‘The Affair’ On Showtime’s Sudden Death Explained By Showrunner [Spoilers]

Sarah Treem explains the decision to kill off a main character.

Joshua Jackson, Ruth Wilson and Dominic West of The Affair attend the third annual PaleyFest NY at The Paley Center for Media
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Sarah Treem explains the decision to kill off a main character.

On tonight’s episode of The Affair on Showtime, one of perhaps the strangest road trips of all times ends with tragedy. One of the main characters is suddenly and unexpectedly killed off just as the show is renewed for another season. Showrunner Sarah Treem breaks down the decision to kill off Alison before the end of the current season.

The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Treem who confirmed that Alison is indeed dead, but she adds that her story is not nearly over. First, she confirmed that it is Alison’s body that Noah sees in the morgue. THR asked whether it was always the plan of the show’s creators to end the life of Alison at this point.

“No. It was always a possibility for Alison. When I was coming up with Alison, I was thinking of this character we were going to meet right after her child died. As any parent would ask themselves in that terrible situation, even hypothetically as you do sometimes, would you be able to survive it? So that was always a question that I had for the Alison character as a kind of an existential question. How does a parent survive it? And would this character ultimately be able to? That is a question that she was asking herself when we first met her, before she met Noah. And in so many ways the impetus for the affair from Alison’s perspective was trying to outrun that pain. It was always a possibility for Alison somewhere in my mind that she wouldn’t ultimately survive.”

The character of Alison has always struggled with inner demons, but it seemed to be a curious decision to end her life at this point. Treem says that the truth is that actor Ruth Wilson wanted to leave the show, and so they wrote her out.

“Ruth wanted to leave the show. That was a request, so that was decided basically before we started writing. It wasn’t a discovery of any kind. That was very deliberate. And actually, we shot all of her work first. Her whole storyline was shot before we shot anything else.”

Treem adds that the current season will get more dramatic after this point as viewers find out what happened to Alison from the time she left California until the time that she decided to end her life.

Also critical in the episode called “408” is the pairing of Noah and Cole for the first time. The drama seemingly will continue with the two men on the same side.