Ranking the top 5 moments from “The Affair” season 5 episode 1 season premiere: “So What Happens Now?”

Happy Sunday TV fans!  After watching Showtime’s The Affair season 5 premiere, it seems like a lot has changed since we last checked in.  Time jumps are present, which may seem jarring and unfamiliar at first, but the opening to the final season of the show does a fantastic job of tugging at all of your emotions while making you cry your eyes out, but that’s part of its addictive and melodramatic charm.  Please note spoilers are ahead if you have not gotten a chance to watch the latest episode yet.  

In tonight’s episode, “501,” it looks like Noah’s book may be turned into a movie, bringing up some interesting questions for him.  Meanwhile, Helen attempts to cope with Vic’s deteriorating health and we time jump into the future to follow Alison and Cole’s adult daughter, Joanie.  My top 5 moments from The Affair season 5 episode 1 season premiere are:


“Why does Daniel leave his wife?”

Part one of the episode follows Noah and he is meeting with some kind of movie producer who is interested in his book.  The movie producer seems fascinated with the character based on Helen and brings up some questions of self reflection for Noah, asking him why the character left his wife.  Noah tries to explain that it is not really an easy answer and the movie producer seems to have an addiction for toxic relationships himself, but perhaps Noah needs to revisit his characters again so he doesn’t make the same mistakes in the present.


“You’re supposed to be on my side.”

After Vic was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in season 4, we now discover that he has tragically passed and Noah attends the funeral with Janelle.  Helen is doing her best to keep everything together, but she has to deal with Vic’s overbearing parents as well, who refuse to honor Vic’s final wishes for burial.  Helen has an outburst and rightfully so, which brings Noah into the mix.

While it seems like Noah has good intentions here, I’m not sure that Helen is ready to deal with him right now.  Noah is still somewhat of an outsider to his own family, discovering that Whitney is getting married through Vic’s recording, rather than hearing it from his own daughter.  Is it possible for him to finally make amends or will he simply accept his current circumstances?


“She’s a keeper.”

I was super excited to see that Janelle is still on the show, played brilliantly by Sanaa Lathan, but it doesn’t even seem like Noah notices her half the time.  Noah is clearly distracted by what is going on with Helen, but he has a strong, intelligent, and loyal woman right next to him.  Will Noah ever truly be satisfied or will he continue to chase after the unattainable?

I’m really hoping that he makes some kind of real decision in the final season, as I’m not sure that we have really seen too much growth for his character.  After everything he has been through, he is still ignoring the beautiful woman standing by his side to dive back into the drama and misery of what could have been.


“This is the age my mother died…”

Part two time jumps into the future, as we catch up with Joanie, played by True Blood’s Anna Paquin.  I have to say that I am impressed with that casting, as I could totally see her as Alison and Cole’s daughter and she is already channeling so much angst that we came to identify with Alison’s character.

So far we don’t know too much.  Joanie says that she misses her dad and is taking medication for her anxiety.  She has a husband and two daughters, but she fears that one of her daughters senses that she is adopted.  Joanie is also turning the same age Alison was when she died, which is clearly bringing up a lot of past issues for her. 

Based on the previews for the upcoming episodes, it looks like Joanie plans on following up on how Alison died and even decides to try and track down Ben Cruz, who we know is responsible for her mother’s death.  Will Joanie’s quest lead to answers or is she destined to follow her mother’s tragic fate?  I’m not sure, but I am very invested in this story-line.  Since we do not have Alison or Cole on the show any longer, Joanie is our last tie to this connection that I fell in love with so many seasons ago and I’m hoping everything can come full circle to bring us some justice for Alison.


“I had to be resilient.”

Part three of the episode is from Helen’s perspective.  We witness the moments leading up to Vic’s death and the birth of his child.  I’ve gone back and forth with my feelings on Helen as a character and I really started to genuinely like her in season 4.  In the season 5 premiere, Helen has finally reached her true moment in the spotlight.  In season 4, Joshua Jackson and Ruth Wilson had fantastic performances that still touch my mind, body, and soul, but Maura Tierney just stepped up to the plate.

She had me crying my eyes out with every single moment from her perspective.  Even though Helen is known for speaking her mind, those moments of silence, where you could just see the reality striking her felt so incredibly real and heartbreaking.  I was incredibly impressed by this performance and I can’t wait to see what happens next with Helen’s character.

Overall, I thought that the season premiere had a lot of promise and it will be interesting to see how it all ends.  Noah discussed the ending of his book in the beginning of the episode and I thought this was a clever way to remind the audience that perhaps the end of one of our favorite series will leave us with something unexpected as well.  Stay tuned!

I hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to post your own theories and thoughts on The Affair below in the comments section.  Thanks so much for reading and happy viewing!


Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

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Amy Koto, TV Fanatic Girl

I live in Long Island, NY. I am obsessed with TV, movies, reading and writing! My top TV shows are Lost, Breaking Bad, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Prison Break, Charmed, Veronica Mars, and Beverly Hills 90210. My dog, Honey, loves TV too!

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