'The Affair' Premiere Has Us Fearing We'll Stop Falling for Noah & Alison

noah and helen the affairFor fans of the Emmy-lauded runaway hit The Affair, it's been a long summer, awaiting the premiere of the second season and answers to a plethora of burning questions. Chief among them: Why did Alison and Noah's perspectives of that last scene with Cole and the gun differ so greatly? What happened once Noah was carted off to jail? And, of course, who killed Scotty Lockhart?

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But was anyone really waiting with bated breath to find out what Helen was going through? Or Cole? Not so much.

As much as you gotta love last season's performances from Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson (#TeamPacey 4-eva!), few fans likely fantasized about seeing their characters' perspectives added to the mix. Just hearing that season 2 would feature four total POVs was irritating, because how could execution of so many versions of reality possibly avoid feeling contrived or, at the very least, overwhelming for viewers? It was tough enough to decipher where the truth (is there even such a thing?) lied when we watched Alison and Noah tell their two, sometimes quite different versions of reality last season!

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No matter. The season premiere opens with Noah's side of the story -- with bits and pieces from the post-arrest point in time to flashbacks that take place the summer after the summer of The Affair. He's blissfully living on the water in Upstate New York and negotiating not only the ending of his book with his publisher but his divorce with Helen. From his POV, he's still being run over by Helen's parents (his MIL wants to have everything in the house appraised before he can take it -- including items of purely sentimental value, like a painting of his father's), his kids are pissed at him, and the only silver lining in the whole ordeal is that he gets to go home at the end of a craptastic day to Alison (yep, they're living together!) and a beer.

For part deux, we're served up not Alison buuut ... Helen's experience of the same events. Surprise! She's having sex with college pal and Noah-foil Max. He's obviously thrilled, because duh, he was clearly in love with her last season, but she's just going through the motions. She takes teary showers, finds herself lost in melancholy about as many times she takes hits from her cannabis-packed vape, and navigates the Brooklyn mom brigade who are all gossiping about her divorce, all while trying to be an anchor for her kids and doing everything she can to keep the peace with Noah. Then, in present time, we see her walk into jail, coming to Noah's rescue with the fancy family lawyer she says she's paying for.

Granted, Alison was merely a background character this week, but in the couple of scenes she shared with Noah, something about her felt very cardboard cutout. Maybe that's how Noah now sees her? As a pretty ornament in his new life? Ugh. He also came off like a bumbling douche in both perspectives. 

Please tell us our love affair with The Affair hasn't lost its magic ...

At the very least, judging from previews, featuring courtroom scenes, a depressingly drugged-out Cole, and Alison floating around in a bikini, it may also run the risk of feeling super-soapy at times.

That said, we can't help ourselves; we're deeply committed to seeing it through.


Image via Showtime

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