The Affair Weekly Recap: Season 3, Episode 1

The Affair Episode 301
Juliette has no idea what she's getting into... Photo: Phil Caruso/Showtime

Welcome to our weekly recap of The Affair Season 3! Each week we’ll go over the latest developments on the show, point out Hamptons locales and scenes, and occasionally poke some fun at the often-dark drama.

Season 3, Episode 1

Three years after the events of last season

Noah tries to get his life together following his stint in prison. At his father’s funeral, he gives what might be the coldest eulogy in history after fearfully eyeing a strange figure walking through the cemetery. Helen tries to be supportive, but Noah wants none of it. Besieged with bad dreams and memories of his time in prison, Noah takes to popping pills. His sister, Nina, who he’s living with, is the only one who isn’t judging him for his conviction and believes that he’s innocent. Her husband loses it when their father’s will leaves his house to Noah, but Noah insists that he doesn’t want it and decides to rent a cheap apartment near the university campus. Noah, teaching a writing workshop, offers extremely harsh criticism to a young woman after she reads her assignment to the class.

Flashback to prison. Helen can’t believe what’s happened and tells Noah she’s going to try to get him out of this situation. Noah implores Helen to not worry about him—he’s tougher than she thinks—and doesn’t even think he’ll be there for three years. He gives her a bit of false hope when he tells her to “wait.” Wait for what? Famous last words, Noah!

After falling asleep in the school chapel, Noah awakens in the middle of a French classics course taught by Professor Juliette Le Gall. They bond after class and she invites him to a dinner party. Noah continues to see the strange man—a prison guard?—and starts getting jumpy, constantly flashing back to mysterious moments in prison involving the guard. Later, at Juliette’s dinner party, which is populated by her favorite students including Audrey, the girl whose work he destroyed, Noah gets into a debate about his book; it appears that the viewers of The Affair are not the only ones who think Noah is a misogynistic pig!

To his credit, he apologizes to Audrey when she says she doesn’t feel safe in his class, then makes out with Juliette. He and the beautiful professor nearly have sex, but a train whistle freaks him out and he bolts. Further plagued by memories of prison and a guard who tormented him, he leaves a voicemail for Alison, even though she asked him not to contact her. He heads back to his new digs—a decrepit student housing apartment—where he is promptly stabbed in the neck!

Our take…
This episode didn’t appear to take place anywhere near the Hamptons, but Cole and Alison are still out in Montauk, so we’ll presumably head there next week. Noah manages to squeeze a tiny bit of sympathy out of the audience this week with his constant fear of being followed and seeing how far he’s fallen, but once Juliette appears on the scene it looks as though the narcissistic Lothario will be back to his old antics. Thank goodness for PTSD!

Random tidbits
Is there some rule in fiction where enlightened college professors are required to host elaborate dinner parties for their students for the sole purpose of watching them naively pontificate?

Nina’s an interesting character, and hopefully we see more of her this season. She and Noah almost seem too close…

Whitney wasn’t at the funeral, likely because of the hot tub incident et al, but we missed her.

The Affair Season 3 is on Showtime every Sunday at 10 p.m.

More from Our Sister Sites