The Best Episodes of The Affair

Last Updated: Feb 17, 2019

At once deeply observed and intriguingly elusive, The Affair explores the emotional effects of an extramarital relationship. Noah is a New York City schoolteacher and novelist who is happily married, but resents his dependence on his wealthy father-in-law. Alison is a young waitress trying to piece her life and marriage back together in the wake of a tragedy. Set in Montauk at the end of Long Island, the provocative drama unfolds separately from both the male and female perspectives, using the distinct memory biases of both to tell the story.

Episode 12

#1 - Episode 12

Season 2 - Episode 12

Events set in motion long ago come to their conclusion. Alison is honest with Noah -- and herself. A dispute between Cole and Scotty is followed by tragedy. Meanwhile, a turn in Noah's trial results in a shocking event.

star 8.11
1,045 votes
Directors: Jeffrey Reiner
Writers: Sarah Treem
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Episode 10

#2 - Episode 10

Season 4 - Episode 10

Noah and Anton visit Yale where Noah encounters an old friend. An immensely difficult day forces Cole and Luisa to reexamine their relationship. Helen gets a new perspective on life.

star 8.06
446 votes
Writers: Jaquén Castellanos, Katie Robbins , Sarah Treem
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Episode 9

#3 - Episode 9

Season 4 - Episode 9

Ben finally confesses the truth to Alison. But is it too late for their relationship?

star 8.01
479 votes
Directors: Sam Gold
Writers: Sarah Treem
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Episode 8

#4 - Episode 8

Season 4 - Episode 8

A hopeful epiphany leads Cole on a journey to a horrific discovery. Noah questions his role in tragic events.

star 7.99
511 votes
Directors: Michael Engler
Writers: Itamar Moses, Sharr White
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Episode 5

#5 - Episode 5

Season 4 - Episode 5

Vik decides it’s time he started living for himself. Cole meets Nan, an old friend of his father, who sends him on a journey to exorcise the ghosts of his past.

star 7.87
493 votes
Directors: Jessica Yu
Writers: David Henry Hwang, Sharr White
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Episode 9

#6 - Episode 9

Season 1 - Episode 9

A revelation about their daughter Whitney makes Noah and Helen realize their troubled marriage is directly affecting their children. Bending under remorse, Alison spirals towards a reckoning.

star 7.84
988 votes
Directors: Jeffrey Reiner
Writers: Melanie Marnich, Kate Robin, Dan LeFranc
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Episode 10

#7 - Episode 10

Season 1 - Episode 10

The disappearance of Whitney spurs Helen to scrutinize Noah and his relationship with Alison and her family. Cole searches for answers at Lockhart Ranch. Meanwhile, Detective Jeffries makes significant progress on his case.

star 7.77
987 votes
Directors: Jeffrey Reiner
Writers: Sarah Treem
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Episode 9

#8 - Episode 9

Season 2 - Episode 9

Alison weathers a momentous journey alone. Helen receives unexpected attention from a sexy yet exasperating source. Noah faces a terrible reckoning. An array of challenges pushes Cole to the very edge.

star 7.71
991 votes
Directors: Jeffrey Reiner
Writers: David Henry Hwang, Alena Smith
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Episode 11

#9 - Episode 11

Season 2 - Episode 11

Cole and Luisa take a serious step forward. Meanwhile, a series of revelations cause Noah to reconsider everything he thought he knew about Alison - and a momentous decision Alison makes may just end their relationship.

star 7.70
986 votes
Directors: Michael Slovis
Writers: Abe Sylvia, Sharr White
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Episode 7

#10 - Episode 7

Season 2 - Episode 7

Alison's mother raises concerns about her and Noah's new lifestyle. Alison confronts Noah about his book. Cole lashes out at Luisa and is further alienated from his family in the wake of startling revelations.

star 7.64
999 votes
Writers: Abe Sylvia
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Episode 7

#11 - Episode 7

Season 1 - Episode 7

With summer coming to an end, the Solloways are returning to Brooklyn - a welcome relief for Noah following recent revelations. Meanwhile, Cole is forced to confront Alison when the Lockhart side business hits too close to home. And Helen and Noah grapple with the results of an unexpected emergency.

star 7.64
989 votes
Directors: Ryan Fleck
Writers: Kate Robin
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Episode 10

#12 - Episode 10

Season 2 - Episode 10

Noah grapples with essential questions. Alison begins to doubt a recent ambition, and renewed interactions with the Lockhart brothers force her to consider a harrowing possibility.

