Ugh. This was the finale? DISASTER. Let’s discuss…
PART ONE: JULIETTE
Ah. Paris. A beautiful backdrop for a finale. It’s so “Before Sunset”. But unfortunately Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy are missing from this bizarre episode. Oddly, the finale starts off from Juliette’s point of view. I am still questioning why, as she played such a minor role this season and only had one POV in episode 3. Nevertheless, it is three months later and we are presented with a carefree, well-adjusted, demon-free Noah. Just how did that happen? Did he admit to the Livingston Police that he stabbed himself? Did he go away for addiction/PTSD treatment or did he seek in-depth therapy? Instead of answering all of these questions, we are introduced to Juliette’s world (in the FINAL episode?). Noah wakes up to Juliette rushing out of bed to the University. She quickly throws on stockings and garters. Do you think all Parisian women wear garters? I think they are super sexy but they are are the biggest pain the ass to put on.
Anyway, one look at Juliette and Noah charms her back to bed. He pulls his let’s play hooky routine (remember he did this with Alison) and Juliette gives in for a quick hour part walking/part kissing tour of Paris. I will say, Paris really is a special place in the winter time. After a run in with Juliette’s friends, she heads home to her gorgeous flat to find her husband is AWAKE. Not to get too geeky but there was a case study done on what is called “Terminal Lucidity” which is about the “unexpected return of mental clarity and memory” shortly before the death of patients suffering from psychiatric and neurological disorders. This is exactly what happened to poor old Etienne. As quick as he was lucid, he was back to a state of confusion mixing up Juliette with his first wife. ugh.
Juliette meets with the University official, Celia who is wearing the perfect brown cashmere turtleneck sweater to match her perfect harsh and cruel personality.
She calls Juliette a fraud without an ounce of empathy in her entire body. GRRRR.
AS THE PENDULUM SWINGS
Juliette runs off to Panthéon and walks up to Foucault’s Pendulum. (Sorry one more nerdy side note – Foucault’s Pendulum (Founded by French physicist Leon Foucault) was the first experiment to measure the speed in which the earth rotated).
Juliette spins and spins as her life is surely spinning out of control. But in a flash, she is off to meet Noah in a pretty Paris cafe, drink wine (he already had half a bottle) and have a bite. (I am getting up to pour myself a glass of wine as I write this…too enticing…).
HOLD ME NOW
Noah hands Juliette an early Christmas gift for helping him get through his rough time a few short months ago – History of King Arthur (Coneybear edition, 1868) Sounds so boring. How about the first edition of The Catcher in the Rye? (Now we are talking). As she opens it, her daughter, Sabine, calls with the news that Etienne has passed away from a massive stroke. Is Juliette feeling guilty that she is out with her lover while she receives notice that her husband passed away? If anything, Sabine layed it on thick when she confronts Juliette about her mom’s affair with her “American” boyfriend. But it doesn’t stop Juliette from shagging Noah in the hallway of her apartment building an hour later! Couldn’t they just have played this song and showed Noah holding her (how great was this song?)
PART TWO: NOAH
Noah’s POV begins with Juliette walking the magnificent streets of the “tourist” part of Paris. They run into Juliette’s friends (did you notice no subtitles?) Obviously Noah doesn’t understand a lick of what they are saying but he smiles and goes along with it. Juliette runs off and Noah strolls into a gorgeous old bookstore. He finds a rare copy of Peter Pan and has a flashback to Alison & Noah discussing the book. When I first started writing about The Affair I read an interview with Sarah Treem and I remembered them asking the question about her tie in with Peter Pan. This was her answer:
“If it was up to me we would be quoting Peter Pan voraciously, but no one actually want to see you quote books on television. It’s not as interesting to see as it is to write. But yeah, this idea of the boy who never grew up, this idea of being at a place where it’s both wonderful but also deeply tragic. The loss of a child is everywhere in Peter Pan. It starts off with the idea that the Lost Boys themselves are boys that fell out of their prams, and basically disappeared. You think, what does that actually mean? That actually means that all of these children had mothers and fathers who have lost them. There’s something very dark. The cost of Never Never Land, the cost of that fantasy and eternal youth is so high. You don’t really see it as a child when you’re reading a book, but when you go back and read it as an adult it’s just gut wrenching.” There are so many Peter Pan’s in this show but Noah is our shining star.
