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A Teacher Episode 3 Ending, Explained

November 11, 2020
5 min read

Some bonds are taboo in our society, and for good reason. But TV shows on such topics can definitely help educate the public about the consequences. Hulu has entered this domain with the drama series, ‘A Teacher.’ Created by Hannah Fidell, it looks at the nuances and intricacies of an inappropriate sexual relationship between Claire Wilson (Kate Mara) and her student, Eric Walker (Nick Robinson), who is a senior at Westerbrook High School in Texas. So, if you want to learn more about what goes down in episode 3, then you’re in the right place.

A Teacher Episode 3 Recap

The story carries forward from the climax of episode 2 when Eric kisses Claire, but she pushes him away. She tells him to find a new tutor because if people find out about this incident, then her life is very nearly ruined. Eric apologizes and asks her to continue coaching him as he does not have the same financial backing as the other students. Reluctantly, she agrees.

After going to the doctor with her husband, Claire finds out that her uterus is “deteriorating.” Although Matt wants to talk about the fertility issue with his wife, she puts off this conversation and heads to school. Later, he lets her know that he is willing to give her all the space she needs and affirms that he is just excited about the possibility of a family with the English teacher.

In other news, the Homecoming dance is just around the corner, and Eric asks Alison to be his date. She agrees. Since the illicit incident, things have also been tense between the teacher and the student. Although he basically begged her to continue tutoring, he fails to show up at the diner. He even ignores her texts and chills with his friends.

A Teacher Episode 3 Ending 

At Homecoming, Claire cannot keep her eyes off of Eric and Alison, who are stuck like glue on the dance floor. Then, in the school’s hallway, the teacher confronts her pupil about missing the study session. Eric gives an insincere apology and then confesses that he cannot stop thinking about her. He is way too attracted to her and has no control over his emotions. Initially, she tells him to go back inside. But then, Claire progresses towards her car, and Nick follows her. Then, she drives to an alienated spot where they proceed to hook up.

The Psychology of a Sexual Predator 

There is no denying that Claire is a sexual predator when it comes to Eric. But her reasons for acting in this manner are also being exposed slowly, and we become more privy to them in this episode. Usually, such behavior in female teachers stems from the need to care for a male child from a broken home, or they just want to feel attractive and less lonely. While the intricacies of such relationships are very complex, there is still no valid reason for acting upon these impulses, especially because of the trauma the kid will eventually go through.

Episode 3 mainly highlights the reasons behind Claire’s actions. The biggest reason, it seems, is her inability to conceive a child with Matt. Although the doctor does give them some remedies, the teacher is evidently bummed out and doesn’t want to talk about it. Throughout, however, Matt is extremely supportive and caring. Then, there’s the fact that, in a previous episode, she sexually fantasizes about Eric, whereas when it comes to her husband, the sex is almost mechanical.

Since Matt does travel a bit for work, Claire is bound to feel lonely, especially since she has just started a new job and is somewhat out of her comfort zone. However, Matt really does try his best to be there with her. Previously, she even lies to her husband when she goes to tutor Eric. At that point in the story, the illicit affair has not started, which really made us wonder why she would lie to Matt since she was doing nothing wrong.

The thing is, despite all these incidents, a viewer will not look at Claire as an inherently bad person. Not to state the obvious, but we already know that the series revolves around this taboo relationship. Everything has already been established from the get-go. We know Mara’s character will hook up with the student, and yet, the episode will not make you feel as though she has an immoral mindset. While you won’t justify her actions, you also won’t immediately hate her.

We certainly don’t think that she is the pinnacle of wholesomeness. But episode 3 is instrumental in explaining the complexity of the situation to the audience with the least amount of words. All incidents build-up to the moment when Claire and Eric finally hook up. When you watch this scene, you’re definitely going to be holding your breath because you know that something forbidden is happening. However, you’re made aware of this interaction only after her reasons have been revealed. This uncertainty that accompanies the (murky) emotions you experience as a viewer is the real achievement of the episode.

Read More: Is Hulu’s A Teacher a True Story?

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