The Affair Season Finale Recap: They Can't Handle the Truth

The Affair Season 1 Finale

You know how they say the truth will set you free? Yeah, that has not proven to be true for The Affair‘s biggest sinners.

In fact, on Sunday’s season finale of the Showtime drama, the truth only caused problems — lots of them.

Before we get your thoughts on the episode, let’s review what went down in the season’s arresting final hour:

NOAH | For most of The Affair‘s freshman season, it’s been hard to know whether Noah deserves our sympathy. He’s cheating on his wife, so, no… but he’s also berated by his father-in-law, challenged at pretty much every moment by his children and weighed down by a struggling career. And at the top of Sunday’s hour, it’s really hard to feel bad for him, considering his recent separation from Helen —four months ago, to be exact — has allowed for a lot of random sex. In the bedroom, in the classroom…

But Noah’s desktop rendezvous with a fellow teacher is where his luck essentially runs out. He’s slapped with a disorderly conduct charge for the in-school sex (no thanks to the janitor who spied him), and he heads to the Department of Education’s grown-up detention, where he makes some real progress on his book. The novel turns out “extraordinary,” according to Harry, who’d like to publish it and offer Noah a seriously enticing sum. (Half a million dollars!)

Unfortunately, Noah’s rich-guy fantasies are eclipsed by his separation from Helen, who tells Noah that her mother has had a private investigator tailing him for months — to make the divorce proceedings even harsher, of course! Helen knows about her husband’s, er, active sex life now, as well as the abortion clinic freakout he aimed at Scotty a few months back. After all of this, Helen still misses Noah and wants him home — so they cry and then have steamy sex, naturally.

Their (brief) reconciliation comes to a screeching halt, though, when Whitney flees to the Lockharts’ ranch after learning that her parents plan to press statutory rape charges against Scotty. Noah and Helen head to Montauk to handle the situation, but it all goes to hell in a handbasket: Alison’s there (and making eyes at Noah), Cherry’s there (and asking for everyone to forgive each other) and, worst of all, Scotty’s there (and making a very ill-timed entrance). Planning to literally kill the guy, Noah chases Scotty out of the house and onto the front lawn, where he pins him down, begins to choke him… but stops when Cole appears, gun firmly pointed at Noah’s head. Sooo, yeah, it’s an unlucky day for Noah.

ALISON | That encounter at the ranch goes down a tad differently from Alison’s perspective (as things tend to on this show). Instead of Noah heroically defending his daughter’s honor outside, Mr. Solloway finds himself in hot water with Cole inside the house, as Cole confronts the man who’s been bedding his wife. Cole turns his gun on Noah, Helen and Whitney first, then on Alison, then on himself. It’s not easy, but Alison eventually gets her husband to put down the weapon, after tearfully assuring him that Gabriel would want them to be happy — even after his death.

In fact, Alison’s entire day is highly emotional. Four months after her awkward train-station standoff with Cole and Noah, Alison has also separated from her husband, choosing instead to spend time with her mother (!) and her mom’s boyfriend (!!) at a yoga getaway (!!!). She heads back to Montauk to meet her friend Phoebe — the only one who’s level-headed about Alison’s affair, reminding her the sparks weren’t real — then meets Cole at the house they once shared. Cole awkwardly realizes that Alison came back to the house to sell it, not to patch things up with him, and that’s when their marriage ends once and for all. “I never want to see you again,” Cole spits at her, after Alison asks why he wasn’t watching Gabriel on the day he drowned. (A valid point, but when Cole fires back, “Why didn’t you take him to the f—king hospital?!” her argument understandably peters out.)

THE CRIME | In the present day, things aren’t looking much brighter for Noah and Alison, but we do learn a few key details that have been kept from us throughout the season. For one, the twosome is currently in a relationship and living together (with a daughter, though I suppose we still can’t be sure if it’s Noah’s or Cole’s). Noah’s second book has indeed taken off, and he’s got plans to meet with the actor starring in its film adaptation.

But those big plans are brought to a sudden halt after Noah’s latest chat with Detective Jeffries goes poorly. After Noah gets mouthy with the detective and leaves interrogation in a huff, he encounters Jake, the tow trucker who helped Noah out on the side of the road over the summer. Noah tells Jake that he must lie to the police and tell them he’s never met Noah or seen his car before. He pays the guy $20,000 on the spot to keep him quiet… but unbeknownst to Noah, it’s too late. Jake’s been in cahoots with the cops this entire time, and when he brings Jeffries an audio file of his conversation with Noah, the cops have the go-ahead to arrest Noah. And that’s exactly what they do that evening, just as Noah and Alison prepare for bed. Noah’s taken away in cuffs, and although Alison promises, “I’ll get you out of this,” Noah doesn’t seem entirely convinced.

