Great news for all you Noah Solloway stans (Who are you? Don’t be shy, I just want to help): The Affair has been renewed for a fourth season. That’s right, more adultery, more intrigue, more mystery, more grown-up Pacey Witter, more character arcs, more … convoluted plotlines? But how? What plots are left? What else could possibly happen on this show that hasn’t already happened three or four times?
The Affair has been a three-season slog through the seventh circle of the yuppie inferno. It’s given us a bounty of great-to-good sex scenes, painful divorces, geriatric romance, arson, family feuds, drug deals, pregnancies, teen pregnancies, Crohn’s disease, college visits, near-incest, therapy, vow renewals, murder, attempted murder, and the resurrection of Brendan Fraser. And these characters have been through enough trauma for a psychology textbook: Helen is now a Vic-less shell of a human; Noah is addicted to destroying everyone’s lives and Vicodin; Alison and Cole are about to destroy each other’s lives again. Honestly, where can any of these people go after the events of Season 3 except for rehab, a small, crystal-filled adobe-style home in Santa Fe, or hell?
Of course, as a fan of pulpy shows about intricately messed-up rich-people problems, I will watch. So here are my best guesses as to what the poor exhausted writers might do in Season 4:
- There will be a time jump, but not one as drastic as the one from Season 2 to Season 3 — just long enough for Noah Solloway to finish his Chekhov’s book. (You can’t mention a Solloway book if you don’t intend to make it a best seller in a later season.)
- Noah Solloway will continue on his path of destroying people with his penis. My bet: at least three people he’s already slept with — Helen, Alison, and maybe a pity fuck from Juliette — and two new people whose lives are going entirely too well.
- Alison and Cole will continue their ill-fated affair, and someone will probably die or go to prison because of it. (I’m betting on Noah as a murder victim, but honestly it will probably be Oscar over some boring Lobster Roll dispute, because we haven’t heard about that in a blissfully long time.) At least we’ll see more of Josh Jackson’s butt.
- Whitney will become Mrs. Furkat, and her wedding will be the scene of some sort of Noah-Cole showdown after Noah finds out that Alison is sleeping with her ex-husband. Or Noah will show up uninvited with New Sex Partner no. 2 in tow, and Helen’s father will object since he ruined Helen’s life and has no right to attend the wedding of Whitney and Furkat. What I’m saying is: Noah is going to get into a fight at a wedding.
- Helen, who deserves so much better, will be in the throes of some sort of mental breakdown. She’ll be showing an apartment in Brooklyn, and Dr. Vic will walk in with his new girlfriend, and she’ll grab a baseball bat from the hall closet and just go to town on the subway tiles in the bathroom. Then she’ll head to a meditation retreat in Northern California for at least half the season, but most of her POV sections will be flashbacks of her former life in Brooklyn. When she gets out, Dr. Vic will have written her a letter for every day she was gone. (But seriously, just give me Dr. Vic back.)
- Helen and Alison will be friends, and there will be a B-plot Buddy Comedy with the two of them. Maybe Alison will follow her to California, and they’ll start a business together — some sort of Women’s Only retreat in Big Sur, with matching linen sack dresses. Alison will lead yoga programs; Helen will guzzle white wine with clients and encourage them to yell their feelings.
- Luisa will have five lines instead of 12.
- There will be no less than four “readings” for Noah’s new book about a high school swimmer. The plot: A young man struggles with his own greatness (as a, uh, swimmer) and seeks solace in a roster of willing, emotionally supportive women, who he will in the end fuck over because he is in a monogamous relationship with his talent. But when he fails to make the Olympic trials he gets drunk, drives home, accidentally runs someone over, then goes to prison where he is stalked by a prison guard named “Gardner” because Noah Solloway can write about only one thing, and that thing is himself. Anyway, we’ll have to listen to several passages from the book and try not to die.
- Helen and her children will go to family therapy. She will reconcile with Vic after confessing that she was the one driving the car. Martin will go to college in New York. None of them will ever speak to Noah Solloway again. Cole will do the same but with Alison. Alison will move to L.A. with Noah and help him adapt his book into a movie because they are both terrible and belong together, 3,000 miles away from New York or anybody they can ruin.
… but more likely, aliens?