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S01.E10: Episode 10

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I was glad that Eric called Claire out, because 10 years later she was still delusional and making weak excuses.

Trying to blame her behavior on being trapped in a bad marriage was ridiculous. I've known people trapped in bad marriages, and she was not one of them. She was self-destructive, and she found typical married life boring. If she was a real person, I'd bet a lot of money on her feeling trapped in her new marriage before long.

Also, if it's actually true that the only way she was capable of ending the marriage was by blowing it up, then she still didn't need to do it with a minor, especially one of her students. She was an adult child of an alcoholic who felt that she was entitled to what she missed out on as a kid, which in this case was a giddy fling with a cute teen boy. She should have just owned that.

And requesting a meeting with Eric so that she could say "I should have stopped you" was also total BS. Eric was right to shoot that down, but he left out some of the grossest ways that she groomed him, like pressuring him to go to a frat party with her. She was really a vile person, and she didn't seem to grow at all in the 10+ years she had to think about her actions.

 

 

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What struck me about the finale was the consequences for her were immediate and severe but despite her mild amount of guilt and wanting to apologize, long term, her life still turned out well. Sure people still looks at her different and some other parents probably don't trust her nor should they but pretty much her life his fine

For him though he still is clearly loving with it and always will. 

I liked how they showed him apologizing to his high school ex and she blew it off as if long forgotten. And it probably was to her.    Then the apology from claire though obviously was completely different because what happened still is with him 10 years later.  

So this actually happened in my high school a year after I graduated or probably while I was there.  Pretty much this story ..... Young female teacher sleeps with 15 year old student.  I knew the teacher, was shocked.  Was early 90s so she loses job and marriage but no jail time. Last I heard she had a job working for the ncaa headquarters of all places as a secretary, but that was years ago too.  No idea what happened to the student didn't know him well 

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2 hours ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

So this actually happened in my high school a year after I graduated or probably while I was there. 

A similar thing happened when I was in high school as well. Not a teacher but a female cheerleading coach who actually had a sexual relationship with more than one male student. 

I’m glad this is over lol. I felt like I needed to finish it out but it really never grabbed me the way I thought it would.

I was glad they had Claire continuing to be completely narcissistic. I would not have accepted her suddenly being empathetic and truly remorseful.

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3 hours ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

So this actually happened in my high school a year after I graduated or probably while I was there. 

My high school choir director is married to his former student. She is his second much younger wife. To be fair, I think they got together after she graduated (they were already married when I sang under him so I don’t know their origin story. He is in his 70s now and retired and she’s in her 50s. I think they’re still married). There was another teacher (male) who had a relationship with a senior; he got caught and claimed it was just a close friendship but nobody bought that. He was asked to resign to save face; he still works in education. This particular student was after my time but there were always rumors about him & girls - when alums heard, the response (including mine) was generally “that’s just the one they caught him with.”

3 hours ago, Blakeston said:

If she was a real person, I'd bet a lot of money on her feeling trapped in her new marriage before long.

100%. She’s one of those people who will get the 7-year itch all the way through her life. As I’ve said, there’s really no way to escape boredom/drudgery that comes with adult life. (My best friend, who generally likes her life, texted me half an hour ago saying her kids were driving her crazy.) She’s said she can’t work so I’d bet she’d pull a “desperate housewife.” “You’re never around! I’m stuck in this house all day! What was I supposed to do?”

3 hours ago, Blakeston said:

Also, if it's actually true the only way she was capable of ending the marriage was by blowing it up, then she still didn't need to do it with a minor, especially one of her students.

Yes. For one, I don’t buy that. If she wanted to leave, she could have left. Second, if she absolutely had to have an affair, she could have gone online, found a consenting adult to fuck, and told her now-ex-husband that in order to blow up the marriage.

I liked Eric calling Claire out and not forgiving her, which is totally what she wanted. She wanted to see him thriving so she could convince herself that what she did wasn’t that bad - “see, he turned out fine!” I don’t think it’ll have any impact on her - she’s really, really self-absorbed, and I liked Eric calling that out too - but it needed to be said. I liked his point about how young 17 is too. I worked on a college campus for a couple of years and the students looked like kids to me, and they were all legal adults.

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12 hours ago, mamadrama said:

This would've been great had it been longer. I feel dissatisfied.

Same. I also feel like the writers decided to correct the story in this last episode. By this I mean that all that Eric said, about how fucked up he was and how Claire groomed him wasn't really how I saw the events unfolding. I think it was either not there or very badly played, all the future trauma happening. Eric didn't seem traumatized at all, until Claire rejected him after she got free. Then they skip ten years and we don't see him actually realizing that she was grooming him. I did't see the grooming and if the genders were reversed, I doubt the student would be fucked up for life.

The speech he gave was good though. Shame that the writers couldn't deliver until this last minute. 

Meh.

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5 hours ago, DrSpaceman73 said:

What struck me about the finale was the consequences for her were immediate and severe but despite her mild amount of guilt and wanting to apologize, long term, her life still turned out well. Sure people still looks at her different and some other parents probably don't trust her nor should they but pretty much her life his fine.

