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The Affair - Episode 5.04 - Review

On this week's episode of The Affair, the theme seems to be "couples that should break up and how to get them there". In some cases (Helen & Sasha), arguably there's nothing fundamentally wrong with the relationship, but Sasha is such a slimeball that it's hard to root for them. In others (Whitney & Colin), the latter makes it increasingly easy to wish better things upon a seemingly long-suffering Whitney.

As Noah fails yet again as a dad by getting Trevor the wrong fabric for his Halloween costume (Margaret was right though, could that outfit have been more cliché?), Stacey is suddenly revealed to be having her first major crisis (at least since she almost chocked in season 1 and led to the whole premise of this show, that is) and it's (finally) Noah's time to shine. He deals with her getting her period pretty well, being there for her and staying with her while Margaret goes shopping.

But getting some emergency tampons was not all Margaret did! Apparently the subject matter inspired her, and she comes up with that she thinks is the perfect plan: Noah will have easy access to Sasha's house during his "legendary" Halloween party, to which the whole family is invited minus, well, Noah. Since he was banned but the movie set, it's no surprise Sasha wouldn't want him inside his own house and as Trevor so kindly reminded his father, the script writer is "basically the least important person there". I don't agree with this since they're responsible for the slightly trivial matter that is the story, but since the script is being rewritten daily by other people...Trevor has a point.

But back to the plan: Margaret, for one, is not going to wait until Helen's relationship has run its course, and has decided to take matters into her own hands. Quite literally, since she appears to have purchased what seems like a wide variety of sex toys, that she wants Noah to plant in Sasha's room, hopefully shocking Helen into breaking up with him. No, it doesn't seem like it would work, but you have to admire the attempt. Noah's longing gazes aren't really doing anything, after all, and Margaret is desperate to get Helen back to the East coast, where an increasingly confused Bruce still resides. Actually, I can only assume that's where he is since Bruce's whereabouts aren't disclosed during the episode. One can only hope someone's there to take care of him and uh, not let him give away more of their quickly disappearing money. Surprise, surprise though: the plan fails quite spectacularly and Noah ends up looking like a complete maniac, pushing Helen further into Sasha's eager arms.

If, during the early seasons, someone had told me we'd be getting a Whitney-centric point of view, I'd never have believed it. But thankfully, Whitney grew out of her brat phase (which lasted quite a bit) and this allows us to get a glimpse into her less than glamorous day-to-day life. Surely there's a better way to wake up than getting grilled by your green-card devoid fiancé? Who, by the way, far from making it easier for her, doesn't make any money, forgets to buy groceries, and is just generally pretty useless. One wonders what Whitney even sees in him, let alone why she'd want to marry the guy.

As we see her suffer at the hands of the gallery owner she now works for, her abusive ex boyfriend Furkat makes a surprise reappearance and invites her to a party, to which she initially refuses to go to. However, said-tyrannical boss (who is one thinly veiled reproach away from replacing her with someone who will work for free) coerces her into attending it anyway. Whitney's home life being what it is, her reluctance quickly devolves into abandon as she has sex with Furkat while a gallery collector watches (the less said about this the better). Whitney balks when she realizes this, but Furkat indicates the collector might just help get her her own gallery. Filled with shame and regrets, Whitney leaves and goes back to Colin.

Back in the future, we finally get a timeline of events thanks to Joanie's short point of view, and learn Cole died at 74. However, we're still in the dark about what happened in between, after Alison died and Joanie became a recluse. She was obviously still close to her dad though, so that's heartwarming since her life now seems pretty bleak.

We're getting closer to being halfway through this season, and I still have no idea where we're headed. Which can be exciting, but I really do wish Joanie's segments were longer. After 4+ seasons of Noah messing his way through life, I'm ready to see other characters shine.
What did you guys think of this episode? Did you believe Margaret's plan would work? Should Whitney have been more careful?

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