OK, your turn. What did you think of The Affair‘s season finale? Grade the episode in our poll below, then hit the comments to back up your choice.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Alichat says:

    How exactly was Noah’s version of the kitchen confrontation so DRASTICALLY different from Alison’s? I mean, I may remember things slightly different from someone else in the room with me, but there were too many differences here.

    And raise your hand if you were disappointed to see Alison and Noah together in the present. I was really hoping they were with other people…..or at least Alison was.

    • Monica says:

      Because Noah in his mind can do no wrong. Remembering how he threatened Scotty does not bode well. In my opinion, his version is always in his favor.

      • Alichat says:

        Yes, that’s true. But wouldn’t him protecting his wife and child from “crazy Cole” end up in his version as well? If he’s trying to convince the detective he didn’t have anything to do with Scotty’s death, I don’t see how telling him he attacked Scotty would be the best move.

  2. Jeff says:

    What was the point of revealing that Detective Jeffries is married to a man? And what was so important that Steven called? Is there more to that?

    • BrightLight says:

      I thought it had to do with showing how much Jeffries lied during the interviews (like most cops do on shows to try and connect with the suspect). One time he said he had sons, one time he said he had daughters (which Noah called him out on) and I think once he said something about having an ex-wife. Of course I read too much into everything on every show so who knows? I hope we learn more about Jeffries next season because I feel like there is a lot more to that character than we are realizing.

    • sammyfinbar says:

      I thought that was a neat little twist. What makes the show so great is that both of the narrators are totally unreliable and we never seem to know the whole truth. The reveal that the cop has been lying about his own personal life really strengthened that theme. It really hammered home the point that nobody can be trusted. I thought it was clever and I look forward to hearing what lies the three of them (Noah, Alison and the cop) have in store for us next year.

  3. vandana says:

    I am baffled by all the hype surrounding this show. It seems more like a daytime soap opera than a Showime award winning show.

  4. Dan Mason says:

    ; Soap Operas; The Affair reminds me why I detest them. Anyway, my feeble attempt at watching this……thing… over. May you all enjoy it. Don’t forget to wash your hands when you are done.

    • Carm says:

      I used to watch soap operas but I don’t anymore. This show does not remind me of them at all. It is just a story from two different points of view with no idea of which POV is more accurate. You don’t like it so you stopped watching. Why do you care that those of us who do like it keep watching?

  5. DavidSask says:

    So who the f**k is dead. the arrest over? The guy who slept with his daughter???

  6. Jane says:

    I really wanted to like this show. The actors were all good but it was so drawn out that it got boring. They could have done the entire thing, including showing it from both sides, in a 2 hour movie. I’m disappointed there will be a second season and wish they had wrapped it up in one season. Don’t know if I will be back next year.

  7. ward says:

    This show sucks, it got worse from episode to episode

  8. “My dad is old and your husband is hot”. Smartest thing Whitney has ever said!

  9. Mary says:

    Emotionally enticing all over the place. The different perspectives of what happens lends one to “judge” the personal circumstances more fairly. Cole and Alison had a valid emotional quest that appears to have been put to “rest” and, even though life continued on for both main characters, it is out of the strong emotional connection between them that they are together at the end of season one. They both had their mixed up rendezvous relations going on following summer’s end but I was glad to have the Noah and Alison characters together.
    In the finale-I figured we would find that Whitney killed Scotty and that the incident would have connected Noah to the Alison’s in-law’s family forever which would have been quite ironic.
    The “cliffhanger” is Alison’s look given to Noah. I believe Alison will have Noah’s back. I will continue to be an avid watcher.

    • Dmac says:

      I am a bit confused on why you think
      those two deserve a happy ending. They ruined lives, screwed up children and for what???

      • Carol Wilson says:

        Quite typical, though. It happens every day. That part of the story I never really gave a fig about. People have affairs, fall in love with other people, get divorced, and move on. It’s sad but it’s not a crime. The heart wants what the heart wants and I don’t think anyone is really to blame or should live the rest of their lives miserable because they fall in love with someone else.

        • Kate says:

          I totally agree! So what, they had an affair. It happens all the time. I want to know who killed Scotty and why. I think Alison did and Noah is covering for her.

  10. Dmac says:

    Really, this is how it is going to end? Two people who decimated their respective families get to live happily ever after??? They don’t deserve that and I believe I am officially out.

  11. Willis says:

    With this episode, I am now officially hate-watching The Affair. I don’t find either Noah or Alison physically attractive (I know others disagree), and Noah particularly is not sympathetic. The pace and the inconsistencies are torture. In the last week I’ve watched the finales of The Newsroom, The Fall and Homeland… and this offering in no way compares, for all its potential. It’s puzzling that The Affair is considered award-worthy.

    Still hanging in to see how it turns out, but hate-watching is the last step before not-watching. Does anyone else think that perhaps Martin killed Scotty, and Noah is covering for him? Martin knows a lot more than we’ve seen.

