A Teacher – Season 1 Episode 1 Recap & Review

Lipstick

We begin episode 1 of A Teacher with English teacher Claire Wilson arriving during the new school year. As we start to learn more about her, it’s obvious she’s a bit of a thrill seeker and looking for danger and excitement in her life.

She impulsively steals a lipstick from a department store she frequents, brushing it off like it’s nothing to her partner Matt later that evening.

Matt’s leaving for a trip too and through their dialogue, it’s obvious that they feel pressure among their peers to bring a little one into the world.

For now though, Claire pushes this stress aside and heads back into school where she greets her senior class. She tellingly reads poetry from Dylan Thomas (again, bringing back that motif of impulsiveness) which student Eric Walker listens to intently. It’s just as well too, given he needs to score higher in his SATs if he has any chance of getting into college.

Outside school, Eric’s friends Josh and Logan notice Claire and immediately mention how good looking she is. It’s typical guy talk, espwecially when they start going through pictures of girls from school. Logan comments on how hot Josh’s sister is too but when he tells him she’s 14, Logan’s smile immediately disappears.

The kids start smoking weed and while high, head out to a diner… where Ms Wilson happens to be. Logan immediately heads over but he and Josh leave Eric high and dry.

With Claire and Eric alone together at the counter, she offers to pay for their milkshakes and even lets him eat the other half of her grilled cheese sandwich.

As they get talking, the two immediately vibe and Eric asks her to tutor him. She agrees, for now, as the pair leave together. It’s an innocent enough ride home but one that leaves an impression on Claire as she ends up dreaming about Eric that night.

The warm oranges contrast beautifully against the ominous music (again, reinforcing the conflicted emotions toward what’s inevitably going to happen). When she awakens, everything is dark and gloomy.

Matt’s returned too and Claire immediately mentions she’s ovulating. The two have sex and Claire smiles when he finishes.

The next day Eric and Claire begin their tutoring – in a very public place. As they look at one another and smile, they’re both touching shoulders as the episode comes to a close.


The Episode Review

Given the premise I wasn’t sure Hulu and FX would pull this story off in a way that wouldn’t feel like it was actually condoning this relationship. So far that’s not the case and this first episode gets things off to a great start.

Interestingly, the series also has a few unique stylistic ticks – some that work and others that really don’t. The former revolves around the telling musical score which is suitably eerie and ominous during the moments our student and teacher are together.

Less stylish are the harsh fade to blacks, which linger for a solid second before cutting to another scene. It’s obviously supposed to be something that sets this apart but right now, it doesn’t work as effectively as one may expect.

So a mixed bag to begin with – some positives and negatives to work with. There’s 2 more episodes streaming in one go though so it’ll be interesting to see where the series goes next with this idea.

Next Episode

Expect A Full Season Write-Up When This Season Concludes!
  • Episode Rating
3.5

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