A Teacher Episode 3 recap: Claire takes things to the next level

In A Teacher Episode 3, Claire escalates things in her relationship with Eric while dealing with pregnancy troubles at home.

A Teacher Episode 3 crosses the threshold into turning the relationship between Claire and Eric into a predatory affair. It begins with Eric begging Claire to continue tutoring him despite all of her misgivings after the kiss from the last episode. She agrees, so long as he promises to keep it cool.

Content warning: This series contains sexual situations and depictions of grooming that may be disturbing to some.

The rest of Westerbrook, Eric included, are preparing for the upcoming homecoming dance. Logan is taking Josh’s little sister and won’t stop talking about it or the hotel rooms he’s booked for the after-party. It causes tension between him and Josh, who recently reconciled with his ex. He tells his friends he just ignored her for a week because that always works for some crazy reason. Logan says it’s not crazy, people just want what they can’t have.

Well, that gets Eric thinking, because despite what he told Claire, he’s obviously not over her. He’s still fantasizing about her regularly and clearly likes the idea of being with her, even though he doesn’t comprehend the full spectrum of what that will entail. For now, he asks Allison to go the dance with him.

Come homecoming day, Eric is supposed to meet up with Claire for another tutoring session before the dance.

He blows her off in favor of hanging out with his friends, including the UT frat guy, Cody, who we find out is Logan’s brother. Cody asks Eric about the “smoke show” he took to the party, piquing Logan’s interest. On the fly, Eric lies and said it was a girl named Stephanie he met at the diner, and they both seem to buy that. It’s a good thing Cody has probably drunk one too many beers because he definitely knew Claire’s name in the last episode.

Speaking of Claire, she and Matt’s trouble getting pregnant escalates in A Teacher Episode 3. Her doctor says her uterus is deteriorating, and they’ll likely need to look into something like IVF to conceive. As Claire’s dissatisfaction with her marriage deepens, she becomes increasingly cool toward Matt. Easily agitated by his questions regarding what she wants to do next, she delays the conversation about IVF multiple times, claiming she doesn’t want to deal with hormone injections so soon after starting a new job.

Kathryn, Claire’s new teacher friend, detects her annoyance at the dance, where they’re chaperoning. She offers Claire some liquid courage from a hidden flask. They commiserate about how the students think they’re from another world and don’t understand them.

On the dance floor, Eric and Allison seem to be having a good time grinding against each other — something Claire notices. She waits for Eric to go to the bathroom and ambushes him in the dark hallway about blowing her off. He apologizes but says he can’t stop being attracted to her and didn’t want to get her in trouble. Flustered, Claire dismisses him. But they can’t stop staring at each other from across the dance floor.

Claire takes advantage of Eric’s feelings and, with a knowing glance, beckons him to follow her to her car. Out of all of the scenes in this show so far, Eric following Claire like a confused puppy is easily the most disturbing so far. We all know what’s coming but can’t stop it from happening. Nick Robinson is very good at playing vulnerable, and it hurts your heart to see Eric trailing behind Claire. It’s obvious that he’s not confident, and he looks younger than ever as he slides into her car beside him. Claire drives them to a secluded area and tells him they don’t have to do this if he doesn’t want to.

It’s gross because Claire makes it seem like Eric is the one with the power in this situation, when he isn’t. Claire is the adult, and she’s manipulating him into doing what she wants. The episode ends with them having sex in the backseat of Claire’s car, although we can also call a spade a spade and say it’s rape.

What did you think of A Teacher Episode 3? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

The first three episodes of A Teacher are now streaming on Hulu. New episodes will be released on Tuesdays going forward.