I'm going to pretty much put aside Noah's story in this review/analysis, even though it had some excellent moments such as Noah having sex with three successive babes at the beginning - starting with the one he flirted with at the pool in the very first episode - and a great bit in the purgatory of tenured teachers brought up on charges. But Alison's episode ends with the detective arresting Noah, and Alison and Noah together, and since we've yet to see Noah's side of that, it makes most sense to go with that story as the reality we'll be bouncing off of next season. I mean, I suppose Noah's view of that last scene could be Alison is getting arrested, but I somehow don't think so.
Alison's story is sheer dynamite in the confrontation of families out on Long Island. Cole finally comes into his own, as someone who loves Alison so much, he might kill her, if he doesn't kill Noah. And Alison's putting herself in front of Cole's gun is what gets Noah to stay with her, after Helen and their daughter leave.
What's still not revealed is who killed Scotty? Noah was trying to bribe the mechanic who fixed his damaged car - but, for all we know, he was not the one who was driving it. The culprit has to be someone who had motive to kill Scotty - such as Oscar - but also someone whom Noah would be motivated to protect. That wouldn't be Oscar. It could be Alison, obviously. Noah would also spend money to protect Helen. Anyone else? Could Noah's oldest son somehow have been behind the wheel of that car? Not very likely, but not impossible, either.
Alison's saying to Noah that she'll get him out of this is also very significant. How would she do that? By implicating herself? That's not something that Noah would want her to do, especially with their baby.
So The Affair first season concludes with the affair itself somewhat settled, with Noah and Alison together. But the murder investigation part of the story is just about to take off, with the detective finally moving from his own story splintered between Noah and Alison, to a story - the arrest of Noah - that happens right in front of both of them. Indeed, since this happens well after the last scene in Noah's half hour, that's even more reason to think this is more than just Alison's story. At least, I think so. What I'm sure of is that this is a great place indeed to begin next season, and I'll be looking forward.