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The Affair - Season Four - Advance Preview: Still Going Strong

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Nobody else saw it, maybe it didn’t happen.

This season of The Affair touches upon certain subjects very much present in today’s conversation such as race, immigration, and gender. As per usual we begin with a mystery and we walk backward to find out what led us here. If you’ve seen the trailer you know someone’s missing, but we only start learning more about who it is in short flash-forwards as the story unfolds. The unreliable narrators, which I feel they had left aside a little after season one, are back in full force making some of the stories a bit inconsistent at times, or at least harder to follow.

For those of you who, like me, are in this for Alison and Cole and their stories (whether it's separate or apart), you'll have to wait till the second episode because episode number one is all about Noah and Helen who are struggling with custody of the kids and the whole family dynamic, even regarding to one of the kid’s sexual orientation. They all moved to LA which is quite refreshing and gives them something new to work with since these two characters are frankly quite stale. Emily Browning plays Helen and Vic's neighbor and she's such an LA stereotype it's funny.

Noah is dealing with his new job as a high school teacher and there he finds Anton, one of his students who shows promise, and frankly the only interesting thing about his story this season, though I have to accept it's a hell of a lot better than what they did last season with crazy Brendan Fraser "following him around". Of course, Noah continues being his usual terrible self and the writers continue to force us to follow his story way to close for a character no one loves, or even loves to hate. There's even a white-savior thing that is so obvious I honestly hope its acknowledged and addressed by the writers at some point and not a ploy to make us like him because it only makes things worse, it's not out of character, of course, but it needs to be called out by someone around him or I will be pissed.

How did you know I’m divorced?
Wild guess.

Now, to the interesting part, Allison is finding her way as a part of Woodlawn doing peer-to-peer counseling, helping others go through what she had to go through and finding a path forward in her own life as well, despite her own doubts and fears. There are beautiful and tragic moments in her story, as always, and Ruth Wilson takes the cake with her acting once again. Her relationship with Cole though struggles as they don't seem to be in the same headspace very often, but they have so much chemistry it's still a lot of fun watching them on screen together.

Speaking of which, Cole is in a more complicated situation, struggling with his marriage, his job, and his wife's immigration status, not to mention their differing ideas about how they could fix her situation. He's also going through something that could be categorized as a midlife crisis, in his soul searching he will meet Phoebe Tonkin's character which doesn't seem to add a hell of a lot to the story, but she is in episode five where Cole's journey will take a turn. As will Allison's a bit later, but there's no way to know if their journeys will merge or take them further apart.

I am not going to leave you.
Well, clearly not today, Allison is busy.

Season four of The Affair is described as "a season about new beginnings, tragic ends and the ever-elusive possibility of forgiveness". It continues on its exploration of these complex characters taking us through the depths of their darkest corners. Halfway through, this season is insightful, heartbreaking, filled with love stories and tragedies, old and new and as per usual, it is mesmerizing, addictive and it leaves you wanting more.

How much do I need?

The premiere of The Affair season four airs on Showtime, Sunday, June 17 at 9:00 PM.

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