The Affair Recap: Season 1
Detective Jeffries interrogates Alison Bailey and Noah Solloway about a mysterious death but they are the world’s two most unreliable narrators so everything is a puzzle. Jeffries is determined to solve the murder. Or is it an accident? Who died? Who was the culprit? What was the motive? Was it related to THE AFFAIR? Let’s go!
It all starts with a chance encounter when Brooklynite Noah and his family summer in the Hamptons and stop to dine at the Lobster Roll. It goes like this:
Noah Solloway: Hi, pretty waitress.
Alison Bailey: Hi. May I place your order?
Noah: Yes, you can help me forget about my family.
Alison: You mean, the other people in this booth?
Noah: Yep. Here is my wife Helen, She’s okayish, I guess, but she never makes me feel good about myself.
Helen Solloway: I’m a rich girl married to a high school teacher. He’s lucky to have me. Can I get a Puffer ‘n’ Fish ‘n’ Chips?
Alison: I’m married too. My husband’s name is Cole.
Cole Lockhart: Hello, there. I run the Lockhart ranch with my brothers. I’m devoted, patient, sexy and a martyr.
Noah: Meet my family. My daughter, Whitney, is a cyber bully and entitled brat with an eating disorder. She’s pretty in a trampy jailbait sort of a way. My son, Martin, is merely a plot device. These other two kids contribute nothing to the storyline. Do you have kids?
Alison: No. (sob)
Noah: Good, kids are awful.
Alison: My little boy died in a drowning incident, I am consumed by grief. It overshadows my life and marriage. I am suicidal, self-destructive and I engage in cutting to numb the pain. My heartbreak fuels my actions because I am a well-drawn character on a character-driven show.
Noah: That sucks about your kid, my life is also terrible because my first novel was mediocre. Say, Cole, aside from being a grieving dad, do you have family?
Cole: Yes, the Lockharts are salt-of-the-earth ranchers. We enjoy family dinners. We’re not perfect, we deal drugs. And my brother, Scotty, is sketchy; he would probably have sex with your underage daughter.
Noah: We all stick it where it doesn’t belong sometimes, amirite?
Cole: No, I am devoted to my wife. Do you have any family, here in Montauk?
Noah: I’m out here visiting my in-laws. They are vipers. Oh, look, here they are!
Helen’s Dad: I am a best-selling author. My books are adapted into movies. I am so rich! Are you rich, Noah?
Helen’s Dad: Right. You are a loser. You live in an expensive Brooklyn brownstone. Who paid for it?
Noah: You did.
Helen: Daaad! You’re embarrassing me! I can make Noah feel insignificant in other ways such as literally laughing at him in bed.
Alison: As a grief-stricken, vulnerable townie who has to serve the First Mates Fried Combination to you vile summer people, I’d bolster your ego and never outshine you or get in the way of your desire to be a dominant man.
Helen’s mom: Hi, everyone. I support Whitney’s eating disorder. Nobody likes a fatso. Waitress, I’d like some fried clam strips and a G and T. Wait, are you that poor girl whose child died? I’m so sorry, so tragic. This is the sole moment of decency that will ever be demonstrated by me and my family. Drink it in.
Noah: Hey, nobody liked my book, that’s tragic. Wanna be my muse?
Alison: Okay. I am tragic and I will be your muse.
Oscar Hodges: Hi, folks! How are you enjoying your meal? I run this place. I’m a jerk. I had sex with Alison when we were teens. It was okay because we were in the same age group. It’s not like I’d take advantage of some underage bulimic brat.
Scotty Lockhart: Did someone call my name? Oh, it’s you, Oscar. We have a family feud. It’s a subplot. Something or other about how you want to pave over paradise and put up a parking lot.
Noah: Hey, Alison, let’s have THE AFFAIR.
Alison: Okay. It’s wrong, but I’m a sympathetic wounded sparrow.
Noah: Let’s be remarkably sloppy about the way we handle THE AFFAIR. Hey, what’s the matter? Why are you cutting yourself?
Alison: I lost my son because of a freakish but, thankfully rare form of drowning. I was a nurse back then, I blame myself. Despite THE AFFAIR, the audience will just want to hug me.
Noah: I understand grief. My first book was a flop.
Alison: Let’s continue to engage in blatant shenanigans, which will inevitably expose THE AFFAIR!
Oscar: OMG, you are sooooo obvious, Noah. I’m dropping hints that I know what you’re up to. Anvils really. I am dropping anvils.
