A Teacher – Season 1 Episode 5 Recap & Review

The Retreat

Episode 5 of A Teacher begins with Eric and Claire hanging out together for Eric’s birthday, looking out over the wilderness and shooting a video together. Claire suddenly comes to her senses though and tells him to delete it.

They sit together and eat together that night, complete with a bottle of red wine. Claire opens up about her past, including the estranged relationship she has with her Father. Eventually she calls him a really good man. Man being the operative word here of course, given he’s only just turned 18.

In the morning, Claire answers a call from Matt who confirms he’s got a gig coming up and wants her to be there for support. When she hangs up, Eric tries in vain to hide his jealousy, eventually dominating her and having sex right there in the kitchen.

The two continue to drink and smoke together in this remote cabin, eventually ending with Eric checking his phone. As he scrolls down, he sees numerous messages from people wishing him happy birthday. Given it’s their last night in solitude together, he’s struggling with going back to normality.

Claire struggles with this too, especially given her entire life is on the line and she’s risking everything to be with Eric. As he tells her he loves her, she says it back and the two make love. Eventually they head back home together.

When Eric returns home, he finds himself alone and struggling with this new reality he finds himself in; he’s longing to be with Claire.

Claire meanwhile heads out to see Matt’s first gig but Kathryn shows up and steals alcohol from the bar. As they head outside drinking, Kathryn confronts Claire about her glow and knows that she’s been doing something else with someone else.

As they get talking, Claire talks about her affair and how much she likes “the D”. Eventually she admits to Kathryn outright that she’s having an affair with a school kid. She claims it’s not abuse but Kathryn has heard enough and walks off, disgusted.

She vows to report Claire as our school teacher realizes her life is about to come crashing down around her.

The Episode Review

I know a lot of people are torn over this show but I always like to turn this around and imagine whether people would be like this if the genders were reversed. If this was a male teacher talking and having an affair with a 17 year old female student, would we be having the same conversation?

While most of this episode tackles the affair, there’s a few inappropriate conversations here too, especially Claire talking about “the D”.

Thankfully the music choices are suitably dark – especially LCD Soundsystem which can be interpreted as a bad trip and things going wrong.

It looks like Claire is about to get her comeuppance next episode onward though which should be very interesting. Hopefully she gets hit hard with what she’s done and the show tackles more of the psychological damage this will undoubtedly do to Eric.

For now though, A Teacher bows out with an okay episode but one that promises bigger things to come in the future.

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