TV Club: The Affair breaks format for a confounding episode

Well, that was certainly something.

This is an episode full of important firsts for The Affair. The first time the show drops the perspective device. The first time all four main characters have separate stories in one episode. And for the first time, I don’t quite know what to think about it all.

When a show breaks in format so drastically, there is an obvious purpose behind it. Whether it’s a one-episode diversion or a permanent change, shifting storytelling devices in the middle of a show’s run is a decision that can lead to both great and horrible things, depending on the execution. The Affair‘s decision to drop its perspective device in this episode is a deliberate, momentous decision, even if it does turn out to be a one-time thing. The part that’s more difficult to parse is what the episode itself actually means.

The …

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