“The Affair” had lost its luster for me by the end of the first season, because as much as I admired the performances and many of the ancillary details (particularly the portrayals of the two leads' extended families), I just never felt particularly interested in the eponymous relationship between Noah and Alison.
In doubling the number of perspectives we get this year – adding Helen this week, and Cole next, and presumably mixing and matching from that point on – the show is increasing the part I really liked, but because we're now in a period where Noah and Alison are a couple (and married with a baby by the time of Noah's arrest), it's also increasing the part I didn't, and I had the usual levels of ambivalence about this season premiere.
(Also, the use of POV to show wildly different versions of the same scene – whether Cole with the gun in the season 1 finale, or Noah and Helen having diametrically opposed memories of what the mediator was like – has proven to be a sticking point for some viewers, as evidenced by the show's contentious TCA panel in August.)
But that's me, and I imagine I'll still be watching for a while, even if I'm not writing about it. For those of you who came back, what did you think of the season premiere? Did it feel unsettling or exciting to have a new point of view? How do you feel about Helen now that you get her version of the story? Are you intrigued by what we're learning about the murder investigation? Just happy to have Richard Schiff around as Noah's lawyer?
Have at it.