It's the end of an era. Showtime's Golden Globe-winning drama, The Affair, is finally returning with its final episodes. After a shocking end to Season 4, Season 5 explores the aftermath from everything that went down, while the characters are left to sort through the emotional fallout of their choices. A few cast changes have made the news, but that aside, you might want to know how many episodes Season 5 of The Affair will have so you can adjust your schedule accordingly.
Warning: Spoilers for Season 4 of The Affair ahead.
The 11-episode season will include returning stars Sanaa Lathan as Janelle, Julia Goldani Telles as Whitney Solloway and Jadon Sand as Trevor Solloway. During the space between seasons, a very public situation arose when actress, Ruth Wilson, left the show abruptly, leaving her character, Alison, to be killed off. Wilson mentioned it wasn't something she wanted to happen per se, and wasn't able to talk about the "choice" to leave, per Us Weekly. At a later point, Wilson told the New York Times the departure wasn't related to pay inequality (despite rumors to the contrary), so I suppose only the insiders know what actually happened there.
Wilson previously told CBS This Morning, “I did want to leave, but I’m not allowed to talk about why.” She later told Vulture she envisioned a different ending for her character. "I always hoped that she would … I always had the image that she would walk into the sunset with her son with no man." So it seems Alison's death was shocking for everyone involved.
Regardless of what happened with Wilson, The Affair crew was ready to work around Alison's absence and she isn't the only one missing from Season 5. Others who won't return in the final season include Joshua Jackson's character, Cole, or his TV wife, Luisa, played by Catalina Sandino Moreno. However, in another shocking turn of events, this season will push forward 20-30 years to reveal what Alison and Cole's daughter, Joanie, is doing. That's a major change but necessary, in my opinion.
Jackson exited The Affair last fall, after Wilson left the series when Alison was killed off toward the end of Season 4. Though at the time of his departure from the show, an insider indicated Jackson could reprise the part in some capacity for the final season per The Wrap, Showtime confirmed Tuesday the actor will not be back. As you can see, all of this made creating Season 5 a little complicated.
As for what's going on this season, Maura Tierney’s Helen is doing her affair thing with a movie star (Claes Bang), while Noah (Dominic West) tries to get her back. Per Showtime, Season 5 of The Affair is more about how these characters can move forward — only by facing the past. It sounds pretty much in line with previous seasons, all leading to the series ender. As for newcomers in Season 5, expect to see Anna Paquin as Cole and Alison's daughter, Joanie. She'll spend the season “piecing together the truth about what happened to her mother, bringing the whole story full circle."
The Affair has had a good run with its previous four seasons, and Season 5 looks to be no different. All the ends will likely get tied up, and your favorite characters will (probably) face the consequences for actions set in motion from the start. I mean, it's called The Affair, so you knew what you were getting into.
Season 5 of The Affair premieres Sunday, Aug. 25 at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.