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S03.E09: Episode 9

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Had I known a show called "The Affair" would devolve into a show about a man's sudden guilt over something bad he did decades ago sending him to hallucination land, I probably wouldn't have started watching it. I mean wtf, it doesn't even seem like the same show. They should just call it "Noah".

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27 minutes ago, LilaFowler said:

Noah and his lunacy -- I give up.  Was the stuff with Gunther pretty much all in his head?  If so, why was Gunther so calm and not-surprised when an obviously unstable ex-con follows his wife home from work, scares his family, and threatens him with a knife?  And he let him just leave?  Was he half-expecting that? 

My guess is that Gunther is trained to deal with tense situations as part of being a prison guard, and knows not to escalate when dealing with a person who is not in his right mind.  I'd also guess, because of his family and needing to keep his job and his insurance, he wouldn't want to deal with the mess that would ensue if he called this in.  If he could get Noah to just go away "and get help," as he told him, he wouldn't have to deal with investigations and publicity.

I also have to remind myself, we're seeing this from Noah's POV, so who knows how that actually went down.

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On 1/23/2017 at 2:53 PM, subina167 said:

Exactly! The knife had to have still been there. Did they check the fingerprints?

 

On 1/23/2017 at 4:06 PM, nara said:

 

Didn't it fall into the sink full of water?

I don't think water would remove the fingerprints without scrubbing, which there seems to have been none.

On 1/23/2017 at 1:35 PM, izabella said:

Helen's version didn't end with the end of their sexual encounter.  We did not see the whole thing in her version, but we did in Noah's version, which included his hand on her neck/chin holding her down, as well as her cries of stop and enough, and her crying. 

But we've also seen in Noah's version of events Noah talking to a non-existatnt Gunther, cutting a non-existant Gunther, being stalked by somebody not there, writing about killing his mother when he didn't write about that.  Just because his version showed him raping Helen is not really a reason to think that happened.

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2 minutes ago, Rock knocker said:

But we've also seen in Noah's version of events Noah talking to a non-existatnt Gunther, cutting a non-existant Gunther, being stalked by somebody not there, writing about killing his mother when he didn't write about that.  Just because his version showed him raping Helen is not really a reason to think that happened.

To me, the tip-off that something bad happened between Noah and Helen that night was the fact that Helen was sniffing around Vik again. Had the sex with Noah been good for her, she'd probably be trying to re-establish a relationship with him, and not give Vik a second thought.

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This show...it started as a sexy affair show and now is about self-inflicted violence and mental illness where every single character is miserable. I find it hard to hate Noah the way I want to when the show is making it clear that he's absolutely gone past the bend and needs to be institutionalized. (Apparently a vacation with French prof is all he needs though according to previews.)

I'm really kind of annoyed that we've gotten what? three episodes this season with Cole? We've spent more time with Vik and French Prof and certainly Head!Gunther. Oy.

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2 hours ago, chocolatine said:

o me, the tip-off that something bad happened between Noah and Helen that night was the fact that Helen was sniffing around Vik again. Had the sex with Noah been good for her, she'd probably be trying to re-establish a relationship with him, and not give Vik a second thought.

If I am getting the timeline right, I figured it was because of talking to Allison in the bar. Helen had thought Noah confessed to protect her but after Allison told her she was there when Scotty was killed then Helen was crushed to find out that Noah was actually protecting Allison.

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9 hours ago, Armchair Critic said:

If I am getting the timeline right, I figured it was because of talking to Allison in the bar. Helen had thought Noah confessed to protect her but after Allison told her she was there when Scotty was killed then Helen was crushed to find out that Noah was actually protecting Allison.

This is what I thought as well.  She was still pining for Noah until Allison figured into the equation (again), so she went slinking back to Vik. Pathetic!

As for the rape from Noah's POV:  I think it must have been in his head only.  For whatever reason he seems to really resent Helen and want to hurt her. 

Edited by LilaFowler
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I can't even begin to understand how Noah developed severe psychosis with hallucinations and paranoia. Did he develop schizophrenia at this late stage of life?  No one has noticed this odd behavior?  Someone in his state doesn't just get better so they better not show him as suddenly "cured" like some bad daytime soap opera  

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How Noah's story went from cheating scumbag, to literary genius and devolved into an episode of OZ without the rape is beyond me. However, when it than turns into Black Swan sans the ballet it is just a bridge too far for me. Noah's story is trying to be too many things. I just can't with that twist. Noah assisting his mother with her suicide is one thing but I just can't buy that Inception shit that he planted the idea of suicide into her head. That is some psychopathic Hannibal Lecter shit and I just have a hard time buying it being done by frigging teenage Noah. 

