“The Affair” Season 1 Episode 1 premiered on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on Showtime. Let’s meet the two main characters that will tell us their own versions of the story: Noah and Alison. Read on for the recap.
The episode opened with Noah Solloway (Dominic West), who just finished his morning swim and was ready to come home to wake up his wife, Helen (Maura Tierney). The two try to have morning sex, but as they were interrupted by one of their children, they switched to parent-mode and prepared for their trip. The Solloway family was going away for the summer, and with four kids in tow, it was not easy to rally up the troop and have them ready for departure.
The interruption during sex, by the way, was just one of the many things that they continuously deal with as a couple, which seemed to establish that with everything going on in Noah’s big family — he had a nice house, a good job, a cushy book deal and a wonderful family — time alone with his wife was rare and unfulfilling.
While preparing, Noah’s older son, Martin (Jake Richard Siciliano), told his Dad that he did not want to go to his grandparents for the summer, despite the Montauk hideaway having everything they needed for the holidays. The grandparents were filthy rich, but Martin wasn’t thrilled at the idea of being there because he didn’t like grandpa all that much. Noah felt the same; he wasn’t a big fan of his in-laws too. Before leaving their house in Brooklyn, Martin played a trick on his dad. He pretended to hang himself. It looked too real that Noah panicked. This kid has some issues. Was this significant to what will happen in the story later?
The Solloway’s younger son, Trevor (Jadon Sand), was a precarious child whose interest was in reading his dad’s published book, but he wasn’t allowed to yet as it was too grown-up. So we’ve established this fact: Noah was a book author. He’s also a teacher, which makes him quite the intelligent, scholarly man.
The Solloway’s eldest child, Whitney (Julia Goldani Telles), was the typical teenager who sulked and rolled her eyes at her parents a lot. She confessed to smoking pot too, which only received a light reminder from her lovely and sweet mother.
Their youngest, Stacy (Leya Catlett), was still pretty much needed to be watched over. While the family stopped over for a meal at this restaurant at the Hamptons, Stacy accidentally choked and Helen and Noah panicked.
And this was where Alison (Ruth Wilson) entered the story, converging with Noah’s side.
In Noah’s version of the story, he was the hero who saved his daughter’s life, while Alison, who was their waitress, stood there, stunned. In Alison’s version of the story, she was the one who helped Stacy cough up whatever was choking her.
Alison was married to Cole (Joshua Jackson), and they lived by the seaside. The episode has established that today would have been the birth of her son, Gabriel. But in 2012, he accidentally died at age four, and the couple is still grieving the loss. In the opening of her story, Alison was, in fact, taking a shower with this dazed look on her face, as if reflecting on her life. Later, when she arrived late for a family dinner, Cole berated her, implying that since their son’s death, this was the kind of relationship the couple had — she was miserable and he was angry.
In the course of telling their “his and hers” side of the story, it was revealed that this was actually part of an ongoing investigation with the police. It wasn’t clear as to what the investigation was about just yet and what the affair’s connection was to the crime or case.
Now, their meeting and eventual encounter after the scene at the restaurant is where the police got two different sides.
In Noah’s version, Alison was hardly showing any signs of grieving, except for that brief moment when Noah caught her wiping a tear at the restaurant’s bathroom (after Stacy’s choking). She was, in fact, quite a tease, friendly and flirtatious to Noah. She was dressed differently and moved differently that Noah was easily drawn to her. In Alison’s version, her demeanor was different. She hardly showed any interest. She was cordial but not too friendly, and she was dressed unremarkably.
When the two met at the beach later that night, in Noah’s version, it was Alison who was touchy-feely. It was her who offered cigarettes, and it was her who suggested that Noah take a bath at their outdoor shower when he followed her home. In Alison’s version, it was the complete opposite, as Noah was the one showing interest, offering her a cigarette, walking her home and asking her if he could try their outdoor shower.
Noah also witnessed Alison having sex with Cole outside of their house. But while this was not a comfortable scene to watch in both versions, Noah and Alison had opposing viewpoints of what this incident was about too.
The episode closed with Alison in the present day, being interviewed by the police. She was asking about the time as she still had to pick up a child. Who’s child was this and what really happened to the affair?
— The Affair (@SHO_TheAffair) October 13, 2014
And that’s it for “The Affair” Season 1 Episode 1, which premiered on Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014, at 10:00 p.m. on Showtime. As this was only the first episode, there’s still a lot of questions. Did you catch all the subtle clues in both versions of the story? You can watch the episode again in the video below.
For more updates, news and stories about “The Affair,” check back to Movie News Guide (MNG) regularly.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Dominic West/Simon Kisner