Helen Solloway's (Maura Tierney) world is crumbling around her. On Sunday's episode of "The Affair" the single mom of four has a complete breakdown over her impending divorce, resulting in her getting arrested.
Up until this point Helen has been made out to be the strong, tough woman who was handling her split from Noah Solloway (Dominic West) in stride. In the past three episodes Helen was able to keep it together as her soon-to-be ex shacked up with his mistress/girlfriend, Alison Lockhart (Ruth Wilson). However, in episode 4 viewers watch as Helen crashes and burns.
The episode kicks off with Helen's perspective showing her and Noah in court trying to work out a custody arrangement for their four kids. Helen's divorce layer, Jon Gottlief (Richard Schiff) , tells the judge that Noah only deserves visitation rights because he's a liar. Jon points out that Noah didn't tell the truth about living with Alison and also secretly proposed to her. The lawyer is hoping the judge grants Helen with full custody of Whitney (Julia Goldani Telles), Martin (Jake Siciliano), Trevor (Jadon Sand) and Stacey (Leya Catlett).
After the court hearing, Helen heads back to her house and tells her mom, Margaret Butler (Kathleen Chalfant), that she needs both her parents to go with her to a meeting with the divorce lawyer because Noah is coming after her money. Margaret tells Helen they won't be able to make it because she doesn't know where her husband, Bruce Butler (John Doman), is. Helen's mom then reveals that her father is in love with someone else.
In episode 2, Bruce told Alison's estranged husband, Cole Lockhart (Joshua Jackson), that he was going to divorce Margaret.
Helen is clearly having a hard time dealing with her divorce and her parent’s marital problems, and turns to alcohol to cope. She also grabs some weed before heading to her store to check on things. Helen tells the cashier that she needs the store to start making a profit and attempts to sell an item to a customer but is too high and scares the customer off.
Helen gets frustrated and calls the customer a "b----" for not buying anything. Helen's day goes from bad to worse when she stops by a hair salon to bleach her roots but then gets a call from her kids asking why she hasn't picked them up from school yet.
Helen tells Trevor that it's their father's turn to come get them, but Trevor tells her she has her days mixed up. In a hurry, Helen rushes out of the hair salon forgetting she has bleach in her hair.
Unfortunately for Helen her day continues to spiral out of control. At her children's school, an elderly man asks her if she could move her minivan out of handicapped spot so his wife could park there, and as Helen hurriedly reverses she smashes into a car behind her. Her young daughter Stacey isn't wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident and smacks her head up against the window. Helen tries to talk her way out of it when officers arrive, but she’s asked by the cop to hand over her driver's license.
That's when the cop spots weed in Helen's purse and places her under arrest. In her narrative, when Noah arrives he's angry and yells at her for pulling off without making sure their kids have their seatbelts on.
Noah's perspective also begins with the divorce hearing, but in his version his lawyer is trying to explain to the judge that Noah is doing everything he can to find a suitable place so his children can stay with him. His lawyer, however, decides to tell the judge Noah won't be living with Alison, but Noah is adamant the judge knows Alison will be staying at his apartment when the children are not there.
The judge doesn't like this idea and issues a court order keeping Alison from getting near Noah's kids. The writer is forced to break the news to Alison over lunch and tells her they won't be moving in together until the divorce trial is over.
As Noah and Alison are talking about his day in court, Helen calls and tells him she needs him to come by the kids' school. In Noah's point of view he's a lot to nicer to Helen and gets upset only when he realizes how high and drunk she is.
Also in Noah's narrative, viewers meet his sister, Nina (Jennifer Esposito), and his father, Arthur (Mark Margolis). Noah has a strained relationship with both of them, and he and his sister get into an argument over how he's handling the Alison/Helen situation.
In The Present:
In the present, Noah's lawyer is trying to get the murder trial moved out of Montauk because Noah is a well-known author now. The judge, however, tells the court he will not move the trial somewhere else, and the trial is expected to begin in a few months.
As previously reported, Noah was charged with vehicular homicide, obstruction of justice and leaving the scene of an accident for the death of Scotty Lockhart (Colin Donnell).