It sounds like she moved to a new community, where people don't know what she did. She complained to Eric that she can't be involved with the kids' school lives because otherwise someone might google her and find out about her past.

I knew there was going to be a significant time jump, and I had to wonder if they were going to show us Eric as an adult with a son. I know that a lot of men who were sexually abused as boys don't recognize that they were abused until they become adults and have sons, and realize how wrong it would be for an adult to have sex with their son.

It makes sense that they went in that same direction with his younger brother.

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I get that the writer had them meet to give the story closure, but I wish Eric had just ignored Claire's text and blocked her number. We groaned when we saw her text on his phone and again when they met at the restaurant. He should've blocked her long ago.

Those of you who say Claire hasn't learned/changed are right. It was all about her and making her feel better.

Also, it doesn't matter the gender of the person to whom sexual abuse and grooming happens. It can cause lasting and serious damage regardless.

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It surprises me that that’s how they ended the finale.  I’m not a writer, but I’m pretty sure that I could have come up with at least three endings much better than that.  
 

This type of thing is actually pretty common.  If you ever get the chance to look at certain online true crime, you’ll see dozens of cases per month in the US where 20 and 3O something year-old female teachers sexually abuse their students.  I rarely see male teachers charged now. It’s so many more females. It seemed like a huge shift about 10 years ago.

Oh, so what tear was Eric’s HS reunion.  He graduated in 2014 so, their reunion was in 2024?  

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What new truths came to light?  That Claire kept Eric's phone number in her cell phone for ten years, even after marrying again and having two children?  Eric needs therapy.  Is he a therapist now doing wilderness adventures for troubled kids?  Now that he told Claire he has been forever affected, I hope he can move on and find some joy in his life.  Besides hooking up with a high school girlfriend he dumped for Claire every five or ten years.

I wish that Eric's mother had questioned the university field trip more and tracked down Claire and shut down her involvement with her son.  Had she gone to the principal and voiced her concerns about the special treatment this teacher appears to be giving her son, maybe they could have stopped Claire from continuing her access to and involvement with Eric.  I am in no way blaming the mother though.  It's all on Claire.

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12 hours ago, Blakeston said:

I know that a lot of men who were sexually abused as boys don't recognize that they were abused until they become adults and have sons, and realize how wrong it would be for an adult to have sex with their son.

The thing is, I don't think the show was successful in showing Eric as a sexually abused person. He was emotionally abused, which is also traumatic. Either way, the story wasn't well told as it happened. People might not recognize their own abuse as it happens but other people do, and see, changes. We didn't see much of anything indicating that, or at least I didn't

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I wonder if the story they tried to tell is that sometimes victims are not aware that they are being harmed.  Their brain is not fully developed. They may not know they are in an inappropriate relationship.  I recall having heard people say that a parent couldn't be abusing a child, because the child loved the parent so much.  But, that's not true.  People of all ages may believe that they love their abuser, but it's because their reasoning is skewed.  For many reasons mental and emotional damage is being done.  Even if the effects are not apparent until much later.  I'm no expert. Just my take on it. 

I wonder what research they relied on to suggest that Eric was Claire's one and only victim.  I find that suspect.

Edited by SunnyBeBe
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Claire is still randomly calling her victim asking to meet and laying a bunch of guilt on Eric.  It’s clear she still doesn’t understand the magnitude of what she did. She’s the kind of person who needs therapy. 
 

I am glad to see she’s close with her dad now and her new marriage seems to be working out more. 

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28 minutes ago, dmc said:

Claire is still randomly calling her victim asking to meet and laying a bunch of guilt on Eric.  It’s clear she still doesn’t understand the magnitude of what she did. She’s the kind of person who needs therapy. 
 

I am glad to see she’s close with her dad now and her new marriage seems to be working out more. 

She ended up with a *way* better life than she deserved!  Also I was very shocked that she never changed her name 

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2 hours ago, teapot said:

She ended up with a *way* better life than she deserved!  Also I was very shocked that she never changed her name 

Yeah, what's up with that?  New marriage = chance for new married name.  She can still be Claire.  It's not like people are searching for her by SSN.  Face recognition on Google?

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3 hours ago, dmc said:

Claire is still randomly calling her victim asking to meet and laying a bunch of guilt on Eric.  It’s clear she still doesn’t understand the magnitude of what she did. She’s the kind of person who needs therapy. 
 

I am glad to see she’s close with her dad now and her new marriage seems to be working out more. 

To be fair, she only called Eric after the chance grocery store encounter, when Eric was in town for the HS reunion.  I would think with his trauma and everyone remembering the kid who slept with his teacher, he would've skipped it.  Lots of people don't attend their HS reunions for a wide variety of reasons.

Like I said before, it's weird that she kept his number, and admitted to him that she thought about contacting him over the past ten years.

With these kinds of cases, instead of just jail time and probation, the offenders should be offered mandatory therapy.  Claire needs therapy as well as Eric.

5 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

I wonder if the story they tried to tell is that sometimes victims are not aware that they are being harmed.  Their brain is not fully developed. They may not know they are in an inappropriate relationship.  I recall having heard people say that a parent couldn't be abusing a child, because the child loved the parent so much.  But, that's not true.  People of all ages may believe that they love their abuser, but it's because their reasoning is skewed.  For many reasons mental and emotional damage is being done.  Even if the effects are not apparent until much later.  I'm no expert. Just my take on it. 

