The Affair Weekly Recap: Season 3, Episode 9

The dramatic confrontation between Noah (Dominic West) and Gunther (Brendan Fraser)
The dramatic confrontation between Noah (Dominic West) and Gunther (Brendan Fraser). Photo: Jojo Whilden/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 (when applicable), and occasionally poke some fun at the often-dark drama.

Read our recap of last week’s episode here.

This week: It’s all about truth. Helen and Alison have a revealing conversation that sends Helen reeling, while Noah faces the devastating truth that, well, we all guessed weeks ago.

Ruth Wilson as Alison and Maura Tierney as Helen
Ruth Wilson as Alison and Maura Tierney as Helen. Photo: Eric Liebowitz/SHOWTIME


Helen is in a depressed funk in the days following her…volatile encounter with Noah. The house is a mess, the kids are essentially ignoring her and Vik’s gone. So what does she do? They head to Montauk to visit Helen’s folks! On the way, they pass the spot where Scotty was run down, which has a little memorial beside it. Margaret and Bruce are excited to see the kids, and Helen lies that Vik couldn’t come because he’s on call at the hospital. Margaret has turned into a yogi, and Bruce can’t stop gushing about Vik. Helen spits out that Vik left, and Margaret and Bruce decide to blame themselves for how disastrously Helen’s life has turned out. Helen hastily thanks them and bolts with the kids to Lockhart’s Lobster Roll. At the restaurant, Helen sees some pies that Cherry Lockhart made and buys three, guiltily. Later, at dinner, little Stacey spills that Noah stayed at the house…which Martin and Trevor didn’t know. Margaret and Bruce are horrified and a fight ensues, leaving Stacey in tears. Martin tries to comfort her, and Helen, seeing the damage that’s occurred, confesses to Stacey and the family that she is the one who killed Scotty. Helen decides to leave to go confess to the Lockharts, but Margaret and Bruce grab her and throw her in their panic room! As they, well, panic, Helen rushes out and locks them in! Helen drives to the Lockhart house, but stops and decides to go to the bar for a drink instead. What transpires is a very different version of last week’s exchange between Alison and Helen. Alison is much more confident this time around. Things diverge greatly from Alison’s perspective, with Alison and Helen both confessing their parts in Scotty’s murder! Helen realizes that Noah didn’t take the fall solely for her, and Alison refuses to go to Cherry’s house to confess. At some point in the future, Helen ambushes Vik at the hospital and apologizes to him, quite sincerely, then continues Murder Confession Tour 2017 and tells him about hitting Scotty. Vik can’t say much except that she has to live with what she’s done, then says he’ll find her after work.

Noah heads to the small town where Gunther lives. First, he goes to the salon where Gunther’s wife, Kaylee, works. Her shift has just ended and Noah stalks her all the way home. He knocks on Gunther’s door and meets Gunther’s son, who is mentally disabled. Kaylee sees Noah and freaks out, freaking the poor boy out in return. Gunther shows up and calms them both. Noah asks Gunther point blank: are you trying to kill me? Gunther is surprised when Noah pulls a knife on him, but is able to pull it away and stop Noah. When Noah realizes that Gunther’s hand isn’t cut from the other night (Noah thinks he slashed it during their imaginary fight from last episode), he realizes the terrible truth—everything, the torture, the stalking, the memories—are in his head. In a “flashback,” Gunther reads Noah’s manuscript aloud, implying that he manipulated his mother into killing herself so he could get out of Bloomsburg. Gunther starts getting Noah to admit to other things, like taking the fall for Helen and having an affair with Alison. Noah attacks Gunther, who starts appearing at random spots in the room, like an apparition. Back in reality, Noah goes back to the apartment where he was stabbed and flashes back to when his mother died, his father chasing him through the woods into the lake. Then he remembers what we all suspected: He stabbed himself.

Our Take
This was a great episode, but the big reveal was very predictable. I was kind of hoping Noah’s obnoxious writing student Audrey was the one who stabbed him, but we all knew he did it to himself. More disturbing and surprising is the idea that he convinced his mother to kill herself. Next week is the big season finale, so we’ll see what happens!

Oh, and one more thing: Why did Margaret and Bruce’s panic room lock from the outside?

Catch up on The Affair Season 3 here!

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