Eric and Claire get closer after she helps him out of a tight spot, but neither makes many good decisions as their relationship gets much more difficult to navigate.
This recap of A Teacher season 1, episode 2 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
The second episode of A Teacher opens with quite a smart little split-screen shot, with Eric at a house party filming the debauchery on his phone. While there, he does what we all go to parties to do and hooks up with a girl — his ex, Alison (Camila Perez). Logan, also in attendance, does the same — with his best friend’s sister, no less — but the ill-timed arrival of the police throws a bit of a spanner in the works. Eric is breathalyzed and tests way over the limit. The police want his mom and dad to pick him up, but his mom works nights and can’t spare the time off work and his dad isn’t around. He begs the copper for mercy since if he gets a citation he’s screwed, but he clocks the name on the guy’s tag — Wilson. Fancy that! Eric plays up his relationship with Claire and asks if she can be called to come to pick him up, which is a daring move. Nate (Adam David Thompson), the cop, calls her, and she asks him to let the citation slide. What a team player!
Eric waits outside with Alison, who’s confused about why he didn’t get a citation. When Claire eventually arrives, Nate leads Eric to her car and tells him he’s lucky to have such a cool teacher, evidently not knowing the half of it. Claire gives Eric the obligatory lecture about him being stupid and cautions him about telling anyone about either her picking him up or her brother letting him off. But she ends up laughing and telling him to call her Claire outside of school. She’ll also see him tomorrow for tutoring, no harm apparently having been done.
Eric’s morning routine includes masturbating and some press-ups that he really needs to get deeper on if he wants to develop his chest. The next thing he knows, Claire is on his doorstep, and he invites her inside. She thought they could do something different than the usual routine. We see that Eric has a couple of younger brothers who, with what we learned about his mother earlier, we must assume he basically fathers. Claire is taking him for a tour of UT, during which they discuss his long-term goals and what he wants to do with his life. He wants to be a doctor — he thinks, anyway. He has a whole plan, but whatever he does, he just wants to help other people, which is coincidentally why she wanted to become a teacher. Eric delivers another contrite apology for the other night, but they’re interrupted by his friend Cody (Cameron Moulène), a student there, who invites him and Claire for “kegs and eggs” at the house — an invitation that Claire accepts on his behalf.
The party is terribly awkward since Cody assumes Claire is Eric’s “friend” and wants to talk about getting wasted the night before and complain about the cops. Claire reveals to Eric that this is technically her first frat party since she had an alcoholic father who needed caring for. He’s sober now, at least, and besides, Eric never met his dad, so he takes the lead in Parental Strife Top Trumps. She cautions him not to miss all this, since he’ll have plenty of time to be an adult. Eric very romantically picks a bit of green chili out of Claire’s hair, causing the sexual tension to become too much to cope with, so they both leave.
After the party, Eric messages Claire saying he had a nice time, but she deletes it. We see him sat staring at his phone, an as-yet unaccepted Instagram follow request sent to Claire’s private page. Looks like someone’s getting attached! When Claire returns home, she finds that Matt has blown a big chunk of their savings on musical instruments so he can jam with his middle-aged buddies, which she’s hilariously angry about. That night, still seething, she accepts Eric’s follow request.
At school, Logan and Phil are still perplexed about Eric apparently having passed the breathalyzer test, but his excuse — hydration! — is at least good advice. He’s distracted, anyway, seeing that he now has full access to Claire’s Instagram page, but he ruins the moment by asking to talk with Claire in her classroom and saying a bunch of weaselly stuff, and trying to kiss her! I had to watch this bit through my fingers because Eric’s sudden, obviously put-on self-confidence was just too embarrassing. She rejects him instantly, throws him out, and then sits at her desk touching her lips with trembling fingers.
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