I wonder what research they relied on to suggest that Eric was Claire's one and only victim.  I find that suspect.

This is why minors are incapable by law to give consent.  Minors cannot sign contracts either; the list goes on.

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6 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

I wonder if the story they tried to tell is that sometimes victims are not aware that they are being harmed. 

Absolutely imo.

3 hours ago, teapot said:

She ended up with a *way* better life than she deserved!  

Seriously. That annoyed me lol.

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34 minutes ago, CrystalBlue said:

To be fair, she only called Eric after the chance grocery store encounter, when Eric was in town for the HS reunion.  I would think with his trauma and everyone remembering the kid who slept with his teacher, he would've skipped it.  Lots of people don't attend their HS reunions for a wide variety of reasons.

Like I said before, it's weird that she kept his number, and admitted to him that she thought about contacting him over the past ten years.

With these kinds of cases, instead of just jail time and probation, the offenders should be offered mandatory therapy.  Claire needs therapy as well as Eric.

This is why minors are incapable by law to give consent.  Minors cannot sign contracts either; the list goes on.

You mean when he barely said hi and walked away.  Every time she calls, she drops another bomb in his life. She goes back to her curated life and he is back to struggling again. I’m shocked she’s legally allowed to contact him.  

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4 hours ago, teapot said:
5 hours ago, dmc said:

 

She ended up with a *way* better life than she deserved!  Also I was very shocked that she never changed her name 

I’ll admit I wasn’t watching as closely as I might have, but can you remind me - did they show somehow what last name she was using in the “future”?  The same as the one she was in the news with ten years prior?  If so, yeah, why not just change to the new husband’s name?  I’m a little hazy on how she is still so googleable. 

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What a weird and completely abrupt ending. I just can’t with the timeline in this show. Four episodes cover two weeks, then we jump ahead 6 months, cover another week, and then from 9 to 10 we jump 10 years? Gah.

 

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I know it’s a very unpopular opinion , but I didn’t think Claire’s apology was bad . She admitted to being completely in the wrong and abusing her power as an educator etc .. what he didn’t like was when she said I should have shut it down when you kissed me .. I know it wasn’t his fault whatsoever , but he did kiss her first . She’s not wrong in saying that . As long as she admitted that she was completely in the wrong for allowing it to go that far, which I feel like she did . I just think the show wasn’t well written . I enjoyed it for entertainment value but the time constraints of 25 min episodes and the way they told the story was just okay , not great . I just don’t buy that Eric is that torn up about it 10 years later .  I also felt like a lot of this episode was filler . Why did they bother to show him have sex with his ex from high school ? Just certain scenes could have been cut . 

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3 hours ago, Jaclyn88 said:

I know it’s a very unpopular opinion , but I didn’t think Claire’s apology was bad . She admitted to being completely in the wrong and abusing her power as an educator etc .. what he didn’t like was when she said I should have shut it down when you kissed me .. I know it wasn’t his fault whatsoever , but he did kiss her first . She’s not wrong in saying that . As long as she admitted that she was completely in the wrong for allowing it to go that far, which I feel like she did . I just think the show wasn’t well written . I enjoyed it for entertainment value but the time constraints of 25 min episodes and the way they told the story was just okay , not great . I just don’t buy that Eric is that torn up about it 10 years later .  I also felt like a lot of this episode was filler . Why did they bother to show him have sex with his ex from high school ? Just certain scenes could have been cut . 

I agree with you to a certain extent about who did what first.  However, Claire should have shut it down immediately.  Report to her principal that she thinks there might be a problem with one of her students getting starry-eyed for her.  Have him transferred to another class.  Instead, she sends mixed signals and agrees to tutor him!  And the field trip.  Like I said before, Eric's mother had her suspicions of a too cozy relationship with a teacher and her son but let it slide.

I too don't buy that Eric is so shattered ten years after just because of the sex.  Now he sees it as something he has to overcome.  Would he feel the same way if they hadn't been found out?  Could he have moved on with his life after the high school affair and find a real girlfriend?  Claire has to be called on for her abuse of authority and power though.

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There is no way he would’ve gone to the reunion.  That didn’t jive with the trauma he still felt.  Going to the reunion and having people other than his inner circle give him side looks because the last thing they remember about him was the scandal?  No way.  I can see going back to your home town to meet with your old friends privately knowing they are in town for the reunion, but not actually attending the reunion.  If someone is still traumatized why would they subject themselves to the painful reminder?  Was it a test to see if no one actually remembered then maybe it would help him get past what happened?  Like some confirmation that there exists no lingering stigma, that the scandal doesn’t define him?  Why take the risk?   

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18 hours ago, SunnyBeBe said:

I wonder if the story they tried to tell is that sometimes victims are not aware that they are being harmed.  Their brain is not fully developed. They may not know they are in an inappropriate relationship.  I recall having heard people say that a parent couldn't be abusing a child, because the child loved the parent so much.  But, that's not true.  People of all ages may believe that they love their abuser, but it's because their reasoning is skewed.  For many reasons mental and emotional damage is being done.  Even if the effects are not apparent until much later.  I'm no expert. Just my take on it. 

