There is so much that we do need to get to in this particular The Affair season 4 episode 7 review, but let’s start with how the episode ended: Getting us exactly to the point that we’ve seen in some of the flash-forwards this season with Alison missing.
Now, we know why the unlikely trio of Anton, Noah, and Cole are all in the car together, and how much of it stemmed from Noah volunteering to take Anton on a college tour before travel problems led to them needing a little bit of help. Now, everything is set to be derailed entirely because of what’s going on the Alison. She’s made some decisions in hopes of getting more control over her own life, but that that potentially means for some other people within the sort of the series is that they are left to scramble. Alison is right to establish a better sense of self, but it is coming at the expense of some of the people who care for her deeply.
It’s not often that The Affair tells stories that are strictly about getting from point A to point B, but that is really what the Noah story felt like tonight. It was geared mostly around the idea of getting the plot together for the home stretch — it was well-told, though we also don’t feel like this is mostly what viewers are going to remember from this episode.
Trip to Joshua Tree – Instead, we have this. What is it about this season establishing places for characters to discover a better sense of themselves? First, it was Cole and Morro Bay. This week, we saw Helen join forces with Sierra to venture out into the desert. While there, Helen delivered a sense of practical wisdom to some of the young women there that they weren’t getting with chakras or other forms of healing. She actually found herself more at home there than we thought that she would going into it, but what was surprising to us was this: It didn’t seem to be Sierra having sex with her that caused her to want to head back home. Instead, it was finding herself trapped in what was some sort of spiritual tank, something so far from herself. She had given so much sage wisdom here that she didn’t give anywhere near enough for herself.
What Helen learned from her time in Joshua Tree was not how to heal using Sierra’s methods or those belonging to anyone else. She discovered more what was worth fighting for: Vik and not wanting him to die. This felt like the first time she really came to terms with that and wanted to approach however much time they had together in a more meaningful way.
Does Helen realize that Sierra and Vik slept together? We do love that a certain part of that is left open to interpretation.
The Affair tonight on a superficial level could be about sexuality, but we interpret it more about what it means to bond with someone and also what it means to heal. Yet, the desires of multiple people are not always completely aligned, which is why we find ourselves now in the spot we are in for many characters.
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