During his slumber, Noah dreams of his first prison visit with Helen. Helen promises to get Noah assistance, but he is adamant that he’ll be fine in prison. He also believes he will not spend the entire 3 years. Helen asks what she should do during the meantime. He tells her to wait. Noah’s sleep is disturbed by Juliette Le Gall’s (Irene Jacob) lecture about Merlin.
While Noah admits he is in the wrong place, he plays along and reveals his name to the group. He hangs around and listens to the remainder of Juliette’s lecture. After the lecture ends, Juliette and Noah leave together. They discuss Juliette’s history in France, before passing by a group of protestors. Juliette reveals the protestors are speaking out against rape and Noah’s presence. She admits the faculty contemplated whether or not it would be safe for Noah to work at the university. They head to a café for a drink. Noah insists the university has been better than prison. They speak about the current mindset of millennials, before Noah notices the stranger man outside once again. Noah is invited to a party at Juliette’s place later that night. Noah returns the University and meets with his parole officer. He tells her about his new residence, while remaining confident the university will keep him around after the semester ends.
Before the conversation ends, Noah asks whether or not a prisoner or guard would be able to gain access to his information. He is told that would be highly unlikely. Noah walks the woman out. Along the way, he watches as Audrey enters the office of the chair’s room. Later, Noah heads to the liquor store to buy some wine. He looks around a bit, before the strange man enters. The man’s presence gives Noah a fright. He drops the wine and makes a mess, before paying and chasing the stranger outside. The man is already gone. Noah heads to Juliette’s house and is surprised when Audrey answers. During the get-together, Mike Cornwall (Guy Burnet) and Blake (Tyrone Brown) debate rape with Audrey and her friend. Noah listens to the conversation silently, before Audrey drags him into it.
Noah is asked about his book and its rape scene. He defends it and insists the female character liked it. Juliette steps in and takes up for Noah. She explains that the character was a Lancelot of sorts and was willing to give up everything to chase after his true love. Later, Noah joins Audrey outside and apologizes for his earlier behavior. He learns that Audrey feels scared everywhere she goes, including his class. Seconds later, Juliette interrupts and offers to give Noah a tour of her home. They make their way to Juliette’s room. Juliette explains that humility, loss and desire cannot be taught. She also admits she thought she would never find anyone interesting in New Jersey, until she met Noah. The pair comes close to having intercourse, but Noah freaks out when he hears a train whistle nearby. He rushes out of the room.
Noah pops a few pills after exiting the home. He has several flashbacks while strolling down the road. Noah sees a stranger in the distance. During the flashbacks, we see the strange man, Gunther, locking Noah in his cell. Back in reality, the man in front of Noah is nobody of interest. Noah stops and places a call to Alison (Ruth Wilson). The call coincides with flashbacks showing Noah writing to her from his cell. Noah tells Alison he knows she doesn’t want to talk to him, but he only wanted to hear her voice. He finally returns to his new dwelling and finds it a total mess. He begins cleaning up dishes, when he hears someone behind him.
Noah hears a door slam and dogs barking outside. Footsteps approach from behind. Noah begins to sweat and he feels himself get stabbed in the back. He rubs blood all over his white shirt and hits the ground. He is unable to grab his phone and notify the police. Instead, the episode ends with Noah bleeding on the ground.
The Affair Season 3 EP1 Review
The Affair is back and it is just as slow as ever. Nonetheless, there is something strangely appealing and intriguing about the way the story unfolds. The first episode focused entirely on Noah and his life after prison. Noah’s behavior led Helen to believe he would like to rekindle their relationship after his release. However, it now seems he has no intention to do that.
It seems Noah’s scenes will focus on his tumultuous relationships, work troubles, and his time in prison. What exactly did Noah endure in prison to keep Helen out of trouble? Who exactly is this mysterious guard and why is he now after Noah? Was Noah really stabbed or was it simply a figment of his imagination? There are so many questions to ponder and yet we haven’t even touched Alison, Cole or Helen.
All in all, a pretty good episode, which served as a solid setup for the season. A 7.5 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of The Affair now!