“I think we tried to lighten the tone and put some comedy into it, though that didn’t last as long as I would’ve liked. This season is sort of about the irony of life: You can keep trying to control things, but they’re just always going to happen,” Tierney, 54, says of the last 11 episodes. “The perspective is the pretense that we can control who we fall in love with and when we fall in love with them or when they stop loving us. That’s what we’re exploring.”
For Helen, who has been through the wringer with her ex-husband Noah (Dominic West) and latest love interest Vik (Omar Metwally), the end of the series is “about coming to terms with loving who you love — and [knowing] it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks about that.”
When the fifth season begins, Vik is dying from cancer. Then, there will be a time jump; during that time, Helen meets a new man, Sasha (Claes Bang), who shows her something brand new.
“They ultimately get romantically involved, but before they do, he becomes the one person who’s outside of her life. It’s a person she doesn’t have to take care of, who sees her and sees her grief,” the ER vet says. “I think that character is the key to unlocking her ability to move forward.”
That said, the push and pull between Noah and Helen will continue — and will have an conclusion: “I think [Noah’s] journey changes throughout the season,” she said. “There’s a tennis match going on between the two of them threaded throughout the season. It does get decided at the end of this.”
As for her reaction to the series end, Tierney thinks viewers will be pleased. “I thought it was interesting,” she says. “I mean, I think it will be satisfying to people. I liked it.”
For more from Tierney, pick up Us Weekly, on newsstands now.
The Affair season 5 premieres on Showtime Sunday, August 25, at 9 p.m. ET.
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