I wonder what research they relied on to suggest that Eric was Claire's one and only victim.  I find that suspect.

I can see your point but as I have been saying, it is all speculation because we, viewers, were not given the information. I think one point they were trying to make is that people are flawed and we all can harm others without really intending it. I don't see Claire as a predator. She is definitely wrong in her bad judgement, but also damaged by her upbringing - which I thought it was not well done either. Plenty of people have alcoholic parents and grow up with better insight on what is right and what is wrong. Her wanting to meet Eric was like a 12-step program thing, where you make amends. I would think that leaving it alone would be better but she didn't call him to rekindle anything.

And yes, a 17-year old brain is still underdeveloped but if it were a 17-year old girl having sex with a 30-year old male teacher there would be no story to tell. My dissatisfaction is about the poorly developed plot that only outlines what happened without real background, real as-it-happens emotional developments, real consequences. 

I don't think Claire got more than she deserved. She did pay the price for what she did. Maybe it was a small price but why shouldn't she have a life after that? Eric is the one who should have have more supports and apparently that was his own failing.

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15 hours ago, circumvent said:

I can see your point but as I have been saying, it is all speculation because we, viewers, were not given the information. I think one point they were trying to make is that people are flawed and we all can harm others without really intending it. I don't see Claire as a predator. She is definitely wrong in her bad judgement, but also damaged by her upbringing - which I thought it was not well done either. Plenty of people have alcoholic parents and grow up with better insight on what is right and what is wrong. Her wanting to meet Eric was like a 12-step program thing, where you make amends. I would think that leaving it alone would be better but she didn't call him to rekindle anything.

And yes, a 17-year old brain is still underdeveloped but if it were a 17-year old girl having sex with a 30-year old male teacher there would be no story to tell. My dissatisfaction is about the poorly developed plot that only outlines what happened without real background, real as-it-happens emotional developments, real consequences. 

I don't think Claire got more than she deserved. She did pay the price for what she did. Maybe it was a small price but why shouldn't she have a life after that? Eric is the one who should have have more supports and apparently that was his own failing.

Without going into too much detail, I was preyed upon by a couple of unrelated older teenagers/almost adults when I was 12. I didn't realize the damage that it had inflicted until later. I knew it felt wrong in the moment, but it was attention given to me by boys/men, which I was starved for because my parents split when I was five and my father was extremely emotionally abusive.

Your second paragraph is faulty. I know that's how you see it, but it's not true. It often takes victims of abuse and predatory behavior years (well into adulthood, and I don't just mean 10 years later) to reconcile what happened and how it was not OK. When I was 20, I was involved with men much older than me (one was 33). It was absolutely not OK. They should've stopped my interest, which was again coming from an unhealthy place, but we all exist in a patriarchal society that tells men they can have whatever and whoever they want and damn the consequences, because, oh yeah, there won't be any. Remember the "ruined lives" of the #MeToo movement. Yeah, right.

The show displayed that Eric was feeling discomfort at the very least as a fallout from the relationship with Claire, starting from the time he was removed from the situation when she went to jail and he was in college. Again, the clarity doesn't come for awhile. It often takes getting out of the situation to see how unhealthy it was to gain perspective. Your "normal" isn't normal at all, and you begin to see it as you are able to see how others exist with healthier relationships. This is true for all kinds of abusive relationships. They become all-encompassing and when you escape, it's as if you have to build a whole new life because your world as you knew it is gone.

I've had years of therapy to deal with my trauma. The show didn't make clear that Eric had done that, but had gone on/directed these wilderness excursions for abuse survivors, which isn't the same as working on one's own trauma. People go their whole lives without reconciling what happened to them; my 71-year-old mother is one example.

Furthermore, as a patriarchal society, we teach boys and men to be "strong" and not show emotions or "weakness". Men don't receive or give the same emotional support that women do and therefore often don't deal with their trauma at all. I speculate that's one reason why completed suicides are at a higher rate for men than women.

I'd recommend a few documentaries and movies for you all about abuse and trauma recovery if you are interested. PM me.

This post is of course based upon cisheteropatriarchal theory and experience, and specific to the show. LGBTQIA2S+ is a completely different dynamic and I have no experience from which to draw, nor does it pertain to the show.

Edited by bilgistic
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The experience of a 12 year old and a sexually active 17 almost 18 year old is worlds apart. Claire was wrong in every way but her consensual relationship with Eric was not the same as a rape of a 12 year old. I started college at 17 and most of my friends were having relationships with older people and it was consensual and no one had trauma because that is the age people have sex. I can see Eric being upset when all the attention happened, but not ten years later. My heart goes out to you Bilgistic but I don’t see the trauma of Eric based on what we were shown.

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9 hours ago, circumvent said:

I can see your point but as I have been saying, it is all speculation because we, viewers, were not given the information. I think one point they were trying to make is that people are flawed and we all can harm others without really intending it. I don't see Claire as a predator. She is definitely wrong in her bad judgement, but also damaged by her upbringing - which I thought it was not well done either. Plenty of people have alcoholic parents and grow up with better insight on what is right and what is wrong. Her wanting to meet Eric was like a 12-step program thing, where you make amends. I would think that leaving it alone would be better but she didn't call him to rekindle anything.

