The 3rd episode starts from the perspective of Juliette Le Gall (Irene Jacob). She does research, before enjoying a book and lunch on the bench outside. She is confronted by two students, who compliment her teaching. She is also asked about her book. She insists it is part of her research, before confirming it is exciting to be in America. When the students leave, we see that Juliette is actually reading Noah’s book, Descent. Next, she heads to the market and buys some items. She returns home and begin preparing a big meal. During the preparations, she speaks with he family on the phone.
Once she finishes and hangs up the phone, she heads to the couch and cuddles up with Noah’s book. She quickly becomes infatuated with the book and begins playing with herself. She enjoys herself, before we jump to that night’s party. When we join the party, Mike Cornwall (Guy Burnet) and Audrey (Sarah Ramos) have already started arguing about rape culture. Noah (Dominic West) remains mum throughout the argument. Juliette eventually chimes in and insists this argument wouldn’t even be taken seriously back home. Audrey remains hung up on the fact that the character in the book never consented. The professor speaks about people’s failure to communicate effectively and Audrey uses that to express her desire for the university to enforce a mandate of verbal consent.
They continue to debate the matter, before the Professor admits she must sound out of touch. Noah and Mike applaud her, while the women seem disgusted. Eventually, Juliette heads to the kitchen for a drink. Therefore, she is approached by Mike. He forces himself on her and gives her a few kisses. Juliette manages to pry him off, before Audrey steps in. Audrey apologizes, before blaming her anger on Noah. Mike and Audrey wind up arguing. The professor steps out and gets a religious lesson from Blake (Tyrone Brown) and Lila (Ajna Jai). She learns Noah went upstairs and she quickly follows. They speak about the students and the professor’s life back home. Juliette explains she is in America, because the library claims to have unearthed pages from a rare manuscript.
Noah learns that Juliette will be around at least until the end of the semester. Their conversation turns to Audrey and her comments. Juliette admits she was never that confident at her age. She ponders whether the younger generation simply understands themselves better. Noah cleverly steers the conversation towards sex. The couple nearly have intercourse, but Noah stops and rushes out. Juliette joins the kids downstairs and learns that Audrey intends to sleep with Noah. She is told that wouldn’t be a good idea. Later, Juliette has sex with Cornwall. Once they’ve finished, she heads up stairs and speaks with her husband via video chat. She contemplates returning home, when he is unable to recognize her. While cleaning up, Juliette discovers Noah has left his coat behind. She decides to take it to his place personally, after finding his address in the pocket.
She manages to get inside. She finds Noah in a pool of blood and immediately alerts the authorities. Juliette is not allowed to ride with Noah to the hospital. She receive a call, but is unable to carry on a conversation. Then, we jump to Noah. We see a flashback of his childhood. Then, he arrives at the prison, while also being treated at the hospital. At the prison, Noah is confronted by Gunther (Brendan Fraser). The man seems friendly enough. He introduces himself and claims to be a huge fan of Noah. Back at the hospital, Noah finally wakes up. He is given pain medication, before the nurse reveals his wife is at the hospital. He quickly believes it could be Alison. However, Helen (Maura Tierney) comes barging inside moments later. She quickly hassles the nurse and ridicules the staff.
It is at this time that Noah learns he has been stabbed. He admits he doesn’t remember anything. Noah’s young children are invited inside. Noah is asked about previous surgeries and any medications he is using, before the nurse leaves. Helen sits beside Noah and tries to hold his hand. He pulls his hand away and this sends a clear message to Helen. She leaves shortly afterwards. Back at the prison, Noah gets another visit from Gunther. He is given a typewriter and some paper. Gunther insists he just wants Noah to use it. During this time, Noah receives a visit from two detectives. They ask about his attacker and explain the culprit is looking at attempted murder charges. One of the detectives is immensely annoying. After crunching his cup for a good 5 minutes, he is stopped by his colleague. Nonetheless, the detectives leave with no answers.
Eventually, Noah is released from the hospital and into the loving arms of his sister, Nina (Jennifer Esposito). She agrees to take him home, before trying to give him the keys to his father’s place. Noah refuses and insists requests to be dropped off at Juliette’s place. Juliette invites Noah inside and begins caring for his wound. That night, they get a little frisky. It doesn’t go further than kissing. We jump back to the prison and see Noah get another visit from Gunther. Gunther shows Noah that he has purchased his book. He also asks Noah about the picture of Alison on his wall. Noah explains that the woman is his wife.
Gunther explains he is divorced, before insisting the picture is a violation. Noah defends himself, by claiming the picture isn’t a poster. They get into a scuffle and Gunther contorts Noah’s arm behind his back. He grabs the picture and makes off with it. Noah is left moaning in agony. Back in the present, he wakes up in pain. After popping a few pills, he heads outside and calls detective. He informs him that Gunther could be responsible for the attack.
The Affair Review
Sadly, the 3rd episode of The Affair’s 3rd season felt awkward and out of place. In fact, I paused it to make sure I was watching the correct episode. Juliette has barely been in the show more than 5 to 10 minutes. It is perplexing to be focusing an entire segment on that character. Noah is already toting two bags and Juliette will be a third. Unless she is the one responsible for stabbing him, I don’t see the point in focusing on her character so intently.
While Noah’s segment was good in the beginning, it slipped in the end. He barely knows Juliette, yet opted to go to her place. His decision felt a little cheesy. Still, it was probably a better decision than returning to Helen. Nonetheless, Noah’s interactions with Gunter were revealing and very intense. Despite Dominic West’s amazing acting and the good portions of this episode, the rest was simply lackluster and odd.
A 6 out of 10 is deserved. Catch up with previous recaps of The Affair now.