A Teacher season 1, episode 8 recap – nothing was the same

December 14, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV Recaps
3.5

Summary

Fresh out of prison, Claire attempts to adapt to the outside world, but nobody seems willing to let her return to normality — least of all herself.

Previous EpisodeView all
3.5

Summary

Fresh out of prison, Claire attempts to adapt to the outside world, but nobody seems willing to let her return to normality — least of all herself.

This recap of A Teacher season 1, episode 8 contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


Much like how the previous episode kept Claire sidelined in order to properly focus on Eric, A Teacher Episode 8 pulls the same trick in reverse as we see Claire being picked up from prison by her brother, Nate, and her much-talked-about but rarely-seen father, who wants to be there for her while she’s in this “tough spot.” That’s one way of putting it.

We learn some things in snippets of dialogue. Claire’s staying with Nate and his wife (and helping herself to their wine). She needs to go job hunting to please both the wife and her parole officer, but instead, she’s drinking during the day. Her divorce from Matt is about to be finalized but Matt is, according to Nate, not especially happy about that or indeed anything else these days.

There’s an obvious tonal whiplash the next morning when Claire goes for an idyllic jog, gets a free scone, and looks to have almost secured a job through sheer charisma until she’s being chased out of a clothing store while a woman bellows behind her about her being a sexual predator. She might have served her time, but that isn’t enough for some people.

Checking in with the authorities is demeaning, too. She provides pee samples and shows off her stomach and back and nobody seems willing to have a normal, casual conversation. When she returns home, she Googles herself, which is never a good idea.

Who’s fault is this? According to Claire, who argues with Nate about it after Lisa is openly salty about her being sat at the dinner table, it’s Eric’s, or her childhood’s, or Matt’s, or someone’s, anyone’s other than hers. Nate isn’t interested in the excuses. Nobody seems willing to listen.

Except, obviously, Eric — I suppose it works as a morbid joke that Eric turns up in the very next scene, two episodes of separation obviously being too much to endure. (She’s only been in prison for six months, by the way, but her probation is five years.) Eric, true to form, thinks they can just pick up where they left off, but Claire tells him what they had wasn’t love. It’s almost as if this is dawning on her in the moment for the very first time, and she forces him to leave, instructing him to just be a kid. A bit late for that!

The next morning, Claire tearfully leaves Nate and Lisa’s house to go and stay with her dad. I’m sure that bodes well.


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