The additional perspectives in “The Affair” Season 2 have the goal of adding the scope of effect after Noah (Dominic West) and Alison (Ruth Wilson) admit to their romance.
However, episode 4 goes to show how their relationship are affecting people who aren’t getting their own half an episode to tell their story. Noah and Helen’s (Maura Tierney) children are taking the front seat in the episode as the emotional stress of losing her husband finally causes Helen to falter.
A mix-up in dates causes Helen to take some therapy via a wine bottle and edibles before she realizes it’s her day to pick up the two youngest. Being under the influence, stressed and trying to keep everything in order causes her to have a minor fender bender. A series of unfortunate events lead to her being arrested and Noah must come to the rescue.
Helen’s unfortunate timing in deciding to start making terrible decisions works out well for Noah, who is contemplating using the incident to go for full custody. What the audience sees, no matter whether it’s Helen or Noah perceiving the events, is that their kids are suffering while they try to figure themselves out. Everyone around them is trying to urge them to put the kids first but at this point in the game it doesn’t seem like either of them are capable — and it’s the small ones that suffer.
That becomes blatantly apparent when Martin’s (Jake Siciliano) mysterious stomach disorder (hernia? tumor? Definitely something more than depression) flares up as Noah bounces the kids from house to house trying to find a place that can fit all four of them — and doesn’t offer any moral judgement on his choices. The kid definitely seems in need of medical attention as he writhes on the floor, but he doesn’t trust his dad enough to let him properly examine him.
The pain eventually subsides without a trip to the hospital, and Noah even manages a quick rendezvous with Alison in the parking lot, but is the seriousness of this relationship becoming a serious risk to the kids? Who is looking out for them first at this point in time? If anything, as Noah and Alison get closer to making their relationship public it seems to become more and more of a danger to everyone else in their lives. The ripples of their affair simply keep growing.
“The Affair” continues Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Showtime.