    • Get out says:

      Wow Willis, NO that did not occur to me!!!! That is a very smart observation. You know that kid is a freak, with the stunt he pulled in the first 4 minutes of the season opener. I always have to watch every episode 2 times to catch all the little details you have to think deeper about. I can’t decide if the writers are geniuses or meth addicts.

    • Monica says:

      That is interesting! It does kinda make sense that they showed that one scene in Episode 1 with him pretending to hang himself – introducing us to a psychotic, damaged kid. And, every once in a while during an episode they show us a glimpse of him. Each time, I think the kid is messed up.

    • B says:

      So if it’s so bad…why watch at all? I don’t understand the concept of “hate-watching” a show. To me, if you don’t like it, you either find something else to watch or do. It just seems a bit pathetic to watch just to hate on it. Even as a “last step” before stopping.

      • Willis says:

        Well, I didn’t invent the term hate-watching, but it does describe a state of mind. The show had potential that it’s not coming close to using. However, it’s a murder mystery, and there’s an impulse to stick it out to the end. The pacing is annoying… Top of the Lake had the same pacing, but it was very watchable. With any good mystery, the task of the reader/viewer is to watch closely, to pick up on the clues and try to solve the mystery; here, the clues are lies… you can’t piece things together because you don’t know which are the red herrings. I guess my criticism of the Powers That Be at The Affair is, if you’re going going to break the implied contract with the viewer and plant bogus facts and clues, you should at least make it worth my while.

        • Network says:

          No, shows do not owe you anything. They don’t own any one specific person or group anything. The creators are going to make the show they want. It will appeal to you or it won’t. It may also appeal to you at one point and then at another point it may not. That doesn’t mean they broke a contract with you. It means if you want something exactly the way it will make you happy, then create your own show.

    • Carm says:

      I did think about Martin since he seemed to be angrier than anyone else.

    • Jules says:

      Is Martin old enough to drive when Scotty is hit by the car? From their house, Montauk is a trek.

    • Julie says:

      I think Noah is definitely covering for someone. I was thinking Alison but Mppyoure right…it could be Martin. The kid does seem like he has a dark side.

      • Marcy says:

        I think he is covering for Helen. She is the one who wanted Scotty arrested. She was probably angry flashing back to whoever got her pregnant when she was very young.

    • Guest says:

      Yeah but wait a minute here. I thought Scotty was killed by a car. Unless of course, you’re insinuating that Martin learned to drive a vehicle very abruptly and use this skill to go after Scotty.

      • Willis says:

        Some time has passed between the summer of the affair and the ‘present day’. Alison and Noah have a child… so maybe enough time has passed that Martin is old enough to drive.

    • Carol Wilson says:

      That’s a cool summation I hadn’t thought about. I think Allyson did it. She was driving the car and Noah is covering for her, kind of like the Great Gatsby….

  12. A few episodes back Whitney was bullying a fellow student to suicide and they just brush right over that. Thats a huge thing in schools today. They shouldve addressed that more. Theres a movie dedicated to it called Disconnect. With Jason Bateman. Whitney is almost as hateable as King Joffrey in GoT

  13. Alex Mindev says:

    I first checked out the show out of pure curiosity, and binged watched the first 4 episodes b/c I found the concept interesting. As the season went on I found myself disliking the story more and more until the finale left me wondering why the creative team behind “The Affair” decided to make a huge mistake of not having a complete resolution regarding S1. To me “The Affair” compares a lot to “The Killing”. What crushed “The Killing” was not resolving the Rosie Larsen case in one season, and giving Linden and Holder a fresh case via S2, in my mind “The Affair” is going to suffer from the same concept. S1 should have been it for Alison and Noah. S2 should have been a “new chapter” with fresh characters, as the story now for the show seems to get more and more ridiculous. It’s like fishing in the same spot when you’ve already caught all the fish you’re going to catch. Nothing left to tell there.

  14. bluestar says:

    What about the trunk of missing drugs? That’s the whole point…Noah and Allison stole them together, right?

    • Carm says:

      Cole’s other brother ended up in the hospital for trying to return the drugs to whoever they bought them from. They beat him up and I assume kept the drugs anyway.

    • Get out says:

      There’s another little twist I forgot about, ugh. My brain is almost full of plot twists from this season, with NO answers, and now we’re expected to retain all this info until a new season airs?
      And “Deacon” from The King of Queens as a crooked, lying, married/gay cop who may or may not have twin daughters or two sons….there’s just too many branches on this tree.

  15. Justine says:

    After seeing this episode, I’m CONVINCED the wedding Alison attended (that she discussed with the detective) was Phoebe and Cole! Between Phoebe talking about having never been married and how being alone isn’t amazing. And when Alison walked into the house with Cole, he was all like “it’s nice to have her back”. Mark my words… CASE CLOSED (at least that mystery!)

