The Affair's Bonkers Season 2 Finale: The Scotty Death Explanation Nobody Saw Coming
Think of the way a show like Game of Thrones or Scream Queens uses death—freely, liberally, stacking stabbing upon impaling to maintain our engagement. Then think of the way The Affair, for the better part of two seasons, has kept us teetering on the edge of the couch by dangling a single unsolved killing—that of Scotty Lockhart—in front of our faces, its true story obscured by fog.
Until tonight’s season two finale, when the fog finally cleared. [ALL the spoilers ahead.]
Long story short: The Affair stole How to Get Away With Murder‘s schtick and went varsity with it. (Though, to be fair, Sarah Treem et al technically had this thorny resolution worked out before HTGAWM hit the airwaves.) Who killed Scotty Lockhart? Just about everybody. After a drunken swim (according to Noah’s version of events, anyway), Helen and Noah were speeding away from the wedding when Helen took her eyes off the road and ran Scotty down. In Alison’s version, we learned why Scotty was in the road in the first place: He was apparently looking to cap off a menacing performance at Cole’s wedding by raping Alison, and she pushed him away just as Noah’s SUV came around the bend.
There you have it: Three guilty parties. And one giant, dysfunctional family destroyed if any of them went down for the crime. In the final moments of the episode, just as his lawyer prepared to divert attention to Alison, Noah stood and “confessed” to killing Scotty.
End of season.
Certainly, this means that Noah’s trial—and/or whatever criminal proceedings happen after a defendant just shouts out he killed someone—will stretch into season three. (Whether its signature dreary Instagram filter will come too is TBD.) As for where else we go from here, the show has never been less mappable. That’s the flip side of having a season finale that answers so many long-burning questions and includes so many come to Jesus moments (the original couples each shared a fond be-happy convo): It almost feels like a series finale.
But in the interest of prepping ourselves for season three—and distracting ourselves from how depressingly far off more Affair suddenly seems—let’s recap the challenges ahead. Joanie, the unluckiest little girl ever, is not Noah’s daughter—she’s Cole’s. Noah is likely headed to jail until this all gets sorted out. And Alison and Helen—each of whom is not totally clear on the other’s involvement in Scotty’s death, it seems—are left with Telltale Heart style guilt to contend with.
The bloody hands of 3/4 of the show’s main cast makes new groom Cole look so suddenly, blindingly pure, it seems inevitable that his discovery of the truth about That Night will be the next pivotal point in the series. Scotty may have been on his last nerve, but Cole will likely be one of the first people to raise his hand and call Noah’s declaration suspicious—and things have a way of getting out in Montauk. We still don’t know when Scotty left the wedding, who saw him last or what he may have said to them. But this is The Affair, so rest assured the Oscars of the world are out there, lurking, ready to meddle.
In the meantime, speaking of justice for Scotty, where do we go to campaign for an Emmy nod for Colin Donnell, the actor who plays him? While Ruth Wilson, Dominic West, Maura Tierney and Joshua Jackson are all unicorn good as a rule, this season hinged on Donnell’s performance as a struggling addict and tenacious troublemaker. Just as Scotty’s family must have, we held our breaths through his whole life. But now that he’s truly gone, we miss Donnell already.
Photos: Courtesy of Showtime