“How can I trust that you really know the way to Dryland?”
Photo: Patrick Wymore (Showtime)

Following in the footsteps of such hard-hitting glimpses of our grimly darkening future as The Handmaid’s Tale, Fringe, and the final episode of Mad About You, Showtime has announced that the last season of The Affair will jump several decades forward in time, cataloging Earth’s big, messy breakup with the human race. Per Vulture, the show has just cast Oscar winner Anna Paquin as the adult daughter of Joshua Jackson and Ruth Wilson’s characters for the series’ fifth and final season, which will see her investigate whatever actually happened to her parents in “climate change-ravaged Montauk.”

The decision to do the time warp for the show’s fifth season presumably builds off of the end of its fourth, which revealed that Wilson’s character, Alison, was dead, likely at the hands of boyfriend Ben. (“Likely,” because The Affair has never gone in for strictly objective truth.) Paquin will investigate the circumstances surrounding her parent’s lives, while also, we assume, fending off attacks from Dennis Hopper’s pirate raiders and a newly resurgent Atlantis.

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Of course, the real question about the show’s fifth season is whether it’ll take place far enough in the future for us to have finally found out why Wilson left the show; although Showtime has tried to paint the parting as mutual, the actress has made repeated statements that she’s “not allowed” to talk about why she decided to quit, which is weirdly fitting for this particular show.