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Season 4 of 'The Affair' Returns to Showtime
June 17, 2018  | By David Hinckley  | 1 comment

The fourth season of Showtime’s The Affair includes the suggestion that you can run, but you can’t hide.

Two members of the show’s core four – Maura Tierney’s (top) Helen Solloway and Dominic West’s Noah Solloway – have left New York and Long Island and moved to Los Angeles, where they encounter freeway traffic and goat yoga.

But the restless and uncomfortable neuroses they battled back East have followed them West in The Affair, which resumes Sunday at 9 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, back on Long Island, the uncertainties and dissatisfaction that have haunted Cole Lockhart (Joshua Jackson) and Alison Lockhart (Ruth Wilson) have also not lifted.

The Affair itself continues to track the seemingly endless ripples that began when Noah and Alison splashed into a fling that drowned both their marriages. While the fling finally ended, its consequences continue to shape all four lives.

As we enter the fourth season, the show has covered a lot of ground, worked its way through a number of intense dramas, at times dipped into melodrama and yet in many ways remained locked in on the original premise of four flawed people valiantly and clumsily trying to sort out their lives.

They just keep banging into everyone else while they do it.

The physical shift this season stems from Helen deciding to follow her new doctor boyfriend Vic (Omar Metwally, top) after he got an offer to move to L.A.

She’s relieved to put some distance between herself and her disapproving, judgmental parents. She’s also feeling disconnected, trying to figure out what she can do while Vic settles into his new gig.

Nor can she shake massive repressed guilt that Noah went to prison for something she did, which was accidentally running down Cole’s troubled brother, Scott, with her SUV.

So one of her first orders of business in Los Angeles is to find a new shrink to replace her old New York shrink, and that leads to one of the highlight scenes of the new season’s first episode. Like other scenes when The Affair is at its best, this one deftly combines the deeply somber with the highly amusing.

Well, highly amusing if you’re not Helen.

Noah, meanwhile, has moved to L.A. to stay closer to their kids, and landed himself a gig as an English literature teacher at a charter school. He’s not immediately connecting with the students, and one frustrating class is capped by a further deflating encounter with a seemingly recalcitrant student.

Cole, now married to Luisa (Catalina Sandino Moreno), has multiple issues percolating. He’s still in love with Alison. He’s having second thoughts about Luisa. And oh yes, Luisa may be facing deportation. Seems just marrying a U.S. citizen these days might not be enough.

Alison has a new boyfriend. Alison also has more than her share of secrets, which have trickled out rather slowly over the first three seasons. That pace may pick up a bit in this one.

The challenge for The Affair is to keep these characters and their stories tethered to each other even as the natural flow of life pulls them apart.

The question for the viewer may sound familiar: Do we care enough about these characters to want them to survive and surmount their flaws and mistakes? And in the end, which will be the final episode of next year’s Season 5, can they?

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Answer; yes! :)
Jun 18, 2018   |  Reply
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