Season 5 of Showtime's The Affair led with a maudlin start as one of last year's featured characters was seen just before passing away. Dr. Vic Ullah (Omar Metwally), who was suffering from incurable pancreatic cancer, passed away in a slow and painful death in the first episode, causing Helen Solloway (Maura Tierney) to go off the rails.
But let's face it -- the beleaguered woman has been dealing with a lot.
Not only was her long-time partner living out his final days in a hospital bed in their bedroom, but their neighbor, Sierra (Emily Browning), has grown extremely pregnant while carrying Vic's child following a one-night stand. Helen relentlessly made sure the doctor stayed alive long enough to meet his only child, but Vic was slipping in such a way that letting him live seemed cruel.
Nevertheless, as often happens in fictitious tales, Vic was able to stay alive long enough to bond with his baby boy for less than a minute. After that, he took his last breath and his hospice nurse then assured Helen that Vic knew he had held his child for the first and the last time.
When all that was said and finally done, Helen was left to grieve in her bedroom after the body was taken away. That happened at the end of Episode 1, setting up the main storyline for the final season of The Affair that has fans wondering whether or not Helen will eventually go back to her ex-husband, Noah Solloway (Dominic West), before the series ends.A fresh preview for the Showtime series picks up only a short time after Vic died. Helen was seen staring at a memory stick that Vic left for her in his hospital bed.
"I just wasn't prepared for how permanent it is," her voice-over states.
As she says that, she appears from behind the voice-over, telling her tale of woe to Sasha, the swaggering star of Noah's biopic. The British bloke takes her hand and charmingly states the obvious.
"Death is relentless," he says.
Another quick scene includes Noah's eldest daughter as she is being introduced to Sasha while behind-the-scenes of her dad's movie. A second later, the same young and clueless woman has a chat with Noah's current girlfriend.
"I think dating a woman of color is the coolest thing my dad has ever done," she says.
After that, the scene shifts for a final time in a moment from the future. An adult Joanie Lockhart (Anna Paquin) seems to be searching for answers regarding her mother's death. What she finds may or may not be revealed in the second show of the season.
The Affair for Season 5 airs every Sunday at 9 p.m. on Showtime.