And yes, a 17-year old brain is still underdeveloped but if it were a 17-year old girl having sex with a 30-year old male teacher there would be no story to tell. My dissatisfaction is about the poorly developed plot that only outlines what happened without real background, real as-it-happens emotional developments, real consequences. 

I don't think Claire got more than she deserved. She did pay the price for what she did. Maybe it was a small price but why shouldn't she have a life after that? Eric is the one who should have have more supports and apparently that was his own failing.

I am shocked that you think Claire was not a predator. And it would be just as traumatic for a 17-year old girl. I’ll try to get my thoughts together to say more.

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7 hours ago, bilgistic said:

Without going into too much detail, I was preyed upon by a couple of unrelated older teenagers/almost adults when I was 12. I didn't realize the damage that it had inflicted until later. I knew it felt wrong in the moment, but it was attention given to me by boys/men, which I was starved for because my parents split when I was five and my father was extremely emotionally abusive.

Your second paragraph is faulty. I know that's how you see it, but it's not true. It often takes victims of abuse and predatory behavior years (well into adulthood, and I don't just mean 10 years later) to reconcile what happened and how it was not OK. When I was 20, I was involved with men much older than me (one was 33). It was absolutely not OK. They should've stopped my interest, which was again coming from an unhealthy place, but we all exist in a patriarchal society that tells men they can have whatever and whoever they want and damn the consequences, because, oh yeah, there won't be any. Remember the "ruined lives" of the #MeToo movement. Yeah, right.

The show displayed that Eric was feeling discomfort at the very least as a fallout from the relationship with Claire, starting from the time he was removed from the situation when she went to jail and he was in college. Again, the clarity doesn't come for awhile. It often takes getting out of the situation to see how unhealthy it was to gain perspective. Your "normal" isn't normal at all, and you begin to see it as you are able to see how others exist with healthier relationships. This is true for all kinds of abusive relationships. They become all-encompassing and when you escape, it's as if you have to build a whole new life because your world as you knew it is gone.

I've had years of therapy to deal with my trauma. The show didn't make clear that Eric had done that, but had gone on/directed these wilderness excursions for abuse survivors, which isn't the same as working on one's own trauma. People go their whole lives without reconciling what happened to them; my 71-year-old mother is one example.

Furthermore, as a patriarchal society, we teach boys and men to be "strong" and not show emotions or "weakness". Men don't receive or give the same emotional support that women do and therefore often don't deal with their trauma at all. I speculate that's one reason why completed suicides are at a higher rate for ment than women.

I'd recommend a few documentaries and movies for you all about abuse and trauma recovery if you are interested. PM me.

This post is of course based upon cisheteropatriarchal theory and experience, and specific to the show. LGBTQIA2S+ is a completely different dynamic and I have no experience from which to draw, nor does it pertain to the show.

Thank you for sharing. As I just said, I am shocked at some of the other reactions here. Claire absolutely groomed Eric and it makes sense that he was still feeling trauma 10 years later.  

5 hours ago, Madding crowd said:

The experience of a 12 year old and a sexually active 17 almost 18 year old is worlds apart. Claire was wrong in every way but her consensual relationship with Eric was not the same as a rape of a 12 year old. I started college at 17 and most of my friends were having relationships with older people and it was consensual and no one had trauma because that is the age people have sex. I can see Eric being upset when all the attention happened, but not ten years later. My heart goes out to you Bilgistic but I don’t see the trauma of Eric based on what we were shown.

The trauma wasn’t about the sex, but the emotional part of it.

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Did anyone else get the vibe that Claire texted Eric in part to start up an affair again ? Like not necessarily that was the only reason but she was sort of hoping it would lead to that ? It just seemed like she could have just left him alone and not contacted him at all but she chose to , subconsciously hoping they could start things up again . 

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Claire was definitely a predator and Eric was too young, too groomed and too confused to give meaningful consent. She was the adult in the relationship. She was the one who should have created boundaries because she was the one who knew there should be boundaries. She created a situation that invited him to "make the first move" so that she could then blame-shift. There is absolutely no excuse for what Claire did. She got off LIGHT. 

And yes, if this had the gender roles reversed, I'm pretty sure the male teacher would have done more than six months in the county. He'd have done 6-10 in state. If it had been a black man and a white female student, they'd have strung him from the highest tree. And that is disgusting. 

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50 minutes ago, DangerousMinds said:

The trauma wasn’t about the sex, but the emotional part of it.

Which Eric laid out fairly clearly, I thought - he said it took him years to recognize that he, not Claire, was the victim. When he met up with Claire right after she got out of jail, he said he was devastated to think that HE had hurt HER, and I don't think she did anything to challenge that idea.

19 minutes ago, BlackberryJam said:

She was the one who should have created boundaries because she was the one who knew there should be boundaries.