star 7.63
980 votes
Directors: Scott Winant
Writers: Anya Epstein
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Episode 9

#13 - Episode 9

Season 3 - Episode 9

Helen's escape to Montauk exacerbates her guilt and hastens an identity crisis: should the truth finally come out? Noah's world collapses, leaving him to process something horrific.

star 7.58
1,230 votes
Writers: Sarah Sutherland, Sarah Treem
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Episode 4

#14 - Episode 4

Season 3 - Episode 4

Cole is put in an increasingly impossible situation by Alison's return to his life. Alison must contend with Luisa while attempting to reconnect with her daughter. Simultaneously, a dangerous passion threatens to wreck everything.

star 7.55
1,377 votes
Directors: John Dahl
Writers: Stuart Zicherman
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Episode 1

#15 - Episode 1

Season 2 - Episode 1

Noah and Helen attempt to conduct amicable divorce proceedings. Surprising developments in Helen's life lead to unexpected emotions.

star 7.54
1,128 votes
Directors: Jeffrey Reiner
Writers: Sarah Treem
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Episode 8

#16 - Episode 8

Season 2 - Episode 8

On the college campus where they first met, Helen is amazed to see Noah in a new role, and bewildered by Whitney's future plans. Meanwhile, Noah is in danger of spinning out of control as his fame and related temptations escalate.

star 7.54
987 votes
Directors: Laura Innes
Writers: Sharr White
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Episode 4

#17 - Episode 4

Season 2 - Episode 4

Helen makes an innocent mistake that leads to outrageous consequences. A court order leads to a dire setback for Noah and Alison.

star 7.53
1,007 votes
Directors: John Dahl
Writers: Anya Epstein
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Episode 6

#18 - Episode 6

Season 1 - Episode 6

After Noah spends a night out with his best friend Max, he discovers there's more to Alison than he's been led to believe. At home, his wife Helen hopes to make the most of the family's time in Montauk. Meanwhile, Alison and her husband Cole work to keep the Lockharts from danger.

star 7.53
1,029 votes
Directors: Carl Franklin
Writers: Dan LeFranc
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Episode 6

#19 - Episode 6

Season 4 - Episode 6

Noah supports Anton in a decision about his future which puts Janelle in a complicated spot with her ex-husband. Alison makes a surprising discovery about her father, and another about Ben that eventually leads her back to Noah.

star 7.53
483 votes
Directors: Stacie Passon
Writers: Lydia Diamond, Sarah Sutherland
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Episode 5

#20 - Episode 5

Season 3 - Episode 5

Alison is motivated to spend a memorable day with Noah on Block Island for an unusual reason. Noah is left wistful by their profound connection, until the problems from which he was escaping return with a shocking force.

star 7.52
1,351 votes
Directors: Jeffrey Reiner
Writers: Sharr White
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Episode 5

#21 - Episode 5

Season 1 - Episode 5

As passions flare behind closed doors, Alison and Noah are forced to confront new obstacles at home. Alison gets a surprise visit from her estranged mother, Athena, while Noah struggles with the behavior of his daughter, Whitney.

star 7.49
1,049 votes
Directors: Carl Franklin
Writers: Kate Robin
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Episode 3

#22 - Episode 3

Season 3 - Episode 3

Running from secrets she left behind in Paris, Juliette finds Noah an alluring prospect. But a terrifying event shatters all hope of an easy affair. Meanwhile, Noah must fight like never before to make sense of what just occurred.

star 7.49
1,389 votes
Directors: Jeffrey Reiner
Writers: David Henry Hwang
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Episode 6

#23 - Episode 6

Season 3 - Episode 6

An unexplained absence sends Helen on a journey of increasingly troublesome discoveries. Compelled to return to a place he's spent his life trying to escape, Noah attempts to repair his relationship with Martin.

star 7.48
1,321 votes
Writers: Alena Smith
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Episode 2

#24 - Episode 2

Season 3 - Episode 2

One year earlier: after a stern request from Noah leaves Helen devastated, various pressures cause Helen and Vik to reexamine their relationship. Alison returns to Montauk after a crisis only to have her worst fears realized.

star 7.47
1,382 votes
Directors: John Dahl
Writers: Anya Epstein
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Episode 7

#25 - Episode 7

Season 4 - Episode 7

Helen goes to Joshua Tree in search of meaning. Noah and Anton begin an adventure with high hopes until an ominous phone call alters their course.

star 7.47
472 votes
Directors: Colin Bucksey
Writers: Jaquén Castellanos, Lydia Diamond, Sarah Sutherland
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