Also, huge eye roll over Noah's fictitious dialogue with notGunther in solitary about perception of different people, which is the premise of the show. A little too on the nose and wink to the audience if you ask me.  

What I find interesting about Noah's prison stint is how very isolated he seemed from all the other prisoners. He didn't seem to have a cellmate so I wonder if they kept him intentionally segregated due to his fame/high profile. That isolation is probably one of the factors that led to his mental break. He was too much in his own head.

Also, I have to wonder why Noah was even in solitary confinement if Gunther wasn't actually terrorizing him. Maybe cause he was acting like a frigging loon?

Helen's story was the best part of this episode.

On 1/23/2017 at 1:50 AM, chocolatine said:

Vik. Oh, Vik. He told Helen he'll talk to her after work. Sounds like he's open to getting back together. Why, Vik, why? You're a handsome surgeon in NYC. You could do so much better.

Vik as written doesn't make any kind of sense to me. Employed Doctor, handsome, eligible, monied, not a total asshat, no kid. Why Helen? Vik must enjoy a good dumpster fire, the flames of which must be at least licking at the lapels of his jacket for him to even be remotely interested. 

I love Helen's parents Montauk home. Didn't realize how much I miss that tidbit of real estate porn until it was back on my screen. 

The 180 of her parents is indeed strange. I would be afraid to fall asleep lest the alien pods take over my body too.

Edited by islandgal140
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On 1/23/2017 at 1:21 PM, Muffyn said:

Upon reflection, Noah is now a rapist and a murderer.  If what we have seen is to be believed, he encouraged his mother to want to kill herself and may not have had her permission to give her a lethal dose of her meds.  He raped Helen in their last encounter.  It started consensually but didn't end that way.  When Whitney and Helen's parents paint him as a murderer for his vehicular manslaughter conviction, I think, dial it back a notch.  Now that we know the real Noah, they should dial it up to 11.   

I think he's a rapist and a murderer in his own mind. I think his greed and materialism got the better of him when it came to the choices he's made, and as a result he hates himself so much he has descended in his own mind (with the help of recreationals,) to the depth of a murderer and a rapist,  but I am not sure that he actually is what he "thinks" he is.  The man is an addict, as Vic so adeptly pointed out, so he is enduring, I think a series of drug induced psychosis.  He believes the unreal as reality.   

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Noah assisting his mother with her suicide is one thing but I just can't buy that Inception shit that he planted the idea of suicide into her head. That is some psychopathic Hannibal Lecter shit and I just have a hard time buying it being done by frigging teenage Noah. 

I don't buy that either. But if the guy is an addict, he will believe anything about himself.  He is afterall a narcissist.  

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On 1/23/2017 at 0:26 PM, RedFiat said:

I loved this episode. I thought it confirmed a lot of what the show was aiming at all season. 

I agree.

As to whether Noah is a "murderer and a rapist," I have my doubts on both counts. But since others have challenged the rape allegation, let me concentrate on the other one. We know that Noah feels like he murdered his Mom and carries around so much guilt that he inflicts punishment on himself--but that doesn't mean he did. We know (or have indications) that Noah's father blamed Noah for the mother's death--but this also doesn't prove anything. And we have some reason to think (and also some reason not to think) that the manuscript of Noah's new novel describes matricide. But even if does, it's fiction! It's a novel-- not autobiography. I lean towards thinking that Noah carries around guilt because he benefitted so handsomely from his mother's death (not just getting to go to Williams, but this leading to meeting Helen, a prosperous existence, fame); the need for the young man to act for his self-preservation, combined with circumstances as ambiguous as those concerning the mother's death, combined with the magnificent extent to which he clearly benefitted from his mother's death, could make him confused enough in his memory that he begins to feel like his mother's murderer (and to "confess" the act in the form of fiction) even if he wasn't. 

Edited by Milburn Stone
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1 hour ago, Lemons said:

I can't even begin to understand how Noah developed severe psychosis with hallucinations and paranoia. Did he develop schizophrenia at this late stage of life?  No one has noticed this odd behavior?  Someone in his state doesn't just get better so they better not show him as suddenly "cured" like some bad daytime soap opera  

I think it's simply all the friggen drugs and booze (remember the cocaine night when he saw his daughter in the hot tub?) that can lead certain people, like Noah for example who has been carrying around guilt for years into a state of delusion. Overuse of stuff like coke for example can lead to a persecutory delusion, that is the thought that someone is out to harm or kill him.   

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7 minutes ago, RedFiat said:

 The man is an addict, as Vic so adeptly pointed out, so he is enduring, I think a series of drug induced psychosis.  He believes the unreal as reality.   

