A Teacher season 1, episode 4 recap – down the rabbit hole boundaries

November 17, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV Recaps
3

Summary

Claire and Eric continue their ill-advised relationship, but their rules of engagement obviously aren’t going to be enough to stop people getting hurt.

View all
3

Summary

Claire and Eric continue their ill-advised relationship, but their rules of engagement obviously aren’t going to be enough to stop people getting hurt.

This recap of A Teacher season 1, episode 4 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


Several times during A Teacher episode 4, Eric looks himself in the mirror and repeats, “I’m the f*cking man,” like a mantra. It’s easy to see why he’d feel that way – he’s banging a teacher, and that teacher is Kate Mara. There’s a reason that these kinds of age and power-inappropriate relationships aren’t regarded in the same way when the older, more powerful party is a woman – there’s an unspoken sense that a young lad of a certain age would want to have an illicit affair with a teacher. There’s some truth to it, too – I’ve been a young lad of a certain age. It isn’t until you’re an adult that you realize the severe emotional toll that kind of thing would take on a still-developing young man, which is something that either Eric hasn’t considered, or has and is trying to forget about by telling himself how much of a badass he is.

Eric’s motivations, though, are less interesting because they’re so obvious. Claire’s, on the other hand, are not. We understand that she’s in a relationship with a stunted man-child and that she’s facing a noisily ticking biological clock, but what is she trying to gain with Eric? From what we’ve seen so far, I’d suggest it’s a control thing. Claire can’t stop Matt from blowing their savings on instruments so he and his buddies can have jam sessions. She can’t stop her uterus from withering away. But she can lay down the law with Eric. She can give him rules to follow and chastise him when he bends them; she can control their interactions and have him at her beck and call.

The consequence of all this – beyond the statutory rape issue, obviously – is that Eric has bought into their dalliance as a kind of runaway fairytale romance. He thinks they’re going to be together. He thinks they’re in love. And you’ll notice that when Claire summons him for a booty call and he lays all this out to her, she immediately switches on her concerned, understanding attitude, encouraging his delusions. If she cared about the potential consequences for him she never would have started sleeping with him in the first place, but here we see how genuinely unconcerned she is with his emotional wellbeing.

This will inevitably lead to misery. It has already led to bodily consequences for his little brother since he brought in an inexperienced stand-in babysitter so he could go out and meet Claire. Once the blood is occupied elsewhere, the brain withers. Eric is all lust at this point. He truly believes he’s the coolest guy in the world.

But, thanks to Claire’s draconian rules, he can’t tell anyone other than himself how cool he supposedly is. He’s so scared of “losing” Claire that he blithely follows along, which only reinforces her sense of power and control. Any near-misses only seem to excite her further. And in that illusion of control, she obviously isn’t seeing how weighted against her, the adult, the consequences will be. Or, given the usual gender-based power dynamics, will they?

One assumes they will, and that at least her relationship and career will be ruined. She has obviously considered these things but considers her ability to keep Eric quiet to be enough to mitigate the risk. She might as well be the one repeating how awesome she is in the mirror. That’s clearly how she sees herself in this dynamic. The question at this point isn’t whether it will all go wrong, but when, and who will suffer the most as a result.


Thanks for reading our recap of A Teacher season 1, episode 4. For more recaps, reviews, and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?

View all

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.