'The Affair': Family Squabbles

Noah and Alison each face their own dilemmas at home in 'The Affair' season 1, episode 5: '5'.

[This is a review of The Affair season 1, episode 5. There will be SPOILERS.]


The Affair begins with Alison's point of view for the first time, as we hit the midway point in this exceptional first season. Both of our lovers are facing turbulent times at home in this latest episode simply titled, '5'. Before delving into the the different accounts of Alison and Noah, though, let's venture into the interrogation room with Detective Jeffries, where some interesting new developments have arisen.

We now know who the victim is and have a reasonable idea of where it took place. The detective mentions a wedding and a bar called The End, where Noah claims he's never been, or even heard of. The look on his face proves otherwise, but we're still not sure of the location's significance.

Oscar (Darren Goldstein) is now the primary suspect, as Jeffries asks Alison if the two of them were seen together. The Lobster Roll owner is perhaps too obvious a choice, with his hot-headed ways and short temper. Scotty Lockhart, who we understand to be the victim, appeared annoyed at having to visit Oscar at his restaurant. The whole "drug trade" question comes into play here, since Oscar claims he didn't receive his "package."

Creators Hagai Levi and Sarah Treem have done a good job of disguising what we might deem the probable outcome, so we'll just have to trust their capable hands to bring this story home in its final five hours. Since Noah and Alison were at home with their families for most of the episode, the supporting cast had to step up in a big way and did so with flying colors. In terms of length, Alison's story was king, but from a content perspective, Noah's tale was slightly more compelling.

Even with Noah drifting further away from his wife, the English teacher still cares for his family, especially his children. His daughter Whitney (Julia Goldani Telles), took center-stage with her "mean girl" ways and spoiled demeanor. For a young actor, Telles (Nurse Jackie) gave a solid performance as a young woman who doesn't want to be a "bad person." Like some of the early seasons of Showtime's other hit series Homeland, Telles and West showcased just how powerful father/daughter relationships can be when done correctly. Noah and Whitney are both trying to "just stop" doing the wrong things. Hopefully she won't follow in her father's footsteps.

In terms of variances within each point of view, clothing and intimacy continue to change depending on whose telling the story. When Noah comes over to see Alison for a quickie, she remembers him relaxed, romantic and not wearing his athletic gear. Noah's version is the more aggressive of the two, as he recounts having to pick up bagels and getting a flat tire along the way. Going back to clothing, Alison wears her purple dress, which her husband Cole adores, while Noah has her in jeans and a purplish top. Why is clothing so important? Discovering the various discrepancies in each tale is one of the reasons this show is so much fun to watch.

At the halfway point, the families are beginning to suspect something is up with Noah and Alison. In the interrogation room, Alison still has her mother's wedding ring on, but Detective Jeffries refers to her by her maiden name. What do you think happened to Cole? Stay tuned to see what happens next.

'The Affair' continues with '6' next Sunday @10pm on Showtime. Check out a preview below:

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