Photo Credit: Showtime
It's a very different world in the fifth and final season premiere of The Affair, now streaming on Hotstar in India. Partly set two to three decades after the events of the fourth season, The Affair season 5 follows a now-adult Joanie (Anna Paquin) — Noah (Dominic West) and Alison's (Ruth Wilson) daughter — who returns to climate change-ravaged Montauk, New York to figure out how her mother died. A second present-day storyline is much more familiar, as it focuses on Noah, Helen (Maura Tierney), and their four children, picking up where we left off with them at the end of the fourth season.
There's been a lot of mystery and in turn, controversy, surrounding Wilson's abrupt departure from The Affair last year, after her character was killed off towards the end of the fourth season. Wilson has largely remained mum in multiple interviews, only saying that it's “a much bigger story” than pay parity — West made more money than Wilson, even after she won a Golden Globe — and wanting to work elsewhere, two reasons that had been floated. Wilson also said that she had no say over how her character's arc would end. The Affair creator and showrunner Sarah Treem has maintained that it was Wilson's wish to leave the show and that the character had run its course, while West later expressed regret that he never spoke to Wilson about the pay gap.
Wilson isn't the only one who left The Affair between the fourth and the fifth season, with her former on-screen husband Joshua Jackson also bowing out. He didn't say why he was leaving the show, though. Catalina Sandino Moreno and Omar Metwally, who played Luisa León and Vik Ullah, respectively, are also not a part of the show anymore.
The Affair season 5, episode 1 — written by Treem — opens with “Noah embarking on his journey with the Descent movie by getting acquainted with his star, Sasha Mann (Claes Bang).” Meanwhile, Helen is dealing with a “tragic event”, per the official description provided by Showtime, as her neighbour Sierra (Emily Browning) greets “a new arrival”. In the future timeline, Joanie “struggles with an upcoming birthday.” The Affair season 5 will run for a total of 11 episodes, with the two-hour series finale — directed and written by Treem — airing October 28 on Hotstar in India.
Paquin and Bang are just two of several new cast changes on The Affair season 5. Paquin is the only new main cast member, while Bang has a recurring role as the aforementioned A-list movie star who will also serve as Helen's love interest. Lyriq Bent (Rookie Blue) will star in the future timeline as sports agent and Joanie's husband Paul. Michael Braun (The Day Shall Come) plays a character identified as EJ, and there's an undisclosed role for Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight).
A Golden Globe winner in the past, The Affair was created by Hagai Levi and Treem, who are also executive producers on the series alongside Jeffrey Reiner, Eric Overmyer, and Anya Epstein. It is a production of Sheleg, Higlewater, and Showtime Networks, with the last of them airing the show on its subsidiary channel, Showtime, in the US.
Here's the official description for The Affair season 5, via Showtime:
“In the aftermath of horrific events, Noah and Helen try to come to terms with the consequences of their choices. Just when things seem to have stabilized, a chance encounter with someone from the distant past sets in motion a sequence of events that brings them both to their knees. They realize they must face their past in order to truly move on. And some years in the future, Alison and Cole's now adult daughter Joanie attempts to piece together the truth about what happened to her mother, bringing the whole story full circle.”
The Affair season 5, episode 1 is out now on Hotstar in India. New episodes will be released weekly Monday morning in India after airing in the US on Showtime. If you've been watching The Affair on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video, you will likely need to wait until sometime next year to catch the final season, as the rights only kick in well after the season has ended.