I think this sums it up perfectly. It was on her to establish those boundaries for them and she kept pushing them. The tutoring is one thing - lots of teachers tutor (my calculus teacher did 1:1 SAT prep on the side and she ultimately left the classroom to do that full-time). But she kept moving the goalposts. First the tutoring, then "I'll use my cop brother to get you out of trouble" (so now they have a secret between them) and then it was a FRAT PARTY, and then it was sex in the car, and then it was cleavage pics and "ditch your responsibilities and get over here and fuck me." She pushed things a little further each time and because she's a teacher and Eric was on some level looking to her to set those boundaries, because that's the kind of relationship he'd had with every other teacher besides Claire, Eric now thinks that all these very much not OK things are OK. 

Put another way, Eric might have kissed her first but everything she did with him before that kiss is the reason he thought that kiss would be OK in the first place.

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On 12/30/2020 at 8:41 PM, Jaclyn88 said:

I know it’s a very unpopular opinion , but I didn’t think Claire’s apology was bad . She admitted to being completely in the wrong and abusing her power as an educator etc .. what he didn’t like was when she said I should have shut it down when you kissed me .. I know it wasn’t his fault whatsoever , but he did kiss her first . She’s not wrong in saying that. 

It wasn't technically false, but it was a bad way to phrase it. She was sending the message, "You started it, but I should have stopped you," and that's the wrong message - that's putting some of it on him. A much better apology would have been, "I'm sorry I flirted with you from day one, and broke every boundary I could, and then entered into a completely inappropriate relationship with you."

I agree with the idea that the emotional/romantic connection between the two of them was more damaging to Eric than the sex - but I don't think the sex can be completely separated from the emotional connection they had. If they had kept it in their pants, I don't think he would have been nearly as swept away by her as he was.

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I wasn't clear about something—the trauma from an abusive relationship at 20 (I had just turned 20) with a (different) 29-year-old man (so, almost a quarter of a lifetime older than me) was just as worse, if not more so, than what I experienced as a pre-teen and young teenager. The man was far more sexually experienced than I was and used that to intimidate and coerce me. There is a power imbalance in relationships with large age gaps. Even while I initially craved the attention and was a "consenting adult," it was still abuse. He wasn't mentally nor emotionally healthy due to his own trauma (or whatever...I can't think too much about it) and I was the wrong person at the right time to be the receptacle for his bad energy.

Claire clearly had unresolved childhood issues that the show touched upon in her interactions with her brother and father. Perhaps that played into her needing attention/love/affection that she didn't get as a child. We all have a basic need for love and to be cared for and seek that out in healthy and unhealthy ways, consciously and unconsciously.

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5 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

Claire was definitely a predator and Eric was too young, too groomed and too confused to give meaningful consent. She was the adult in the relationship. She was the one who should have created boundaries because she was the one who knew there should be boundaries. She created a situation that invited him to "make the first move" so that she could then blame-shift. There is absolutely no excuse for what Claire did. She got off LIGHT. 

And yes, if this had the gender roles reversed, I'm pretty sure the male teacher would have done more than six months in the county. He'd have done 6-10 in state. If it had been a black man and a white female student, they'd have strung him from the highest tree. And that is disgusting. 

All of this, but especially "MEANINGFUL CONSENT" rings the clearest bell for me. I appreciate your insight.

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8 hours ago, Empress1 said:

Which Eric laid out fairly clearly, I thought - he said it took him years to recognize that he, not Claire, was the victim. When he met up with Claire right after she got out of jail, he said he was devastated to think that HE had hurt HER, and I don't think she did anything to challenge that idea.

I think this sums it up perfectly. It was on her to establish those boundaries for them and she kept pushing them. The tutoring is one thing - lots of teachers tutor (my calculus teacher did 1:1 SAT prep on the side and she ultimately left the classroom to do that full-time). But she kept moving the goalposts. First the tutoring, then "I'll use my cop brother to get you out of trouble" (so now they have a secret between them) and then it was a FRAT PARTY, and then it was sex in the car, and then it was cleavage pics and "ditch your responsibilities and get over here and fuck me." She pushed things a little further each time and because she's a teacher and Eric was on some level looking to her to set those boundaries, because that's the kind of relationship he'd had with every other teacher besides Claire, Eric now thinks that all these very much not OK things are OK. 

Put another way, Eric might have kissed her first but everything she did with him before that kiss is the reason he thought that kiss would be OK in the first place.

And telling him to call her “Claire.” She expertly groomed him step by step.

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4 hours ago, bilgistic said:

I wasn't clear about something—the trauma from an abusive relationship at 20 (I had just turned 20) with a (different) 29-year-old man (so, almost a quarter of a lifetime older than me) was just as worse, if not more so, than what I experienced as a pre-teen and young teenager. The man was far more sexually experienced than I was and used that to intimidate and coerce me. There is a power imbalance in relationships with large age gaps. Even while I initially craved the attention and was a "consenting adult," it was still abuse. He wasn't mentally nor emotionally healthy due to his own trauma (or whatever...I can't think too much about it) and I was the wrong person at the right time to be the receptacle for his bad energy.

Claire clearly had unresolved childhood issues that the show touched upon in her interactions with her brother and father. Perhaps that played into her needing attention/love/affection that she didn't get as a child. We all have a basic need for love and to be cared for and seek that out in healthy and unhealthy ways, consciously and unconsciously.

