After five brilliant seasons, The Affair finally came to an end. This list could have appeared in 2029 if only every good TV show could be stretched to fifteen seasons like Supernatural. Sadly, despite high scores on Rotten Tomatoes, most showrunners prefer to wrap things up in about half a decade in order to avoid the all-too-common scenario where viewers start singing "It's no longer as good as it used to be."
The Affair started out as a story about novelist Noah Solloway's affair with waitress Alison Bailey. But the final season's twists and turns could have made the screenwriters of a soap opera jealous. Luckily, it remained fairly good. In as much as the series finale provided closure, it didn't quite manage to put a lid on every jar. Here are 10 unanswered questions we still have.
10 How Did The #Metoo Scandal Affect Noah?
At the beginning of the final season, Noah was set for a grand redemption. His novel Descent was being adapted into a major Hollywood film. All of a sudden, he was slapped with sexual misconduct allegations. "Can this man be redeemed?" Vanity Fair's exposé of the novelist started with that sentence. It later turned out that Hellen's new lover and main actor in the Descent movie Sasha Mann masterminded the smear job. Sasha was motivated by the dual goals of making his new lover Hellen hate her ex-husband Noah even more and also taking down Noah in order to take all the credit for the movie.
However, the show moved on swiftly. No further updates regarding the movie were given. And despite all the hatred she previously had for him, Hellen got back with Noah quite quickly as if his only crime was leaving his dirty socks on the floor.
Recent history has shown us that sexual misconduct allegations tend to ruin a person's reputation beyond repair. Sadly, we didn't get to see how Noah's writing career faired on. Did he publish more books? All we know is that thirty years later, he ended up being the owner of The Lobster Roll - the restaurant where he met Alison.
9 Justice For Alison
Before her death in Season 4, Alison was a fan favorite. There was never a shortage of misery in her life and this made her an easy person to sympathize with and relate with. Despite being suicidal, she chose to live, only for her to be brutally murdered by her psychotic lover, Ben.
Fast forward to thirty years later and Alison's grown daughter Joanie Lockhart comes close to getting justice. She calls the cops on Ben but he outsmarts her and makes the cops believe she has a mental problem. In the final episode, she decides to get justice her own way. Like Liam Neeson, she grabs a shotgun and prepares to go look for Ben, find Ben and kill Ben. Conveniently, Eddie aka EJ, the man she's been having an affair with stops her and persuades her to drop the insane plan. Now what? Does old Ben live the rest of his life without paying for his crime?
8 Why Didn't Cole Get To Ben?
It is surprising that before he eventually died, Cole never made the effort to hunt down Ben. In earlier seasons. Cole's love for Alison was emphasized a lot. Even though she went on to be with other men, he never stopped thinking about her. It's thus quite surprising that after her death, he didn't have Joanie's kind of determination to find out how Alison really died.
Of course, Alison's murder was painted as a suicide but given his nature, Cole would have been the last person to believe that. A showdown between Cole and Ben would have made for some pretty nice TV. Sadly, that never happened.
7 So, Sasha Just Let Hellen Go?
Through his interactions with everyone, Sasha always came out as a bully. He bragged about always getting what he wanted. He was also quite obsessed with Hellen. We saw women offering themselves to him but the only person he wanted to be with was Hellen. It is thus puzzling that he just gave up on her and let her go back to Noah.
After the scene where Hellen discovers that he engineered Noah's #MeToo scandal, Sasha gets cut off. Logically, he could have made an attempt to make Hellen understand. Logically, he could have gone on a spree of doing more desperate and dumb things to keep Hellen.
6 Anton's Bromance With Noah
In season 4, Noah started teaching at a lesser-known charter school. There, he formed a bond with Anton, the only student who appeared enthusiastic in his class. Anton also happened to be the son of his lover, Janelle. It would have been interesting to see how their friendship developed.
However, in season 5, we only got a glimpse of Anton via a cameo as he was Facetiming with his mom. Christopher Meyer played the role of Anton in Season 4 quite well. Season 5 should have at least accommodated him for an episode or two.
5 What About Furkat?
The Affair really had a penchant for punishing good people while letting bad people live consequence-free. The final season specifically gave us some pretty bitter pills but refused to give us water to swallow them with.
Famous artist and photographer Furkat uses Noah's daughter Whitney for his sadistic pleasures. He is later revealed to be a real sexual predator as a model is seen crying while leaving his house. Whitney threatens to expose him but he, in turn, threatens to tell her fiance Colin about what happened between them. Whitney ends up confessing to Colin but she still doesn't see the need to expose Furkat and save other girls. Huh?
4 Did Whitney Forgive Noah?
After the allegations, Whitney was so mad at Noah that she banned him from attending her wedding. However, during the reception, she learned that he was greatly involved in the planning of the entire ceremony. He even trained the entire family on how to dance to The Waterboys 1985 hit, “The Whole of the Moon.”
Whitney ended up feeling guilty. Her grandfather Bruce even made her look at her father differently when he told her, "You will have plenty of opportunities to be angry in your life. You have less chance to love people though, so you want to be careful how many of those opportunities you squander." So, Whitney left the reception with her siblings to go find daddy but she really didn't get to tell him that she forgave him since she found him... umm... making love to Hellen.
3 Was Joanie Able To Find Solace?
One of the things that troubled Joanie was the thought that before her death, her mother abandoned her. However, after a heart-to-heart conversation with an elderly and wiser Noah in Montauk where climate change had wreaked havoc, she learned that mummy did indeed love her.
This gave her some sort of peace. Later on, she realized that she had treated her husband unfairly, so she reunited with him. But was she able to rid herself of her trauma, knowing that her mother's killer was still free?
2 Janelle's Career
After turning to her ex-husband Carl for advice, Janelle ended up reconciling with him. And after three-months of ghosting Noah, she called him to tell him that she didn't want anything to do with him. Poor Noah! Janelle also got demoted to the position of co-principal by her school's board.
Her new position also came with lesser pay. After consulting Carl, she declined this position but was she successful in her next endeavor? Again, the show had no answer for this.
1 Was Hellen Still With Noah When She Died?
Happily ever after or no? This plot strand is tied up very loosely. Hellen and Noah were always destined to be together but did they stay together or did Noah mess things up again?
In the tail end of the season finale, Future Noah is seen visiting Hellen's grave in 2050-something, so we can assume that he... misses his wife? Or maybe they stayed apart but he continued loving her like always did. Was the reconciliation temporary or permanent? It's not clear.