The Affairs Dramatic Final-Season Changes Involve Anna Paquin

The Affair has been steadily shaking up its storytelling structure since the Showtime dramas second season. But on Friday, The Affairs show-runner confirmed that the series will undergo its most shocking cast and story change—for its fifth and final season, debuting next year.

In light of Ruth Wilson, Joshua Jackson, Catalina Sandino Moreno, and Omar Metwally reportedly exiting the series, the drama will introduce a new story line that hurtles two or three decades in the future, centering on Alison (Wilson) and Coles (Jackson) adult daughter, Joanie Lockhart. Joanie will be played by Anna Paquin, according to a new report from TVLine.

Show-runner Sarah Treem confirmed the news, tweeting, “To say were happy to welcome @AnnaPaquin, would be the understatement of the century. Been a HUGE fan of hers for as long as I can remember. We cant wait to show you all this final season.”

Paquins character will return to “climate-change ravaged Montauk” to investigate the mysterious death of her mother, which occurred late in The Affairs last season. Though Alisons death initially appeared to be a suicide, it was later revealed that the Affair protagonist was murdered by her love interest, Ben (Ramón Rodríguez.)

Season 4 leads Dominic West (Noah) and Maura Tierney (Helen) will return for a present-day story arc, co-starring Julia Goldani Telles (Whitney), Jadon Sand (Trevor), and Sanaa Lathan (Janelle, Noahs love interest). Showtime has also said that the final season of The Affair “will chronicle the aftermath of the [Season 4] finales horrific events and find the characters coming to terms with the consequences of their choices—as they make the realization that if they really want to change their futures they must first face the past. This final season is about how everything does really fall apart in the end, but somewhere in that wreckage, the seeds of change finally sprout.”

Wilson still has not explained her mysterious and abrupt departure from the series, which took viewers by surprise this summer. In August, shortly after her character was killed off, the actress said only this: “It isnt about pay parity, and it wasnt about other jobs. . . . But Im not really allowed to talk about it.” She also added cryptically, “There is a much bigger story.”

Get Vanity Fairs HWD NewsletterSign up for essential industry and award news from Hollywood.Julie MillerJulie Miller is a Senior Hollywood writer for Vanity Fairs website.


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