Even in most college/universities professors are prohibited from dating their students for these reasons. And their students are all 18 +.

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14 hours ago, DangerousMinds said:

I am shocked that you think Claire was not a predator.

Not with the information we were allowed as viewers. That's why it is all speculation, extrapolation.

 

21 hours ago, bilgistic said:

Your second paragraph is faulty. I know that's how you see it, but it's not true.

It happened to me, a relationship with a teacher when I was 17. We remained friends, no trauma. Saying it is not true is only based on your experience, so your statement is also faulty. My point is not what Claire COULD have been but how the character was presented to us. She wasn't presented as a predator, and the time jump doesn't tell us why Eric didn't have counseling, shy he decided to work with troubled (?) kids or why he stopped counseling, or why he felt like going to the restaurant. Just to tell Claire to "shove it"? To me it was lazy writing and bad acting because I can speculate that he is working with those kids as a way to use his experience to help others but I didn't see any growth or healing or whatever in the character, just gloom. 

14 hours ago, DangerousMinds said:

Claire absolutely groomed Eric

Can you point out to a scene of grooming? Claire was wrong the whole time but she didn't groom Eric. She might have intended to, she might have done so if we had longer episodes, but that's not what we saw. We saw her offering to tutor him, which happens all the time between teachers and students, then we saw them getting involved. It is fine to say that her intentions were of a predator but that would be speculation based on what is inside each viewer's head. If she were a predator, she would have gone after other young people, which she didn't, as far as we can tell. She is an ass for asking Eric to meet her to perform her apology, she wasn't trying to reconnect. 

I guess some people are confused about what actual predators do. They don't wait 10 years to go for another prey, not do they stick with only one. Predators have patterns. It is fine to believe that Claire was a predator but in this particular story we were told she was a pathetic needy adult who made extremely bad decisions, pretending that because of an arbitrary number to define adulthood all she did wrong was to have an affair. The thing is, the writers failed to show me that she was a predator. They failed to show that she engaged in those patterns before and/or after this story. 

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I think we’re all arguing about whether Claire was a true predator and not just someone that had massively bad judgment and a case of arrested development because the writing was just not strong. The super short eps didn’t help, I felt like I didn’t understand either of these people as they never fully developed them as people. It also might have been bad acting as Mara just always had that dead blank stare going on: was she conflicted, was she tortured, was this all an orchestrated plan to get this kid in bed? I don’t know, everything I believe about these people is from the blanks I filled out in my own head. The 10 year time jump didn’t help, maybe a few scenes of Eric in therapy and we see the light bulb go off in his head that he was not at fault at all and THEN we see him tell her off, that would have helped. Eric still seemed very damaged and Claire remained oblivious but I don’t really understand why? Ugh, such a frustrating show. 

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There is a hierarchy to everything even sexual offenses.   The sad fact is men still have trouble with the idea they can even be sexually  assaulted by a woman.   Men almost always see themselves as the aggressor.   The show even tried to show that clumsily as it did.  Eric made attempts to get at least recognition for his pain but was always patted on the back for bagging a hot teacher.  I know guys who brag who had sex with their college age babysitters when they were as young as 13.  They don’t see themselves as victims.  Even though many do end up with low opinions of women.  If anything the show should have dealt with that more when it came to Eric’s character instead of romancing the he’ll out of it in his mind.

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I think some of the arguments here are semantics. Claire isn't a serial predator. She stilled preyed on Eric. That makes her a predator.

Looking at the American Bar definition of grooming, it's "a preparatory process in which a perpetrator gradually gains a person's or organization's trust with the intent to be sexually abusive. The victim is usually a child, teen, or vulnerable adult." That's exactly what Claire did. She was having masturbatory fantasies about Eric early on. She led him down a path to a sexual relationship.

 

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I can't change the opinions of people who think there wasn't abuse in this show or their own experience wasn't abusive or whatever. My sister refuses to acknowledge the trauma of our childhood, despite it causing her to choose a husband who was an abuser exactly like our father. It took her a few years to acknowledge the abuse that took place in her marriage. Scores of people denied the experience of survivors who spoke up during the #MeToo revelations, and felt sorry for the accused. I won't devote more energy to people in denial.

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9 hours ago, sadie said:

I think we’re all arguing about whether Claire was a true predator and not just someone that had massively bad judgment and a case of arrested development because the writing was just not strong. The super short eps didn’t help, I felt like I didn’t understand either of these people as they never fully developed them as people. It also might have been bad acting as Mara just always had that dead blank stare going on: was she conflicted, was she tortured, was this all an orchestrated plan to get this kid in bed? I don’t know, everything I believe about these people is from the blanks I filled out in my own head. The 10 year time jump didn’t help, maybe a few scenes of Eric in therapy and we see the light bulb go off in his head that he was not at fault at all and THEN we see him tell her off, that would have helped. Eric still seemed very damaged and Claire remained oblivious but I don’t really understand why? Ugh, such a frustrating show. 

Exactly the point I was trying to make

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11 hours ago, circumvent said:

Not with the information we were allowed as viewers. That's why it is all speculation, extrapolation.