Noah: Welp, it’s the end of the summer. I’m gonna abruptly dump you and imply that it’s because of the drug ring.
Alison: Of course, we are from different worlds. We are both married. It was inevitable that you would discontinue THE AFFAIR.
Noah: I’m back in Brooklyn with Helen and she will never know about THE AFFAIR. Gather around children, I am a devoted family man. Who wants to play Jenga?
Oscar: Hi, just getting in touch to say I’m blackmailing you or else I’ll tell Helen about THE AFFAIR.
Noah: Nooo! She must never know about THE AFFAIR! Wow, you are asking for a lot of hush money. It’s not worth it. Helen, I must confess to THE AFFAIR.
Helen: It was that waitress, wasn’t it? That shady trollop never brought me the Puffer ‘n’ Fish ‘n’ Chips.
Subplot: Hi, Oscar. Hey, Lockharts. Let’s have a confrontation that will lead a spiteful Oscar to tell Cole about THE AFFAIR.
Cole: It’s okay. I love you, you are a sympathetic character. I am a saint.
Alison: Thanks, babe. I’m gonna go to the city for a while so I can be stalkerish. I’ll brazenly drop by his wife’s gallery and then stand outside their brownstone peering through the window as Noah and Helen play Jenga with their kids.
The Audience: Uh, you are supposed to be sympathetic, remember?
Cole: Hi Alison, I have followed you to the city to bring you home. I love you.
The Audience: Now, that’s a sympathetic character.
Alison: I will come home and become increasingly unlikable. I wonder what Noah is doing?
Noah: Helen is sticking by me and we are trying to make this marriage work. We play Jenga.
Cole: I love you, Alison.
Alison: Hmm, let’s just start screwing around again, Noah. I’ll visit you in Brooklyn. We will have sex in your home. In Helen’s bed. I will subtly attempt to sabotage your marriage by emptying a shampoo bottle in the hopes that Helen knows I was here.
Noah: Okay, I have to give you false hope that I will immediately leave my comfortable life. I will not treat you like a mistress. I found a tiny shabby apartment for us to share as a legitimate couple.
Alison: But this looks like an apartment to use as a stash pad.
Oscar: Welcome back to Montauk. You could randomly invite me to go to bed with you. I always cared about you so I’m sure this will be a real relationship, unlike THE AFFAIR. I’ve made a morning-after breakfast because you are my girlfriend now, right?
Noah: Welp, I might as well keep screwing around with extras in a montage scene until Alison returns.
Whitney: I sure hope my parents don’t find out that I’m pregnant.
Helen and Noah: You’re pregnant! Who is the dad?!
Whitney: I’m not saying. But his name certainly not Scotty Lockhart.
Noah: I’m going to attack him in front of witnesses and security cameras. This will look bad if anything else happens to him. Hopefully, he doesn’t get murdered. I’d look guilty. I’m gonna finish my book and then go home to stomp on Helen’s heart.
Alison: I’m ready to leave Montauk and start a new life. Bye, Cole. I’m going to catch a train.
Cole: Wait, I’ll come with you and we can start over together. I love you, Alison.
Noah: Hi, Alison. I’ve come to Montauk to say I’ve stomped on Helen’s heart. We can start a new life together. I love you, I guess. Not like the way Cole loves you. I’m shady but this could still work out.
The Symbolism Fairy: Just popped in to point out that Alison is standing at a train station equidistant the two men. It’s like she has to pick a direction.
Crazy Confusing Time Jump: Look at Alison and Noah in this posh apartment. Obviously, much time has passed.
The Audience: Huh?
Alison: I finally have a baby!
The Audience: Whaaa?
Noah: I finally have a second book and an expensive apartment that I paid for with my own money. Did I mention that I wrote a second book?
The Audience: The hell? Are you married? There are too many timelines!
Alison: Someone is at the door.
Detective Jeffries: Come with me, Mr. Solloway!
Alison: I’ll get you out of this!
The Affair: Welp, that concludes the end of our season.
The Audience: Whaaa? This better not be a dream sequence or part of Noah’s book. The phrase “wake up” was uttered a few times and Noah referenced a parallel universe.
The Affair: You’ll just have to wait. This story could end up being the imaginings of an autistic child gazing into a snowglobe. Or maybe, we’ll watch Whitney dramatically parallel park, as she rushes to meet her parents. A Journey song will play on the jukebox and…