A Teacher gets off to a racy, racing start, as Kate Mara and Nick Robinson decide to be ill-advised study buddies — and we all know where that’s going.
This recap of A Teacher season 1, episode 1 contains spoilers.
Maybe it’s because I have a rough idea of the plot of A Teacher, but when we’re introduced to Kate Mara’s English teacher Claire Wilson, something seems off about her. She’s polite to her new colleagues and seemingly appreciative of the position, but she looks, for want of a better way of saying it, like the kind of teacher who’d f*ck a student. A scene immediately after her introduction proves me correct, as we see her needlessly steal lipstick from a store — this is a woman with impulses who finds it difficult to control them.
She’s also a woman without a child, which she and her partner, Matt (Ashley Zukerman), are trying to correct. She confesses to Matt about stealing the lipstick, rationalizing it by noting how much money she has spent in the store over the years. They both laugh it off, Matt a bit warily. But that sense of entitlement is noteworthy, and it’ll come to define the season as it progresses.
In her first lesson, Claire introduces the class to the poetry of Dylan Thomas — “Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night”, a poem explicitly about succumbing to impulse and raging against the inevitability of aging. Fitting! We’re also introduced to the student, Eric (Nick Robinson), who will become the object of her attention. He’s a budding athlete who also needs an SAT score that he doesn’t currently have yet. The seed is planted early among his friends — Miss Wilson is far too hot to be a teacher.
That night, since Matt is delayed, Claire goes out and sits at a diner alone, where she encounters Eric with his friends Josh (Dylan Schmid) and Logan (Shane Harper, late of Hightown), the latter of whom convinces the others to sit with Miss Wilson. Pretty soon, Eric is left alone with her. She pays for his food — he works there, so his friends assume they get things free, which they don’t — and tells him a little about herself. She was born in Texas and went to UT Austin, which is Eric’s ideal academic institution, but there’s the whole matter of the SATs, which he raises. Passing those, according to Claire, is a skill that you can learn, and since that’s the case she can tutor Eric privately — which she doesn’t see any problem with, predictably. She gives him a ride home, and on the way she tells him about her cop brother who lives nearby. He’s surprised to hear that a teacher is into the same music as him.
This surprise is obviously enough to convince Eric to send Claire a friend request on Facebook, and that request is enough for Claire to dream about Eric being in her bedroom. Things are developing rapidly, folks. When Matt returns home he tries to swerve sex by claiming he’s too tired, but she’s adamant since she’s ovulating and all, and I think we know where Chekhov’s fertility chat is going, don’t we? As it turns out, Matt is so tired that he’s only able to earn a very disappointed face from Claire, thus, one assumes, pushing her more quickly into the arms of a virile youngster.
On her way to work the next day, Claire stops by the diner where Eric is getting a headstart on his revision. She squeezes up next to him ever so close. “Let’s take a look,” she says. See? Learning can be fun!
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