Vic can't diagnose someone in 2 minutes, especially someone he hates.   And you don't get drug induced pyschosis from taking mild painkillers.

I don't believe he is a drug addict.  I think his shoulder pain is very real to him and he needs the medication. It's not clear whether the shoulder injury is real or imagined but it's real to him, just like he believes the guard is trying to kill him. 

5 minutes ago, RedFiat said:

I think it's simply all the friggen drugs and booze (remember the cocaine night when he saw his daughter in the hot tub?) that can lead certain people, like Noah for example who has been carrying around guilt for years into a state of delusion. Overuse of stuff like coke for example can lead to a persecutory delusion, that is the thought that someone is out to harm or kill him.   

True, but they didn't show him using cocaine in prison when he was having hallucinations. Did he start again after prison?  I can't remember. 

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Vic can't diagnose someone in 2 minutes, especially someone he hates.   And you don't get drug induced pyschosis from taking mild painkillers.

You're right. But the amount of vicodin Noah was taking along with the scotch and whatever else he used may have caught up to him. 

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True, but they didn't show him using cocaine in prison when he was having hallucinations. Did he start again after prison?  I can't remember.

I think prison was the only time he was not over-indulging in some sort of drugs, he's been having hallucinations even before the car accident, and getting those visions made him move his drunk ass from the driver's seat and drunk Helen took the wheel .  He has been popping vicodin like candy. Alison was pretty concerned when they had their little trip to Block Island, and Vik brought it up again, this time as a dr.   

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1 hour ago, RedFiat said:

I think prison was the only time he was not over-indulging in some sort of drugs, he's been having hallucinations even before the car accident, and getting those visions made him move his drunk ass from the driver's seat and drunk Helen took the wheel .  He has been popping vicodin like candy. Alison was pretty concerned when they had their little trip to Block Island, and Vik brought it up again, this time as a dr.   

If those are all hints that he is overdoing drugs that are causing constant hallucinations, the writers are doing a bad job. Like you said before, drugs like cocaine and overuse of stimulants would cause those kind of symptoms more than painkillers typically used for toothaches. They should be showing him snorting, not sleeping, etc.  why aren't they being clearer in their story telling?

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7 hours ago, Lemons said:

If those are all hints that he is overdoing drugs that are causing constant hallucinations, the writers are doing a bad job. Like you said before, drugs like cocaine and overuse of stimulants would cause those kind of symptoms more than painkillers typically used for toothaches. They should be showing him snorting, not sleeping, etc.  why aren't they being clearer in their story telling?

Well we have seen him unable to sleep, as far as vicodin is concerned a long term effect could include hallucinations since it is a combination of opiate and hydrocodone, which with prolonged abuse can take the form of depression, mood swings, euphoria and lows, pretty much what we have seen Noah experience.  Vicodin is one nasty painkiller even a short period of taking the drug can lead to addiction.

Edited by RedFiat

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I'm going to share something personal that helps me understand why Noah would take the blame for his mother's death even if (as I believe) he didn't murder her. Years ago, as a young man, I moved away from my home town to a career in the big city about a thousand miles away. My mother was proud of me and what I accomplished, but all the same I know that it left a hole in her heart that I wasn't there and would only get back three to four times a year. She lived to a ripe old age and died of natural causes. All the same, a little piece of me--an irrational piece, but there just the same--believes that if I'd made a life in my home town, she would have lived a little longer. So yes, it's crazy, it's wrong, it's untrue, it's not supported by reality, but I feel guilt over her death. If I feel guilt over that--something which reality tells me I had no complicity in--it's a no-brainer for me that Noah can confuse assisted suicide with murder.

He thought he could make the guilt go away by taking the blame in the eyes of the law for something else he didn't do. But it didn't work. I hope for his sake the odyssey he's on this season will do the trick.

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On 1/24/2017 at 11:21 PM, RedFiat said:

Well we have seen him unable to sleep, as far as vicodin is concerned a long term effect could include hallucinations since it is a combination of opiate and hydrocodone, which with prolonged abuse can take the form of depression, mood swings, euphoria and lows, pretty much what we have seen Noah experience.  Vicodin is one nasty painkiller even a short period of taking the drug can lead to addiction.

I took it sporadically for awhile for a shoulder injury (not caused by throwing myself at prison walls) and then more regularly for a couple of weeks postop after surgical repair of the injury.  I always took the minimal dose and was never addicted but I still had mild withdrawal symptoms when I stopped taking it, so I can see it being pretty easy to get addicted to, especially when you're popping it like candy like Noah.

