A Teacher – Season 1 Episode 2 Recap & Review

Frat Party

Episode 2 of A Teacher begins with a very nice split-screen shot; a high-school party on one side and Eric’s POV on the left with his phone screen. It’s a small inclusion but one that’s very nicely stylized.

Eric attends a school party with drinks flowing and music blaring. The rooms are packed full of people smoking weed and while Eric hooks up with his ex Alison, Logan tries to bag some alone time with Josh’s sister… until police arrive.

Officer Nate Wilson does a breathalyzer on Eric and it’s clear he’s way over the limit. Eric notices his nametag – and subsequent family connection – and mentions Claire. As we soon learn, Nate is actually Claire’s brother. She vouches for Eric too, heading over to give him a lift home while Matt nonchalantly waves away her decision to head out.

While Alison is picked up by her Dad, Nate walks Eric over to Claire’s car and she drives him home. On the way, she laughs at his stupidity and even breaks down their formal barrier and tells him to call her Claire outside school.

She drops him off but shows up unannounced in the morning too, telling him they’re going to do something different rather than SAT prep.

She drives him up to UT and they wander around together, with Claire asking him about his future and what his goals are in life. Eric wants to be a doctor, as it turns out, and he has a loosely based plan on how to get there. His focused mind-set is a far cry from Matt’s wishy-washy mid-life crisis, as she soon finds out.

Later in the episode, Claire returns home to find Matt swimming in expensive music equipment. Equipment – we may add – that was paid for with his Grandfather’s money they were saving together. Claire is understandably not happy and it opens up further rifts between them.

Before we reach that point though, Claire and Eric are both interrupted by Cody, a college student that’s on campus. He knows Eric and invites him along to one of their frat parties. Eric is reluctant to show but Claire is more than happy to get into the swing of things.

As we soon learn, the reason why is because of Claire’s past. She never went to a frat party as a teenager as she had to look after her Father. He was an alcoholic and while he’s sober now, their Daddy issues are something they both share.

Unlike Claire though, Eric never knew his Father. As the pair look like they’re about to kiss, both of them decide against this and pull away.

That split screen shot from before returns later that evening (after that incident with Matt’s music) as  Claire tellingly deletes the message Eric writes saying “Today Was fun.”

Eric speaks to his Mum enthusiastically in the morning about being shown around UT on a Saturday. While she remains supportive, mentioning how it was nice Claire gave up her Saturday for him, when Eric leaves the room her face contorts to one of concern.

At school the next day, Claire’s mid-night impulsiveness sees her decide to follow Eric back on Instagram. Eric notices this in the morning and starts looking through a few of her photos.

Eric breathes heavily at his locker while Claire eyes him up from afar. Eric impulsively steps forward and tries kissing her in the classroom, prompting her to pull away and tell him to leave. When he does, she breathes heavily but lingers over her lips, touching them tentatively.


The Episode Review

The second episode deepens the ties for the upcoming illicit affair and given the subject material, this is absolutely a minefield that Hulu needs to navigate very carefully. So far though A Teacher has done well to recognize the moral implications of this and through the dialogue between the two, reinforced that this is not okay.

Given how impressionable people are during their teen years, it’s obvious that the fault lies on both sides. Claire showing him around campus may be an act of kindness but dropping the formality and going straight for first-name basis would be a sign enough for Eric to act casually around her.

Eric meanwhile is fixated on his teacher and stepped over the line by being forward and kissing her.

With both Eric and Claire on the brink of falling head-first into this dangerous game, it remains to be seen exactly how this series will handle that.

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  • Episode Rating
3

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