• Troy’s affair with Alberta strains his marriage with Rose in Fences, leading to their relationship’s downfall.
  • Despite feeling betrayed, Rose agrees to raise Troy and Alberta’s daughter Raynell as her own for the sake of the child’s well-being.
  • Troy’s violent outburst during an argument about the affair permanently sours his relationship with his son Cory.

Denzel Washington’s Fences revolves around the strained marriage of Troy and Rose Maxson, and one of the biggest strains on their relationship comes from a small yet significant character named Alberta. Adapted from August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, Fences takes place in the 1950s as a working-class husband and father reckons with his character flaws and past mistakes. Washington stars as Troy opposite Viola Davis as Rose, both reprising their roles from the 2010 revival of the play that earned both actors Tony Awards.

From a teenage crime spree to a baseball career that was cut short by the Major League’s “color barrier,” Troy has a long, complicated backstory. His laundry list of regrets makes him a difficult person to be married to. Throughout the movie, he continually tempts Death to take him; he’s not exactly sound of mind. But Rose sticks by him through thick and thin. The one mistake that Troy made that Rose couldn’t ignore, and led to the downfall of their relationship, involved a woman named Alberta.

RELATED: Is Fences Based On A True Story?

Troy Is Having An Affair With Alberta In Fences

Troy and Bono drinking in a bar in Fences

Alberta is Troy’s mistress in Fences. He meets with her at a bar called Taylor’s. It’s unclear exactly how long Troy’s affair with Alberta has lasted, but it’s implied that they’ve been seeing each other behind Rose’s back for a while. Jim Bono, Troy’s best friend for decades, sees him with Alberta at the bar and encourages him to end the affair. Initially, Troy agrees and intends to break things off with his mistress, but he changes his mind when he receives some life-changing news.

Troy Gets Alberta Pregnant & Refuses To Break Off Their Affair

Rose yelling at Troy in Fences

Although Troy initially plans to break off his affair with Alberta, he changes his mind when he finds out that the affair has resulted in a pregnancy. This leads to one of the most intense scenes in the movie. He decides to tell Rose about the affair and the pregnancy, and Rose is understandably furious. During an argument over whether Troy was right not to break off his extramarital relationship with Alberta, Troy violently grabs Rose’s arm. At this point, Troy and Rose’s son Cory steps in and shoves Troy into the fence, permanently souring the relationship between this father and son.

Why Rose Raises Troy & Alberta’s Daughter Raynell

Cory talking to Raynell in Fences

Despite feeling betrayed by the affair, Rose agrees to raise Troy and Alberta’s daughter Raynell as her own. She makes this decision for the good of the child, because Alberta sadly died during childbirth, so Raynell would end up in the hands of social services if Rose didn’t raise her. But the condition of her agreeing to raise Raynell is that she refuses to forgive Troy and invite him back into her life. At the end of Fences, as the Maxsons prepare for Troy’s funeral, Raynell is shown to be a happy, healthy six-year-old with a loving mother.

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