“Welcome to the end of the world,” Alison tells Noah on the first episode of Showtime’s new drama, The Affair, starring Dominic West (The Wire) and Ruth Wilson (Luther). As you can guess from the title, the two leads have an illicit relationship. And though The Affair is far from the first show to trace a secret liaison, the stakes have never felt so high: it really may be the end of the world.
The show unfolds two parts: first from Noah’s perspective and then from Alison’s. The differences between their two narratives—told to police officers investigating a still-unknown crime—elucidate the differences between how men and women view the world and especially romantic relationships.