Anna Paquin is joining “The Affair” for the Showtime series’ fifth and final season as the now-adult daughter of Alison (Ruth Wilson) and Cole (Joshua Jackson), in a major flashforward storyline that will take us decades into the future.
Paquin has been cast as a grownup Joanie Lockhart, who returns some years in the future to a climate-change ravaged Montauk to piece together the truth about what happened to her mother and bring the whole story full circle, an individual with knowledge of the casting tells TheWrap.
This time-jump story will run alongside the Sarah Treem and Hagai Levi-created series’ present-day plot, which picks up in the months after Alison’s death at the hands of a violent boyfriend.
Season four found Noah (Dominic West), Helen (Maura Tierney), Alison and Cole in their own orbits, alienated from each other, spinning further and further away from where they all began.
Per the official description, the fifth and final season will chronicle the aftermath of the Season 4 finale’s 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 chapter is about how everything falls apart in the end, but somewhere in that wreckage, the seeds of change finally sprout.
West and Tierney will return as series regulars for Season 5, along with Julia Goldani Telles and Jadon Sand as Noah and Helen’s children, Whitney and Trevor Solloway; and Sanaa Lathan, as Janelle, Noah’s love interest.
Previously announced guest star Claes Bang (“The Girl in the Spider’s Web”) will play Sasha Mann, a charismatic movie star and love interest for Helen. Emily Browning, Omar Metwally, Russell Hornsby, John Doman, Kathleen Chalfant, Max Fowler, Abigail Dylan Harrison and Jake Siciliano will also guest star.
As TheWrap reported in September, Jackson will not return in his series regular role as Cole for the drama’s remaining episodes, but could reprise the part in some capacity before it all comes to an end.
News of Jackson’s exit followed that of Wilson’s, who left the series when Alison was killed off toward the end of the last season.
Wilson said in August she was “not allowed” to talk about why her character was written out, but the actress later told the New York Times that her exit did not have to do with pay inequality (though she previously said West had a higher salary than her) or a new role she wanted to pursue.