 

It happened to me, a relationship with a teacher when I was 17. We remained friends, no trauma. Saying it is not true is only based on your experience, so your statement is also faulty. My point is not what Claire COULD have been but how the character was presented to us. She wasn't presented as a predator, and the time jump doesn't tell us why Eric didn't have counseling, shy he decided to work with troubled (?) kids or why he stopped counseling, or why he felt like going to the restaurant. Just to tell Claire to "shove it"? To me it was lazy writing and bad acting because I can speculate that he is working with those kids as a way to use his experience to help others but I didn't see any growth or healing or whatever in the character, just gloom. 

Can you point out to a scene of grooming? Claire was wrong the whole time but she didn't groom Eric. She might have intended to, she might have done so if we had longer episodes, but that's not what we saw. We saw her offering to tutor him, which happens all the time between teachers and students, then we saw them getting involved. It is fine to say that her intentions were of a predator but that would be speculation based on what is inside each viewer's head. If she were a predator, she would have gone after other young people, which she didn't, as far as we can tell. She is an ass for asking Eric to meet her to perform her apology, she wasn't trying to reconnect. 

I guess some people are confused about what actual predators do. They don't wait 10 years to go for another prey, not do they stick with only one. Predators have patterns. It is fine to believe that Claire was a predator but in this particular story we were told she was a pathetic needy adult who made extremely bad decisions, pretending that because of an arbitrary number to define adulthood all she did wrong was to have an affair. The thing is, the writers failed to show me that she was a predator. They failed to show that she engaged in those patterns before and/or after this story. 

I think a lot of the things she did constituted grooming - asking him to call her by her first name, taking him on a trip to UT instead of tutoring him, accepting an invitation to a frat party on his behalf, and using her influence to get him out of trouble and keeping it a secret between them. Eric probably would never have kissed her if she hadn't been inappropriately treating him like a social equal, and flirting with him.

I don't think Eric came to the diner with the intention of telling her off and leaving. I think he wanted to hear out her apology, and let her know how he felt. When it turned out to be a lousy, self-deluding apology, that was when he checked out.

Edited by Blakeston
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6 hours ago, BlackberryJam said:

I think some of the arguments here are semantics. Claire isn't a serial predator. She stilled preyed on Eric. That makes her a predator.

Looking at the American Bar definition of grooming, it's "a preparatory process in which a perpetrator gradually gains a person's or organization's trust with the intent to be sexually abusive. The victim is usually a child, teen, or vulnerable adult." That's exactly what Claire did. She was having masturbatory fantasies about Eric early on. She led him down a path to a sexual relationship.

 

Ok, that might be the legal definition but if this can be applied to anyone, really, not only the groups listed. I would bet, just based on statistics, that there are people in this website (not necessarily this thread) that are in adult relationships that would fit the definition you gave. Maybe they don't even realize that. Patriarchy then, is a form of preying. 

I guess what Sadie mention is spot on. The writing didn't define anything it didn't give us much. Having been in a relationship with a teacher myself when I was half his age in high school gives me a different perspective. 

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2 hours ago, circumvent said:

Ok, that might be the legal definition but if this can be applied to anyone, really, not only the groups listed. I would bet, just based on statistics, that there are people in this website (not necessarily this thread) that are in adult relationships that would fit the definition you gave. Maybe they don't even realize that. Patriarchy then, is a form of preying. 

I guess what Sadie mention is spot on. The writing didn't define anything it didn't give us much. Having been in a relationship with a teacher myself when I was half his age in high school gives me a different perspective. 

I’m not going to discuss your particular situation because this is a thread about the show, not about you, or me.

I watched the show and I saw every bit of predation and grooming. I didn’t need longer episodes or things spelled out. I found it blatant and obvious. 

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Thanks for all the great insight here. I was mixed on the time jump---but was glad he called out her shitty excuses. I do think had she shown more growth he might have heard her out and tried to seek some closure, But instead? That half-baked "I should have said no when you kissed me". Um, no. You shouldn't have forged an independent as-equal relationship. You shouldn't have gone after him at the dance. That UT "field trip"? Questionable at best, and maybe should have included another student whose goal was UT.....but she was 100% about creating a connection with him even if (at that point) she hadn't thought through that the goal was sexual. 

I am curious about her flash-forward husband. I would like to see their connection story, honestly. 

 

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55 minutes ago, JasonCC said:

Thanks for all the great insight here. I was mixed on the time jump---but was glad he called out her shitty excuses. I do think had she shown more growth he might have heard her out and tried to seek some closure, But instead? That half-baked "I should have said no when you kissed me". Um, no. You shouldn't have forged an independent as-equal relationship. You shouldn't have gone after him at the dance. That UT "field trip"? Questionable at best, and maybe should have included another student whose goal was UT.....but she was 100% about creating a connection with him even if (at that point) she hadn't thought through that the goal was sexual. 

I am curious about her flash-forward husband. I would like to see their connection story, honestly. 

 

Flash-forward husband's name was Jeffrey; I had to rewind and closed caption the dialogue to make sure it was a new guy or if Matt had been replaced by another actor.  New Hubby knows about Claire's past and doesn't care is all I got.  I wonder if he knows about her texting Eric after running into him at the supermarket, and the ensuing meeting.

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