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On ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 11:07 AM, DarkRaichu said:

That was Alison masking her drinking habit in her own POV :P  In Helen's POV, whatever Alison was drinking was much much stronger than Long Island teas :D :D

I honestly dozed off when Gunther debated with Noah in his isolation cell.  When I opened my eyes Noah stabbed himself.  I did not care to go back and figure out what had happened.  :D :D :D

Have you ever had a Long Island Iced Tea?  OMG those things will knock you on your ass if you aren't careful!  Just because it has a frou-frou sounding name doesn't mean it wasn't just as strong (or not stronger) than the drinks they had in Helen's point of view (I think it was Jamison?)

On ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 4:48 PM, Blakeston said:

It reminded me of Michael on Arrested Development asking his mother, "Why are you squeezing me with your body?"

 

OMG--yes!  Perfect reference and description of Helen's face when it happened!

On ‎1‎/‎23‎/‎2017 at 7:45 PM, CocoaGoddess said:

Brenden Fraser also looked much, much hotter in reality than as the prison guard. When he had on those glasses and was comforting his special needs kid .... whoa. Hey there Brenden! (And yes, his acting was absolutely aces, I really hope he gets some kind of guest Emmy nod).

 

IKR?  I was kind of distraught when I saw him looking so bleak in all the other episodes.  Relieved he's still handsome in real life (even with the hair loss). 

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Perfect reference and description of Helen's face when it happened!

I loved her expression when after her parents had their gushing sharing-and-caring, she calls  out to the kids, "Lets get some lunch", then looks back at them like "Who are you, and what have you done with my parents?"

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1 hour ago, Duke2801 said:

Have you ever had a Long Island Iced Tea?  OMG those things will knock you on your ass if you aren't careful!  Just because it has a frou-frou sounding name doesn't mean it wasn't just as strong (or not stronger) than the drinks they had in Helen's point of view (I think it was Jamison?)

Ok. I do not usually drink mixed drinks.  I guess the 1 Long Island Ice Tea I tried a long time ago was rather weak :P

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Not many comments on the parents?  The scene I will always remember after I have long forgotten the rest of this hot mess is the one at the beach house where the newly minted reconciled parents who are now suddenly all happy and nice vs nasty and negative are telling her its all their fault and they are taking all the blame for the problems their poor parenting caused.  For every person who has talked about their parents in therapy,.....omg what a fantasy!  Alice through the Looking Glass surreal!  Has this ever ever happened?   I thought this was the most amazing scene ever for its sheer alternate universe craziness.  Even more than whether Gunther is real, this made me think this is a Dallas Who Killed Bobby season (its all a dream)

So Noah (1) selfishly killed his mother without her knowledge (2) killed his mother with her knowledge; either way suffering years of guilt.  

Have no idea what is real and what is not at this point the differing POV's are so different an there is so much timeline jumping and multiple backstories I don't believe anything.  I am pissed off that this all just seems a way to keep the audience guessing and no answers ever seem to be resolved. I see people here totally convince Noah is a rapist and I don't think so.  I want the writers to provide the actual answers; did Noah stab himself, did the prison guard break Noah's shoulder etc. 

I can't stand Helen.  Noah's every gets picked apart but she gets a pass and I don't understand it.  I think the latched onto Noah in college who was ambivalent about getting married.  Controlled or tried to control his every choice, makes him take her fathers money, would not leave him alone, on the beach,  in prison, in the hospital, at the funeral, at every turn she is stalking him, there trying to hold his hand.  She lets him go to prison.  She treated Vik like she was barely tolerating him for 4 years. She seduces Max, one of her oldest friends  into having sex after having just been told that he is getting married.  Then post coital starts pumping him about Noah.  She is so much like her asshole parents.  I can't stand her.  I much prefer Noah.  And I'm a feminist man hater!

What is the deal with Noah always calling Gunther "John" and Gunther getting angry and telling him its Gunther.  It seems significant.  

Edited by Giesela
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Well this is as far as I made it with this show, and I'm out. I'm fully spoiled and nothing much else interests me- I skipped half of this season, mostly Noah.

I liked seeing Helen come clean this ep. I thought MT did a good job.

Overall, I enjoyed all the actors and characters  except Noah/DW. (I didn't like DW in The Wire either, but it was a much better show overall.)

At this point, I feel like the show has lost its purpose and I'm not interested in random new characters. Have zero interest in watching Alison's fate, it kind of feels like a slap in the face after investing this much time and energy on the character. I don't know what RW did to piss Treem off, but it must have been something for her to leave the way she did amd for the character to be treated like this (in s. 4). Not saying I think Treem is justified in whatever it was- clearly something happened in set based on Ruth's comments. 

Anyway. What's next...hmm...new season of Luther is coming....☺

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