Noah leaves the bookstore and notices FURKAT’s exhibition vagina poster. How perfect.
Minutes later, Noah passes the gallery and believes he sees Whitney inside. Um, that would be Furkat’s latest concubine. Whitney has been demoted to Furkat’s errand girl. The fact that Whitney will accept this behavior shows the impact of Noah’s actions as her father. Furkat, in his disgusting, gross way, invites Noah to his opening and mentions he is staying at Hotel Le Bains. “Magical. Opulent”. Yeah, whatever. I wanted to call him and tell him that La Reserve is the place in Paris. Now THAT is a MAGICAL hotel!
Noah tries to meet up with Whitney but she wants nothing to do with him.
Back to the cafe with Juliette. Did you notice the differences in Noah’s POV? He has not drank half a bottle of wine. They discuss Etienne’s love life. Juliette puts Noah in his place by explaining he is no expert on Affairs. Etienne was never a believer in monogamous marriage. “He felt life was short and monogamy was a bourgeois conspiracy.” (Those Parisians 😜) . Juliette receives a phone call from her daughter and says is everything is “fine” and does not leave right away. Really? Your husband is DEAD. Noah hands Juliette the book. Interesting it’s now wrapped in a brown paper bag. It’s actually is such a beautiful way to wrap a book but I have only seen it done that way on TV. Juliette finally leaves and Noah heads to Furkat’s exhibition.
Noah peeks in the window to find a disgruntled Whitney acting as Furkat’s assistant instead of his girlfriend. (Who is the designer of her dress?? I need it STAT!)
Whitney puts her foot down and walks out. Furkat goes ape shit and slaps her. NO! Noah has seen enough and runs to take Furkat down. Whitney begs him not to make scene. She wants to leave. It’s actually a good move on Whitney’s part otherwise Noah would probably have been sent back to prison.
Noah and Whitney take a stroll by the Seine to rehash exactly what just happened. Whitney tries to defend Furkat, claiming he is an artist. “He can’t just turn his passion on and off. You know, he brings the same intensity to his life that he does to his work, and I understand that about him. I respect that about him.” As I was about to say “grow up, Whitney”, Noah jumps in with “Whitney… this isn’t love. Love isn’t supposed to be pain. Love is supposed to make you feel wonderful about yourself, and real love does that. A real man will make you feel safe and appreciated.” YES WHITNEY, YES! However, this is a funny speech coming from Noah. Are we supposed to forget all of his awful behavior because he is trying to be a parent for once? Noah does admit “I failed in the most important job I had, which was to protect you from men like me.” Oh, and by the way, your mom failed you by killing the guy who impregnated you and lied about it. Where was that line?
Whitney decides she wants to return to New York. Noah is happy to take her home. But first a proper goodbye to Juliette is in order. If they have sex in the hallway, we will never know. In the morning, Whitney and Juliette’s daughter meet and say Au Revoir.
IN A NEW YORK STATE OF MIND
(amazing version with the sax – sorry audio is off by half second but it’s a winner)
Back in New York (by the way, how fake was that plane ride?), Noah drops Whitney at Helen’s brownstone. VIC is there (at least we know they worked things out!) and things look swell at the Helen home front. Noah doesn’t go in but waves to Helen in the window. Is it me or you just as annoyed we have no answers of how all the issues from this season were resolved?
Noah gets back in the cab and the driver asks Noah ” Where we going buddy?” Noah opens his mouth and I guarantee he was about to utter ” MONTAUK”. Will a city cab driver even go to The Hamptons??? Doubtful. It’s hard enough to get them to go to Brooklyn. The cab driver should have asked him who he was sleeping with tonight? Now that would have been a great ending! Did YOU like the finale?? Thoughts?
Thank you so much for taking this ride with me for three seasons of The Affair. Thank you for all of your amazing comments, witty remarks and personal emails. You helped me push on this season when I was ready to call it quits. Unfortunately The Affair jumped the shark and I lost my drive to continue with season 4 (unless it makes a miraculous comeback). However, I will pick it up in two weeks for Billions, Season 2 and see where the road takes us! HELLO WENDY….