The Affair Season 3 Episode 5 Review: Forgive Us Our Trespasses

There are still surprises coming from Noah Solloway.

One of the big questions this season was answered by The Affair Season 3 Episode 5, which allowed Noah and Alison to spend time together for the first time since he was released from prison.

They may have been married, but Noah kept a lot of secrets close to the vest. Prison gave him the time needed to understand why he was still in love with her and couldn't let go and held the key to his conviction, as well.

Block Island Ferry - The Affair Season 3 Episode 5

This installment was a bit confusing to me, because while watching Part One: Alison, it seemed as though Noah had no idea the divorce was coming or why.

Yet as soon as we popped into Part Two, we saw from Noah's point of view he had known from a visit from Alison they would no longer be in contact and that her lawyer told her it was an imperative step to regaining custody of Joanie.

But as the hour progressed, it became pretty obvious Noah isn't Noah from either perspective. 

Joanie's Bed - The Affair Season 3 Episode 5

Not only was he showing up unannounced to see Alison, his personality was all over the map. 

He was fell asleep in the middle of a sentence when he first arrived, thus having to spend the night. He awoke sunny and ridiculously cheerful, making breakfast with plans of a day at Block Island.

Cole's appearance sent him into an instant rage, which was not carried over after he left or in any way aimed towards Alison. The goofiness continued on the ferry.

Alison: Noah?
Noah: What?
Alison: Get the fuck off me. Please.
Noah: Woo hooo! Block island, baby!! We love ya!!!
Alison: Oh God.

This isn't a Cole we've ever seen before. This up and down and up and down again. He's always been a bit more sedate, bordering on morose. 

Yet their conversations were interesting and falling into familiar territory, as they spoke about family and what it had been like to grow up with their mothers, as well as how that correlated to Alison's mothering Joanie.

Cole was taking chances, though, that felt wrong, even to Alison. He was trespassing (and stealing) when he found an unoccupied house with a hot tub.

Alison was right. He's just out of prison. Not to mention the wound on his neck might not take well to strange liquids in a hot tub.

Trespassing - The Affair Season 3 Episode 5

If they had been caught, Noah could have been in a lot of trouble. But the conversation really got interesting when Alison asked about Helen and whether she knew Alison was on the street the day Scotty died.

It seems Noah's secrets may go in two directions. Did Alison know Helen was driving? It was really hard to tell from the short conversation.

Noah didn't tell Helen Alison was involved, which Alison would have been perfectly OK with. She also wanted to go to the police.

She believes in her heart what happened with Scotty was self defense. It would have been hard to prove, but she felt confident it would have worked out.

It's almost like you wanted to go to prison.


But now we know the truth of the matter. We know why Noah didn't want to accept the house he grew up in from his father, even if he was the one who lived there alone with his mother, caring for her when others abandoned them.

Getting a full-ride scholarship shouldn't be any high-school student's worst day. 

Yet when Noah received that good news, his father had already walked out on his wife and his sister had been gone. Noah was the sole caregiver for his very ill mother, suffering with MS. 

Noah would have never gone to college if the school hadn't had a policy to call the parents of all students who received scholarships such as Noah's to share the good news. What parent wouldn't want to hear it?

Noah's mother decided to die. And if she couldn't do it on her own, who else was going to help her achieve the goal than her loving son?

Noah describing their last day and feeding to her the deathly yogurt was horribly poignant and explained a lot about Noah. That's when he also shared with Alison why he was so inexplicably drawn to such a sad woman such as herself.

She was the only other person he had ever met who had watched someone she loved die.

That's a potent concoction to draw you to someone you wouldn't ordinarily otherwise love, and still fit within the guidelines Alison believed to be true, that they used each other for various reasons and achieve a specific purpose.

A Profound Connection - The Affair

All in all, it was a pretty great way to end a marriage, assuming it ends at all. Noah took the papers with him instead of signing them outright, but he did promise.

Considering everything they had gone through to that point, it did seem awkward to force him to sign before he left. 

Hopefully following her, and watching her grab Joanie in the big hug will help him do the right thing.

On the other hand, I'm not so sure Noah knows what the right thing is anymore, because I think he is suffering a mental break. A genuine disassociation with reality.

We're likely going to learn there is a lot more to the torture he went through in prison at the hands of John Gunther, but I still cannot believe he would be stupid enough to egg on a prison guard, to write a story about him titled John Hunter (it was SO about Gunther), etc.

Noah has a way of making his own situation worse even in the best of times. He's a nose in spite of your face kind of guy, and that he reminds me of myself might be why I sometimes find him so off putting.

Seeing Gunther everywhere is one thing, but when it starts putting your life in danger, it's another. I now believe what I thought when he first fell in the kitchen. Noah stabbed himself in the neck while watching dishes.

He did that just as he wrecked the car on his own after he thought he was rear-ended and side-swiped, but was not. His personality is up and down and all around because he's one messed up dude.

But will anyone figure it out before he really hurts himself? Before he kills himself? That would be a crappy ending to all of this. Noah has had his issues, but after this hour, he needs help.

Counseling and some medication (other than muscle relaxants) would do him a world of good.

What do you guys think? Hit me up with your thoughts. Am I on the right path? Is Noah sabotaging his life all by himself? If you need more clues, you can watch The Affair online to gather them.

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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