The Affair Weekly Recap: Season 3, Episode 3

Brendan Fraser and Dominic West in The Affair.
Brendan Fraser and Dominic West in The Affair. 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.

Read our recap of last week’s episode here.

This week: We learn more about Juliette, Noah continues to reject Helen and we meet the creepy prison guard responsible for Noah’s paranoia.

Season 3, Episode 3

If you thought four characters’ unique perspectives weren’t enough, you’re in luck. We get an entire half-hour dedicated to a day in the life of stereotypical college professor Juliette Le Gall. Juliette goes about her day, researching classics in the campus library, talking with enthusiastic students…and secretly reading Noah’s book while telling others she’s reading French literature. After talking to her recently single daughter on the phone, she continues to read Noah’s book and is turned on by it. Later, we get a replay of the dinner with the students from two episodes ago, but things are noticeably different. While the students debate about rape, Juliette is focusing squarely on Noah. “The articulate is the enemy of the erotic,” Juliette says when scorned writing student Audrey asks for her opinion. Noah likes this. Juliette excuses herself to the kitchen, where one of her students, Mike, comes onto her, and she is more troubled by the fact that there are people in the other room than that he’s her student. Audrey interrupts and admits to Juliette that she wants to sleep with Noah. Juliette and Noah nearly sleep together, but he bolts, so Juliette has sex with Mike. Later, Juliette skypes with her husband, who is suffering from dementia. She finds Noah’s coat in her dining room, which has a piece of paper with his new address, and goes to return it, where she finds him on the floor, bleeding out. She calls 911 and saves the day, shaken.

Noah is rushed to the hospital, where he goes into shock and flashes back to his time in the hospital. In prison, Noah meets John Gunther, a prison warden. Gunther knows Noah from high school, but Noah doesn’t remember him at all. He tells Noah he’ll keep an eye out for him. Uh-oh. Back in the hospital, Helen sits by his bedside and acts like his wife. Noah’s not having it and she leaves, dejected. In prison, Gunther brings Noah a typewriter as a gift, then asks him to sign his copy of Noah’s book. Things take a turn for the strange when Gunther sees a photo of Alison on the wall and asks if she’s a character in Noah’s novel. After Noah clarifies that the novel is fictional, Gunther tells him he’s not allowed to have posters on the wall and confiscates it roughly, hurting Noah’s shoulder. In the present. Noah refuses to stay with his sister and instead goes to stay with Juliette. Noah calls the detectives handling the stabbing and tells them he thinks Gunther is responsible…

Our take…
Sorry, Juliette’s just not as interesting as Noah, Alison, Helen and Cole. All of the sophisticated college professor stereotypes and supporting cast of insufferable students aren’t helping. There is more nuance in a quick scene in which Helen unsuccessfully tries to take Noah’s hand in the hospital than in the entire half-hour of Juliette’s world. But Brendan Fraser is alarmingly good as the sinister prison warden, and it’ll be interesting to see if he is really the one who stabbed Noah.

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