  16. Magically Suspicious says:

    Allison also slept with Oscar right before she left Cole, so you might as well throw his name in the baby-daddy hat.

    • Carm says:

      But Allison was away with her mother for 4 months. I think she would have known if she was pregnant in 4 months. I figured several people including (Allison, Cole and Noah) said it had been 4 months so we would know she wasn’t pregnant at that time.

  17. Sally says:

    I think the red haired guy killed Scottie. He wants to be with Allison, doesn’t like Cole and his brothers and can’t stand Noah. And Scottie was the guy who took the money out of the register at the Lobster Roll when Noah was sitting next to the red haired guy (I can’t remember his name). I think he’s framing Noah.

  18. Stuart C. Hellinger says:

    How about two factual errors that could have been easily researched?

    The legal age of consent in New York State is 17, 16 if the other person is only up to four years older. There was no statutory rape in this case of the daughter, so no charges could be brought against Scotty.

    When the police came to arrest Noah, since there was no resistance, attempt to flee, etc., in New York State, the police are required to tell you what you are being arrested for. They didn’t.

    • Carm says:

      She was 16 when she had sex with Scottie. He is older than 20 right? So charges could be brought against him.

    • Kathleen says:

      I believe the daughter was 16 at the time of her consensual sex with Scottie. She was 17 when she went back to Montauk. Scottie is four years older than Noah’s daughter. Therefore, statutory rape is applicable in this case.

  19. TL says:

    This show has more holes in it than Swiss cheese.

  20. Rod says:

    “I’ll get you out of this” sets the table for season 2. Well-done. There is enough that is unknown and enough creative tension for one more great season. Can’t wait.

  21. Menaka says:

    I have a theory that Noah’s second son (forgot his name) killed Scotty. I think he might be blaming Scotty for everything going wrong with his family, or maybe he was targeting Alison or Cole, and hit Scotty by mistake and Noah is covering up for him. Alison is also covering up because he loves Noah, and maybe sees a bit of her son in Noah’s kid.

  22. betty says:

    Oh confused. So the way I see it is, Noah and Alison are happily living together with a child. The police investigation is going on WHILE they are living together? Or was that some time ago? If it’s during the time they are together, wouldn’t they talk about their respective interrogations and therefore maybe corroborate a little better? Or do I have my time frames all mixed up (which I have the whole time) – Betty

    • Carol Wilson says:

      Hi Betty,
      they were corroborating. Don’t you remember when Allyson left the police station and she got on her cell and was telling whoever it was on the other end about what had happened? She kept saying to Jeffries I have to pick up my daughter. At that time we weren’t sure if she was talking to Noah or Cole or living with Noah or Cole or had a child with Noah or Cole but then came to find out at the end of the first season it indeed was Noah and not Cole.

  23. Rune Lundén says:

    Oh my God! Can’t wait to long for season 2. When is the premiere?

  24. sxgg says:

    The versions are so different that it is absurd as is the notion that Noah deserves any sympathy as an adulterer, liar, grifter, briber and maybe murderer as well as being a crappy parent.

  25. Carol sinclair says:

    it had too many twists and turns. I want to be entertained, not tested. However, I think Martin killed Scotty. He’s a disturbed kid.

  26. Carol Wilson says:

    Does anyone else think they’re ripping off the Great Gatsby? Allison was driving the car that killed Scotty, just like Daisy Buchannan….

  27. Jude says:

    Love the show but 2 things occurred to me. 1. The fact she slept with Oscar had no significance – but DID it? That child could be his. Otherwise, no point to that scene. 2. Helen and Noah had been coming there for many summers to spend with her parents. Likewise, the Lockharts were prominent people in that small town. So – WHY DIDN’T ANY FROM EITHER FAMILY KNOW EACH OTHER???????

    • Jude says:

      Also, it’s apparent that Allison is the one who is covering for someone because of her statement to Noah – not to worry.

      • Jude says:

        As to who killed Scott, I think it was his mother, who was trying to either protect him or because she was so upset that Cole was so unraveled she wanted to get either Alison or Noah. Alison might know this but decided not to say anything. However, with Noah arrested it could be why she said she’d get him out of this.

  28. Lariena Gorman says:

    Hey everyone, I’m watching this in Ireland (yes we are always behind!!) and I was just wondering about Martin. Very strange he was researching how to hang himself and also what has stuck in my mind is that he doesn’t like to be alone with Helens father. Seems very disturbed. I don’t know what significance it is to the crime but there is some problem there. Loved Season 1!

  29. sandra says:

    ‘i was lost after seeing the courtroom scene. when did Allison have a 2 year old baby, it seems a large portion of their life was skipped over. how can it be 2 years later and we know nothing of what came between?????