Is Season 3 of Showtime’s “The Affair” setting us up for another whodunit? The premiere episode focused on Noah Solloway’s point-of-view, and ended with a complete shocker. Is Noah really dead, or is it just his imagination?
The episode kicks off with a heavily bearded Noah (Dominic West) sitting at a breakfast table. He’s starting blankly at a cup of hot coffee, and seems distracted by the different sounds he’s hearing in the room. Noah’s sister Nina (Jennifer Espisito) walks in the room and asks him if he’s ready to go. They are headed to a funeral for their father Arthur (Mark Margolis).
Nina takes a seat in the front row with her kids, but Noah is all the way in the back sitting by himself. Helen (Maura Tierney) walks in with three of her and Noah’s four kids. Their older son Martin (Jake Richard Siciliano) walks by Noah without acknowledging Noah. The two younger kids and Helen greet Noah and then take their seats.
During the funeral, Noah gets distracted when he spots a man walking through the graveyard outside. Noah seems startled by the man’s presence, but he’s forced to snap back to reality when the pastor calls Noah up to say a few kind words about his dad. Noah tells everyone that he didn’t get along with his father and says that his sister was closer to him, but she left. “That was a hard time,” Noah reflects.
After the ceremony, Nina tells Noah that he could have come up with a different story to tell about their father. Helen approaches Noah wanting to talk about co-parenting. She wants Noah to move out of Nina’s house and get his own place so he can start spending more time with their children. Helen also wants to know where she and Noah stand, and he curtly responds: “What about us?” Helen seems a little hurt, but doesn’t say anything.
Nina tries to get Helen to bring the kids back to the house, but Helen asks Noah if that would be OK. Noah says it’s up to her, but Helen decides against it. At the repast, an older lady stops Noah, thinking he’s Nina’s husband. When Noah informs the lady that he’s Nina’s brother, the lady asks if he’s the one who went to prison. The lady then tells Noah that it’s his fault his father died. She says that Arthur died from a broken heart because of Noah’s actions. Nina comes over and takes Noah outside to smoke a cigarette.
During their conversation, Noah thanks Nina for forgiving him and Nina says Noah has forgiven her for some pretty awful things. She also says that she thinks Noah is innocent and didn’t kill Scotty Lockhart (Colin Donnell). As fans may recall, Noah confessed to murdering Scotty in the Season 2 finale though his wife Alison (Ruth Wilson) and ex-wife Helen were to blame. Does Nina know more about Helen, Noah and Alison’s secret, or does she simply think her brother isn’t capable of murder?
The next day, Noah is in the bathroom when he hears Nina and her husband JP (Ed Moran) arguing over Arthur’s will. Noah comes out to see what’s going on, and JP angrily tells Noah that Arthur left Noah his house. JP says that Arthur hated Noah and says that Nina was the one who took care of him right up until he died. JP thinks the house should have gone to them, and tells Nina that they needed it. Nina tries to calm him, but JP throws a glass on the ground shattering it and storms out of the house. When Nina drops Noah off at the University he’s teaching at, Noah tells his sister that he doesn’t want the house and she and JP can have it.
As Noah is teaching a writing class, he once again gets distracted when it he spots the mysterious man in the campus courtyard. As Noah is staring out the window, his student Audrey (Sarah Ramos) is reading a story she wrote. Noah didn’t appear to be paying attention, but when asked what he thought of the story Noah completely rips it apart. He tells Audrey that her work is boring and pretty much the worst thing he’s ever heard. Audrey starts crying and leaves the class. Noah is confused why she’s so upset.
After class, Noah sees a sign that a student is trying to sublet an on campus apartment. Noah contacts the student, goes to see the apartment and decides to take it. After viewing the apartment, he makes his way to the campus church where he lays down on one of the back pews and falls asleep. We see a flashback to when Noah was in jail; Helen is visiting. She’s freaking out and completely uncomfortable being in the visitors’ room. Noah tries to make it seem like it’s not that big deal and refers to it as a “writers retreat.” Helen wants to call her father and see if he can help get Noah out of prison. Noah laughs, and says there’s no way they are going to keep in there for the entire three years. Helen wants to know what she should do while he’s behind bars, and he tells her to “just wait.”
When he awakes professor Juliette Le Gall (Irene Jacob) is lecturing a group of students. The professor asks him who he is, and when he says his name everyone turns around and stares at him. Instead of leaving, Noah stays and listens in on the rest of her lecture.
After the lecture, Juliette tells Noah that she’s glad she finally got to meet him. When they spot a group of students protesting on campus, she tells him that before he arrived at the University there was a lot of talk about whether it would be safe to have him because he just got out of prison and is a murderer. Juliette and Noah grab coffee, and as they’re talking Noah spots the mystery man again. Juliette invites Noah to her house for a dinner party.
After grabbing coffee with Juliette and accepting her invitation, Noah runs to a meeting with his parole officer. The officer is trying to make sure Noah is staying out of trouble, and wants to make sure he has a job and a place to live. As the officer is leaving, Noah asks if there is anyone who know of his whereabouts. He wants to know if any of the security guards at the prison have access to where he went following his release. The officer wants to know why Noah is asking, but he won’t tell her.
When Noah shows up to Juliette’s dinner party, Audrey answers the door. She tells a stunned Noah that the professor is her advisor. The conversation during dinner is about whether a guy should ask a girl’s permission before sleeping with her. Audrey wants Noah’s opinion and brings up a scene in his book “Descent” when the main male character sleeps with his wife up against a tree. Audrey thinks that’s considered rape because the guy never got his wife’s consent. Noah doesn’t agree, and calls it dominant sex. Audrey slams the book as a manual on how to cheat on your wife, but professor Juliette thinks it was about a courageous man who risked everything for another woman.
Once dinner is over, Noah goes and finds Audrey to apologize for the classroom incident. As they’re talking, Juliette interrupts and asks Noah if he wants a tour of her house. They stop into her bedroom, and that’s when Juliette ramps up her flirting. That leads to Noah and Juliette kissing, but before things can go further Noah hears a train going by and starts to panic. He jumps up from the bed and tells Juliette that he has to go. As Noah is making a beeline out of Juliette’s home, he takes a pill. Earlier in the episode, Noah tells Nina that the pill is for muscle pain he’s been having.
We get another flashback to when Noah is in prison. It’s revealed that the man he thinks he keeps seeing is a security guard at the prison, played by Brendan Frasier.
As Noah is walking home, he calls Alison. It goes to voicemail and Noah says that although he knows Alison doesn’t want to hear from him he just needed to hear her voice. Noah seems on edge and keeps looking over his shoulder as he enters his apartment building. Once inside his apartment, Noah still doesn’t seem calm. He really starts freaking out when he hears what sounds like someone enter his apartment. In the background someone appears to be walking towards Noah. Suddenly, Noah grabs the side of his neck and his hand is covered in blood. Noah tries to reach his cell phone, but falls on the ground before he can get to it. Is Noah really hurt, or is he imagining it?
“The Affair” airs Sundays at 10 p.m. EST on Showtime.